Using educational technology in the elementary classroom
Using Educational Technology in Elementary Math Curriculum Jennifer Dennis
“In 2009, it was estimated that about 12% ofAmerica’s high schools have become drop-outfactories... (Therefore,) developing new measuresfor good teaching in the digital age and installingnew systems of preparation…for those whoteach are important.”-Barnett Berry (2011). Teaching 2030 (p. 13).
Windsorct.org Crazytownblog.com Kim, Gendron, Toro, and Fairborn (2011) found thatstudents “who had lower levels of school enjoyment, lower emphasis placed on (math) grades, and those with peers who place a lower emphasis on school were more likely to drop out of school.”
NAEP Math 2011 – 4th Grade Report http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2011/
NAEP Math 2011 – 8th Grade Report http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2011/
My Thinking Process Students are dropping out of High School Why???Because they aren’t performing well in math Why aren’t students succeeding in math?
Marc Prensky (2006) quotes Dr. Bruce Berry ofBaylor College of Medicine: “Different kinds ofexperiences lead to different brain structures.” So what experiences have our students gone through that we didn’t while growing up?
“Digital Natives crave interactivity – they expect animmediate response to their each and every action.Traditional school… provides very little of this.” –Marc Prensky (2006)
My QuestionsMain QuestionHow are second grade students’ attitudes ofmathematics affected by technology integratedcurriculum?Sub Questions1. How are teachers’ practices effected by technology integration standards?2. How does technology integration affect the students’ engagement levels?
Site and Participants• The school is in a college town• There are 24 children in the classroom• The kids are ages 7 and 8• The teacher holds a masters degree in education and has taught for 4 years• The teacher is the lead teacher for second grade• The majority of the class is labeled as on grade level
Technology Available In The Classroom 2 student computers 2 headphones 1 teacher laptop 1 document camera 1 Promethean Board 1 ceiling-hung projector
Issues With Technology• The 2 student computers were mainly used for a reading program.• Reading program schedule must be followed.• Document Camera AND Promethean Board attached to student computer.• Computer Lab difficult to get into and must sign up weeks in advance.• One set of headphones doesn’t work all the time.• Student computers loud (fan dying) and very slow.
Activities Completed• Observations of the classroom• Assisted the teacher with finding technology ideas for curricular use – Videos – Websites – Games – Activities with technology integrated• Created a math technology game for the students to play• Met with students to find out their opinions on various lessons and curricular activities.
Articles, Books, and Websites• Bauerlin, M. (2008). The Dumbest Generation: How The Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans And Jeopardizes Our Future [Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30]. London, England: Penguin Books.• Berry, B. (2011). Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public School… Now and in the Future. New York City, New York: Teachers College Press.• Dawson, K. (2006). Teacher Inquiry: A Vehicle to Merge Prospective Teachers Experience and Reflection during Curriculum-Based, Technology-Enhanced Field Experiences. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 38(3), 265-292.• Harris, J., Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2009). Teachers Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-Based Technology Integration Reframed. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 41(4), 393-416.• Herron, J. (2010). Implementation of Technology in an Elementary Mathematics Lesson: The Experiences of Pre-Service Teachers at One University. SRATE Journal, 19(1), 22-29.• Kim, T., Gendron, B., Toro, R., & Fairborn, S. (2011). Individual, Peer, and School Effects on Math Achievement and High School Dropout. Journal Of Emerging Trends In Educational Research & Policy Studies, 2(4), 256-260.• Means, B. (2010). Technology and Education Change: Focus on Student Learning. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 42(3), 285-307.• NAEP – Mathematics 2011. (2011). Retrieved April 17, 2012, from http://nationsreportcard.gov/math_2011/• Prensky, M. (2006). “Don’t Bother Me Mom – I’m Learning!” St. Paul, Minnesota: Paragon House.• Wehrli, B. (2009). Technology as a Fence and a Bridge. Horace, 25(1).
Dawson (2006)• 5 year study following pre-service teachers into being a teacher• Reflective journals written weekly about their feelings towards the technology integrated curriculum• "...technology use did not bring about fundamental changes in instruction but instead either replaced, improved, or extended traditional instruction" (Discussion section, page 285).• "teacher inquiry should be explored as a strategy to help prospective teachers in the process of learning to become effective technology-using teachers" (Conclusion section, page 288).
Harris, Mishra, & Koehler (2009)• technology integration is usually focused on the training of how to use the technology instead of focusing on curriculum and pedagogy• stress the importance for a reform in technology integration techniques• Request a tool to help reform tech-integration called TPACK (technology, pedagogical, and curriculum knowledge).
