1. Learning and development is a social, collaborative activity. The interaction children have with adults and other children is critical. This suggests that using technology to enhance communication, contact, and interaction would be beneficial. the interaction should not, however, be one of information delivery. According to constructivist theory, you cannot really "teach" anyone anything. Students must construct understanding and knowledge in their won minds. That process is facilitated by collaboration. Programs that support collaborative problem solving and interactive decision making enrich the learning environment.
2. The ZPD can serve as a guide for curricular and lesson planning. Children don't simply know something or not know it. they may arrive at a particular learning experience without knowing something but be ready to master the task if they have appropriate support. Appropriate support may include everything from thoughtful guidance from the teacher and productive discussion sessions with fellow students to electronic information resources such as encyclopedias on CD-ROM, software such as grammar checkers that help students identify potential writing weaknesses, and electronic brainstorming software that supports group problem analysis. In addition, the teacher may help students puzzle through a complex concept by simplifying the problem they are dealing with to bring it within their ZPD. Then, as they develop understanding and the ZPD moves upward, the problem can be made more complex.
3. School learning should occur in a meaningful context. Several movements in education, including authentic instruction, situated learning, anchored instruction and Papert's dirty teaching emphasize the need to provide learning experiences within a meaningful context -- often the context in which what is learned is to be applied. Again, technology can facilitate this in many ways. Students in an economics class, for example, can take the roles of national leaders in a computer simulation of economic decisions. A Geography class studying Scotland can take a simulated trip around the country and use desktop publishing software to create a newsletter complete with scanned photographs and charts about the county.
4. Relate out-of-school experience to the child's school experience. Movements such as whole language instruction emphasize the need to organize "school learning" around the culture and experiences the child already knows and understands. Technology can help accomplished that in several ways. A fifth-grade class studying history, for example, could create a multimedia presentation, complete with scanned photographs, old maps, and excerpts from newspaper files, about the history of the town where they live. A middle-grades science class could use telecommunications to share data on water quality with students in other parts of the country or the world.