Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘pedagogical beliefs’

What is the relationship between teacher beliefs and technology integration practices?

Peggy A. Ertmer, Anne T. Ottenbreit-Leftwichb, Olgun Sadik, Emine Sendurur, Polat Sendurur (2012) Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship, Computers & Education 59 (2012) 423–435

Although efforts are still needed to provide ubiquitous technology access to teachers and their students, little will be gained if second-order barriers (knowledge and skills, attitudes and beliefs) are not addressed.  We are still woefully short of classroom environments that permit students to engage with technology in a way that prepares them to use technology in the real world. The results of this study suggest we should be utilizing the same technology tools for professional development that teachers are able to use in their classrooms: “It is time for our education workforce to engage in learning the way other professionals do continually, collaboratively, and on the job to address common problems and crucial challenges where they work”.  Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs and wikis, enabled many of the teachers in this study to develop new ideas for their classrooms. Teachers should be introduced to the idea of joining and/or developing their own professional learning networks. PLNs allow teachers to select one or multiple Web 2.0 technologies by which they can “follow” individual teachers or organizations. This method of professional development is effective due to the “individualized focus, context-based learning, and empowerment of teachers”.

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

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

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

How is ICT making us rethink the way we assess Understanding?

Christine Redecker & Øystein Johannessen (2013) Changing Assessment — Towards a New Assessment Paradigm Using ICT, European Journal of Education, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2013

This article argues for a paradigm shift in the use and deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in assessment. While there is still a need to advance in the development of emerging technological solutions to support embedded assessment, such as Learning Analytics, and integrated assessment formats, the more pressing task is to make the conceptual shift between traditional and 21st century testing and develop (e-)Assessment pedagogies, frameworks, formats and approaches that reflect the core competences needed for life in the 21st century, supported by coherent policies for embedding and implementing eAssessment in daily educational practice.

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What evidence influences how teachers use technology for teaching and learning?

Price, Linda and Kirkwood, Adrian (2013). Using technology for teaching and learning in higher education: a critical review of the role of evidence in informing practice. Higher Education Research and Development (in press).

The use of technology for teaching and learning is now widespread, but its educational effectiveness is still open to question. This mixed-method study explores educational practices with technology in higher education. It examines what forms of evidence (if any) have influenced teachers’ practices. It comprises a literature review, a questionnaire and interviews. A framework was used to analyse a wide range of literature. The questionnaires were analysed using content analysis and the interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Findings suggest that evidence has partial influence upon practice with practitioners preferring to consult colleagues and academic developers. The study underscored the difficulty in defining and evaluating evidence, highlighting ontological and epistemological issues. The academic developer’s role appears to be key in mediating evidence for practitioners.

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How can Competency in Visual Literacy Enhance Student Learning?

Anneliese Tillmann (2012) What We See and Why It Matters: How Competency in Visual Literacy can Enhance Student Learning,  Honors Projects, Educational Studies Department, Illinois Wesleyan University

In today’s world, we use more visuals than ever before. Research suggests that the balance between words and images has shifted considerably calling for new forms of literacy (Brumberger, 2011). Visual literacy goes above and beyond the traditional concepts of reading and writing, expanding literacy to include visuals. The analysis and review of current visual literacy research suggests teaching visual literacy is necessary for students to become capable of navigating the visually driven world in which we live. The research highlights the importance of incorporating visuals into the literacy curricula and explores practical uses of visual literacy in present day society. Findings suggest that developing the ability to create images will help students better learn to decipher, understand and communicate with images. If there is a better understanding of how and why visuals are developed, then the use of visuals can become more effective, ergo enhancing student learning.

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Is school participation good for children?

Aingeal de Ro ́iste, Colette Kelly, Michal Molcho, Aoife Gavin and Saoirse Nic Gabhainn (2012) Is school participation good for children? Associations with health and wellbeing, Health Education Vol. 112 No. 2, 2012

There is increasing recognition of children’s abilities to speak for themselves. School democracy, as demonstrated by genuine participation, has the potential to benefit both teachers and students; leading to better relationships and improved learning experiences. The aim of this study is to investigate whether participation in schools in Ireland is linked with perceived academic performance, liking school and positive health perceptions. Findings – Participation in school was significantly associated with liking school and higher perceived academic performance, better self-rated health, higher life satisfaction and greater reported happiness.

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What is the value of intrinsic integration in educational games?

Hagbood, MP Jacob and Ainsworth, Shaaron E (2011) Motivating children to learn effectively: exploring the value of intrinsic integration in educational games, Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20 (2), 169-206.

The concept of intrinsic motivation has been considered to lie at the heart of the user engagement created by digital games. Yet despite this, educational software has traditionally attempted to harness games as extrinsic motivation by using them as a sugar-coating for learning content. This paper tests the concept of intrinsic integration as a way of creating a more productive relationship between educational games and their learning content. Two studies assessed this approach by designing and evaluating an educational game for teaching mathematics to seven to eleven year olds called Zombie Division. The results of these studies showed that children learned more from the intrinsic version of the game under fixed time limits and spent seven times longer playing it in free time situations. Together they offer evidence for the genuine value of an intrinsic approach for creating effective educational games. The theoretical and commercial implications of these findings are discussed.

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Are interactive blogs more effective than isolated blogs in supporting student learning?

Yang, C. and Chang, Y.-S. (2012), Assessing the effects of interactive blogging on student attitudes towards peer interaction, learning motivation, and academic achievements. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28: 126–135

Blogs have been increasingly used to supplement traditional classroom lectures in higher education. This paper explores the use of blogs, and how student attitudes towards online peer interaction and peer learning, as well as motivation to learn from peers, may differ when using the blog comments feature, and when students are encouraged to read and comment on each other’s work. We contrast two ways blogs affect learning engagement: (1) solitary blogs as personal digital portfolios for writers; or (2) blogs used interactively to facilitate peer interaction by exposing blogging content and comments to peers. A quasi-experiment was conducted across two semesters, involving 154 graduate and undergraduate students. The result suggests that interactive blogs, compared with isolated blogs, are associated with positive attitudes towards academic achievement in course subjects and in online peer interaction. Students showed positive motivation to learn from peer work, regardless of whether blogs were interactive or solitary.

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How does YouTube help teachers and students cultivate cross-cultural exchanges and understandings?

