Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Archive for the ‘Problem Based Learning’ Category

How can Live Feedback with Smartphones Improve Participants’ Involvement?

Jaime Teevan, Daniel J. Liebling, Ann Paradiso, Carlos Garcia Jurado Suarez, Curtis von Veh, Darren Gehring (2012) Displaying Mobile Feedback during a Presentation, Microsoft Research

Smartphone use in presentations is often seen as distracting to the audience and speaker. However, phones can encourage people participate more fully in what is going on around them and build stronger ties with their companions. In this paper, we describe a smartphone interface designed to help audience members engage fully in a presentation by providing real-time mobile feedback. This feedback is then aggregated and reflected back to the group via a projected visualization, with notifications provided to the presenter and the audience on interesting feedback events. We deployed this system in a large enterprise meeting, and collected information about the attendees’ experiences with it via surveys and interaction logs. Participants report that providing mobile feedback was convenient, helped them pay close attention to the presentation, and enabled them to feel connected with other audience members.

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How can self-regulated learning (SRL) foster student-centred lifelong mobile learning?

L. Sha,  C.-K. Looi, W. Chen, & B.H. Zhang (2012) Understanding mobile learning from the perspective of self-regulated learning, Institute of Education, Nanjing University

This paper is an initial effort to expand and enrich the knowledge about mobile learning within the framework of self-regulated learning. One of the largest challenges will be how self-regulated learning (SRL) can be systematically and institutionally applied to curriculum development, instructional design, teacher professional development, and teaching and assessment practices in classrooms that foster student-centred lifelong learning. We propose an analytic SRL model of mobile learning as a conceptual framework for understanding mobile learning, in which the notion of self-regulation as agency is at the core. We draw on work in a 3-year research project in developing and implementing a mobile learning environment in elementary science classes in Singapore to illustrate the application of SRL theories and methodology to understand and analyse mobile learning.

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What is the role of ICT in the PYP?

IBO (2011) The role of ICT in the PYP, International Baccalaureate Organization

The emergence of educational technologies has transformed how IB World Schools achieve
this mission. In particular, the internet, one of the greatest technological innovations in the last 50 years, facilitates the finding and creating of information, as well as building and maintaining relationships and communities. Students of today are raised in a connected world and their immersion in wired technologies contributes to the evolution of learning in digital spaces. A new dynamic educational landscape has emerged. It is, therefore, critical that students’ awareness, use and appreciation of different kinds of information, skills and platforms should be developed both at school and at home. The school community should be engaged in a dialogue to ensure a positive educational experience by understanding how to use the internet and web-based devices safely, responsibly and smartly.

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How can 5th graders’ science content knowledge and self-efficacy be enhanced through game-based learning?

Angela Meluso, Meixun Zheng, Hiller A. Spires, James Lester (2012) Enhancing 5th graders’ science content knowledge and self-efficacy through game-based learning, Computers & Education 59 (2012) 497–504

Many argue that games can positively impact learning by providing an intrinsically motivating and engaging learning environment for students in ways that traditional school cannot. Recent research demonstrates that games have the potential to impact student learning in STEM content areas and that collaborative gameplay may be of particular importance for learning gains. This study investigated the effects of collaborative and single game player conditions on science content learning and science self- efficacy. Results indicated that there were no differences between the two playing conditions; however, when conditions were collapsed, science content learning and self-efficacy significantly increased. Future research should focus on the composition of collaboration interaction among game players to assess what types of collaborative tasks may yield positive learning gains.

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How does Vlogging on Youtube support collective problem-solving and informal learning?

Lindgren, S. (2011). ”Collective problem-solving and informal learning in networked publics. Reading vlogging networks on YouTube as knowledge communities ”. In E. Dunkels, G. Frånberg & C. Hällgren (Eds.) Interactive Media Use and Youth: Learning, Knowledge Exchange and Behavior (pp. 50-64). Hershey: IGI Global.

Social network sites like Facebook or MySpace, allow their users to create a public (or semi-public) profile and to articulate their relations to other users in a way that is visible to anyone accessing their profile. As these sites have become increasingly popular, many other sites – like YouTube – have started to adopt SNS features. According to Cheng et al (2008, p. 235), YouTube is indeed a social media application. This can be illustrated of how social networks are established on the vlogging arena on YouTube. To be able to assess this issue in a smaller scale, vloggers with a specific interest – in this case the urban art form of free running, so called parkour – were selected.

