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“Closing the Gap” – ETL 503

Part A – Assessment of curriculum resource needs (approx 500 words) (20 marks)

  •         Identify a unit of work from a school curriculum.
  •         Provide a clear overview of the chosen aspect of the curriculum and explain the nature of the resources needed to meet the learning and teaching needs of this unit of work for a specific group of learners.

 

Unit of Work

The Stage 2 HSIE Unit “British Colonisation of Australia” seemed a very relevant school curriculum unit to investigate as I will be teaching it in term 1 2015. This unit provides opportunities for students to explore issues related to Australia’s original inhabitants, explorers before the British and the British arrival and occupation of Australia.  The unit focuses on the evaluation of viewpoints about the consequences of British colonisation for people, groups and the environment, and on formulating informed opinions.

A lot of children today are completely oblivious to the actual happenings of how Australia came to be what it is today. Yes students have a basic understanding of certain aspects, for example, the Aboriginal people were the first inhabitants of the land and the British “took over”. But I feel as though this is quite limited to what students should be engaged with and exposed to.

I find students today are not even aware of why we acknowledge the traditional leaders of the land, or even have a real understanding of the need for tolerance in light of our past and our present. We live in a very cosmopolitan city with a huge immigrant population – many of whom have come to Australia in search of better lives for their families; many of whom have endured great hardship to get here. Australia has a diverse cultural history and developing empathy and tolerance can only prevent a recurrence of the discrimination that exists in the world’s past.

Resources Required

As this is a History based unit, students need access to resources which are relevant and up-to-date.  Currency is a vital criterion for resourcing this area of the curriculum.  For a unit embedded in 21st century learning, students will need access to social networking tools, a range of ICT tools, as well as information sources such as books and websites (Wall & Ryan, 2010, p.ix). The nature of the learning outcomes dictates that students will need resources which demonstrate factual information, photographic evidence, and commentary on historical events and web content which provides unbiased information and/or a balanced discussion of the issues.  As this is a stage of 120 students and four teachers working on this unit, it is also important to provide a large number of resources.  It may be appropriate to purchase more than one copy of those items deemed to be high quality resources for the topic and also to use a wide variety of credible online resources.

School Context

Stage two consists of 120 students, four classes and four teachers. One teacher is from England and therefore sufficient resources would greatly assist her teaching practice. One of the four classes is also an enrichment class (gifted and talented). Our students are from various nationalities with 2% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. This is important to note as this unit can be confronting and needs to be taught with sensitivity.

Therefore, the school library needs to show commitment to providing high quality resources for this area.  This cohort of students displays varying abilities, from highly-able to those with special needs.  The resources provided for this unit will need to be similarly varied and offer a range of access points.  This being said, Student Learning and Support Officers (SLSOs) always provide individual assistance to those students who require help investigating a concept and can assist students in their exploration of the more complex materials.  Teachers in this year level are experienced and have demonstrated in the past that they are keen to integrate non-book formats into their teaching.  As a consequence, the school library needs to provide and continue to encourage the use of materials in a variety of formats.

Overview of Current Resources

Our Teacher Librarian is highly experienced and is extremely passionate about what she does. She is an asset to our school and her knowledge and expertise is invaluable. The school has a number of resources on the topic of British Colonisation and Aboriginal history.  The library collection contains fifty-five resources that address Australian Colonisation and two hundred and thirty resources that are relevant to Aboriginal people. However, when searching for ‘British Colonisation’ the search engine only returns a result of five resources that are relevant to that topic. Staff and students also have access to some Web 2.0 tools, namely wikis and blogs, via the school intranet.

Although the library collection is strong in the reference and online reference area, overall the current resources do not adequately cater for the learning needs of students and teachers.  One weakness in the collection is the small number of non-fiction titles available to cater to a cohort of one hundred and twenty students and four teachers who need access to the resources. In order to cater for the different learning styles of students, a variety of books are needed, in addition to digital resources and websites.  When resourcing history-based curriculum, it is vital that the most recently published items are acquired and made available for use by the learning community.  Another area of improvement is to increase the number of websites bookmarked and catalogued for this topic – there are many websites which are relevant and more current, and which offer students interactive learning experiences.  There is also a lack of material in the collection that teachers can consult when planning the unit.

Part B – Annotated resource list (approx 1500 words) (40 marks)

 Drawing upon the knowledge and understanding gained from Modules 1, 2 and 3, (and any related readings):

    •      Identify the selection criteria and selection aids you have used to choose your resources.
    •      Create an annotated resource list for the curriculum topic identified in Part A.

 The annotated resource list should represent a balanced collection of 10 resources relevant to that topic that supports the needs of the learners outlined in Part A. Each annotation should consist of:

    •    approximately 150 words, beginning with citation details (set out in APA reference style).
    •    an evaluation against the selection criteria you have chosen, and
    •    an assessment of the usefulness of the selection aids you have used.

 

PART B

Selection Aids

To resource this curriculum area efficiently and so that it enhances teaching and learning, I will use a variety of selection aids. This will ensure that I am adequately engaging with texts that have purpose, credibility and support the curriculum content sufficiently.

Recommendations are highly valued when selecting a resource. A variety of educational professionals and subject matter experts can greatly impact on the final selection of a resource. Their advice and expertise ensures that the resource will enhance the teaching and learning content. Subject listings that are prepared on various sites can validate relevance, currency and can be accompanied by recommendations.

Another very valuable selection aid is reviews. In terms of educational resources, most reviews are often published by those within the education field. They have specific expertise in the area being searched and provide valuable information that clearly evaluates and analyses the resource of choice. Often these reviews are published by those who specifically aim to provide information on considered, pertinent evaluations of relevant resources.

Selection Criteria

I evaluated my resources against the following needs-focused selection criteria. I tweaked my model for certain sources, excluding or including criteria when required:

Criteria Points of Consideration
Appropriateness ·        Is the content appropriate for my students’ age, developmental level, and reading abilities?·        Is the style appropriate for the subject matter?·        Does it meet the teachers’ needs appropriately?
Content ·        Does the content support the curriculum? Is it distinctive, accurate, and relevant?·        Is it interesting?
Arrangement and organisation ·        Is the information arranged in a logical, understandable manner?·        Is it organised in a way that facilitates student location of information?·        Does it facilitate easy teacher navigation?
Authority ·        Is the writer, creator, publisher a reputable/recognized source?·        Are his/her qualifications, experiences credible?
Currency ·        When was the resource created, published and updated?·        Is it consistent with recent findings?
Visual appeal ·        Will the resource appeal to my students visually?·        Is it too busy, too distracting and readable?