Kristen Bloom & Kelly Marie Johnston (2010) Digging into YouTube Videos: Using Media Literacy and Participatory Culture to Promote Cross-Cultural Understanding, Journal of Media Literacy Education 2:2 (2010) 113 – 123

The role of the educator, as a result of new media, has changed substantially from one that is focused on the one-way transfer of information to one that trains students how to participate in digital environments with intelligence, skill, and literacy. It is our contention that educators and learners can exploit this media to engage in cross-cultural exchange and ultimately greater cross- cultural understanding. This paper will elaborate on the ways in which teachers and students can use YouTube as a site for cultivating cross-cultural exchange and understanding by establishing video-pal relationships with other students from outside their home culture. Digital exchanges can help students and teachers build connections with their colleagues abroad and to develop an international perspective.

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Why does the Island of Innovation Model fail to support Technology Innovation in Education?

Orit Avidov-Ungar and Yoram Eshet-Alkakay (2011) The Islands of Innovation Model: Opportunities and Threats for Effective Implementation of Technological Innovation in the Education System, Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, Volume 8, 2011

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of educational technology-integration projects which employ the Islands of Innovation model. According to this model, technological innovation is implemented in small islands within an organization, in the hope that they will be imitated, permeate the whole organization with their values and lead to overall, comprehensive innovation and to a new organizational culture. Studies on technological innovation implementation in education systems show that for the most part, islands of innovation fail to generate overall, comprehensive innovation. The article warns against the stagnation that these islands of innovation may cause organization managements, which use them as an excuse to consider themselves innovative, and warns against unsupervised, poorly thoughtout use of this model for technological innovation implementation.

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How can Explicit and Implicit Pedagogy inform teaching practices?

John Mason (2011) Explicit and Implicit Pedagogy: variation theory as a case study,  Smith, C. (Ed.) Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics 31(3) November 2011

Variation theory proposes that learners must experience variation in the critical aspects of a concept, within limited space and time, in order for the concept to be learnable. But the presence of variation does not in itself guarantee that that variation will be experienced. As Kant implied, a sequence of experiences does not guarantee an experience of that sequence. Implicit variation theory assumes that the presentation of variation is sufficient in order for learners to learn what is intended, whereas explicit variation theory incorporates some degree of explicitness in the interaction between teacher and student. The conjecture is proposed that tension between explicitness and implicitness is present in all attempts both to implement theories in practice and to justify or analyse pedagogical choices using theories, of whatever kind.

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Can Technology for Personalising Learning (TPL) support better pedagogical use of ICT?

Jones, Mellita M. and McLean, Karen J. (2012) “Personalising Learning in Teacher Education through the use of Technology,” Australian Journal of Teacher Education: Vol. 37: Iss. 1, Article 5.

This paper considers the components of personalising learning and describes one approach to creating a technology-infused learning environment that has been trialled in the tertiary sector. The key focus of this trial was the effective integration of technology as an enabler of personalising learning. Findings indicate that meaningful student learning experiences can be achieved through a personalised approach which also supports the emerging tenets of effective, pedagogical use of ICT for learning. These findings led to a model of Technology for Personalising Learning (TPL) which is presented as a planning framework through which personalising learning with technology can be achieved in higher education.

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How are music teachers using technology to assess learning?

Lance D. Nielsen (2011) A study of K‐12 music educators’ attitudes toward technology-assisted assessment tools, Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The purpose of this study was to examine K‐12 music educators’ attitudes regarding the use of technology in the assessment of music learning. There is a considerable range of musical behaviors with different levels of complexity that can be assessed (Boyle & Radocy, 1987). A variety of software and web‐based assessment tools are available for music educators. However, it is unclear how many teachers are taking advantage of incorporating these technological assessment tools into their instructional practice. This study provided current data about the demographics of teachers using technology to assess musical growth and the variables that might motivate a music teacher to use technology‐assisted assessment tools. A sample of 2,211 music educators, provided by MENC: The National Association of Music Education, was surveyed. The survey questions determined the number of teachers using technology‐assisted assessment tools and the types of assessment tools they use. The mean score from a series of belief statements suggested teachers’ attitudes towards assessment practices and technology was positive. However, it was discovered that specific school and teacher factors had a generally small influence on their perceptions of technology‐assisted assessment tools. It was evident that music teachers are utilizing technology for daily instruction more often than to assist with assessment strategies. The factors of time and resources are two important variables that affect teachers’ decisions regarding the use of technology for assessment in music settings.

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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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How do high school math teachers use technology to teach geometry?

Melanie Lolli (2012) The Views of High School Geometry Teachers regarding the Effect of Technology on Student Learning, Honors Thesis Final Project, Ohio Dominican University

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics claims that technology is necessary to student learning in math and, in fact, enhances it. There are some studies to support this claim, but these studies leave some unanswered questions. The purpose of this study was to find out from current high school math teachers, of geometry specifically, what their views of technology are. The goal of the study was to ask these teachers which technologies they use and whether they believe technology has beneficial effects on student learning. This study did find a consensus among the participants as to which technologies they felt were the most beneficial in their classrooms, as well as those that might not be needed at all in a classroom.

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How can Second Life enhance astronomy in education?

Adrienne J. Gauthier (2007) Astronomy in Second Life: A User’s Perspective,  CAP Vol. 1, No. 1, October 2007

Second Life (SL) is a multi-user virtual environment that is not limited to adult social entertainment. SL is also a 3D playground for innovative instructors and education/outreach professionals in the sciences. Astronomy and space science have a presence in SL, but it could be so much more. This paper describes some of the current astronomy themed spaces in SL and briefly discusses future innovations.

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Should Librarians teach students how to Google?

Sorensen, Charlene; Dahl, Candice (2008) Google in the research and teaching of instruction librarians, Journal of Academic Librarianship v.34, no.6, 482-488

This exploratory study assesses the differences and similarities between how instruction librarians in Western Canada use Google and how they instruct students to use it. Survey results indicate that these librarians do use Google but can be influenced by faculty to present Google negatively to students.

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What affects teachers’ use of technology?

Debbie Beaudry (2011) Technology and Fifth Grade Teaching: a Study of Teacher Reported Classroom Practice, Professional Development, Access, and Support, A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the College of Education in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL December 2011

This mixed methods study investigated 5th-grade teachers’ reported use of computer technology and variables that have been identified by researchers as affecting teachers’ use of technology, including professional development activities, physical access to computer technology, and technical and instructional support provided for teachers. Quantitative data were collected from 80 5th-grade teachers from a Florida public school district through an online survey in which teachers reported how frequently they used and had their students use computer technology for 27 different purposes. The teachers also reported the amount of emphasis those 27 different topics received during their technology-related professional development experiences, the number of hours they participated in technology-related professional development, the number of months they participating in a technology coaching/mentoring program, the access their students had to computers in the classroom and in a one-to-one computing environment, and the frequency that they received technical and instructional support. Information from the school district’s technology plan provided a context for the study.

