FETC 2012: Interactive Whiteboard Content for Early Learners
Interactive Whiteboard + Content = Preschool Literacy and Math Success FETC Conference January 2012 Lilla Dale McManis, PhD Tryna King firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Copyright 2012 Hatch Inc. All Rights Reserved
OverviewI. Research on content-infused interactive whiteboards and preschoolers literacy and math success.II. Let’s Play!III. Ways programs can use and measure the success of such educational technology as interactive whiteboards to support school readiness.
Academic ContentWhy focus on literacy and mathematics?• They are often considered to be the cornerstone of school success.• Cognitive development can be seen as an extended set of skills and proficiencies which are multidimensional and include: – language/literacy – math reasoning – general knowledgeKagan, S.L., Moore, E., & Bredekamp, S. 1995. Reconsidering Children’s Early Development andLearning: Toward Common Views and Vocabulary. Washington, DC: National Education GoalsPanel.
How Children Learn Best• Combination of child directed and discovery (Piaget and Neo-Piagetians)• Teacher led/assisted instruction (Vygotsky)• Experiences that are: – Meaningful – Engaging – Allow children to be successful – Can result in self-efficacy (Bandura) B. Bowman et al. 2000. Eager to Learn. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309068363 S. Landry. 2005. Effective Early Childhood Programs. http://www.childrenslearninginstitute.org/Library/Publications/documents/Effective- Early_Childhood-Programs.pdf
Provided it’s Developmentally Appropriate• Based on theory – Child development – Learning – Teaching• Based on good design principles – Child-friendly – Promotes progress – Supports teaching• Based on meaningful and relevant outcomes – Knowledge – Skills – Self-efficacyNAEYC. Technology in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/Draft%20Technology%20in%20Early%20Chil dhood%20Programs%204-29-2011.pdf
Positive Outcomes• Preschool age children are developmentally ready and capable of benefiting from instruction enhanced by technology.• Educational technology is known to have a major, positive impact on children’s development in: – Social-emotional -Cognitive -Language – Literacy -Writing -MathematicsClements, D.H., & J. Sarama. 2003. Strip Mining for Gold: Research and Policy in Educational Technology: A Response to ‘Fool’s Gold’. AACE Journal 11 (1): 7-69. McCarrick, K., & L. Xiaoming. 2007. Buried Treasure: The Impact of Computer Use on Young Children’s Social, Cognitive, Language Development and Motivation. AACE Journal 15 (1): 73-95. Glaubke, C. 2007. The Effects of Interactive Media and Preschoolers’ Learning: A Review of the Research and Recommendations for the Future. Oakland, CA: Children Now. http://www.childrennow.org/uploads/documents/prek_interactive_learning_2007.pdf
Just What is an IWB?• Virtually anything done on a computer can be done on an interactive white board.• One advantage is the interaction involves fingers and pens so more kinesthetic.• Drawing, marking and highlighting of any computer-based output is supported.• Whole class can follow interactions.• Lessons and student work can be saved and replayed/retrieved.
From a Pedagogical PerspectiveKey features of interactive whiteboards which taketheir role beyond being a mere display include their:• Interactivity• Size• Accessibility for all learners• RecordabilityH. Smith et al. 2005. Interactive Whiteboards: Boon or Bandwagon? A Critical Review of the Literature. http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/spechtp/551/IWB_Boon_Bandwagon.pdf
Usability-Based Research• Teachers and students like the technology.• Students are more engaged and motivated.• Use of whiteboards shifts instruction from presentation to interaction.• More focus on content.Hall, I. & Higgins, S. 2005. Primary school students perceptions of interactive whiteboards. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 21(2): 102-117.D. Painter, E. Whiting, & B. Wolters. 2005. The Use of an Interactive Whiteboard in Promoting Interactive Teaching and Learning. http://gse.gmu.edu/assets/docs/tr/interactive-board_tr.pdf
What Teachers Say• Northcote and colleagues conducted a project with teachers of primary school children (K-7): – To investigate different ways that IWBs are used in primary schools – To document teachers’ current practice with IWBsNorthcote, M., Mildenhall, P., Marshall, L., & Swan, P. (2010). Interactive Whiteboards: Interactive or Just Whiteboards? Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(4), 494-510. http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet26/northcote.pdf
Outcomes-Based Research• We define outcomes here as literacy and mathematics achievement as measured by a formal instrument.• Studies with preschool age children cannot generally be found.• There are some with early elementary.