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How are YouTube Fridays providing students with open-ended problem solving practice?

Matthew W. Liberatore, Charles R. Vestal, Andrew M. Herring (2012) YouTube Fridays: Student led development of engineering estimate problems, Advances n Engineering Education, Winter 2012, Volume 3, Number 1

YouTube Fridays devotes a small fraction of class time to student-selected videos related to the course topic, e.g., thermodynamics. The students then write and solve a homework-like problem based on the events in the video. Three recent pilots involving over 300 students have developed a database of videos and questions that reinforce important class concepts like energy balances and phase behavior. Student evaluations found a vast majority (79%) of the students felt better at relating real world phenomena to thermodynamics from participating in YouTube Fridays. Overall, YouTube Fridays is a student led activity that provides practice of problem solving on open-ended, course related questions.

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How can Google SketchUp support an inquiry-based approach to geometry?

Shafer, K. (2010). Prisms and Pyramids with Google SketchUp: A Classroom Activity. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2010 (pp. 3505-3507)

Google SketchUp is a free program that was developed for the purpose of creating 3D models. SketchUp can be used to support student sense making through an inquiry approach. The authors first describe how elementary education majors were able to use specific tools in SketchUp to reconcile issues of perception when creating a prism and investigate the various dimensions within a given pyramid (height, slant heights(s) and edges).

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How is Google SketchUp facilitating computer-supported collaborative learning?

Gerhard Fischer (2009) Democratizing Design: New Challenges and Opportunities for Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Center for LifeLong Learning and Design (L3D) University of Colorado Boulder

The fundamental challenge for the next generation of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) systems is to contribute to the invention, fostering and support of cultures of participation in which humans can express themselves and engage in personally meaningful activities. New models for knowledge creation, accumulation, and sharing are needed that allow, encourage, and support all participants to be active contributors in personally meaningful activities.

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Does combining technology knowledge with a problem based learning approach impact students’ learning?

Walker, A; Recker, M; Ye, L; Robertshaw, B; Sellers, L; and Leary, H. (2012) Comparing Technology-Related Teacher Professional Development Designs: a Multilevel Study of Teacher and Student Impacts, The Instructional Architect Research Group. Paper 6.

This article presents a quasi-experimental study comparing the impact of two technology-related teacher professional development (TTPD) designs, aimed at helping junior high school science and mathematics teachers design online activities using the rapidly growing set of online learning resources available on the Internet. The first TTPD design (tech-only) focused exclusively on enhancing technology knowledge and skills for finding, selecting, and designing classroom activities with online resources, while the second (tech+pbl) coupled technology knowledge with learning to design problem-based learning (PBL) activities for students. Both designs showed large pre-post gains for teacher participants (N=36) in terms of self-reported knowledge, skills, and technology integration. Significant interaction effects show that teachers in the tech+pbl group had larger gains for self-reported knowledge and externally rated use of PBL. Three generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were fit to study the impact on students’ (N=1,247) self reported gains in behavior, knowledge, and attitudes. In the resulting models, students of tech+pbl teachers showed significant increases in gain scores for all three outcomes. By contrast, students of tech-only teachers showed improved gains only in attitudes.

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Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice?

Maureen Walsh (2010) Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice?, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010, pp. 211–239

Changes to literacy pedagogy are gradually occurring in classrooms in response to contemporary communication and learning contexts. These changes are diverse as teachers and educational researchers attempt to design new pedagogy to respond to the potential of digital technologies within existing curriculum and assessment policies. This paper discusses evidence from recent classroom research where 16 teachers worked in teams in nine primary school classrooms to develop new ways of embedding technology for literacy learning. Data from the nine case studies provides evidence that teachers can combine the teaching of print-based literacy with digital communications technology across a range of curriculum areas. Findings from this research confirm that literacy needs to be redefined within current curriculum contexts, particularly in light of the emergence of a national curriculum. New descriptors of language and literacy criteria are proposed within the framework of multimodal literacy, the literacy that is needed in contemporary times for reading, viewing, responding to and producing multimodal and digital texts.

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How might technology be transforming the literacies of children entering the classroom?