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How can technology enhance learning and teaching?

Price, Linda and Kirkwood, Adrian (2011). Enhancing professional learning and teaching through technology: a synthesis of evidence-based practice among teachers in higher education. Higher Education Academy, York, UK.

Technology has the potential effectively to support learning and teaching in a number of situations. However, the manner in which the technology was used and aligned with the goals and aspirations of the learner was an important consideration. Practitioners do not appear to be capitalising on existing evidence. More emphasis appears to be placed on generating new evidence rather than evidence driving new practices. Teachers’ beliefs and practices are influential in determining how they engage with technology. The context of both the student and the teacher is also influential in determining the successfulness of learning and teaching practices with technology. Academic developers have key roles in supporting practitioners in engaging with relevant evidence while also supporting the development of their beliefs and practices concerning learning and teaching with technology. Policy makers have key roles in determining the integration of technology, as they influence the culture within which practitioners operate and hence their actions.

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What does evidence say about technology enhanced assessment and feedback?

Whitelock, Denise; Gilbert, Lester and Gale, Veronica (2011). Technology Enhanced Assessment and Feedback: How is evidence-based literature informing practice? In: 2011 International Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference, Research into e-Assessment, 05-06 July 2011, Southampton.

This desktop research commissioned by the Higher Education Academy set out to consult with the academic community about which references on assessment and feedback with technology enhancement were most useful to practitioners. While all the recommended publications may be characterised as reputable and the majority were peer-reviewed (67.7%), only a minority provided quantitative data (28.2%), of which relatively few provided appropriate experimental designs or statistical analysis (18.5%). The majority of publications were practitioner-led case studies. The references that were recommended to us are clearly having an impact on current practice and are found valuable by practitioners. The key messages from these sources are consistent and often give detailed and practical guidance for other academics. We found that most of the recommended literature focused on the goals that technology enhancement can enable assessment and feedback to meet and how assessment and feedback can be designed to make best use of the technology.

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Does research overemphasize the need for technology in education?

M. Oliver (2011) Technological determinism in educational technology research: some alternative ways of thinking about the relationship between learning and technology, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (2011), 27, 373–384

This paper argues that research on the educational uses of technology frequently overemphasizes the influence of technology. Research in the field is considered a form of critical perspective, and assumptions about technology are questioned. Technological determinism is introduced, and different positions on this concept are identified. These are used to discuss the ways in which work within the field might be described as technologically deterministic. Four theoretical perspectives (activity theory, communities of practice, actor–network theory, and the social construction of technology) are then briefly characterized, demonstrating that alternative positions are viable, and positioning each in relation to the earlier discussion of technological determinism. The paper concludes by arguing that research, building on such alternative conceptions of technology, is important in developing our understanding of the relationship between technology and learning, as well as identifying potential methodological implications.

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How can students learn with and through technology in primary school?

Diana van Walsum (2012) Learning with and through technology in primary school: Creating a movie of my own hero’s quest myth, Centre for Information Technology in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong

A lesson plan incorporating a sequence of technology-supported activities was developed to enable primary school students aged ten to eleven to learn how to create a narrative based on narrative conventions as part of their literacy curriculum. Links to web- based learning tools and descriptions of related learning strategies were included for each activity. Use of technology was planned with the goal of enhancing the quality of student learning, in particular the stimulation of higher-level thinking skills. The use of technology in each activity is justified based on relevant learning theories and key literature, in particular the theory of collaborative knowledge building. Strategies for evaluation of the successful integration of technology in the activities are proposed.

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Does Second Life allow for a constructivist approach to learning?

Mallan, Kerry M. and Foth, Marcus and Greenaway, Ruth and Young, Greg T. (2010) Serious playground : using Second Life to engage high school students in urban planning. Journal of Learning, Media and Technology, 35(2).

Virtual world platforms such as Second Life have been successfully used in educational contexts to motivate and engage learners. This article reports on an exploratory workshop involving a group of high school students using Second Life for an urban planning project. Young people are traditionally an under-represented demographic when it comes to participating in urban planning and decision making processes. The research team developed activities that combined technology with a constructivist approach to learning. Real world experiences and purposes ensured that the workshop enabled students to see the relevance of their learning. Our design also ensured that play remained an important part of the learning. By conceiving of the workshop as a ‘serious playground’ we investigated the ludic potential of learning in a virtual world.

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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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How does informed learning go beyond information literacy?

Bruce, Christine S., Hughes, Hilary E., & Somerville, Mary M. (2012) Supporting informed learners in the 21st century. Library Trends, 60(3), pp. 522-545.

The idea of informed learning represents and advances understandings of information literacy that incorporate the broader concept of using information to learn: those understandings that go beyond the functional or generic information literacy paradigm and draw attention to the transformational, situated and critical aspects of information literacy. Using information to learn is a natural, but often implicit part of all formal and informal learning environments, and is a vital component of the lifelong learning agendas of many nations worldwide. Supporting informed learning requires conscious attention to the use of information in the learning process, by educators, managers, trainers, and policy makers in all sectors. It requires a far reaching response to policy directions involving a wide range of stakeholders.

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How is knowledge elaborated?

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

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

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Does presenting the same material in written and spoken form really benefit learning and understanding?

Slava Kalyuga, Paul Chandler, John Sweller (2004Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Fall 2004 vol. 46 no. 3 567-581

It is frequently assumed that presenting the same material in written and spoken form benefits learning and understanding. The present work provides a theoretical justification based on cognitive load theory, and empirical evidence based on controlled experiments, that this assumption can be incorrect. From a theoretical perspective, it is suggested that if learners are required to coordinate and simultaneously process redundant material such as written and spoken text, an excessive working memory load is generated. Three experiments involving a group of 25 technical apprentices compared the effects of simultaneously presenting the same written and auditory textual information as opposed to either temporally separating the two modes or eliminating one of the modes. The first two experiments demonstrated that nonconcurrent presentation of auditory and visual explanations of a diagram proved superior, in terms of ratings of mental load and test scores, to a concurrent presentation of the same explanations when instruction time was constrained. The 3rd experiment demonstrated that a concurrent presentation of identical auditory and visual technical text (without the presence of diagrams) was significantly less efficient in comparison with an auditory-only text. Actual or potential applications of this research include the design and evaluation of multimedia instructional systems and audiovisual displays.

