Action Research, Week 3

As you’ll see, WordPress does not like tables… please visit my wiki for the complete table. The link can be found on the left side of the screen or by clicking here.

The district that I work for has yet to engage any form of online technologies beyond that of the gradebook and attendance. As a young educator that likes to think of himself as fairly progressive in terms of teaching strategies, I think this is a problem. Our students are living online and we need to be engaging them in the spaces they are already. As such, I am wondering the best methodology for implementing a blended learning environment for our students with regards to three specific classroom environments:

  1. 1:1 (computer lab)
  2. 1:2 (half-lab)
  3. 5 computers in a classroom for student use with occasional access to a 1:1 lab

I have expanded my wondering to include these three environments because I believe each of the three will have different strategies for implementation of a blended learning environment. For example, it probably goes without saying that a 1:1 lab will be able to do far more online than a teacher who only has 5 computers in her room and must schedule their monthly rotation in a computer lab. I want to research how this process will develop and what we can do to make the learning of our students as effective as possible. In discussing various topics for research, my mentor was extremely excited about all of the ideas I presented him and he actually intends to proceed with two others while I research this one for my graduate work.

__________

I will be utilizing a variety of outlets for the dissemination of my findings, primarily through my Action Research Blog and my wiki (links below, respectively). Additionally, I will be utilizing my coworkers heavily as I move forward. Through this process, there will be numerous discussions, questions, and informational meetings. Since I will not have access to my blog and wiki at school (blocked) I will mainly be using email correspondence on campus.

Also, I have found a great community of educators on social networks including Facebook, Plurk, and Twitter, where I will be sharing my findings and recommendations, as well asking for feedback and outside recommendations. Although they will not have direct knowledge of the research (outside of what I communicate to them) they will be able to ask questions and provide feedback for me moving forward.

Goal: Develop strategies for the implementation of an online learning space (blended learning) within three types of classrooms:

1- 1:1 computer lab

2- Partial lab (1:2 on average)

3- Traditional classroom (5 student computers for 30 students)

Action Step Person(s) Responsible Timeline (Start/end) Needed Resources Evaluation
Recruit volunteer teachers G. Garner August 16-Sept. 1 N/A
Train teachers on use of software G. Garner August 16- as needed Edmodo.com; computer lab Hands-on training with teachers; will cover features offered by LMS
Instructional planning/development G. Garner August 16-Sept. 1 Computer lab; course curriculum Will meet with instructional specialist for online course evaluation/QA
Administer/collect feedback/data G. Garner Oct. 1 and every 6 wks thereafter Google forms; email Will email teachers for feedback about implementation
Evaluate/analyze data and feedback rec’d G. Garner; all participants March 30th Any documentation kept/rec’d Discuss implementation and strategies for future
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6 Comments »

  1. Michelle Hernandez Said:

    Greg,,well done! It seems that you took much time in you plan. I would only suggest that maybe you can compare other districts to your and find out why they may be behind somewhat in technology use. Your right, it it the future and students need to have access to computers in the classrooms as well as computer labs.

  2. Jennifer Garner Said:

    I am very interested in seeing your outcomes with regard to the specific training (and acceptance) of teachers/staff and access by the students. Many schools are in the situation of having one to five computers in the classrooms and labs are rarely accessible. I’m also assuming your research doesn’t include student use of personal technology such as Ipods or smart phones?

    • garnerg Said:

      Unfortunately, since our district will not approve the use of smart phones nor ipods, unless purchased by the district (access must be equal) I will be unable to directly include this in my research. I would love to, however, see how that would affect this implementation! 🙂

  3. Teachers in our district face the same problems in regards to technology usage and laptop availability. We have few labs and even fewer class sets of laptops. I think sharing a half lab may work in their favor, but student group work is not always the best choice for projects. I think that you have given yourself enough time to conduct the research, and using Google and Edmodo will also benefit you and your teachers. I believe the different types of meetings and evaluation tools will allow for “the same sets of data, though from different “lenses.” I am also very interested in seeing how one of your wonderings is solved: How can individual teachers receive more support regarding their integration of technology into their classroom? I think we all have this wondering. Good luck.

  4. David Holmes Said:

    I think your research will be immensely valuable as not all teachers have the same type of computer setups in their classrooms. I have been in situations where I have only a few computers, and the situation I am in now has a computer for every student. I think it is important for teachers to know different strategies to incorporate online learning that will work for their particular situations.

  5. Andrea Keller Said:

    Greg,
    I think that you have a very good plan in place. In all of my training that I have had to have in the last couple of years one thing becomes very apparent. A school/district/classroom can have every possible opportunity for technology use and are overwhelmed with software and hardware, but that doesn’t matter unless the teachers and the administrators are on board. I have had the chance to work with teachers that only have a computer lab and what to try ever possible technology use out there, but then I have worked with teachers that have one on one computers and technology is still not used. I am also in your situation when it comes to teacher training. Good luck on your action plan, and I can’t wait to compare notes to see how it went.


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