Caroline Cooney

ET501 Annotated Bibliography

One of my main objectives in pursuing the MET from Boise State is to use technology in my classroom, to both share information with students and also, to help students engage more fully in their learning.  Accordingly, I am interested in exploring the classroom efficacy of a one to one computing program,where all students have their own electronic device, laptop, tablet, or other device.  I thought long and hard on the topic to research for the annotated bibliography artifact.  Two ideas came to mind immediately: 1. determine if one to one electronic device programs are effective learning tools in the high school setting, 2. determine if bring your own device (BYOD) programs are effective.  I decided to research the former because step one in my mind is to determine if having a one to one program in the high school classroom is an effective learning tool.  Step two is to determine what that device should be: laptop, tablet, or BYOD.  To that end, the five peer-reviewed articles that I researched relate to technology use in school, the efficacy of a 1:1 program in schools, and the potential of one to one programs on learning outcomes.

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Subject Area: High School Science (Physics, Earth Science, Physical Science)

Instructional Objective: Pilot a 1:1 program in my classroom to to help students increase learning, and increase responsibility for their own learning.

Based on anecdotal stories that I have read in a variety of, blogs, and from speaking with peers, I have come to believe that each student should have access to some type of electronic device in the classroom via a dedicated one to one program.  However, my just saying that I think we need a dedicated one to one program in my classroom will not get the devices for my classroom,nor does it prove that it is a worthwhile program,  I need to demonstrate to school administration that access to electronics will enhance and increase student learning, and student’s ownership of the learning.  It is not enough to simply have technology, but to use that technology to  empower students to take ownership of their learning by using technology to learn, annotate, and ultimately showcase their learning.   A dedicated one to one program would help achieve this goal by giving students more choice in their learning, and in how they present they learning.  A dedicated one to one computing program will also help students hone their research and presentation skills.  Of course, living in the 21st century means that most schools will want proof in terms of high stake test scores; however, other important skills are developed by 1:1 programs that cannot be given a score on a high stakes test.  Some examples are research skills, collaborative skills, varied ways (beyond the test) to showcase learning, etc.  I envision interactive lessons, where the teacher guides the students with a series of questions, whole class activities, and project based learning activities.  The students then have the responsibility of learning the material with teacher guidance, and ultimately demonstrating that knowledge via both traditional test & other summative assessments that utilize the technology.

Reflections on the assignment

It took me several days  to figure out where to go with this assignment.  I knew in general, the topic that I wanted to explore, utilizing 1:1 technology in class.  I think that in order for a program to be effective as a learning program & cost effective, schools need to explore the BYOD method as part of any one to one initiative.  If a student does not have access to a device, the school can provide one in class. This way, students are using devices with which they are familiar, everyone in the class has access.  I have talked to my students, and those with laptops thought it would be a good idea to use their own device rather than one from the portable lap-top cart that I currently use.  At any given moment, several of the laptops seem not to work, adding to student frustration.

Another challenge was the initial research phase.  With the exception of one paper I did for a grad class about ten years ago, the last time I did serious research, I used a card catalog and the Dewey Decimal System to find resources.  Using the databases was a learning experience for me, and it was amazing to see how much is available.  I did find it challenging to figure out the best databases, but doing research is a skill that requires practice, and it will get easier.  I enjoyed the Google Scholar , and in fact showed my students this week in class how to use the Google Tool to do research directly from their Google Document.  I will definitely continue to fine tune my research skills as I prepare more artifacts, and share my knowledge with my students.

One of the more difficult aspects of this assignment was finding relevant articles that were both current and accessible to anyone.  I was able to find many articles using the databases available at Albertsons Library at Boise State University, but most of these could not be accessed by anyone, only people with access to the databases. Using Google Scholar, I was able to find some current articles accessible by everyone, but it seemed that many of the articles were several years old.

Annotated Bibliography

Bebell, D., & Kay, R. (2010). One to one computing: A summary of the quantitative results from the Berkshire wireless learning initiative. The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment, 9(2). Retrieved from http://napoleon.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/viewFile/1607/1462

This article examined the results of a one to one computing program in five middle schools in western Massachusetts, over the course of three years.  The authors examined the results of the students participating in the program not only with their pre-program abilities, but also with neighboring districts with similar demographics who did not have a one to one computing program in place.  Researchers explored student engagement, achievement, ability to research and collaborate, and teaching strategies, curriculum delivery, and classroom management. The authors did see positive outcomes in all areas.  In particular, teacher’s use of technology and curriculum delivery were changed by the program.  The authors conclude, that while the study did show positive gains, it cannot be considered conclusive, but rather to conclude that one to one computing programs have the potential to alter curriculum delivery and ultimately student outcomes.

