Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘elementary’

What factors affect the Implementation of a 1:1 Learning Environment in a Primary School?

Lee Yong Tay, Siew Khiaw Lim, & Cher Ping Lim  (2013) Factors Affecting the ICT Integration and Implementation of One-To-One Computing Learning Environment in a Primary School – a Sociocultural Perspective in L.Y. Tay & C.P. Lim (eds.), Creating Holistic Technology-Enhanced Learning Experiences, 1–18.

Even with an elaborate technological infrastructure, teaching and learning would not be possible without committed and skilful teachers who are on the ground implementing the day-to-day lessons in their respective classrooms. In addition, directions for the school leadership and channelling of the necessary resources are all critical factors to be considered. A good curriculum plan also provides the necessary structure and procedure on how to integrate ICT in a more seamless and pervasive manner.

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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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How can Elementary School Children be better supported in their Web Searches at School?

Eickhoff, C., P. Dekker, and A. P. de Vries (2012) Supporting Children’s Web Search in School Environments, 4th Conference on Information Interaction in Context (IIiX)

Nowadays, the Internet represents a ubiquitous source of information and communication. Its central role in everyday life is reflected in the curricula of modern schools. Already in early grades, children are encouraged to search for information on-line. However, the way in which they interact with state-of-the-art search interfaces and how they explore and interpret the presented information, differs greatly from adult user behaviour. This work describes a qualitative user study in which the Web search behaviour of Dutch elementary school children was observed and classified into roles motivated by prior research in cognitive science. Building on the findings of this survey, we propose an automatic method of identifying struggling searchers in order to enable teaching personnel to provide appropriate and targeted guidance where needed.

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Can the use of blogs and e-mail enhance writing skills at primary school level?

Sofia Funenga (2012) Developing Writing Skills in English Language Teaching Through the Use of Blogs and Email at Primary School Level,

After reflecting on the findings of this action research cycle, with the purpose of providing an answer to the research question Can the use of blogs and e-mail enhance writing skills at primary school level?, it is possible to conclude that, throughout the writing workshop sessions, young students not only improved the content and language used in their texts, but also adopted a better attitude towards writing.

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Can language arts be the place to introduce programming to the classroom?

Quinn Burke (2012) The Markings of a New Pencil: Introducing Programming-as-Writing in the Middle School Classroom, Journal of Media Literacy Education 4:2 (2012) 121-135    

Using the setting of a writing workshop to facilitate a deliberate process to learn computer programming, this exploratory study investigates where there is a natural overlap between programming and writing through the storytelling motif, and to what extent existing language arts coursework and pedagogy can be leveraged to introduce this new form of digital composition to middle-school children. Whereas previous studies linking children’s programming with storytelling did so within the informal afterschool clubs, this study focuses on integrating computer science into the classroom, aligning curricula to core-content English language arts instruction. 

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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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What is the role of context on students’ performance on map tasks?

Lowrie, Tom, Diezmann, Carmel M., & Logan , Tracy (2011) Primary students’ performance on map tasks : the role of context. In Ubuz, Behiye (Ed.) Proceedings of the 35th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Developing Mathematical Thinking, PME, Cultural and Convention Center, Ankara, pp. 145-152.

Being numerate in today’s society requires increased demands on our capacity to represent, manipulate and decode information in various graphical forms (e.g., graphs, maps). New technologies allow data to be transformed into detailed and dynamic graphic displays (e.g., Google Earth) with increased complexity (and detail), and consequently, there is greater need for students to become proficient in decoding maps. At the same time, the tasks students are required to solve are becoming more authentic and realistic. The purpose of this paper is to  investigate the effect that students’ lived experiences (in terms of geographic locality) have on their ability to decode maps.

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Are young children surrounded by techno-optimist teachers and techno-pessimist parents?

Fox, Jillian L., Diezmann, Carmel M., & Grieshaber, Susan J. (2011) Teachers’ and parents’ perspectives of digital technology in the lives of young children. In Howard, Sarah (Ed.) AARE Annual Conference 2010, 28th November – 2nd December 2010, Melbourne, Australia. (Unpublished)

This paper examines teachers’ and parents’ perspectives and considers whether they are techno-optimists who advocate for and promote the inclusion of digital technology, or whether they are they techno-pessimists, who prefer to exclude digital devices from young children’s everyday experiences. The results of data analysis identified a misalignment among adults’ perspectives. Teachers were identified as techno-optimists and parents were identified as techno-pessimists with further emergent themes particular to each category being established. This is concerning because both teachers and mothers influence young children’s experiences and numeracy knowledge, thus, a shared understanding and a common commitment to supporting young children’s use of technology would be beneficial. Further research must investigate fathers’ perspectives of digital devices and the beneficial and detrimental roles that a range of digital devices, tools, and entertainment gadgets play in 21st Century children’s lives.

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How can preschool children’s learning with technology be supported?

Plowman L, Stephen C., McPake, J. (2010). Supporting young children’s learning with technology at home and in preschool. Research Papers in Education 25 (1) 93-113.

