Professional Article Critiques and SummariesDocument Transcript
Koblitz, N. (1996). The Case Against Computers in K‐13 math EducaCon (Kindergarten through Calculus). The Mathema)cal Intelligencer, 18(1), 56‐60.Research ArCcleSummary: This arCcle was wriLen from a very diﬀerent perspecCve and about a diﬀerent country. In the country of Peru, the public school system is in major crisis and the President is wanCng to "modernize" the educaConal systems. In order to do this, he is pushing to put computers into every school. But like most countries, the funding is just not there. The teachers pay is low, the schools are falling apart, and there is no money for school supplies. The author believes that the United States has an interest in creaCng new markets for their computers, because then more and more funds will ﬂow back to us and countries like Peru will become dependent on U.S. technology. For about a decade, pressure has been mounCng to import computer learning from the wealthy countries into the poorer ones. The author believes that resources could be beLer spent in other ways‐‐to raise teachers salaries, purchase classroom supplies and expand libraries. He believes that there has been too much hype about technology in math educaCon, and it is Cme to consider the downside. He states that the downside can be divided into four areas: drain on resources, bad pedagogy, anC‐intellectual appeal, and corrupCon of educators. He feels that the children of today are becoming too accustomed to large doses of passive, visual entertainment. They tend to develop a short aLenCon span, and expect immediate graCﬁcaCon. They are usually ill equipped to study mathemaCcs, because they lack paCence, self‐discipline, and the ability to concentrate for long periods. CriCcal EvaluaCon: This paper really made me think. Even though this paper was wriLen in 1996, it feels as though these issues are sCll around. We, as teachers, are taking pay cuts, buying supplies with our own money, having an allotment for copies, and not receiving new consumables. If money is scarce, then how are we aﬀording to purchase new so_ware for our enCre system?
Braznzburg, J., (2008). InteracCve Math Classroom Adds Up to Success. Teaching and Learning Magazine Online.Professional PracCceSummary: Kate Beal of St. Joes Academy, an all girls secondary school in Baton Rouge, was looking for a way to generate more excitement about math. She came up with the idea of adding a computer monitoring system and tablet PCs. Not only did her students get excited about the new technology, but her test scores improved. She was able to monitor, control and share all from her tablet PC. She is also able to poll students to make sure they understand the math concepts being reviewed. Ms. Beal is also able to create interacCve lessons that she can have one‐on‐one interacCon with through her computer. There is the capability of having all of the students working on their personal tablet and showing up on everybody elses tablet. The students are able to watch, interact, and learn from the rest of the class in real Cme. This in turn promotes cooperaCve learning. One of the most appealing aspects of this type teaching is the fact that students can view any of the teachers lessons whenever they need too, because the lessons are saved as a Powerpoint presentaCon. If a student needs extra help or was absent, then all they have to do is upload the appropriate lesson.CriCcal EvaluaCon: I feel as though this arCcle provides us with a wonderful example of how computer technology, if implemented correctly, can greatly impact student learning and bring them into the 21st century. As a teacher of second grade, we are constantly ﬁghCng the baLle of keeping our students engaged in a lesson. With computers and handheld electronic devices becoming more available to everyone, kids are looking for visual sCmulaCon and immediate graCﬁcaCon. It is becoming very hard to produce a "meaningful" or "engaging" lesson on a daily basis. Using only paper and pencil is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
Haugland, S. (2007). Computers in the Early Childhood Classroom. Earlychildhood News, hLp://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/arCcle_print.aspx?ArCcleId=239.Theory‐into‐PracCceSummary: Teachers play a very important role in young childrens lives concerning the use computers. In 1994, President Clinton signed the Goals 2000 educate America Act and in 1996, NAEYC adopted a PosiCon Statement on Technology and Young Children: Ages Three to eight. Since computers are going to be used in early childhood classrooms, it is important that they be used in developmentally appropriate ways. In order to do this, Ms. Haugland suggests that there are ﬁve components that are important: computer placement, so_ware selecCon, teacher interacCon, supporCng acCviCes, and teacher training/support. Where we place our computers can have a dramaCc impact on when and how eﬀecCvely students will use the computers. Ms. Hauglands research (1989) has shown that when computers are secConed oﬀ with dividers and placed in a quiet, isolated locaCon, children do not experience the gains that they do when computers are integrated into the classroom. She suggests that the computer should be placed in a central locaCon and arranged so that the monitors can be seen by most of the classroom. This way, children can determine