Remember those long nights at your local university? Or, how about working all day and then going to school? Those times are quickly becoming a memory…and research studies like this one highlight what’s happening.
- A Longitudinal Comparison of Online Versus Traditional Instruction by
- Suzanne C. Wagner Niagara University Niagara University, NY14109 USA firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sheryl J. Garippo Niagara University Niagara University, NY14109 USAsgarippo@niagara.edu
- Petter Lovaas Niagara University Niagara University, NY14109 USA email@example.com
- Colleges and universities are promoting growth in online course offerings in an attempt to combat economic and enrollment decline.
- Studies of online learning versus traditional classroom learning have focused on many aspects of learning including the effectiveness of technology (Schenker, 2007), knowledge transfer (Hansen, 2008), and student engagement, learning, and satisfaction (Rabe-Hemp, Woollen, & Humiston, 2009). Studies of online courses have provided insight into the use and effects of technological innovations such as interactive software usage for e-learning (Pena-Sanchez, 2009) and the creation of interactive learning environments (Everson & Garfiel, 2008). Research has also considered the evaluation of information technology integration in traditional courses (Christou & Dinov, 2010).
- Hybrid instruction was found to be superior to traditional approaches for undergraduate students (Vernadakis, Antoniou, Giannousi, Zetou, Kioumourtzoglou, & Efthimis, 2011).
- In an effort to measure the difference in student performance in online versus traditional instruction over time, this study analyzed student performance in a single course offered in multiple sections by the same instructor over several academic years. The method of instruction for the course consisted of eleven online sections of the course offerings and nineteen traditional sections of the course offerings from 2001 to 2010. The instructor was the same for all of the traditional and online sections of the course. Additionally, all course syllabi, course assignments, and course exams were developed by the instructor using the same criteria and standards. Grading was done by the same instructor for all sections.
- Based on the review of the literature and the presumption that online courses can substitute for traditional courses, it is expected that student performance will be the same for the online courses and the traditional courses.
- it appears that today’s students are able to succeed in an introductory business applications course in an online format or a traditional format.
- If online students are given the proper materials (online lecture notes, multimedia presentations, clear instructions, reasonable assignments, a quality textbook, and access to an instructor via website or e-mail), they appear to do as well as those students who engage in a traditional classroom using the same materials guided by an instructor.
- males may not perform as well as females in online courses.
- Further research should be conducted to investigate the extent of gender differences that may occur in online and hybrid course delivery methods.
- as younger members of society become further integrated into the use of technological communication tools, the questions about presenting materials in online formats will likely diminish.
- Manuscript received 10 Nov 2010; revision received 22 Feb 2011. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License For details please go to: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
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What a fascinating piece on the value of body in an online class. In particular, I found this point to be engaging:
ignoring bodies makes it difficult to engage critically with issues of culture, difference, and social justice.
The point is, can we teach students as we ignore our bodies? It’s a point worth considering. As a latino-American, as well as a transplanted Texan from age 10, I found the interactions in my graduate classes (Bicultural/Bilingual Studies) interesting. First, I had to become acquainted with the history of White-Black-Hispanic relations in the Southwest, and then consider how Chicano power played into many of the conversations my professors had.
I often felt out of touch with those conversations. As the child of a white (Swedish ancestry) man born in Houston, Texas and a Panamanian, I seem to bridge the two cultures without full being immersed in either. It’s a delicate topic to raise with others, and I know Race/Ethnicity certainly play a part in how people are hired (or not), impacting economic well-being, etc. for entire families of “socio-economically” challenged individuals.
Social justice, then, rears its head in the midst of our online oasis, as we find again that no matter where we go, we carry our biases, prejudices with us. Declaring those biases, putting them on the table becomes all the more important in the online world, as much as the face to face one…disembodied or not, we speak what is in our heart, mind, and…skin.
- (Dis)Embodied Difference in the Online Class: Vulnerability, Visibility, and Social Justice Alexa Dare Assistant Professor of Communication and Leadership Gonzaga University Spokane, WA 99258 USA firstname.lastname@example.org
- Abstract The purpose of this paper is to interrogate critically the design and delivery of online course which address issues of race, culture, difference, or globalization. I use critical insights about how race functions in the online classroom to provide strategies for incorporating social justice into online curriculum in communication studies. I begin by summarizing key insights into the two general pedagogical issues of interest to this paper: critical intercultural communication studies and online course delivery. The first part of this essay addresses the advantages and possibilities associated with online delivery of such courses as intercultural communication. The second part teases out some of my misgivings concerning the viability and usefulness of online courses concerning communication and difference. Finally, I conclude by offering some strategies for designing antiracist and socially just classes in the online environment. Keywords: Critical Pedagogy; Race online; Intercultural communication; Antiracist pedagogy; Global justice
- If learning is understood as something that happens mainly (or only) in the brain, or cognitively, then online learning is easy to imagine as a digital translation of face-to-face learning. However, when considering learning and knowledge as embodied experiences or phenomena, then the differences between face-to-face and online learning become more pronounced.
- ignoring bodies makes it difficult to engage critically with issues of culture, difference, and social justice.
- virtual environments are imbued with power relations
- A critical approach to intercultural communication highlights the power dynamics that structure and shape our experiences as “cultured” bodies.
- intercultural communication is not simply a benign moment of encounter between two different individuals, but is instead a
- contingent, dialectical, historically-shaped negotiation of (oftentimes competing) meaning systems.
- bodies are not the source of cultural meaning, but rather are infused with meaning through social, communicative practices
- online education has been celebrated by many because of its potential to provide educational opportunities to populations who are unable to attend traditional face-to-face classes for financial, geographical, physical, or family reasons.
- the online experience can be more rewarding for certain students than a traditional face-to-face classroom environment. As Bender (2003) explains, “online discussion can reach beyond the temporal and spatial constraints of the campus class, and as a result can often add a richer and deeper perspective [than is possible in traditional classes] as students respond when they are informed and inspired”
- the online course space can soothe or counter gender- and race-based inequities in education.
- The constitution of the online classroom as a color-blind space free of raced and sexed bodies is one which deserves greater reflection by examining the implications of “disembodying” students and instructors in the virtual classroom, within the context of classes about race, gender, and globalization
- When students are not able to use visual cues to construct assumptions about their professor’s racial, ethnic or cultural background, they may engage the material (initially) with fewer preconceived notions about the connections between critical questions about race and their professor’s own racial, ethnic, and cultural trajectories.
- Anderson (2010), however, points out that much can be inferred from students’ and professors’ names. In a study that examined students’ stereotypes of professors, using only names as cues, “students tended to rate professors according to factors that interacted with professors’ gender and ethnicity” (p. 469). Anderson’s study asked students to rate identical syllabuses and to evaluate the hypothetical professors on dimensions including warmth, competence and difficulty. Interestingly, “even though their syllabuses were identical, the simple presence of a gender identifiable name influenced students’ assumptions about the professor” (p. 469). This finding complicates the optimism that the online classroom can be a genderless or colorblind space of possibility for students (or professors
- Teaching tips and techniques for online instruction invariably counsel instructors to act in ways that are “supportive and encouraging, giving ample feedback, being a good role model, being appropriately informal, and eliciting discussion” (Bender, 2003, p. 11). Most researchers of online education agree that instructors should strive to create a climate that is welcoming, supportive, and non-threatening. So, for example, Bender (2003) suggests that in online classes, “feedback must be encouraging so that it stresses the positive of the student’s achievement before mentioning suggestions for improvement” (p. 29).
- worry that online pedagogy strives more heavily for “student satisfaction” than critical awareness or intellectual development. This is especially troubling for those who are interested in teaching about questions of identity and culture from a critical perspective, and to those who strive to support social justice through curricula and pedagogy.
- I have found that in a traditional classroom, I can monitor student (nonverbal) feedback, I can “turn up the heat” when students appear to be ready, I can step back and let students take the floor and engage the issues together, and I can constantly and personally reinforce my own “stake” and complicity with these issues. The role of a facilitator in the face-to-face classroom is very much one which requires vigilance, attention to verbal and nonverbal feedback, and a willingness to jump in when necessary as well as to stay on the sidelines at other times.
- any attempts to encourage or to celebrate moments of discomfort run up against prevailing commitments to create an “enjoyable” learning space and experience.
- In particular, students who come from what is increasingly described as the “Look at Me” generation, see the internet as an ideal place to celebrate one’s individuality, and from a narcissistic perspective, one’s worth, appeal and attractiveness (I am thinking in particular about such social networking sites as Facebook and Twitter). Students who are used to using the internet in order to celebrate themselves, their activities, and their lifestyle may find it difficult to reconcile the “climate” of these activities with the more challenging (and non-self-celebratory) climate of the online critical intercultural class. Indeed, online courses threaten to increase student solipsism when they rely too heavily on such strategies as described by Bender: “the optimal way to convey to students that they are noticed is for the instructor to mention each by name when acknowledging a response
- One final danger or incompatibility associated with the commodified and “look-at-me” aspects of online education include the perpetuation of Western cultural values within the classroom. The impulse to make each student feel special, or to carefully mention each student by their first name comes from a Western tradition of individualism which presumes that self-actualization is in fact something that students achieve individually.
- social justice can be usefully understood as a politics of connectedness. From this perspective, strategies to increase and celebrate social justice within intercultural communication studies must highlight and make possible connections between diverse members of a classroom or a community. Drawing from theories of whiteness, pedagogy, and online education, it becomes clear that these connections carry (political) power and potential if and when they are constructed through openness and mutual vulnerability.
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- Is E-Learning for Everyone? An Internal-External Framework of E-Learning Initiatives
- Pingying Zhang Department of Management Coggin College of Business University of North Florida Jacksonville FL 32224 USA Pingying.email@example.com
- Lakshmi Goel Department of Management Coggin College of Business University of North Florida Jacksonville FL 32224 USAl.firstname.lastname@example.org
- A framework called the Internal-External Model is proposed in an effort to explain individual e-learning success. This framework is derived from the strategic management technique of identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). The framework is tested through data collected at a large southern university in the US, and the findings reported.
- Results support a model where a favorable external environment for e-learning together with strong internal drives towards e-learning would in general lead to higher e-learning outcomes.
- many higher education institutions have adopted e-learning in some form as part of their curriculum offering. Courses branded as online, distance, hybrid, or virtual, have some component which leverages electronic platforms for education
- We rely on literature in strategy, specifically the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis, to guide the development of a framework that explains e-learning success. While the use of the SWOT framework in explaining e-learning is not new, prior research falls short in describing a model specific to the e-learning context, and providing empirical support for such a model.
- One way to define success is through outcome factors such as enhanced learning, time savings, and academic success (Davies & Graff, 2005; Govindasamy, 2002; Garrison & Anderson, 2003)
- . Another perspective on e-learning success considers system delivery factors such as the degree of use of the e-learning system and its adoption (Holsapple & Lee-Post, 2006).
- User satisfaction has proved to be a reliable proxy for the success of an IT-based initiative (Bailey & Pearson, 1983).
- Satisfaction itself can be multi-faceted and include elements such as perceptions of student achievement, attitudes and retention (Bernard et al., 2004), online interactions, thinking skills, information-processing skills (Hew & Cheung, 2003), and perceived quality of online courses (Rodriguez et al., 2008).
- Prior research that predicts e-learning success outcomes has yielded inconclusive results.
- For example, Rodriguez et al. (2008) failed to find a significant link between comfort with technology and number of online courses taken, while Gunawardena and Duphorne (2000) found that a learner well equipped with online skills is significantly associated with the satisfaction of online learning.
- The SWOT framework is a strategic analysis tool used to identify and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project or business venture.
- A central idea in SWOT analysis is identifying a primary objective, or desired end state of the project.
- Strengths and weaknesses are identified for the persons or practices within the organization that help or impede the achievement of the objective. Opportunities and threats relate to external environmental conditions that help or impede the achievement of the objective. Hence, strengths and weaknesses are considered factors internal to students participating e-learning; while opportunities and threats are factors external to the students. This framework is used as a guide to identify internal and external factors of interest in our context, i.e. e-learning initiatives.
- SWOT analysis has been used to evaluate software tools for e-learning systems (Bilalis et al., 2002), distance learning opportunities (Tait & Mills, 1999), broad university strategies (Cardosa, Trigueriros & Narciso , 2005), student perceptions (Jackson & Helms, 2008), and digital library implementations (Wang, 2003).