Herron (2009)• qualitative study on 125 pre-service teachers• These future teachers were required to teach a math course that integrated technology into the curriculum.• Purpose: to gain insight on the pre-service teacher’s feelings towards the integration of technology during math instruction.• Struggles: – caught off guard by the different assortments of technology available that they had not been trained on. – Could not rely on technology because of its unpredictability of usage. – Computers horribly slow – Some students had no computer skills
Kim, Gendron, Toro, and Fairborn (2011)• 8,531 respondents• Studied different influences on an individual to see what causes drop outs• “The most robust predictor in our study of high school dropout was peer dropout.” (General Conclusion, p. 258)
Means (2010)• went to several schools and conducted surveys and interviews with teachers, principals, and technology leaders.• Seven different types of software were provided to the schools for their use and integration into their curriculum.• The data was separated between high gain and low gain schools.• All high gain school principals supported technology integration while most low gain principals did not.
Wehrli (2009)• laptop being both a fence and a bridge; negative (fence) and a positive (bridge) tool in learning.• explains that educators need to see that technology should be integrated into schools yet with precision and care, so not to overrun and replace the irreplaceable teacher.
Project: Observations• Mainly used white board at first – Student Centered: high engagement – Direct Teach: low engagement• Slowly began using technology such as the document camera – Students excited when they could write “on” it; bored when not their turn.• Showed math videos – Engagement high
• Use of worksheets in every lesson observed – When asked a little over half the students exclaimed that they didn’t mind the worksheets and half of that group said they enjoyed the worksheets.• Children talked to me about their love of videogames and technology at home.• Students would explain to me how math was fun when they were the ones writing on the board or on the document camera.• Math Videos were engaging but after around the 10 minute mark students began to zone out.
Technology Search• I met with the teacher before class every day I was there and I attended a planning day.• I searched through books that I have read during my graduate classes for Ed. Tech.• I would look through the web for free easy-to- use, on grade-level math activities.
Integrating TechnologyTaking the knowledge that I gained from the studentsabout how they enjoy video games and taking intoaccount that the teacher was having difficultyintegrating technology regularly into her schedule, Idecided to focus on creating enriching game activitiesfor classroom math use.
Why Games?Taken from Marc Prensky’s Don’t Bother Me Mom –I’m Learning! “When I watch children playing video games at home or in the arcades, I am impressed with the energy and enthusiasm they devote to the task. Why can’t we get the same devotion to school lessons as people naturally apply to the things that interest them?” –Donald Norman, Author and Educator
The results?They students were highly engaged and eager to play again – even asking the following week if we could once again play.
My Findings• “Traditional Teaching” (teaching without technology) can keep students engaged if it’s meaningful and exciting for them.• The integration of technology into lessons can be thrilling and lead to great engagement and conversation, if the technology isn’t such in a direct teach manner.
Meaning?A mixed approach of using both “traditional”and technology-integrated curriculum is a greatway to peak and keep students interested;however, no matter what, the lesson has to bemeaningful, exciting, and student-centered –not teacher centered.
Goal 1Develop leadership in promoting a friendly teachingenvironment that supports growth and learning.I wasn’t the teacher, however, I was placed into a leadershiprole by conducting this project. I made sure to stimulate afriendly yet teacher-like disposition in the classroom bylearning the teacher’s and students’ names and talking tothem on a regular basis. I explained to the teacher and thestudents that I was there to learn from them; and Iconstantly reminded them how grateful I was for allowingme into their classroom. I made sure to always takeeveryone into consideration and to know when not to try tobe the “leader of the classroom” since I wasn’t theclassroom teacher.
Goal 2Integrate developmentally appropriate practiceperspectives into teaching methodsWhen looking for lessons I took into consideration notonly what the students were interested in, but also whatlevel they were at and what knowledge I wanted them togain or to spiral over. I made sure to not do this by myselfbecause I wanted others opinions: the classroom teacher,the fellow second grade teachers, and other educatorswho I happen to know personally. I also would review theTEKS (standards) to make sure that the lesson were DAP(developmentally appropriate practices). After that Iwould pitch the lesson or activity to the teacher, half thetime it would be shot down for not being on target and Ilearned quickly how to be OK with that.
Goal 3Foster development of attitudes and dispositions to upholdthe values related to equity and access.I opened my mind to learn from others and theirexperiences. I wanted to learn and gain knowledge aboutthe teacher and what the educator needs to be successfulin assisting our students in gaining math knowledge eitherthrough technology or through “traditional” styles. Iwanted to learn via the students by talking to them, hearingwhat interests them, and what is a total waste of aneducator’s time (and money). At the end I did share myfindings with the students and teacher, so I left with a win-win solution for all where everyone had learned andprospered from this project.
Goal 4Experience guiding programs designed to formcollaborations among schools, families, andcommunities.At the beginning of my project I sent a notehome explaining what I was doing and who Iwas, then at the end I sent another explainingmy findings and expressing my gratitude ofallowing me the chance to conduct this project.Lastly, I’m presenting this to you and amattempting to get this project published so thatit will reach other educators as well.
How are your teacher practices affected by your project?• I will start being more careful about HOW I use technology• I will start being more reflective on how my students are responding to my lessons• I am going to start the “open dialogue” that Freire discussed in his research to foster a more open relationship where I learn from the students, families, and the community• I will conduct more research in my own classroom to further my knowledge of education and educational practices
Questions or comments? Jennifer DennisGrad Student: Texas State University San Marcos, Texas email@example.com