Contributor(s)The Pennsylvania State University CiteSeerX Archives
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AbstractTechnology as a Tool for Learning. (Under the direction of Dr. Glenda Carter) The purpose of this study was to observe middle school students &apos; use of technology as a tool for learning science in a nine-week elective class (Exploring Technologies) offered to 7th and 8th grade students (n=23). Students &apos; use of data collection devices and subsequent interactions were traced through audio and video recordings, field notes, interviews, and students &apos; artifacts. A social constructivist frame is used for this study within which a Vygotskian perspective is embedded. The first manuscript of the study describes the application of a model of scaffolding to design instruction for teaching the use of technologies. The Exploring Technologies class was structured around Cazden&apos;s scaffolding model, which was based on teacher-student interactions. The curriculum developed students &apos; ability to use technology as a tool, first by giving them fundamental skills in using the technologies in data collection, and then providing them with experiences to conduct scientific inquiry. Findings indicated that the three phase instructional model was successful in constructing students &apos; understanding of scientific ideas through the use of technologies.