- The SWOT can be typically represented as a two-by-two matrix, such that combinations of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats at different levels create different conditions that influence outcomes.
- Individuals’ ability to use e-learning systems includes computer skills and comfort with the online mode of learning content delivery (Eastmond, 1994). This factor has received a strong empirical support in the context of the academic computer conference system (Harasim et al., 1995; Gunawardena & Duphorne, 2000), indicating the central role played by online skills and computer skills in the perceived satisfaction of e-learning.
- Hypotheses one to four stress the effect of external construct—ease of use of technology—and four internal constructs—online skill, general attitudes towards IT, personal innovativeness in IT and online experience
- Hypothesis 1 states that a high level of online skills with technology of high ease of use will generate better e-learning satisfaction than a low level of online skills with technology of low ease of use
- In general, this hypothesis is supported
- Hypothesis 2 describes that a strong attitude towards technology and high ease of use will generate better e-learning satisfaction than weak attitude towards technology and low ease of use.
- Hypothesis 2 could be considered as supported
- Hypothesis 3, we found significant differences for two outcomes, content satisfaction and efficiency & effectiveness, indicating strong personal innovativeness in IT and high ease of use will generate better e-learning satisfaction than low personal innovativeness towards IT and low ease of use. Hypothesis 3 is supported
- Hypothesis 4 points out that previous online experience and high ease of use will generate better e-learning satisfaction than none-online experience and low ease of use.
- Hypothesis 4 is supported
- Hypothesis 5 states that a high level of online skills and a high level of institutional support will generate better e-learning satisfaction than a low level of online skills and low level of institutional support. We only find significant difference for one outcome, intention to take more e-learning courses. Hypothesis 5 is partially supported.
- Hypothesis 6 is also partially supported as we only found significant difference for one outcome, intention to take more e-learning courses.
- In testing hypothesis 7, a high level of institutional support and high personal innovativeness in IT leads to significantly higher medians for three of four outcome measures than a level low institutional support and low personal innovativeness in IT, indicating Hypothesis 7 is supported.
- Hypothesis 8 tests whether previous online experience and a high level of institutional support will generate better e-learning satisfaction than none-online experience equipped and a low level of institutional support.
- hypothesis 8 is partially supported.
- This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License
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- The Impact of an Honor Code on Cheating in Online Courses Frank M. LoSchiavo Department of Psychology Ohio University-Zanesville Zanesville, OH 43701 USA email@example.com Mark A. Shatz Department of Psychology Ohio University-Zanesville Zanesville, OH 43701 USA firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contrary to expectations, no significant difference in self-reported cheating emerged between students who signed the honor code (61.5%) and students who did not sign the code (50%).
- students who signed an honor code were about 30% less likely to report cheating (57.6%) than those who did not sign (81.8%)
- the immediacy (i.e., perceived social distance) of the instructor is one key factor that influences compliance with honor codes in online courses.
- the growth rate for online enrollment (17%) continues to outpace the overall growth rate for enrollments in higher education (1.2%). This trend presents new challenges for protecting academic integrity, particularly in online courses where instructors cover large quantities of fact-based information and typically rely on multiple-choice assessments for measuring academic performance (Jordan, 2003; Trenholm, 2006).
- Honor codes can reduce cheating on exams (e.g., Konheim-Kalkstein, Stellmack, & Shilkey, 2008; McCabe, Treviño, & Butterfield, 2002 ), but they are less effective on larger campuses, where the social and instructional environment is typically less personal and students are less likely to collectively support a norm of academic integrity (Arnold, Martin, Jinks, & Bigby, 2007)
- These results suggest that honor codes might be less effective for online instruction as well because of the physical and psychological distance between online instructors and students. If online students feel socially isolated and are unable to personally connect with their instructor or their peers, then the temptation to cheat may be overwhelming (Gibbons, Mize, & Rogers, 2002). Mastin, Peszka, and Lilly (2009) provided initial evidence that honor codes may be relatively ineffective online. However, they focused on the cheating behaviors of traditional students engaged in an online extra-credit task and did not examine academic integrity among online students completing required assessments
- Across three studies, the majority of students readily took advantage of risk-free cheating during at least one of the 14 online quizzes. Perhaps even more distressing is that an honor code had no effect on self-reported cheating in the fully asynchronous online class. Fortunately, an honor code did reduce self-reported cheating in the blended course, suggesting that the academic environment plays a critical role in a student’s decision to abide by such a pledge
- Which environmental factors are most likely to influence compliance? One possibility is the apparent immediacy (i.e., perceived social distance; Kelley & Gorham, 1988; Gibbons et al., 2002) between the instructor and the students. Drawing from Bandura’s (1991) theory of thought and action, Nadelson (2006) suggested that students who are socially disconnected easily justify dishonest behavior
- students in blended courses have at least some personal interaction with their instructor and fellow students, and this social connection might make them feel more obligated to stand by their pledge.
- teaching online – students will likely cheat
- authors recommend that honor codes be used whenever possible, but that they must be augmented by common sense strategies, such as proctoring. Although proctoring is less convenient for students and instructors, it is one of the most reliable methods for ensuring academic integrity
- Honor Code Consistent with the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct, I agree that all the assignments, quizzes, and exams I complete will represent my work and my work only. I also understand that all forms of academic misconduct are prohibited. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, all forms of cheating, including the use of unauthorized materials, plagiarism, false identification, and forgery. In addition, I understand that it is my duty and my responsibility to inform the instructor if I become aware of any violations to this Honor Code.
- This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License For details please go to:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
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- 8 Big Ideas of the Constructionist Learning Lab
- Gary shares, “Shortly after the start of the three-year project, Papert outlined the Eight Big Ideas Behind the Constructionist Learning Laboratory (PDF).
- Eight Big Ideas Behind the Constructionist Learning Lab By Dr. Seymour Papert
- learning by doing.
- We learn best of all when we use what we learn to make something we really want.
- technology as building material. If you can use technology to make things you can make a lot more interesting things.
- We learn best and we work best if we enjoy what we are doing.
- The best fun is hard fun.
- learning to learn.
- Nobody can teach you everything you need to know. You have to take charge of your own learning.
- taking time
- To do anything important you have to learn to manage time for yourself.
- you can’t get it right without getting it wrong. Nothing important works the first time. The only way to get it right is to look carefully at what happened when it went wrong. To succeed you need the freedom to goof on the way.
- do unto ourselves what we do unto our students
- Every difficulty we run into is an opportunity to learn. The best lesson we can give our students is to let them see us struggle to learn.
- the most important purpose is using them NOW to learn about everything else.
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Expression and Connection: The Integration of the Reflective Learning Process and the Public Writing Process into Social Network Sites
by Ji-Yong Park and Jeong-Bae Son
This article looks at the reflective learning process and the public writing process as a way of improving the quality of reflective learning on SNSs. It proposes a reflective learning model on SNS…
An SNS is characterized by self-expression through public sharing and social interactions with a range of people
It allows users to express themselves with various media formats such as text, image, and video and to interact with others in different levels of relationship. Its flexible delivery and accessibil…
Reflection can be viewed as a process of communication for deep learning and occurs in a variety of forms such as self-reflection and collaboration (Henderson, Napan, & Monteiro, 2004).
the role of reflection in the learning process is to allow learners to review their learning and practice, reflection leads learners to critical thinking for knowledge production and new solutions …
reflection brings about “growth of the individual – morally, personally, psychologically, and emotionally, as well as cognitively”
“reflective practice requires continual evaluation of beliefs, assumptions and hypotheses against existing data” (Ajeneye, 2005, p. 573). In other words, there is a need to justify the measurem…
Kolb (1984) provides a descriptive model of the experiential learning process that shows how experience is translated through reflection into concepts (Figure 1). The learning process consists of f…
instructors need to customize learners’ needs by specifying learning objectives and activities of each stage based on their prior learning experiences and styles, and learning environments. This …
Gibbs’ (1998) reflective cycle (Figure 2) consists of six stages: (1) Description of the situation; (2) Analysis of feelings; (3) Evaluation of the experience; (4) Analysis to make sense of the e…
Reflective learning improves learners’ critical thinking and understanding of what they have learned (Park & Kastanis, 2009). Learners get benefits from reflective learning in terms of deep u…
When reflective writing is designed for collaboration on a n SNS, for example, it is necessary to integrate the reflective learning process and the writing process into the SNS, taking into account…
“socially-mediated reflection is enhanced considerably by collaboration” (p. 315) and collaboration on task maximizes reflective practice and enhances its process
SNSs can be used by individuals who lack technical and aesthetic skills. They provide online areas consisting of private and public zones that are “networked publics” and “public displays of …
Strauss (2008) argues, “The writing process balances structure and expression so that what we offer is clear, concise, and compelling to the people we’re trying to reach” (The writing process…
Because reflection on SNSs is more than self-expression and self-reflection, public writing for social networking and connecting with others should be considered in the reflection-evaluation stage …
Reflective learning also encourages instructors and learners to research and develop effective communication and interaction methods. In the case of digital storytelling, Barrett (2006) argues that…
every stage of the reflective learning process can be customized to cater for students’ experssion and connection in a learning management system ( LMS ) environment.
his work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License
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As budget cuts “decimate” school budgets, resulting in the termination of instructional technology departments in school districts like Austin, Houston, and others, it’s critical we remember how technology can help us be more innovative. One way of representing this transition is TPACK…watch the video for a quick overview:
TPACK Radio/Video Show ISTE 2010 from Punya Mishra on Vimeo.
All this came to mind upon reading my Spring, 2011 issue of the Journal of Research on Technology in Education featuring Dr. Judi Harris’ and Mark J. Hoffer, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Action: A Descriptive Study of Secondary Teachers’ Curriculum-based, Technology-Related Instructional Learning (JRTE | Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 211-229) from ISTE.
Here are my notes on Harris’ and Hofer’s article:
- Successful technology integration is rooted primarily in curriculum content and content-related learning processes, and secondarily in savvy use of educational technologies.
- K-12 teachers’ planning must occur at the nexus of curriculum requirements, students’ learning needs, available technologies’ affordances and constraints, and the realities of school and classroom contents.
- TPACK is knowledge that results from teachers’ concurrent and interdependent understanding of content, general pedagogy, technology and learning contexts.
- 4 Intersections of knowledge types:
- Pedagogical content knowledge – how to teach specific content-based material
- Technological content knowledge – how to select technologies that best embody and support particular content-based precepts
- Technological pedagogical knowledge – how to use particular technologies in teaching
- Technological pedagogical content knowledge – how to teach specific content-based material, using technologies that best embody and support it, in ways that are appropriately matched to students’ needs and preferences
- Given TPACK’s complexity…it is no small wonder why sustained, large scale technology integration efforts in K-12 schools to date have been only minimally successful.
- Learning activities are differentiated by content area.
- Sample Knowledge Building Activity Types
- Activity Type: Listen to Audio
- Description: Students listen to audio recordings of speeches, music, radio broadcasts, oral histories, and lectures; digital or nondigital
- Possible technologies: Digital audio archives, podcasts (e.g. Great Speeches in History), audiobooks
- Sample Convergent Knowledge Expression Activity Types
- Activity Type: Complete a review activity.
- Description: Students engage in some sort of Q&A to review content; paper-based to game-show format using multimedia presentation tools
- Possible Technologies: Student-response systems (SRS), interactive whiteboard review games (e.g. Jeopardy), survey tools.
- Sample Divergent Knowledge Expression Activity Types
- Activity Type: Draw a Cartoon
- Description: Students create a drawing or caricature using paper and pencil or digital format.
- Possible Technologies: Comic creation software, drawing software, scanner
- The authors identified 44 activity types divided into two categories including 1) Knowledge building and 2) Knowledge expression. Find the complete list of ATs online at http://activitytypes.wmwikis.net/
- “There is no single technological solution that applies for every teacher, every course, or every view of teaching. Quality teaching requires developing a nuanced understanding of the complex relationships [among] technology, content, and pedagogy, and using this understanding to develop appropriate, context-specific strategies and representations.” (Source: Mishra and Koehler as cited)
- “Integrating technology is not about technology–it is primarily about content and effective instructional practices. Technology involves the tools with which we deliver content and implement practices in better ways. Its focus must be on curriculum and learning. Integration is defined not by the amount or type of technology used, but by how and why it is used.” (Earle (2002) as cited)
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When I saw this infographic, I just had to send it to my children…what connection, if any, is there between using technology and the jobs at the high end of Zone 4 and in Zone 5?