Joanne O’Mara, Linda Laidlaw (2011) Living in the iworld: Two literacy researchers reflect on the changing texts and literacy practices of childhood, English Teaching: Practice and Critique, December, 2011, Volume 10, Number 4,  pp. 149-159

Within the article we demonstrate, using media links and images, the ways in which our own children have begun to navigate digital devices and texts and to create new sorts of narratives that open possibilities for literacies in multiple ways, as “creators”, “designers”, and experts. We argue that, once translated into classroom practice, technological tools tend to be “domesticated” by practices that resist the transformative affordances of these tools, and may even provide barriers to student engagement and practice. Finally, we conclude the article by making some practical suggestions for creating opportunities for transformative technology use in education.

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Why should games have a place in formal education?

Thorkild Hanghøj (2008) Playful Knowledge: An Explorative Study of Educational Gaming, PhD Dissertation, Institute of Literature, Media and Cultural Studies University of Southern Denmark

This dissertation can be read as an attempt to explore the widespread assumption that games have educational value within the context of formal schooling. More specifically, this study tries to answer a number of questions related to this assumption: Why should games have a place in formal education? How should educational games support teaching and learning? And what characterises “good” educational game design? These questions are repeatedly being addressed by game designers, policy makers, educators, news media and researchers in an attempt to explore – and often promote – the assumed learning potential of games. To bring matters to a head, such questions are often driven by an attempt to legitimise the educational use of games instead of actually exploring whether this goal is desirable or how it can be achieved.

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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.

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Can educational gaming be understood as a complex interplay of four forms of knowledge?

Thorkild Hanghøj (2011) Clashing and Emerging Genres: The interplay of knowledge forms in educational gaming, Designs for Learning vol4, No1, September 2011

Based upon a series of design interventions with the educational computer game series Global Conflicts at various secondary schools, this article explores how educational gaming can be understood as a complex interplay between four knowledge forms – i.e. students’ everyday knowledge (non-specialised knowledge), the institutionalised knowledge forms of schooling, teachers’ subject-specific knowledge (specialised knowledge forms), and game-specific knowledge forms such as professional journalism, which is one of the inspirations for the game scenario. Depending on how the GC series was enacted by different teachers and students, these knowledge forms were brought into play rather differently. More specifically, several students experienced genre clashes in relation to their expectations of what it means to play a computer game, whereas other students experienced emerging genres – e.g. when one student was able to transform the game experience into a journalistic article that challenged her classmates’ understanding of journalistic writing.

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What does Peer-Based Learning in a Networked Age look like?

Mizuko Ito  (2010) Peer-Based Learning in a Networked Age, Keynote address for University of Michigan’s Enriching Scholarship 2010

Networked media offers an unprecedented opportunity to support learning that is highly personalized and learner-centered, driven by passionate interest and social engagement. But very few learners and educators are taking advantage of this opportunity. And the reason for this is that too often we separate the worlds of young people and adults, play and education. We hold onto the old boundaries between schooling, peer-culture, and home life, between what looks and feels like learning and education that we grew up with, and what looks and feels like socializing, hanging out, and playing. Even if those boundaries were never that real to begin with, in today’s networked world, they are even more untenable.

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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?

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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.

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What could Computer Science look like in the Elementary School?

Katherine Gunion (2008) FUNdamentals of CS: Designing and Evaluating Computer Science Activities for Kids, University of British Columbia, A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE in the Department of Computer Science

Computer Science is not included in high school or middle school education in British Columbia. Young students are not exposed to Computer Science when they are learning their fundamentals. Given the correct abstractions like kinesthetic learn- ing activities and graphical programming languages, elementary school students can be exposed to computer science and can understand sophisticated topics like recursion and concurrency. This means that more students’ interest will be piqued and they will be exposed to sophisticated concepts before first year computer science.

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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.

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What are the Obstacles to Technology-Enhanced Problem-Based Learning (PBL)?

Sung Hee Park and Peggy A. Ertmer (2008) Examining barriers in technology-enhanced problem-based learning: Using a performance support systems approach, British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 39 No 4 2008

This study focused on the barriers that middle school teachers faced when implementing technology-enhanced problem-based learning (PBL) in their classrooms. Using a human performance-based model, we interviewed teachers, administrators, university faculty and technical support staff to determine the perceived importance of multiple barriers to the implementation of technology-enhanced PBL. Twenty-one teachers, two school administrators and a project manager, two faculty members, and two technical support staff participated in the study. Interview data were supported by surveys, classroom observations and researchers’ reflective journals. Results suggested that lack of a clear, shared vision was the primary barrier. Additional barriers included lack of knowledge and skills, unclear expectations and insufficient feedback. Recommendations to support teachers’ efforts to integrate technology- enhanced problem-based learning are presented.

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