Computers have become an almost indispensable tool for adults. From writing letters to finding information on the Internet, adults rely on computers in numerous ways every day. Computers are increasingly becoming a part of our children's world as well. We hypothesized that computer tools that provide models, opportunity for higher level thinking, and metacognitive like guidance, as it was predicted by Lev Vygotsky.
One of the constructivists I personally believe has contributed some critical ideas to contemporary education is Lev Vygotsky. He is most often noted for his social cognition theory that describes learning for children "took place within the context of a child's social development and culture". Lev S. Vygotsky articulated many intriguing ideas about educational and developmental psychology. Some of his ideas are valuable to researchers who want to understand computer and computer games. Vygotsky came up with the theory of the zone of proximal development that is known to be a powerful metaphor. The ZPD is the distance between what a student can achieve alone, and what he can achieve with help from peers or a teacher.
Direct instruction or collaboration can support a student's trial-and-error movement through the zone. Such scaffolding guides the student's efforts, so that the student's mastery is (hopefully) accurate, efficient, broad, and flexible. A teacher doesn't need to directly interact with a student to scaffold. Computers can be an effective intermediary. Computer-mediated instruction has unique advantages over traditional classroom instruction.