when a computer is available for use and the rest of the class can interact with those who are using the computer. The most important decision a teacher makes regarding computers is selecCng developmentally appropriate so_ware. When children use developmentally appropriate so_ware, it has been shown that the learning outcomes are signiﬁcantly beLer than when not developmentally appropriate. Those children that used the developmental so_ware had signiﬁcantly higher gains in intelligence, non‐verbal skills, structural knowledge, long‐term memory, and complex manual dexterity. The ﬁrst step with teacher interacCon and the computers is to appropriately introduce the children to the computers in their classroom. Providing children with posiCve computer direcCon ensures that all children will have a posiCve beginning experience. This assistance does not have to always
come from adults, peers can provide valuable assistance a well. Children should be encouraged to use the computer, not forced. AcCviCes in the classroom should provide important support to computer experiences. In the Haugland (1992) research, only when supplemental acCviCes were available to reinforce the major objecCves of so_ware did children show signiﬁcant gains in conceptual skills, verbal skills, problem solving and abstracCon. For all of this work, training the teachers is very important. A lot of teachers have tried to self teach themselves through trial and error, but this is very Cme consuming and frustraCng. Workshops, seminars, on‐site training and networking with other teachers are very valuable resources. CriCcal EvaluaCon:Experiences with computers, like all other new materials, equipment, and resources we provide young children, need to be developmentally appropriate. When computer experiences match children’s developmental needs, they provide a valuable, unique learning resource. Developmentally appropriate so_ware provides children a world they are eager to manipulate, experiment with, and discover. As we integrate computers into our classrooms, we begin a new journey with our students.
Criss, K. (2006). Disadvantages of Computers in the Classroom. http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/disadvantages-of-computers-in-the-classroom.Research ArticleSummary: The author begins this article by saying “I found it hard to ﬁnd researchthat had been done on this topic because not only is the research on theeffectiveness of computers in the classroom scarce but the research that isthere is there often done by software companies and therefore may be biased(Emmans 2001).” As stated in a previous article, Ms. Criss believes that muchof the software that is designed for children is appealing to them, because itcan hold their attention. She compares some computer software to television.“Just because a television show holds your attention, does it necessarily educateyou? The answer, as Ms. Criss believes, is that maybe so some do, but notcertainly not all do. If there is no educational value in the program, then whatgood is it doing for the teachers or the students? According to Cindy C. Emmans (2001), a professor of EducationalTechnology at Central Washington University, “Often feedback is the key tolearning, and computers are appealing because the feedback can be immediate,which is of course a very effective learning tool. Unfortunately, this feedback isnot often effective as it might be, perhaps because it is not easy to return to theoriginal question to try again, so a student must begin at the beginning toreview the original content rather than backing up a step or two. In somecases, the feedback for the wrong answers is more appealing than that for theright answer, causing students to try and get the wrong answer simply for theentertainment value.”
Another reason that computers in the classroom would prove to be adisadvantage is the availability of the computers in the classroom to eachindividual student. Scheduling time for each individual student to use thecomputers then becomes a problem. Teacher training is also a concern. Most teachers have not adequatelybeen trained. They would have to be trained on both the hardware and thesoftware of the computer. Things can happen to computers while they arebeing used. Having access to the Internet can be dangerous. The children can beexposed to Internet content that is not appropriate for their age level. They canalso be exposed to child predators.Critical Evaluation: I am not sure that I agree with this article. I can tell that this article waswritten several years ago. There are not very many homes that do not own acomputer, so teachers and students have become more computer literate ontheir own. I do agree that there are some software programs out there that are“all ﬂuff” as we call it and it may be hard to decide on which software programsto purchase. Most companies now, try to align their programs with thestandards of each state. I know that our system has recently purchased aprogram for math that is wonderful. I try to use it, as a whole class, atleasttwice a week. Scheduling student usage is a problem at our school. Eachclassroom has two computers in them and we are allowed to go to thecomputer lab once a week for 45 minutes. As far as students visitinginappropriate web-sites, we do not have to worry as much as before. Thecomputer technicitions are able to block inappropriate web-sites.