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
Thanks to Laura Devaney (eSchoolNews) for pointing out a new report:
“Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology,” a national research report on teacher’s media usage from PBSand Grunwald Associates LLC, found that more than half of K-12 teachers surveyed reported continued cuts to school media budgets, which has led to increased reliance on free instructional content.
Some of the graphs that jumped out at me:
The article stated: “You can do everything on a smart phone that you can do on a laptop, except maybe for high school geometry and except for a few scientific visualizations.”
Well, that’s quite an exaggeration, in my opinion. How effectively can a student with a smartphone record music (a la Garageband), edit that music, then share the music to iTunes or some similar service?…to say nothing of sharing with others. How about something as simple as creating/editing an electronic presentation (a la PowerPoint or Keynote), then showing the presentation to an audience? Also, how about using an application like Illustrator to create a vector image, then incorporate that into a Photoshop document that will wind up, eventually, on the web? And, what about file sizes? Will a smartphone handle (easily) the 3 GB multimedia document I used this morning? I know that most phones have more than 3 GB storage, but I wonder how adept they are at multitasking (at the current time, I have 12 apps open on my laptop).
Just wondering…and probing…and asking.
Thanks for making us become increasingly provocative and pensive, Miguel!
But what about cell phones as avenues for cheating? What fuels cheating isn’t a power cell. It’s fueled by complex motivations, including students’ perception of the value of assignments and their willingness to sacrifice their integrity for a grade. These are real issues of real concern for every teacher, administrator, and student-–but they are not solved by prohibiting cell phones.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
- Connected They Write: The Lure of Writing on the Web By Raquel Recuero January 24, 2011 – 6:35am
- In Chile, for example, more than 96 percent of all students have Internet access. In Brazil, almost 80 percent of the population between 16 and 24 years and almost 70 percent of those aged 10 to 15 accessed the Internet in 2009. With that kind of penetration, digital media is creating new ways to understand literacy, learning, reading, and especially, writing. Far from hurting the writing practices for youth, digital media seems to be creating a far more complex and compelling space for them to flourish.
- Ilana Elea, a Brazilian researcher who recently finished a thesis on education on PUC/Rio, explains that social media provides a new way of writing: “Teens write while connected,” she says. “Their participation in social networks works as a motor.” For Elea, digital media is reshaping literary practices and creating a far more inviting space to write. She explains that teens write more and more everyday with social networking tools, sharing thoughts, experiences and feelings. Teens write to be connected to other teens.
- Social networking sites have provided teens a place to find others who like the same things they do. Finding others with similar interests has also contributed to the emergence of new writing practices for many Latin American youth: fanfictions and webnovels.
- Webnovels are fanfictions adapted to a Latin American context. According to Elea, the term, webnovel, is used by Mexican teens to refer to stories whose origins are Mexican soap operas, such as Rebelde (Rebel or Rebellious – RDB). They have a similar structure to television soap operas, where authors publish small chapters of the story a little at a time and the story usually unfolds over the span of six months to a year.
- In Brazil, Monteiro’s research has shown that among Justin Bieber fandoms, 51 percent of participants between the ages of 13 and 15 read fanfics and more than 20 percent write them.
- the number of comments writers receive seems to be a huge motivation.
- “I never thought much about writing…until I met the community. I enjoy writing for them.” In fact, many of these writers have legions of fans who comment daily (and whose stories, sometimes, attract more than five thousand comments).
- Beyond their motivational value, comments can influence the stories themselves. “One key difference between these new practices and traditional ones is the interaction among writer/readers. Since the stories are developed bit by bit, the feedback from readers can shape the author’s thinking and storytelling, says Monteiro.
- The authors’ interaction and engagement with readers also contributes to the popularity of the stories.
- school is a completely different type of setting for writing. “School is boring,” says Julia. “No one comments on what I write.”
- School assignments are no match for the writing environment in the digital realm, Elea says. Teen authors “like to feel involved with their readers, to see their work commented on. Schools fail to provide this feedback,” Elea says. Writing these novels demands time, commitment and patience. Fans expect authors to meet their expectations and, in return, to make the stories become hot topics on the Web. Digital media provides interactive, fast word of mouth and quick feedback for these young authors.
Not sure I agree with this….
View a highlighted version of “Why You Learn More Effectively by Writing Than Typing” at http://awurl.com/wqzVPZzpm
Just the highlights:
* Why You Learn More Effectively by Writing Than Typing
* The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts, remember things better, and reach your goals more surely
* a psych professor at Dominican University of California found that people who wrote down their goals, shared them with others, and maintained accountability for their goals were 33% more likely to achieve them, versus those who just formulated goals.
* Writing stimulates a bunch of cells at the base of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS acts as a filter for everything your brain needs to process, giving more importance to the stuff that you’re actively focusing on at the moment—something that the physical act of writing brings to the forefront. In Write It Down, Make It Happen, author Henriette Anne Klauser says that “Writing triggers the RAS, which in turn sends a signal to the cerebral cortex: ‘Wake up! Pay attention! Don’t miss this detail!’ Once you write down a goal, your brain will be working overtime to see you get it, and will alert you to the signs and signals that […] were there all along.”
* Dr. Virginia Berniger, who studies reading and writing systems and their relationship to learning processes, found that children’s writing ability was consistently better (they wrote more, faster, and more complete sentences) when they used a pen rather than a keyboard; these are, of course, subjects without a penchant for using either tool.
* The difference, Berniger notes, may lie in the fact that with writing, you use your hand to form the letters (and connect them), thereby more actively engaging the brain in the process.
|Image Source: http://www.cforc.org/images/LeadershipModel.jpg|
Leadership is one of those terms that everyone has a definition for. While sitting in one of my doctoral classes years ago, I couldn’t help but throw my hands up at the question, “How do you define leadership?” After everyone listed the characteristics that define a leader, the professor pointed out, “But those are the characteristic of being a leader. What IS leadership?”
The discussion went downhill from there.
I do not pretend to offer a clear, concise definition of leadership. However one defines it, the acts a leader takes impact the culture of an organization. A week or so ago, I was struck by this piece of research shared via The Connected Principals Blog. I meant to write about it sooner, but in the rush of doing this or getting ready for that, I lost track.
Yet, the point suggested in Research: The Educational BS Repellant has stayed with me whenever I pondered leadership…which is every day as I reflect on my own leadership style and the acts that I choose to take, or not. I struggle with the idea that every act I take while in a position of leadership position sends a message, whether I intend to or not. It is for that reason that one can’t engage in spur of the moment leadership acts unless they are part of a coherent, consistent plan. The acts of a leader must flow from the daily habits s/he has built over time.
When considering the blog entry linked above, I found this part to be telling:
What the research says: This ranked 74th out of 138 factors, and came from nearly 500 studies spanning over 1.1 million students. A quote from the book: “Instructional leadership refers to those principals who have their major focus on creating a learning environment free from disruption, a system of clear teaching objectives, and high teacher expectations for teachers and students. Transformational leadership refers to those principals who engage with their teaching staff new in ways that inspire them to new levels of energy, commitment, and moral purpose to collaboratively overcome challenges and reach ambitious goals…the evidence supports the former (instructional) over the latter (transformational).” (Hattie, 2009).
This research sends a powerful message to leaders who engage in “transformational” leadership. . .and reminds us that human beings prefer environments that are free from disruption, have clearly articulated goals and objectives, and believe that we can all do our best. It makes me wonder if there is an appropriate mix of transformational and instructional leader…you know, maybe 90% instructional, 20% transformational. Alter the mix, you get an explosion.
In an unrelated conversation over at Dangerously Irrelevant, I found myself jumping into the comments sharing my reflections. I’m going to include excerpts from the comment thread here just because I like to do so. As I re-read those comments I made in the wee hours of the morning or in the evening, I have to ask myself, What kind of leader are those words describing? What kind of person am I to have these thoughts and consider them worth sharing? And, how does that person’s leadership style, which flows from myriad experiences that have shaped me, reflect the research and what we know defines leaders?
Scott, Vicki, thanks for the great conversation! The conversation affirms my awareness of the “just leave and go to where your light can shine” vs “bloom where you are planted.” The choice is different for every situation, hence the challenge. What may work for one may not work for others.
I am increasingly focused on learning to use new technologies to help people accomplish their vision…my vision is exactly that, a way of helping others embrace technology that meets their needs.
I’ve found that while collaboration works well, as a group of people, we sometimes crave strong leaders who empower us, who enable us, who “creation conditions that promote authorship” (Bolman and Deal). In that context, I work to be a leader for those whom I am responsible and given authority for. We must work with limited resources…not all solutions can be pursued.
What makes the Read/Write web tools so wonderful is that we can create, collaborate and share ideas in almost endless ways without consuming resources. Does the team want to facilitate online learning opportunities for K-12 and adult learners? Then, we can do that!
Thanks for letting me ramble on…just sharing a few thoughts kicked up by the blog post, which I started reflecting on when I read Vicki’s original entry.
Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org
Joel Verduin responds with this comment to my rambling above:
Miguel – you had mentioned, “We must work with limited resources…not all solutions can be pursued.”
Does this mean that when you have to say, “No” due to this restriction, that you are not being a leader?
Is it possible that this played out in this particular instance (it is very hard to tell because there is no “other side” to the story here and very few details).
We have broadly painted this person’s school leadership as poor and I am not even sure I understand the context around the comment being condemned.
So, I elaborate a bit more:
Joel – Not at all. A failure in leadership is often a failure in communication, a decision to hold information secret that one is under no obligation to withhold for official confidentiality.
As an administrator, I am in situations where funding is limited. In those situations, I encourage team members to share what we each see as the best way to invest those funds for maximum or strategic impact (depending on funding, technology plan goals, etc.) and then proceed from there.
Since funding is limited, we can usually reach consensus, but as the team member responsible for making the final decision, I do not hesitate in making the call and saying, “No.” By the time the “Yes” or “No” is offered, all team members know why and how it occurred. Who can say what projects sound good but then after research turn out to be ill-advised? A leader’s strength flows from his/her team. That’s not to say some decisions shouldn’t be made in spite of the team’s objections…some days, we must go down a road even when it’s going to be rocky.
If there are decisions that need to be made that are not appropriate for the team to decide (these are less frequent than you might imagine), then I do make them and try to be as transparent as possible as to why. Some decisions aren’t popular and I’d rather get to the heart of why before making the call…after all, no one is perfect…especially the “leader.”
Speaking specifically to THIS particular instance, I can’t judge whether the administrator acted in an appropriate leadership role or not. Obviously in the context of THIS situation, being a leader meant making a decision, not divulging the thinking that went into the decision. That is one way to lead and is appropriate in certain cultures…but none that I wish to be a part of because it is so exclusionary. Such an approach requires great trust in the leadership, don’t you agree?
Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share my reflections on leadership. I offer them as scribed in sand, rather than chiseled on concrete…I am always learning.
Then, Jim Ellis jumps into the conversation:
What evidence would you as a school prepare to show a school board that your teacher’s methods are working?
Would you encourage your teachers to collect data on their performance?
Well put comments,
And my response to his question to a topic, which I can’t help but notice, he’s written about at his blog, Analog’s Revolt, since:
As a classroom teacher, experience taught me that the best stories involving the use of technology in a classroom had to do with amplifying student voices. Who can criticize a child making a multimedia presentation about with emotional affect about academic content?
For example, in my situation, a first grade teacher worked with her students to create a digital story where every student contributed a sentence they had written, then was recorded reading it. The presentation was shared with the school board as an example of how precious funds were spent on technology.
As a principal–a role which I chose not to serve as in schools–I would find student projects compelling and worthy of sharing. I would also ask teachers to show the connection between student-created, possibly student-generated, projects and whatever ruled supreme–district curriculum standards, state/national standards, upcoming test questions. This could be as simple as a presentation or document with a table aligning the components.
