Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Archive for the ‘NETS Standard 3’ Category

Do teachers need media-competences instead of ICT competences?

Bert Zwaneveld, Theo Bastiaens (2010) ICT competences of the teacher: About supporting learning and teaching processes with the use of ICT, International Federation for Information

Our starting observation is that there is a lot of literature about the use of ICT in teaching. Much of this literature with frameworks, schemes, flow charts etcetera, is about the process of introducing ICT in teaching. In our view the teacher and his or her main concerns, the learning and teaching processes inside the classroom, deserves much more attention. Our second observation is that there are much relevant new ICT-tools available which can support these learning and teaching processes. So, we focus in this paper on these aspects: what are the most important competences with respect to ICT for a teacher in order to support these learning and teaching processes? Because there are nowadays so many modern digital media available we propose the term media-competences for the teachers instead of ICT competences.

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How do institutional forces shape ICT in education?

Jonathan Ezer (2005) The Interplay of Institutional Forces Behind Higher ICT Education in India, Submitted in Fulfilment of the Full Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Information Systems, London School of Economics and Political Sciences

For several years, academics have debated the extent to which ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) can help poor people in developing countries. The conversation contains diverse views, yet education is always given a prominent role. Education helps shape how people think about technology and in turn, how the technology is used. This dissertation examines how the idea of ICTs is constructed at Indian universities, and how this process is impacted by institutional forces. The research findings indicate that for a variety of reasons, higher ICT education in India is markedly Western-focused, instrumental and technocratic. These characteristics of higher ICT education in India are impacted by a process that can be described as institutional collaboration – several diverse institutional forces are acting in ways that a re coherent and mutually reinforcing.

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How can the symbolic power of ICT be negotiated?

S Rye (2009) Negotiating the symbolic power of information and communication technologies: The spread of Interent-supported distance education, Information Technology for Development (2009) Volume: 15, Issue: 1, Pages: 17-31

The Internet may be, as typically suggested, important in distance education for facilitating connections between groups of students, educational institutions, and external learning resources. This article, however, reveals why this is not the only reason for applying information and communication technologies (ICT) in higher education in a remote area in a developing country. In addition, the Internet seems to be of great importance in symbolizing modernization and progress, thereby adding symbolic power to such education. Empirical sources originate from an explorative case study of an Internet-supported distance education program in the province of Bangka Belitung in Indonesia. Based on a translation perspective on the spread of pheromones, the analyses of empirical sources show how the Internet has contributed to the spread of distance education, but paradoxically this has not had much effect on the use of Internet by students in peripheral areas, at least not in the short term.

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What does ICT look like in Eastern Education?

Jianwei Zhang (2007) A cultural look at information and communication technologies in Eastern education, Educational Technology Research & Development (2007) Volume: 55, Issue: 3, Pages: 301-314

The Eastern cultural tradition, together with other social factors, has shaped a group-based, teacher-dominated, and centrally organized pedagogical culture. Drawing upon this cultural perspective, this article reviews the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Eastern schools, including ICT planning and management, hardware infrastructures, software resources and services, professional development, and ICT-supported educational practices. It highlights the impact of the pedagogical culture on technology use, as well as the role of technology in pedagogical change. The review suggests a number of critical challenges Eastern educators need to address.

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How can we help students become aware of appropriate online behavior?

Randy Hollandsworth, Lena Dowdy, Judy Donovan et al. (2011) Digital citizenship: It takes a village, 37-47. In TechTrends 55 (4).

Digital citizenship encompasses a wide range of behaviors with varying degrees of risk and possible negative consequences. Lack of digital citizenship awareness and education can, and has, led to problematic, even dangerous student conduct. If our educational village does not address these issues, the digital culture establishes its own direction, potentially pushing a productive, long-term solution further out of provides the reader with a number of suggestions that can help the professional to help their students become better digital citizens.

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How do laptops affect student learning in Grade 3?

Robert M. Bernard, Edward Clement Bethel, Philip C. Abrami, C. Anne Wade (2007) Introducing laptops to children: An examination of ubiquitous computing in Grade 3 reading, language, and mathematics, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, Volume 33(3) Fall / automne 2007

This study examines the achievement outcomes accompanying the implementation of a Grade 3 laptop or so-called ubiquitous computing program in a Quebec school district. CAT-3 reading, language, and mathematics batteries were administered at the end of Grade 2 and again at the end of Grade 3, after the first year of computer implementation. Overall gain was found in all three content areas, but was differential when compared with the norms of the CAT-3. Additionally, some evidence suggested a differential gain for lower and middle-level learners during the school year. Teachers were administered an instrument called the Technology Implementation Questionnaire (TIQ) that assessed the purposes and extent of technology integration. Negative correlations were found in reading achievement gain for items associated with the higher use of communicative, evaluative, and creative uses of computers. Open-ended teacher responses indicated the need for more professional support for instructional implementations of computing.

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What are the physical risks of Screen Time for six year olds?

Louise A. Baur, Ph.D.; Jie Jin Wang, Ph.D.; Louise Hardy, Ph.D.; Erdahl Teber, Ph.D.; Annette Kifley, M.B.B.S.; Tien Y. Wong, M.D., Ph.D.; and Paul Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D (2011) Kids’ ‘Screen Time’ Linked to Early Markers for Cardiovascular Disease, ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2011)

Six-year-olds who spent the most time watching television, using a computer or playing video games had narrower arteries in the back of their eyes — a marker of future cardiovascular risk, in a first-of-its-kind study reported in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Link to original Research Paper

What is the Truth about 1:1 Laptop Initiatives?

Mark E. Weston & Alan Bain (2010) The Naked Truth about 1:1 Laptop Initiatives and Educational Change, The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, Volume 9, Number 6 · January 2010

This analysis responds to a generation of criticism leveled at 1:1 laptop computer initiatives. The article presents a review of the key themes of that criticism and offers suggestions for reframing the conversation about 1:1 computing among advocates and critics. Efforts at changing, innovating, and reforming education provide the context for reframing the conversation. Within that context, we raise questions about what classrooms and schools need to look and be like in order to realize the advantages of 1:1 computing. In doing so, we present a theoretical vision for self-organizing schools in which laptop computers or other such devices are essential tools.

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How do Systems Hinder or Engender Change? The case of Professional Learning Communities

Joan E. Talbert (2009) Professional Learning Communities at the Crossroads: How Systems Hinder or Engender Change, Springer International Handbooks of Education, 2009, Volume 23, Part 3

My observations stem from 10 years of research in the Center for Research on the Context of Teaching (CRC) at Stanford University. Scholars at CRC have been studying initiatives to create teacher PLCs in schools and to change school districts into learning organizations. All are struggling to get it right – to achieve the vision of teachers collaborating to continually improve student achievement. We find that system conditions that support the work of PLCs – such as a comprehensive education plan, integrated learning resources, local knowledge resources, robust data and accountability system, extended time for teacher collaboration, and leaders committed to PLCs – are not sufficient to engender change in professional culture and teachers’ work lives. This chapter addresses the question of why teachers respond negatively to PLC initiatives that aim to increase their professional judgment and accountability. First, I discuss core principles of a PLC and how they challenge typical school culture. Then I describe two paradigmatic approaches to PLC development and how participants typically respond to each approach. And finally, I draw lessons from school district experience with PLCs and identify the obstacles that must be overcome if this approach to improved student learning outcomes is to be successful.

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Is Self-Paced Learning in an Inverted Classroom Environment (SPLICE) the way to go?

