Thursday, January 7, 2010

To do's and taboos of using the Internet!

Media messages from television, movies, music, and the Internet are a daily part of our children's lives. While electronic media can open up new worlds of rich learning experiences to children, they can also convey messages about violence, sex, commercialism, stereotyping, and other themes that worry parents.

When children are exposed to images and messages they do not understand and are unable to interpret, parents will want to intervene. For example, when children see smoking, drinking, and drug use in the media, parents will want talk about it with their children and guide them in taking a critical look at how cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs are portrayed.

Click here for some suggestions for ensuring Internet Safety:

National PTA.  Internet Safety.  Retrieved January 7, 2010 from

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For Teachers, Parapros and Other Childcare Professionals

Behaviorist Perspective:
The behaviorist theorists believe that children learn by watching other children. According to Smaldino, Lowther and Russell (2008), B. F. Skinner believed that children learn best when they are interactive with their environments. The teacher can modify or change a student’s behavior by enhancing their experiences. The behaviorist name three types of learning: classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning or modeling.

According to Gordon and Browne (2004), classical conditioning is based on the theory that a child may learn based on the stimulus provided, such as with Pavlov’s dogs (p. 140). Operant conditioning emphases the response rather than the stimulus. For example, a teacher who is a positive reinforcer may invoke a desired response by offering a reward or special treat. Whereas, a teacher who is a negative reinforcer may remove an unpleasant stimulus as a method to change a behavior. Both these conditioning methods aver that learning is based on the development of habit. “What people learn is a series of associations, forming a connection between a stimulus and response that did not exist before” (Gordon & Browne. 2004, p. 139). Observational learning or modeling is deemed “social behavior”. This type of behavior is developed when a student watches another student.

Cognitivist Perspective:
The cognitivist theory seeks to explain how learners receive and process information and how that information is perceived in light of the world. Some theorists believed that the process of thinking was borught on by heredity or by one’s natural environment. Jean Piaget (1977) researched many of the factors that can affect man’s thinking: their environment, how one solves problems or makes decisions and believed none of these affect cognitive thinking (Gordon & Brown, 2004, p. 142).

Constructivist Perspective:
These theorists believe that it is critical, “the engagement of students in meaningful experiences as the essence of experiential learning” (Smaldino et. al. 2008, p. 11). According to Gabler and Schroder (2003), the basis of the constructivist theory is that this method is critical at all levels of learning. Constructivism, here, is sparingly defined as a process that focuses on the student-centered classroom whereby students’ ideas are the legitimized. Students are encouraged to develop cognitive and problem-solving skills that may be transferred to the real world not just in recalling facts.

Social-Psychological Perspective:
The social organization of the classroom on learning.In this theory, students learn based on their social experience with their peers or their environment the causes and effects of their actions. Slavin (1990) states that “cooperative learning is both more effective and more socially beneficial than competitive and individualistic learning” (Smaldino et. al. 2008, p. 11).


Gordon, A., & Browne, K. (2004). Beginnings and beyond. Redwood City, CA: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Lowther, D., Russell, J., & Smaldino, S., (2008). Technology and media. Instructional Technology and Media for Learning (9th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.