McCarrick, K. (2008). Computers and Young Children. Pediatrics for Parents,21(10), 11.Research ArticleSummary: Since nearly every student owns a computer, and many of the schoolshouses computers, we need to ask ourselves how does this effect our children.Do they accomplish the educational objectives that they set out to? Manystudies say yes, but only when used correctly. Children with access tocomputers as a young age perform better on school readiness tasks and havebetter cognitive development. These children also have increased verbal andlanguage skills. It is important to note, that a young child who sits at acomputer by himself may not reap the full beneﬁts of the computer. It is morebeneﬁcial when the teacher or an adult is available to assist the child. It is alsoimportant to keep in mind that children are much more likely to learn if theytruly enjoy the computer program. The programs usually include lots of sightsand sounds and are designed to help young children with pre-literacy, pre-math, or pre-science skills. Look for programs that make children laugh andchallenge the child. Research has shown over and over that computersplaced in a classroom can create more social interaction than social isolation.When playing on the computer, children will invite their friends over to play onthe computer with them. One child may be working the mouse or keyboardwhile the other watches. They may also take turns or work together. This inturn creates an atmosphere of cooperation. While computers can provide children with numerous beneﬁts, it is alsovery important that they are used properly. Computers should not monopolizea child’s time at home or at school.
Critical Evaluation: I feel as though Ms. McCarrick really hits a homerun with her article. Istrongly agree with the many points that she made. I teach only math, science,and social studies and I use my classroom computer daily. With propersupervision and appropriate software, my students beneﬁt greatly from ourcomputers. We have programs that I will show on my Interwrite Board and weuse together as a class. We will divide into teams and play against one another.This enables the children to work together cooperatively in a fun controlledatmosphere. They really enjoy it and sometimes they need to get away fromthe paper and pencil assignments.
Brogan, P. (2008). Educating the Digital Generation. Association forSupervision and Curriculum Development, 57-59.Research ArticleSummary: Many children today are entering the classroom with computer skills andexpectations that challenge their teachers and peers. Children that have beenexposed to computers since birth and have mastered the digital world in waysthat their parents still struggle to comprehend. More than half of the UnitedStates households today have a computer, and many children have masteredthe keyboard and mouse before they can recite the alphabet. How do we prepare computer-savvy youngsters for tomorrow’s world ofknowledge workers and information-technology jobs? Many young childrentoday have keyboarding skills that are superior to their handwriting skills. Mostchildren don’t understand why they need to practice penmanship when theyhave a computer. Children with language barriers can greatly beneﬁt fromprogram interventions that are capable of changing the way that child’s brainprocesses language. Dyslexic students can use visual and auditory supportmechanisms offered by computers. Students with remedial reading skills canﬁnd text-to-speech programs to help them improve their word-recognitionskills. Some may argue that classroom computers take up time that could bespent more valuably on developing academic and social skills miss the point.Guided use of the Internet for research develops a child’s critical thinking skills.Children learn to collaborate, consider multiple points of view, and evaluatevarious forms of information. Children who have advanced computer skillsdevelop social and academic skills by sharing their knowledge with their peersand elders.
In June 2000, the International Society for Technology in Educationstandards were released. They recommend that 2nd graders use a mouse anddigital camera in school and that 5th graders participate in online discussionsand create multimedia reports. In order to accomplish these goals, teachersneed some unique skills for the digital age. The following are some approachesthat make sense. Encourage computer-literate children in your classes to helpteach the other children. Encourage computer-literate children to share theirknowledge with you. Take advantage of educational software and trainingprograms that help you acquire computer skills, and pass these skills along toyour students.Critical Evaluation: I agree that computers can play a very important role in teaching thechildren of today. Since our students are very computer-literate already, I don’tfeel as though this task will be as hard as some want to believe it will be. At myschool, we use computers very often. This year we are implementing a newprogram that will test our students, recognize their weaknesses, and then giveus lessons that they can practice on the computer. I am very curious to see howmy class does. I know that I have some students who do not have computers athome, and the only time they get to use them is at school. I am sure that theywill need more guidance than the majority of my students. This very wellcould be a good time to volunteer some of the more computer-literate studentsto help the less computer-literate.