Curt Clifton and Matt Boutell (2010) SPLICE: Self-Paced Learning in an Inverted Classroom Environment, Grant proposal for the Rose-Hulman Summer Professional Development Grants

Learning to program is hard for many students. Practice with an expert coach is key to overcoming this challenge. We adopted the 3Å~2 format for our introductory courses to give students such mentored practice. In a single class session, students learn a concept, experiment with it, and apply it to a real problem, all with expert coaching at hand. While this format has been effective, we still find two significant problems: time and pace. Time is an issue because presenting concepts, showing examples, and modeling problem solving decreases the time available for mentored practice. Pace is an issue because some students arrive with confidence and prior experience and are thus bored, while other students struggle and become overwhelmed. To address these problems, we propose creating on-line videos for introductory programming courses to present concepts, show examples, and model the problem solving process. As a result, our students will spend every class session entirely in active learning activities with expert coaching, receive more individual attention, and set their own pace.

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How effective is self-paced learning?

Jonathan G Tullis, Aaron S Benjamin (2011) On the effectiveness of self-paced learning, Journal of Memory and LanguageVolume 64, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 109-118

Metacognitive monitoring and control must be accurate and efficient in order to allow self-guided learners to improve their performance. Yet few examples exist in which allowing learners to control learning produces higher levels of performance than restricting learners’ control. Here we investigate the consequences of allowing learners to self-pace study of a list of words on later recognition, and show that learners with control of study-time allocation significantly outperformed subjects with no control, even when the total study time was equated between groups (Experiments 1 and 2). The self-pacing group also outperformed a group for which study time was automatically allocated as a function of normative item difficulty (Experiment 2). The advantage of self-pacing was apparent only in subjects who utilized a discrepancy reduction strategy-that is, who allocated more study time to normatively difficult items. Self-pacing can improve memory performance, but only when appropriate allocation strategies are used.

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How can podcasts support inverted classrooms?

Gannod, G. C. (2007) Work in progress — Using podcasting in an inverted classroom, Frontiers in education conference global engineering knowledge without borders opportunities without passports 2007 FIE07 37th annual (2007)

An inverted classroom is a teaching environment that mixes the use of technology with hands on activities. In an inverted classroom, typical in-class lecture time is replaced with laboratory and in-class activities. Outside of class, lectures are delivered over some other medium such as video on-demand. As such, learning activities, which typically are done outside of class, are done in-class in the presence of the instructor. Passive activities, such as listening to lectures, are performed outside of class. In this paper, we describe the use of podcasting in an inverted classroom environment with the explicit goal of reclaiming lecture time for in-class laboratories and learning activities. This Work-in- Progress paper focuses primarily upon the description of the approach being piloted, technologies being utilized, and the characteristics of the pilot course.

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How can Youtube help Flipping a Classroom?

Carlisle, M. C., (2010) Using YouTube to Enhance Student Class Preparation in an Introductory Java Course, Proceedings of the 41st ACM technical symposium on Computer science education

We provided 21 short YouTube videos for an Introduction to Programming in Java course. Students were surveyed on how often they watched the videos and did the readings, and how much these activites contributed to their learning. When professors reduced lecture time and increased lab time, students watched videos and read significantly more. Their test scores were at least as high and they indicated they would prefer to not have more lecture. The YouTube videos also provided a source of outreach for the university, drawing a large number of views, including the 13-17 year-old demographic.

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How does a Flipped Classroom Compare with a Traditional Classroom?

Strayer, J. F. (2007) The Effects of the Classroom Flip on the Learning Environment: A Comparison of Learning Activity in a Traditional Classroom and a Flip Classroom that used an Intelligent Tutoring System, Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of The Ohio State University

Based on the conclusions of this study, I recommend that teachers who plan to implement the classroom flip consider the following suggestions. First, the flip structure seems to be more productive when students have a choice between multiple ways of interacting with the content of the course outside of class. When the focus of the flip is on giving students the freedom to interact with the content according to their own learning style preferences, the flip seems to be more successful. Second, if the flip is used in an introductory course, the in-class activities should be less open ended and more “step by step” in structure. If some activities are open ended, try to keep them brief: one to two class periods. Students in introductory courses will often have little tolerance for prolonged uncertainty in the course content and the course structure. In more advanced classes, students will be more willing to push through prolonged investigations, but the structure of the classroom must support their meaning making in the activity. This leads to the third recommendation. A flip classroom is structured so differently that students will become more aware of their own learning process than students in more traditional settings. Students will therefore need to have more space to reflect on their learning activities so they can make the necessary connections to course content. The teacher must structure a major component into the course structure that will allow for this reflection to take place and for the teacher to be able to see and comment on specific aspects of student reflection. This feedback cycle will be crucial for student learning.

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How can Flipping the Classroom support Active Learning?

Zappe, S., Leicht, R., Messner, J., Litzinger, T., and Lee, H.W., (2009) “’Flipping’ the Classroom to Explore Active Learning in a Large Undergraduate Course,” Proceedings, American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exhibition, 2009.

In traditional approaches to teaching engineering classes, the instructor plays the role of information conveyor, while the students assume a receiver role with primary responsibilities of listening and note-taking. Research into how students learn suggests that students need to be more actively engaged with the course material to maximize their understanding. The literature contains many examples of active learning strategies, such as teams solving problems in class and the use of student response systems with conceptual questions. Incorporating active learning strategies into a class means that there will be less time for delivering material via lecture. Therefore, instructors who choose to utilize active learning strategies must find ways to ensure that all required course content is still addressed. This paper discusses an instructional technique called the “classroom flip” model which was assessed in a larger, undergraduate architectural engineering class. In this model, lecture content is removed from the classroom to allow time for active learning, and the content that was removed is delivered to students via on-line video. This approach ‘flips’ the traditional use of lecture and more active learning approaches. Lecture occurs outside of class, and more active learning, such as problem solving, happens during class. Assessment data was collected to examine students’ use of the video lectures and perceptions of the classroom flip. The students’ feedback suggests that while the active learning and additional project time available in class improved their understanding, they would prefer that only about half the classes be flipped and some use of traditional lectures should be maintained.

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How can students’ emotions determine effective use of ICT in education?

Cenk Akbiyik (2009) Can Affective Computing Lead to More Effective Use of ICT in Education? Technology (2009) Issue: 352

Impact of technology on learning has not been answered clearly many years after the introduction of ICT into classrooms. Today there are optimist and pessimist views regarding the use of ICT in education. Academic research has a position between these two opposing views. Although promising results on benefits of ICT use in education, ICT is not used in teaching in such extend as it could be appropriate according the potentials in the literature. The expected impact of ICT has not been realized mainly because massive investments in equipment and training have not been accompanied by the necessary radical organizational restructuring. The integration of ICT is a complex and multidimensional process including many dynamics such as ICT tools, teachers, students, school administration, educational programs and school culture. Another difficulty in front of this integration is the lack of interactivity and emotionality of currently used ICT. While using these devices students of today want active participation and emotionality instead of staying in a passive role. They are also looking for emotional satisfaction from using and interacting with the products. The main purpose of this article is to make an inquiry on affective computing with an educational viewpoint. The literature review is showing that emotions may serve as a powerful vehicle for enhancing or inhibiting learning and there are optimistic expectations towards affective computing among researchers. Affective computing systems are expected to have positive impacts on learning. Many researchers now feel strongly that intelligent tutoring systems would be significantly enhanced if computers could adapt to the emotions of students. Affective computing and detection of human emotions are areas still maturing and there various are difficulties in front of implementing affective computing systems in real educational settings.

