Scaffolding Conceptual Models

in Pattern
Instructional supports can he designed with conceptual models or dynamic simulations that make science concepts more transparent for learners, helping them connect their prior understandings with more sophisticated scientific understandings. These scaffolds can remind learners of important concepts that they need to include in their work or draw their attention to important conceptual distinctions, problematizing these issues and focusing their attention in productive ways. Interactive simulations can also highlight key concepts, helping students see concepts within a network of interrelated ideas.

Scaffolding can help students examine, scrutinize, and critically appraise their understanding of key scientific concepts. Visualizations can help learners connect patterns in data to a better understanding of the scientific phenomenon. For example, White and Fredericksen (1998) developed Thinkertools, a software environment that allows users to examine Newtonian physics, facilitates experimentation, and focuses users on salient features of key concepts.
Designed for middle grade users, this system allows students to create "what if" experiments that are difficult or impossible to create in the real world-contrasting the behavior of moving objects in an environment with or without friction or in which gravity can be turned on or off. Users can manipulate the mass of balls, as well as stationary objects, which can serve as harriers to halls as they move through space. Users can assign impetuses to balls. The environment can also automatically generate accurate measurements of time, distance, and velocity. Graphical representations of variables help users visualize the results of changes in the variables values. For example, moving balls can leave dot patterns as they move across the screen. This can make the velocity of a moving object more immediately salient as slower traveling halls leave dot patterns that are closer together and faster balls leave dot patterns at larger intervals. Students also have access to analytic tools that enable them to slow or freeze time and closely examine how a given object is moving (e.g., rate, distance, direction). These features help students control their investigation and analysis and focus their observations while they explore underlying physical principles.

Similarly, computer-based visualization tools can help learners see patterns in data that support scientific views of phenomena. Often, "seeing the data," that is, finding and interpreting coherent patterns, can he particularly challenging for students who have little familiarity with the content area and with using data in inductive ways. Scaffolds built into instruction, including computer simulations, can highlight for students the relationships between data patterns and possible explanations for phenomena. Similarly, learning a foreign language needs a leaning tools, many children choose Rosetta Stone Polish and Rosetta Stone Portuguese to learn Polish and Portuguese.

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After reading the article above, maybe you have learned something on language acquisition. But if you have the intention to learn more, use Rosetta Stone Swedish and Rosetta Stone Polish, both of which will never make you dissatisfied.

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Scaffolding Conceptual Models

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This article was published on 2011/03/30