Table A: Needs-focused selection criteria

In conjunction with this needs-focused selection criteria, the Evalu Tech criteria (2010), which was developed for the evaluation of websites, was also used for internet resources.  This additional set of criteria was beneficial, as it offers other points to consider, such as the availability of last-updated dates, download rates and ease of navigation.  Reference was also given to the selection criteria outlined in the school’s “Library collection Management Policy” (Whiteside & Galbraith, 2010, p.5 -6) which places emphasis on the authority of the author, source or publisher, the appropriateness of the content, concepts and language of the work in relation to the library user group and the structure and layout of the resource, with regard to it being of high interest, clearly laid out and produced in a medium suitable to display content.

Resource 1

Wilson, Mark. (2010). The Little Wooden Horse. Australia: Windy Hollow Books.

I started with SCIS as a selection aid and identified this book as a possible resource. Mark Wilson is a well-known author at our school. We are an Accelerated Literacy program school and we have used his texts on various occasions as a focus text which relate to themes we are also studying.

The Syndetics review referred to curriculum-based content from the unit and the story sounded engaging and interesting from a child’s perspective. It also referred to the book as being “thoroughly researched” and “accurate”.

The list of subjects covered were relevant to the unit and the number of pages and illustration information led me to believe the story was an age appropriate picture book.

This seemed like a valuable teacher resource, with both text and visual stimulus, to open up empathetic conversation. I support Cory Doctorow’s point of view that “conversation is king [and that the] content is just something to talk about”. (as cited in Mitchell, 2011, pp. 14)

The Google Books link was a helpful inclusion for finding more information to cement my thoughts. It offered some options on where the book could be purchased. Although two sites did not have stock, it was available through Angus & Robertson and there I also came across a more comprehensive review.

Notwithstanding the fact that this was a bookstore’s website, I drew confidence from the author information. His accolades and achievements, as well as fine art skills seemed to corroborate the claim that the “stunning illustrations and paintings [would] give a compelling sense of the times”. This clearly fulfilled the criteria of authority and visual appeal.

 

Resource 2

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Producer). (2004). Endeavour journal.  Available from http://dl.nfsa.gov.au/module/731/

A search for ‘James Cook’ on the SCAN website returned some impressive results. There was a whole page dedicated to First Contact, containing useful links to information, despite being written for stage 4. A further search for ‘First Fleet’ also displayed promising returns, however I was denied access to the more recent journals.

All resource links support the curriculum and many are easily identified as stage, subject or age-appropriate, making SCAN a useful and credible selection aid.

The video clip on Endeavour journal is only 3:27 minutes, making for easy inclusion into a lesson. It is a free educational resource and comes with instructions for download, making it conveniently accessible. The webpage also contains suggestions for activities that teachers could tailor to stage 2.

Although it is recommended for aged 9 & 10 learners, its subject matter still applies, and it would cater to the more advanced and curious learners (particularly the enrichment class). Providing a real-world visual of James Cook’s journal from the National Library of Australia would raise issues relating to the preservation of resources and the evaluation of primary sources – meeting a host of learning outcomes.

Resource 3

Dale, Darren & Perkins, Rachel (Producers). (2008). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. . Available from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip2/

My SCAN search returned another video clip of interest that meets one of the crucial curriculum objectives – providing an indigenous point of view on the arrival of the First Fleet. Credibility is added by the opinions of an Aboriginal historian and pictures and sketches from the time.

The short clip provides an interesting counterpoint to many of the historical sources that focus on animosity between Aboriginal people and European settlers (or invaders). It suggests the idea that the first encounter may have been peaceful and even friendly.

Providing a balanced set of resources would promote constructivist knowledge as learners would need to draw their own conclusions after evaluating a range of differing perspectives.

It is once again freely available online, current and a visually effective medium with appropriate content.

Resource 4

Kwaymullina, A., & Tobin, L. (2014). The Lost Girl. Australia and New Zealand: Walker Books.

After several searches, I referred back to the HSIE unit of work to assist in the resource search process. The unit of work offers opportunities for students to learn about the original inhabitants of Australia and delves into the discovery of what life was like for Aboriginal people before British colonisation.  So after a SCAN search I found The Lost Girl by Ambelin Kwaymullina. The Creative Kids Tale review stated that, “This is a lovely book, illustrating the unique relationship that the Aboriginal people of Australia share with Mother Nature. The story unfolds through the stunning illustrations as we journey along with the little girl” (Creativekidstales.com.au, 2014).

The layout, number of pages and the visual stimulating illustrations suggested that this was an age appropriate book. This book could be viewed by a range of reading abilities which allows our special needs students to be easily supported throughout the exploration of the concepts and ideas this book shares. The content adheres to the outcomes required in this unit, as students get a glimpse of the unique relationship that the Aboriginal people of Australia have with Mother Nature, and how they teach their children to survive in the harsh and unyielding landscape they call home.

Ambelin Kwaymullina is and Australian Aboriginal author which suggests that her information and views are credible. She has written and illustrated a number of award winning picture books as well as writing a dystopian series – ‘the Tribe’ – for Young Adults. Being that she is a recognised and current author I find that this resource would greatly benefit the unit of work.

Resource 5

Treasure Explorer. [interactive website]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://treasure-explorer.nla.gov.au/treasure/first-australians#canoe-tree

Using Google as a selection aid, I discovered these fantastic interactive resources on the National Library of Australia website. Teachers can involve children in accessing the digitally enhanced maps and pictures, developing crucial digital literacy skills. There are other useful links, including ‘Finding the Land Down Under’, which leads learners to explore Cook’s Endeavour journal, and ‘Early Settlement’ containing more images of historical items such as the last preserved convict uniform and journals which document specific events that occurred as well as illustrations of what the first settlers saw.

The search function works well and it is fairly straightforward to navigate. The site engages students through visual stimulus, colour and fonts that evoke interest. It is full of wonderful digital artifacts and gives children the chance to ‘visit a museum’ from the classroom.

Resource 6

Murdie, R., & Nixon, C. (2014). Meet Captain Cook. Australia: Random House Australia.