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How does pedagogy determine effective technology integration in the classroom?

Mabel C P O Okojie, Anthony A Olinzock, Tinukwa C Okojie-Boulder (2006) The Pedagogy of Technology Integration, Journal of Technology Studies (2006) Volume: 32, Issue: 2

The problem of integrating technology into teaching and learning process has become a perennial one. Common excuses for the limited use of technology to support instruction include shortage of computers, lack of computer skill and computer intimidation. While these could affect the success of technology integration, it should be acknowledged that the degree of success teachers have in using technology for instruction could depend in part on their ability to explore the relationship between pedagogy and technology. The article shows that technology integration is narrowly perceived and that such a perception might hinder teachers’ understanding of the scope of technology in education. Technology integration should be considered along with issues involved in teaching and learning. Such issues include developing learning objectives, selecting methods of instruction, feedback, and evaluation and assessment strategies including follow-up activities. Technology used for teaching and learning should be considered an integral part of instruction and not as an object exclusive to itself. Viewing technology integration from a wide perspective will provide teachers with the necessary foundation to implement technology into the classroom more successfully.

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What does literature say about the barriers to the successful integration of ICT?

Khalid Bingimlas (2009) Barriers to the Successful Integration of ICT in Teaching and Learning Environments: A Review of the Literature, Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education

The use of ICT in the classroom is very important for providing opportunities for students to learn to operate in an information age. Studying the obstacles to the use of ICT in education may assist educators to overcome these barriers and become successful technology adopters in the future. This paper provides a meta-analysis of the relevant literature that aims to present the perceived barriers to technology integration in science education. The findings indicate that teachers had a strong desire for to integrate ICT into education; but that, they encountered many barriers. The major barriers were lack of confidence, lack of competence, and lack of access to resources. Since confidence, competence and accessibility have been found to be the critical components of technology integration in schools, ICT resources including software and hardware, effective professional development, sufficient time, and technical support need to be provided to teachers. No one component in itself is sufficient to provide good teaching. However, the presence of all components increases the possibility of excellent integration of ICT in learning and teaching opportunities. Generally, this paper provides information and recommendation to those responsible for the integration of new technologies into science education.
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How do ICT coordinators support ICT integration?

Jo Tondeur, Martin Cooper, Paul Newhouse [ECU, Perth] (2010) From ICT coordination to ICT integration: a longitudinal case study, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (2010)

This study utilizes a school-improvement perspective to examine the role of curriculum coordination in the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) into primary schools. The nature and impact of this role is examined in seven primary schools in Australia. These seven schools were drawn from a longitudinal intervention that provided additional ICTrelated resources and personnel to the schools. An instrument, referred to as the Learning Outcomes and Pedagogy Attributes (LOPA) measure, was developed and charted for the seven schools over the 4-year data collection period. The changes in LOPAscore over time were then analysed in terms of the conditions at the school with regard to curriculum ICT coordination. The study concludes that the coordinator role and school leadership in general, play critical but varying roles in the complex process of ICT integration into schools. Success appeared to be associated with the support provided for the role, the extent to which the role was connected to school leadership, personal leadership characteristics of those in the role and the strategies employed within the role.

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How does a small school develop a technology curriculum?

Mary Pat Baima (2009) Planning a Technology Curriculum, NIU

The main purpose of education is to prepare young people to become functioning members of society. If the main purpose of education was simply to prepare them for acquiring jobs, then the responsibility of the educator would be much less. However, the words, “functioning members of society,” encompass much more than teaching students how to weld, use a word processing program, or figure a total on a balance sheet. In today’s world, young people must be trained to think, and think creatively with a group of other creatively thinking people. However, the acquisition of basic skills still remains important because even the most creative thinker must have an understanding of thesubject matter. Educators debate whether curriculum should emphasize basic skills or creative discovery. Wagner (2003), when speaking on ideologies and education, summarizes the debate between conservatives and progressives. Conservatives believe that traditional academic subject content needs to be taught, while educators who support  the “constructivist” theory believe that motivation for learning and student construction of knowledge should inform the curriculum (p. 45-46). Wagner agrees that, “students need a foundation of knowledge and information for true literacy and lifelong learning” (2003, p. 46).

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How is ICT changing the field of education?

Alison Hudson (2009) New Professionals and New Technologies in New Higher Education? Conceptualising struggles in the field, Umeå University, Department of Interactive Media and Learning (IML)

This thesis explores the practices and positionings of two groupings of professionals in UK higher education, ‘educational developers’ and ‘learning technologists’. It investigates the emergence of the groupings, and their professional paths and respective approaches to supporting teaching and learning. It also explores the use of information and communication technology within what is seen as a changing university context. These two ‘new’ professional groupings are most associated with a shift of focus in universities from teaching towards learning, heightened emphasis on the quality of teaching and learning, the increased impact of learning technologies on practice, organisational transformation, and increased numbers of students attending universities, i.e. massification of higher education world-wide. Thus, equivalent exemplars and variations can also be found throughout Europe and in other international settings. The social structure and practices that govern the two groupings have been analysed by means of a wide range of theories, concepts and methods which include Bourdieu’s (1988) concepts of habitus, field, position and capital, Boyer’s (1990) ideas about new scholarship, Palmer’s (1998) conceptualisation of the university teacher and Clark’s (2003) identification of the entrepreneurial university. The work of others, in particular Schön (1967) and Ball (2003), also provides an insight into the powerful relationship between technology, society, education and change.

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How can Web 2.0 Tools be used to promote Digital Citizenship?

Reshan Richards (2010) Digital Citizenship and Web 2 . 0 Tools, Learning (2010) Volume: 6, Issue: 2, Pages: 516-522

This concept paper explores citizenship in a digital age. The potential of Web 2.0 tools highlights the importance of educational institutions’ consideration of the use of these tools in school settings to promote citizenship at a time when students are already exposed to powerful online communication platforms. First, a description of three Web 2.0 tools, blogs, wikis, and online social networks, is provided. This is followed by an exploration of digital citizenship. Then, several cases in recent history where Web 2.0 tools played an important part in promoting democracy and social justice are examined. Finally, using a lens of digital citizenship, several instructional suggestions are provided for educators to help students experience and understand multiple layers of citizenship in a 21st  century technological landscape.

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How Risky Are Social Networking Sites?

Michele L Ybarra, Kimberly J Mitchell (2008) How Risky Are Social Networking Sites? A Comparison of Places Online Where Youth Sexual Solicitation and Harassment Occurs, Pediatrics (2008) Volume: 121, Issue: 2, Pages: 2007–357

OBJECTIVE. Recently, public attention has focused on the possibility that social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are being widely used to sexually solicit underage youth, consequently increasing their vulnerability to sexual victimization. Beyond anecdotal accounts, however, whether victimization is more commonly reported in social networking sites is unknown. RESULTS. Fifteen percent of all of the youth reported an unwanted sexual solicitation online in the last year; 4% reported an incident on a social networking site specifically. Thirty-three percent reported an online harassment in the last year; 9% reported an incident on a social networking site specifically. Among targeted youth, solicitations were more commonly reported via instant messaging (43%) and in chat rooms (32%), and harassment was more commonly reported in instant messaging (55%) than through social networking sites (27% and 28%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS. Broad claims of victimization risk, at least defined as unwanted sexual solicitation or harassment, associated with social networking sites do not seem justified. Prevention efforts may have a greater impact if they focus on the psychosocial problems of youth instead of a specific Internet application, including funding for online youth outreach programs, school antibullying programs, and online mental health services.

