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Chapter 2 final draft

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Chapter 2 final draft

  1. 1. Chapter 2 – Literature Review Introduction Today’s youth have an increasing knowledge of technology that far surpasses many people in older generations. This generation, the Millennials, are more ethnically diverse, less religious, more educated, and extremely tech savvy. Three-quarters of this generation have created a profile and interacted on a social-networking website and twenty percent have posted a video of themselves online. While the majority of Millennials have cell phones, 88% of them use their phones daily to text and 62% use wireless connections to access the internet while away from home. Compared to Generation X, those whom are one generation older, twice as many Millennials feel that technology is what defines their generation (PEW Research Center, 2010). While many of today’s students use technology with ease, our education system lags far behind in effectively educating today’s youth. Prensky (2001) coined the term digital natives for the students of today who are well versed in the language and processes surrounding video games, computers, and the internet. Conversely, people who were born prior to this generation are digital immigrants. Digital immigrants are in a constant state of learning the language of technology. However, growing up with little technology has impacted the way that these people operate in today’s technology-rich world. Digital immigrants have learned how to use some technologies, but the way in which they process and solve problems is very different. For example, if a person needed to get the phone number of a restaurant and make reservations, the digital immigrant would find the phone number in a phone book and call to make reservations. In contrast, the digital native might look on the Internet for the phone number and possibly make reservations online. It is very apparent that the two approaches are not right and wrong, rather
  2. 2. more provocative in how differently two generations approach a task based on their experiences with technology (Prensky, 2001). This technology gap between teachers and students affects the efficiency and effectiveness of the lessons delivered in the classroom. Prensky (2001) examined the digital natives and concluded that they are a generation that is used to multi-tasking, quick answers, instant gratification, and work best when with other people. This begs the question, how do today’s students learn in our current educational system? We have teachers who are digital immigrants attempting to teach a generation of digital natives. Both speak different languages and have drastically different methods for learning. Prensky (2001) suggested that teachers and school districts address their methodology and content. Using the pedagogy presented in the TPACK model, Mishra and Koehler addressed the issues of integrating content, pedagogy, and technology. In addition to teaching reading, writing, and math, educators need to address the technology and issues surrounding technology. Educators must teach students how to use software, hardware, etc. However, they also must include the ethics, issues, and politics associated with technology. In order to address the “digital divide”, school districts and teacher preparation programs must address the social, cognitive, and communication barriers that exist as well (Harper, 2003). In order to begin the process of closing this gap, it is imperative that teachers look at their own teaching, pedagogy, and content knowledge as it relates to technology. All teachers have experiences, positive and negative, with technology that will affect how fully they implement it in their classroom. In addition, there are external factors that also influence how well technology is integrated and put to use in the classroom. These factors include the availability of technology, support from administration, and training (Baek, et al, 2006).
  3. 3. Using Mishra and Koehler’s (2006) studies regarding technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK), it is clear that proper implementation has specific characteristics. The teacher must have content, pedagogical, and technological knowledge. In addition, teachers must also be able to learn and implement areas of combined knowledge such as content- technological or pedagogical-content knowledge. Using this model and Harris’ (2009) research on activity types, teachers can create activities taking into account the context of the standards being taught. Mayer’s (2005) work with learning has many suggestions for how teachers can present media to maximize learning and instruction. In the current study, the researcher used Mishra, Koehler, and Harris’ findings to determine the most affective plan for implementing new technologies at an elementary school. First, the theoretical rationale for the current study will be outlined, followed by a summary of integration factors. Next, we will explore the application of theory and integration factors to new technologies. Lastly, the research findings as they apply to the current study will be examined. Theoretical Rationale In order for educators to begin to bridge the technology gap between themselves and their students, they first must acknowledge that technology is advancing in all parts of our society and that there is a generational divide between students and teachers (Watson, 2006). Training teachers in technology goes back many years to a time when teachers took courses in “visual instruction” during the 1920s (Betrus, 2002). As these courses evolved, teacher preparation programs began offering classes on the history of visual instruction and the psychology of visual learning. In the 1930s courses were offered in “using the stereoscope”, “the use of lantern slides”, and “mechanics of projectors and projection” (Betrus, 2002). As
