Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Behaviorist Theory in the Classroom

This week, in our resources, we read about "Reinforcing Effort” and “Homework and Practice" (Pitler et al , 2007) and how these two strategies can embed technology and can relate to the Behaviorist Theory . First of all, being able to use technology in school is a very positive and motivating learning experience for most children. Using behaviorist-based technology resources for learning can definitely reinforce effort and encourage children to do their homework and practice their skills without dread or trepidation. It is because of this reason, that these instructional strategies correlate very well with the Behaviorist Learning Theory and the use of technology. Today's children are exposed to numerous types of technology at home and are aquiring many of the 21st Century Skills. So it is essential that we offer them these same types of opportunities in the classroom. However, due to many inhibiting factors, this isn't always possible. We are not always able to provide them with the technological experiences that they need and will be required for the "real world" and their future work environments, that we are supposed to be educating them for. So as effective educators, we have to find ways to overcome these obstacles and do our best at providing them with the technological knowledge and skills needed to be successful individuals in our diverse and competitive society. Even if this means, giving them lists of useful websites to use at home or at the public library, sharing computers among small groups, using our teacher stations to have students practice, incorporating videos or images into lessons, or even letting students use our own personal equipment (laptops, camcorders, cameras, etc.), it is important to provide these opportunities to students, no matter what!!

Reinforcing Effort and Homework and Practice are two of the easiest instructional strategies for incorporating technology and creating positive learning experiences, and creating positive learning experiences are what effective educators strive for!!!!

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Crystal Moyer


  1. Moyer, I was wondering which subjects you teach (or subject)? I totally agree that it is every teachers duty to link students to technology and life skills through their curricular goals. I know personally that the majority of my students view this as extremely motivating to engage in the lessons and homework. For me it seems like it is a loose version of "re-enforcing a good behavior" but I think the principle is still there; students do more if they are engaged and properly view the value.

  2. Crystal,

    I completely agree that technology is a super powerful learning tool for students. However, you are correct that this is not always available. I know in my building, it is very difficult to get into the computer lab. I happen to have two student laptops and four iTouches because of a grant, but it is difficult to give all students time on these few things. I find we have to do a lot of whole class lessons with the students watching my projected laptop. I also encourage students to go online at home and work on skills there. This year I am hoping to start a technology club that will meet once a week after school for those students who really want to work with and learn technology skills. I think as educators we need to try to find creative ways to get technology access to students. If we wait around for the technology to come to us, we may be waiting a long time! Good post!

    -Jill Morris

  3. Crystal-

    The idea that technology is a positive reinforcement and that it motivates students is a simply statement, but there are teachers still out there that think technology has no place in the classroom. How you explained the need for teachers to incorporate technology in the classroom is great! Again it is a simple concept, but is often difficult to get the point across. We have to be able to reach our students in a way that they are familiar with and that is through technology. The behaviorist theory validates the need for technology-based practices within the classroom. Great post!