Technology In The Classroom
In the technology strand, we used the process of design thinking (for more information, see video here) to answer the following questions:
- Describe your experiences with educational technology (e.g., what worked well, what challenges do you observe regarding educational technology?);
- Given your experiences with educational technology, define a problem related to these experiences, and narrow in on a solution.
Three focus areas related to educational technology arose. The first focus area regarded administrators’ beliefs about technology and the barriers to technology in schools. Members of this focus area decided to tackle the problem of how we can use what we know about motivation and learning to support the successful implementation of technology-related professional development? Members of this focus area developed the following ideas:
- Employ the design thinking model to redesign educational technology professional development (PD) to better fit the needs of administrators and teachers, while making teachers’ knowledge and skill development the main priority. Using the design thinking model would allow PD providers to better understand teachers’ needs (through the “empathize” part of the design thinking model).
- Review the literature regarding administrators’ beliefs about technology, professional learning, and innovation;
- Develop an Op-Ed piece or article in practitioner journal proposing the use of design thinking to assess/redesign professional development programs.
A second focus area arose, which explored ideas regarding supporting students’ self-regulatory skills in educational technology. The problem they explored was providing students with feedback specifically about their self-regulatory processes. The following ides were developed:
- Build an intervention into digital textbooks, which would provide feedback on self-regulation.
- Examine the potential for short-cycle funding from commercial enterprises (i.e., publishers) to support this project.
The third focus area explored ideas related to building information literacy in online contexts. The problem that they explored centered on the fact that students need to develop information literacy, but are often not explicitly taught these skills. The idea was to build a browser that would scaffold students’ information literacy skills, especially as they performed research. This scaffolding would provide more guidance and scaffolding initially and then reduce it as the student became more skilled.
A bonus problem that this group dealt with centered on the fact that policy makers need access to policy briefs or at least concise, focused descriptions of relevant research. Typically, what happens is policy makers just have their own in-house person write that policy brief, which often is of low quality. The solution would be for us to create a repository for short, impactful, written descriptions of the educational research that we produce. It would be written by researchers, easily searchable, and would be written in a way that allows policy makers to get what they need out of it to support legislation.
Diane Jass Ketelhut