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8530 Article Summaries Renée Jackson

8530 Article Summaries Renée Jackson

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Renée JacksonArticle SummariesArticle #1
Stiler, G. (2007, Fall2007). MP3 players: Applications and implications for the use of popular technology in secondary schools.
 Education
,
128
(1), 20-33. Retrieved September 24,2009, from Academic Search Complete database.ResearchSummary:This article covers a small exploratory study using a focus group format on the possibleclassroom applications of MP3 players in a high school setting. The author chose to conduct thisstudy on the premise that given the common use of MP3 players by adolescents and youth, theremight be missed educational opportunities to use them in the classroom. The author sets out tofind the limitations of MP3 players, gather teacher recommendations for potential use of the players, and to learn to what extensions of the curriculum the MP3 players might lendthemselves.Two focus groups from the same high school participated in the three month trial andstudy. Four social studies teachers that were also coaches made up Group 1. Group 2 consisted of one French language teacher, one special education teacher, and a media specialist. The author of the article acted as project coordinator and served in a support capacity to the participants.Funding from a research grant was used to purchase six popular models of MP3 players based ona set of criteria developed to maximize available functions of the various models of players. Alist of known academic uses for MP3 players was developed and given to the participants to prompt their validation on what applications were already being done with the players.Participants were given instruction on basic operation of the players and asked to record their likes and dislikes of the players along with any ideas they had for application in the classroom.Suggestions for classroom applications for the MP3 players were made includingtransporting, storing and archiving data, oral history interviews, and listening to web-basedhistory and government audio archives. It was agreed that increased student interest in web- based information could result with the use of MP3 players. It was noted that there was a school policy in place prohibiting use of MP3 players during class time. All participants agreed that for any of the potential uses to be realized all students would need MP3 players and that technologytraining and support for teachers would be issues.According to the author, the implications of the study indicate two themes. The participants were able to envision applications that integrated MP3 players into existing lesson plans and they were aware of potential uses with certain learning styles and the needs o particular students and subjects. Also, the consensus of the participants was the need for a³comprehensive and sustainable technology plan´ that offered training and support for incorporating the new technology.Critique:This article would be useful for teachers and media specialists looking for a list of applications or suggestions for using MP3 players. Although it was interesting to read, the studywas too small, too localized and the use of the focus group format was not conducive to
 
generating any real data. The article started out substantiating the reason for the study byreporting data on the use of MP3 players. The format of the article followed a coherent outlinefor the information and tables were provided for the potential classroom applications and participant profiles. The problem with the study came in that there was only one school involved,there were only two small focus groups, and each of the groups met once, for about an hour. Theauthor also states that ³discussions were cued with leading questions and statements´.I think for this type of study more than one school should have been included. The MP3 players could have been divided between the schools if the study had to be completed during acertain time period. Also, the participants should not have been given a prepared list of classroom applications. They should have been asked to provide their own suggestions after using the players for a period of time and then the researcher could have compared their responses with the known classroom uses of MP3 players. I do think it was advantageous to thestudy that a special education teacher, a foreign language teacher and a media specialist wereincluded to gain the perspective of diverse learners and content.As a future media specialist, I appreciated the comments and suggestions made by themedia specialist concerning the potential use of the MP3 player in the media center. It was alsoinformative to hear from the various teachers the way the players could be used with their classes. I also found it interesting that the author mentions that there was no discussion of connections to curriculum standards and that the questions were not designed to find out the participant¶s knowledge of the standards. With curriculum standards being the basis for allclassroom instruction, this seems to be an area for inquiry that should not be overlooked.
Article #2
Sadik, A. (2008, August). Digital storytelling: A meaningful technology-integrated approach for engaged student learning.
 Educational Technology Research and Development 
,
56 
(4),487-506. Retrieved September 24, 2009, doi:10.1007/s11423-008-9091-8ResearchSummary:This article chronicles the use of Microsoft Photo Story 3 for Windows to encourageEgyptian teachers to integrate technology into their regular classroom instruction. The researcher notes that even though investment had been made by the Egyptian Ministry of Education incomputers and technology, teachers seemed to be lacking in classroom implementation due tothe quality of their training and their inability to see the potential for improved learning in theclassroom.The study¶s intent was to help teachers ³develop the nature of teaching and learning´ byusing digital storytelling technology. The study sets out to answer to what extent digitalstorytelling can engage students in authentic learning tasks, how effectively the approach cansupport integration of technology into learning, and what the teachers¶ concerns and views wereconcerning the use of this technology in the classroom by using multiple methods of datacollection and analysis. A scaling rubric was used as the assessment tool to gauge the students¶level of engagement and authentic learning, while observations and interviews were used to gaininsight into teacher concerns and their perception of the integration of the technology and whatfactors influenced the teachers as they integrated digital storytelling into their classroom.
 
The study took place at two private Basic Education schools. Each school had a computer lab with computers, Internet connections, scanner, color printer, and digital camera. A mediaspecialist was also available in the lab at both schools to help teachers and students with thecomputer and peripherals. Four teachers of different subjects from each school were chosen based on their training and use of technology integration in the curriculum. Each teacher nominated one class (35-45 students) serving students 13 ± 15 years old. A person-levelorientation and group workshop on using digital storytelling in the curriculum, the tools required,and the importance of involving students in all stages of the process were provided.It was observed that although students liked the Photo Story software and found it easy touse, teachers were not technically able to explain all the nuances of using the computer and peripherals to produce the digital story. Technical assistance was often referred to the computer teacher. The students with adequate technical skills did more of the work and made use of thedigital technologies but many students were able to develop their technical skills during the project. It was also noted that student motivation and engagement in story development increasedand that most of the class time was spent on relevant and productive learning activities. Studentassessment showed students scored average on cooperation, good on using content, resourcesand sound, and very good for the remaining nine criteria. This also translated as 75% of studentshaving some difficulty in working effectively in a group, while 40% of student groups asked theteacher for subject ideas and assistance in finding images and resources for their story.The last result dealt with teacher concerns and their views about the use and integrationof digital storytelling into the curriculum. All the teacher interviews were coded through a twostep process and recorded on a spreadsheet. The teachers expressed that time was a big concernfor the planning and preparation of lessons using digital storytelling and that it also took a greatdeal of time for students to learn to use the software appropriately. However, the data suggesteddigital storytelling was a motivating tool that enhanced the classroom by offering a creative, productive tool and the teachers felt that students were motivated by the use of technology in anauthentic learning situation. Five of the eight teachers were willing to include digital storytellinginto their curriculum. Lastly, the data indicated that more technical assistance and access totechnology would be needed to successfully integrate technology into the classroom.The implications of the study suggest that students were motivated to use higher levelskills to convey meaning, use a personal point of view and reflect their own thoughts whileacquiring new technology skills and media literacy in an authentic learning environment whenthey used the digital storytelling software. The findings suggest teachers need moreencouragement to incorporate more long-term, problem-solving projects for their students thatoffer them time for collaboration, creation and presentation of their digital stories. The studyfound that traditional assessments might not be appropriate for finding evidence of profoundunderstanding when using technology and suggests the use of an e-portfolio for assessment. Thestudy calls for research in the use of digital storytelling in math and science, and the professionaldevelopment of teachers by providing them with opportunities to collaborate with colleagues onintegrating technology into the curriculum in general, and on using digital storytelling in particular.Critique:I think this article was useful for presenting information and data on how an authenticactivity that uses digital technology can be integrated into the curriculum. It offers evidence of student and teacher involvement and outcomes. It also makes reference to constructivist

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