Archive for November, 2011

Teachers views on factors affecting effective integration of IT in the classroom.

It’s been a while since I last documented my readings and research on this blog, not because I didn’t read, but because I was not able to sit down to write a post. Over the past few weeks, I read several articles and a few chapters from Cambridge Handbook of Learning Sciences. I have several excerpts that I would like to document here and I wish to do that over the next couple of days.

At work, this is a difficult time as I am developing two new courses, Java Programming( intro level) and Flash Programming ( Intro level) for seniors at King’s. In addition to developing new curriculum for these courses, I am also trying create a setup for the computer science classroom and obtain software licenses such as Adobe CS5 for class use. Thus far, this has been a challenging task, in terms of convincing the administrators and negotiates with the IT department to facilitate the process.

Yesterday, I read an interesting article from the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education on “ teachers’ views on factors affecting effective integration of information technology in the classroom” by two Israeli researchers. This article reports on an exploratory, longitudinal study which examined six teachers of grades 4, 5 and 6 for three years. Based on the individual case studies of four teachers and the case study of the entire group, the researchers found two patterns of views on the factors affecting technology integration: views concerned with the sources of influence or “human factor”and: the nature of influence when using technology ranging from technical to cognitive transformations.



Levin, T., & Wadmany, R. (2008). Teachers ’ Views on Factors Affecting Effective Integration of Information Technology in the Classroom : Developmental Scenery. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 16(2), 233-263.

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences

I just bought the Cambridge Handbook of Learning Sciences [Kindle Edition]. What a good resource for me to prepare for my comps! I will be writing on the different topics covered in the handbook soon.

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Professional Development & Technology

  • Over the years, there has been numerous calls for the reform of teacher professional development (Darling-Hammond, 1997; Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Hawley & Valli, 1999; Lewis, 2002; National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 2003; Wilson & Berne, 2001).
  • The need for providing teachers with on-going high quality PD.

PD today are still based mostly on:

  • “deficit model of knowledge” (Hawkes, 2000 p. 268).
  • top down approaches
  • based on lectures
  • with limited opportunities for the teachers to collaborate, share experiences, and build new knowledge  [Adsit, J. N(2004). p. 7]

Adsit(2004) argues that professional development for teachers opportunities for “social collaborations”(Marx et al., 1998) among “robust” peer supported networks.

new models of professional development have attempted to harness the power of computers and Web-based technologies to foster the following:

  • Teacher change and improvement (Ellett et al., 2002; Marx et al., 1998; Soloway et al., 1996)
  • Collaboration and community-building (Hawkes, 2000a; Moore & Barab, 2002; Schlager, Fusco, & Schank, 2002)
  • Professional development reform efforts (Gross et al., 2001; National Staff Development Council & National Institute for Community Innovations, 2001; Wang & Hartley, 2003)

A growing body of evidence points to benefits of using technology to provide PD programs( e.g: TAPPED IN):

  • Reduced teacher isolation ( e.g: when using electronic communication) [Dimock & Rood, 1996; Hawkes 2000a; Jinks & Lord, 1990; Ruopp, Gal, Drayton, & Pfister, 1993],
  • Access to a broad range of resources for improving teaching and learning [Ball, 1998; Ellett et al., 2002]
  • Opportunities for collaboration and professional growth [Fusco, Gelbach, & Schlager, 2000; Schlager & Schank, 1997; Schlager et al., 2002].


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Rogers, Graham, & Mayes(2007) – Cultural competence and instructional design

Research questions explored the study are:
(1) Are they aware of the differences between themselves and the cultural group for whom they are designing instruction?
(2) If so:
(a) How did they become aware of these differences?
(b) What importance do these differences assume in their thinking?
(c) How does understanding cultural differences affect instructional design practice?

Cultural characteristics are often vaguely defined and measured based on national level rather than more measurable features. The authors agreed with Maitland and Bauer’s conclusion, ‘‘national level characteristics must not be interpreted at the individual level’’ (p. 90). Although some attempts have been made at creating and using measures to reveal individual placement on some of these scales (see Clem, 2005; Neuliep, 2003), automatically imposing generalized frameworks, especially those derived from other fields, should be approached with caution.

The authors argue that we need:

“a more dynamic approach” …..that would  “account for both the complexities of the learners’ cultural predispositions as well as their individual uniqueness and ability to change.”(p. 4)


As Schwen, Evans, and Kalman (2005) elaborated, ‘‘The fault, if there is any, is not with the practitioners who are of necessity practicing at the edge of the professions knowledge. Rather the scholars in the community should
be attempting to make sense of especially sophisticated practice’’ (p. 13). For this reason, there is a gap, and more exploration is needed by researchers into the complex reality of practitioners.

Grounded theory was chosen to inform the methodology of this study because it is ideal for this type of exploratory research, allowing the complex multi-faceted issues to emerge without pre-imposing rigid definitions, and for future theory and research to be more grounded in real-world, lived experiences of actual practitioners (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Goulding, 2002).


culture can influence your expectations of yourself as a learner, and then your expectations of the teacher; those are the most basic ways that culture influences learning.

What is the process by which learners change and adapt to instructional techniques and approaches that are foreign to them—and how can we help to bridge the gaps more effectively?
• How can we find more ways to prove that being culturally responsive is worth it in the long run (for both financial and ethical reasons)?


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Impact of culture on teacher and technology use

A number of initiatives in the west ( e.g: OER, EFA etc.) is trying to create cross-cultural education materials for the learners all around the globe using technology.  Many researchers( e.g: Massy, 2005; Burnham, 2005) argue that culture plays a vital role in internationalizing educational materials. Thus the issues surrounding culture and educational technology is  gaining ground in research and development.


According to the the chapter titled “culture and online education.” in the Handbook of Distance Education (Moore & Anderson, 2003), there is little published research on the cultural aspects related to educational technology’’ (Gunawardena, Wilson, & Nolla, 2003, p. 770; Rogers, 2006).

It is clear that culture has a strong impact on human–computer interaction.



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