Interactive Technology and the Young Learner
Thank you for the continued support of friends, family and my professional network. This research supports the use of interactive technology, when used in developmentally appropriate ways, to increase the learning retention and gains in preschool literacy.
Great week, cruddy weekend....
I was very excited to get my post-tests and final observations finished Friday. On Saturday I worked up my results and had my graphs completed. I was going to review work Sunday prior to uploading this section. Then the unexpected and unwelcome happened: my brand new laptop was submerged in water and I lost everything!! So...thankfully I had backed up or had hard copies of my observations and previous work and only lost my reflections that I'd made over the past week and Saturday. I'll have a lot of retyping to do. I don't think the laptop will be repaired in time to finish this semester but I'm thankfully able to borrow a friend's computer for now.
Friday and Saturday I did comment on other's blogs and I participated in Thursday's tweet session. Thank you, PLN, for your continued comments and support of everyone's projects.
How will I apply what I learned from my data to teaching and learning in my classroom?
While final data is still coming in, I can see that there are definite gains in utilizing technology in the preschool classroom. The use of touchscreen technology and interactive programs:
This knowledge, and the emerging support of my theory that the additional and engaging screen time increased gains in literacy over those students who did not use technology, encourages me to keep utilizing this technology. I will consider expanding to incorporate either more frequent use of iPads or use them for different subjects in addition to literacy.
How can others apply what I learned to their classrooms?
I feel that the outcomes from this research could be applied to all ages of classrooms. It is also great support for sharing with administrators and parents why moderate use of interactive technology can be beneficial for students.
Another busy week. Lots of observations. I'm going to keep doing observations this next week and work on post-tests toward the end of the week then finish up my data analysis. With the young age of the students I feel another week will allow the data to show a more realistic tell of how the students have improved (or not).
I participated slightly on twitter - really just checked in. Being on my phone made it difficult to search, cut and paste to participate in the game. Great idea though, and everyone seemed to have a good time. I commented on a few blogs, sharing some suggestions and ideas.
Onward and upward.
How do I explain my data?
My observations are a key piece of my research data. I have been reading and color-coding data from lesson plans, newsletters and running records of children’s work. A few days after I make my observations and notes I go back through and color-code the information. Together with the other data, I hope that these results will help triangulate specific key points of how non-technology instructional techniques may impact learning in comparison to the use of touchscreen technology. Pre and post test results, once graphed, will help provide a quantitative view of students’ gains in phonetic skills. My control group includes student results and observations of a class not using the touchscreen technology.
What did I learn from my data?
It is too soon to make a full interpretation of what my data is showing me. A few weeks is not significant time to see a dramatic difference in preschool. However, I have learned these key points:
· Students need guided and independent time to learn to use the technology
· Interactive technology does appear to enhance the learning process, increasing students’ interest level and keeping them involved in the program
· Teacher-led learning time is an important aspect to younger learners. I believe that this is due to the teacher’s ability to differentiate and interact on a personal level
· Students respond well to repetition, music and movement
Post your Data Analysis for peer feedback
My research and data analysis has combined a case study approach and content analysis. My draft document analysis follows as does the framework I will expand upon for my observation. Observations will continue for another week so I will complete it when all data is compiled.
Research and observations went well this week. I co-hosted another twitter session on Thursday. With some personal challenges this weekend I wasn't able to correspond as much with PLN members on the blogs but I did comment on at least 3 blogs.
This coming week I plan to do some more observations. I had planned on observing through November and then doing the post-test. It looks like my timetable wasn't correct and I need to end sooner than planned. I'm confident I have some good research to discuss but am a little concerned about not having enough time to show significant changes; however, only one piece of planned data, the pre & post-test, would be affected.
How will I analyze my data?
Analyzing data involves examining it to reveal relationships, patterns and trends that can be found within it. For my study I am mostly utilizing qualitative data like descriptions and interpretations as well as some quantitative data collected from pre and post-test results.
To analyze my data, I must first organize it. I have begun by interring data into the computer and scoring pre-tests. I’ve also been sorting information from documents, using color-coding in my highlighting to help me keep relationships and patterns clear.
I am looking for differences within my two groups, morning preschool with ipad technology integration and afternoon preschool without the tech integration. I’m also looking for correlations between documentation of what students have already or are currently studying in relation to how their skills are developing.
Why am I making these choices?
Finding patterns in qualitative data and using qualitative interviews and observation are key ways I’m obtaining my information. I feel that utilizing triangulation to find correlations in my documentation is a best practice for my type of research. I’m also using comparison between my control group and case study group.
To help out classmates:
Great module to help you make sense of your data and choose which way to analyze: http://www.txprofdev.org/apps/datadecisions/node/50.html#/module?section=4
6 free web resources for analyzing data
I've lot track of what week we are actually on...
This week I was successful in gathering quite a bit of data and getting a lot of reading done. It was very productive and busy. The few challenges I had, I was able to roll with and adjust to in order to move forward. I'm set up well for week 2 data collection.
I participated in the Thursday twitter session. They help me bring my week into perspective but I think they'd help better if they were Tuesday or Wednesday so I had a few days to reflect and build from the answers or clarification I receive.
I wrote on then responded to blog postings in my PLN. I think it's fun that we've teamed up with another ed course - I honestly couldn't tell you who's in 626 vs. 636.
I'm mentally and physically just done this week. With everything going on personally, in school (check out #edgamify - our project has grown exponentially!) and at work(s), I honestly am looking at Thanksgiving break as a well-needed salvation. It will be my first day off since August.
What is my initial data telling me?
I have completed two types of data collection this week. The first was to analyze documents I had been gathering. These include lesson plans, running records of literacy work and print outs from ABCmouse.com literacy work. I added in evaluating weekly newsletters as well. I went back to August 15 in order to keep results more accurate.
Data from all documents demonstrates a strong foundation of literacy instruction including phonics and phonemic activities. The activities show a broad range of instruction type including teacher-led, small group, center-based and exploratory/learn through play. Occasionally students are guided-through or allowed to explore on ABCmouse.com about once per week. With the use of current practices, students’ should increase their phonemic awareness. I predict that the additional support of phonics and phonetics through technology and touchscreen devices will help increase students’ fluency in that area at a faster rate.
Initial observations demonstrated that students would need to learn how to navigate through the programs so we began working with small student groups to introduce them how to select the program and work the basics. During this time I also began the one-on-one pre-tests. The pre-test was similar to an interview as I verbally asked the questions; I tracked the answers on the form.
What revisions in my data collection plan do I need to make?
I added in evaluation of parent newsletters to provide another look at what instruction has been occurring over the past 2 months. I feel having an understanding of some of the prior knowledge the students are entering the study with will help me better determine the actual benefits of integrating touchscreen technology.
Post your initial data.
Below are photos of actual pre-tests. Students are identified by initials. Additional coding includes AM or PM for morning or afternoon student. M=male student, F=female student. I plan to look for any correlations between boy/girl data at this age as well once all data is collected through the study.
If anyone looks real close you may notice that some of the numbering on the questions says 6-10. This occurred when I asked my printer to put 2 to a page to save resources but has no affect on the questions or data.