  4. 4. audio recording became available in the 40s, instructors incorporated it into these visual instruction courses. Computers began to make their way into classrooms in the 1980s and 1990s. Students began to use computers in the classroom and teacher preparation programs began offering more courses in “computer assisted instruction” (Betrus, 2002). As technology has evolved, so have the teacher preparation programs; however, there still exists a large gap between using technology in the classroom and effectively integrating technology to increase student engagement and knowledge. Early in the 21st century, researchers Mishra and Koehler did groundbreaking research that paved the way for a model of effective technology integration. They took Shulman’s research on pedagogy and content knowledge and extended it to include technology (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). The research established that teachers must have specific knowledge about technology, pedagogy, and content. Where these knowledge areas meet is a new area of knowledge that teachers must learn. Figure 1. TPACK Context Model
  5. 5. Using Figure 1, it is apparent that where content knowledge and technological knowledge meet, that is a new kind of knowledge called technological content knowledge. An example of technological content knowledge would look like this: combining the content knowledge of a social studies lesson on the causes of the Revolutionary War and the technological knowledge of using an interactive timeline to create a lesson about the causes of the Revolutionary War using an interactive timeline and other required technologies. Teaching only the content requires different knowledge than teaching the content in the context of technology. Although, TPACK is not a prescription for how educators should train to teach, it is a model by which educators can understand their own knowledge and better prepare themselves for teaching effectively with technology. In the TPACK model, each knowledge area covers specific topics and concepts that must be understood in isolation before they are combined. Content Knowledge. Content knowledge is the information, ideas, hypotheses, and procedures within a given subject area. It is the knowledge specifically needed to teach a subject. The content knowledge in a middle school art class is very different from the content knowledge needed to teach a high school math course. Understanding content knowledge includes the ability to compare and contrast different subject areas and determine if they have anything in common. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Pedagogical Knowledge. This kind of knowledge involves an understanding of how people learn. Someone with deep pedagogical knowledge would thoroughly understand how people construct knowledge, obtain skills, and create positive habits and attitudes in their
  6. 6. learning. Pedagogical knowledge requires an understanding of theories and how these theories apply to students in a classroom. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Technological Knowledge. Technological knowledge is knowledge about technologies including books, magazines, and whiteboards, as well as more advanced technologies such as digital videos and document cameras. This involves the knowledge needed to operate the technology as well as use multiple technologies together. Technological knowledge encompasses familiarity with computer hardware as well as software programs. Since the technology available is always changing, someone with technological knowledge must be able to move with the changes and adapt old knowledge to learn new technology. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Shulman’s research on content and pedagogical knowledge is what Mishra and Koehler used when they started their research on TPACK. Shulman’s idea about pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) was important in conveying the concept of a new knowledge area where two areas met. Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). This area of knowledge includes understanding pedagogy well enough to determine what type of lesson will teach the content most effectively. It also includes knowledge of students’ backgrounds in the content area as well as an understanding of what makes concepts easy or difficult to learn. Using PCK is what makes up the art of teaching. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Technological Content Knowledge (TCK). The relationship between technology and content knowledge is always changing, however this type of knowledge is demonstrated when a teacher uses a specific technology to teach content. Teachers must know the content, but also
  7. 7. how to use the technology in the context of the classroom in order for all students to learn. Many software programs change the way that content is presented such as in a game format or virtual manipulation of shapes in a geometry lesson. Some of these programs offer students the opportunity to construct knowledge somewhat passively, while they “play”. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK). The knowledge of what technologies exist, how to use them, and understanding that teaching may change as a result of using specific technologies are all aspects of TPK. In addition, this knowledge area includes an understanding of pedagogical strategies and the ability to apply those strategies to different technologies. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK or TPACK). This is the newest area of knowledge that extends beyond the three knowledge elements. TPACK is the foundation on which solid teaching with technology occurs. This model of technology integration requires a person to be thoughtful in how they intertwine the three core knowledge areas. A superb technology integrator is one who has a firm grasp on the content and pedagogy and is able to select the appropriate technology to deliver an effective lesson. Successful integration balances these three components. Lessons are taught in a specific context. It is very important to be aware of the context because it will change as the content and students change. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Due to the large amount of research supporting TPACK, the current study used TPACK as a model for creating an implementation plan for teachers. In the following sections, the hindrances and helps to integration are explored as well as the application of TPACK in training teachers.