Meet Captain Cook is an engaging picture book that could be catergorised as an historical narrative. It is a part of a series of books about “the extraordinary men and women who have shaped Australia’s history” (www.randomhouse.com.au, 2014). The content within this book is of a high quality and provides readers with factual information in relation to Captain Cook within a narrative story format. The content is clear, well structured and appropriate to the target age of the text. It provides readers with a simplistic outline of events as Captain Cook and his crew discovered the eastern coast of Australia. There is also a comprehensive timeline feature at the conclusion of the text. This text could be used in the Years 3-6 classroom to support learning in both English and HSIE Key Learning Areas. The publisher, Random House Australia also provide a teachers resource pdf available free from their website to support using the text in the classroom. The book is published both in print and as an eBook for easy access. The digital version will engage readers whilst supporting them through their use of multiple tools and text features such as text-to-speech options, dictionaries and note-taking capabilities.

Resource 7

Barlow, Alex & Gilbert, Kevin, 1933-1993 & Hill, Marji, 1947- (1987). Heroes of the Aboriginal struggle. Macmillan, 1987, South Melbourne

An aspect that is repeatedly reinforced in the curriculum outcomes is the importance of focusing on both Aboriginal and European role players in events relating to the First Contact. A prominent resistance leader was a man called Pemulwuy, who until recent decades has not been acknowledged in Australian History. This provided some challenges in locating relevant, age-appropriate resources.

Trove was a selection tool that presented successful findings. The summary on the website affirmed that this book was for children, that it contained coloured illustrations, including maps (another curriculum specification) and illustrated resistance to the colony.

A further recommendation in terms of credibility was the inclusion of an Aboriginal consultant – an imperative source of cultural context and oral, generational knowledge.

Reviews would have been useful in providing a more personal assessment of the resource, particularly as Pemulwuy met with a rather gruesome end. However, as Trove specifies that it is juvenile literature, I would take the risk in assuming that this issue has been approached with sensitivity.

Resource 8

Wheatley, N., & Searle, K. (2011). Playground. East Melbourne, Vic.: Allen and Unwin.

Using Google as a selection aid, I decided to explore Aboriginal people prior to British settlement further. Google returned a search of various stories and resources to choose from, many which were not age appropriate for stage two students; so I refined my search by adding “stories for children”. This search returned the book, ‘Playground’ by Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle. With historical and contemporary photographs, artwork by leading Indigenous artists, and new colour illustrations throughout, this compilation of Indigenous stories gives a fascinating insight into Aboriginal childhood, both traditional and contemporary. This picture book lends itself to the curriculum in an age appropriate and stimulating way. The pictures and content allow students of stage two to engage with the concept of Aboriginal customs and traditions without being overwhelmed with information. The book is arranged so that students can absorb concepts vastly through the visual stimulus. The teacher is able to navigate and progressively lead discussions on past and present customs in Australia. This resource is a recent publication and therefore the content is relevant to today’s classrooms. Students can connect with what they already know as well as develop and acquire new information.

Resource 9

A convict story. [interactive website]. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.resources.det.nsw.edu.au/Resource/Access/427f4fb3-c587-4734-8e54-d7f91e4561fb/1

I found Scootle incredibly user-friendly. The ‘search by Australian Curriculum’ function returned a variety of accurate, curriculum-based, multimodal resources. The option of creating learning pathways is also a most useful tool.

A convict story’ is an interactive resource that I found highly valuable. This resource provides seven different interactive sections. Because our school is a technology empowered school, presenting these on the smartboard would allow teachers the opportunity to engage learners in hands-on games, quizzes and research activities. This would appeal to learners that are driven by curiosity and those that learn better by doing. It will further develop vital twenty-first century digital skills and address our ICT scope and sequence as well. The resource supports the unit of work and meets many of the learning outcomes, being made available on the DEC website, and would incur no cost.

The interactive website is not only visually interesting and rich with pictures, paintings and photographs, it is easily arranged in such a way as to be easily navigable by all learners. The links at the bottom, which provides teaching notes, a glossary of terms and a full bibliography with links to other useful and relevant websites certainly are an extra bonus for busy teachers!

Resource 10

australianscreen,. (2014). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. Retrieved from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip1/

Another search on Scootle resulted in the resource ‘Bound for Botany Bay – unit of work’. This unit of work provides many relevant resources in many forms such as media, visual, audio and print. Upon reflection on the resources I have already found, I was drawn to the video resource, First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay? (2008). A three part clip (‘Life Before Contact’, ‘Can You Imagine?’ and ‘A Genuine Relationship’) each with the duration of approximately 2:30 minutes provides encapsulating imagery of the Australian landscape. The narration is somewhat monotonous which may deter some student’s engagement.

Stage two students will absorb direct information without being overloaded and specific teaching content of British settlement are addressed. Some points made throughout this clip are interesting are often thought provoking. Some terminology used would need to be explained as it can become slightly complex. The short interviews with Aboriginal historians confirm that this is a credible resource as well as its currency due to this film being composed in 2008.

Teachers will be able to easily navigate this clip and find this resource useful in addressing curriculum content and provoking discussions that deepen the students understanding and extend their knowledge. The only negative about this resource is that some of the images are dated and not as engaging as the resources above. However being that it is only a short clip and most of the video of the Australian landscape are magnificent, I feel it is still a resource worth exposing the students to.

Conclusion

Throughout the resource selection process I have learnt to critically evaluate texts. Evaluating the collection is most important. It allows for strengths and weaknesses to be identified in the collection and highlights areas in need of improvement to meet the needs of its users (Bishop, 2007, p.142). Evaluation is extremely important as user’s needs are constantly changing so the collection must be evaluated in order to stay relevant (Kennedy, 2006, p.88). Evaluation of the collection not only highlights what is being done well and where improvement is needed, it also acts as a tool to increase funding (Bishop, 2007, p.142). The structure of the needs-focused selection criteria (which was predominantly used throughout this process) has allowed me to select various resources that are suitable for the stage two HSIE unit ‘British Colonisation’.

An integral part of evaluating a collection is weeding. Weeding was a term that I was unfamiliar with before completing this assignment. I now know that weeding is just as important as acquiring new resources for the library. It isn’t simply looking at a resource and removing it due to bias or condition, there are guidelines and criteria that can be used to effectively weed the current collection. The growth of digital information, exceptional levels in the production of global information where quality and authority of information is often not contested, and the emergence of participatory and collaborative web environments all provide a rich case for the necessity of school libraries to develop the intellectual, social and personal agency of students to learn, live, and be productive citizens in a 21st century world (Hay & Todd, 2010, p. 10).