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How exposed are youth to unwanted material on the internet?

Kimberly J Mitchell, David Finkelhor, Janis Wolak (2003) The Exposure Of Youth To Unwanted Sexual Material On The Internet: A National Survey of Risk, Impact, and Prevention, Youth Society (2003) Volume: 34, Issue: 3, Publisher: Sage Publications, Pages: 330-358

This national survey of youth ages 10 to 17 yrs, and their caretakers has several implications for the current debate about young people and Internet pornography. Using an Internet survey, the authors found that 25% of youth had unwanted exposure to sexual pictures on the Internet in the past year, challenging the prevalent assumption that the problem is primarily about young people motivated seek out pornography. Most youth had no negative reactions to their unwanted exposure, but one quarter said they were very of extremely upset suggesting a priority need for more research on and interventions directed toward such negative effects. The use of filtering and blocking software was associated with a modest reduction in unwanted exposure suggesting that it may help but is far from foolproof. Various forms of parental supervision were not associated with any reduction in exposure.

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Is web-based homework more effective than paper and pencil homework?

Michael Mendicino, Leena Razzaq, Neil T Heifernan (2009) A Comparison of Traditional Homework to Computer-Supported Homework, Journal of Research on Technology in Education (2009) Volume: 41, Issue: 3, Pages: 331-359

This study compared learning for fifth grade students in two math homework conditions. The paper-and-pencil condition represented traditional homework, with review of problems in class the following day. The Web-based homework condition provided immediate feedback in the form of hints on demand and step-by-step scaffolding. We analyzed the results for students who completed both the paper-and-pencil and the Web-based conditions. In this group of 28 students, students learned significantly more when given computer feedback than when doing traditional paper-and-pencil homework, with an effect size of .61. The implications of this study are that, given the large effect size, it may be worth the cost and effort to give Web-based homework when students have access to the needed equipment, such as in schools that have implemented one-to-one computing programs.

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Are Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration?

Ertmer, P. A, (2005) Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration? Educational Technology Research & Development (2005) Volume: 53, Issue: 4

Although the conditions for successful technology integration finally appear to be in place, including ready access to technology, increased training for teachers, and a favorable policy environment, high-level technology use is still surprisingly low. This suggests that additional barriers, specifically related to teachers pedagogical beliefs, may be at work. Previous researchers have noted the influence of teachers beliefs on classroom instruction specifically in math, reading, and science, yet little research has been done to establish a similar link to teachers classroom uses of technology. In this article, I argue for the importance of such research and present a conceptual overview of teacher pedagogical beliefs as a vital first step. After defining and describing the nature of teacher beliefs, including how they are likely to impact teachers classroom practice, I describe important implications for teacher professional development and offer suggestions for future research.

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How can technology support students develop higher order thinking skills?

McMahon, G. (2009). Critical Thinking and ICT Integration in a Western Australian Secondary School. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (4), 269–281.

This study examined the relationship between students working in a technology-rich environment and their development of higher order thinking skills. Based on a PhD thesis, which examined a greater range of relationships than can be reported here, this article focuses on developing critical thinking skills within a technology-rich environment. Staff and students from one school participated in the study. Data were collected to determine the degree of correlation between factors of the learning environment and the extent to which critical thinking skills were demonstrated by the students. Statistical correlations allowed relationships between environmental factors and critical thinking to be established. The results indicate that there are statistically significant correlations between studying within a technology-rich learning environment and the development of students’ critical thinking skills. Length of time spent in the environment has a positive, non-linear effect on the development of critical thinking skills. Students with better developed computing skills scored higher on critical thinking activities. This was most significant for students with better computer programming skills and the ability to competently manipulate Boolean logic. The research suggests that to develop students’ higher order thinking skills, schools should integrate technology across all of the learning areas. This will allow students to apply technology to the attainment of higher levels of cognition within specific contexts. This will need to be paralleled by providing students the opportunity to develop appropriate computer skills.

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Does integration of ICT in classrooms depend on teacher motivation?

Guoyuan Sang, Martin Valcke, Johan van Braak, Jo Tondeur & Chang Zhu (2011) Predicting ICT integration into classroom teaching in Chinese primary schools: exploring the complex interplay of teacher-related variables, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (2011) Volume: 27, Issue: 2, Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Pages: 160-172

Available research has explored a wide variety of factors influencing information and communication technologies (ICT) adoption and integration in classroom teaching; however, existing research seldom centre on the combined impact of these variables.  The present study centres on the complex interplay of a number of internal teacher variables to explain ICT classroom integration. These variables comprise teachers constructivist teaching beliefs, teacher attitudes towards computers in education, teachers computer motivation, teacher perception of ICT-related policy. A survey was set up, involving 820 Chinese primary school teachers. Path modeling was used to explore the direct and indirect effects of the teacher-related variables on their level of ICT classroom integration. Firstly, two distinctive types of ICT use can be distinguished in the Chinese context: (a) teacher supportive use of ICT that refers to the use of ICT for e.g. student adminis- tration, preparingworksheets, developing evaluation activities; and (b) classroom use of ICT to support and enhance the actual teaching and learning process. The results show that classroom use of ICT directly depends on teachers computer motivation and the supportive use of ICT. Teachers constructivist beliefs, their attitudes towards computers in education and perceptions about the ICT-related school policy influence ICT integration in an indirect way. The results demonstrate how the complex interplay between teacher-related variables and ICT integration in the classroom is partly in line with findings in non-Asian contexts. A number of differences can be explained by the particular Chinese context. In particular an indirect relationship was found between teachers constructivist beliefs and their level of ICT integration.

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Is there a gap between the proposed and the implemented curriculum for ICT?

Jo Tondeur, Johan Van Braak, Martin Valcke (2007) Curricula and the use of ICT in education: Two worlds apart?  British Journal of Educational Technology (2007) Volume: 38, Issue: 6, Publisher: Blackwell Publishing, Pages: 962-976

In many countries, information and communication technology (ICT) has a clear impact on the development of educational curricula. In Flanders, the education government has identified and defined a framework of ICT competencies for expected outcomes, related to knowledge, skills and attitudes that pupils are expected to achieve at the end of primary school. However, it has never been examined whether teachers are using ICT in accordance with the competencies proposed by the Flemish government. In order to answer this question, a survey was conducted among 570 respondents in a stratified sample of 53 primary schools. Results show that teachers mainly focus on the development of technical ICT skills, whereas the ICT curriculum centres on the integrated use of ICT within the learning and teaching process. This indicates the existence of a gap between the proposed and the implemented curriculum for ICT. The paper concludes with the potential value of a school-based ICT curriculum that ‘translates’ the national ICT-related curriculum into an ICT plan as part of the overall school policy.

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Do teachers really implement their constructivist beliefs about learning when they integrate technology?

