Everywhere, people are talking about how they can make educational setting better by utilizing technology and increasing chance for students to be involved in various community projects. These are much evidence that supports the idea that active, interactive, and challenging projects for the students enhance their knowledge and develop skills that students can utilize throughout their life. Does this mean that we should tear down classroom walls, throw away pencil and paper, and give all the students portable computing devices?
Well, for better or worse, the answer is resounding NO. In search of community involvement, technological devices, and enhanced interaction, people may be losing sight of two things everyone needs and what researchers still believes to be essential to learning; time for quiet reflection, and cross-examination by diverse means. Students still need an opportunity to scribble their ideas and equation without being confined by what a software can offer. They still need time to think through alone, recast the concepts within their head, and let their imagination work without having much of their attention distracted by random chit-chats or something on the screen. They still need to be challenged in ways that deeply probe their understanding, and practice using their knowledge enough times to no longer make silly mistakes. Like many things in life, it is never one or the other, it is everything possible in the appropriate amount.
There always is a danger that a student may develop faulty ideas due to the project having many aspects that student didn’t know about, and also have their understanding skewed heavily in certain field and become oblivious to much larger picture which can only be seen if you can look at it from a distance. Therefore, students should still read textbooks, solve quizzes, take difficult tests, engage in discussions with other students who have a very different experience and understanding, and practice verbally demonstrating their understanding of the subjects. We need to offer students opportunities and challenges that school and community projects may have a difficult time offering in amount and depth a student needs. This is why we want to tailor make the program to the students and gather students of similar needs to engage them in class activities and academic workouts that best utilize the strength of the students and the instructors.