A lot of resources I initially discovered were too advanced in terms of content for a year 3 and 4 group of students. With such a sensitive topic such as British colonisation, many articles, books and videos explored the massacres that occurred, delved into the stolen generation and the fierce discrimination that all accompanied that time in history. Therefore I found that I had to be particular with my choice of key words rather than generating a broad search. Some selection aids enabled me to tick a box that narrowed my search to suit year 3 and 4 students, but not all did.

Selection aids are also an important part of the process as it allows you to direct your search more thoroughly. Tools I found valuable were the SCIS OPAC, the resource reviews database, Scan, the National Digital Learning Resources Network (which provides online resources that I could access through Scootle), TaLe and the various curriculum pages of the NSW DET.  Online booksellers and retailers were also useful. I really had no idea that so many selection aids existed.  While I had never heard of TROVE (the online database of the National Library of Australia) before, this was the first time and as I explored the database I was amazed at how extensive it was. Prior to this assignment, I would often use Google to resource the curriculum and choose resources that mostly had visual impact. From this I have learnt to evaluate my search more thoroughly and adhere to the criteria named in the needs-focused selection criteria. Whilst it is more time consuming, the benefits for the teaching and learning program are far more relevant.

 

Reference list

A convict story. [interactive website]. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.resources.det.nsw.edu.au/Resource/Access/427f4fb3-c587-4734-8e54-d7f91e4561fb/1

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Producer). (2004). Endeavour journal.  Available from http://dl.nfsa.gov.au/module/731/

australianscreen,. (2014). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. Retrieved from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip1/

Barlow, Alex & Gilbert, Kevin, 1933-1993 & Hill, Marji, 1947- (1987). Heroes of the Aboriginal struggle. Macmillan, 1987, South Melbourne

Bishop, K. (2007). Evaluation of the collection. In The collection program in schools : concepts, practices and information sources (4th ed.) (pp. 141-159). Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.

Creativekidstales.com.au,. (2014). The Lost Girl by Ambelin Kwaymullina – Creative Kids Tales. Retrieved from http://www.creativekidstales.com.au/authors-illustrators/ckts-book-reviews/538-the-lost-girl

Dale, Darren & Perkins, Rachel (Producers). (2008). First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay. . Available from http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/first-australians-episode-1/clip2/

Evalu Tech. (2010) Criteria for evaluating websites.  Southern Region Education Board.  Retrieved from http://www.evalutech.sreb.org/criteria/web.asp

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: School library futures project. Report for New South Wales Department of Education & Training, Curriculum K–12 Directorate, School Libraries & Information Literacy Unit. Sydney: Curriculum K–12 Directorate, NSWDET. Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/21c_report.pdf

Hughes-Hassell, S & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection Management for Youth: Responding to the Needs of Learners. Chicago: American Library Association.

Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) K-6 syllabus. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au

Kennedy, J. (2006). Collection Management: A concise introduction. Centre for Information Studies, Wagga Wagga, Australia.

Kwaymullina, A., & Tobin, L. (2014). The Lost Girl. Australia and New Zealand: Walker Books.

Mitchell, Pru. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: The role of school libraries. (pp. 10-15). Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au

Murdie, R., & Nixon, C. (2014). Meet Captain Cook. Australia: Random House Australia.

[www.randomhouse.com.au], R. (2014). Meet Captain Cook by Rae Murdie – Books – Random House Books Australia. Random House Australia. Retrieved from http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/tba/meet-captain-cook-9780857980182.aspx

Scan Online Journal for Educators. (2014). Retrieved from http://scan.nsw.edu.au

SCIS Catalogue. (2014). Retrieved from http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au

Scootle. (2014). Retrieved from http://scootle.edu.au

Treasure Explorer. [interactive website]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://treasure-explorer.nla.gov.au/treasure/first-australians#canoe-tree

Trove. (2014). Retrieved from http://trove.nla.gov.au

Wall, J. & Ryan, S. (2010). Resourcing for curriculum innovation: learning in a changing world. Camberwell, Vic: ACER Press.

Wheatley, N., & Searle, K. (2011). Playground. East Melbourne, Vic.: Allen and Unwin.

Whiteside, J & Galbraith, D. (2010).  Library Collection Management Policy.  Retrieved from https://portalkc.overnewton.vic.edu.au/Collaboration/library/stafflib_home/library_staff_resources/default.aspx

Wilson, Mark. (2010). The Little Wooden Horse. Australia: Windy Hollow Books.

 

 

 

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ETL 503 Module 3 Accessing and Acquiring Resources

Image retrieved from http://accentbrazil.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/url.png

Consider other techniques for collection measurement (besides size) that might better recognise e-resources and resources available from sources beyond the library.

E-resources could be better measured by calculating the number of times the resource is accessed. For example sites such as http://www.scoop.it/ can determine how many views occur each day, week, month. You can sign up for free or libraries can pay money to gain premium membership – we are trialling it at the moment to support students with common assessment tasks in each year group – suggesting online resources that may be beneficial in their research. Companies such as, http://www.wheelersbooks.com.au/,  also offers the same data for e-resources hence making it easier to measure usage. Within schools, OASIS as an operating system, is also very useful as it is able to print off usage data for all resources.

How realistic is it to use output measures, eg use of resources as basis for library budgets?

Output  measurement does not reveal how useful a resource may be – again things such as suggestion boxes (physical or on websites) may be useful for collecting this information, discussion and collaboration with staff and students, surveys or teacher librarians being active members within classrooms when using resources could all help determine the usefulness of a resource.

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ETL 503 Module 2 Developing collections to support teaching and learning

I think the role of classroom teachers is different to that of teacher librarians. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (2011) dictates that teachers should have knowledge of a range or resources that they can use to engage their learners. The higher the proficiency of the teacher the greater the ability to use, collaborate and model resource use. The difference I believe lies in the knowledge and use of resources specific to their subject areas. English teachers will probably not know how to use a microscope camera or know their way around a TI-84 calculator like a science teacher and maths teacher would respectively. It is often the library media specialist (or laboratory technicians) that first goes through resource catalogues and makes suggestions to teachers about new resources and technologies. Teacher librarians have a greater overall school view and can suggest new ITC technologies that may span over multiple subject areas.