I would also encourage campus principals to invite parents in to see student work and share these documents with everyone possible. Post this information on the campus blog, send it in to local publications, post video/audio interviews with students as they create a product or work on a project to make the process more transparent.
The goal is to make clear and transparent the work that is going on in the school, showing how all that happens is an important part of THE PLAN to impact student achievement.
And to directly respond to your question about teachers collecting data on their performance, yes, creating a portfolio of student projects, the thinking that went into them–using documents you created already as I described above–would be useful.
As was pointed out in Calkins and Pessah’s book (check this link for more info – http://goo.gl/icdIA ), the following is true, not just for the teacher but also the principal:
“What teachers are expected to know how to do is too complex these days for teachers to close their classroom doors and teach in isolation.
If one teacher has special knowledge in teaching…that teacher’s teaching needs to be transparent enough and public enough that other teachers working at the same grade level can borrow her expertise.”
The teaching, learning and leading while transparently sharing everything makes performance all the more measurable.
Aside: My thanks to Dr. Scott McLeod for providing the forum for the discussion and others for sharing their wisdom in the comments.
In considering my remarks, I see how there could be pushback on the ideas. But I will save my self-dialogue for another blog entry.
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
A copy of Lucy Calkins and Laurie Pessah’s book, A Principal’s Guide to Leadership in the Teaching of Writing, recently found its way into my hands (I borrowed it off a colleague’s shelf). I have to admit, I’m impressed with the suggestions offered in the book. Here’s a web site that outlines the whole book, and provides links to specific chapter PDFs.
As an avid writer/blogger, as well as graduate of Abydos Learning Summer Academy, I found myself thrilled to begin reading this leadership-focused book. The best quote in the book is this one:
When you learn methods for teaching writing, you learn methods for teaching anything.
Amen to that! I would suggest that when you learn to facilitate change for teaching writing, you also learn how to do it for technology!
Here are some of the take-aways that jumped out at me:
- In order to teach/lead well, a person must bridge the gap between ideals and practice, between big plans and the very real work of today and tomorrow.
- The nature of the principal’s job is that he or she will always be multi-tasking….
- If professional study is going to make a difference in our schools, it can’t just make the individual smarter; it needs to make the school smarter (Michael Fullan)
- Intelligence needs to be socialized…the greatest asset a school has is its collective IQ (Tom Sergiovanni)
- “The real difference between success and failure of an institution can be traced to the question of how well the organization brings out the great energies and talents of its people.” (Waterman Peters, “In Search of Excellence”).
- No reform that is worth anything will be accomplished in a year.
- Reasons to Prioritize writing instruction:
- It is undertaught
- The field is not marked by huge debates
- Teachers are learners, eager to be taught writing
- Writing is concrete/visible and can be supervised
- When you learn methods for teaching writing, you learn methods for teaching anything.
- When student’s writing improves, it impacts every area of the curriculum.
- Teaching of writing is relevant to all learners.
- When students receive clear, systematic instruction, the level of writing increases dramatically, immediately obvious ways.
- When people write together, relationships strengthen [Aside: This is a great argument for using blogging to build relationships]
- It’s a huge priority for me that our kids grow up knowing they are writers…for me, it is crucial that our kids not only write but love to write.
- Meet 1 to 1 and share that “I’ve been looking at our kid’s writing and thinking that, as a school, we should invest ourselves more in teaching writing. What approaches to teaching writing do you think would fit well into our school?” [Aside: Love this approach…great for technology,too!]
- Students working in a process approach–that write often, given opportunities to draft/revise their writing, collect writing in portfolios–do better on high stakes tests than those students who do not learn within such a context. (National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2002 data)
- In the process approach towards writing…teachers explicitly teach students that what they do during revision and editing must soon move forward in their writing process, becoming part of their rehearsal and drafting.
- Learn to approach the school year having planned the longer journey, the ongoing structures, and the evolving plotline that will last across that year and many years.
- “Could we meet and talk about your experiences related to teaching writing? Could you bring all the writing that one of your strongest writers has done this year and all the writing that one of your more average-level writers has done just so we can talk about that, too? Could you also bring record-keeping or lesson-planning notes related to what you’ve done on teaching writing?”
- What are our children NOT receiving that they should be?
- Questions to Ask Yourself as You Visit Classrooms (as a principal):
- Are children choosing their own topics?
- Are children writing daily?
- Are children writing at home?
- Has volume of writing increased over time?
- Is there evidence of instruction?
- Are children developing letter-sound corresponding knowledge?
- Are children engaged and self-directed?
- Are children using charts as a resource? [Aside: Word charts]
- Does the mini-lesson seem to follow a logical sequence or architecture?
- Is the teaching point clear?
- Does the teacher model the strategy for children?
- In exemplary teachers’ classrooms kids write ten times more than they do in other classrooms. In a first grade classroom, children wrote an average of 4 pages a day…as opposed to children writing 3 sentences a day.
- “We cannot affect another person if we are not willing to be affected by that person.” (Ralph Peterson)
- One important goal for the organized, formal staff development will be that it helps create a professional learning community characterized by teachers studying together on their own.
- What teachers are expected to know how to do is too complex these days for teachers to close their classroom doors and teach in isolation.
- If one teacher has special knowledge in teaching _____, that teacher’s teaching needs to be transparent enough and public enough that other teachers working at the same grade level can borrow her expertise teaching in sync with the _________ expert.
- Principles to keep in mind while establish grade-level cohorts:
- Distribute leadership so there is someone at each grade level who can rise to the role (official or unofficial) of grade leader. Put a leader in place as well as followers.
- Move entrenched teachers to new grade level so they can’t rely on old lesson plans.
- Say “Yes” whenever possible to teachers who want to loop with their students.
- Assign teachers where you need special strength.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
Note: Chris Argyris was one of the first authors that opened my eyes to my work in organizations…simply, espoused theory vs theory in action blew my mind. What a thrill to re-discover it lurking in enclosed between the pages of an old magazine in a file folder.
The key to better performance is encouraging employees who take personal responsibility for their own behavior and their company’s success. This means that when workers see a problem, they know it’s their job to tackle it…and figuring out how they might be contributing to the problem.
Employee surveys and focus groups discourage employees from learning to understand their own behavior. What does encourage employees is genuine employee empowerment.
Some ways to encourage employee responsibility:
Avoid “fixing concerns.” Instead, ask questions like the following:
How long have you known about this problem?
What have you done to address it?
What prevents you from questioning and correcting problems?
How would you redesign our company to encourage more initiative?
Don’t make promises you can’t shouldn’t keep.
Point out unreasonable employee requests.
Highlight the challenges of your markets
Suport employee’s creative responses to those demands.
Respect your employees.
Demand that all employees take personal responsibility for the organization’s success by focusing on theirinsights, not your solutions.
The key to better performance is better communication.
Getting employees to reflect on their work and behavior is critical.
The culture of the company “made it unacceptable to get others into trouble for the sake of correcting problems. In every explanation, the responsibility for fixing the nine problem areas belong to someone else.”
Learning occurs in two forms: single-loop and double-loop.
Single-loop learning asks a one-dimensional question to elicit a one-dimensional answer.
Double-loop learning asks what the media call follow-ups; it asks questions not only about objective facts but also the reasons and motives behind those facts.
It gets at two closely related mechanism at work—one social, one psychological.
In the name of positive thinking, managers often censor what everyone needs to say and hear. . .they deprive employees and themselves of the opportunity to take responsibility for their own behavior by learning to understand it.
Double-loop learning depends on questioning one’s own assumptions and behavior, it is actually antilearning.
Defensive reasoning serves no purpose except self-protection, though the people who use it rarely acknowledge that they are protecting themselves. It is the group, the department, the organization that they are protecting in the name of being positive.
In positive thinking, managers’ actual techniques involve gathering data selectively, postulating only causes that do not threaten themselves, testing explanations in ways that are sloppy and self-serving. This is defensive reasoning.
Rigorous reasoning – identifying problems, gathering objective data, postulating causes, testing explanations, and deriving corrective action.
Each of us has an espoused theory of action based on principles and precepts that fit our intellectual backgrounds and commitments.
A theory-in-use is one we resort to in moments of stress.
We are seldom aware of the contradiction between espoused theory of action and theory-in-use.
Theories-in-use have 4 governing values that allow us to design our behavior in order to…
Remain in unilateral control
Maximize winning and minimize losing
Suppress negative feelings
Be as rational as possible.
These values allow us to avoid vulnerability, risk, embarrassment, and the appearance of incompetence…it is a recipe for antilearning.
If any reflection does occur, it is in the service of winning and controlling, not of opening ourselves to learning.
Organizational Defensive Routines consist of all the policies, practices, and actions that prevent human beings from having to experience embarrassment or threat and, at the same time, prevent them from examining the nature and causes of that embarrassment or threat.
Defensive reasoning occurs when individuals make their premises and inferences tacit, then draw conclusions that cannot be tested except by the tents of this tacit logic.
How does management contribute to censorship and defensive routines?
They create a bias against personal learning and commitment in the way they parcel out roles and responsibilities in every survey, dialogue, and conversation.
They open a door to defensive reasoning—and close one on individual self-awareness—in the way they continuously emphasize extrinsic as opposed to intrinsic motivation.
Managers tend to deal with uncomfortable issues in a variety of ways:
Hide your fears about the other person’s likely resistance to change. Cover this fear with persistent positiveness. Pretend the two of you agree, especially when you know you don’t.
Deal with resistant responses by stressing the problem rather than the resistance. Be positive. Keep this strategy a secret.
If this approach doesn’t work, make it clear that you won’t take no for an answer…after all, you’re the boss.
For companies to change, employees must take an active role not only in describing the faults of others but also in drawing out the truth about their own behavior and motivation…employees dig deeper and harder into the truth when the task of scrutinizing the organization includes taking a good look at their own roles, responsibilities, and potential contributions to corrective action.
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The following are my notes from Nam (Sogang University) Cheon, Song, and Jones’ (Texas Tech University) article in the Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, Volume 27, Issue 2 (Winter 2010-2011) entitled Influencing Preservice Teachers’ Intention to Adopt Web 2.0 Services.
- The study investigates preservice teachers’ intention to adopt Web 2.0 services in their future classrooms.
- Findings indicate that the reinforcement of salient beliefs, such as ease of use, usefulness, and facilitation, will enhance preservice teachers’ intention to adopt new technologies.
- Web 2.0…enables users to produce and share information with other people through a variety of services such as social networking sites, blogs, wikis, media sharing sites, and other interactive conferencing sites.
- They offer various student-centered learning activities.
- Inservice teachers’ positive attitudes toward technology and beliefs in their own capacity to work with technology affect their actual use of technology in teaching and learning.
- Technical support, computer access, organizational support, and professional development are also listed among the factors affecting teacher usage of technology.
- Eight types of Web 2.0 applications–none of which require high technical skills for web publications–are listed:
- blogs – personal web publishing tool.
- wikis – a collaborative editing tool for interlinked webpages.
- social bookmarking – store and share bookmarks as well as annotations and tags and commonly has a feature for tagging clouds to enable virtualization of the usage of tags.
- social networking – uses web as communication medium through which users interact with others.
- collaborative editing tools – facilitate users’ creation of collaborative works on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
- media-sharing services – provide web spaces for users to share the multimedia they have created.
- syndication technologies (RSS) – aggregates news and messages from diverse websites.
- mashups – combines multiple data or functionalities from other websites to enrich or customize a webpage, allowing users to collect and repurpose their own portals to display these tools
- 3 P’s proposed by McLoughlin and Lee (2008):
- Participation with students’ own perspectives
- Personalization with students’ convenient time and place
- Productivity by student-generated products
- As social constructivism posits that knowledge is created by learners as a result of social interaction, social networking applications and collaborative tools could enhance interaction with others as well as creativity by providing a platform for the co-production works.
- The cognitivist learning environment is supported by the easy learning curve of Web 2.0 services.
- The availability of multiple sources of information produced by others (e.g. text presentation, video clips or audio narrations) could enhance knowledge transfer; enhancing working memory with multiple resources is the key consideration of cognitivism.
