Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Archive for the ‘critical thinking’ Category

How could Stimulated Recall Interviews increase authentic understandings of technology integration?

Tondeur, J.; L. H. Kershaw; R. Vanderlinde; J. van Braak (2013) Changing Assessment — Towards a New Assessment Paradigm Using ICT, European Journal of Education, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2013

This study explored the black box of technology integration through the stimulated recall of teachers who showed proficiency in the use of technology to support teaching and learning. More particularly, the aim of the study was to examine how these teachers use technology in their lessons and to gain deeper insights into the multifaceted influences affecting their current practices. In order to explore this black box, observations and stimulated recall interviews with primary school teachers were conducted in schools which were selected by the inspectorate on the basis of advances they had made in educational technology use. Stimulated recall interviews – a verbal reporting technique in which the teachers were asked to verbalize their thoughts while looking at their own classroom practice on video – seemed to be a promising approach to increase authentic understandings of technology integration. The results emphasize that (a) the teachers involved in this study were pedagogically proficient and flexible enough to fit technology in with the varying demands of their educational practices, (b) the teachers’ ongoing learning experiences rather than training affected the development of the quality of their practices, and (c) the role of the school and the broader context of teachers’ personal lives played an important role. By interpreting the results of the study, recommendations are discussed for teacher technology integration and future research.

Can Cultural Capital help explain Digital Divide?

Matthew Damon Wright (2012) The Digital Divide and Cultural Capital, A Thesis Presented to the faculty of the Department of Sociology California State University, Sacramento, Submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Sociology

The digital divide, the concept of an inequality in computer and Internet access and skills, has been a political and social scientific topic of research and debate. The prior analyses of Internet use grouped people based on “haves” and “have-nots” and did not specifically address who these people were and what kind of demographic, individual, and family characteristics might promote digital literacy. By combining the ideas of the digital divide in the usage of the Internet and the concept of cultural capital as a marker of socioeconomic status, this study used data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project 2008 to test whether higher socioeconomic status (using measures of education and income) is associated with more frequent use of the Internet. An exploratory subsample analysis by gender was also conducted. As previous studies have found, education plays a significant role in predicting higher Internet use. Counter to previous studies, income was the only significant predictor for overall frequency of Internet use and of specific types of Internet activities. The study also found that gender conditioned the effects of socioeconomic status, family, and work on Internet use.

Read Full Text

Is an unquestioning confidence in technology wise?

Mahon O‟Brien (2011) The Future of Humanity: Heidegger, Personhood and Technology, Comparative Philosophy Volume 2, No. 2 (2011): 23-49

This paper argues that a number of entrenched posthumanist positions are seriously flawed as a result of their dependence on a technical interpretive approach that creates more problems than it solves. During the course of our discussion we consider in particular the question of personhood. After all, until we can determine what it means to be a person we cannot really discuss what it means to improve a person. What kinds of enhancements would even constitute improvements? This in turn leads to an examination of the technical model of analysis and the recurring tendency to approach notions like personhood using this technical model. In looking to sketch a Heideggerian account of personhood, we are reaffirming what we take to be a Platonic skepticism concerning technical models of inquiry when it comes to certain subjects. Finally we examine the question as to whether the posthumanist looks to apply technology‟s benefits in ways that we have reflectively determined to be useful or desirable or whether it is technology itself (or to speak as Heidegger would – the “essence” of technology) which prompts many posthumanists to rely on an excessively reductionist view of the human being.

Read Full Text

How is knowledge elaborated?

Slava Kalyuga (2009) Knowledge elaboration: A cognitive load perspective, Learning and Instruction 19 (2009) 402-410

The process of knowledge elaboration is considered from the perspective of cognitive load theory. This theory assumes that the availableknowledge structures in long-term memory (LTM) are used to organize and guide cognitive processing in complex learning. Accordingly, therole of external instructional guidance in the process of knowledge elaboration could be described as providing a substitute for knowledgestructures missing from LTM. Thus, the executive guidance in complex learning environments is shared between the person (based on his/herLTM knowledge structures) and another expert or instructional means. This article analyzes instructional implications of this assumption.Adaptive learning environments are suggested for tailoring knowledge elaboration processes to changing characteristics of individual learners.Means for identifying and predicting the learner’s LTM-based executive guidance are proposed so that they can be utilized in the building of adaptive learning environments.

Read Full Text

A developmental approach to new media literacy?