I do not believe it should solely be the librarian who has the say on what is included in the library’s collection. If teachers do not have an input into the resources selected, they may not be used by those teachers for reasons the librarian has not predicted. One effective strategy, used by the librarians I have had experience with, is organising to have suppliers or publishers display their wares. This way the librarian and teacher can look though them and try them out resources together.
To engage students in the library there should be the opportunity for students to suggest or maybe vote for new books they want to read. This may promote ownership of the library by students. Librarians should know their library. They should know the areas of strengths in the resources and the weaknesses, knowing current resources should help the librarian know whether a new resource is needed or whether it is similar to current resources.
Breitbach and Lambert (2011) study the implementation and refining of patron driven acquisition (PDA) in an academic library. The library ensured patrons were selecting appropriate texts by limiting the e-book profile. They considered only books that were relevant (only providing for majors offered at the university), from academic publishers, cost less than $250, were English language, and published since 2008. The library automatically purchased the books after four short term loans (STL) occurred. The cost of obtaining a single book may be more than if it was selected by the library outright. However, the overall the cost of the collection is lower than a ‘just in case’ purchasing model, as only books being used are purchased.
Pros and Cons of Bundled resources:
Cons
  • Flooded with unwanted resources when only one or two of the items are needed.
  • Relatively higher price if some resources are not going to be used.
Pros
  • Bundle prices can cheaper than single purchase of each book.
  • May get unexpected useful items that the library had not considered.

Online access pros and cons

Cons
  • Cannot read on different e-readers, need to purchase again
  • If site closes your content may be lost
  • (Not for libraries specifically) e-book cannot be resold at the end of the year to recoup cost.
  • Class sets of texts can no longer just be passed to the next year group, licence fees needs to be paid annually.
  • If internet is down or computers are broken access to content is not available
  • Ongoing and uncertain costs for licences
  • Limitations on number of copies, simultaneous access
  • Restrictions on geographic licences
Pros
  • Less physical storage space needed in a library
  • Less likely for textbooks to become out-dated
  • Library is able to offer a much larger resource bank to patrons, access to more variety
Reference
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, www.teacherstasndards.aitsl.edu.au, 2011
Breitbach, W. and Lambert, J. (2011) Patron-Driven Ebook Acquisition, Computers in Libraries, 31(6), 16-20.

Latham, B., & Poe, J. (2008). Evaluation and selection of new format materials: electronic resources. In J. R. Kennedy, L. Vardaman & G. B. McCabe (Eds.), Our new public, a changing clientele: bewildering issues or new challenges for managing libraries (pp. 257-265). Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited.

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EER 500 Assignment 1b: Construction and Analysis of Research Questions

The implementation and affect that technology integration in schools has had on the education system is the general focus of both draft research questions discussed in this paper, each stemming from practitioners currently working within this unique context.

Both original questions have been revised through an initial analysis of their structure and origins, under the heading “Evaluating the Research Questions”, followed by, under the heading “Evaluating the literature connections and practical importance”, further revisions based on evaluations of the individual statements made by each author in regard to the draft question’s connections to referenced literature. The potential for how each question could be of practical importance is referred to throughout these evaluations, and summarised in the paper’s conclusion.

Evaluating the Research Questions

There are four research questions being examined (due to the indecisive approach I have taken in Assignment 1a; which I hope to resolve by the end of this assignment) are “1. The twenty-first century’s technological advancements are revolutionising the way that society negotiates everyday life; education included. How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today, and what is the education system doing to ensure that the advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society?” “2. There are a number of current issues and concerns relating to the integration of ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students, as well as in classrooms belonging to schools of low socio-economic areas. What are some of the most pressing issues and how will it affect the students involved?” “3. Education has forever been an evolving entity, always seeking improvement and existing parallel to the norms of society. As such, teachers should be expected to evolve with the education system within which they teach, and thus be included in government budgets and expenditure for the purpose of updated training. What is being done to support the retraining of teachers, and even if teachers are being retrained, how equitable is ICT access within the school environment for its effective integration within the classroom?” (Waldron-Lamotte, November 28, 2014). Finally, the research question from my fellow colleague “How has the implementation of technology helped foster critical thinking within the classroom and preparedness for the future?” (Maclure, December 1, 2014).

From Marx’s list of the sources of research questions (as cited in Bryman, 2008, p. 70), all questions share a strong basis. They stem from essentially the same ideologies about how 21st century learners are accessing and enhancing their curriculum through the digital resources available to them. All questions share a second point (as required by EER500 Assignment1a guidelines), in being sourced from recent reports of personal interest (Moriarty, 2014, p. 4), using these to give focus to the research question.

Maclure’s question puts the focus specifically on fostering critical thinking through the implementation of technology, as suggested by the recent article (Simpson, A. 2009, p119-131). Maclure’s question recognises and responds to the concept that the 21st century learning environment is about readers that access multiple literacies. It involves students who create and share information and multimedia projects. Engagement is enhanced through online services and digital literacies where students connect with others. No longer is the teacher teaching students how to find information; but they are teaching their students how to evaluate and use the information they have personally sourced. However, the application of Bryman’s criteria for evaluating research questions, (2008, p.74), along with wider reading in this area, highlights possibilities for improvement of each research question.

McMillan and Wergin’s definition of educational research, encapsulating the idea that it should be about “the analysis of information (data), to answer a question or contribute to knowledge” (2010, p. 1), pin-points an area for improvement in Maclure’s question, which is its lack of clarity in providing clues as to the specific data to be collected to answer his question (Bryman, 2008, p. 74, McMillan & Wergin, 2010, p. 9). Without change, the question implies research of every existing classroom in not only Australia but also other countries.  Whichever sampling methodology was employed, non-random selection, inadequate sampling frame or non-response (Bryman, 2008, p. 169) would surely be only a few of the many problems encountered. To avoid the wording of the question as it stands bordering on the limits of abstraction which Bryman refers to (2008, p. 74), one simple change is to substitute the word “has” for the word “can”: “How can the implementation of technology help foster critical thinking…”. With this wording, the research could focus on one or more of those specific areas of technology implementation and its affect, which Maclure’s references would imply he suspects, or would like to discover, will indeed prove supportive. To further change the wording to specify this exact research area would of course be better yet: “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking within current Australian classrooms….”

The issue of clarity arises again with Maclure’s question. Rather than giving a clear direction for research on processes which successfully allow students to be “prepared for the future”. It stipulates the question, what is meant by this statement? Maybe I am being over critical of the question being asked, but how measureable is “future preparedness”? It questions what Maclure’s idea of this concept means, as every view is certainly different. What I believe a student should be prepared for may be completely different to that of another reader. Therefore, Maclure needs to state exactly what he expects students to achieve in order to be prepared for their future. Perhaps the questions should state “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking within current Australian classrooms in order to be successful citizens in our increasingly changing society?” While this is still broad, it is up to the author to stipulate what data he would like to evaluate and measure further.

