Roles of technology as a cognitive tool to facilitate students’ problem-solving process in the secondary geography PBL modules

Authors: Sojung Huh*, Texas State University - San Marcos, Injeong Jo, Texas State University - San Marcos
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: Technology, cognitive tool, project-based learning
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study examined the roles of technology as a cognitive tool to support students’ problem-solving process in a project-based learning environment. A cognitive tool can be defined as a learning environment that is developed or adapted to function as an intellectual partner and to scaffold the learner’s thinking process while learning a new concept or exploring ideas. Two project-based modules, ‘Heat Busters!’ and ‘Where does the fine dust come from?’, were developed and 157 students enrolled in five Korean middle and high schools participated to two modules. Student survey and interview responses were collected and analyzed for in-depth understanding of the roles that the technologies used (e.g., smartphone, portable thermal camera, fine dust meters) to support learning. The results indicate that: 1) Technology helps visualizing geographic phenomena that are out-of-reach for the students; 2) Technology enhances skills related to the collection and analysis of geographic data; 3) Technology facilitates communication and cooperation among students both during and after learning; and 4) Technology aids field-work, providing students with authentic learning experiences. In the light of these findings, implications for teaching and learning of geography will be discussed in the presentation.

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