Cradler, J, McNabb, M, Freeman, M, & Burchett, R. (2002).How Does Technology Influence Student Learning?.Learning and Teaching with Technology, 29 (8), 46-50.Research ArticleSummary: Evidence is clearly mounting to support technologyadvocates’ claims that 21st-century information andcommunication tools as well as more traditional computer-assisted instructional applications can positively influencestudent learning processes and outcomes. The Center forApplied Research in Educational Technology (CARET) hasgathered compelling research and evaluation findings toanswer frequently asked questions about how technologyinfluences student achievement and academic performancein relation to three primary curricular goals. Achievementin content area learning. Higher-order thinking andproblem-solving skill development. Workforce preparation.The research findings also emphasize the importance ofusing technology in conjunction with collaborative learningmethods and leadership aimed at technology planning forschool improvement purposes. From the research we were reminded that technologygenerally improves performance when the applicationdirectly supports the curriculum standards being assessed.A review of studies conducted by the CEO Forum (2001)emphasizes:”technology can have the greatest impact whenintegrated into the curriculum to achieve clear, measurable
educational objectives.” A recent study illustrates how thealignment between content-area learning standards andcarefully selected technology uses can significantlyincrease test scores. In an eight-year longitudinal study ofSAT-I performance at New Hampshires’s Brewster Academy(Bain & /Ross, 1999), students participating in thetechnology-integrated school reform efforts (School DesignModel) demonstrated average increases of 94 points incombined SAT I performance over students who participatedin the traditional school experience. A West Virginia study shows an increase in test scoresresulting from integrating curriculum objectives for basicskills development in reading and math with instructionalsoftware (Mann, Shakeshaft, Becker, & Kottkamp, 1999)This curriculum was reinforced with teacher instruction andstudent achievement tests. Gains in student test scores onthe SAT-9 (for 950 fifth graders in 18 schools) appearedattributable to the alignment of the targeted curriculumstandards with the software, teacher instruction and tests. Higher order thinking and problem solving skillsenable learners to apply their content knowledge in avariety of ways leading to innovation and deeperunderstanding of content domains. Though some technologyapplications are designed for use in speciﬁc content areas, educators have alsofound valuable thinking tools among the technology applications available foreducational purposes. Research and evaluation shows that technology tools forconstructing artifacts and electronic information and communication resourcessupport the development of higher-order thinking skills. The ﬁndings hold true
when students are taught to apply the processes of problem solving and thenare allowed opportunities to apply technology tools to develop solutions. In a landmark study analyzing a national database of student test scores,Wenglinsky (1998) determined that technology can have a positive effect onstudents’ mathematics scores. His study used data of fourth- and eighth-gradestudents who took the math section of the 1996 National Assessment of Edu-cational Progress (NAEP). That NAEP included questions about how computersare used in mathematics instruction. After adjusting for class size, teacherqualiﬁcations, and socioeconomics, Wenglinsky found that technology hadmore of an impact in middle schools than it did in elementary schools (Valdezet al., 1999). In eighth grade, where computers were used for simulations andapplications to enhance higher-order thinking skills, the students performedbetter on the NAEP than did students whose teachers used the technology fordrill and practice. “He found that fourth-grade students who used computersprimarily for ‘math/learning games’ scored higher than students who didnot. ... fourth graders did not show differences in test score gains for eithersimulations and applications or drill and practice” (Valdez et al. 1999, p. 24). Using technology tools to build thinking skills is not just for the best andbrightest students. The Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) pull-out program,developed in the early 1980s to build the thinking skills of students, combinedtechnology with drama and Socratic dialogue. Through this combination,disadvantaged students in Grades 4 –7 achieved twice the national averagegains on reading and math test scores. Ten to 15% of the students alsoachieved honor roll status in 1994, suggesting a transfer of the students’cognitive development to learning speciﬁc content. The students who usedHOTS also increased performance on measures of reading comprehension,metacognition, writing, components of IQ, transfer to novel tasks, and gradepoint average (Coley et al., 1997; Pogrow, 1996).
Preparing students for the workforce is a third area where technology playsa pivotal role in helping school communities reach their educational goals. Re-search shows that when students learn to use and apply applications used inthe world of work, such as word processors, spreadsheets, computer-aideddrawing, Web site development pro- grams, and the Internet, they acquiresome of the prerequisite skills for workforce preparedness. When content andproblem-solving strategies meet accepted education standards, technologyincreases mastery of vocational and workforce skills and helps prepare studentsfor work (Cradler, 1994). Research is providing more and more clarity about how to use technologyeffectively within our school communities to support and enhance the academicperformance of today’s youth. Collaborative activities and formativeResearch Windows feedback are key components of instructional strategies thataccompany effective technology implementation. Leadership also is pivotal inaligning available technology resources with systemic school improvementgoals. The research indicates the need for understanding the combined effortsnecessary for technology to positively inﬂuence students’ academicperformance.Critical Evaluation: I really enjoyed reading this article. I found the research ﬁndings to beextremely enlightening. It has deﬁnitely made me stop and think of how I canbetter utilize the computers that I have in my classroom. Our system isconstantly talking about our math and reading scores and how we need to getthose higher. Maybe if they would invest some money into appropriatecomputer software then we would see an increase in our scores.