Chapter 3 Assignment
Consideration Your Response
What is your topic? Teacher training for technology in the classroom.
What do you want to learn about this Are teachers being properly trained to make their technology
topic? work to its best potential for them?
What are you planning to do in order Research what has been studied by others in the field and
to address the topic? then interview teachers in the district regarding their
experience. Develop a manual for other teachers to use in the
To whom will the outcome of your Teachers in the Benicia Unified School District, specifically
study be important? elementary school teachers.
How much time do you anticipate the The interviews can be done within a few days, but the
study requiring? training handbook will take a couple of weeks to complete.
How difficult do you anticipate it will I don’t think it will be difficult to complete the study,
be to conduct the study? although I’m not so sure how much research will be readily
Will there be any monetary costs? Not that I know of at this time.
Do you foresee any ethical problems? No.
2. Ethical considerations a researcher should consider when completing an action research project are to
make sure the research being done does not expose the participants (like students and teachers) to harm of any
kind, including physical, emotional, and psychological harm.
3. I believe the most difficult part of doing reconnaissance would be reflecting on your own beliefs regarding
the action research topic and education as a whole. It is difficult for many people to take a step back from
what we do each day in our classrooms and reflect on why we believe what we do and how we came about
those beliefs. I also think that it would be very difficult to understand the historical context of your own
school and how the teaching in the school has evolved, changed, or stayed the same. It seems there could be
another research project that could stem from those findings alone.
4. I believe the most difficult aspect of conducting a literature review for my action research project will be
finding articles that fit my topic and needs so that I can apply my own ideas and expectations without
reinventing the wheel. I think I will find many articles that may be related to my topic, but few that
encompass the entirety of what I hope to accomplish with my project. I also think that I may end up with
more questions than answers after pouring over different research that has already been conducted and
5. See number 6 for both papers.
APA Citation of the author (s) and title.
Swan, K., Schenker, J. & Kratcoski, A. (2008). The Effects of the Use of Interactive Whiteboards on Student
Achievement. In J. Luca & E. Weippl (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia,
Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2008 (pp. 3290-3297). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Edmonds, K., & Li, Q. (2005). Teaching At-Risk Students with Technology: Teachers' Beliefs, Experiences,
and Strategies for Success. Online Submission, Retrieved from ERIC database.
Type of design or methodology was used.:
Quantitative (compared language arts and math scores from state testing), and qualitative (teacher’s
comments were examined).
Qualitative data analysis.
Educational issue being researched.:
Interactive whiteboards and their affect on student achievement in language arts and math.
At-risk students and their success with technology based learning.
Research hypothesis, question or area of inquiry.:
Do students whose teachers use interactive whiteboards to assist in math or reading/language art instruction
perform better academically (on standardized tests of mathematics and reading achievement) than those who
Among classes where interactive whiteboards were used, were there differences in usage between classes
whose average test scores were above grade level means and those who weren’t?
Explore the experiences and approaches of teachers who use technology to instruct struggling students, and
to examine the difficulties that teachers encounter when using technology with at-risk learners.
Dependent variable(s) (if applicable.). :
Instructing with an interactive whiteboard in language arts or math.
Independent variable(s). (if applicable). :
Instructing without an interactive whiteboard in language arts or math.
Where does the research take place and who were the participants?
The research took place in a small city school district in northern Ohio. The subjects were students enrolled
in 11 elementary schools, 3 junior high schools, and 1 alternative school. One-third of the school district’s
student population were minorities, with the largest number (21%) being African-American. Eight percent
of the district’s students live below the poverty line.
Research took place in a school district within Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The participants were nine female
teachers who work closely with at-risk students using technology. These teachers have worked with
secondary and adult students who face learning barriers such as lack of English skills, repeated failure at
school, aboriginal descent, learning disabilities, and academic or developmental challenges. Three teachers
taught courses exclusively at a distance through online learning, while the other six teachers taught at-risk
learners in blended learning environments.
How were data collected? Who collected it?
Researchers obtained scores from the Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) in language arts and math from school
administrators for the 2006-2007 school year. Administrators also provided demographic information for the
participating students including students’ school, teacher(s), grade level, sex, race/ethnicity, and IEP status.
In addition, data concerning teachers’ use of interactive whiteboards was obtained through an online survey
completed weekly (for 10 weeks).