Early Elementary• Navajo children in 3rd & 4th grades.• Comparison group had lessons at desktop computers, experimental group got identical lesson with their teacher using a Smartboard.• Greater gains from pre- to posttest for students whose teachers used a Smartboard.Zittle, F.J. 2004. Enhancing Native American Mathematics Learning: The Use of Smartboard Generated Virtual Manipulatives for Conceptual Understanding. Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. 5512-5515.
Engagement & Collaboration• Wood (2002) describes a study on almost 30 preschools in the UK that had IWBs.• Found that children who wouldn’t normally choose to work on the computer were doing so with the IWB.• Their teachers observed these young children could do the activities without needing the fine-motor skills required to operate a mouse.• Teachers observed greater collaboration and sharing of the task than at a desktop computer.Wood, C. 2002. Interactive Whiteboards - A luxury Too Far? Teaching ICT 1(2).
Today’s Study: Summary• Interactive Whiteboard system.• Focus on literacy and mathematics content.• Preschool children made significant and practical gains.McManis, L.D., S. Gunnewig, & M. McManis. 2010. The Effectiveness of the Hatch TeachSmart Learning System in Improving Literacy and Mathematics Outcomes for Preschoolers. Winston-Salem, NC: Hatch Early Learning. http://www.hatchearlychildhood.com/Resources/TeachSmart-EfficacyStudy- 2011-Fire.pdf
Sample• 8 classrooms.• 3 schools.• 3 separate school districts.• English language of instruction.• Low-income preschoolers.• English home language.• No additional intervention was happening.
Sample• Both pre- and posttest data available for 86 of the 88 children tested.• Girls 52% of the sample; boys 48%.• Average age of children at pretest was 4.6; at posttest 5.0.
Methods• Repeated measures (pretest – posttest) design.• 11 children per classroom.• Randomly selected.• Tested on literacy and mathematics.• Individually by trained assessors.• Battery about 30 to 45 minutes.• Average of 6 months between pre-and posttest.
Exploratory• To counter lack of control group: –Random selection –Low attrition –Norming group for non-equivalent control group
Implementation• Same training for teachers.• Used system prior to the study.• Focus on literacy and math first.• Study children one hour per week.• Any group size.• Optional scope and sequence.• Informal tracking sheet.
Measures• Three screening tests used to determine children’s school readiness skills: – Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL) – Get Ready to Read! Early Literacy Screening Tool (GRTR) – C-PALLS+ Math Screener
System Design• Features activities in the skill areas of literacy/language, mathematics, social studies and science.• Aligned with national prekindergarten standards.• Literacy and mathematics content is based on the findings of the National Early Literacy Panel and the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics.Developing Early Literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. 2008. http://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/NELPReport09.pdfMathematics Learning in Early Childhood Paths Toward Excellence and Equity. Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics. 2009. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12519
System Design• Activities for large groups, small groups, or individuals.• Scaffolding in emerging, still developing, developed and for some activities, extension levels.• Other features: – Lesson plan – Standards – Research – Activities for integration – Tutorial – Look and listen – Progress monitoring – Digital portfolios
Test of Early Preschool Literacy• A comparison of the mean pretest ELI to the posttest ELI shows a significant increase in early literacy skills (p < .001). TOPEL Early Literacy Index 101 100 99 98 97 96 Median Early 95 Literacy Index 94 93 92 91 Pretest Posttest
Test of Early Preschool Literacy• Median ELI at pretest was 94 (35th percentile of the normative sample). Percentile Change• At posttest was 100 (50 th 60 percentile of the 50 normative sample). 40• Children began well 30 below average and 20 ended as average. 10 0
Get Ready to Read!• Comparison between pretest and posttest mean scores showed a statistically significant increase (p < .001). Get Ready to Read! 16 14 12 GRTR Mean Scores 10 8 Pretest Posttest
CPALLS+ Math• Significant increase in the mean score on the C-PALLS+ Math Screener from pre- to posttest (p <. 001). C-PALLS+ Math 20 C-PALLS+ Math Mean Scores 15 10 Pretest Posttest
C-PALLS+ Math Pretest School Ready for Math Not School Ready for Math C-PALLS+ Math Posttest School Ready for Math Not School Ready for Math
Comparing to “Business as Usual” Classrooms• For example, in a large reliability & validity study the GRTR! baseline (right before children began their preschool year) mean score was 10.12 and 3 to 7 mo’s later was 9.85• No intervention in this sample from Head Start 41%, public pre-k 33% & private preschool 25%.• At pretest, our mean score for the randomly selected children (n=86) was 11.20 and six months later at posttest was 15.18.
Authenticity and Generalizability• In real classrooms with real teachers and real children.• Not perfectly structured.• Feasible amount of time with the educational technology.• Training and useful tools for keeping track of activities and progress.