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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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How do teachers understand students’ digital learning at home?

Honan, Eileen (2012) A whole new literacy’: Teachers’ understanding of students’ digital learning at home [online]. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, Vol. 35, No. 1, Feb 2012: 82-98.

This paper reports on an analysis of data collected through interviewing four teachers about their understandings of young people’s uses of new digital technologies at home and outside school. The teachers display some understanding and knowledge of their students’ access to new technologies, the skills they have developed using these technologies and the learning that occurs when using digital texts. However, it seems that these teachers cannot perceive the learning in terms of any educational affordance, or cannot see that students’ knowledge of digital texts used outside of school could be useful or have any place in the literacy classroom. The paper concludes with some questions that may start teachers thinking in different ways about their incorporation of digital texts into their literacy classrooms.

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Can 3D virtual worlds be literacy learning environments?

MERCHANT, G. H. (2010). 3D virtual worlds as environments for literacy learning. Educational research, 52 (2), 135-150.

Although much has been written about the ways in which new technology might transform educational practice, particularly in the area of literacy learning, there is relatively little empirical work that explores the possibilities and problems – or even what such a transformation might look like in the classroom. 3D virtual worlds offer a range of opportunities for children to use digital literacies in school, and suggest one way in which we might explore changing literacy practices in a playful, yet meaningful context. From a Foucauldian perspective, the article suggests that social control of pedagogical practice through the regulation of curriculum time, the normalisation of teaching routines and the regimes of individual assessment restricts teachers‟ and pupils‟ conceptions of what constitutes literacy. The counternarrative, found in recent work in new litearcies (Lankshear & Knobel, 2006) provides an attractive alternative, but a movement in this direction requires a fundamental shift of emphasis and a re- conceptualisation of what counts as learning.

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A developmental approach to new media literacy?

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

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

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Should Laptops be banned from classrooms?

Robin A. Boyle  (2011) Should Laptops be Banned? Providing a Robust Classroom Learning Experience Within Limits, Vol. 20, No 1, Perspectives: Teaching Legal Res. & Writing 8

Laptops, iPods, iPads, and BlackBerrys are just a few of the newly developed modes of communication, note-taking, and music-storing devices that creep into our vocabulary–and students’ backpacks. Given the competitive nature of law school, students understandably bring laptops to class hoping to maximize their performance. Unfortunately for all involved, students use their laptops beyond the task of note-taking. The distractions that present themselves in class have led law professors to complain on various fora about the frequency of laptop use in the classroom. Some posit that students’ inappropriate use of laptops in the classroom has exceeded acceptable limits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How can Virtual Social Learning Environments support Communities of Practice?

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

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

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Should school policies protect students from social networking?

Jacqueline Vickery (2011) Why can’t we be (Facebook) friends? Social Networking, risk & school policies, Presented at the EU Kids Online ConferenceLondonSept22-232011

This paper analyzes educational policies within the United States in order to assess how risk is constructed in various social media policies. Policies tend to overstate the role of technology as both the problem and the solution which leads to techno-phobic policies. Additionally, such policies shut down opportunities for student and teacher engagement in both the formal and informal learning spaces. A more nuanced understanding of risk and the role of teachers as mediators is needed to ensure policies are empowering rather than hindering kids’ online engagement.

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Do teachers believe they are competent to promote healthy ICT use among their students?

R. Zlamanskia, M. Ciccarelli (2012) Do teachers believe they are competent to promote healthy ICT use among their students?  Work, A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation Vol, 41 (2012) 869-875

Information and communication technologies (ICT), including computers, are becoming common place tools for learning by school children in Australia and around the world. Teachers are responsible for integrating ICT into the school learning environment; however, they may not recognize how and when ICT use may compromise their students’ physical health. Children’s exposure to physical harm through the unhealthy use of ICT may have liability implications for the education sector.  All Catholic Education school principals in Western Australia were sent an email link to the survey for distribution to teachers at their respective schools. Fifty-five percent of teachers agreed they were concerned about their students’ physical health when using ICT. Only 19% of teachers reported they frequently or always provided their students with information on how to use computers in their class in a way, so as to promote physical health. Teachers identified barriers to promoting healthy computing use among students including; insufficient time (47%), non-adjustable furniture (46%), and insufficient knowledge (41%).  Designing and implementing school-based computer ergonomics education programmes may assist teachers fulfil their duty of care in regard to the physical health and well-being of their students.

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How do IT Teachers Use Differentiated Instruction and Assess for Understanding?

Rollins, R. L. (2012) Assessing the Understanding and Use of Differentiated Instruction: A Comparison of Novice and Experienced Technology Education Teachers, A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty of North Carolina State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education.

The primary purpose of this quantitative online study was to assess the extent to which Technology Education teachers in the state of North Carolina understand and use differentiated instructional components. Additionally, this study examined the differences between novice and experienced TED teachers’ understanding and use of differentiated instructional components. Differentiated instruction is a philosophy which governs practices for addressing the needs of academically diverse students within the classroom. Modifications are made to the content, process, products and learning environment. Data collected from 127 Technology Education teachers were organized, analyzed, and summarized using descriptive statistics. The findings suggest that TED teachers collectively understand and use differentiated instructional components. However, as it relates to years of teaching experience, novice and experienced statistically differed in their understanding of content differentiation, process differentiation, and product differentiation. Additionally, TED novice teachers reported using the component of product differentiation the least.

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How Do Exemplary Science Teachers Use Technology?

Meral Hakverdi-Can,  Thomas M. Dana (2012) EXEMPLARY SCIENCE TEACHERS’ USE OF TECHNOLOGY, The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – January 2012, volume 11 Issue 1

The purpose of this study is to examine exemplary science teachers’ level of computer use, their knowledge/skills in using specific computer applications for science instruction, their use of computer-related applications/tools during their instruction, how often they required their students to use those applications in or for their science class and factors influencing their decisions in using technology in the classroom. The sample of this study includes middle and high school science teachers who received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching Award. Analysis of the survey responses indicated that exemplary science teachers have a variety of knowledge/skills in using computer related applications/tools. The most commonly used computer applications/tools are information retrieval via the Internet, presentation tools, online communication, digital cameras, and data collection probes. Results of the study revealed that students’ use of technology in their science classroom is highly correlated with the frequency of their science teachers’ use of computer applications/tools.

