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Social and Collaborative Learning with Technology

Updated on October 16, 2009

Social and Collaborative Learning with Technology

Walden University

Ed.D. Program


Rebecca Weisert

Certification of Authorship: I certify that I am the author of this paper and that any assistance I received in its preparation is fully acknowledged and disclosed in the paper. I also have cited any sources from which I used data, ideas, or words, either quoted directly or paraphrased. I certify that this paper was prepared by me specifically for the purpose of this assignment, as directed.

Praxis 2- Social and Collaborative Learning with Technology

Rebecca Weisert

EDUC-8015-103 Research Approaches

Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Walden University

Broad Research Topic: Collaborative/Social & Multiple Intelligences learning with Technology.

Problem Statement

Education should change from individual student learning that is without technology to learning that is resourceful and collaborative with the use of technology media resources. Teacher’s need to understand the use of technology in their classroom will not in any way compromise the teacher and student learning content or relationship.“Electronic media are the learner’s friend, but many teachers have a “love-hate” relationship and views about using technology in the classroom. Some teachers think computer learning can have substandard instruction, low social involvement, and mindless learning. Some confess they fear that technology will weaken their authority by putting learners in control of their own learning” (Weiss, 2000). Classroom learning and socialization skills can be taught with technology in addition to other forms of face-to-face socialization. Teachers need to implement technology in the classroom for more than just drill, and practice exercises. Teachers can learn to organize their lessons to promote socialization and collaboration with the use of technology in order to keep up with our world that has become technologically advanced. Teacher should remain the primary instructor, but new technology and resources are changing how teaching and learning because the students of today are immersed in the world of technology. Many teachers still view learning as transferring subject matter into their heads by use of lectures and textbooks. Today’s kids want education to prepare for the future. Most kids hate being lectured to. In the educational days of the past, “Couldn’t looking up information during a test, because it’s was considered cheating. They couldn’t take other people’s work and use it in new ways because is considered plagiarism” (Prensky, 2007) .Teachers need to keep up with these advancements in order to keep up with the needs of our students.

Purpose of study

The purpose of this paper study is to examine ways teachers can implement technology in the classroom to promote collaborative, social learning and encourage students to use their multiple intelligences to empower students to be more actively involved in their learning. Another purpose of this study is to research teaching strategies and theories that incorporate the use of technology so that teachers can use them in the classroom knowing that their strategies are backed by grounded theories. Educators must continue to investigate how students learn. Teachers need to use technology in the classroom to reach and support our varied student population and use their distinctive learning styles and strengths to make learning more memorable to each individual student.

Purpose Statement

This research will examine ways teachers can implement technology in the classroom using the theories and strategies of the Collaborative learning, Social learning, Multiple Intelligences while using the principles of Engagement, Situated Learning.

Research questions

  • Can the use of computers encourage collaborative, social learning?
  • How can teachers use technology learning to create a strong and successful social element in the classroom?
  • What learning theories support the use of technology in the classroom?

Theoretical Framework

Teachers must also change the way in which technology is used in the classroom because students of today need to obtain twenty-first century skills in technology, and global societal awareness. According to Gardner, “Americans have overly emphasized technical aspects of education by using it mostly for testing and measurement while neglecting the social or wider community elements computers can bring to the classroom which had always been an important part of education”(Gardner, 2006). Teachers need to implement technology in the classroom for more than just drill, and practice exercises. Modeling of all types is one of the most important aspects of the social learning theory. Modeling of new learning can be from teachers or from observing their peers. Ormrod states, “Students can learn from symbolic models, which can be a person or action portrayed in some other medium, such as television, videotape, computer programs (Ormrod, 1999)”, because we do learning from all types of sources and media. Bandura also states,” Teachers should expose students to a variety of other models” (Bandura, 1977). Computers can make the world seem smaller because people from all over the world can share information, learn, and problem solve together.

The use of technology in the classroom can level the playing field for those who may be otherwise limited due to disabilities in many ways with assistive technology or even as simple as word processing programs help them with spell and grammar check. “The use of assistive and virtual technologies in the classroom has been shown to make learning and abstract concepts more concrete, motivating to students, permit students to progress through a learning experience at their own pace, and encourage active participation rather than passive observation” (Braddock, D,2004). Computer and technology are moldable and well equipped to meet many students’ individual needs. On the other hand Gardner points out,” Technology can often appeal to many students but the content can be too rich or too cluttered for many students with attention difficulties so that these learners cannot focus on what is truly central to the concept under investigation”, (Gardner, 2000). This is where the human aspect of teaching is needed; teachers need to continually monitor their students’ progress while they are using technology.

Yerrick conducted a study and surveyed more than 80 student teachers in their science methods revealed that pod-casting had a considerably optimistic impact on the pre-service science teachers’ abilities, and attitudes about teaching science. Ninety-five percent of the students felt their knowledge and understanding of children’s thinking improved and that they are aware of a wider variety of teaching strategies improved due to pod-casting (Yerrick, 2006). This study showed an improved per-service teacher motivation was improved by using technology it would be interesting to see improved motivation of students in classrooms using this technology for science and other subjects. It would also be interesting to see how many different multiple intelligences that could be tapped into by using digital medias and pod-casting.