ConclusionsThe importance of this finding is twofold:• The literacy and math skills on which these at-risk preschool children increased are known to be predictors of success in school; both in the short-term, in kindergarten and first grade, and have an impact on their entire schooling experience.
Conclusions• The study supports the hypothesis that educational technology, as both a vehicle for presenting information and as a vehicle for bringing strong content, can be used successfully with young children in early childhood education settings.
Limitations and Future Directions• In this exploratory study, the children were randomly selected but no true control group.• Findings are worthy but need to be replicated under a more stringent design.• We have plans to conduct confirmatory research in a variety of geographic locations and early childhood settings.
Using an IWB in Your Program• Being very clear about your goals is probably the single most important factor in your success.• Using the standards that are integral to your program will provide an excellent foundation.• Writing IWB activities into your daily lesson plan will help you both think about them systematically and increase the chances that you will make sure the board and activities are actually used by the children.
Scaffolding• Thinking about supporting children’s learning using scaffolding is another way to help ensure children’s success.• Scaffolding can happen both around the use of the technology and within the content on the technology (Yelland & Masters, 2007).• Be sure too to allow time for the children, and for yourself, to get to know how to use the board so that when the activities are presented the learning content is first and foremost.Yelland, N. & J. Masters. 2007. Rethinking Scaffolding in the Information Age. Computers & Education, 48, 362-382. http://www.cblt.soton.ac.uk/multimedia/PDFsMM09/Rethinking%20scaffolding%20in%20the%20i nfo%20age.pdf
Customization• You can also adapt, update, and customize activities very easily by using the footprint of an already existing activity.• Extending activities is also very possible, for example, children can work on a group project over time by retrieving the activity and continuing its progress such as developing a story.
Teacher’s Role• Recognizing how important the teacher is in the process and success really cannot be overstated (Nir-Gal & Klein, 2004).• Probably the main pitfall to avoid is not giving yourself enough time to select or design activities.• While this is time consuming, one of the benefits of the IWB is that once done you can pull these out very quickly.Nir-Gal, O. and Klein, P.S. 2004. Computers for cognitive development in early childhood- the teachers role in the computer learning environment. Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual, p. 97-119.
Professional Development• Getting together with others at your site or in your organization to share the work of developing and/or selecting activities makes for a powerful learning community opportunity.• Look too for online groups to share ideas and experiences.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Using an IWB in Your Program• You will want to think about what your IWB system is and what you want included with regard to activities and learning experiences.• Matching back to goals, learning outcomes or standards, etc. is essential.• Collecting ‘data’ should be done systematically and regularly.
Measuring Success• There are a variety of ways to do this and they are basically the same as when you use any kind of instructional approach and content with children.• Observation, checklists, and screeners can also be used before, during, and while children use activities on the board.
‘Showing’ Success• The IWB has one strength that is unique. If you have a board that can record children’s actions and language in real time, you can capture their performance at various times on the same or similar activities.• This kind of record along with the more traditional can give you the benefit of “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
Considerations• Some of these include if children do not get enough exposure to the technology. If teachers aren’t using the technology with the children, they don’t get adequate exposure. This can lead to a situation where positive results are less likely.• If you change the technology mid-stream by adding or deleting lots of new software or apps this will throw off your results.• If you do either of these, you would need to carefully attend to and measure this.
Considerations, Con’t• If you have a lot of movement of children in and out of the classroom they won’t be getting an even and consistent experience and this can have a similar effect.• Where the technology is housed must also be considered. If it is a computer lab children go to once a week with no teacher interaction or follow up, the gains will likely be less than if in the classroom and an integrated part of the curriculum.
Who the Learners Are• If you have a mix of children who are non ELL and ELL, non special needs and special needs you can have a situation where the scores/outcomes are lowered on average.• You may want to look at the progress of these kinds of learners separately.
Training for the Teachers• Other issues are that if the teacher who was originally trained has left, you cannot assume the new teacher knows how to effectively use the technology.• You may be that new teacher and if so asking for a training is very appropriate.
Closing Thoughts and Q & A• Research on newer technologies for learning is in its infancy.• We need ‘all hands on deck’.
Future Talks/Presentations• EETC: Early Education Technology Conference March 14-16 in Salt Lake City – Evaluating Educational Technology in Early Childhood – Progress Monitoring in Educational Technology – Interactive/Customizable Educational Technology – Usability of a Literacy and Math Content-Infused Interactive Whiteboard with Preschoolers• McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership Connections Conference May 10-12 in Chicago – Evaluating Educational Technology in Early Childhood• International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference June 25 in San Diego – School Readiness: Outcomes and Approaches