Diana Graber (2012) New Media Literacy Education (NMLE): A Developmental Approach, Journal of Media Literacy Education 4:1 (2012) 82 – 92

Waldorf-inspired schools may have a successful formula for the development of ethical thinking and new media literacy skills. By providing rich sensory experiences and social interactions for students from the time they are very young, these schools are sowing the seeds of new media literacy without any technology in sight. The challenge they face now is taking the next step. In doing so, Waldorf-inspired could be the model for Ohler’s (2010) vision of a “whole school approach to behavior that sets the entirety of being digitally active within an overall ethical and behavioral context” (145). Maybe some of these practices will even find their way into traditional schools, giving more students a chance to experience a developmental approach to new media literacy that will equip them to be creative, capable, and ethical users of today’s technology, or technologies that are yet seeds in their imaginations.

Read Full Text

Can teachers use online commercial games to help students with their learning?

Wiklund, M., Ekenberg, L. (2009) Going to school in World of Warcraft. Observations from a trial programme using off-the-shelf computer games as learning tools in secondary education, Designs for Learning, No. 109

The use of commercial, off-the-shelf computer games as teaching tools is an interesting possibility, but one that may alter the teacher’s role. Unlike specially adapted, game- like educational software, students’ attitudes toward the learning potential of computer games may be very different in the presence or absence of an accompanying teacher. The purpose of this work is to investigate whether commercial, unmodified computer games have potential as a tool for learning enhancement, whether varying properties of game genres have an impact on study results, and how the students perceive the teachers role in a learning environment using computer games. Twenty-one students, all of them participants in a longer-term trial programme in game-based education, were inter- viewed concerning their perceptions of the learning environment, their preferred game genres, and the outcome of their studies. Our findings show that this form of learn- ing results in significantly increased knowledge. It also appears that accompanying teacher activities are important, especially when successfully linked to in-game activities.

Read Full Text

What does a social and cultural archeology of the internet look like?

Geert Willem Lovink (2009) Dynamics of Critical Internet Culture (1994-2001), Submitted in total fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, November 2002 English Department University of Melbourne

Unlike much of the cultural studies literature and early media theory, I will not describe what an email is, what MUDs and MOOs are and compare the Internet with book culture or television. In my view the question of what the Internet is all about has been sufficiently dealt with. It is time for critical research to move on, away from the general level of functionality. It is no longer the technical possibilities that characterize the medium. Instead of, yet again, going through general possibilities my research is based on empirical data: emails, webpages, events and personal encounters with the players in the field—both real and virtual. Where possible and useful I have made references to other (online) literature. It is my aim to write a contemporary form of media archeology in which I map the social and cultural usages of the Internet. I am writing early histories of a selected group of techno-cultural networks.

Read Full Text

How is Digital Media changing the way young people learn?

Mizuko Ito (2011) Mobilizing the Imagination in Everyday Play: The Case of Japanese Media Mixes, Draft of a chapter to appear in the International Handbook of Children, Media, and Culture, edited by Sonia Livingstone and Kirsten Drotner

The spread of digital media and communications in the lives of children and youth have raised new questions about the role of media in learning, development and cultural participation. In post-industrial societies, young people are growing up in what Henry Jenkins (2006) has dubbed “convergence culture”—an increasingly interactive and participatory media ecology where Internet communication ties together both old and new media forms.  My focus in this chapter is on outlining the contours of these shifts. How do young people mobilize the media and the imagination in everyday life? And how do new media change this dynamic?

Read Full Text

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out. How do kids live and learn with new media?

Mizuko Ito, Sonja Baumer, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Rachel Cody, Becky Herr-Stephenson, Heather A. Horst, Patricia G. Lange, Dilan Mahendran, Katynka Z. Martinez, C. J. Pascoe, Dan Perkel, Laura Robinson, Christo Sims and Lisa Tripp (2009) Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out, The MIT Press

Despite the widespread assumption that new media are tied to fundamental changes in how young people are engaging with culture and knowledge, there is still relatively little research that investigates how these dynamics operate on the ground. This book reports on a three-year ethnographic investigation of youth new media practice that aims to develop a grounded, qualitative evidence base to inform current debates over the future of learning and education in the digital age.

Read Full Text

How can Libraries Support Students Live and Learn with Digital Media?