Judson, E. (2006) How Teachers Integrate Technology and Their Beliefs About Learning : Is There a Connection? Knowledge Creation Diffusion Utilization (2006) Volume: 14, Issue: 3, Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education

Research indicates that teachers who readily integrate technology into their instruction are more likely to possess constructivist teaching styles. Evidence suggests there is a parallel between a teachers student-centered beliefs about instruction and the nature of the teachers technology-integrated lessons. This connection between the use of technology and constructivist pedagogy implies constructivist-minded teachers maintain dynamic student-centered classrooms where technology is a powerful learning tool. Unfortunately, much of the research to date has relied on self-reported data from teachers and this type of data too often presents a less than accurate picture. Versus self-reported practices, direct observations that gauge the constructivist manner in which teachers integrate technology are a more precise, albeit protracted, measurement. In this study 32 classroom teachers completed a survey to measure their beliefs about instruction, but they were also directly observed and rated with the Focus on Integrated Technology: Classroom Observation Measurement (FIT:COM). The FIT:COM measures the degree to which technology integrated lessons are aligned with constructivist principles. Analysis did not reveal a significant relationship between practices and beliefs. Although most teachers identified strongly with constructivist convictions they failed to exhibit these ideas in their practices.

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What do ESL students have to say about using blogs for language learning?

Nadzrah ABU BAKAR, Hafizah LATIF & Azizah YA’ACOB (2010) ESL Students feedback on the use of blogs for language learning, 3L The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies (2010) Volume: 16, Issue: 1, Pages: 120-142

The proliferation of the information and communication technology has provided university educators and e-learning practitioners with the technological tools that can be implemented as pedagogical instruments in the classrooms. This paper provides an account of how the blog was integrated as a pedagogical tool in the ESL classrooms and reports on the students’ feedback and perception on the use of this social medium to enhance their L2 learning. Data was collected via a survey questionnaire involving a selected cohort of low proficiency ESL students at tertiary level. Using the proposed framework, the students carried out several stages of the blogging activities embedded in the English for Social Sciences Course that they were taking at the end of which the questionnaire was administered. Analysis of data in the main indicated positive responses from the students regarding the use of blogs in L2 their learning activities. They perceived that the use of blog had generally enhanced their L2 skills such as reading and writing, developed their self-confidence, improved their communication skills and reduced their anxiety when learning and using the language among their peers. The paper ends by highlighting the benefits that can be gained as a result of the implementation of the weblog in language learning classrooms.

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How can technology be used to facilitate work in professional learning communities?

Feger, S., Arruda, E. (2008) Professional Learning Communities: Key Themes from the Literature, Review conducted by The Education Alliance at Brown University under a subcontract from Hezel Associates, LLC, general evaluation contractor for PBS TeacherLine.

Over the past twenty-five years, the educational literature has devoted considerable attention to the topic of professional learning communities (PLCs). A search of the literature on PLCs reveals a broad range of publications from guidelines for organizing PLCs, to research on their implementation. However, rigorous research and evaluation studies of PLCs are limited in number. Much of the practitioner literature on PLCs has described the processes and stages that occur along their developmental trajectory. As learning communities evolve as a strategy for professional development on a larger scale, there is a small but emerging literature that looks critically at PLC models and their impact on teaching practice and student learning. Collectively, the literature on PLCs is a rich and promising body of work that offers valuable opportunities for further exploration.

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How do school cultures influence technology transformation?

Kitchenham, A. D., (2009) School cultures, teachers, and technology transformation, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (2009) 35(2) Spring

This article outlines a recent study on school culture and technology adoption. Adapting Hargreaves’ (2003) model of school cultures, research findings are presented on three schools involved in a study on teacher transformation using educational technology to explain how each school represents a separate school culture and school regime. Each school is profiled to demonstrate, through direct quotes from the participants, how a specific school culture or regime can reflect varying degrees of transformation, and subsequent technology adoption.

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How can true collaboration transform school culture?

Lam, SF; Yim, PS; Lam, TWH (2002) Transforming school culture: can true collaboration be initiated? Educational Research, 2002, v. 44 n. 2, p. 181-195

While Western educators caution against contrived collegiality in the midst of enthusiasm for peer coaching as a form of teacher development, Hong Kong educators are struggling to detach discussion and observation of classroom teaching from staff appraisal. The challenges for this task are twofold: To secure a niche for peer coaching in the practice of staff development, and to ward off contrived collegiality in the course. Using an action research paradigm, the present project attempted to meet these challenges in two schools. As a joint work between various parties, the present project had to negotiate its way cautiously to achieve genuine collaboration and avoid imposition from the administrators and outsiders to the frontline teachers. During the course, innovative strategies were taken to cope with  various difficulties including time constraints, teachers’ psychological pressure, and the possibility of contrived collegiality and implementation partnership. The evaluation of the project showed that the teachers generally accepted peer coaching and found it helpful to their professional development. The experience in the two schools indicated that true collaboration might emerge from organisationally induced collegiality under certain conditions.

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Does ICT contribute to powerful learning environments in primary education?

Smeets, E. (2005)  Does ICT contribute to powerful learning environments in primary education? Computers & Education  Volume: 44, Issue: 3, Pages: 343-355

In powerful learning environments, rich contexts and authentic tasks are presented to pupils. Active, autonomous and co-operative learning is stimulated, and the curriculum is adapted to the needs and capabilities of individual pupils. In this study, the characteristics of learning environments and the contribution of ICT to learning environments were investigated. A questionnaire was completed by 331 teachers in the highest grade of primary education. Results show that many teachers apply several elements of powerful learning environments in their classes. This especially goes for the presentation of authentic tasks and the fostering of active and autonomous learning. However, the methods employed by teachers to adapt education to the needs and abilities of individual pupils proved quite limited. The use of ICT in general merely showed characteristics of traditional approaches to learning. Chances of using open-ended ICT applications, which are expected to contribute to the power of learning environments, were greater with teachers who created powerful learning environments for their pupils, and when there were more computers available to pupils. In addition, teachers’ views with regard to the contribution of ICT to active and autonomous learning, teachers’ skills in using ICT, and the teacher’s gender appeared to be relevant background variables in this respect.

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How does the culture and structure of a school affect ICT integration?

Jo Tondeur, Geert Devos, Mieke Van Houtte, Johan Van Braak, Martin Valcke (2009) Understanding structural and cultural school characteristics in relation to educational change: the case of ICT integration, Educational Studies (2009) Volume: 35, Issue: 2, Pages: 223-235

This study builds on the idea that school characteristics affect educational change, such as ICT integration. The goal of this inquiry is to explore both structural school characteristics (i.e. infrastructure, planning and support) and cultural school characteristics (i.e. leadership, goal orientedness and innovativeness) and how they contribute to ICT integration in the classroom. A survey of 527 teachers in 68 primary schools in Flanders (Belgium) was conducted that focused on teacher perceptions about structural and cultural school characteristics and their use of ICT in the classroom. In order to study the variables at school level, teacher responses were aggregated. The next step was to delineate school profiles originating from structural and cultural school characteristics by using a cluster analysis. Finally, the relationship between these school profiles and ICT integration was studied. The results suggest that (1) structural and cultural school characteristics fit together and (2) are relevant catalysts for ICT integration in the classroom.

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Can children create new and authentic knowledge?

Bereiter, Carl;  Scardamalia, Marlene. (2010) Can Children Really Create Knowledge? Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v36 n1 Fall 2010.

Can children genuinely create new knowledge, as opposed to merely carrying out activities that resemble those of mature scientists and innovators? The answer is yes, provided the comparison is not to works of genius but to standards that prevail in ordinary research communities. One important product of knowledge creation is concepts and tools that enable further knowledge creation. This is the kind of knowledge creation of greatest value in childhood education. Examples of it, drawn from elementary school knowledge-building classrooms, are examined to show both the attainability and the authenticity of knowledge creation to enable knowledge creation.It is mainly achieved through students’ theory building, and it is a powerful way of converting declarative knowledge to productive knowledge

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Who Acquires Friends Through Social Media and Why?