Gardner points out the benefits of technology,” Computer technology puts all the information in the world at one’s fingertips, no longer do we have to spend hours hunting down a source. Thus people will achieve “cultural literacy”, (Gardner, 2004). Computers can make the world seem smaller because people from all over the world can share information, learn, and problem solve together in cyber space.

Terms to Be Defined

The following terms and definitions will be used throughout this study: Collaborative learning, Social learning, Multiple Intelligences, Engagement Theory, Situated Learning and pod casting. The term "collaborative learning" is a method of instruction refers to an instruction where students who are at different performance levels work together in groups to problem solve and reach common goals. The students are to take responsibility for each other’s and their own learning. So they have an active involvement in their own learning as well as their groups learning together.

The term “Social Learning Theory” focuses on the learning that happens within a social environment. ” People learn from one another, though such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling”( Bandura, 1977). Bandura stresses the importance of student’s learning to observing and modeling behaviors, student’s own attitudes, and emotional reactions of others in an educational environment.

Howard Gardner’s research in the area of multiple intelligences suggests that all students learn things in different ways. The list of multiple intelligences, suggested by Gardner is:

· Logical-mathematical, which deals with numbers and logic.

· Verbal/Linguistic, which deals mainly with words.

· Bodily-kinesthetic, which deals with body movements and the handling of objects

· Musical, which deals with rhythms and melodies

· Visual/Spatial, which deals with pictures and images.

· Interpersonal, which deals with understanding other people and working with them.

· Intrapersonal, which deals with the inner self and one's feelings.

· Naturalist, which deals with classification and understanding phenomena of nature.

· Existentialist or Spiritual, which deals with the big questions of life and harmonizing.

Gardner further explains, “Individuals possess varying amounts of these intelligences and combine and use them in personal ways. Just as we all look different and exhibit different personalities, we all possess different kinds of minds”, (Gardner, 2000).

The main idea underlying engagement theory is that students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks. “We believe that technology can facilitate engagement in ways which are difficult to achieve otherwise. So engagement theory is intended to be a conceptual framework for technology-based learning and teaching (Kearsley, 1999).

Situated learning occurs when students work on authentic tasks that take place

in real-world setting. Situated learning encourages teachers to submerge students in an environment or an environment that closely resembles the “real world” to make learning more transferable connected, functional and practical. Situated learning can make connections between learning of subject manner from information structured instruction in the classroom to real-life knowledge (Brill, 2001). Communication technologies tools and mobile devices are enabling students to go out in the world, learn, and record their thoughts and learning to share with others in their classroom by transferring their learning content to computers, whiteboards, and word documents with photos, video, and recordings (Qing Li, 2008).

Pod-casting is the ability to download audio files from the internet for

playback on portable audio players. One of the benefits of pod-castings is that students can listen to or watch content at their own speed, when and where they need it. Pod-casting is not as difficult as it might sound. The content must be on the internet or student work needs to be saved to the internet. Then you hook the ipod or mp3 player to the computer and download the content. The content can be audio, video or both depending on player it is being downloaded onto. Pod-casting could be used in the classroom for book talks, science logs and art critiques, etc.


Initially, this study will start with collecting data from a sixth grade Science class in High Ridge, Missouri. The possibilities for the use of technologies in the classroom are endless since technology advancements continue grow if is impossible of one study to cover all the possibilities. In the future, I want my research to include more assistive and adaptive technology to help more students with varying disabilities. It is also hard for one study to cover all ages, grade and educational levels.

Significance of the study

The study is needed for many reasons. This study is to show teachers that if they use these teaching strategies and theories to help them form organized lessons with technology their fears of shoddy computer instruction, beliefs of low social student involvement and fears of mindless learning can be relieved and they will use more technology in their classroom for learning and teaching. Teachers need to ensure that adequate technical assistance is provided so that the technology is deployed effectively” (Weiss, 2000). More research and teacher training need to be preformed and conducted in this area. As more technology is added to classrooms across America it will be interesting to watch how students can tap into their different intelligences through the use of technology.


Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Bandura, A. In explorations in learning & instruction. Retrieved January 27, 2008, from Social Learning theory Web site:

Braddock, D, Rizzolo, M, Thompson, M, & Bell, R (2004). Emerging Technologies and Cognitive Disability. Journal of Special Education Technology, 19, Retrieved10/07/2007, from

Brill.J. (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Journal. Retrieved from

Gardner, H. (2000). The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, The K-12 Education That Every Child Deserves. New York: Penguin Putnam.

Gardner, H. (2006). Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons. New York: Basic Books.

Kearsley, G. S., B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A Framework for Technology-Based Teaching and Learning. Educational Technology, 38(5), 20-28.

Ormrod, J. (1999). Social learning theory- Notes on Ormond’s human learning . Retrieved January 27, 2008, from Social Learning Theory Web site:

Prensky,M. (2007). Changing Paradigms: from “being taught” to “learning on your own with guidance”, Educational Technology, from

Weiss, R. P. (2000). Howard Gardner Talks about Technology. Training & Development, 54(9).


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