Thursday, April 29, 2010

Integration of technology to support learning

Tech Tales: Marco Torres on Empowering Students Through Multimedia
Marco Torres, a social studies teacher and technology director at San Fernando High School, explores how the creation of multimedia projects empowers his students, as well as those who participate in the San Fernando Education Technology Team (SFETT).

Marco Torres: Challenge based learning in action (video)
St Agnes Catholic High School, 2009

Hawaiian students use sophisticated tools to learn and to learn to solve problems
Before Tamlyn and Quinn did their descriptive writing, they created storyboards about the action they wanted to represent in an assignment on "expanding the moment" -- making the story more intense by describing a fleeting instant in great detail. From their storyboards, they each created a computer animation of the action. Frame by frame, the animation in turn sparked their imaginations and helped them create word pictures. "It gives you ideas about what you see," says Quinn. HyperStudio and Kid Pix were among the computer programs they used.

Technology and Academic Achievement
Les Foltos, New Horizons for Learning
Recently, a growing number of researchers have published studies that provide substantial evidence that technology can play a positive role in academic achievement. Several organizations like Edutopia, the North Central Educational Lab (NCREL) and the Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET) are documenting research studies that link technology to increases in academic achievement. Two studies are reflective of the growing body of research on technology's role in academic achievement.
Two research studies offer clear direction for educators who are trying to answer the questions raised by Secretary Paige. Both studies argue that improvements in student learning occur when technology is paired with instructional strategies like project-based instruction, which actively involves students in intellectually complex work that demands higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. Henry Becker's research adds further weight to the argument that technology is a particularly strong tool for supporting active, inquiry-based learning. Becker argues that the kind of active learning necessary to master principles and concepts and explain student work is easier to implement in a technology-rich environment where "students have a rich array of information to work with (rather than only preselected, quality filtered textbook content), when communications structures enable students to pose relevant questions to appropriate individuals…and when technology-based tools such as databases, analytic software, and composition software help them to extract understanding from information" (Becker, 2000).

Critical Issue: Using Technology to Enhance Engaged Learning for At-Risk Students
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
An increasing number of educators are calling for high standards and challenging learning activities for at-risk students. New technologies can provide meaningful learning experiences for all children, especially those at risk of educational failure. Schools that capitalize on the relationship between technology and education reform will help students to develop higher order skills and to function effectively in the world beyond the classroom. Achieving such fundamental change, however, requires a transformation of not only the underlying pedagogy (basic assumptions about the teaching and learning process) but also the kinds of technology applications typically used in classrooms serving at-risk students.
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