Problem-Solving Activities With the Help of Technology

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Problem-solving is one of the most vital and basic skill which is required by every one of us in the 21st century. We feel the need of this skill quite frequently in our daily lives, and especially children should develop it at quite a young age to cope up with problems in education as well as other domains, throughout their lives.

The importance of developing this skill today is such that, it is even highlighted in the Common Core standards and has become a necessary component of any curriculum. Problem-solving directly implies decision-making, which is another important skill, not only for academics but for success in life in general.

Problem-solving comes with numerous benefits. Teaching kids the art of problem-solving has many associated advantages, like, it teaches them how to avoid conflicts in school and in their daily lives, it strengthens their empathy skills, it helps them develop positive attributions  and it is utmost required for school readiness and academic success. Generally, we would solve problems by identifying the problem, listing its possible solutions, weighing them one by one, choosing a solution to try, putting it into practice and evaluating it. Though this technique works for us most of the times, it has now become conventional and tedious. With the introduction of technology in every domain of our lives, why not introduce it to problem-solving as well. Now, when technology comes to aid us in problem-solving, it can quite revolutionize and rejuvenate the entire experience of it.

Technology supports problem-solving in a number of ways. It enables you to identify problems quicker and easier and helps you better analyze a complex problem. Technology students are especially encouraged to be innovative and to want to improve a current situation by encountering and solving problems, in an advanced way. There can be different approaches to teaching problem-solving with the aid of technology:

Students should be encouraged to concentrate not on whimsical wants or fanciful products, rather they should apply their considerable problem solving skills to attain something substantial that will improve their present situation and benefit them in the future.

They should be encouraged to find solutions from a broad range of technological and non-technological realms.

The focus and procedure of teaching problem solving using technology should be flexible. This can be directed by how the teacher helps the student select a problem and frame the context of a problem.

Students should examine situations (big and small, near and far, individual and societal) and use their creative problem solving abilities to try to plan what is best.

They should be taught to weigh short-term gains and costs with long-term gains and costs by keeping in view the educational reform, personal lifestyle changes it may lead to with the incorporation of new technology in regulation with governmental action.

The tendency in education should be to employ the term ‘problem solving’ generically to include such diverse activities as coping with marital problems and trouble-shooting electronic circuits.

It can be stated that, different types of problem situations (personal or technological) require different kinds and levels of knowledge and capability and one must be willing enough to adopt different approaches in different situations, which is eased by the inclusion of technology in problem-solving activities.

Effective and responsible national leaders and corporate executives are those with enough backbone to do what they believe is best for the nation or corporation, in spite of mass opinion. The select solutions that are holistic, sometimes more technology-dependent, other times involved with laws, communication and other social arenas. They do not blindly accept the premise that their current product or service is the single best solution to a problem. If this is the type of person a technology teacher hopes their students will become, then specific educational experiences should be designed to empower students with those independent, risk-taking abilities where the goal is what is best.

However, the best solution to a technological problem may be non- technological. Students who are practiced in considering this wider range of alternatives will be better prepared to face the demands of global citizenry than those who merely make yet another CD rack. It is critical for a technology teacher to revisit their definition and philosophy of technology, analyzing its assumptions and bias. That definition should be individually crafted by that teacher, so that it is honest and accurate, accommodates a variety of belief systems and lays the path for a wondrous technological journey for the student and teacher.

You’re invited to share your views, additional knowledge or clarify doubts on the context. So go ahead and comment, the Comment Box awaits you.

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About the Author
Author: Saomya Saxena
Educational technology blogger, loves to research and write about tools and tips for educators on how to integrate technology into everyday instruction creatively and effectively. Fond of reading and writing.

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