The imperative recognition of how technology can be utilised effectively to enhance student’s learning outcomes has occupied this author’s thoughts for quite some time. Through further readings and exploring new perspectives, a modified question has emerged from the thinking around this paper. Based in an open-ended theoretical concern, as suggested by Matthews (as cited in Bryman, 2008, p. 74), also providing a broad framework which could be reformulated as data was collected (McMillan & Wergin, 2010, p. 10), has all resulted in the revised question for Waldron-Lamotte being: The integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society, and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment?”

 

Evaluating the literature connections and the practical importance

This author’s choice of Budde, P. (2011) paper has made clear links to the question and provides evidence to support the research.  For many years now, the in-school use of technology has been growing exponentially with many classes forgoing the use of chalkboards for interactive whiteboards and many more, if not most, making use of desktop computers for conducting in-class research, learning vital computer competencies for the twenty-first century, and to enhance student knowledge and understanding across a range of topics. There are also implications that accompany its implementation; such factors include accessibility, the age-old conflict of teaching old teachers new tricks, and the advancement of ICT in the future and where it may be heading in an educational context. All of these factors can affect the impact of ICT on students for better or for worse and therefore the retraining of teachers in the area of ICT is vital for effective teaching and learning in the 21st century classrooms. As Budde, P. (2011) suggests in his paper is that each student can, within the context of the education system, gain individualised education. The pace and the subjects studied will be set by the students, once again all within the context of the education system. It will be project-based and both students and teachers will greatly benefit from the new interactive, personalised educational material. Students can tap into knowledge and expertise from all over the world. We only have to look at developments such as Google and Wikipedia to see what this might lead to in an educational framework (pg.3). This supports the following section of my draft question: The integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society….” By exploring this notion of technology and individualised, digital education, it is moving away from the norms of teaching. Teachers now need to retrain in order to support this new aged style of teaching. What used to be blackboards and blackline masters is now a world of digital communication and information in today’s society.

This author’s choice of Peeraer, J. and Van Petegem, P. (2011) paper proves relevance to the the following section of the draft question, “…the retraining of teachers….” Peeraer and Van Petegem have identified steps being taken to effectively integrate ICT into the everyday operation of today’s classrooms. This paper highlights the many barriers that teachers are confronted with and need to overcome in order to successfully and effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. This analysis illuminates teacher educators’ access to ICT, their intensity of use, their related skills, and their confidence in using ICT, as well as their conceptions of learning (p.976). However, Peeraer and Van Petegem fail to support any other part of the research question.

Wallace, R. (2008) was utilised in order to address, and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment?”  This paper addresses a number of issues that will impact the education system as well as teaching and learning. It particularly focuses on Indigenous education and how it will be affected by the growth of technology in the classroom. Whilst my research question does not identify Indigenous Australians, it does make reference to equitable ICT access. For this to be a possibility in the education system, we need to address Australia as a whole. It is well-known that remote areas of Australia have limited resources due to their location. However, now with the implementation of ICT into the curriculum, Indigenous students can access a wide variety of resources and teachers can source new and engaging information and tools to help engage and promote education in these remote areas. Therefore this paper proves how equitable ICT access within the school environment really is. Wallace, R. (2008) further states that, “high quality ICT learning experiences require learners to be creative in using technology to develop and share their ideas. ICT is best used to connect to and to produce a range of knowledge and solve real life problems” (pg.4) which supports the question, the integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society….” Where this statement fails to make connections is exploring “how and what” the education system is doing and their responsibility in ensuring educational advancements.

Maclure’s statement (December 1, 2014) in regard to Simpson’s (2009) paper does make some clear connections, Simpson’s research analyses the affects of technology in critical literacy rather than critical thinking alone. The revised question therefore refrains from McMillan and Wergin’s suggested use of explicit “language that suggests the collection and analyses of data” (2010, p. 3), like “An investigation of the implementation of technology that fosters critical thinking skills in literacy…………”

Maclure’s statement in relation to Simpson’s 2009 paper is to be commended as it does make relevant links to identifying how effectively integrating ICT into everyday operations of today’s classrooms has been in the area of literacy development. Simpson can be said to have adequately and reliably investigated the case by analysing and conducting an experiment that produced relevant data to support Simpson’s research question. The paper therefore gives rise to and “validates”, to use Bryman’s terminology (2008, p. 32), the presumption inherent in both versions of this author’s research question, that technology integration merit is a given, and perhaps even an “independent variable” which does not need further verification (p. 32).

What is not clear from Maclure’s statement is the lack of connection between Simpson’s 2008 paper and the revised research question, “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking within current Australian classrooms in order to be successful citizens in our increasingly changing society?” Not once does Simpson address how this report analyses the affects and growth that students formulate in order to prepare themselves for the future. Therefore Maclure has no evidence based research from this article to support his research question. Further readings will be needed in order for him to address this section of his research.

Maclure’s statement in relation to Budde, P. (2011) makes clear connections on how technology in the classroom will take shape as a learning tool. It also addresses how technology will meet the needs to the 21st century learner and as a result, how it will help them to prepare for the future and become successful citizens in our increasingly changing society (p.2). Budde, P. (2011) also suggests that as with any revolutionary development, one of the most critical issues will be to ensure that the education system is actually capable of leading this change. This will necessitate very significant professional development. Often a great deal of attention and money goes into the technology but very small resources, if any, are available to ensure that those who will have to make it work are equipped to implement and guide that process. Teachers and other educational staff will need significant support – without this, despite the enormous investment the government is making, the project could still fail (pg.2). This proves relevant to Maclure’s research as it engages with “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking….” Without the necessary tools to support teachers, teachers cannot effectively promote and enhance critical thinking in student’s education through the use of technology. We first need to address how teachers will be supported and then focus on how students will gain further educational outcomes and become critical thinkers. It may be that Maclure assumes that within his research, teachers are already equipped with these tools.

Furthermore, by allowing the research question to stay broad, it allows further research and inquiry rather than narrowing the research. It might assist the research and give greater depth if the training and how teachers will be supported was addressed.

