Chapter 2 final draft


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Chapter 2 final draft

  1. 1. Chapter 2 – Literature ReviewIntroduction Today’s youth have an increasing knowledge of technology that far surpasses manypeople in older generations. This generation, the Millennials, are more ethnically diverse, lessreligious, more educated, and extremely tech savvy. Three-quarters of this generation havecreated a profile and interacted on a social-networking website and twenty percent have posted avideo of themselves online. While the majority of Millennials have cell phones, 88% of themuse their phones daily to text and 62% use wireless connections to access the internet while awayfrom home. Compared to Generation X, those whom are one generation older, twice as manyMillennials 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 farbehind in effectively educating today’s youth. Prensky (2001) coined the term digital natives forthe students of today who are well versed in the language and processes surrounding videogames, computers, and the internet. Conversely, people who were born prior to this generationare digital immigrants. Digital immigrants are in a constant state of learning the language oftechnology. However, growing up with little technology has impacted the way that these peopleoperate in today’s technology-rich world. Digital immigrants have learned how to use sometechnologies, but the way in which they process and solve problems is very different. Forexample, if a person needed to get the phone number of a restaurant and make reservations, thedigital 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 makereservations 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 experienceswith technology (Prensky, 2001). This technology gap between teachers and students affects the efficiency andeffectiveness of the lessons delivered in the classroom. Prensky (2001) examined the digitalnatives 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 dotoday’s students learn in our current educational system? We have teachers who are digitalimmigrants attempting to teach a generation of digital natives. Both speak different languagesand have drastically different methods for learning. Prensky (2001) suggested that teachers andschool districts address their methodology and content. Using the pedagogy presented in theTPACK model, Mishra and Koehler addressed the issues of integrating content, pedagogy, andtechnology. In addition to teaching reading, writing, and math, educators need to address thetechnology and issues surrounding technology. Educators must teach students how to usesoftware, hardware, etc. However, they also must include the ethics, issues, and politicsassociated with technology. In order to address the “digital divide”, school districts and teacherpreparation programs must address the social, cognitive, and communication barriers that exist aswell (Harper, 2003). In order to begin the process of closing this gap, it is imperative that teachers look at theirown teaching, pedagogy, and content knowledge as it relates to technology. All teachers haveexperiences, positive and negative, with technology that will affect how fully they implement itin their classroom. In addition, there are external factors that also influence how well technologyis integrated and put to use in the classroom. These factors include the availability oftechnology, support from administration, and training (Baek, et al, 2006).
  3. 3. Using Mishra and Koehler’s (2006) studies regarding technological, pedagogical, andcontent knowledge (TPACK), it is clear that proper implementation has specific characteristics.The teacher must have content, pedagogical, and technological knowledge. In addition, teachersmust also be able to learn and implement areas of combined knowledge such as content-technological or pedagogical-content knowledge. Using this model and Harris and Hofer’s(2009) research on activity types, teachers can create activities taking into account the context ofthe standards being taught. Mayer’s (2005) work with learning has many suggestions for howteachers can present media to maximize learning and instruction. In the current study, the researcher used Mishra, Koehler, Harris and Hofer’s findings todetermine the most effective plan for implementing new technologies at an elementary school.First, the theoretical rationale for the current study will be outlined, followed by a summary ofintegration factors. Next, we will explore the application of theory and integration factors to newtechnologies. 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 theirstudents, they first must acknowledge that technology is advancing in all parts of our society andthat there is a generational divide between students and teachers (Watson, 2006). Training teachers in technology goes back many years to a time when teachers tookcourses 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 thepsychology 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 visualinstruction 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 beganoffering more courses in “computer assisted instruction” (Betrus, 2002). As technology hasevolved, so have the teacher preparation programs; however, there still exists a large gapbetween using technology in the classroom and effectively integrating technology to increasestudent engagement and knowledge. Early in the 21st century, researchers Mishra and Koehler did groundbreaking researchthat paved the way for a model of effective technology integration. They took Shulman’sresearch on pedagogy and content knowledge and extended it to include technology (Mishra &Koehler, 2006). The research established that teachers must have specific knowledge abouttechnology, pedagogy, and content. Where these knowledge areas meet is a new area ofknowledge 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 oftechnological content knowledge would look like this: combining the content knowledge of asocial studies lesson on the causes of the Revolutionary War and the technological knowledge ofusing an interactive timeline to create a lesson about the causes of the Revolutionary War usingan interactive timeline and other required technologies. Teaching only the content requiresdifferent knowledge than teaching the content in the context of technology. Although, TPACKis not a prescription for how educators should train to teach, it is a model by which educators canunderstand their own knowledge and better prepare themselves for teaching effectively withtechnology. In the TPACK model, each knowledge area covers specific topics and concepts that mustbe understood in isolation before they are combined. Content Knowledge. Content knowledge is the information, ideas, hypotheses, andprocedures within a given subject area. It is the knowledge specifically needed to teach asubject. The content knowledge in a middle school art class is very different from the contentknowledge needed to teach a high school math course. Understanding content knowledgeincludes the ability to compare and contrast different subject areas and determine if they haveanything in common. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Pedagogical Knowledge. This kind of knowledge involves an understanding of howpeople learn. Someone with deep pedagogical knowledge would thoroughly understand howpeople 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 theoriesapply to students in a classroom. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Technological Knowledge. Technological knowledge is knowledge about technologiesincluding books, magazines, and whiteboards, as well as more advanced technologies such asdigital videos and document cameras. This involves the knowledge needed to operate thetechnology as well as use multiple technologies together. Technological knowledgeencompasses familiarity with computer hardware as well as software programs. Since thetechnology available is always changing, someone with technological knowledge must be able tomove 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 Koehlerused when they started their research on TPACK. Shulman’s idea about pedagogical contentknowledge (PCK) was important in conveying the concept of a new knowledge area where twoareas met. Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). This area of knowledge includesunderstanding pedagogy well enough to determine what type of lesson will teach the contentmost effectively. It also includes knowledge of students’ backgrounds in the content area as wellas an understanding of what makes concepts easy or difficult to learn. Using PCK is what makesup the art of teaching. (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) Technological Content Knowledge (TCK). The relationship between technology andcontent knowledge is always changing, however this type of knowledge is demonstrated when ateacher 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. Manysoftware programs change the way that content is presented such as in a game format or virtualmanipulation of shapes in a geometry lesson. Some of these programs offer students theopportunity to construct knowledge somewhat passively, while they “play”. (Mishra & Koehler,2006) Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK). The knowledge of what technologiesexist, how to use them, and understanding that teaching may change as a result of using specifictechnologies are all aspects of TPK. In addition, this knowledge area includes an understandingof pedagogical strategies and the ability to apply those strategies to different technologies. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK or TPACK). This is thenewest area of knowledge that extends beyond the three knowledge elements. TPACK is thefoundation on which solid teaching with technology occurs. This model of technologyintegration requires a person to be thoughtful in how they intertwine the three core knowledgeareas. A superb technology integrator is one who has a firm grasp on the content and pedagogyand is able to select the appropriate technology to deliver an effective lesson. Successfulintegration balances these three components. Lessons are taught in a specific context. It is veryimportant 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 TPACKas a model for creating an implementation plan for teachers. In the following sections, thehindrances and helps to integration are explored as well as the application of TPACK in trainingteachers.
  8. 8. Technology Integration Factors Taylor, et al (2004) found that students, who learned subject matter with effectivelyintegrated technology, gained more knowledge than students who learned the same informationwithout technology. In order for technology to be implemented and used effectively, teachersneed training in how to do this. Many variables determine whether a teacher will fully integratecomputers 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 instructionaltool; (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 wereexternal and based on others’ requests or perceived need for technology. Their research alsosuggested that teachers with more experience were less likely to begin implementing technologyin 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, aconclusion can be drawn that teachers’ willingness to integrate technology is somewhat based ontheir training and comfort with technology. It appears that teachers are trained well in contentand 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. Thistraining does not include hands-on application of content, pedagogy, and technology assuggested in TPACK. Preparing teachers using the TPACK model includes the application ofthe 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 contributorto integration. The researchers proposed that perhaps these positive experiences boostedteachers’ 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 theirclassroom. (Mueller, et al, 2008) This finding demonstrates the importance of making trainingsthat are teacher-focused and based in pedagogy that is applicable to the content focus. Teachersneed to see how to integrate technology effectively as well as be convinced that technologyworks! Addressing the integration factors in teacher trainings and preparation programs isimportant; however, there are many teachers who received little or no technology training whenthey were in a credential program. This lack of prior education forces school districts to beresponsible for training their teachers to be effective integrators. In order for teachers to integrate technology, there need to be training standards andprofessional development guidelines (Pittman, 1999). Before the Department of Educationadopted national standards in 2007, prominent organizations in the educational technology fieldbegan 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 andhardware, but