C. Shoemaker, H. Martin, B. Joseph (2010) How Using Social Media Forced a Library to Work on the Edge in Their
Efforts to Move Youth From “Hanging Out” to “Messing Around,  Journal of Media Literacy Education 2:2 (2010) 181 – 184

In 2009, Mimi Ito released Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media, a book composed of 23 related studies. These ethnographic studies interrogated how learning is being experienced by teens via informal uses of digital media. The title refers to the framework around how youth learn through digital media and networked spaces, a kind of learning that is quite often invisible to adults who often confuse it with playing, wasting time or, at worst, as undermining youth’s ethical values and social competencies. This collection of studies, however, finds that these three different modes of participation with digital media, in fact, support the development of a wide range of new media literacies. This is the challenge offered by Ito and the one recently taken up by the New York Public Library. This worked example is not designed to report the successes or failure of this pilot project. Rather, it is intended to explore and take a critical look at the obstacles encountered along the way and discuss how they were negotiated. Finally, it will leverage Ito’s framework to provide context to understand what it means to use digital media for learning and how to apply these lessons learned, both for this organization and others.

Read Full Text

How can Virtual Social Learning Environments support Communities of Practice?

Keleher, Patrick and Hutchinson, Steven (2010). Communities of Practice, a social discipline of learning: nurturing a physical and virtual social learning environment. In: World Association of Co-operative Education International Conference on Work Integrated Learning, 3-5 Feb 2010, Hong Kong, China.

Communities of Practice are powerful way of thinking about and exploring the social discipline of learning. Rigorous models for informational and cognitive aspects of learning are well defined, but social dimensions of learning are not so well explored nor are the practices involved in establishing an appropriate learning environment. A workshop conducted by Etienne Wenger was specifically structured to model the practices to establish a social learning ‘space’ and provided an opportunity for participants in the professional disciplines of health, social care, education and business to engage in social learning. The workshop enabled a telling and recording of people’s own learning stories, through individual and group face-to-face encounters and further non-face-to-face communication encounters (within the workshop group and the world) through a range synchronous and asynchronous electronic media, video, wikispace1, blog and twitter. This is a powerful process by which to explore the development of professional practices in a Work Integrated Learning or Practice Based Learning context and illustrates the manner in which transitions or boundary encounters arise and are navigated as individuals explore the ‘landscape of professional practice’.

Read Full Text 

How can Serious Games Support Education?

Mary Ulicsak,  Martha Wright (2010) Games in Education: Serious Games,  A Futurelab literature review

It is argued that digital games, including simulations and virtual worlds, have the potential to be an important teaching tool because they are interactive, engaging and immersive activities. This document begins by briefly considering the rationale for using games in education – informal and formal. It then considers the various types of digital games that are described as being educational. The report then has an overview of their current use and research around their usage in multiple environments: the military, health, informal, vocational and formal education settings. It looks at the challenges of embedding serious games in formal education and three current methods for assessing appropriateness and effectiveness of games for teaching. From this it argues that what is required is a toolkit for educators, game designers and policy makers that allows the design and assessment of games to be used with an educational goal.

Read Full Text

How are Web 2.0 tools changing the culture of learning?

Daniel  Light, Deborah  Keisch  Polin, (2010) Integrating Web 2.0 tools into the classroom: Changing the culture of learning, EDC Center for Children and Technology

While this study suggests great potential for Web 2.0 tools, it also demonstrates that careful planning is required to align  instructional activities and the affordances of these tools. Teachers need to design activities in which the communication facilitated by the Web 2.0 tools is meaningful and relates to students’ learning of the content or to their own lives. One of the most salient themes, consistent among more sophisticated users across all of our sites, is that we are perhaps beginning to see a Web  2.0 approach or mentality. It may not be the tool itself that defines Web 2.0, but how it is used to support teaching and learning, both in individual classrooms and as part of a school’s or district’s larger vision. All the tools employed within this approach do not necessarily have to be what immediately comes to mind when one thinks of  “Web 2.0” (e.g., blogs and wikis). However, the philosophy that has developed through the use of these tools embraces a Web 2.0 mentality. The tools are  interactive, they can be used  asynchronously, they are collected together as a suite of resources within a virtual platform, and teachers are integrating them seamlessly into their classrooms to extend and  deepen the educational environment.

Read Full Text

What does the TPACK in action look like?

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Action: A Descriptive Study of Secondary Teachers’ Curriculum-Based, Technology-Related Instructional Planning JRTE | Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 211–229

How does teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) inform their instructional planning? How can this knowledge be enhanced? In an interpretivist study of experienced secondary social studies teachers’ planning, we sought to discover clues to the nature and development of these teachers’ TPACK-in-action as it was expressed in their planning processes. Comparisons of interview data and planning products before and after en- gaging in professional development that addressed content-focused, TPACK- based learning activity types (Harris & Hofer, 2009) revealed three primary findings, each supported by participating teachers’ oral and written reflections upon their learning. The participating teachers’(a) selection and use of learn- ing activities and technologies became more conscious, strategic, and varied; (b) instructional planning became more student-centered, focusing primarily upon students’ intellectual, rather than affective, engagement; and (c) quality standards for technology integration were raised, resulting in deliberate deci- sions for more judicious educational technology use.