We describe two empirical investigations of three- and four-year-old children’s uses of technology, one conducted in family homes and the other in preschool settings, with the aim of comparing the ways in which children’s learning with technology is supported in these different settings. The studies conceptualise learning within a sociocultural framework and use the concept of guided interaction to focus the discussion. Three areas of learning that can be supported by the use of technologies are outlined (extending knowledge of the world, acquiring operational skills, and developing dispositions to learn), with the addition of learning about the cultural roles of technology in the home context. Children encountered a more diverse range of technologies at home, were more likely to request help and could benefit from observing family practices. The limitations on the technologies available in most preschool settings and their lack of use for authentic activities meant that there were fewer opportunities to develop children’s awareness of the different cultural and work-related uses of technology. Preschool and primary school staff have limited knowledge of children’s home experiences with technology.

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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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Do Interactive Whiteboards Motivate Elementary Students with Mathematics?

Bruce Torff , Rose Tirotta (2009) Interactive whiteboards produce small gains in elementary students’ self-reported motivation in mathematics, Computers & Education 54 (2010) 379–383

A treatment/control study (N = 773) was conducted to determine the extent to which use of interactive whiteboard technology (IWB) was associated with upper elementary students’ self-reported level of motivation in mathematics. Students in the treatment group reported higher levels of motivation relative to control students, but the effect was extremely weak. Students with teachers who were more supportive of IWB technology reported higher motivation levels (compared to students of teachers who were less supportive), but this effect also was very small. Claims about the motivation-enhancing effects of the IWB are not baseless, but they appear to be somewhat overstated. Research is needed to determine how IWB- use is associated with academic performance, and also to examine how teachers use the IWB and how this usage could be strengthened.

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

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

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

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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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How can schools manage the dangers of websites for young children?

Bauman, Sheri, Tatum, Tanisha, (2009) Web Sites for Young Children: Gateway to Online Social Networking? Professional School Counseling, 10962409, 20091001, Vol. 13, Issue 1

Traffic on Web sites for young children (ages 3-12) has increased exponentially in recent years. Advocates proclaim that they are safe introductions to the Internet and online social networking and teach essential 21st-century skills. Critics note developmental concerns. This article provides basic information about Web sites for young children, discuss developmental issues, and make recommendations for school counselors to be proactive and aware of the advantages and dangers inherent in these sites.

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With more an more ipads and laptops in the classrooms how can schools introduce best ergonomic practices?

Studies indicate that musculoskeletal discomfort and back pain problems are evident not only in adults, but also in children [11,13]. We believe that educating towards a balanced-posture, body-function and movement patterns, as well as their ergonomic implications, can minimize and even prevent these problems. Such an ergonomics awareness educational program has to start at childhood and should be an integral part of the curriculum in the schools. This article presents the educational program “Ergonomics, Movement & Posture” (EMP), which is taught in elementary schools by Physical Education (PE) students of the Kibbutzim College of Education in Israel, as part of their practicum. Although there has been no formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, so far, participating children, their parents, the teachers and the principles have offered positive feedback.

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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.

What is really expected of a technology coordinator?

Sugar, William; Holloman, Harold. Technology Leaders Wanted: Acknowledging the Leadership Role of a Technology Coordinator
TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning
, v53 n6 p66-75 Nov 2009.

Technology currently plays a crucial role in impacting teaching practices within schools. Similarly, a technology coordinator performs several tasks within a school environment and plays multiple roles that influence teaching and learning each day. Described as a “position with a protocol,” Frazier and Bailey (2004) noted that effective technology coordinators “need to be comfortable wearing many hats” (p. 2). A technology coordinator exhibits an assortment of activities in interactions with teachers, including: instructing teachers on a particular set of skills in learning about a new technology; solving teachers’ technical problems; providing access to existingtechnology resources; and collaborating with teachers to develop curricular materials for their classrooms; and other similar activities (Sugar, 2005). If well-prepared and fully comprehending their role within a particular school or school district, “multi-hat”technology coordinators also play a crucial role in leading teachers in developing effective K-12 school environments. This article analyzes this crucial role by proposing four main responsibilities of a technology coordinator and concentrates on examining possible leadership characteristics of a technology coordinator within a particular school. The four responsibilities of a technology coordinator, namely: (1) Instruction; (2) Technical; (3) Analysis; and (4) Leadership, are discussed.

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What works best in upper elementary classrooms: shared carts or 1: 1 laptops?

Russell, M., Bebell, D., & Higgins, J. (2004). Laptop learning: A comparison of teaching and learning in upper elementary classrooms equipped with shared carts of laptops and permanent 1: 1 laptops. Journal of Educational Computing Research30(4), 313-330. Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative, Boston College.

This study compares teaching and learning activities in 4th and 5th grade classrooms that were permanently equipped with one laptop for each student and classrooms that share a cart of laptops that create a 1:1 laptop environment on a temporary basis. The study originated from a question posed to us by Andover Public Schools (MA): “How does teaching and learning differ when upper elementary students (4th and 5th graders) are provided with their own laptop computers?” In response to this question, we undertook an intensive two month study that employed a mixed methodology that included student surveys, student drawings, teacher interviews, and 56 structured classroom observations. The findings summarized in this article provide evidence of several differences in teaching and learning activities between the two settings. Classrooms that were fully equipped with 1:1 laptops showed more technology use across the curriculum, more use of technology at home for academic purposes, less large group instruction, and nearly universal use of technology for writing.

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