- The advantages of learning with Web 2.0 can be summarized as follows:
- Promotes student-centered learning such as horizontal (peer-to-peer) learning
- Increases creativity during reasoning and problem solving
- Enhances interaction for collaborative knowledge building
- Creates a rich, engaging and exciting learning environment
- Engages in communities for professional growth and leadership
- 3 affordances of web 2.0 in the classroom:
- low threshold applications
- a variety of tools and models
- low cost and networked community
- Many educational reforms failed because they had little impact on teachers’ beliefs or practices.
- Teacher level factors included attitude, technical skills, self-efficacy, and perceived usefulness.
- Environmental factors included technical support, computer access, administrative support, incentives to change, peer use, and subjective norm.
- Two types of belief:
- Educational belief are the individual conceptions about desirable ways of teaching and conceptions about how students come to learn.
- Technological belief consists of teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about the importance of technology use in teaching.
- Implications of the study:
- regarding ease of use, preservice teachers should be exposed to a wide variety of technologies so that they can acquire a higher level of familiarity. For example, Picasa or GIMP could be alternatives to more complex advanced graphic software (such as Adobe Photoshop).
- To increase preservice teachers’ perception of usefulness, rich hands-on activities with technology along with examples for potential use should be included, not only in technology integration courses, but also in other teacher education courses.
- Teacher educators could provide more general types of facilitation…a directory of Web 2.0 services would be a useful resources. A repository of tech integration lesson plans using Web 2.0 services would be valuable.
- The positive beliefs of teacher educators is prerequisite. The offering of regular workshops or training for these educators would be catalysts for the pedagogical approaches using Web 2.0 services.
- Current approaches for technology application courses are tool-dependent and focus on how to use technology…the new paradigm of teacher education should be learning dependent and emphasize how to learn with technology.
- The teaching profession requires new teachers to have positive beliefs about technology and skills to adopt technology in a wide variety of ways.
- elements of active learning are talking and listening, writing, reading, and reflecting
- less emphasis is placed on transmitting information and more on developing students’ skills
- some characteristics of active learning are students
- involved in more than listening
- greater emphasis is placed on students’ exploration of their own attitudes and values.
- students are involved in higher-order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation)
- students are engaged in activities (e.g., reading, discussing, writing)
- a few examples of in-class active learning techniques used in small and large classes, and with all levels of students.
- Think-Pair-Share Give students a task such as a question or problem to solve or an original example to develop, etc. Have them work on this for 2-5 minutes alone (think). Then have them discuss their ideas for 3-5 minutes with the student sitting next to them (pair)
- Collaborative learning groups (CLG) These may be formal or informal, graded or not, short term or long term. Generally, students are assigned to heterogeneous groups of 36 students. They choose a leader and a scribe (note-taker). They are given a task to work on together. Often, student preparation for the CLG has been required earlier (reading or homework). The group produces a group answer, or paper, or project.
- Student-led review sessions
- Each student is to ask at least one question related to material they don’t understand and to try to answer a question raised by another student. Students can also practice discussing, illustrating, and applying difficult material or concepts, or drafting exam questions. For the second half of the review session, the whole class works together. Students may ask questions; other students volunteer to answer them. All students who ask or answer questions receive a “treat”
- Student debates
- Student-generated exam questions
- Mini-research proposals or projects; a class research symposium
- Case studies
- Journals or logs
- Concept mapping
Is failure an option for American students?
A 14 year old attending Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, Texas, I remember struggling with geometry during my sophmore year. In a confrontation that became legend in my household, my father challenged the principal at the time–Brother Rudy–to sell a football helmet (just one!) to pay for math tutoring for myself and other kids who were struggling. My father was incensed that the school spent so much for it’s sports program (e.g. football) and nothing to pay for tutoring to help me improve my math scores (I did eventually get a tutor but privately funded).
That story came to mind when I read Dr. Scott McLeod’s blog entry earlier this morning, Atheletics or laptops? He writes:
This post is not about knocking P-12 athletic programs. But budgets are pretty tight right now and any financial expenditure reflects decisions about priorities. So in the interest of fostering some conversation …
Is it time to abolish atheletics’ spending in schools, focus precious funding on preparing students to be TOP at the international level?
Every other day–especially in light of the report announcing China at the Top of International Education Rankings in Reading, Math and Science scores–we are challenged as educators to improve student achievement, to prepare against the competition offered by China and other countries.
A report out today, “Highlights From PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context,” shows the U.S. now ranks 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading out of the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries…While OECD countries such as Finland, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and New Zealand continue to outpace the U.S. in reading, science and math, all eyes are on China.
While some argue that competition, winning needs to be redefined, the truth is that other countries ARE redefining it already…and the United States is perceived as not keeping up. Given money for investment, where would you put that creative class of students? And what are the benefits to the country that has that creativity on tap?
While we all may disagree with the reasons why America is where it’s at, does focusing on sports to the detriment of academics, or technology really make a difference in the math and science classroom? As I hear so many technologists parroting the perspective that it’s about the learning, not the technology, I have to ask, “If it’s about the learning, not the tech, then why aren’t our kids doing awesome at learning?”
This brings one to the sad conclusion that technology IS irrelevant to high student achievement, that like one Mathematics Director I knew in one school district, we need to lay aside our love of all things technological and embrace academic programs that make students competitive…as the Chinese, the Asians, the New Zealanders, the Finnish define it, not as we, as American educators, might hope to define “winning.”
Or, will we take the cynical route and challenge the idea that these reports are merely another way of dismantling a top-notch American school system because it doesn’t suit the political aspirations of the current administration? Are American educators embracing a “mantle of mediocrity,” as Arne Duncan points out, when they spend money, time, effort on anything–gifted and talented education, school libraries, educational technology–when they take their eye off the tableau of the testing trinity–Math, Science and Reading?
A free webinar from ISTE…Register Online for Free
Tuesday, November 9
1 p.m. Pacific/4 p.m. Eastern
Complimentary webinar runs approximately 60 minutes.
The Student Point of View on Online Learning: Are We Listening?
Students have ideas and opinions about online learning, but they don’t often have the opportunity to share these ideas when schools are exploring or implementing online learning programs. In this webinar, you will hear what students want and expect from online learning. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, shares national Speak Up data from K-12 students and leads a panel discussion with three students currently learning online.
Join the discussion, along with George Warren, vice president of K12 Inc., to learn how to bring student voices on online learning to your school’s planning process.
Julie Evans is the CEO of Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering K-12 students, teachers, and parents. She serves on ISTE’s Board of Directors, and also serves on the KOCE-TV Education Advisory Council, the Children’s First Advisory Council, and the Association of Women in Technology Council. In 2008, Evans was named one of the Top Ten Most Influential People in Education Technology for the past ten years by eSchool News. George W. Warren is the vice president of K12 Inc. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked for Dell, AMD, and Hewlett Packard in K-12 education marketing.
My November 2010 copy of Educational Leadership arrived today…here are some the things that jumped out at me:
- Providing a group of low-income students with computers didn’t close achievement gaps, but rather, widened the gap between the students and their more privileged peers. Instead of using the computers for homework and research the students used them daily for playing games. (page 8, “Home Computer Use and the Development of Human Capital” by Ofer Malamud, University of Chicago.).
- “The dramatically resurgent segregation of our public schools is the dirty little secret of urban education that President Obama has not dared to challenge in forthright and compelling terms.” (Jonathan Kozol, p. 28).
- There is no evidence that vouchers result in better scholastic outcomes for kids. Rothstein (2004) as cited in Nisbett in “Think Big, Bigger…and Smaller.”
- One principal’s expectations for new teachers included 1) Participating in professional learning communities and 2) Keeping up with professional literature and research of several listed (p.18 (from Karin Chenoweth’s article “Leaving Nothing to Chance”)).
- “School leaders must be guardians of their students’ future, not of their staff members’ happiness.” (from Karin Chenoweth’s article “Leaving Nothing to Chance”)
- “No one has the right to waste a day in the life of a child.” (from Karin Chenoweth’s article “Leaving Nothing to Chance”)
- Around the time of the Brown v Board of Education of Topeka (1954) decision, nearly 90% of the U.S. Population was white. More than half a century later, the latest education data indicate that white students are just a bare majority of U.S. 1st graders. One quarter of students are Latino, one-sixth are black, and higher percentages of children are identified as being from two or more races (National Center for Education Statistics, 2008). (As cited by Orfield, Frankenberg, Siegel-Hawley in “Integrated Schools: Finding a New Path”)
- High teacher turnover negatively affects student academic gains.
Some take-aways from Celano and Neuman’s “Roadblocks on the Information Highway:”
- As a Pew Foundation report found, many children are using out of school time o refine their technology skills.
- Among those Americans who make less than $25,000, 65 percent lack broadband access
- Low income children need greater access to technology in school to make up for their limited access at home.
- Students could countinue to access information through books, as in the past, but this will not help them develop the technological savvy they will need in the future.
- Middle-income children start using computers at a younger age and get more adult assistance.
- Economically disadvantaged children tend to use computer time more for entertainment than do their middle-class peers, who use it more for information gathering. Over time, the difference accumulate, meaning that middle class children will zoom ahead and low-income children will be left behind.
- Teachers in high-poverty areas use computers differently…they don’t email students or use course or teacher web pages as much.
- In “The Digital Disconnect,” a Pew Foundation study, students report that teachers often will not assign projects requiring Internet access if many students do not have home computers.
- Schools need to provide low-income children with more opportunities to use technology to its fullest capacity
- This includes focusing less on using computers to practice basic skills and more on teaching students strategic ways to use the computer…create more complex in-school assignments that encourage students to use computers more effectively: 1) Teachers can invite readers to coauthor online texts as they navigate various paths through information; 2) Students can use digital tools to interact with others and gain access to different perspectives; 3) Collaborate with local libraries and after-school programs to ensure that computers are used efficiently to complete homework and other research assignments.
- Without equal access to technology, a large number of children face the future with little hope of keeping up in today’s increasingly complex world.
|Image Source: http://idratherbewriting.com/2010/10/18/are-academics-just-talking-to-themselves/|
“Miguel,” a colleague told me once, “you’re a practitioner, that’s why this research stuff doesn’t grab you.” Those words found a special place in my heart. Although I don’t doubt the value of research, I find the silly attempts to keep it locked up in refereed journals to be harmful over the long run.
I’ve heard this conversation before, been a part of it, and I have to tell you, I could care less about publishing in a refereed journal. If I can’t publish it in my blog, share it openly with the world, why bother? The perspective in the article is still too biased towards “protecting data.”
The point is made more eloquently in this blog entry, “Are Academics Just Talking to Themselves?“
The blogger in that entry writes:
To keep their jobs, academics must publish in journals using isolating academic discourse. They must target high-profile, peer reviewed journals that restrict access based on models of exclusivity and budgetary constraints. They can’t connect too fully with practical matters of the workplace and still maintain their validity in a traditional university curriculum (otherwise they’ll appear to be too vocational). In short, this isn’t the same culture as the world wide web.
I couldn’t agree with that perspective more…although Felicia in the excerpt from her longer piece makes some points, they come across as half-hearted. After all, once you’ve invested time in university life, you’ve bought into the culture and model, right?
Source: Educational Equity, Politics & Policy in Texas:
“Too Many Researchers Are Reluctant to Share Their Data
By Felicia LeClere | Chronicle of Higher Education Commentary
August 3, 2010
A new model of data sharing and openness is emerging in the scientific community that replaces traditional ways of thinking about research findings as the private property of the primary investigator.
It has become increasingly apparent that scientific data should be considered a product in much the same way journal articles or conference proceedings are, and they should therefore be shared as widely as articles and proceedings, while being credited to their producers. momentum has clearly shifted toward more transparency, at least among those who finance science ‘I worked hard for this, and I want to exploit it as much as I can.’
It is true that academe is designed to reward publications and, thus, when we share data, we run the risk of being ‘scooped.’
‘People won’t use the data properly.’If we prevent people from entering the conversation because we are afraid they might say something stupid, we violate the basic principle of science that statements are considered valid when well supported by evidence or until proved wrong. Data are the raw materials of those conversations.The most effective argument in favor of data sharing is simple: It is good science.
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Source: Martin, W., Strother, S., Beglau, M., Bates, L., Reitzes, T., Culp, K. M. (2010). Connecting instructional technology professional development to teacher and student outcomes. JRTE 43 (1), p 53-74.