Read Full Text

Can Google docs effectively support Project Based Learning?

Daire Ó Broin, Damien Rafter (2011) Using Google Docs To Support Project-Based Learning, AISHE-J, Volume 3, Number 1 (Spring 2011)

Project-Based Learning is a wide-ranging approach that uses authentic problems to engage students. One of its main benefits is that it enables ideas in the classroom to be linked with real-life. Among its limitations: it is difficult for students to collaborate on artefacts outside of class time and it is problematic for the teacher both to monitor the progress of the project and to assess the individual contribution of each student. These limitations are partly overcome by Google Docs, a suite of free online applications that facilitate collaboration. Firstly, Google Docs enables students in different locations to work simultaneously but independently on the same artefact. Secondly, we, as teachers, can be included as observers on each project group and thus track the development of the work. This year, various groups of students across the Science and Business departments used the Google Docs word-processor to work both collaboratively and individually on a diverse range of projects. We present a case study of one of these class groups, the results of which were largely positive. However, some problems arose that will inform our approach with future student groups.

Read Full Text

Does age determine willingness to participate in online communities?

Jae Eun Chung, Namkee Park, Hua Wang, Janet Fulk, Margaret McLaughlin (2010) “Age differences in perceptions of online community participation among non-users: An extension of the Technology Acceptance Model”, Computers in Human Behavior 26 (2010) 1674–1684

This study examined age differences in perceptions of online communities held by people who were not yet participating in these relatively new social spaces. Using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), we investigated the factors that affect future intention to participate in online communities. Our results supported the proposition that perceived usefulness positively affects behavioral intention, yet it was determined that perceived ease of use was not a significant predictor of perceived usefulness. The study also discovered negative relationships between age and Internet self-efficacy and the perceived quality of online community websites. However, the moderating role of age was not found. The findings suggest that the relationships among perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and intention to participate in online communities do not change with age. Theoretical and practical implications and limitations were discussed.

Read Full Text

With Google Docs is it more effective for students to share or collaborate?

Ina Blau, Avner Caspi (2010) What Type of Collaboration Helps? Psychological Ownership, Perceived Learning and Outcome Quality of Collaboration Using Google Docs

One hundred and eighteen Open University of Israel undergraduate students participated in an experiment that was designed to test the differences between sharing and collaborating on a written assignment. Participants were randomly allocated to one of five groups that differ in types of collaboration: two groups share their draft with either an unknown audience or known peers, two other groups collaborated by either suggesting improvements to or editing each other’s draft, and an additional group in which the participants kept the draft for themselves served as a control group. Findings revealed differences between groups in psychological ownership, perceived quality of the document, but not in perceived learning. In addition, students believe that a document that was written collaboratively might have higher quality than a document written alone. Nonetheless, they reported that while their contribution improved a draft written by a colleague, the colleagues contribution deteriorated their own draft. Perceived quality of the document and the improvement from draft to final version predicted perceived learning. Thus, the present study implications are that collaboration is superior to sharing, that students prefer suggestion over editing.

Read Full Text

How can we deal with Plagiarism in a Complex Information Society?

Debbie Wheeler, David Anderson, (2010) Dealing with plagiarism in a complex information society, Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 3 Iss: 3, pp.166 – 177

Academic integrity is not something innate, it is something that needs to be learned. Efforts to deal with plagiarism must be systematic, equitable, process-oriented and pervasive at all institutional levels otherwise there is a risk that punitive measures may seem unpredictable, and so will not send a clear message to stakeholders. If this is the case, students are even less likely to appreciate the centrality of academic integrity in the educational context.

Read Full Text

Can Scratch be used to teach Computer Science Concepts?

Orni Meerbaum-Salant, Michal Armoni, Mordechai (Moti) Ben-Ari (2010) Learning Computer Science Concepts with Scratch, ICER 2010, August 9–10, 2010

We investigated the use of Scratch to teach concepts of computer science. We developed new learning materials based upon the constructionist philosophy of Scratch, and evaluated their use in middle-school classrooms. The results showed that most students are able to understand CS concepts, thus supporting the claims of Scratch to be a viable platform for teaching CS.