need a deep understanding of the technology available. This deep understandingwill allow teachers to be flexible and teachable through the many changes and enhancements thatwill happen. In addition to a deep understanding, Mishra and Koehler found that it is importantfor 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 inintegrating and using technology, they must be able to appreciate it and be willing to learn newthings and apply their knowledge to new situations. The standards that were adopted in 2007address 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 yourknowledge of technological issues. Mishra and Koehler (2005) suggested that teachers work in groups and learn throughsolving an educational issue using technology. With this method, teachers have a lower affectivefilter because they are working in a group and they can move at their own pace. Since they areusing technology to solve the problem that the trainer posed, teachers learn what it is like to beon the student side of learning. In general, they focus more on solving the problem and less onlearning 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 amodel 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 toinstructor-led learning, the teachers in this class use a broader range of technologies to solve theproblem, hence giving them experience with a larger number of programs and platforms. Brown and Warschauer (2006) studied the teacher preparation programs. Their findingswere that most programs and field placements fall short. Students reported that they were toobusy with other classes to focus and learn what they needed to for the technology classes. Duringstudent teaching placements, the same trend was found. Student teachers were overwhelmedwith class work and found it difficult to integrate computers, so many chose not to use it. AsMishra and Koehler found, the teacher preparation courses focused on mastering hardware andsoftware functions, rather than tasks that can be used for integrating technology. Brown andWarschauer believed that infusing technology into the methods courses would provide a contextand 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 ofeffective technology integration. Once teachers complete the preparation program, Brown andWarschauer suggested that teachers be placed with a technologically proficient mentor of theirnew staff. This person would be a role model as well as be able to provide information andsuggestions 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 waysto integrate document cameras into curriculum. Her focus on effective integration supportsMishra and Koehler’s research demonstrating that context along with technology is a new area ofteacher knowledge. Using the context of a content-specific lesson, Clemmons gives teachers anopportunity to use technology successfully. Harris’ extensive work with activity types demonstrated that lesson design is paramountin effectively using technology and training teachers how to integrate technology. Harris,Mishra, and Koehler (2009) gave extensive examples of technologies that were compatible withspecific activities. Suppose a teacher wanted students to create a narrative writing about an eventin the past. The technologies that Harris found to be most compatible with that activity are wordprocessors and concept mapping software. Although Harris’ research is not a prescribed set ofparameters for integration, she created a very user-friendly model. Using Table 1, you can see that there are many activity choices for knowledge-basedactivities. Perhaps a teacher wanted students to listen to the audio version of a radio broadcast tolearn 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 oftechnology 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, easyprocess. Teachers’ prior knowledge, attitudes, and experiences must be a consideration whendeveloping an implementation plan. Mayer (2003) researched design methods across different media and found that studentsgained a deep understanding of the material regardless of the media used. This research isimportant to implementation because it demonstrated that there are many different types ofmedia available. As long as the instructional design is sound, students learned the material withsignificant 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 cognitivetheory of multimedia learning (CTML). This theory focused on the idea that multimediainstructional messages designed in light of how the human mind works are going to be moreunderstandable than ones that are not (Mayer, 2005). The theory of learning that you have twochannels through which information enters your brain and there is a limit to how much yourbrain can process helped Mayer form his conclusion. Mayer found that people learn moreeffectively if pictures and words are presented simultaneously rather than separately. Pairing Mayer’s CTML with Mishra and Koehler’s theory regarding knowledge, one cancreate an implementation plan that successfully implements visual and auditory concepts withcontent, knowledge, and technology. Although Mishra and Koehler don’t explicitly discussdocument cameras, or document readers, as a form of visual technology, they are beginning to beused 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 ineffective integration. This study used the research and created an implementation plan for document camerasbased on the findings of Harris, Mishra, Koehler, and Mayer. Document cameras are a digitalprojector 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 andtechnology integration are applied easily. Using this research, an implementation plan thatincludes Harris’ activity types and examples of successful lessons using TPACK was created foran 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 researchon knowledge led to the creation of the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledgeframework for multimedia instruction. Using this research with Harris’ work on activity types,the researcher created an implementation plan for using document cameras at an elementaryschool. Part of this plan includes instructional strategies suggested by Mayer and his work withmultimedia learning. Applying the TPACK and activity type theories to document cameras wasa natural step forward since document cameras contain much of the same technology ascomputers, digital cameras, and digital video recorders.
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