The chart on the short synopses of Vygotsky's ideas shows easily that Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development (ZPD) is what we can do with help. The ZPD emphasizes not only the role of a teacher but also the role of peers in development and values social learning. The first synopsis says, “full development of the ZPD depends upon full social interaction. The range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained alone.”
This reminds me of the online learning environment that I have explored in ETEC622. With the guidance from Dr. Kimura, Eddie, and Ross, I have learned a lot by doing the assignments. I also learned more from collaboration with other peers and from their feedback on my work. The online learning environment and tools enable us to interact more than the traditional classroom. Students get more engaged in learning than in a traditional class.
It is important to note that technology expanded the learning environment from school/home to everywhere. We carry mobile devices, get help from people and search information on web sites. We can also reach students at a remote place.
One thing to think about is how we can persuade students who believe that they can only learn from teachers. Some students do not take collaborative learning seriously because they think they do not learn from peers. It is challenging to make them engaged in collaborative work. What shall we as teacher do?