Tufekci, Z. (2010). Who Acquires Friends Through Social Media and Why ? “ Rich Get Richer ” versus “ Seek and Ye Shall Find ” Online Friendship : The Subject Never Dies. Media. AAAI Press.

There is an ongoing debate, not just among academics but in popular culture, about whether social media can expand peoples social networks, and whether online friends can be real friends. The debate refuses to die. This paper addresses this question subjectively, from the point of view of the user, and examines predictors of acquiring new friends through social media use. This is a multi-method study with quantitative (n=617) and qualitative sections. Some previous studies have found a rich-get-richer effect where people who are socially active offline benefit most from online interactions. This paper examines whether online social ties become real friends subject to a selffulfilling prophecy: those who do not believe in online friendships are not likely to make such connections. I compare the Rich Get Richer and Seek and Ye Shall Find models by examining relationships between the amount of offline socializing, amount of online social activity and the belief in online friendships. Respondents attitudes as to online sociality are qualitatively examined. The results support one of the earliest theories of computermediated- communication: hyperpersonal interaction. It appears that some people perceive online interaction to concentrate on the conversation itself, rather than on appearances, and find it to be freer of social judgments. On the other hand, for other people, face-to-face interaction has inimitable features that simply cannot be replicated or replaced. African-Americans are significantly more likely to meet new friends online. This study contradicts the idea that people who are more social offline are more social online, as well as the notion that it is only the social misfits who use social media to make new friends as there was no difference in the number of offline friends between those who made new friends online and those who did not.

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Is there a real difference between virtual and real friendships?

Zinoviev, D., & Duong, V. (2009). Toward Understanding Friendship in Online Social Networks. International Journal.

All major on-line social networks, such as MySpace, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Orkut, are built around the concept of friendship. It is not uncommon for a social network participant to have over 100 friends. A natural question arises: are they all real friends of hers, or does she mean something different when she calls them “friends?” Speaking in other words, what is the relationship between off-line (real, traditional) friendship and its on-line (virtual) namesake? In this paper, we use sociological data to suggest that there is a significant difference between the concepts of virtual and real friendships. We further investigate the structure of on-line friendship and observe that it follows the Pareto (or double Pareto) distribution and is subject to age stratification but not to gender segregation. We introduce the concept of digital personality that quantifies the willingness of a social network participant to engage in virtual friendships.

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How can the beliefs of teachers impact the way computer technology enhances learning of reading and writing for preschool students?

Ihmeideh, Fathi (2010) The role of computer technology in teaching reading and writing: preschool teachers’ beliefs and practices,  Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Jan-March, 2010 Source Volume: 24 Source Issue: 1

This study investigated preschool teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding the use of computer technology in teaching reading and writing in Jordan. The researcher developed a questionnaire consisting of two scales–Teachers’ Beliefs Scale (TB Scale) and Teachers’ Practices Scale (TP Scale)–to examine the role of computer technology in teaching reading and writing to preschoolers. A random sample of 154 preschool teachers participated in the study by completing the questionnaire; 12 teachers were later interviewed. Results indicated that the preschool teachers’ beliefs about the use of computer technology were aligned with their perceptions of their teaching practices, although teachers’ beliefs and their perceptions of their practices were fairly moderate. The results also revealed significant differences between kindergartens in favor of public kindergartens, and the training programs in favor of trained teachers, whereas there was no difference due to area of certification. Directions for further research and recommendations for policy and practice are discussed.

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How do High school and Middle school students perceive teachers, ICT and learning?

Stefl-Mabry, J., Radlick, M., Doane, W., (2010) Can You Hear Me Now? Student voice: High school & middle school students’ perceptions of teachers, ICT and learning, International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 2010, Vol. 6, Issue 4, pp.64-82.

Information and Communications Technologies have become tightly woven into the fabric of most middle school and high school students’ lives throughout the United States. However this is true, for the most part, only when students step outside the physical and mental confines of school. Today many students find that the technology they have access to outside of school is newer, faster, and far less restrictive than the technology they have access to in school. This dichotomy is creating a situation where, for the first time, students have more access to information and resources out of school than they do in school. This exploratory case study examines the viewpoints of Middle School (MS) and High School (HS) students in a technology-affluent, rural, United States school district relative to Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) use in and out of school. Students in our study 1) perceived technology in school as limited and restrictive, 2) recognized teachers’ ICT skills determined classroom instruction, 3) provided suggestions to help teachers with ICT, 4) articulated the learning environments they prefer, 5) experienced a disconnect between ICT use in school and out of school, and 6) perceived educators as not caring.

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How can Systemic Functional Grammar be used to analyze the meaning of a computer mediated conversation?

Nepomuceno, S. (2004) An Analysis of Interpersonal Meaning in a Computer Mediated Conversation Using the Systemic Functional Grammar Approach, Proceedings of the 9th Conference of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics

This study explores the expression of interpersonal meaning in a computer-mediated chat discourse between Japanese and Filipino students in the Cross-Cultural Distance Learning (CCDL) project. Using Systemic Functional Grammar, a transcript of chat dialogue was analyzed through identification of clause mood structures and speech functions. The patterns of the mood structures were investigated, and the use of mood elements, like subject, finite, complement adjuncts, modals, were also explored. Results suggest that Japanese and Filipino students make use of interpersonal grammar uniquely based on the influence of their respective cultural and language.

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Does technology change the way our memory works?

Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu, Daniel M. Wegner, (2011) Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips, Science 5 August 2011: 776-778.Published online 14 July 2011

The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can “Google” the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and that when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves.

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What are effective models to enhance student achievement with laptops?

S, F., Strahl, J. D., & Ross, S. M. (2007). ENHANCING EDUCATION Leveraging Laptops : Effective Models for. 20062007 Evaluation Report Classroom Practices, 1-33.

This report summarizes the 2006-2007 evaluation that was focused toward investigating one primary question: What changes in tool-based, student-centered teaching happen as a result of the infusion of technology and professional development? The research methodology involved the use of trained external researchers from Florida EETT schools conducting multi-class and targeted classroom observations in each participating school during two time periods: baseline (fall 2006) and end of year one (spring 2007). A total of 381 hours of direct classroom observations were conducted in 845 FL EETT classrooms in 41 schools representing 11 districts. Observation data were collected with the School Observation Measure (SOM) and the Survey of Computer Use (SCU). The SOM was used to collect data regarding overall classroom activities and the SCU was used to assess student use of computers. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted. The Mantel-Haentzel procedure was used to infer statistical differences between the fall and spring classroom observations. Both the SOM and SCU Multi-Class and Targeted observations revealed significant fall to spring increases in the use of teacher-centered practices. For the SOM, significant increases were found for both the Multi-Class and Targeted observations for student engagement in Projectbased learning, Independent inquiry/research on the part of students, and student use of Technology as a learning tool or resource. The SCU results from both the Multi-Class and Targeted observations yielded significant increases in students overall use of newer and more upto- date computers (laptops) and positive trends toward increased uses of production tools and Internet/research tools to support learning. A key finding that emerged from the results was the significant increase in the frequency with which teachers implemented meaningful computer activities that engaged students in higher-order thinking and problem solving through effective use of laptop-based technology tools. These first year results show promising trends in that the Florida EETT program seems to be serving as a catalyst for positive changes from traditional teaching environments to ones that are student-centered and engage learners in meaningful use of computers to enhance learning. However, the data also reveal room for continued growth due to the modest frequency with which most of these changed practices occurred. An additional consideration when reviewing the evaluation results is the possible bias that may occur due to observer involvement in the Florida EETT program.