The data collected were teachers’ reflection on their experience and beliefs about teaching at-risk learners
with technology. Participants answered 5 open-ended questions: 1) How have you used technology with at-
risk learners? 2) How effective or successful was this mode of delivery with these students? 3) What
problems and key concerns did you have using this method with these learners? Were you able to address
any of these? How? 4) What suggestions and/or recommendations do you have for other teachers in working
with at-risk students using technology? 5) Do you have future plans for continuing this kind of work? Please
How was the data analyzed?
In order to determine the relationship between interactive whiteboard use and student achievement in math
and language arts, the scores of students whose teachers used interactive whiteboards in math and/or
language arts instruction was compared with the scores of students whose teachers did not use them using
analysis of variance (ANOVA). Average OAT math and language arts/reading scores for each teachers’
students was also computed. Researchers also collected data from teachers regarding their interactive
whiteboard usage using an online survey for 10 weeks. Teachers self-reported the frequency of interactive
whiteboard use in math, language arts/reading, and/or for classroom management. Respondents were also
asked to note effective or otherwise interesting uses made of interactive whiteboards during the previous
week in math instruction, language arts/reading instruction, and/or classroom management.
To find more effective uses of whiteboards, whiteboard teachers whose students scored above overall means
on standardized tests of math and/or language arts were identified. Self-report data for these teachers was
descriptively compared with self-report data from teachers who used interactive whiteboards but whose
students scored at or below the general mean in math and/or reading. Weekly frequency of whiteboard use
was averaged for each teacher across the ten week reporting period. Average use in three categories was
then compared between high-achieving teachers and all other: frequency of use for math instruction,
frequency of use for language arts/reading instruction, and frequency of use for classroom management.
Teachers’ comments concerning whiteboard usage in each category was qualitatively examined for themes
and trends and similarly compared between high achieving and average and/or below average classes.
Qualitative data analysis was used to identify emergent themes. These emerged salient themes were
extracted to answer research questions.
What were the results of the study?
Results show a small achievement increase among students whose teachers used interactive whiteboards for
language arts and math instruction. The increases were quite small and statistically significant only in math.
Positive results were especially pronounced in fourth and fifth grade levels and significant interactions
between achievement gains and grade levels were found in both math and language arts. In addition, when
teacher were grouped by their students’ math and language arts performance, teachers whose students scored
above the mean on both assessments were found to use the whiteboards more frequently (almost every day)
than the teachers whose students scored at our below the means on these tests. The analysis of the self-
reported use of whiteboards from teachers whose students scored above the mean on one or both assessments
also showed that interactive whiteboards are most effective when used to support visualization and
interactivity, and using whiteboards for more student-centered activities.
Researchers found that the use of technology contributes to the increased success rates for at-risk learners,
but exclusive online learning may not work for everyone. For some students, the use of technology offered
independent learning opportunities, but this could also be overwhelming for some. Researchers also found
six different themes that make good strategies for using technology with at-risk learners. The six strategies
were choice, diverse curriculum, structure, customization, blended learning, and safe learning environments.
They also mentioned that teachers looking to teach and connect with at-risk learners may find technology
offers the means to deliver modified programs that focus on the learners’ needs. At-risk learners will also
need more scaffolding, examples and explanations, and a variety of tools to construct their work. They
should feel a sense of belonging, safety, and support as well.
Critique of the design and methodology of the study. Evaluation of the methodology section.
Were the clients adequately described? Please explain.
Yes, student subjects in the study were adequately described although details were not offered. I do feel that
teacher participants could have been better described especially the grade levels and subjects that performed
better in language arts and math.
No, the clients could have been better described by adding how long they had been working with technology
and at-risk students, along with what specific subjects / technology they taught and used. The researchers
gave minimal information about the participants and their background with the subject.
Was the setting adequately described? Please explain.
Yes, the setting was described well with demographics and general information about the school district and
No, the setting could have been better described by explaining what kinds of schools the nine participants
worked at and when/how they communicated or taught their students using technology.
Was the research design appropriate? Please explain.
Yes, the research design was appropriate but it would have been helpful to know more about the ways
whiteboards were being used using a graph to show trends or themes found amongst all of the teachers in the
Yes, the research design was appropriate but there could have been more details regarding how answers were
coded and themes were found and checked amongst researchers involved in the study.
Were the dependent variable (s) and independent variables (s) adequately described? Please
Yes, the variables were both straight forward and appropriate for the study.