Read Full text

What makes teachers effective in using technology as a meaningful pedagogical tool?

Peggy A. Ertmer, Anne T. Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010) Teacher Technology Change: How Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Culture Intersect, JRTE, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 255–284

Despite increases in computer access and technology training, technology is not being used to support the kinds of instruction believed to be most powerful. In this paper, we examine technology integration through the lens of the teacher as an agent of change: What are the necessary characteristics, or qualities, that enable teachers to leverage technology resources as meaningful pedagogical tools? To answer this question, we discuss the literature related to four variables of teacher change: knowledge, self-efficacy, pedagogical beliefs, and subject and school culture. Specifically, we propose that teachers’ mind- sets must change to include the idea that “teaching is not effective without the appropriate use of information and communication technologies (ICT) resources to facilitate student learning.” Implications are discussed in terms of both teacher education and professional development programs.

Read Full Text

Is there an international framework to measure Information Literacy?

Catts, Ralph; Lau, Jesus (2008) Towards information literacy indicators, UNESCO 2008

UNESCO, through its Information for All Programme (IFAP), decided to engage in the development of an international framework for measuring information literacy in order to demonstrate achievements at both international and national levels, and to better focus future efforts. A considerable effort has already been invested by many international organizations in “measuring the information society”. IFAP’s goal is not to replicate their work but to identify additional indicators to measure the development of knowledge societies and then to collaborate with organizations currently engaged in measurement activities in order to develop a coherent set of indicators. This paper provides a conceptual framework for the identification of indicators of information literacy (IL) and proposes a pathway for cost effective and timely development. It includes a definition of IL; a model that links information literacy with other adult competencies, including information and communication technology (ICT) skills; and a description of IL standards in education. Issues of IL equality and the implications of cultural diversity are also identified.

Read Full Text

What is the effect of multitasking on students’ grades?

Yvonne Ellis, Bobbie Daniels, Andres Jauregui (2010) The effect of multitasking on the grade performance of business students, Research in Higher Education Journal (2010) Volume: 8, Issue: 1, Pages: 1-11

Multitasking refers to the concurrent processing of two or more tasks through a process of context switching. However, research by neuroscientists show that multitasking reduces the brain’s ability to effectively retrieve information. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine whether multitasking in class affects the grade performance of business students. Our findings indicate that the exam scores of students who text in class are significantly lower than the exam scores of students who do not text in class. Thus, multitasking during class is considered a distraction that is likely to result in lower grade performance.

Read Full Text

To be truly effective, should Information Literacy (IL) and Media Literacy (ML) be pursued as complementary concepts?

Nieves Gonz ́alez Fernandez-Villavicencio (2010) Helping students become literate in a digital, networking-based society: A literature review and discussion, The International Information & Library Review (2010) 42, 124e136

Without necessarily taking sides in the debate, although expressing a preference for complementarity, the author contends that it is absolutely essential that all persons (not just students) learn to become both Information Literate and Media Literate in this digital world in which we now find ourselves. Additionally, the author contends that Web 2.0 and Social Networking tools, such as Facebook, Tuenti (in Spanish context), MySpace and Twitter, including the rich portfolio of applications they encompass, can substantially assist people in achieving that goal. The author presents a number of case examples to support her thesis, drawn largely from Spanish libraries and Spanish educational institutions that already are using Web 2.0 and Social Networking tools extensively to train people to become digitally competent.

Read Full Text

Why is Research in Educational Technology Essential to Inform Improved Learning in Schools?

Steven M Ross, Gary R Morrison, Deborah L Lowther (2010) Educational Technology Research Past and Present: Balancing Rigor and Relevance to Impact School LearningCONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, 2010, 1(1), 17-35

Today, the exponential growth of technology usage in education, via such applications of distance education, Internet access, simulations, and educational games, has raised substantially the focus and importance of educational technology research. In this paper, we examine the past and present research trends, with emphasis on the role and contribution of research evidence for informing instructional practices and policies to improve learning in schools. Specific topics addressed include: (a) varied conceptions of effective technology uses in classroom instruction as topics for research, (b) historical trends in research approaches and topics of inquiry; (c) alternative research designs for balancing internal (rigor) and external (relevance) validity; and (d) suggested directions for future research. Attention is devoted to describing varied experimental designs as options for achieving appropriate rigor and relevance of research evidence, and using mixed-methods research for investigating and understanding technology applications in complex real-life settings.

Read Full Text

Does Technology Integration “Work” When Key Barriers are Removed?