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How Is Instructional Technology Being Integrated in Higher Education?

Mariya Markova (2011) Integrating Instructional Technology into Higher Education, A dissertation submitted to the faculty of Franklin Pierce University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Arts in Leadership in the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

This dissertation presents the findings of an in-depth study conducted at two universities in New England. The purpose of this study is to identify the reasons why higher education faculties are not fully embracing instructional technology. Findings suggest that many faculty members view the instructional technology to be difficult to apply to existing instructional methodologies. In addition, existing technology infrastructure appears to be inadequate and unreliable. While technical problems persist, the primary cause of faculty resistance at this time relates to a lack of adequate faculty development and training resources. Results suggest, given the increasing sophistication of instructional technology, institutions should require a higher degree of technological proficiency than most faculty members currently possess.

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What do Physical Education Teachers Think about Integrating Technology in Physical Education?

Rolf Kretschmann (2012) What do Physical Education Teachers Think about Integrating Technology in Physical Education? European Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 1450-2267 Vol.27 No.3 (2012), pp. 444-448

In an exploratory approach 114 physical education teachers in selected secondary schools in Stuttgart (Germany) were surveyed using a questionnaire for the use of digital media in physical education. The questionnaire contained items for media equipment, media literacy, learning outcome, motivation, gender aspects, and comparison of analog and digital media.In summary, based on the empirical findings, said resistance and skepticism about digital media in physical education among physical education teachers can rather be approved than dispelled. Exemplarily, most physical education teachers stated by overwhelming majority that their teaching in physical education was successful even without integrating digital media at all.

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How can Serious Games Support Education?

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

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

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Why Bother Theorizing Online Literacies?

Donna E. Alvermann (2008) Why Bother Theorizing Adolescents’ Online Literacies for Classroom Practice and Research? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 52(1) September 2008

Teachers, teacher educators, and researchers cannot turn their backs on the inevitable. When school work is deemed relevant and worthwhile, when opportunities exist for students to reinvent themselves as competent learners (even rewrite their social identities), then literacy instruction is both possible and welcomed. But theorizing adolescents’ penchant for creating online content is merely a start—half the task. The other half involves asking the young people whom we teach, conduct research on and with, and teach about in our teacher education classes for their input into how, or for that matter whether, their online literacies should be embraced in the regular curriculum. As Kirkland so deftly reminded us, “The work of [literacy] instruction [is] as much about listening and learning as it is about telling and teaching”

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How Significant is the Web as a Learning Resource?

Si Fan (2011) Significance of the Web as a Learning Resource in an Australian University Context, Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Tasmania June 2011

This research involved the participation of 502 students and 100 teaching staff from seven faculties/disciplines at the University of Tasmania. The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of the Web as a learning resource in this university context. It examined the views of teaching staff and students toward the significance of the Web in teaching and learning practices, and identified the environment in which the Web was used to facilitate teaching and learning. The results of this study indicated a strong recognition of the role of the Web as a learning resource at the University of Tasmania. The Web was recognised as performing an essential role in the processes of communication, information retrieval, collaborative learning and assessment. Also, the Web and web-based technologies were seen as an important supplementary tool for face-to-face learning. However, there were differences between perceived expectations of web-based education by teaching staff and students, and the ways in which it was conducted and managed. By discussing the end-users‟ views and evaluations, recommendations are made on the further development and modification of the Web adoption. It suggests that taking student expectations and needs into consideration can help create a more supportive and meaningful web-based learning environment. Training for both staff and students is also desired to enhance their skills in using the Web as a learning resource and to provide standard web-based support in all courses.

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Do ICT Competences Support Educational Attainment at University?

Kurt De Wit, Dirk Heerwegh (2012) Do ICT Competences Support Educational Attainment at University?, Journal of Information Technology Education: Research Volume 11, 2012

Taking into account that universities assume students will have at least some basic knowledge of the use of computers and the Internet, we hypothesize that the command of ICT skills by freshmen could have an influence on their educational attainment. To test this hypothesis an online questionnaire was used, which was answered by a representative sample of 1,529 freshmen studying at a large university. Four factors are very powerful in predicting a student’s educational attainment: the GPA in secondary school, the number of hours spent weekly on the study of maths in secondary school, the study of classical languages in secondary school, and any ambivalent feelings about the chosen study subject. Contrary to our expectations, ICT social contact skills and basic ICT skills do not provide a better prediction of educational attainment, whereas maintenance skills do.

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How can the TPACK framework be used to understand technology integration?

Charles R. Graham, Jered Borup, Nicolette Burgoyne Smith (2012) Using TPACK as a framework to understand teacher candidates’ technology integration decisions. In Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.

This research uses the technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) framework as a lens for understanding how teacher candidates make decisions about the use of information and communication technology in their teaching. Pre- and post-treatment assessments required elementary teacher candidates at Brigham Young University to articulate how and why they would integrate technology in three content teaching design tasks. Researchers identified themes from student rationales that mapped to the TPACK constructs. Rationales simultaneously supported subcategories of knowledge that could be helpful to other researchers trying to understand and measure TPACK. The research showed significant student growth in the use of rationales grounded in content-specific knowledge and general pedagogical knowledge, while rationales related to general technological knowledge remained constant.

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What is the impact of performance system-based instruction with peer instruction on student learning?

Tracy Michelle Hunter Allison (2012) The Impact of Classroom Performance System-Based Instruction with Peer Instruction Upon Student Achievement and Motivation in Eighth Grade Math Students, A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Education Liberty University January, 2012

The results of this study indicated that eighth grade students who received Classroom Performance System (CPS) based math instruction combined with Peer Instruction (PI) showed a statistically significant difference in posttest scores compared to eighth grade students who received CPS-based math instruction without PI. The findings from this study also demonstrated that student mean scores for motivation were statistically significantly different on two out of four subscales for eighth grade students who received CPS-based math instruction in conjunction with PI compared to eighth grade students who did not receive CPS-based math instruction with PI. Thus, this study suggests that the variable of PI used in conjunction with CPS has a positive effect on enhancing student achievement and certain aspects of student motivation in eighth grade students.

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What is the role of Principals in implementing ICT?