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How can Assistive Technology be used to Enable All Children to Feel Capable and Connected in the Early Childhood Classroom?

Applications, D. (2010). Technology for Early Childhood Education and Socialization : Developmental Applications and, 295. IGI Global.

This chapter explores how technology is used with young children with special needs in the United States. It also discusses the legal issues and mandates and the reality of how teachers and schools are dealing with children with special needs in early childhood settings. Information resources and how assistive technology fits into developmentally appropriate practice is included in this discussion.

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What does research say about integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning?

Hew, K. F., & Brush, T. (2006). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research.Educational Technology Research & Development55(3), 223-252.

Although research studies in education show that use of technology can help student learning, its use is generally affected by certain barriers. In this paper, we first identify the general barriers typically faced by K-12 schools, both in the United States as well as other countries, when integrating technology into the curriculum for instructional purposes, namely: (a) resources, (b) institution, (c) subject culture, (d) attitudes and beliefs, (e) knowledge and skills, and (f) assessment. We then describe the strategies to overcome such barriers: (a) having a shared vision and technology integration plan, (b) overcoming the scarcity of resources, (c) changing attitudes and beliefs, (d) conducting professional development, and (e) reconsidering assessments. Finally, we identify several current knowledge gaps pertaining to the barriers and strategies of technology integration, and offer pertinent recommendations for future research.

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How is ICT used to integrate content and language in specialized language teaching and learning?

Gaballo, V. (2010). Integrating content and language in specialized language teaching and learning with the help of ICT. ICT for Language Learning Conference Proceeedings (pp. 29-24).

In recent times globalization has had a significant impact on content-teaching methodologies. Mobility in Europe is also a major issue that stimulated the implementation of such practice. David Marsh and Peeter Mehisto have pointed out that many governments have adopted some form of second-language-medium instruction. But reading in a second language per se does not make an example of language teaching, as the focus is primarily on content, not language. The instrumental use of a vehicular language generally a second or foreign language to learners does not imply analyzing and practicing the communicative structures of the vehicular language itself. Conversely, as Andy Kirkpatrick argued, all good language teaching needs to be based on content that engages the learner, but this is meant to provide useful contexts of use which will enhance the learning experience. Integration of content and language can only be achieved through the combination of professional expertise and linguistic competence provided by subject teachers and language teachers. Yet, although team teaching would seem to be the ideal solution, this is very difficult to achieve in practice for a number of reasons. Drawing on the successful experience of Canadian immersion programmes, where teachers are trained to teach French, and the subject through French, we believe that a second-language medium of instruction should ideally use teachers trained in both language and content pedagogy. ICT plays a fundamental role in achieving this dual goal as the case study presented in this paper proves. By analyzing a scenario of content and language integrated learning based on the use of e-learning technologies, the paper points out the relevance of involving students in ICT-based activities which give them a combination of professional expertise and linguistic competence.

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What is the potential of m-learning?

Rosman, P. (2008). M-learning – A paradigm of new forms in education. E M Ekonomie a Management11(1), 119-125.

Mobile technologies are a future in e-learning technologies. The paper presents the details of using mobile devices and wireless technologies that could be used for m-learning in education and training. Mobile devices can have more processing power, slicker displays, and more interesting applications than were commonly available on desktop machines ten years ago, and educators are quickly realizing their potential to be used as powerful learning tools. However, the application of mobile technologies to learning contexts must take into account a number of factors. Above all other things, we must consider how mobile learning can be used to provide learners with better opportunities and enhanced learning outcomes. This paper is concerned about the problems of using mobile devices and wireless technologies, a differentiation between teaming and technology as the driver for mobile learning approaches and than the classification of mobile learning activities. M-learning is the exciting art of using mobile technologies to enhance the learning experience. Mobile phones, PDAs, Pocket PCs and the Internet can be blended to engage and motivate learners, any time and anywhere. Handheld devices are emerging as one of the most promising technologies for supporting learning and particularly collaborative learning scenarios; mainly because they offer new opportunities for individuals who require mobile computer solutions that other devices cannot provide. The highly personalized nature of digital mobile devices provides an excellent platform for the development of personalized, learner-centric educational experiences. In paper is emphasized the importance of considering learning over technology, and suggest a pedagogically based framework for developing learner-centric m-learning. The evolution in education and training at a distance can be characterized as a move from distance learning to e-learning and m-learning (mobile learning).

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How can blogs support L2 language development?

Gebhard, M., Shin, D., Seger, W., (2011). Blogging and emergent L2 literacy development in an urban elementary school: A functional perspective. CALICO Journal28(2).

This study analyzes how a teacher in the United States used systemic functional linguistics to design a blog-mediated writing curriculum to support second grade English language learners (ELLs) literacy development and abilities to use computer-mediated communication tools for social and academic purposes in and out of school. The questions posed by this study relate to how blogging practices shaped a focus students emergent uses of print over nearly two years in a U. S. urban school serving a large Puerto Rican community. This study is informed by Hallidays theory of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and Vygotskian conceptions of appropriation and mediation. Using a combination of ethnographic methods and the tools of genre analysis, the findings indicate that blog-mediated writing practices afforded students an expanded audience and range of purposes for literacy activities. These practices, coupled with genre-based instruction, supported the focal students emergent literacy development. The implications of this study relate to conceptualizing how ideational, interpersonal, and textual metafunctions of language intersect through computer-mediated communication to support L2 language development.

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How can HOT blogging promote Higher Order Thinking?

Zawilinski, L. (2009). HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking. The Reading Teacher62(8), 650-661. International Reading Association.

The article focuses on the use of educational blogs by elementary school teachers and students to encourage computer learning and literacy. The most commonly used blogs (also known as weblogs) in the classroom are: News blogs which report information about classroom schedules and homework; Mirror blogs in which the writers reflect on new ideas; Literature response blogs where teachers and students consider reading assignments; and Showcase blogs which post student work such as podcasts and art work. The article also discusses classroom and Internet resources available to help implement such technologies into a lesson plan.

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Do experienced middle-aged teachers integrate more ICT into their teaching than younger teachers with a more positive attitude toward computers?

Hung, Y.,  and  Hsu, Y., (2007) Examining Teachers’ CBT Use in the Classroom: A Study in Secondary schools in Taiwan, Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 10 Number 3 2007

The purpose of this study was to analyze the current status of computer-based technology (CBT) use in secondary schools in Taiwan. A questionnaire was developed to investigate teachers’ attitudes toward computers and their application of CBT in instruction. We randomly sampled 100 secondary school science teachers and found that in general they did use CBT for accessing the internet and other teaching-related work. The surveyed teachers had a very positive attitude toward computers, yet we found their attitude was significantly correlated with their age and seniority. The older and more senior teachers generally held a less positive attitude toward computers. As for the application of computer-based technology in classroom instruction, most teachers claimed at least a moderate degree of implementation of CBT in the classroom. In gender difference, male teachers in general used more CBT in their instructional strategies than did female teachers. As far as age was concerned, middle-aged and more experienced teachers tended to integrate more CBT into their instruction than younger and novice teachers, even though the latter group held a more positive attitude toward computers. In correlation analysis we discovered that with male but not with female teachers, there was a direct correlation between degree of positive attitude toward computers and degree of application of CBT in classroom instruction.

