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Social Constructivism Theory
Constructivism involves the creation of knowledge by way of amending or adding substance to existing knowledge. People improve the experience put forward by others based on current or any evolving trends. The process involves the interaction of many people who offer different contributions towards the set of knowledge developed. According to Glasersfeld (1989), constructivism is a theory of knowledge with roots in philosophy, psychology, and cybernetics.
According to Vygotsky (1978), when this sharing and amending of knowledge narrows down to social setting, it becomes social constructivism. Parties involved create an interactive platform of communication whereby information exchange and input is possible.
Wikis form one of the best platforms whereby learners from different cultures build sets of knowledge by exchanging their different inputs in relation to some selected fields of discussion. Instructors as well use the platform as an efficient and interactive method to communicate with students (Vygotsky, 1978). For instance, it is possible to use wiki to issue draft lesson plans, collaborative research, and sharing of all learning materials. The students’ feedback is incorporated in the materials posted. For example, concerning lesson plan, students would be at liberty to contribute towards their proposed schedule of learning. The interaction does not require students and the instructor to sit face to face since it is online and done from home or elsewhere (Glaserfeld, 1989).
Social Connectivism Theory
The theory of connectivism involves the exchange of knowledge and ideas on a social platform without any physical contact between the instructor and learners. This is not an old phenomenon owing to its introduction by Siemens in 2005. According to Siemens (2005), learning is a process of exchanging opinions and not listening to individual persons. Therefore, there is need for people to create functional connections online and discuss various subject matters.
The theory in not only limited to teacher-student learning but also between peers working in different organization. The underlying argument behind this theory is that it is digital, therefore, fast, effective and reliable. In case of students, digital connection helps them to share their experience and knowledge from different schools. Students will be able to put their input, which is visible to all connected students and instructors across the network (Siemens, 2005). Wiki is a good example of a network whereby learners over the word can create knowledge based on different inputs from different students over the world. Development of this theory relates closely to the emergence of internet conferencing that is recently becoming the most effective in business. People do not need to travel across nations to hold conferences since they can easily connect and share ideas online (Siemens, 2005).
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Computer Assisted Language Learning
CALL involves interactive computer aided learning especially in languages. The main aspects of language, especially pronunciation and spelling automatically fed in a computer program interact with the student in a way he/she can easily understand. The method is common with learning of foreign language, whereby the student does not need the help of a teacher and can conduct self-learning (Levy, 1997).
The technology is as well applicable in the preparation of speeches especially to foreigners who would wish to give speeches in the native language. The technology is able to prepare relevant pronunciations and identify several mistakes in a speech constructed by native people as well. The system contains inbuilt programs to create all the stylistic devices required in a speech like tone and stress (Davies & Higgins, 1982).
Notably most of these systems are a major help to students whose English is their second language (ESL). The most important aspect of this system is to convert sound into text, and vice versa. Feeding a recorded speech in the system would yield a well-formatted and edited document free of mistakes (Davies & Higgins, 1982). Therefore, CALL is very efficient for self-assessment for students studying language, and more specifically to students interested in foreign languages.
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