Mojgan Afshari, Simin Ghavifekr, Saedah Siraj and Rahmad Sukor Ab. Samad (2012) Transformational Leadership Role of Principals in Implementing Informational and Communication Technologies in Schools, Life Science Journal, 2012; 9(1)

The implementation of information and communication technologies is very important to schools. Transformational leaders provide greater contributions to implement technology in education. This paper examines the relationship between two independent variables (computer competence and computer use) and transformational leadership role of principals in implementing ICT in schools. This paper based on responses from 320 school leaders in Iran, reports that computer competence and ICT usage are key factors that influence technology leadership behaviors. It is suggested that decision makers should provide professional development for principals to become proficient in all the competency areas.

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How can administrators facilitate technology integration in their school?

Bryan Berrett, Jennifer Murphy and Jamie Sullivan (2012) Administrator Insights and Reflections: Technology Integration in Schools, The Qualitative Report Volume 17 Number 1 January 2012 200-221

There are numerous technology tools that educators utilize to support student learning. Often, technology is mandated from the top down with school administrators’ responsible for overseeing the implementation. Innovative technological approaches to learning often meet resistance within schools. The pervasive culture in education is counteractive to technology integration, which may be useful to pedagogy and in the long run may help students deal with the ever growing level of technology present in today’s society. Characteristics are identified at two out of four schools as a way of assessing the progress of technology integration and locating individuals who will help move the process forward. This knowledge, combined with competent leadership, makes the difference between success and failure of an innovation implementation.

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How information literate are the Google generation entering university?

Fiona Salisbury, Sharon Karasmanis (2011) Are they ready? Exploring student information literacy skills in the transition from secondary to tertiary education, Australian Academic & Research Libraries

How information literate are the Google generation, and what information literacy skills do they bring to university? For university libraries, understanding student prior knowledge provides a foundation on which to introduce appropriate learning activities during the first year. In 2009, in response to a new pedagogical model in health sciences, La Trobe University Library measured and analysed the entry-level information literacy skills of first year health science students. The data was gathered during the first week of semester and 1,029 responses were collected. This paper examines the results of the survey and its implications for programs that broaden and build on students’ existing knowledge base.

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How are ICT-rich learning environments changing teacher practice in India, Turkey, and Chile?

Daniel Light with Scott Strother and Deborah Keisch Polin (2009) Emerging 
changes 
in 
ICT‐rich 
learning 
environments:
 The 
Intel®
Teach 
Essentials 
Course
 and
 changing 
teacher
practice 
in 
India, 
Turkey,
 and
 Chile, Center for Children and Technology Education Development Center

Understanding how technology fits into the complex realities of classrooms was a critical factor in creating real change in the industrialized nations, yet little is known about how educational technology projects are impacting the classrooms of the developing world. This study looked at successful schools from the Intel® Teach Essentials Course in Chile, India and Turkey to explore how schools and teachers have been able to integrate ICT and the pedagogical approaches from the Essentials Course into their schools and how these changes are, in turn, changing what happens in the classroom. The teachers are developing new beliefs about teaching and improving their knowledge of new practices; their students are engaging with content in new ways; and the relationships between teachers and students are changing relationships. And, both groups are using new ICT tools to support learning.


How are Web 2.0 tools changing the culture of learning?

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

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

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What does the TPACK in action look like?

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

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

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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 Google docs be used to support an ESL program?

This paper demonstrates a number of practical applications in which the Google Docs suite is currently being used within a university ESL program in Tokyo. Specifically, it gives examples of the scope and limitations of the free online software on four levels: (1) the program level – management of teaching as- signments and reporting of grades; (2) special program management – online book reports for extensive reading; (3) course management – homework production and submission, and self and peer assessment; and (4) project work – collaborative writing and student-generated questionnaires.

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

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

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

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Are boys disadvantaged by handwritten tests and exams?

Fayza S Al-Hammadi (2009) “The impact of multimedia on critical thinking and writing of Saudi secondary school students”, Information Technology Journal (2010) Volume: 9, Issue: 1, Pages: 11-19

A study was carried out to investigate the impact of multi-media on the critical thinking and writing of Saudi secondary school students. The study compared the critical thinking in two writing samples (essays) from adolescents who attended two Saudi secondary schools for boys and girls. The results demonstrated a gender-specific effect of using computers to compose essays. The boys produced significantly more words, sentences and paragraphs by using computers than those who did not use computers to write and received higher ratings on a structured rubric. Girls scored identical grades in both conditions (handwritten and computer) and performed consistently at par with boys using computers.

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What do students believe about the influence of the Internet on their learning?

Yifat Ben-David Kolikant (2010) Digital natives, better learners? Students’ beliefs about how the Internet influenced their ability to learn, Computers in Human Behavior xxx (2010) xxx–xxx

In the literature students are sometimes assumed to feel empowered with respect to learning because of their familiarity with and access to ICT. However, after interviewing 25 students from post-elementary schools, it was found that the majority of the students, although they use the Internet and other ICT for school purposes, believed that their generation is not as good at learning as the pre-ICT generation. Several students explained the situation in terms of the school’s failure to build on their abilities. Nonetheless, the majority believed that the Internet over-simplifies schoolwork (perceived primarily as the traditional processing of textual sources), which in turn diminishes learning abilities. These results carry important implications regarding school, given that low self-efficacy might make students less likely to apply themselves to learning.

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How does online writing in ESL instruction encourage participation in public discourse?

Chan Mei Yuit & Yap Ngee Thai (2010) Encouraging participation in public discourse through online writing in ESL instruction, 3L The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies Vol 16 (2) 2010

In recent years, writing instructors have started to adopt pedagogies that integrate classroom writing with happenings outside the classroom (see Weisser, 2001; Flower, 2008; Mathieu, 2005). The goal of writing instruction is no longer limited to competence in terms of language, style and techniques, but is expanded to encompass civic literacy. This orientation of writing especially at university level intertwines with the aim of higher education to produce individuals who are empowered to contribute towards a better world through participation in public discourse. In a study conducted at Universiti Putra Malaysia, 1,400 students were required to write publicly in an online forum on issues that affect the lives of the students and the community in which they belong. This paper presents the results of the study and discusses the contribution of a public orientation in ESL writing instruction in fostering ability and motivation to participate in public discourse among university students.

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How are students and teachers using Facebook?