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How can technology help create student-centred learning experiences in physical education ?

Lin Wang (2010) “Creating student-centered learning experience through the assistance of high-end technology in physical education: a case study”. Journal of Instructional Psychology.

Student-centered learning is an approach in education focusing on the needs of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators (Blumberg, 2009). This approach has many implications for the design of curriculum, course content, and interactivity of courses (O’Neil & McMahon, 2005). Major tenets of student-centered learning include understanding of the material, active learning on the student part and increased responsibilities on the student’ part, increased instructor responsibilities on creating an environment that facilitates the learning process, assessment process is intergraded with feedback providing, and both parties (the instructor and the students) share some of the decision making responsibilities (Blumberg, 2009; Lea, Stephenson, & Troy, 2003).

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How can teachers be supported to use individualized instructional technology?

Proscia, M., Ulrich, F., Morote, E.S. & Nicolino, P. (2010). The relationship among level of knowledge, and comfort with both differentiated instruction and instructional technology and teachers’ attitude toward the use of computers. In Z. Abas et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Global Learn Asia Pacific 2010 (pp. 925-932). AACE.

One hundred twenty-three (123) teachers were surveyed in 35 Long Island schools and 7 school districts that were selected for the quality of instructional software available in the districts. We found that knowledge and comfort of using technology are the major predictors of teacher willingness to use individualized instructional technology. Findings suggest that major training of teachers in instructional technology will be necessary to reach NCLB requirements for differentiated instruction.

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Why do students (not) blog?

Andergassen, M., Behringer, R., Finlay, J., & Gorra, A. (2009). Weblogs in Higher Education – why do Students ( not ) Blog ? Higher Education7(3), 203-214.

Positive impacts on learning through blogging, such as active knowledge construction and reflective writing, have been reported. However, not many students use weblogs in informal contexts, even when appropriate facilities are offered by their universities. While motivations for blogging have been subject to empirical studies, little research has addressed the issue of why students choose not to blog. This paper presents an empirical study undertaken to gain insights into the decision making process of students when deciding whether to keep a blog or not. A better understanding of students’ motivations for (not) blogging may help decision makers at universities in the process of selecting, introducing, and maintaining similar services. As informal learning gains increased recognition, results of this study can help to advance appropriate designs of informal learning contexts in Higher Education. The method of ethnographic decision tree modelling was applied in an empirical study conducted at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Since 2004, the university has been offering free weblog accounts for all students and staff members upon entering school, not bound to any course or exam. Qualitative, open interviews were held with 3 active bloggers, 3 former bloggers, and 3 non-bloggers to elicit their decision criteria. Decision tree models were developed out of the interviews. It turned out that the modelling worked best when splitting the decision process into two parts: one model representing decisions on whether to start a weblog at all, and a second model representing criteria on whether to continue with a weblog once it was set up. The models were tested for their validity through questionnaires developed out of the decision tree models. 30 questionnaires have been distributed to bloggers, former bloggers and non-bloggers. Results show that the main reasons for students not to keep a weblog include a preference for direct (online) communication, and concerns about the loss of privacy through blogging. Furthermore, the results indicate that intrinsic motivation factors keep students blogging, whereas stopping a weblog is mostly attributable to external factors.

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Can blogs help ESL students develop their language skills?

De Almeida Soares, D. (2008). Understanding class blogs as a tool for language development. Language Teaching Research12(4), 517-533

Web 2.0 has allowed for the development of cyber spaces where any computer user can create their own public pages to share knowledge, feelings and thoughts inviting linguistic interactions with people around the globe. This innovation has caught the attention of language practitioners who wish to experiment with blogging to enhance the teaching and learning experience. In 2007 I set up a class blog with my nine pre-intermediate EFL students in a language school in Brazil. This experience gave rise to two central questions: a) did my students see our blog as a learning tool? and b) what was blogging like in other language teaching contexts? To answer the first question I carried out some Exploratory Practice for three months. As for the second question, I designed an online survey which was answered by 16 members of a community of practice called the Webheads. Ultimately I learned that my students saw our blog as a learning tool and that blogs are being used in different ways around the world. This article presents the rationale behind using blogs in language classes, describes my research process and discusses the understanding my students and I have gained from exploring our own practices.

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How is technology changing what is important to learn in and out of schools?

Collins, A., & Halverson, R. (2008). Rethinking Education in the Age of TechnologyThe Digital Revolution and Schooling in America New York Teachers College Press Consortium for School Networking CoSN (pp. 1-2).

All around us people are learning with the aid of new technologies: children are playing complex video games, workers are taking online courses to get an advanced degree, students are taking courses at commercial learning centers to prepare for tests, adults are consulting Wikipedia, etc. New technologies create learning opportunities that challenge traditional schools and colleges. These new learning niches enable people of all ages to pursue learning on their own terms. People around the world are taking their education out of school into homes, libraries, Internet cafes, and workplaces, where they can decide what they want to learn, when they want to learn, and how they want to learn.

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Is the ‘digital native’ generation anything more than a myth?

Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The “digital natives” debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology39(5), 775-786

The idea that a new generation of students is entering the education system has excited recent attention among educators and education commentators. Termed ‘digital natives’ or the ‘Net generation’, these young people are said to have been immersed in technology all their lives, imbuing them with sophisticated technical skills and learning preferences for which traditional education is unprepared. Grand claims are being made about the nature of this generational change and about the urgent necessity for educational reform in response. A sense of impending crisis pervades this debate. However, the actual situation is far from clear. In this paper, the authors draw on the fields of education and sociology to analyse the digital natives debate. The paper presents and questions the main claims made about digital natives and analyses the nature of the debate itself. We argue that rather than being empirically and theoretically informed, the debate can be likened to an academic form of a ‘moral panic’. We propose that a more measured and disinterested approach is now required to investigate ‘digital natives’ and their implications for education.

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Can blogs support students’ complex thinking?

Ramos, Maria Altina Silva. Blog and Complex Thinking: A Case Study
Online Submission, US-China Education Review v7 n8 p11-21 Aug 2010. 2010 11 pp. (ED514801)

The Internet does not promote learning by itself as children and young people often use it passively. The teachers’ role is to help them interpret and analyze available information critically. The blog, as a means to deploy the concept of “on-line interaction” is, according to Granieri, “The most accessible and natural tool for sharing and publishing, in addition to text, images movies and also sound, will be increasingly disseminated, because of increasing speed of data transmission” (2006, p. 31). It is therefore natural that the use of the blog is more and more frequent as a resource, pedagogical strategy or other capacities at all levels of teaching (Gomes, 2005). In this paper, a case study is presented based on some blogs, focusing on: the methodology for collection of text and multimedia materials; treatment and analysis of data with the NVivo software; findings and further evolution perspectives. Read Full Text.

Can blogs improve differentiated instruction?

Colombo, M. W., & Colombo, P. D. (2007). Using Blogs to Improve Differentiated Instruction. Education Digest73(4), 10-14

The article discusses the use of blogging to improve differentiated instruction in science classes. It provides a hypothetical model of differentiated instruction in a seventh grade science classroom containing English language learners (ELLs), students with individualized education programs, and gifted and talented students. It discusses the use of material posted in class blogs to extend instructional time by providing a way to reinforce learning strategies, introduce topics and concepts, review material, and provide enrichment. Materials can be presented in text format, as podcasts, or as video files to reach students at different levels and with different learning styles. A list of free and commercial software for class blogs is included.

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