Deborah Lowther, J. Dan Strahl, Fethi A. Inan, and Steven M. Ross (2008) Does Technology Integration “Work” When Key Barriers are Removed?, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in New York, NY March 2008

The effectiveness of Tennessee EdTech Launch (TnETL), a statewide technology program was investigated in this mixed-methods study. The goal of the program was to provide full-time, on-site technology coaches to prepare teachers to create lessons that engage students in critical thinking and use of computers as tools in order to increase learning. The study examined TnETL impact on student achievement, teachers’ skills and attitudes toward technology integration; use of research-based practices; and students’ skills in using technology as a tool. The study was implemented as “Launch” 1 and 2 cohorts that collectively involved 54 schools, 28,735 students and 1,746 teachers. Program effectiveness was measured via direct classroom observations, surveys, student performance assessments, focus groups, and student achievement analysis.

Read Full Text

How do high-school students use information literacy skills to find and evaluate scientific information?

Heidi Julien , Susan Barker (2009) How high-school students find and evaluate scientific information: A basis for information literacy skills development, Library & Information Science Research

This study examined the relationship between curricula in secondary-level science classrooms, which support development of information literacy skills, and actual student skills. A vast body of research reflects deep concern with the level of information literacy skill development among secondary and post-secondary students. But even when educational curricula mandate skill development, many students are unable to demonstrate sophisticated information searching and critical evaluation skills. The findings of this study, which we based on analyzing information seeking tasks and conducting interviews with students in three biology classes in a large urban high school, demonstrated a similar lack of skills. Pressure on teachers to “teach to examinations”—that is, to focus on substantive content rather than on information literacy skills and information literacy skills deficits among teachers themselves—is a possible explanation for these results. The study is of particular interest to teachers of the curriculum applicable in the study context, but the broader implications of repeated indications of gaps in students’ information literacy skills are a significant indicator that schools must assume a larger responsibility for information literacy instruction. Leaving skill development to the post-secondary environment will not ensure that citizens are sufficiently skilled to participate fully in 21st century life, in workplaces or in their personal life contexts.

Read Full Text

How can Wikis be used in the 21st-century literacy classroom?

Sanden, S., & Darragh, J. (2011). Wiki use in the 21st-century literacy classroom: A framework for evaluation. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 11(1), 6-20.

In today’s Web 2.0 world, teachers are perpetually struggling with how to incorporate technology into the classroom effectively in order to meet the diverse literacy needs of 21st-century learners. Utilizing the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE, 2008) Position Statement addressing these needs, the theoretical framework of Lankshear and Knobel (2006), and work by Cummins, Brown, and Sayers (2007) emphasizing the possibilities of technology in achieving literacy goals, a framework by which to assess the incorporation of technologies in classrooms as a means to build students’ new literacies was created. Finally, as a specific example, the framework was applied to the use of wikis to illustrate the literacy learning potential of both wikis and other new technologies.

Read Full Text

How is the explosion of online social media a new opportunity to measure social capital?

Matthew S. Smith (2011) A Computational Framework for Social Capital in Online Communities, A dissertation submitted to the faculty of Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The explosion of online social media means that it is now possible to collect rich data about people’s connections and interactions, in a completely ubiquitous, non-intrusive manner. Such dynamic social data opens the door to the more accurate measuring and tracking of social capital. Similarly, online data is replete with additional personal data, such as topics discussed in blogs or hobbies listed in personal profiles, that is difficult to obtain through standard surveys. Such information can be used to discover similarities, or implicit affinities, among individuals, which in turn leads to finer measures of social capital, including the often useful distinction between bonding and bridging social capital.

Read Full Text

What is the effect of Twitter on student engagement and grades?

R. Junco, G. Heiberger, E. Loken (2011) The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Volume: 27, Issue: 2, Pages: 119-132

Despite the widespread use of social media by students and its increased use by instructors, very little empirical evidence is available concerning the impact of social media use on student learning and engagement. This paper describes our semester-long experimental study to determine if using Twitter the microblogging and social networking platform most amenable to ongoing, public dialogue for educationally relevant purposes can impact college student engagement and grades. The results showed that the experimental group had a significantly greater increase in engagement than the control group, as well as higher semester grade point averages. Analyses of Twitter communications showed that students and faculty were both highly engaged in the learning process in ways that transcended traditional classroom activities. This study provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.

Read Full Text

How can Social Networks be used in schools to enable teens to become responsible digital citizens?