Khe Foon Hew (2011) Students’ and teachers’ use of Facebook, Computers in Human Behavior 27 (2011) 662–676

The purpose of this article is to review current published research studies focusing on the use of Facebook by students and teachers. The aim of the review is not to solely discuss Facebook in relation to teaching or learning purposes, or about its educational value per se, but also to present a detailed account of the participants’ Facebook usage profile or the extent to which users are engaged in Facebook activities. The emphasis of this review will be upon empirical findings rather than opinion- or theoretical explanations. The conclusions overall suggest that Facebook thus far has very little educational use, that students use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with known individuals, and that students tend to disclose more personal information about themselves on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why is effective use of technology so sporadic in educational institutions?

David A. Georgina, Myrna R. Olson (2008) Integration of technology in higher education: A review of faculty self-perceptions, Internet and Higher Education 11 (2008) 1–8

The rush over the last ten years to democratize technology in higher education by pouring vast sums of money into the systematic development of technological infrastructures seems to have surpassed the ability of educational institutions to affect the successful transfer of skill and technological “know how” into the traditional classroom. The increase in technological infrastructures is a direct result of the movement to increase revenue generated by distance education through online courses (Brown, 2003; Ertmer, 2005; Garrison, & Kanuka, 2004; Katz & Associates, 1999; Schrum, Burbank, Engle, Chambers, & Glasset, 2005). The move from online distance education courses and programs towards technologically enhanced traditional classrooms and pedagogies has been much slower. The result of this slow movement seems to suggest that while low level use of technologically enhanced pedagogy is wide-spread, high-level use is more sporadic (Ertmer, 2005). The results of the study showed significant correlations between technology literacy and pedagogical practice integration. The results also revealed that faculty technology training may be maximized for the integration of pedagogy by using the training strategy of small group faculty forums with a trainer.

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What support do teachers need to use ICT meaningfully?

Anne-Grete Nøhr Elliot (2011) From Preservice Teacher Education to the Primary Classroom: An Investigation into Beginning Teachers’ Experiences with Information and Communication Technology, A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education at Massey University, Palmerston North New Zealand

The findings suggest the meaningful use of ICT requires beginning teachers to possess a high level of complex knowledge, including pedagogical content knowledge. They also highlight the importance of a supportive school culture, strong leadership and induction systems for beginning teachers’ development. Notably, participants report relatively fragile conceptions of the potential of ICT for learning and lack knowledge of national and school policies in this area. Most of the beginning teachers were unable to make connections between their work as teachers and the broader policy goals for education. Overall the study offers valuable insights into the experiences of a group of beginning teachers over their first year of teaching, which has implications for tutor teachers, principals, teacher educators and policy makers. Through a new line of research, the thesis reveals the complexity of learning to be an ICT-using teacher and the type of factors that contribute to teacher development.

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Evidence-Based Practice for Libraries: Evolution or Revolution?

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

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

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Do school Libraries need to be flipped?

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

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

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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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Why aren’t computers an essential tool in every classroom?

Jennifer Groff (2008) A Framework for Addressing Challenges to Classroom Technology Use, AACE Journal (2008) Volume: 16, Issue: 1

Creating effective learning environments with technology remains a challenge for teachers. Despite the tremendous push for educators to integrate technology into their classrooms, many have yet to do so and struggle to find consistent success with technology-based instruction. The challenges to effective technology integration have been well documented in the literature. In this article we present a comprehensive review of the literature on the challenges associated with effective technology integration in the classroom and the ways in which they interact with one another. Based on this review we have developed a framework, the Individualized Inventory for Integrating Instructional Innovations (i5), to help teachers predict the likelihood of success of technology-based projects in the classroom and identify potential barriers that can hinder their technology integration efforts. Identifying potential barriers upfront can empower teachers to seek solutions early in the process, thereby increasing the likelihood of experiencing success with technology integration.

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Digital Literacy or Digital Literacies?

Colin Lankshear, Michele Knobel (2008) Digital Literacies—Concepts, Policies and Practices, Peter Lang Publishing

This book brings together a group of internationally-reputed authors in the field of digital literacy. Their essays explore a diverse range of the concepts, policies and practices of digital literacy, and discuss how digital literacy is related to similar ideas: information literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, functional literacy and digital competence. It is argued that in light of this diversity and complexity, it is useful to think of digital literacies the plural as well the singular. The first part of the book presents a rich mix of conceptual and policy perspectives; in the second part contributors explore social practices of digital remixing, blogging, online trading and social networking, and consider some legal issues associated with digital media.

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Where are the ethical fault lines in the digital media?

Carrie James with Katie Davis, Andrea Flores, John M. Francis (2008) Young people, ethics, and the new digital media: A synthesis from the GoodPlay Project, White paper for the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Initiative, The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts

In late 2006, our research team at Harvard Project Zero launched a three-year project funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The goals of the GoodPlay Project are twofold—(1) to investigate the ethical contours of the new digital media and (2) to create interventions to promote ethical thinking and, ideally, conduct. In the first year of the project, we conducted background research to determine the state of knowledge about digital ethics and youth and to prepare ourselves for our empirical study. This report describes our thinking in advance of beginning our empirical work. We expect to revisit the framework and arguments that are presented here after our empirical study is complete.

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Do we really need to improve schools to improve education?

Allan Collins, Richard Halverson (2009) Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools, Distance Education, Teachers College Press, Pages: 1-11

The digital revolution has hit education, with more and more classrooms plugged into the whole wired world. But are schools making the most of new technologies? Are they tapping into the learning potential of today’s Firefox/Facebook/cell phone generation? Have schools fallen through the crack of the digital divide? In Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, Allan Collins and Richard Halverson argue that the knowledge revolution has transformed our jobs, our homes, our lives, and therefore must also transform our schools. Much like after the school-reform movement of the industrial revolution, our society is again poised at the edge of radical change. To keep pace with a globalized technological culture, we must rethink how we educate the next generation or America will be “left behind.” This article summarizes the arguments of their groundbreaking book and  offers a vision for the future of American education that goes well beyond the walls of the classroom to include online social networks, distance learning with “anytime, anywhere” access, digital home schooling models, video-game learning environments, and more.

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Can phenomenography be a conceptual framework for information literacy in education?

