Sunday, March 14, 2010

Behaviorism and Technology

I feel that behaviorism definitely has a place in classrooms today. Behaviorism has two components, reinforcement and punishment (Laureate, 2009). In my classroom I have a balance between both positive reinforcement and consequences.

In the book, Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, there are instructional strategies for using technology in the classroom (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, Malenoski, 2007). The”reinforcing effort enhances student’s understanding of the relationship between effort and achievement by addressing their attitudes and beliefs about learning" (p. 155). Some students do not realize the importance of putting forth effort in their work. That being said, educators could use reinforcement to help them achieve the goal of putting their best effort forth.

The second instructional strategy discussed in the book, is homework and practice. Teachers today have so many opportunities through technology to help students learn, instead of just the traditional “drill and practice” that we are so used to hearing about. When a child reads and answers a question correctly, he/she is rewarded with playing an interactive game, etc. According to Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, and Malenoski, students that practice with multimedia “increase their level of understanding to mastery” (p. 192).


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Program 4. Behaviorist Learning Theory. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.

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


  1. Linzie,

    Using technology to reward students for putting forth effort in their work seems to work well for you. It works well for me as well. I reward students when they give effort in the classroom by allowing them to use our school laptops to create movies, presentations, and other things to share with the class. The movies and presentations have to relate to class material and the students love relating things that they like to the class material.

  2. Beau,

    Yes, my students love it! This year, my students were not familiar with PowerPoint. After I showed them how to use it, they just took off with it and created some great projects. Each six weeks they make a genre project and most of the students have made PowerPoints to display their information. It is a great way for them to learn the material.