(image from phillevans.com)
"Technology can play a vital role in generating and testing hypotheses because new developments in probeware and interactive applets allow students to spend more time preparing the data rather than gathering the data." (Pitler et al., 2007, p.203) For example, with data collection tools such as spreadsheets and the internet, students are able to gather information much quicker, create artifacts to "analyze and synthesize" (Pitler et al., 2007, p.211) data, formulate hypotheses, and then "share and compare" (Pitler et al., 2007, p.211) data results by using collaborative internet tools. Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, and Malenoski (2007) provide an example of a middle school science class who wanted to know how much acid rain they were getting in their community. Students collected a variety of water samples, tested the pH levels in the water and recorded the data in an excel spreadsheet and then generated a chart to demonstrate their results. (Pitler et al., 2007, p.210) Students were collecting data, building an artifact, and using critical thinking skills to arrive at a conclusion to their hypotheses about acid rain. This is a good example of how testing for hypotheses does correlate to constructionism, as students are engrossed in creating some sort of container or project that supports their results.
Furthermore, project based learning (constructionism) as defined by the Buck Institute of Education, is " a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks."
Buck Institute for Education. Project Based Learning, the online resource of PBL. Retrieved March 24, 2010 from http://pbl-online.org/
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Constructionist and Constructivist Learning Theories. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.