This initiative was small, only 5 schools.  What I found most exciting about the promise of technology in the class, was they way it transformed the way teachers designed and delivered the instruction to make it more student-centered.  I have always thought that in order for students to take responsibility for their learning and actions, they must helping to drive the the learning process.

Bouterse, B., Corn, J. O., & Halstead, E. O. (2009). Choosing the perfect tools for one-to-one. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(1), 14-17.  Retrieved from https://www.fi.ncsu.edu/assets/research_papers/evaluation-of-nc-11-learning-initiative/choosing-the-perfect-tools-for-one-to-one.pdf

This article discusses the pros and cons of a variety of one to one computing tools.  The authors also give a practical, behind the scenes look at what type of support is needed in the school in terms of IT support and professional development.

I found this interesting because as I begin to explore the possibilities, I know that I have  much to learn about the different devices, and also that implementing such a program will rely heavily on IT support to make sure the wireless networks and necessary software is downloaded to all devices.

Brown, J. S., & Adler, R. P. (2008). Open education, the long tail, and learning 2.0. Educause review, 43(1), 16-20.  Retrieved from http://open.umich.edu/oertoolkit/references/mindsonfire.pdf

This article, though not on one to one computing initiatives, is tied to how we can use technology in the class, as it looks at web 2.0,and its effect on education.  The authors maintain, that students learn best when part of a social learning network.  They cite Richard Light of the Harvard Graduate School of Education,and his study that college students’ best indicator of success is their ability to form and participate in small study groups.  The aurthors go on to cite many relevant examples of social learning beginning with open source software, where many people contribute to the success of the final product, Wikipedia as an information source,  and Digital Study Hall, a program in rural India where students watch short video lectures and then have group discussions, often lead by students.  The authors talk about a new way to approach learning as technology changes and the jobs of today quickly evolve, and traditional training may not be effective in a fast changing world.  

This article made me think of ways that open course software could be integrated into a classroom utilizing one to one computing.  First, students could watch lectures and or content videos in small groups or individually from Ted Ed, MIT, Kahn Academy.  They could use these lectures as a starting point for building meaning and knowledge as they ask questions of each other and me.  Another thought, is to create a weekly study group where students meet in a small group and discuss what they learned, what questions still remain, and ultimately use technology to communicate and share their information and questions with the class.  Our current class, Ed Tech 501, utilizes a “social learning model”,where we each progress at our own rate, ask questions of each other, communicate with each other to ultimately build understanding.  

Dunleavy, M., & Heinecke, W. F. (2008). The impact of 1: 1 laptop use on middle school math and science standardized test scores. Computers in the Schools, 24(3-4), 7-22.  Retrieved from http://mathenrich.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/52433674/Impact.pdf

In this article, the authors attempt to determine if access to computers has an effect on learning outcomes in both math and science.  The authors studied the results of at risk middle school students, and the effects a one to one computing program had on their math and science scores.  The evaluators looked at two groups of student (with  laptop access vs no computer access) and compared their pre and post test scores.  The students and teachers using the laptops did not change the philosophy of the instruction, but rather used the laptops to make it more efficient.  The pre and post test results show that gains were made in science, but not math.  They also show that bigger gains were made by boys as compared to girls.  The results suggest that more research needs to be done to discover why these disparities occurred, nonetheless, gains were made in science test scores.  This study I found interesting as I teach high school science.  

Weston, M. E., & Bain, A. (2010). The end of techno-critique: The naked truth about 1: 1 laptop initiatives and educational change. The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment, 9(6). Retreived from https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/jtla/article/viewFile/1611/1458

In this article, the authors examine the criticisms of 1:1 laptop computer initiatives, and offer suggestions as to what the 21st century classroom should look like to take advantage of 1:1 laptop computer initiatives.  They also explore that many attempts at education reform, including one to one computing programs, have not lived up to the educational hype of student outcomes.  They argue that rather than say computers in class don’t work, they suggest looking at the totality of improving instruction with computers being one piece of the educational landscape.  They suggest that technology, if not used properly, is merely a replacement for old paper counterparts.  They suggest that computers are a cognitive tool that is part of the daily learning process, unable to separate the computer from the differentiated and project based learning.  The technology is integrated into the way the school community designs instruction, does research, presents learning that it is impossible to separate the technology tool from the learning as they are intertwined.

This article articulated my thoughts that good teaching is not the use of technology or a single great lesson, but rather a an informed, well thought out, and planned process where all stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, parents) are invested in the process of learning, to  utilize many tools which may include technology.  This article will help guide my thinking as I move forward with technology in my classroom, as the technology is just a piece of the learning, a means to an end.