- …the lack of obvious alignment between technology PD (which has traditionally focused on software and other electronic resources) and the highly specified content areas teachers need to cover to prepare students for state assessments has made it dificult for research to show connections between technology PD and student outcomes.
- PD that makes an explicit connection between technology and specific types of instruction that have been shown to be effective can establish a viable chain of reasoning in which technology use can be linked to changes in student learning.
- Teachers who have successfully integrated technology in the classroom reported experiencing PD that helps them to understand how technologies can conect to curriculum and standards and provides a sound pedagogical approach.
- More time spent planning lessons during classroom visits was associated with a higher-quality lesson plan, whereas more time spent on technical assistance and problem-solving were associated with lower quality lesson plans.
- High quality PD programs take a considerable amount of time to evolve to the point where effects can be measured…the expense associated with the creation, refinement and maintenance of PD programs that incorporate the elements noted…should not be underestimated.
- PD that adheres to the recommended practices is often time and labor intensive, but research consistently shows that factors such as a long duration, ongoing coaching and support and a close connection to practice are essential for PD to have an impact.
- Because technology PD in particular is still so often perceived as one-shot workshops focused on specific software, hardware, or resources, this study provides a counterpoint that shows how instructional-technology PD, integrated into a comprehensive PD program, may lead to effective technology integration that can have positive outcomes for students.
Fascinating insights into teens writing in school.
Source: Summary of Findings | Pew Internet & American Life Project:
# Teenagers’ lives are filled with writing. All teens write for school, and 93% of teens say they write for their own pleasure.What, if anything, connects the formal writing teens do and the informal e-communication they exchange on digital screens?
The report that follows looks at teens’ basic definition of writing, explores the various kinds of writing they do, seeks their assessment about what impact e-communication has on their writing, and probes for their guidance about how writing instruction might be improved. f writing they do, seeks their assessment about what impact e-communication has on their writing, and probes for their guidance about how writing instruction might be improved.
Even though teens are heavily embedded in a tech-rich world, they do not believe that communication over the internet or text messaging is writing.
85% of teens ages 12-17 engage at least occasionally in some form of electronic personal communication, which includes text messaging, sending email or instant messages, or posting comments on social networking sites.
60% of teens do not think of these electronic texts as “writing.”Teens generally do not believe that technology negatively influences the quality of their writing, but they do acknowledge that the informal styles of writing that mark the use of these text-based technologies for many teens do occasionally filter into their school work.
Overall, nearly two-thirds of teens (64%) say they incorporate some informal styles from their text-based communications into their writing at school.
# 50% of teens say they sometimes use informal writing styles instead of proper capitalization and punctuation in their school assignments;
# 38% say they have used text shortcuts in school work such as “LOL” (which stands for “laugh out loud”);
# 25% have used emoticons (symbols like smiley faces 🙂 ) in school work.
# 83% of parents of teens feel there is a greater need to write well today than there was 20 years ago.
# 86% of teens believe good writing is important to success in life – some 56% describe it as essential and another 30% describe it as important.
# 48% of teenagers’ parents believe that their child is writing more than the parent did during their teen years; 31% say their child is writing less; and 20% believe it is about the same now as in the past. 94% of black parents say that good writing skills are more important now than in the past, compared with 82% of white parents and 79% of English-speaking Hispanic parents.
# 88% of parents with a high school degree or less say that writing is more important in today’s world, compared with 80% of parents with at least some college experience.
Teens also report writing for an audience motivates them to write and write well.
Most teens write something nearly every day for school, but the average writing assignment is a paragraph to one page in length.
* 50% of teens say their school work requires writing every day; 35% say they write several times a week. The remaining 15% of teens write less often for school.
* 82% of teens report that their typical school writing assignment is a paragraph to one page in length.
* White teens are significantly more likely than English-speaking Hispanic teens (but not blacks) to create presentations for school (72% of whites and 58% of Hispanics do this).
# Overall, 82% of teens feel that additional in-class writing time would improve their writing abilities and 78% feel the same way about their teachers using computer-based writing tools. 49% of girls keep a journal; 20% of boys do. 26% of boys say they never write for personal enjoyment outside of school.47% of teen bloggers write outside of school for personal reasons several times a week or more compared to 33% of teens without blogs.
# 65% of teen bloggers believe that writing is essential to later success in life; 53% of non-bloggers say the same.
# 72% of teens say they usually (but not exclusively) write the material they are composing for their personal enjoyment outside of school by hand; 65% say they usually write their school assignments by hand.
* 15% of teens say their internet-based writing of materials such as emails and instant messages has helped improve their overall writing while 11% say it has harmed their writing. Some 73% of teens say this kind of writing makes no difference to their school writing.
* 17% of teens say their internet-based writing has helped the personal writing they do that is not for school, while 6% say it has made their personal writing worse. Some 77% believe this kind of writing makes no difference to their personal writing.
When it comes to using technology for school or non-school writing, teens believe that when they use computers to write they are more inclined to edit and revise their texts (57% say that).
27% of parents think the internet writing their teen does makes their teen child a better writer, and 27% think it makes the teen a poorer writer. Some 40% say it makes no difference.
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Just catching up…if this works, why aren’t more doing something with it?
Date: July 15, 2010
Student results are strong and favorable in those aspects of writing that the NWP is best known for, such as development of ideas, organization, and stance.In the overall or holistic measure, in every case the improvement of students taught by teachers who participated in NWP programs exceeded that of students whose teachers were not participants.
In overall quality of writing (i.e., the holistic score), results consistently favor the NWP students in every single study. Click to enlarge chart.On seven measures of writing performance tested across the 16 studies, students of NWP teachers outperformed their non-NWP counterparts in 103 of 112 contrasts.
In 55% of these positive contrasts, the differences were so large as to be statistically significant.
These findings—the overwhelmingly positive results favoring NWP and the fact that in no case did the comparison group significantly outperform the students in NWP classes—confirm the effectiveness of NWP professional development.
In each case, program students show growth while comparison students often show little or no growth in their writing performance and, on occasion, show a decline in writing performance.
Download the Research Brief
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Fascinating. This research–via Congerjan in Plurk–seems to back up the idea that poor students are so because of a variety of factors beyond the teachers’ control. Holding the teacher more accountable for student progress through test scores is ineffective because it fails to take into account those other factors.
In such school districts, the mantra is “The other factors don’t matter. Teach as if they didn’t exist.” While I am heartened by this “go for it” approach, I am also questioning its value given the research study cited below. . .it amounts to ignoring reality. The real solution is more complex, with a collaborative of entities working to address the factors that limit students rather than heaping the entire blame on teachers’ inability to fill the void of the collaborative.
One person doing the work of a multitude of help agencies to meet students needs.
“Student test scores are not reliable indicators of teacher effectiveness, according to a new Economic Policy Institute report, Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers.
“If new laws or policies specifically require that teachers be fired if their students’ test scores do not rise by a certain amount, then more teachers might well be terminated than is now the case,” the authors state.
“But there is not strong evidence to indicate either that the departing teachers would actually be the weakest teachers, or that the departing teachers would be replaced by more effective ones.”
The EPI paper finds that student test scores, even with value-added modeling, cannot fully account for a wide range of factors such as students’ background and the “learning loss” that often occurs over the summer. In fact, while students overall lose an average of about one month in reading achievement over the summer, lower-income students lose significantly more
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Some other findings that jumped out at me:
- Some states are now considering plans that would give as much as 50% of the weight in teacher evaluation and compensation decisions to scores on existing tests of basic skills in math and reading. Based on the evidence, we consider this unwise.
- …a teacher who appears to be very ineffective in one year might have a dramatically different result the following year. The same dramatic fluctuations were found for teachers ranked at the bottom in the first year of analysis. This runs counter to most people’s notions that the true quality of a teacher is likely to change very little over time and raises questions about whether what is measured is largely a “teacher effect” or the effect of a wide variety of other factors.
- A number of factors have been found to have strong influences on student learning gains, aside from the teachers to
whom their scores would be attached. These include the influences of students’ other teachers—both previous teachers
and, in secondary schools, current teachers of other subjects—as well as tutors or instructional specialists, who have been found often to have very large influences on achievement gains. These factors also include school conditions—such as the quality of curriculum materials, specialist or tutoring supports, class size, and other factors that affect learning.
- Schools that have adopted pull-out, team teaching, or block scheduling practices will only inaccurately be able to isolate
individual teacher “effects” for evaluation, pay, or disciplinary purposes.
- Student test score gains are also strongly influenced by school attendance and a variety of out-of-school learning
experiences at home, with peers, at museums and libraries, in summer programs, on-line, and in the community.
- Well-educated and supportive parents can help their children with homework and secure a wide variety of other advantages
for them. Other children have parents who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to support their learning academically.
- Student test score gains are also influenced by family resources, student health, family mobility, and the influence of
neighborhood peers and of classmates who may be relatively more advantaged or disadvantaged.
- A research summary concludes that while students
overall lose an average of about one month in reading achievement over the summer, lower-income students lose signifi-cantly more, and middle-income students may actually gain in reading proficiency over the summer, creating a widening achievement gap. Indeed, researchers have found that three-fourths of schools identified as being in the bottom 20% of all schools, based on the scores of students during the school year, would not be so identified if differences in learning outside of school were taken into account. Similar conclusions apply to the bottom 5% of all schools.
- Research shows that an excessive focus on basic math and reading scores can lead to narrowing and over-simplifying the curriculum to only the subjects and formats that are tested, reducing the attention to science, history, the arts, civics, and foreign language, as well as to writing, research, and more complex problem-solving tasks.
- Basing teacher evaluation primarily on student test scores
does not accurately distinguish more from less effective
teachers because even relatively sophisticated approaches
cannot adequately address the full range of statistical
problems that arise in estimating a teacher’s effectiveness.
- Teachers who have chosen to teach in schools serving
more affluent students may appear to be more effective
simply because they have students with more home and
school supports for their prior and current learning,
and not because they are better teachers.
- Some policy makers assert that it should be easier for
students at the bottom of the achievement distribution to
make gains because they have more of a gap to overcome.
This assumption is not confirmed by research.
- Using test scores to evaluate teachers unfairly disadvantages teachers of the neediest students. Because of the inability of value-added methods to fully account for the differences in student characteristics and in school supports, as well as the effects of summer learning loss, teachers who teach students with the greatest educational needs will appear to be less effective than they are. This could lead to the inappropriate dismissal of teachers of low-income and minority students, as well as of students with special
Is it time for teachers in socio-economically poor districts where neediest students reside to move to charter and more affluent districts where students enjoy more support from home and school?
The message is clear…either abandon the inner city, leaving students to survive on their own so that you may be judged effective teacher in a rich district, or choose not to leave and look forward to abuse from administrators who choose to base evaluations on test scores.
“Grounding once meant being confined to the house or handing over the car keys. But isolating a teen to reflect on his misbehavior is harder in the age of Facebook and cell phones. The Pew Internet Project’s Amanda Lenhart describes how more parents are taking away social media tools to keep kids in line
The Pew Internet Project found that nearly two-thirds of parents have revoked the mobile phone, a move the Washington Post recently called digital grounding.
You recently found that the average teen sends about 50 texts a day and a third send double that?You recently found that the average teen sends about 50 texts a day and a third send double that?
in fact, about a third – yes, a hundred, and about 15 percent send 200, which is about 6,000 texts a month.
And for many teens, it is really the primary way they are talking with their friends. these technological devices are now the ways in which a lot of that communications happens.Copyright © 2010 National Public Radio®. All rights reserved.
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Are the implications for bloggers that they should reflect on their learning but not spend TOO much time doing so? Or, could we argue that blogging is “reflection lite” and people working on their doctorates end up brooding too much?
BBC News – It’s good to think – but not too much, scientists say:
By Katie Alcock Science reporter, BBC News
People who were more sure of their answer had more brain cells in the front-most part of the brain – known as the anterior prefrontal cortex.
This part of the brain has been linked to many brain and mental disorders, including autism. Previous studies have looked at how this area functions while people make real time decisions, but not at differences between individuals.
Cognitive psychologist Dr Tracy Alloway from the University of Stirling, who was not involved in the latest study, said that some people have a tendency to brood too much and this leads to a risk of depression.Working memory involves the ability to remember pieces of information for a short time, but also while you are remembering them, to do something with them.Those with poorer working memory, the 10-15% of people who could only remember about two things, were more likely to mull over things and brood too much.
