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Addy Baker

FRIT 7235 Y02
February 10, 2016

Article Review
An investigation of middle school science teachers and students use of technology inside
and outside of classrooms: considering whether digital natives are more technology savvy
than their teachers

Wang, S. s., Hsu, H. h., Campbell, T. t., Coster, D. d., & Longhurst, M. m. (2014). An
investigation of middle school science teachers and students use of technology inside and outside
of classrooms: considering whether digital natives are more technology savvy than their
teachers. Educational Technology Research & Development, 62(6), 637-662.
This article explores the relationship between students and science teachers and their technology
use inside and outside of school. Science teachers were chosen because it was assumed they
would have the highest likelihood of using various technologies in their classrooms. There is an
assumption by the general population that the younger generation would be highly tech savvy
and immersed in various types of technologies a majority of the time. One of the findings of this
study was that these middle grades students did not meet the definition of digital natives using
technology less than expected. The teachers came much closer to meeting the definition of a
digital native. Essentially, if the students were given a chance to explore new technologies they
picked up the content easily but, they weren’t getting the chance in school. Teachers reported the
reason being lack of technology resources, lack of time, and a need for training in technology
I found this article quite interesting. I have often heard the use of the term digital native and the
assumption that students were more tech savvy than teachers. I found it interesting that this
article found that assumption to be false also showing research from others suggesting that this
was not just true for middle school students, but also high school and college. The paper shows
there is a need for high quality technology integration in the classroom in order for students to
expand technology uses beyond entertainment and communication. The paper had two locations
where it pulled test subjects from vaguely stating Utah and New York. I would have like to have

seen more information on the locations to help me understand the shortcoming in tech integration
by the teachers. I feel there are wide variations in the amount of available technology in city and
rural school. As a middle school science teacher, I see the need to implement more technology
activities that branch further than reports and presentations implementing a variety of Web 2.0

Article Review
Raspberry Pi

Toth-Chernin, J. j. (2015). Raspberry Pi. Knowledge Quest, 43(3), 74-75.
Professional Practice
The article Raspberry Pi is written by Jan Toth-Chernin, a school librarian to a 6-12 school in
Michigan. In the article she describes her implementation of Raspberry Pi units with high school
and middle school students. The Raspberry Pi units are small computers that can be
programmed to complete various tasks by the user. Toth-Chernin uses the Raspberry Pi with
high school Computer Science students to build motion detectors. 8th grades students used the
Raspberry Pi in a cross curricular project showcasing the students’ knowledge of circuits to light
up books they created. 7th grade students will be using the Raspberry Pi units to design a project
for their innovation units. Overall, she has found that there are many useful implementations of
the highly adaptable Raspberry Pi units in the 6-12 classroom. Student interest is up and the
teachers are learning how to implement the technology with the help of the librarian.
I found the subject matter of this article very interesting. I had never heard of a Raspberry Pi
before and was very interested to learn more. I found the author’s description a bit lacking. It
seems the article was meant for those who are more familiar with coding. I know it exists and
that’s about it. This however does not limit my ability to learn more about and after a few web
searches I was able to grasp the content quite nicely. The author is also vague in her accounts of
using the units. I would have liked to have seen some more description when talking about her
uses with middle school students and their ability to use the technology. This article turned on a
few lightbulbs for ways that I could implement such a technology in my classroom. I have had
many students with the aspirations of becoming computer programmers. Our school, like many
in our area, no longer offers technology classes where students can learn the basics required for
such a field. If I were to use something like the Raspberry Pi in my classroom for unit projects, I
could teach basic tech skills while reinforcing academic content.

Article Review
Through the Teacher's Eyes: Unpacking the TPACK of Digital Fabrication Integration in
Middle School Language Arts

Smith, S. (2013). Through the Teacher's Eyes: Unpacking the TPACK of Digital Fabrication
Integration in Middle School Language Arts. Journal of Research on Technology in Education
(International Society for Technology in Education), 46(2), 207-227.
This article implements the pedagogical strategies of the TPACK (Technological Pedagogical
Content Knowledge) framework through the use digital fabrication in a middle grades after
school program focusing on language arts. It has been suggested that digital fabrication inspires
creativity and innovation in students. In this case digital fabrication was used in creating pop-up
books using Mac books, a digital printer, and a Silhouette SD. The teacher used six different
pedagogical strategies; multiple literacies, constructivism, technological resources, scaffolding,
differentiation, and collaboration. Each of these strategies helped with instruction and use of the
technology. There were a few technical glitches that went with using the Silhouette technology,
but they were easily overcome and provided valuable learning experiences for the students. The
use of digital fabrication was deemed ultimately successful in maintaining student interest and
promoting creativity and innovation as the students produced attractive and unique pop-up books
while mastering the use of the technology.
Now this is something I wish I had read years ago. I could really have used the whole digital
fabrication unit as described in my Language Arts Study Skills classes. The teacher found
success in teaching with the technology and I believe that using something like this would have
been a great tool for my students as well in place of the regular draw and staple book writing
lesson. There was also mention of a few other ways to use the technology in the regular
classroom in choice charts. I like this idea as well. However, I wish this article had also looked
at the students’ content acquisition. As a teacher, I think it is important that strategies enforce the
content being taught and not overshadow them. There was not an explanation of how the well
the students grasped the language arts concepts on which were being focused. To improve this
article a quick comment on the content focus and student retention should have been included.