An evaluation of Maclure’s statement (December 1, 2014) in relation to all references would have to conclude he has opted for currency (2009) over relevancy to the topic. His draft research question specifies an interest in how the implementation of technology helps foster critical thinking within the classroom and prepares students for the future, and yet the limited research only targets one portion of the question. It is only when research is broadened (i.e. utilising the Budde, P. 2011 paper that I have sourced) does this research begin to take shape and address the whole question.

 

Conclusion

Throughout this process I have been critical (maybe too critical and over analytical) but I have also learnt a great deal about the way in which research questions are formulated. I have made the comparison often to my experiences as a primary classroom teacher when teaching my students how to write a procedure. I often preach to them throughout the process, ‘If it is not written, it is not known or explained’. Therefore when analysing and critiquing my colleagues work, I was quick to judge because I have only seen the start of his research and can only assume what will be written based on what his has shown so far.

In sum, educational research is a “systematic investigation, involving the analysis of information (data), to answer a question or contribute to our knowledge about an educational theory or practice. As systematic, disciplined inquiry, educational research relies on methods and principles that will produce credible and verifiable results” (McMillan, J. H., & Wergin, J. F. 2010, p. 1). This statement will help guide my research further as it will help shape and keep my research on track.

 

REFERENCES

Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Maclure, I. (2014, December 1). Ian Maclure, December 1st 2014, Master of International Education (School Leadership)[Online wiki post]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/32b13bf2-4960-471d-0088-f9d7ab27273c

McMillan, J. H., & Wergin, J. F. (2010). Understanding and evaluating educational research (4th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Moriarty, B. (2014). EER500 – Introduction to Educational Research [EER500 201230 Subject Outline]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/ca5b4a32-050e-472e-001f-478a4cb93f8c

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

Simpson, A. (2009). Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking. Research in Learning Technology , 18(2), 119-131.

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014, November 28). Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014 [Online wiki post]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/32b13bf2-4960-471d-0088-f9d7ab27273c

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22. Retrieved from http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Documents/FinalICTReport.pdf

 

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1 – Wiki Post

Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014

Research Topic or Problem

The focus of my research is Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which has originated from my recent experience and exposure to ICT within schools over the course of my teaching career. To be more specific, my inquisitive proposal is parallel to the implementation of ICT into the classroom and school environment and the implications that accompany it. For many years now, the in-school use of technology has been growing exponentially with many classes forgoing the use of chalkboards for interactive whiteboards and many more, if not most, making use of desktop computers for conducting in-class research, learning vital computer competencies for the twenty-first century, and to enhance student knowledge and understanding across a range of topics. Within this subject, I have also decided to touch base with the many implications that accompany its implementation; such factors include its possible applications, accessibility, the barriers of socioeconomic status, cultural considerations for indigenous students, the age-old conflict of teaching old teachers new tricks, and the advancement of ICT in the future and where it may be heading in an educational context. All of these factors can affect the impact of ICT on students for better or for worse and I aim to bring these considerations into perspective through my research.

Draft Research Question

I have three possible questions that I would like to research:

  1. The twenty-first century’s technological advancements are revolutionising the way that society negotiates everyday life; education included. How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today, and what is the education system doing to ensure that the advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society?
  2. There are a number of current issues and concerns relating to the integration of ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students, as well as in classrooms belonging to schools of low socio-economic areas. What are some of the most pressing issues and how will it affect the students involved?
  3. Education has forever been an evolving entity, always seeking improvement and existing parallel to the norms of society. As such, teachers should be expected to evolve with the education system within which they teach, and thus be included in government budgets and expenditure for the purpose of updated training. What is being done to support the retraining of teachers, and even if teachers are being retrained, how equitable is ICT access within the school environment for its effective integration within the classroom?

From Literature to Research Question and Practical Importance

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Based on the analysis and critical reflection on this paper, The National Broadband Network’s (NBN) aims and objectives are to provide extensive resources and avenues in the area of ICT in the education sector. As such, the technological advancements that are promoted due to this scheme are greatly enhanced and reiterate that ICT is an inevitable transformation that we as educators will be exposed to. This paper clearly outlines how ICT in the classroom will take shape as a learning tool. As a tool, ICT is inevitably enhancing teaching and learning as it is addressing the demand of evolution in the 21st century and to meet the needs of the students who are being educated in it.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

The critical analysis of this paper has enabled the investigation of the emerging development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education. With supporting evidence through thorough research, Peeraer and Van Petegem have identified steps being taken to effectively integrate ICT into everyday operations of today’s classrooms. This paper will be utilised to address two of my queries. It highlights the many barriers in which teachers are confronted with and need to overcome in order to successfully and effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. This analysis illuminates teacher educators’ access to ICT, their intensity of use, their related skills, and their confidence in using ICT, as well as their conceptions of learning. Peeraer and Van Petegem also question whether or not ICT improves classroom teaching and confronts the pedagogical issues that have evolved as a result of ICT. Finally this paper justly defines and addresses two of my key questions of concern and that is: What is being done to support the retraining of teachers? How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today?

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22.

This paper addresses a number of issues that will impact the education system as well as teaching and learning. It particularly focuses on Indigenous education and how it will be affected by the growth of technology in the classroom. Wallace explicitly explores and investigates the current issues that exist around the use of ICT for students of low socio-economic living standards as well as remote areas. Through case studies and a series of action research projects the research team of Charles Darwin University has answered our questions and have further deepened my own understanding in relation to the concerns of integrating ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students and low socio-economic areas. The team also identifies effective strategies and practices to use ICT and innovative online learning materials to engage remote and very remote Indigenous students with learning to support improved educational outcomes. This report is enriched with information and evidence that will enable my own research to be extensive and supported.

References

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22. http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Documents/FinalICTReport.pdf

 

APPENDIX 2 – Wiki Post

Ian Maclure, December 1st 2014, Master of International Education (School Leadership)

Research Topic or Problem: ​The world has become very digitally advanced and we are currently in the midst of technological growth and innovation. As educators, we must ensure that we are providing our future generation with appropriate critical thinking skills, integrated with technology, in order for them to become competitive in the global market.

Draft Research Question: How has the implementation of technology helped foster critical thinking within the classroom and preparedness for the future? From Literature to Research Question and Practical Importance: A Vision for Learning & Teaching in a Digital Age, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Leading Education’s Advocates.

