Situated Cognition

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Situated cognition is “the notion of learning knowledge and skills in contexts that reflect the way they will be used in real life” (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). A close relative of cognitive apprenticeship and constructivism, this concept encourages educators to construct an environment that mimics as closely as possible the setting in which their instruction will actually be put to use. Whereas cognition and the situation it was learned in had historically been considered separate entities, they are now thought to be indivisible from one anther. When students get feedback from within their learning setting, an improved learning experience occurs. When provided the opportunity and framework for feedback and revision, the…show more content…
Technology tools provide "the means through which individuals engage and manipulate both resources and their own ideas" (Hannafin, Land, & Oliver, 1999, p. 128).
The four broad principles of learning, that it occurs in context, is active, is social and is reflective, offer a framework for how technology can support instruction (Driscoll, 2002). Therefore, interactive multimedia has clear possibilities for producing rich learning environments which the student can explore at will (Marra and Jonassen, 1993). Technology can facilitate learning by providing real world contexts that engage learners in solving complex problems. For example, SimCity teaches learners how to build and manage aspects of a city, and with the Voyage of Mimi, students can explore sea life and solve problems while learning about whales (Driscoll, 2002). The use of multimedia is quite beneficial to getting learners mentally involved in learning activities, generating connections between what they already know and what they are being asked to learn, and constructing meaning from their experiences.
Of course, technology by itself does not guarantee learning. Rather, understanding principles of learning, using the technological tools available and applying the theories of situational cognition are a good way to begin. Getting learners mentally involved in their own learning activities and generating connections between what
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