Monday, April 9, 2007

SS and Tech, 04/09/07

135 minutes of writing

My goal at AERA, as stated in a previous post is to try to write at least an hour a day. In light of that goal, I had success for the first day!

Today I worked on editing the SS and Tech paper. I've been trying to find a way to organize the table so it would align with the Moersch continuum. I realized, however, that this is not possible because the Moersch LoTi framework does not necessary align with needed technological competencies. For instance, a teacher may need exceptionally high skills to complete some exploration-level activities; or, s/he may need few skills to engage in a student-centered approach. All student-centered approaches lie high on Moersch's continuum.

I decided to do the following:
  1. Explain that the needed skills and Moersch levels do not coincide. I'm worried that this may be seen as a critique of Moersch's work (which it it NOT intended to be). Ideally, a teacher should be very technologically competent in which case s/he could teach on any level of the continuum. Then, the teacher could choose the technologies and LoTi levels based on the needs of the stduents and the lesson, not simply based on teacher capability.
  2. I modified the table slightly. Though I maintained the original categories (e.g., "Starting Small," "Taking the Next Step," and "Beginning to Excel," I re-arranged the line items within those sections so they progress along the LoTi framework. In some cases, this was problemmatic because the recommendations straddled two levels because I offer more than one method of using the technology.
I need to re-read this paper with a very careful eye. I'm worried now that the paper includes too much about the Moersch framework, which really fails to address our main point. The point is that teachers should start where they are in terms of technological comfort and then move forward. Moersch's framework challenges teachers to move from teacher-directed instruction to student-centered instruction. These really are two different constructs. I worry that by combining them, I will confuse the reader. On the other hand, this is what one of the reviewers recommended (albeit I'm not sure the end result is what they were seeking).

Tomorrow I hope to re-read and revise this paper. Hopefully, I will have a clear enough head to create a final copy to send to Eric for his review. If so, I will assume (with his approval) that it will be ready to send for a second review with Social Education. It sure would be nice to get this out the door so can continue on the 21st century social studies piece and the 21st social studies methods piece. I need to get these done so I can get working on the NECC piece.

Also, being at AERA has re-invigorated my interest in getting my assessment and learning styles papers out the door. They are both so close to being ready to review.

And, I'm beginning to get very excited about research project proposals relating to residential institutes and micro-societies. I must find ways to connect these studies to technology!

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