Jayme Waddington (2011) Social Networking: The Unharnessed Educational Tool, Undergraduate Research Journal at UCCS Volume 4.1, May 2011

How can teenagers of today become model digital citizens of tomorrow? In order to ensure that students are modeling safe and healthy online behaviors they must be taught what those behaviors are. Teachers, along with parents, are charged with educating youth and providing them with the skills that are necessary to prosper in the world. Society cannot expect teens to know what to do online and act appropriately without guidance; just as we teach our children what is right and wrong in the “real” world, the same needs to be done in the “virtual” world. While instructing students on how to keep their profiles secure and warning them of the dangers on the internet, educators are providing the first step towards successful digital citizenship. Schools have the opportunity to not only educate and teach students safe digital media usage but also incorporate digital media into everyday classroom experiences.

Read Full Text

How can Informed Learning and Informed Learners by supported?

Bruce, Christine S., Hughes, Hilary E., & Somerville, Mary M. (2012) Supporting informed learners in the 21st century. Library Trends, 60(3). (In Press)

This paper elaborates the concept of informed learning and locates it in educational, workplace and community settings. Drawing from existing research into people’s experience of information literacy, it identifies critical experiences of informed learners in each of these three settings. It also explores the support required in educational, community and workplace contexts which makes informed learning possible. Recognising strong implications for policy makers in different sectors, the paper presents a set of guiding principles for developing informed learning and learners.

Read Full Text

How can the value of information technology in organisations be evaluated?

Janne Laine (2009) Evaluating the Business Value of Information Technology, HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY Abstract of the Master’s Thesis

The effect and role of IT in organisations is complex. On the one hand, IT affects virtually every part of corporations and is crucial and integral part of organisations core assets and capabilities, and on the other hand, IT is nothing more than a tool, an enabler, which can be utilised to accomplish certain tasks. To make matters worse, the approach differs in every organisation and also in different situations. Vast technology investments should not be justified based on instinct and opportunistic value propositions. Information technology, just as any other corporate asset, must be planned, implemented and utilised with care. Proper level of systematic analysis and planning is required to make wise information technology investment decisions. Fortunately, there are tools and techniques that can help an organisation to govern manage and operate IT effectively. This study focuses on the concept of value of information technology in its different forms and tries to help looking at technology from the reasonable perspective. Similar to successful companies in IT sector is their ability to align IT investments and IT management with corporate business strategy and to be able to look at IT investments intangible benefits and their affect on different sides of corporation’s portfolio of assets.

Read Full Text

Evidence-Based Practice for Libraries: Evolution or Revolution?

David V. Loertscher (2009) Evidence-Based Practice: Evolution or Revolution? Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 2009, 4:2 

For some years, school library media specialists, like other educators, have been urged to raise their sights from the work-a-day world to the think-a-day world of reflective practice. The concepts of evidence-based practice and action research along with the general educational ideas of data mining, data-based decision making, diagnostic assessment, and a host of other terms encourage everyone to concentrate on results or the impact of actions and programs on teaching and learning. Perhaps the true EBP strategies must operate simultaneously in both an evolutionary manner and a revolutionary manner simultaneously

Read Full Text

Do school Libraries need to be flipped?

David Loertscher (2008) Flip This Library: School Libraries Need a Revolution, Not Evolution, School Library Journal

What has to happen for school libraries to become relevant? One of the biggest business battles of our time is between Microsoft and Google. The two have very different business models. Microsoft believes that if they build it, we will come—and buy their product. Google’s approach is different: if they build it, we will integrate it into our lives. We use Microsoft products on their terms, but we use Google products—from iGoogle to GoogleDocs—on our terms, to construct whatever we want. What does this have to do with school libraries? A lot. If we want to connect with the latest generation of learners and teachers, we have to totally redesign the library from the vantage point of our users—our thinking has to do a 180-degree flip. In short, it’s time for school libraries to become a lot less like Microsoft and a lot more like Google.  With this notion in mind, I collaborated with two of my colleagues, Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan, Canadian educational consultants, to develop an idea we’re calling the school library learning commons.

Read Full Text

What do recent studies show about literacy and technology in primary classrooms?

BURNETT, C. (2009). Research into literacy and technology in primary classrooms: an exploration of understandings generated by recent studies. Journal of research in reading (special issue: New developments in literacy and technology), 32 (1), 22-37.

