Chapter 3 of Ashburn/Floden deals with science instruction and how to incorporate the WISE (Web-based Inquiry Science Environment) method into the curriculum. This type of inquiry gives students a thorough process of how to handle techniques and projects within the science curriculum.
This chapter dealt with research of a California middle school and how the teachers were able to utilize the WISE system and how much it impacted the student's learning. This research lasted two years, which seems good, from the standpoint the projects weren't done in a vacuum with no chance for feedback or improvement of the lessons/projects.
The findings from the studies over the two years support the fact that using MLT increases student knowledge and comprehension. By having the use of the mentor teacher, those teachers in the study could use that mentor teacher to their benefit. The mentor provided feedback as well as methods to get the learning across to the students. The conclusion of the WISE project proved that when projects are linked to classroom learning, students benefit from the increased exposure to technology. It gives them a hands-on experience where they can not only hear and read about a science concept, they can experience it firsthand.
Chapter four of Ashburn/Floden deals with bringing MLT to urban classrooms. Teachers who teach in urban areas have a greater problem with bringing the technology to the students. Many students are poor, don't have the home life to provide a home computer, or don't have support at home. Many students are also not as adept at using the Internet and that in itself causes problems.
The purpose of this chapter was to show that MLT can be successful for the students in urban areas. The approach that was used, I thought, was very good. The training was ongoing throughout the year so that teachers didn't feel they were left alone to flounder with the technology. There was help and guidance throughout the implementation and process of the projects.
What this study revealed is that students and teachers can benefit from MLT when the training/teaching is ongoing and relevant to the students. By incorporating MLT into a curriculum, if everyone is willing to take the time to allow the technology into the classroom, students will benefit as they progress through the grades.
Another subject for this week was digital storytelling. I found an article that gives an overview of digital storytelling. I had trouble pulling in the site from the syllabus to view the storytelling from YouTube.
The article I found discussed how digital storytelling can help preserve history for future generations by discussing the different storytelling tools.
One good source by Bernard Robin, is called 'educational uses of digital storytelling.' This has a link to a guide and powerpoint presentation on how to use digital storytelling in the classroom.
Digital storytelling is simply a way to preserve the past. It allows students the chance to visualize the past while they get the chance to recreate events. It puts them in that time or place and gives them a different perspective on the event.
One site I've heard of (I had an inservice day on it ) was Windows XP: Moviemaker 2.1. The inservice was a quick overview but it seemed to be a very simple way to have students create their own digital stories. The video, audio, and edit features seemed very easy to use and the examples we saw showed how successful the students were and that they had fun and learned from the assignment.
Ashburn, E. & Floden, R. (Eds.) (2006). Meaningful Learning Using Technology: What Educators Need to Know and Do. Teachers College Press, NY.
Joseph, Linda C. (2006). Digital Storytelling. Multimedia & Internet @ Schools, 13-16.