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My Notes Taken from:
Extra Reading Class Boosts Pupil Skills, but Not Permanently
By Sarah D. Sparks on September 9, 2010 9:39 AM
Source: Education Week Blog
Extra Reading Class Boosts Pupil Skills, but Not PermanentlyBy Sarah D. Sparks on September 9, 2010 9:39 AMA final evaluation of the federal Enhanced Reading Opportunities program suggests that extra, explicit reading classes can boost reading skills for struggling adolescents, but the short-lived improvements aren’t enough catch up students years behind the curve.
The study suggests an extra reading class instead of a regular elective can boost reading comprehension, GPA, course credits and even state reading and math scores for students who enter freshman year reading several grade levels behind…the gains, interesting as they are, weren’t nearly enough to make up the difference for kids who started out on average four or five years behind grade level in reading.
At the end of the year of supplemental help, nearly four out of five students still read two or more years below grade level and neither they nor the control group were on track to graduate. By the next year, every one of those program-year gains had disappeared.
Moreover, even during the program year, students didn’t improve their reading behaviors along with their reading performance: they didn’t report reading more often, attending school more often, or even using the strategies taught in either of the two programs. Explicit literacy basically stops in 5th grade. Is one year of a program enough to get these students on track to be adept readers when all their lives they weren’t adept readers?
“Literacy in secondary schools, Mr. Long said, is “much harder than elementary schools [because] high schools tend to be a whole lot bigger, the issues and complexities of what is being taught tend to be a whole lot more daunting. Just having an emphasis in elementary schools doesn’t mitigate against the effect of poverty, especially in a time when we’re making things more rigorous across the board.”
In a recent blog entry, Learning for Relevancy, Daniel Rezac (Adventures in EdTech) starts out with some simple statements of belief…do these resonate with you while at the same time making you feel a) connected with your place of work and the culture that supports you; b) disconnected with your workplace and making you ask “Why am I here?” or c) Ready to embrace revolution in your school system and others?
Your reaction may be a telling indicator of your beliefs about teaching, learning and leading in a technology-rich environment.
Dan Rezac’s beliefs about learning:
- I believe you are more likely to engage and create a future scientist when you use the tools of the period and you make their learning authentic with what’s happening in the world at present.
- I believe it’s a teacher’s responsibility to teach their students using the relevant platforms of the modern era.
- I believe integrating relevant writing platforms (blogs, social networks) into writing classes would improve student communication overall.
- I believe that teaching a student how to access information from the Internet is relevant to living in the 21st century.
- I believe that art and music teachers have the responsibility to empower student artists with technology to be creators and sharers of their works, and to responsibly show them how to share those works with an online audience.
- I believe it is the responsibility of every teacher to use all means necessary, including technology, to reach all learners, whether joined by diversity, ethnicity, or special needs.
- I believe a 21st century teacher:
- should know how to communicate using email.
- should know how to use collaborative online tools.
- should know how to do research (access information) using the Internet.
- should know how to create a “learning stream” for themselves using Online tools to keep themselves abreast of new strategies and tools in their field.
It’s really all about engagement, empowerment, using current tools, be lifelong learners in Dan’s beliefs, whether you are a student or teacher. I can feel the enthusiasm just coming off the “digital page.”
As I meditate on these beliefs, it occurs to me that each of these beliefs could take a lifetime of learning to actualize in one’s own life and in the classroom. What happens if we don’t share Dan’s beliefs? What do these beliefs actually mean in practice, and is adherence to these beliefs sufficient to over-turn centuries old approaches to teaching and learning?
Shouldn’t beliefs like these–that impact teaching, learning and leading–be grounded in research of some kind? Isn’t that the kind of question that we should ask as professionals?
While being able to use collaborative online tools is nice to know, how is it relevant to school district curriculum and what the State’s essential skills say students should be learning? How is knowing how to be collaborative online going to improve test scores? Where is the definitive series of research studies that proves that?
What about these “research-based” assertions, worded as belief statements?
- I believe we can improve student learning if we hire teachers whose race matches that of the students they serve. (Source: Texas Urged to Hire More Minority Teachers)
- I believe we need to increase equitable access to books, whatever their media format. (Source: Changing the Standards Will Not Improve Achievement and eBooks Outsell Paper Books)
- I believe technology can improve students’ productivity, much in the same way it does for office workers and other professionals (Source: Are Computers for Every Student a Wise Investment?).
- I believe students should have access to faster computers so they can avoid the hourglass syndrome (Source: Hourglass Syndrom Affects Canadian Students)
- I believe students should work in groups when interacting with technology rather than on their own (Source: Using Computers to Teach Children with No Teachers)
- I believe educational leaders are bankrupt in technology use in schools and that failure impacts the entire school culture (Source: National study strongly links educational leadership to student achievement)
We could probably play that game all day, huh? After all, it’s not that hard. Find the research, formulate a belief statement and see what happens. But aren’t school environments and leaders’ lack of vision to create technology-empowered learning spaces (online or face to face) the real problem?
It’s difficult to get away from a straightforward observation from Dr. Don Knezek:
Either they are coming out of teacher preparation programs unprepared to integrate technology effectively, or they’re entering a school environment where they’re not encouraged to do so.
…frequent technology use is associated with greater emphasis on and perceived benefits of 21st-century skills.
While many of us are speaking about how important the 21st Century skills are, it’s clear we still haven’t quite mastered the “20th century” skills. As Dan Pink points out, those are still very much needed, just insufficient (although some folks don’t even agree with Pink on the necessity!). In this Instructional Design podcast, Shanna Smith-Jaggars challenges online learning findings from Dept. of Education.
“On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” Shanna Smith-Jaggars, Senior Research Associate at the Community Colleges Research Center challenges this assertion in her response to the meta-analysis (July 2010). Jaggars more fully explores the comparison of online and face-to-face instruction and finds only 7 studies out of 51 can be used to shed light on this question. Of these 7, Jaggars concludes that there is no significant difference between learning outcome achievement in face-to-face or online courses for certain student populations.
As Jaggars puts it in this interesting interview, “what we really need to be doing is spending more time and effort in trying to figure out what are the most effective instructional practices in both modalities”.
Does our education system support people like Dan who have these kinds of beliefs, or does it work against them, trying to use them as instruments of indoctrination?
Excellence is achieved through individual mastery, a collegial network awash with inquiry and creativity, undergirded by trust and tangible support from the larger community. (Peter Henry as cited in GenYes!)
Of course, isn’t it true that people are perhaps a bit carried away with technology? Should every student be blogging their learning, or is blogging just one of those interchangeable terms for reflective writing?
Blogging is a crucial 21st literacy skill. Why?…It creates a personal identity/digital brand/footprint. Blogging puts on view, who we are, what we have been involved in, how we think, what we like, our skills, what we have created, it is our online advertising etc (Source: On an e-journey with Generation Y)
Is it, really? I’ve certainly found blogging useful, and I realize that keeping a paper or electronic journal just wouldn’t have done the trick…the trick is that what I blog about actually gets shared with a worldwide audience and they sometimes, if I’m fortunate, write back. But when everyone can comment on your work, does the value endure or is it just a fad?
Technology use in schools…a matter of irrelevant or, rather, irreverent beliefs?
In a previous blog entry, Excuses, Excuses…, one anonymous commenter makes the point that a thin client lab would limit our students to being strictly consumers. I challenge that assertion with these points:
Our libraries are setup to be places where students “consume” information. Yet, web-based tools–such as Diigo–empower us to do so much more with the information we consume. With social bookmarking/annotation tools, I am able to gather information, tag it, and share it with others in a variety of ways, including email and blogs, including adding my own comments. Does a thin client machine means we are forced to be consumers? No…it’s how we use those tools.
You could also look at this from the GoogleDocs/Zoho/Collaborative word processing tools that facilitate real time composition, revising and editing, whether singly or in groups. All can be done with thin client browsers.
At a time when the browser is pre-eminent tool of creation, dissemination, simply imagining passive learners as lumps of information consumers is pure fabrication.
It’s fascinating to read how higher education is using social bookmarking tools, as shared in Farwell and Waters piece below from JOLT. Many of us are still bound by old approaches to interacting with web-based content, failing to consider how new tools can be web-based and empower students to be creators, collaborators, and disseminators of ideas and information. Remixing content doesn’t require a high-end multimedia computer…remixing text is a perfectly valid approach using a thin client lab of machines.
What do you think?
Understanding Students’ Online Learning Experiences in Virtual Teams
Proponents of group work contend that students can learn valuable lessons such as communication and problem solving skills which are transferable to the real work environment (Becker & Dwyer, 1998, Black, 2002, Haythornthwaite, 2006).
Social facilitation is the tendency that people often perform better in the presence of others than alone (Cook, 2001)
A virtual team is a group of individuals who used information technologies to work across time, space, and organisational boundaries to achieve organisational goals.
Virtual teams are fast becoming a business-critical imperative for many organisations because of the popularity of the internet, intranet, instant messaging, online discussion boards, video, audio conferencing and other tools which have made it easier to communicate and coordinate people at a distance (Herman, 2001; Lewis, Shea, & Daley, 2005; Martins, Gilson, & Maynard, 2004; Townsend, DeMarie, & Hendrickson, 1996)
developing learners’ ability to work effectively in a virtual team setting may be considered to be an important pedagogical goal for many higher education institutions.
Many of the challenges associated with group work such as increased time, social loafing and free riding are not limited to face to face groups but may be exacerbated among virtual group members (Becker & Dwyer, 1998; Roberts & McInnerney, 2007).
Perceived equity issues.
According to Warkentin, Sayeed, & Hightower (1997), the difficulty in exchanging information, unlike in face to face interaction, has led virtual teams to concentrate more on task-oriented rather than socio-emotional information. This means virtual teams may require more time to develop relational links among members in order for the team as a whole to develop healthily (Chidambaram, 1996).
one way to improve this would be to enhance student to student interaction at the beginning of the semester. To achieve this, the instructor redesigned the second online assignment into a team development exercise. The first part of the assignment asked students to introduce themselves and to post at least 2 questions they might have about each of their group member. The second assignment then asked students to describe what their personalities are like, what their abilities are and how they can use both of these traits to help the group. These exercises aimed to facilitate information sharing, communication among team members and help establish team norms/rules.
Less active or missing in action team members.
Group members were encouraged to contact these “less active or missing in action” members and to motivate them to contribute, they were instructed to inform these members that their contribution or lack of contribution would be clearly visible to other team members and the instructor. If all these attempts fail, group members were instructed to proceed without the absent member.
getting long distance education students to work in a virtual team is a difficult task for the instructor.
this article is useful in providing some strategies for instructors new to online group teaching especially given the demand for online learning in recent years. The ability for students to use emerging technologies effectively contributes to the values they would bring to employers and their communities. This trend is indicative of the new reality that being able to work effectively as part of a virtual team is becoming just as important as being able to work effectively in face to face team. Indeed, the increased reliance on information technology and the emphasis on virtual teamwork have led many prominent researchers in this area to proclaim the importance of information technology and its ability to, “transform the educational process in the 21st century” (Jones, Cramton, Gauvin, & Scott, 1999, p.3). In addition, global forces have also meant that organisations around the world are more likely to increase the use of multinational teams which include individuals from different countries. These realities have created the opportunity for the increased popularity of virtual teams which enable individuals from different locations and time zone to come together and work together (Bergiel, Bergiel, & Balsmeier, 2008). Therefore, higher educational institutions should prepare students with the requisite skills to function effectively in an increasingly virtual environment.
- Stress negatively impacts memory
- Creativity is normal brain activity. “Creativity is not something that occurs only in the brains of outstanding individual. It is a normal aspect of human brain function (Restak, 1984).
- The brain inside a teenager’s skull is in some ways closer to a child’s brain than to an adults. (Brownlee, 1999, U.S. News and World Report).
- Brain development occurs in womb.
- Provide enriched environments because they enhance students.
- Learners should be encouraged to explore, to extend, to dig deep, to solve problems, to become question-posers, to create.
- Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD – cognitive style. Dyslexics think differently. They are intuitive and excel at problem-solving, seeing the big picture, and simplifying (Sally Shaywitz)
- If we harbor any real or imagined fears or concerns that give rise to feelings of inadequacy when it comes to writing…our enthusiasm carries over into feelings of genuine delight about the writing of others. Students will not be fooled (Acts of Teaching)
- Students are impacted by everything in their environment. Give them a steady diet of worksheets, which deaden all stimuli and challenge, put them in a daily threatening situation, and the brain’s Reticular Activating system (RAS) works overtime to alert hte brain to danger and works to avoid that danger at all costs in order to survive.
- People remember best when they organize and relate new material in subjective ways.
- When teachers teach from a script–be it a basal or an ancient lesson plan–students respond in kind. There is no spontaneity, no sparkle, no verve and no passion. Everyone is “doing time.” In that situation, students remember little. In classes where the teacher goes over and over the material ad nauseam, there is little motivation.
- Any activity which engages a student’s interest and imagination which sparks the desire to seek out an answer, or ponder a question, or create a response, can be good potential brain food (Healy).
Consider these points in light of the information shared below about adolescent brains and the criminal justice system.
- A group of test subjects ages 10 to 30 is asked to solve a puzzle
- Adolescents tend to start moving balls almost immediately, which usually necessitates rearranging later. Adults, however, tend to take more time to consider their first move, which generally allows them to solve the puzzle on their first try.
- The test is designed to measure impulse control.
- In another experiment, designed to measure mature decision-making abilities, test subjects are presented with a choice between a small, immediate cash reward and a larger, long-term cash reward. Younger subjects invariably have a lower “tipping point”—the amount of money they are willing to take to get their reward immediately. Older subjects are more willing to wait.
- younger subjects take greater risks when their friends are present; older subjects tend not to change their driving in either case.
- It’s also part of the science that lies at the heart of a series of decisions, including a May ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida, that have changed the direction of juvenile justice.
- Graham outlawed life-without-parole sentencing in nonhomicide cases for individuals under age 18, and it may be comparable to the Brown v. Board of Education case in juvenile justice, says Paolo Annino, a Florida State University law professor and director of the school’s children’s advocacy clinic.
- we are finally acknowledging outside of the death penalty arena that kids are different from adults and need to be treated differently by the criminal justice system
- adolescents, as a group, are more immature, more irresponsible, more susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, and more capable of long-term change than are adults, which the court said made them categorically ineligible for the death penalty.
- These differences render suspect any conclusion that a juvenile falls among the worst offenders,” for whom the death penalty is reserved, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the 5-4 majority in Roper. “The susceptibility of juveniles to immature and irresponsible behavior means ‘their irresponsible conduct is not as morally reprehensible as that of an adult.’ ”
- Graham created a new categorical rule barring life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders convicted of nonhomicides, Stevenson reasons. And every time the court has created such a rule, it has been held to be retroactive. “It’s an important win not only for kids who have been condemned to die in prison but for all children who need additional protection and recognition in the criminal justice system,” he says.
- Scientists say research demonstrates what every parent of a teenager probably knows instinctively: That even though adolescents may be capable of thinking like adults, they are mentally and emotionally still children.
- While an individual’s cognitive abilities (thinking, reasoning) reach adult levels around the age of 16, studies show that psychosocial capabilities (impulse control, judgment, future orientation and resistance to peer pressure) continue to develop well into early adulthood
- Laurence Steinberg, a Temple University psychology professor who has been studying adolescent brain and behavioral development for 35 years, likens the teenage brain to a car with a powerful gas pedal and weak brakes
- While the gas pedal responsible for things like emotional arousal and susceptibility to peer pressure is fully developed, the brakes that permit long-term thinking and resistance to peer pressure need work.
- Such research shows, for instance, that adolescents exhibit more neural activity than adults or children in areas of the brain that promote risky and reward-based behavior
- “The argument that the juvenile brain is too insufficiently developed to constitutionally permit imposition of life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP) for the most heinous and violent criminal offenses is predicated on advocacy masquerading as science,” the center said.
- “A criminal justice system which categorically denies constitutional and proper sentences for juvenile offenders perpetuates no justice at all.”
- adolescent brain development
- unfinished products, human works-in-progress. They stand at a peculiarly vulnerable moment in their lives. Their potential for growth and change is enormous. Almost all of them will outgrow criminal behavior, and it is practically impossible to detect the few who will not.”
- “As the Roper court noted, juveniles are more malleable and capable of reform than adults: It is cruel to simply ‘give up’ on them,” their brief said.
What would these 7 skills matched to leadership in Texas schools look like? Are our leadership/management styles aligned to these 7 skills? When you watch a video about WolframAlpha–like this one–it’s pretty scary. I’d bet most of the questions are students are asking can be answered by this search engine…why aren’t we teaching them better? I suggest because we aren’t leading our schools to accomplish this.
Seven Skills as I understood them:
- Critical thinking and problem-solving: To accomplish this, we need more problem-based learning.
- Collaborative leadership: How do you work together to solve problems and innovate at a distance? How do you “win friends and influence people” over the network? There is definitely a need to know how to do this.
- Adaptability and learning: Not only do you have to be flexible and adapt (isn’t that humanity’s claim to fame, being adaptable in harsh environments?), you have to be able to learn quickly. This doesn’t sound like anything we didn’t need to do as we evolved…why are we not doing it in school?
- Take the initiative and be creative: Waiting for direction from others rather than taking the initiative and creating something can be a show-stopper. I know that I want people on my team who can take the initiative and create something new, something *I* never could have imagined.
- Effective Oral and Written Communication: this seems obvious.
- Accessing and analyzing information
- Imagination – This actually reminded me of Seth Godin’s purple cow
What I really enjoyed from this article was the steps at the end…I’ve paraphrased them a bit:
- Give students a complex, multi-step problem that is different from the ones they’ve seen in the past and, to solve it, they have to apply previously acquired knowledge.
- Students have to engage in parallel problem-solving–developing at least two ways to solve the problem–which requires some initiative and imagination. Then, share their solutions and rationale using effective communication skills (not just a Powerpoint, eh?)
- Teacher uses questions to push the student groups’ thinking.
- Hold the team, and each member, accountable for the solution and the thinking that went into it.
“Creativity is akin to insanity, say scientists…”
Source: BBC: http://bit.ly/caPQMk
What’s it like in YOUR neck of the woods?
The graphs below are based on the information displayed below from this report: Digital Access & Collaboration A Must For Students published by eSchool News via Free Agent Learners.
- Outside of school, nearly 60 percent of high school students and 65 percent of sixth through eighth graders use digital resources to upload or download videos, podcasts, or photos to the internet.
- Roughly 65 percent of third through fifth graders play online games, and slightly more than 40 percent participate in 3D virtual reality.
Seventy-six percent of parents said that gaming appeals to different learning styles and increases student engagement. Fifty-seven percent said gaming develops problem solving and critical thinking skills.
A Texas colleague recently wrote the following:
Here is a basic reliable method to determine your measurable goals for instruction in the classes in which the software is being used.
1) Determine which instrument will be used to see if the goals have been met (a standardized test for that subject, or perhaps a test which your teachers create that determines whether the students have gained the knowledge taught, etc).
2) Set up three test groups (classes)preferably all taught by the same teacher (ideally with students randomly assigned to each class, but we know that won’t happen because of scheduling problems, etc.).
Class 1 – the teacher will teach using the software to be evaluated. Give a pretest and posttest given to the students.
Class 2 – the teacher will teach BUT NOT USE the software to be evaluated. Give a pretest and posttest.
Class 3 – the teacher will use the software to be evaluated WITHOUT a pretest but WITH a posttest.
Make certain that you do not simply do a pre and post test on one group of students. That is a non-reliable method of determining the effectiveness of your software (although widely used).
If you have an evaluation specialist in your district who can work with statistics, work with that person to do the posttest analyses. If not, find a specialist at a local university or community college.
How do you evaluate software in your district?
Notes below are taken from the newly released Educational Technology in Public School Districts: Fall 2008 report released December 2009 by Lucinda Gray, Laurie Lewis and Peter Tice from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Lots of great statistics to make graphs out of in this report!
- This report provides national data on the availability and use of educational technology in public school districts during fall 2008. The data are the results of a national district-level survey that is one of a set that includes district, school, and teacher surveys on educational technology.
- The set of 2008 surveys collected data on availability and use for a range of educational technology resources, such as district and school networks, computers, devices that enhance the capabilities of computers for instruction, and computer software. They also collected information on leadership and staff support for educational technology within districts and schools.
- Questionnaires were mailed to approximately 1,600 public school districts in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The unweighted survey response rate was 92 percent and the weighted response rate was 90 percent. The survey weights were adjusted for questionnaire nonresponse and the data were then weighted to yield national estimates that represent all public school districts in the United States.
- Districts reported information on local area networks connecting computers within a school, district networks connecting schools to the district, and connections to the Internet. Ninety-seven percent of districts had a local area network in all schools and 2 percent had it in some schools (table 1). Eighty-one percent of districts provided a district network to all schools and 3 percent provided it to some schools. Of the districts surveyed, 100 percent of those with a district network were connected to the Internet.2
- Districts reported that 92 percent of public schools were connected to a district network (table 2). Among these schools, the types of connections from schools to districts included direct fiber (55 percent), T1 or DS1 lines (26 percent), and wireless connections (16 percent).3
- Among the 84 percent of districts with a district network, the types of connections from districts to Internet service provider(s) included T1 or DS1 lines (42 percent), direct fiber (37 percent), wireless connections (18 percent), broadband cable (13 percent), and T3 or DS3 lines (12 percent) (table 3). Direct fiber connections were reported by a larger percentage of city districts than by suburban, town, or rural districts (62 percent versus 49 percent, 46 percent, and 24 percent, respectively). Relatively more rural districts than city districts reported T1 or DS1 connections (51 percent versus 18 percent).
- Sixty-seven percent of districts had a formal computer replacement plan reflected in long-term budget planning (table 4). An asset recovery program for computers was used by 37 percent of districts for all computers and by 22 percent for some computers. Districts treated older computers that could no longer serve their original purpose by recycling or disposing (91 percent), re-purposing for less demanding tasks (85 percent), and upgrading memory or components to extend useful life (83 percent) (table 5).
- The percentage of districts that offered access to online district resources to all elementary or all secondary teachers was 92 percent (table 6). The percentage that offered access to electronic administrative tools to all teachers was 87 percent for elementary and 95 percent for secondary. The percentage that offered server space for posting web pages or class materials to all teachers was 82 percent for elementary and 83 percent for secondary.
- The percentage of districts that offered online access to the library catalogue to all students was 72 percent for elementary and 82 percent for secondary (table 7). The percentage that offered electronic storage space on a server to all students was 62 percent for elementary and 83 percent for secondary.
- Districts had written policies on acceptable student use of email (84 percent), social networking websites (76 percent), wikis and/or blogs (52 percent), and other Internet use (92 percent) (table 8).
- Of the districts surveyed, 100 percent kept student data in an electronic data system (table 9). The percentage of districts that used an electronic system to keep each type of student data asked about in the survey ranged from 80 percent for transportation data to 100 percent for attendance data. Eighty-nine percent of districts reported keeping state standardized assessment scores, and 85 percent reported keeping district-wide assessment results in their electronic data systems.
- Districts reported employing an individual responsible for educational technology leadership who was devoted to this role full time (51 percent) or part time (32 percent) (table 10). Seventeen percent of districts reported no one in this role; more small districts than large districts reported no one with this function (21 percent of districts with an enrollment size less than 2,500 compared to 5 percent of districts with an enrollment size of 10,000 or more).
- Districts reported offering teacher professional development in topics such as integrating technology into instruction (95 percent), using Internet resources and communication tools for instruction (91 percent), and Internet safety (89 percent) (table 11). Fifty-five percent of districts required teachers to take professional development in Internet safety.
- Eighty-three percent of district respondents agreed with the statement “teachers are interested in using technology in classroom instruction,” while 58 percent agreed that “teachers are sufficiently trained to integrate technology into classroom instruction” (table 12). Forty-two percent of respondents agreed that “funding for educational technology is adequate,” and 83 percent agreed that “funding for educational technology is being spent in the most appropriate ways.”
Gray, L., and Lewis, L. (2009). Educational Technology in Public School Districts: Fall 2008 (NCES 2010–003). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.