Susie Andretta (2007) Phenomenography: a conceptual framework for information literacy education, ASLIB Proceedings (2007) Volume: 59, Issue: 2

By exploring learning from the learners point of view, and by focusing on the relationship between user/learner and information, the relational model proposes an holistic evaluation of learning exemplified by the qualitative changes in the way a person conceives and interacts with the world, rather than the testing of the amount of knowledge, or measuring the set of skills a learner acquires. The relational model promoted by Bruce et al. (2006), explores the dynamic relationship between learner and information within the context of information literacy, although the conceptual framework of the six frames of information literacy could be applied to any subject-specific scenario. This perspective necessarily calls for a shift of emphasis in Higher Education provision away from a learning what approach and towards a learning how attitude. To facilitate this shift Bruce et al. (2006) suggest that the relational model can be used to moderate other approaches to information literacy, thus promoting a pedagogy based on variation of learning that fosters independent and lifelong learning attitudes.

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How can Bourdieu’s concepts help overcome the binary division of technology and society?

Jonathan Sterne (2003) Bourdieu, Technique and Technology, Cultural Studies 17(3/4) 2003, 367–389

This paper examines the place of technology in Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory, and argues for the relevance of Bourdieu’s thought to the study of technology. In moving from an examination of the status of technology in Bourdieu’s work through to his broad approach to social practice and his widely cited concept of habitus, it is argued that technologies are crystallizations of socially organized action. As such, they should be considered not as exceptional or special phenomena in a social theory, but rather as very much like other kinds of social practices that recur over time. Ultimately, through the use of Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, and capital, we are able to overcome the binary divisions such as technology/society and subject/object that have plagued technology studies.

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Are collaborative teaching and inquiry PjBL the best way to develop Information Literacy and IT skills?

Chu, S. K. W., Chow, K. & Tse, S. K. (2011). Developing Hong Kong primary school students‘ information literacy and IT skills through collaborative teaching and inquiry PjBL. Library & Information Science Research

Information literacy and information technology (IT) skills have become increasingly important in today’s knowledge society. However, many studies have shown that students across different educational levels from primary to postgraduate level actually lack crucial information literacy and IT skills, thus the need for an effective pedagogical approach that will develop these skills. This study investigated the effect of combining a collaborative teaching approach with inquiry project-based learning (PjBL) on the development of primary students’ information literacy and IT skills. Students in a Hong Kong primary school completed two inquiry-based group projects. A collaborative teaching approach involving three teachers in different subject areas (General Studies, Chinese, and IT) and the school librarian was adopted in guiding students through the two projects. Results indicated the positive impact of collaborative teaching and inquiry PjBL on the development of students’ information literacy and IT skills.

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How is ICT impacting Thai Education?

Pote Sapianchai, Paul TJ James (2005) ICT in Thai Education: Ideological and Structural Determinants that Support its Development, Introduction and Use

Educational technology – in its many forms, guises and usage’s – is considered to be central to assisting the application and management of quality within the classroom and that to improve attainment levels using ICT, the Thai education system needs to support institutions as learning organizations, by employing new ways of working in which informed choices are exercised by capable professionals (based on Kinder, 2002) and scholarly parents. Attitudes to technology appear to affect how technology is viewed and used. This is also a management issue, as a more positive attitude to ICT makes it easier to accept and experiment with. The development of access to facilities requires a managerial strategy that reflects the various uses the technology is used for, priority in resourcing needs, and school managerial and structural strategies. All these elements have to work together in order to ensure a variety of access conditions for both staff and students. Thai Classrooms are not passive environments and technology can enhance these environments by helping to develop interactive teaching and learning strategies. However, acceptance of the use such technology appears to reflect a set of ideological, political and cultural biases that narrows the field of socialisation to that invested in the technology. Technology-rich classrooms could help deliver more flexible learning strategies and make it easier for Thai educational institutions to assist in the development of both learners and staff.

 

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Are schools making the most of new technologies?

A Collins, R Halverson (2009) Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools, Distance Education (2009) Publisher: Teachers College Pres

Parents and citizens need to push for a more expansive view of education reform. School leaders and teachers need to understand how learning technologies work and how they change the basic interactions of teachers and learners. Technology leaders need to work together with educators, not as missionaries bearing magical gifts, but as collaborators in creating new opportunities to learn. It will take a concerted effort to bring about such a radical change in thinking. If a broader view develops in society, leaders will emerge who can bring about the political changes necessary to make the new educational resources available to everyone.

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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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Can there ever be a single unified metanarrative on the benefits of ICT in education?

Vinesh Chandra, Margaret Lloyd (2008) The methodological nettle: ICT and student achievement, British Journal of Educational Technology (2008)

A major challenge for researchers and educators has been to discern the effect of ICT use on student learning outcomes. This paper maps the achievements in Year 10 Science of two cohorts of students over two years where students in the first year studied in a traditional environment while students in the second took part in a blended or e-learning environment. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the authors have shown that ICT, through an e-learning intervention, did improve student performance in terms of test scores. They have also shown that this improvement was not global with the results for previously high-performing female students tending to fall while the results for lower-achieving boys rose. There was also a seeming mismatch between some students’ affective responses to the new environment and their test scores. This study shows the complexity of ICT-mediated environments through its identification and description of three core issues which beset the credibility of research in ICT in education. These are (1) ICT as an agent of learning, (b) site specificity, and (c) global improvement.

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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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How can schools develop their own ICT curriculum?

Vanderlinde, B. R., Braak, J. V., Windt, V. D., Tondeur, J., Hermans, R., & Sinnaeve, I. (2008). Technology Curriculum and Planning for Technology in Schools: The Flemish case. TechTrends52(2), 23-26.

As a significant step in the consolidation of the importance of technology in education, the Flemish Government recently (September 2007) introduced a formal technology curriculum for schools. This compulsory curriculum replaces already existing but non-binding technology guidelines and is an important action in the Flemish policy of educational technology support. The introduction of a technology curriculum brings educational technology in schools to a turning point: Technology is no longer considered as being dependent on teachers’ individual efforts or willingness, but is becoming compulsory at the school level. The Flemish educational technology curriculum is written in terms of attainment targets. These targets are minimum objectives concerning the knowledge, insight, skills, and attitudes the government regards as necessary for and attainable by pupils at different educational levels. The formulation of a compulsory technology curriculum opens new perspectives for Flemish schools when working on putting technology into practice. Schools are challenged to translate the technology curriculum into concrete teaching and learning activities. For this purpose, they can use the online tool PICTOS (Planning for ICT on School) to establish their school-based technology plan. This article discusses the five design principles which, at the same time, act as characteristics of PICTOS

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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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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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