This paper provides information on learning and teaching in a digital age. This paper discusses both student, and teacher use of technology within the classroom. The information provided in the paper pertains to my draft research question, as it discusses the usage of technology and its relative importance for students. Since my draft research question begs the notion as to how technology has helped foster critical thinking within the classroom, this paper discusses that notion in detail and provides evidence of technology on authentic and meaningful student engagement.

The integration of critical thinking, with the implementation of technology examines ways in which the teacher will provide varied learning opportunities which will help the students to become more “reflective and collaborative learners.” This is where the critical thinking component comes into play. The paper discusses the various ways in which technology helps students to think critically. The paper also provides information on skills required for a digital age. The paper makes direct reference to critical thinking, communication and collaboration, all factors that are necessary when implementing technology.

This paper will be of practical importance since it is written by the Ontario Public School Board Association, therefore, when assessing the implementation of technology within the classroom, this source is important to consider due to its relevance. There has been a recent shift in many District School Boards to employ the use of technology within the classroom with a critical thinking focus.

Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking.

This research article fits directly with the draft research question as it provides information on how literacy can be improved with the implementation of technology. This article examines in detail, a study undertaken in an Australian primary school. The author of the article has stated that the premise of the article is entwined with “research and good practice.” In regards to the integration of technology and critical thinking, this article provides details based on how students have become critically aware due to ICT (information and communication technology). This article provides information on COLC’s (Collaborative Online Learning Communities). COLC’s, according to the article provide appropriate and meaningful integration of technology, with literacy. This paper provides small scale research that fits into the draft research question. It examines how effective students are when they participated in COLC’s when learning. In order to evaluate how technology has improved critical thinking, this paper delves deeper by explaining the data which was collected over a six week period. The writer wanted to assess how students’ critical responses had improved due to journals, completed rap sheets and emails. The article helps to answer the draft research question in detail by providing the reader with authentic data assessment.

This article is essential for teachers when researching the draft research question in finding the direct correlation between the use of technology with critical thinking. It provides teachers with different approaches to implement within their classroom in order to build a COLC. This is of vital importance as the draft research question asks educators how they will prepare students with the appropriate skills for the future.

References: Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (no date provided). A Vision for Learning & Teaching in a Digital Age. Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Ontario, Canada. http://www.opsba.org/files/OPSBA_AVisionForLearning.pdf

Simpson, A. (2009). Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking. Research in Learning Technology , 18(2), 119-131.

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EER 500 – Creswell, J. W. (2012) Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research

Identifying a research problem (specifying, justifying, suggestiong audience)

  • Reviewing the literature (add to what is knowledge)
  • Specifying a purpose ( focused restatement of the problem – major intent/purpose)
  • Collecting data (numbers or words)
  • Analysing and interpreting the data
  • Reporting and evaluating research
  • The problem, questions, and literature determine method (quantitative or qualitative)

Quantitative research characteristics

  • Described through considering trends or need for an explanation of variable (attribute) relationships
  • Literature major role through suggesting research questions and justifying and creating a directional need for the study
  • Specific and observable/measurable purpose statements, research questions, hypotheses
  • Numerical data from large numbers using pre-designed instruments
  • Analysing trends, comparing groups, relating variables using statistical analysis and comparing results with considering prior predictions and past research
  • Report using standard, fixed structures and evaluative criteria. Objective/unbiased
  • Assessing whether certain factors predict an outcome domain of quantitative research
  • Intent is to generalise from the small to the large
  • Predictable reporting and evaluating pattern: review of literature, methods, results, discussion

Qualitative research characteristics

  • Exploring a problem to develop detailed understanding when you don’t know the variables
  • Literature review minor but justifies the problem. Relies more on participants’ views. approach is learning from participants
  • General statement purpose and questions – will develop from participants’ experiences
  • Purpose statement and research questions stated so you can learn best from participants
  •  Protocols (eg. interview, observation) – notes, words and images
  • Small number collection of words as data to reflect participant’ views
  • Typically extensive data collection to convey complexity
  • Data analysis for description and themes using text analysis and larger meaning interpretation
  • Flexibly reported using emerging structures and evaluative criteria – includes researchers’ subjective reflexivity and bias
  • Describe individuals and themes – rich and complex picture
  • “We”

Similarities and differences

  • 6 steps research process
  • Quant. problem section used to direct types of questions vs Qual. establishing importance of the central idea
  • Quant. more closed-ended approaches. Qual. participant shapes response possibilities
  • Data analysis quant. numerical/statistical  data vs Qual. analysis of words and images
  • Less detail in reporting format quant.

Which?

  • Approach to match problem. Quant. trends or explanations vs Qual. problems need to be explored to gain depth
  • Fit the audience
  • Relate to your personal experience/training

Research designs (see p.20 Fig. 1.4)

  • Are the specific procedures involved in the process: data collection, data analysis, report writing
  • Quant. (experimental research, correlation research, survey research)
  • Qual. (grounded theory research, ethnographic research, narrative research)
  • Combined (mixed method research, action research)

References

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

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EER 500 Formulating Research Questions – Bryman

What is it you want to know in your area of interest

  • Question must clearly have a social scientific angle
  • Questions more specific in quantitative research than qualitative
  • Research area – Select aspect of research area – Research questions – Select research questions

Marx’s (1997)  sources of research questions:

  • Intellectual puzzles and contradictions
  • Existing literature (spotting gaps is the chief way of identifying research questions)
  • Replication
  • Structures and functions
  • Opposition
  • A social problem
  • Gaps between official reality and facts at ground level
  • The counter-intuitive
  • Startling empirical examples
  • New methods and theories
  • New social and technical developments and social trends
  • Person experience
  • Sponsors and teachersGuiding principle that questions should relate to each other

Evaluative Criteria

  • Clear, intelligible
  • Connect to theory/research
  • Linked to each other
  • Prospect of making an original contribution
  • Not too broad or narrow
  • Need to be justified
  • Demonstrate link between questions and sources (question connects and is demonstrated)
  • Rationale and justification
  • Usually no more than 3 key research questions

Considerations in writing a research proposal

  • Topic/objectives
  • Importance
  • Question(s)
  • Literature
  • Research method
  • Why this method
  • Resources
  • Timetable
  • Problems
  • Ethical considerations
  • Method of analysis

Preparing, doing and analysing research

  • Pilot study to determine effectiveness of research instruments
  • Accessing and sampling issues
  • Keep records of process
  • Hardware familiarity
  • Begin coding straight up
  • Transcriptions remember, time-consuming
  • Data analysis package familiarity
  • Personal safety

References

Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.