Wonderings about action research

The following is my response to my Week 2 assignment, part 2. These are “wonderings” about possible topics for action research in regards to each sub-heading.

Staff development
How can administrators provide effective, technology-driven staff development to teachers of varying skill levels?
One of the major problems I notice is the growing gap between how teachers are expected to teach (technology-driven and differentiated) and how administrators conduct staff development. By engaging in this type of action research, teachers will gain from more beneficial learning experiences as well as have a model for what is expected of them in their own classrooms.

Curriculum development
How can “elective” technology classes be developed and implemented in such a way that they augment the core curriculum?
In our world of high-stakes, standardized testing, it has never been more important for students to have a deep understanding of each individual topic as well as their content areas being supported by their “elective” classes. This type of research will push administrators to develop strategies that will engage and support elective teachers while maintaining focus and concentration on student success in the content areas.

Individual teacher(s)
How can individual teachers receive more support regarding their integration of technology into their classroom?
Teachers everywhere are trying to incorporate technology into their daily classroom practice but, as many are “digital immigrants” (Prensky, 2001), they have a hard time making these connections. By providing more support and training in this area, perhaps even individualized instruction, I believe it is possible for more teachers, even the seasoned veterans, to begin using more technology in their daily lessons.

Individual student(s)
In what ways can technology be offered/provided for student use outside of the classroom, providing learning opportunities specifically targeted towards the mastery of the four content areas: math, science, social studies, and language arts?
In survey after survey, students ask for more use of technology. They want to get their hands on it and schools have a very authoritarian (dare I say “Nazi”) attitude towards the technology on their campuses. By providing more freedom and opportunities for students to utilize technology, I propose that it will be beneficial to their overall learning process and, with the development of new curriculum and training, allow them to have focused, targeted instruction (etc) towards mastery of the content areas.

School culture/community
How can the school increase parent involvement in the digital lives of their students through the use of community-wide meetings and/or social media?
Students today are living digital lives while parents are, by and large, completely oblivious to what is going on in their digital worlds. They ground the student but leave the computer plugged in, not realizing online interaction holds just as much “social capital” as a face-to-face interaction. This type of action research could potentially lead to a more engaged parent population, better relations with the community at large, and ultimately a safer student body and community.

Leadership
How can I demonstrate and evangelize appropriate use of technology to my staff while building a basis of best-practice and research for classroom implementation?
Leaders should always be looking to be just that: leaders. This means, especially in regards to technology, they should be looking for ways to model what they want the rest of the staff to work towards. This should be an on-going reflective practice for the administrator as technology is always changing and there are always going to be new ways for them to model and implement best-practice.

Management
What are teachers’ current opinions and levels of satisfaction of Wired Wednesday and how can it be improved?
My campus has a weekly technology training called “Wired Wednesday” that is truly awful. It’s a great idea but the content is suitable for someone who has never even seen a computer but delivered in a way that is beneficial to those who are computer experts. Unfortunately, this results in 30 minutes of training that fails to benefit anyone. By evaluating and making necessary changes to this training, our faculty could have a much more productive use of their time.

School performance
In what ways can technology be integrated into content area classrooms with the goal of increased performance on standardized tests?
Technology is a tool and needs to be seen as one that can be leveraged for student success. This wondering can lead to technology being used not for technology’s sake, but for student success.

Social justice or equity issues
How can my campus increase access to technology and digital information for our economically disadvantaged students/families who do not have computers at home?
One of the greatest barriers to schools moving online is that of home access, particularly in those families who are economically disadvantaged. By increasing access to digital technologies, schools could not only increase the overall use and literacy of technology, but leverage its use for student success.

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