  8. 8. Technology Integration Factors Taylor, et al (2004) found that students, who learned subject matter with effectively integrated technology, gained more knowledge than students who learned the same information without technology. In order for technology to be implemented and used effectively, teachers need training in how to do this. Many variables determine whether a teacher will fully integrate computers or not. These factors included: (a) positive teaching experiences with technology; (b) teacher’s comfort with computers; (c) beliefs supporting the use of computers as an instructional tool; (d) training and support; (e) motivation; (f) and teaching efficacy (Mueller, et al, 2008). Baek, Jung, and Kim (2008) found that many of the factors that affected implementation were external and based on others’ requests or perceived need for technology. Their research also suggested that teachers with more experience were less likely to begin implementing technology in their classrooms while new teachers were more motivated to use it willingly. Based on the TPACK model and the findings of Baek, et al and Taylor, et al, a conclusion can be drawn that teachers’ willingness to integrate technology is somewhat based on their training and comfort with technology. It appears that teachers are trained well in content and pedagogy. Training in technology is now a requirement in teacher credential programs; however much of the training is specific for using different technologies and software. This training does not include hands-on application of content, pedagogy, and technology as suggested in TPACK. Preparing teachers using the TPACK model includes the application of the three knowledge areas and time to be successful in using technology. Mueller, et al (2008) found that teachers’ positive experiences with computer technology were the greatest contributor to integration. The researchers proposed that perhaps these positive experiences boosted teachers’ confidence in using technology. The research indicated that teachers needed to see that
  9. 9. technology has the potential to improve learning before they are willing to use it in their classroom. (Mueller, et al, 2008) This finding demonstrates the importance of making trainings that are teacher-focused and based in pedagogy that is applicable to the content focus. Teachers need to see how to integrate technology effectively as well as be convinced that technology works! Addressing the integration factors in teacher trainings and preparation programs is important; however, there are many teachers who received little or no technology training when they were in a credential program. This lack of prior education forces school districts to be responsible for training their teachers to be effective integrators. In order for teachers to integrate technology, there need to be training standards and professional development guidelines (Pittman, 1999). Before the Department of Education adopted national standards in 2007, prominent organizations in the educational technology field began putting forth recommendations for what best practices and models should be addressed. Mishra and Koehler (2006) stated that teachers need to learn not only the basics of software and hardware, but need a deep understanding of the technology available. This deep understanding will allow teachers to be flexible and teachable through the many changes and enhancements that will happen. In addition to a deep understanding, Mishra and Koehler found that it is important for teachers to appreciate the interrelationships that exist between the technology, tools, users, and methods. This is a very fluid and ever changing field. For teachers to be successful in integrating and using technology, they must be able to appreciate it and be willing to learn new things and apply their knowledge to new situations. The standards that were adopted in 2007 address performance indicators for students, teachers, and administrators. Each set of standards
  10. 10. addresses not only the use of technology, but also how to be a digital citizen and growing in your knowledge of technological issues. Mishra and Koehler (2005) suggested that teachers work in groups and learn through solving an educational issue using technology. With this method, teachers have a lower affective filter because they are working in a group and they can move at their own pace. Since they are using technology to solve the problem that the trainer posed, teachers learn what it is like to be on the student side of learning. In general, they focus more on solving the problem and less on learning the technology. In other words, technology is being taught implicitly, not explicitly. This constructivist model of learning by Piaget supports the idea that Young (2003) proposed. She studied different computer-based learning environments. Her research findings suggest a model in which students learn from computers not with computers. This means that students, aided by a computer, actively construct knowledge in a specific context. In contrast to instructor-led learning, the teachers in this class use a broader range of technologies to solve the problem, hence giving them experience with a larger number of programs and platforms. Brown and Warschauer (2006) studied the teacher preparation programs. Their findings were that most programs and field placements fall short. Students reported that they were too busy with other classes to focus and learn what they needed to for the technology classes. During student teaching placements, the same trend was found. Student teachers were overwhelmed with class work and found it difficult to integrate computers, so many chose not to use it. As Mishra and Koehler found, the teacher preparation courses focused on mastering hardware and software functions, rather than tasks that can be used for integrating technology. Brown and Warschauer believed that infusing technology into the methods courses would provide a context and a collaborative learning environment by which teachers would learn technology and content