Whilst much has been written about the implications for ‘literacy’ for practices surrounding digital technologies (Gee, 2000a; Luke and Carrington, 2002; Snyder, 1998), there has been surprisingly little research investigating new literacies in primary classrooms (Andrews, 2003; Labbo and Reinking, 2003: Lankshear and Knobel, 2003). This review examines the kinds of understandings that have been generated through studies of primary literacy and technology reported during the period 2000-2006. It uses Green’s distinction between ‘operational’, ‘cultural’ and ‘critical’ dimensions of primary literacy (Lankshear and Bigum, 1999; Snyder, 2001) to investigate the focus and methodology of 38 empirical studies. It explores ways in which research may be informed by assumptions and practices associated with print literacy, but also highlights the kinds of studies which are beginning to investigate the implications of digital texts for primary education. The paper concludes by arguing for further ethnographic and phenomenological studies of classroom literacy practices in order to explore the complex contexts which surround and are mediated by digital texts.

Read Full Text

How can Systemic Functional Grammar be used to construct a powerful online identity?

Victor Ho (2010Constructing Identities In The Workplace Through Request E-Mail Discourse – How Does One Benefit From It? GEMA OnlineTM Journal of Language Studies 3 Volume 10(2) 2010

This paper discusses the construction of personal identities through the request e-mail discourse by a group of professional English language teachers of a public education institution in Hong Kong. Facing the downsizing of the civil service, the revised appraisal system, and the tighter budget of the Hong Kong SAR government following the Asian financial crisis, teachers working in Hong Kong public schools have less chances of getting promotion and pay rises. To put themselves in an advantageous position in relation to get a promotion and a pay rise, as argued in this paper, the teachers constructed two personal identities online before their peers and superiors in their workplace. A total of 50 e-mails met the two criteria that follow and formed the corpus of the present study: containing at least one request, and having teachers of the same rank as the author and recipients. The request e-mail discourse is analyzed at the clause level with respect to transitivity, mood and modality by drawing upon systemic functional linguistics. It is found that the teachers, using the resources available in the English language grammar, constructed for themselves the identity of a responsible, hardworking member, and of a member with authority and power. This paper hopes to achieve three aims – (1) to contribute to the understanding of the constitutive effect of discourse; (2) to illustrate how such effect could be manipulated by discourse producers in order to achieve both their communicative and political aims; and (3) to enhance people’s e-mail communication competency in the workplace.

Read Full Text

How is technology changing literacy?

Guy Merchant (2009) Literacy in virtual worlds, Journal of Research in Reading, Volume 32, Issue 1, 2009, pp 38–56

Introducing new digital literacies into classroom settings is an important and challenging task, and one that is encouraged by both policy-makers and educators. This paper draws on a case study of a 3D virtual world which aimed to engage and motivate primary school children in an immersive and literacy-rich on-line experience. Planning decisions, early experimentation and the experience of avatar interaction are explored. Using field notes, in-world interviews and observations I analyse pupil and teacher perspectives on the use of digital literacy and its relationship to conventional classroom literacy routines, and use these to trace the potential and inherently disruptive nature of such work. The paper makes the case for a wider recognition of the role of technology in literacy and suggests that teachers need time for experimentation and professional development if they are to respond appropriately to new digital literacies in the classroom.

Read Full Text

Is the best use of class time to provide facts or for problem solving?

Jose Antonio Bowen (2011 ) Rethinking Technology outside the Classroom, Journal of Music History Pedagogy, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 43–59

Knowledge is a lot cheaper than it used to be. It used to be that you went to university because books were expensive and you probably didn’t have any, so you went to hear lectures because that was the way you could get information. Then later there were libraries, and you still needed faculty to help you and guide you, and they knew things that books hadn’t yet published, so that’s why you went to a university. Now, almost everything is online. New teaching technologies will increasingly allow students to access the basic course information before they come to class. As teachers using these new technologies, our mission is to create homework and assignments that inspire them to interrogate the course content outside of class time. We can then rethink the type of work students do in class to develop more sophisticated intellectual engagement than taking notes from a lecture.

Read Full Text

How can Digital Literacies make learning and teaching more effective?

Julia Gillen, David Barton (2010) Digital Literacies: A Research Briefing by the Technology Enhanced Learning phase of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme, English

The concept of digital literacies is fascinating both in its definition and its application. The term captures an arena of rapidly developing practices, as humans interact with technologies in new ways and for innovative purposes. Many time-honoured distinctions such as between producer and consumer, writer and reader blur or virtually disappear as new syntheses emerge. There are a number of valuable approaches to digital literacies that overlap with one another. Rather than look for clear distinctions to demarcate them, it is perhaps more helpful to look for continuities and commonalities.

Read Full Text

Tag Cloud