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Final Report - Dyer

Final Report - Dyer

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Published by Dylan Dyer

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Published by: Dylan Dyer on Jun 30, 2010
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Web 2.0 Technologies
Running Head: WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGIESWeb 2.0 Technologies and Student Engagement atColorado’s Finest Alternative High SchoolDylan Dyer May 1, 2010University of Colorado Denver 
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Web 2.0 Technologies
Introduction and Problem Statement
My name is Dylan Dyer and I am a high school social studies teacher inEnglewood, Colorado. Currently, there is a strong push from our district to integrateWeb 2.0 tools, such as Wikispaces and Google Docs, into the classroom in order toincrease student engagement and achievement. This is an excellent objective for our district to have, but because of budget cuts and time issues, there has been a lack of  professional development and training when it comes to using Web 2.0 tools such asWikispaces and Google Docs for educational purposes.In my school, we have an abundance of technology, including eMacs and Netbooks, all for student use. These resources should be put to their fullest potential, andwith the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, there has never been an easier time to use themthan right now. Because of these reasons, I decided to research the impact that Web 2.0tools, specifically Wikispaces and Google Docs, have on student engagement.Since there has been no concrete training on how to use Wikispaces or GoogleDocs in my school, my staff members are left with no clear information as to how to usethese tools in their instruction, or which tools have the most impact on studentengagement. The research I completed has proven to be useful because it has providedevidence as to whether or not Wikispaces and Google Docs positively or negativelyaffect student engagement.
Purpose and Intended Audience
My coworkers desperately want to learn how to use technology that benefits themand their students. Web 2.0 technologies like Wikispaces and Google Docs provideendless opportunities for educators to engage students, but without the proper training2
 
Web 2.0 Technologies
and basic understanding of their uses and functions, they may not be used in engagingways. The purpose for my action research project was to research Wikispaces and GoogleDocs in order to discover how these tools are impacting student engagement.For my research project, I surveyed students about the use of Wikispaces andGoogle Docs in their educational experience and used this information to benefit my self and my fellow co-workers. My findings have provided me with answers to how studentsfeel about using Wikispaces and Google Docs in the classroom. I have also shared thisinformation with my other staff members to encourage them to make use of these powerful tools in their classrooms.
Research Questions
The purpose of my action research project was to discover how Wikispaces andGoogle Docs impact student engagement.
How can my school use Wikispaces and Google Docs in ways that benefit our students the most?
o
If I question students about the impact Wikispaces and Google Docs haveon their engagement in learning, in what ways, if any, will the informationinfluence the way these tools are used at my school?
o
Between Wikispaces and Google Docs, which tools do students believe tohave the highest impact on their engagement? And why?
o
How do students feel about the use of Wikispaces and Google Docs at our school?It was important for me to define what “engagement” in learning means for thestudents. I decided to use five different criteria to define how students can be “engaged”3

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