The Tools of Learning
New tools of learning are turning up in classrooms across the country. Tools such as computers, computer software, multimedia, remote data sensors, and the Internet have begun to change the face of teaching and learning. Each curriculum unit developed by LeTUS incorporates some form of computing technology, from simple motion sensors to interactive software with extensive data analysis and visualization capabilities.
Researchers at the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools do not create technology just to have it available for use. In developing a specific curriculum, designers determine which technologies will support the curriculum’s learning objectives. Do students need to measure pH levels in a river? Then they must have access to pH sensors and compatible data-visualization software. Does an ecology unit require tracking the effects of pollution over time? Then a computer-modeling tool should be available.
As used in LeTUS classrooms, high-end, computer-based tools for learning give students the means to perform authentic scientific investigations. Computer-based graphs and maps, scientific databases and data-collection tools, multimedia presentation tools and computer-modeling and simulation applications provide a variety of ways to present hypotheses and defend conclusions. LeTUS designs its easy to learn and use software tools with students in mind. These tools and the Internet transform the science classroom into an environment where students actively pursue and construct their own knowledge. In the process, students become prepared for life in a society that is increasingly computer-oriented. Thus, technology is not an end in itself, but a means to students’ success in the world.
To learn more about each technology used in LeTUS curricula, click on the software or curriculum below:
For a complete list of hardware and system requirements, click on Tech Specs.