Distributed Cognition Part 1

Above is the first comic strip that I created that demonstrates what I have observed at Mercer Elementary School. The 4th graders are working on a project called exhibition in which that are put into groups and asked to research a topic that they are passionate about such as flooding or poverty. They have to do a lot of research and eventually they will present their findings to the school community. This school seems to heavily rely on the use of Chromebooks. I believe that they have the luxury of using them, and if they did not have these, the students would have to use things such as encyclopedias to do their research. In my opinion, the research would not be as good if they were getting it only from books because there is an ease of using technology to do things. Also, I think that the majority of students have grown up with technology in their homes and only know how to use things. I think that this is an effect of technology because students don’t know any different from heavily relying on technology. A quote from one of the articles that we read in class can apply to this situation that I am discussing. “In contrast to this approach distributed cognition as applied to educational contexts, focuses on the ways in which learners appear to think in conjunction with mediating artifacts that pervade human environments”(Morgan,2006). This quote helps emphasize my point of how the students are working so well with technology because that is what they know from their environment. I also think that this project is a lot of offloading. From what I have seen, the teacher will constantly offload this project specifically. If there is any moment of free time, she will have the students work on their Chromebooks on this exhibition project. I understand that this project is a lot of research for the students to be doing, but it seems to be boring a lot of the students. A lot of them already have their research done and are waiting to hear from the teacher as to what they need to do next for this project, but that doesn’t seem to be coming soon. There is no assessment for this assignment in sight, it is just constant research. Also, this seems to be a pretty loose project because the students are not being monitored, so they could be playing games or doing other things. I have mixed emotions on this assignment, I do not think that it is constantly challenging students, but they are learning new things through their research, if they are staying on task and contributing to their group. But, I am not sure if the students are actually retaining anything because they are simply copy and pasting information they find and paraphrasing it and moving onto the next thing they need to research. I wish I was able to give a more definitive answer as to if the students are learning something or not because I do not know.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s