Case Study #3-How Technologies Could be Used for Specific Educational Purposes

AASL Standards and Indicators Addressed:
3.3 Educational Leader
Candidates develop a library media program that reflects the best practices of education and librarianship. They have a thorough understanding of current trends and issues in education.

4.3 Comprehensive and Collaborative Strategic Planning and Assessment
Candidates collaborate with teachers and administrators to develop a library media program plan that aligns resources, services, and information literacy standards with the school’s goals and objectives.

Overview:

In Howard County, it is part of the Secondary English Curriculum that students complete a Research Unit. The standard for such is as follows:

Maryland State Curriculum Indicator 3.3: The student will locate, retrieve, and use information from various sources to accomplish a purpose. (Howard County Core Learning Goal 2.3).

Students complete a Research Unit during all four years of High School in their English classrooms. Aside from the English Curriculum, students also partake in History Day through their Social Studies classes. History Day requires students to self-select a topic dealing with the National History Day theme. They then carry out research, synthesize information, and create a final product which can be in a variety of formats: exhibit, performance, multimedia documentary, research paper, and website (nationalhistoryday.org).

As other subject areas also require their students to partake in the Research process, I feel that helping students to feel comfortable with the process is very important.

All of the following information would be presented to members of Administration as well as to department Instructional Team Leaders. I would display the information using Power Point, as well as pull up the actual technologies being discussed so the audience can further see how the tools can be implemented.

Objectives:

Students will understand the steps of the Research Process
Students will utilize technology in order to familiarize themselves with the Research Process
Students will use Web 2.0 tools in order to carry out research on their topics

The following documents were created for use in the English 9 On level classroom. In English 9, the students have never before participated in the Research Process, nor have they written an MLA style Research Paper. Therefore, the following tools would be used as a means to introduce students to the Research Process and help them to feel comfortable to successfully carry out each step.

Before utilizing the following tools, the teacher will introduce the Research task to the class.

Sample:
In English 9, students will compose an MLA style Research Paper on an aspect of the Holocaust.

Pageflakes-

The teacher can set up a Pageflake for his/her class to function as a “homepage” for the Research Project. Using Pageflakes, they can turn the flake into a Pagecast—making it available for anyone to see. The teacher can then share the link to the Pagecast with students and parents. On this Pagecast parents and students could find: a detailed calendar with daily agendas and due dates, a checklist of tasks for students to complete, sticky notes for specific reminders, links to helpful resources regarding the different steps of the Research Process, the teacher’s email address, etc.

Overall, Pageflakes would serve as a great way for students and parents to keep organized. Organization is key when doing any Research Project, and this tool will help students to grow even stronger in this area.

 

 

Here is a sample Pagecast for the English 9 Research Project:
Pagecast.png by lmt409 on AviaryPagecast.png by lmt409 on Aviary

Google Docs-
The teacher will set up student accounts for Google Docs. Here, students can take surveys about the Research Process. For example, after teaching how to create a Thesis Statement, students can take a survey in which they will be shown several thesis statements and they must decide if they are appropriately formatted. Students can also fill out a form that will help them to remain organized as they progress through the process. It can be viewed as a checklist where they can record their specific topic, thesis statement, types of sources used, specific source information, etc. The teacher can edit the students’ work at any time and students can see the comments instantantly. This form can be accessed and edited by both teacher and student as the Research Process continues, allowing open communication and feedback throughout.

Aside from forms, students can post their written work on Google Docs. For example, students can post their Introduction paragraphs and the instructor can then view the paragraphs and make suggestions for editing. These changes will be saved for the student to see, and they can implement the changes immediately. Here, Google Docs allows the Revision part of writing to become a collaborative experience.

Here is a sample Student Form for English 9 Research:
English 9 Form.png by lmt409 on AviaryEnglish 9 Form.png by lmt409 on Aviary

Jing-
Jing is a program that allows a screen to be captured or recorded. This is an excellent resource for teachers to use to show students how to go about carrying out various steps of the Research Process. Teachers can use Jing to show students how to properly format their papers, use Boolean terms to narrow search results, as well as how to create source citations for a Works Cited page. Teachers would simply record their screen doing any of the these things, thus creating tutorials for their students to view.

In Howard County, teachers could post these tutorials on their Campus Drive, where students can “pick up” files, links, or videos from the teacher. Students can view the tutorials and then practice these skills on their own.

Here is a link to a sample Jing tutorial in which the teacher shows students how to use www.citationmachine.net to create a source citation for a Works Cited Page:
Works Cited Tutorial

Diigo-
Diigo is a useful tool because you can research, collaborate, and share all on one platform. With Diigo Educator, teachers can register student emails, set them up into groups so they can collaborate, as well as set privacy settings so only your students are reviewing certain resources/participating in the collaboration. Teachers can bookmark articles and websites, which will be permanently saved on Diigo, allowing access at any time. You can organize bookmarks by sorting them into lists, as well as use labels and tags. Diigo makes the Research Process  very manageable.

In English 9, the teacher would create Diigo accounts for his/her students as well as bookmark and organize articles specific to the different Holocaust topics. Students would then log on and have access to these libraries. Here they can read the articles, highlight parts of interest, as well as create sticky notes. All of their work will be saved for them to access at a later date.

Diigo is a wonderful way to control the resources students have access to, ensuring that the information they are reading is credible and relevant to their topics.

Here is a sample of a Diigo library for the English 9 Holocaust Research Project:
DiigoLists.png by lmt409 on AviaryDiigoLists.png by lmt409 on Aviary

Closure:
The aforementioned tools are all valuable resources that can help ease our students into understanding the Research Process. The Research Process is something that they will need to understand for the rest of their academic careers, so it is crucial that we introduce it in a way that will engage them as well as motivate them to succeed. By using these technologies, the students can have a more interactive role as they explore the overall Research Process. This will result in increased confidence in their abilities, which can only lead to strong final products.

Extension:
The level of difficulty for the previously mentioned tools can be changed for student achievement level as well as grade level. Upper grades can use these tools in a more complex way. For example, in Diigo students might have to find their own articles, bookmark the sources in their personal libraries, and then share these with their classmates. This would encourage collaboration and further discussion about the given content. In upper grades students can also use Google Docs to participate in full peer revisions of written assignments. Google Docs could also be used to collaborate for group assignments across all grade levels and subject areas. As long as we continue to have our students utilize these technologies, their skills will only expand, allowing them to carry out complex tasks that truly demonstrate mastery of the content material.

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