Reflection for Week 5
Reflecting on the Literature Reviewing Process of Peers
I definitely got a lot out of reading Sunshine’s blog post. I wanted to go right to the science teacher to talk about using simulations for studying ecosystems and getting into lab supports through simulations. The current classroom being used for science does not have a sink. The teacher has to borrow tweezers and magnifying glasses from other teachers to complete a project. This says to me that incorporating computerized simulations for science would very much aid in helping our students to visualize hands-on activities. A simulation allows students to be interactive. So the next best thing to concrete experimentation is simulation. Additionally, simulation brings its own set of benefits, like entering into more situations (more frequent and with no need to set up a lab each time, and opportunities that would not otherwise be available) where students must use problem solving skills to deepen their thinking.
Blogging about the themes I found in my research helped to get me to consider how a wide range of papers on a common topic actually have much overlap. For example, some research on blended learning involves examining the use of specific comprehensive models, like a 90 minute Read 180 program compared to a supplemental reading program to embed within an existing reading program (Cheung, A. and Slavin, R. 2013). Other research on blended learning advocates teacher-designed blend learning models (Tucker, C., 2013). Another range I discovered was the use of the blended learning models in private or charter school settings compared to a typical classroom setting.
In Thomas’ blog, he reminds us that technology use needs to be purposeful. I found the same theme in research that says that pedagogy drives our decision-making processes for designing a course that uses technology to enhance the learning purposes of the course. When I use the word enhance, I am implying that the course’s value is increased. For example, Tucker (2013) discussed accessing the mobile devises students bring to school, such as a smartphone, to have students use QR codes created from URLs (at QRStuff.com) to access “a website with song lyrics that have grammatical errors” (p. 60) they can fix, or go on virtual field trips, go on webquests, and virtually tour national museums and art galleries. I looked a little further into the benefits of learning how to use mobile technology and found that this is called m-learning. I am especially interested in the focus of how an iPod tough can be used to support language and content learning for English language learners (ELLs) (Liu, M., Navarrete, C., & Wivagg, J., 2014). This is yet another piece of blended learning and I touched on the use of an iPod in the course design class I took last spring.
Lindsey’s focus on using technology in early childhood education (ECE) encouraged me. At our school, Dan had assistants coloring in Yup’ik children’s books that could then be put into pdf and onto iPads so Kindergarten and First grade could use the books in a format that will last, is interesting to students, and allows multiple copies of that colored in version to be utilized. I shared with Lindsey my own observations with young children’s use of technology in learning, and how it helps my grandchildren engage in fun learning of basics and how a young child who has autism benefits through the expressive capabilities of using an iPad to communicate his understanding to others.
Cheung, A. & Slavin, R., (2013). Effects of educational technology applications on reading outcomes for struggling readers: A best-evidence synthesis
Liu, M., Navarrete, C. C., & Wivagg, J. (2014). Potentials of Mobile technology for K-12 education: An investigation of iPod touch use for English language learners in the united states. Educational Technology & Society, 17(2), 115-126.
Tucker, C. R. (2013, March). The basics of blended instruction. Educational Leadership. ASCD/www.ascd.org