For my research, I plan to use both quantitative data and qualitative data. I had my students participate in an engagement pre-survey, just to get their ideas on what they find engaging in the classroom, and they completed a post-survey, to find out what activities that I did in class during the treatment that they found engaging. For the pre survey, I listed several types of typical classroom activities that I already use in the classroom and had them rank them on a scale of 1-5 of what they thought was engaging. Starting from 1, "not engaging at all" to 5, "extremely engaging." I was able to graph the data and clearly see which activities the students found most engaging. This has shaped my teaching, because I will try to minimize activities the students find less engaging.
Some of my biggest findings were also from the survey when I asked qualitative, open-ended questions such as, "How did the _______________________ support your understanding of graphing linear equations?" I received an incredible amount of feedback from the students from their free-response answers to three similar questions after I used different activities in the classroom. Probably, the biggest take away from me is that it's really easy to make a google form, link it to our school's management system ECHO to ask my students for honest feedback. This will impact my teaching as I'll probably use something similar to this several times during the school year.
Blog: Who are the seminal people researching in the area of your driving question? What are they known for? What are the big ideas? Tell us about the state-of-the-art knowledge related to your question…
Disclaimer: This Blog is definitely a work in progress, as I’m still constantly searching for resources, data, and research that is connected to my driving question.
I’m not really comfortable describing the following people as “leaders” in their area of research around my driving question, but each one of the people below has interesting research or contributions to the area integrating technology into classrooms, or using cell phones in a classroom.
John Seely Brown was one of the presenters we got to explore through our 701 course, and he mentioned some things in his video that are related to my DQ of using technology in a high school classroom. First, he proclaimed that we live in a world of constant change, or constant flux. Students (and teachers) need to keep up with this ever changing world, and incorporating technology into the classroom is one of those ways for us to keep up, and help our students keep up. JSB supports the idea that devices are “curiosity amplifiers,” and can help us find answers at our fingertips. This relates to my DQ in that I want to use devices in my classroom to increase engagement and achievement.
Matt McCullough is the Director of Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Schoolcraft Community Schools and has been an administrator, teacher, academy leader and curriculum lead in Kalamazoo, Onsted and Ann Arbor. He holds both a Bachelor's in History/Social Studies and Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. Matt has been honored as an Exemplary Nominee for the ASCD National Outstanding Young Educator of the Year, the Michigan Education Association Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year and is currently a Michigan Educator Voice Fellow. He and his wife, who is a college professor at Western Michigan University, just recently presented at the “Chrome Lab Conference” and presented a session on flipped classrooms, entitled "Flipping Students out using #GAFE." They made a power point that I enjoyed watching and linked it, if you’re interested in checking it out He also recently published a journal on Edutopia.org entitled, “Mobile Devices: Four Student Must-Haves” I really agreed and connected with his “Must Have” #2, which I cut and pasted below:
“Student must know how to capture and share learning with their mobile device while enhancing their digital footprint. Students can easily use Snapchat, Twitter, InstaGram and use just about every social media app but do they know how to improve their digital footprint through the capture and sharing of educational highlights? Adults in their lives must model and moderate social media use while teaching students how to capture their best moments. Instead of cameras for selfies, they can be used to capture images of their best work, videos of learning highlights or reviews, and then shared across multiple websites and social media apps. When Googled, a student's goal should be a steady stream of impressive school products and collaborations within the search results.”
I love the premise here of taking something that teenagers constantly have out in their hands, and leveraging that in the classroom in productive ways. I’m thinking of giving this paragraph to my students sometime near the beginning of the school year and asking them to reflect their thoughts about this concept. I know it’s going to be a difficult task to get high schoolers to see their phones as anything but links to Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and texting. Fighting an uphill battle.
Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools has been leading the Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.) initiative to ensure every school has an equitable, effective digital learning environment; and being an avid personal user of social media to connect with the public. According to a July 2016 article in the Baltimore Sun, through the STAT initiative, Baltimore County Public schools have been “offering students more individualized instruction through the integrated use of one-to-one devices in student-centered learning environments. The principals of these schools report that students are more engaged, disciplinary incidents are down, and attendance has increased.”
More to follow...
Blog 3 - Funnel - What’s the educational context for your DQ - International, national, state, district, school Funnel?
My Driving Question: How does technology use affect high school math students’ engagement and achievement?
I’m not quite sure how to answer this question, so to help me delve deeper into exploring my DQ, I’m going to answer the set of questions at the end of Chapter 3 in the Power of Questions. While my question is framed clearly, I’m wondering if I’m biting off more than I can chew this condensed summer semester by exploring both engagement and achievement. My DQ is an open ended question asking “How” can tech help students’ engagement and achievement. This question is definitely personalized to my situation because being a high school math teacher (a subject students are either hot or cold about) engaging them in my classroom with technology is, and/or, could be the “make it” or “break it” strategy for many of my reluctant learners. I have found this question to be very researchable in the context of my life. I am constantly looking for new and innovative ways to engage my students and make my Math 1 class interesting. Throughout my research so far, I’ve already found several websites/apps that I’ve used in my class this summer during our Napa High Summer Academy. I find this topic interesting to me, and it should also be interesting to all teachers, because technology is here, it’s not going away, and it’s going to be ever-changing. Any good teacher needs to model their growth mindset and their desire for life-long learning by embracing technology and using it in their classrooms.
As if right now,my two DQ subquestions are:
Blog #2 - Having reviewed the IRB, what do you need to know to address your DQ? Why? How would you measure your “need to knows”?Read Now
After reviewing the IRB document, I think I need the most support and discussion around my research methods. I think I have clarified my driving question, although from my readings, I realize this can be modified throughout this process. I’m not sure what kind of study it’s going to be, and how I’m going to answer my research question. Basically, all of the questions from Question 4 from the “JUSTIFICATION AND PROJECT DESCRIPTION” portion of the IRB:
4. Describe the research methods and procedures.
Related: after reading chapters 1-3 of Falk, I used the examples at the end of chapter 3 to begin framing my study:
Research Question: How can I use technology in the classroom to increase my students’ interest and engagement? Some of my subquestions are:
What I plan to do: I am going to begin by finding several articles specifically about how high school teachers have used technology (devices) in their classrooms to engage and interest their students. I think it might be helpful to survey my students and ask them how they’ve used technology in the classroom in ways that they thought were engaging and interesting. I also think it would be worthwhile to investigate the cell phone phenomenon that pervades high school classrooms, and explore ways in which students could utilize their cell phones in productive, engaging ways.
Context/background: I arrived at my question(s) because cell phones are constantly out in a high school classroom. Instead of fighting the battle, I’d like to embrace them and use them productively and instructionally in my math classroom. I would like to pursue collaborative apps, websites, ideas, etc. that my students could use that would help increase their engagement in the math. I think this is necessary to pursue because because we’re in a digital world and the more exposure my students have to technology and its uses and benefits, the more prepared they’re going to be for either college, or the work world. I need to explore what biases/perspectives I have that could impact how I approach my questions and research?