  11. 11. more effectively. They also believed that teacher-education faculty needs to model the use of effective technology integration. Once teachers complete the preparation program, Brown and Warschauer suggested that teachers be placed with a technologically proficient mentor of their new staff. This person would be a role model as well as be able to provide information and suggestions for successfully integrated lessons. Application to New Technologies Teachers need specific contextual examples of how to integrate technology. Clemmons (2010) focused on the interactive aspect of document cameras and gave many examples of ways to integrate document cameras into curriculum. Her focus on effective integration supports Mishra and Koehler’s research demonstrating that context along with technology is a new area of teacher knowledge. Using the context of a content-specific lesson, Clemmons gives teachers an opportunity to use technology successfully. Harris’ extensive work with activity types demonstrated that lesson design is paramount in effectively using technology and training teachers how to integrate technology. Harris, Mishra, and Koehler (2009) gave extensive examples of technologies that were compatible with specific activities. Suppose a teacher wanted students to create a narrative writing about an event in the past. The technologies that Harris found to be most compatible with that activity are word processors and concept mapping software. Although Harris’ research is not a prescribed set of parameters for integration, she created a very user-friendly model. Using Table 1, you can see that there are many activity choices for knowledge-based activities. Perhaps a teacher wanted students to listen to the audio version of a radio broadcast to learn about an event in history. The compatible technology includes MP3 files, podcasts, CDs,
  12. 12. and radio. Using this table, and other like it, helps teachers to determine quickly what kind of technology would be best for a specific activity. Table 1. Knowledge Building Activity Types
  13. 13. Technology Implementation in the Current Study Based on the research, it is clear that technology implementation is not a short, easy process. Teachers’ prior knowledge, attitudes, and experiences must be a consideration when developing an implementation plan. Mayer (2003) researched design methods across different media and found that students gained a deep understanding of the material regardless of the media used. This research is important to implementation because it demonstrated that there are many different types of media available. As long as the instructional design is sound, students learned the material with significant depth whether it was using text and illustrations or narration and animation (Mayer, 2003). Sound instructional design is rooted in the concepts presented in Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML). This theory focused on the idea that multimedia instructional messages designed in light of how the human mind works are going to be more understandable than ones that are not (Mayer, 2005). The theory of learning that you have two channels through which information enters your brain and there is a limit to how much your brain can process helped Mayer form his conclusion. Mayer found that people learn more effectively if pictures and words are presented simultaneously rather than separately. Pairing Mayer’s CTML with Mishra and Koehler’s theory regarding knowledge, one can create an implementation plan that successfully implements visual and auditory concepts with content, knowledge, and technology. Although Mishra and Koehler don’t explicitly discuss document cameras, or document readers, as a form of visual technology, they are beginning to be used in schools and teachers need training on implementation. Visual media such as digital
  14. 14. photos, video, and document cameras are being used in classrooms with little training in effective integration. This study used the research and created an implementation plan for document cameras based on the findings of Harris, Mishra, Koehler, and Mayer. Document cameras are a digital projector that allows the user to project an image of an item or document onto a screen. Document cameras are useful with microscopes, as a digital camera, and as an interactive tool. While the current research on document camera use is very limited, studies on visual media and technology integration are applied easily. Using this research, an implementation plan that includes Harris’ activity types and examples of successful lessons using TPACK was created for an elementary school that recently purchased document cameras. Summary Technology is changing daily and with those changes comes a need for teacher training. Teachers not only need to know the content and pedagogy behind the standards that they teach, but also should be able to select appropriate technologies to use. Mishra and Koehler’s research on knowledge led to the creation of the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge framework for multimedia instruction. Using this research with Harris’ work on activity types, the researcher created an implementation plan for using document cameras at an elementary school. Part of this plan includes instructional strategies suggested by Mayer and his work with multimedia learning. Applying the TPACK and activity type theories to document cameras was a natural step forward since document cameras contain much of the same technology as computers, digital cameras, and digital video recorders.
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