Week Two: Classroom Research and Technology Integration

Classroom Research may be simply defined as ongoing and cumulative intellectual inquiry by classroom teachers into the nature of teaching and learning in their own classrooms. At its best, Classroom Research should benefit both teachers and students by actively engaging them in the collaborative study of learning as it takes place day by day in the particular context of their own classrooms (Cross and Steadman, 1996, p. 2).

I love that I found a definition for Classroom Research. It is a continual self check by monitoring, observing and questioning during teaching which helps to guide instruction by keeping kids excited and physically involved in their own learning using current technology and approaches. When I found this article by Albrecht and Polheum (1998) I became very interested in the book they were referring to, Classroom Research: Implementing the Scholarship of Teaching. According to this research, we need to keep kids “actively engaged” using modern technology and approaches to facilitate beneficial learning in the classroom. They continued on to state “…Many teachers do not know what exists in the way of research on learning or where to look for it” (p. 1). This I find to be true in many cases. Just keeping up with the times on technology is such a concern. Not only do we fall short on training our staff in what is current, we also don’t have the money to support purchasing a lot of current technology or equipment.

“More and more studies show that technology integration in the curriculum improves students’ learning processes and outcomes (Edutopia, 2007).” When students use technology they seem more engaged, creative and become a little more critical of their work. Having the skills to use modern day technology will be a helpful tool for this generation because that is what they will need to know when seeking jobs after their educational years. We, as teachers, need to get onboard with integrating technology as a productive resource for our students.

Classroom research is: “learner-centered, teacher-directed, collaborative, context-specific, scholarly, practical and relevant, and continual” (Albrecht and Polheum, 1998). This approach can improve technology integration in the classroom by allowing for that ongoing, active engagement of every student. The focus on research and questioning, leading to further exploration on a topic opens the doors for technology integration for resources. This is such a wonderful approach to use for research when in the classroom.

Albrecht, W. S., Polheum C. E. (1998, Spring). Classroom Research: Implementing

the Scholarship of Teaching. Retrieved from

https://aaahq.org/facdev/research/aen/spr98/item12.htm

 

Cross, K. P., Steadman, M. H. (1996). Classroom Research: Implementing the Scholarship of

Teaching. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

 

Edutopia. (2007, November). Why Do We Need Technology Integration? Retrieved from

http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-importance

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10 thoughts on “Week Two: Classroom Research and Technology Integration

  1. I agree with you when educators and students use technology it is more engaging and allows students to be creative. I found a video on Edutopia about integrating technology. It shows students creating and collaborating. One teacher shares how students are learning more then just the content when technology is integrated. Students are learning skills they will need for their future careers.

    Edutopia. (21012, December 12). An introduction to technology integration. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction-video

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sunshine,

      I really appreciate your reminding me (us) that classroom research includes keeping kids physically involved in their learning. Technology does keep kids actively engaged. I used to think of engaged as simply one hand on a controlled and ongoing involvement in the game. Now I think of so much more, like having discussions about issues and readings, taking on roles in a game to make the writing about a character more meaningful while having it interact with an avatar. Though I haven’t yet actually guided students in doing this, I learned about this from a teacher who presented at the technology conference in Anchorage.

      It does take so much energy to teach in a day—so being out there in the front trying to get technology that is learner-centered, and then justify using it to people who think we are just A. goofing around; or B. plugging students in and calling if differentiation without the teacher, is a monumental task. But talking with you in this blog is how I am getting braver; for the benefit of our students. Thank you for inspiring words!

      Aleta

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      • Aleta,
        Too true! it is hard to change the opinions of others, but sometimes it is necessary. In this case, very much so. There is so much that we can incorporate into education using technology, we just need to be able to support it with research and experience.

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  2. I have just discovered the Edutopia website from this class, and I am loving it. I loved his statement at the beginning, “If you can do this lesson without technology that’s great. But if you can do it better with technology then that’s why you use it, that’s why you use tools.” It really pushes that idea that technology is a tool and can be used to make things better, more creative and to self motivate. They will be more willing and much more likely to remember the topic that was taught. Thanks for the video, it was a great support for technology in the classroom.

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  3. I may just print part of the passage you cite at the beginning of your post and hang it in my office: ” At its best, Classroom Research should benefit both teachers and students by actively engaging them in the collaborative study of learning…” For me, this is why classroom research is so powerful and SO worth the time and effort it requires. It benefits not just the educator doing the research but the students, as well. Many years ago when my students and I were involved in action research in my ELA classroom, the students served as “classroom ethnographers” and took turns recording notes during our daily poetry readings and discussions. They recorded themes in the conversation, what people noticed, disparity in understandings, etc. Over time, they became so much more knowledgeable about the content than if I had done all of the record keeping, note-taking, and analysis. Actively ENGAGING in the “collaborative study of learning” takes students to a new level in learning, as it requires meta-cognition about how they learn, why they learn, etc. Love it! Thanks for including the passage from Cross and Steadman.

    And…Edutopia rocks! Such a great resource. It’s one of my regular go-to sites. Are you familiar with Teaching Channel? That’s another of my favorites, with so many excellent tech-related resources! https://www.teachingchannel.org/?national=1

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    • Yes, I will always believe in active engagement. The kids need to be part of their own learning process, not just the students but the teacher and collaborating participants in the process. Thanks for the great site! What a great resource!

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  4. I love your thoughts on this quote “Classroom research is: “learner-centered, teacher-directed, collaborative, context-specific, scholarly, practical and relevant, and continual” (Albrecht and Polheum, 1998). Classroom research is so important! It is learner centered. As educators it is our professional responsibility to evaluate our effectiveness in the classroom. Expectations are being raised more and more for schools and as teachers it is essential that we are also rising to meet these expectations. I also like the last adjective, “continual”. Because of the increased expectations (unfortunately) educators can not sit back and rest on previous successes.

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    • Lindsey,
      I agree. As educators we are constantly evaluating the students and ourselves to improve our approach in teaching the students. The bar will forever be rising for us, it seems. But with the new uses in technology, it can help us to work towards achieving those high standards.

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  5. Sunshine,
    I appreciated your definition of classroom research and the information you shared from Classroom Research: Implementing the Scholarship of Teaching. It sounds like a beneficial resource on research in the classroom. I have to say that I’m a little intimidated because I haven’t done as many research projects as others have, but I’m excited to get into it! I’m thrilled to be exposed to new processes and ways of thinking and learning.

    Like

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