#reflection on Constructivist approaches and Schema

What was covered in the session today? I was teaching about the differences between different equipment types and I asked students to do some research and put it in their own words.
How was it useful? My goal was to get them to start learning about the differences in different pieces of network equipment so they would understand how each device worked and how it handled traffic. I also asked them how they would explain it to a non-technical user, but I found a lot of their explanations were still quite technical and I could’t tell if they understood or were just parroting back what they had found on the web.
What thoughts came up during the session? I was trying to figure how to confirm that they were understanding what they were reading and trying to get them to use non-computing analogies, in other words draw from their existing knowledge and relate it to this new knowledge.
What did you learn? Having debated the question with quite a few groups I came up with a “third person” who they had to use for their explanation – their Mothers!, this is also probably drawing on the idea of pesonas which we used in instructional design.
What will you do with the information i.e. what next? I might use the Mother/persona idea again to help them construct their knowledge from existing models, it was a very useful exercise and did “force” them to think a lot more about what they were reading..

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