Educational Technology

A Grand Opportunity: Synergy and Interoperability Across Educational Games and Simulations

Day: 
Wed

Join this lively, interactive discussion examining the opportunities for coordinating work in games and simulations. Discuss and plan embedding, data capture/analytics, customization, and more!

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session
Session Materials: 

The advent of today’s widespread educational technology presents some new and exciting opportunities. Models and simulations can be easily embedded in other content. Research is exploring the use of simulations and games for novel assessment purposes. Technologies—especially HTML5 technologies—are making formerly unprecedented learning possible. This moment is unique, and as educational designers and researchers, we should be making the most of it and ensure that our work is aligned for maximum synergy.

Discussion of Promising Scale-up Strategies for Reaching Classrooms

Day: 
Tues

Participants and the presenters will discuss their experiences—including releasing free and paid apps—and provide suggestions to others for successfully reaching many users.

Date/Time: 
1:45 pm to 3:45 pm
2014 Session Types: 
Feedback Session (Work in Post-development)
Session Materials: 

Over a period of five years the SmartGraphs project developed HTML5 software for teaching and learning STEM subjects that make use of line graphs and scatter plots. SmartGraphs activities help students understand the “story” represented by a graph. The project created dozens of activities for algebra, physical science, and other STEM subjects, as well as an authoring system allowing non-computer-programmers to create and disseminate free online activities.

Ocean Tracks: Bringing Large-Scale Marine Science Data to and Beyond the Classroom

Day: 
Tues

Participants engage in marine data investigations using the Ocean Tracks Web interface and analysis tools, offer feedback, and discuss possible synergies with other DR K12 programs.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Feedback Session (Work in Post-development)
Session Materials: 

Digital, large-scale scientific data have become broadly available in recent decades, and analyzing data, identifying patterns, and extracting useful information have become gateway skills to full participation in the 21st century workforce. Yet, pre-college classrooms are falling short in preparing students for this world and are missing opportunities to harness the power of Big Data to engage students in scientific learning. To address this issue, scientists, educators, and researchers at Education Development Center, Inc.

Meaningful Support for Teachers: Specific Ways to Encourage Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

Day: 
Tues

Panelists from three projects share lessons learned in guiding game use in classroom learning, highlighting specific examples of effective resources.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session
Session Materials: 

The three panelists in this session are in the last one or two years of their game-based learning projects, and all have done extensive work in supporting use of their games in classroom learning. As their work has progressed, each has discovered valuable ways to support teachers as well as encountered surprises in what teachers wanted (and didn’t want), and now recognize things they wished they had learned in the beginning of their projects. Session participants leave with recommendations they can use in their current projects, including:

VISUALIZING OCEANS OF DATA Educational Interface Design

Science is data-intensive, but today’s science education is not. In most classrooms, students’ work with data is limited to reading graphs prepared by others, or at best collecting simple data sets themselves. While these student-collected data sets allow students to begin building their data proficiency, the conclusions that can be drawn and the lessons that can be learned from these data are limited in scope and can sometimes be compromised by data quality.

Author/Presenter: 
Ruth Krumhansl
Cheryl Peach
June Foster
Amy Busey
Irene Baker
Jackie DeLisi
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
The Oceans of Data project has made an attempt to define and confront what is “hard” for students and teachers who attempt to use large, online professional data sets. We feel passionately that it’s important for us to do this to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s world.

Modeling Earth's Climate

Author/Presenter: 
Amy Pallant
Hee-Sun Lee
Sara Pryputniewicz
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
This article describes an online climate change curriculum that incorporates dynamic computer models that enable students to visualize the complex interactions related to climate change science. Students learn how adjusting variables in a dynamic model affects the entire system.

Middle School Science Teachers’ Confidence and Pedagogical Practice of New Literacies

Author/Presenter: 
Hui-Yin Hsu
Shiang-Kwei Wang
Lisa Runco
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
Due to the rapid advancements of information and communication technologies (ICTs), educational researchers argue that multimodal and new literacies should become common practices in schools. As new ICTs emerge and evolve, students need the new literacies skills and practices to successfully participate fully in the civic life of a global community. Are teachers prepared to integrate ICTs in the classroom to develop students’ new literacies skills? The purpose of this study is to suggest a new literacies framework that guides ICTs integration and supports scientific inquiry, as well as investigate middle school teachers’ confidence to practice new literacies in science classrooms. The study adopted mixed-methodology design, surveyed 32 middle school science teachers’ ICTs and new literacies skills, and randomly observed 15 teachers’ new literacies practices in the classrooms. The results revealed that even though teachers have high confidence in using ICTs, the meaningful technology integration and new literacies practices were scarcely observed in their classroom practices.

An Efficacy Study on the Use of Dynamic Geometry Software

Jiang, Z. & White, A. (2012). An efficacy study on the use of dynamic geometry software. In the Proceedings of the 12th International Congress on Mathematical Education.

Author/Presenter: 
Zhonghong Jiang
Alexander White
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
A four-year research project funded by NSF examines the efficacy of an approach to high school geometry that utilizes dynamic geometry (DG) software and supporting instructional materials to supplement ordinary instructional practices. It compares effects of that intervention (the DG approach) with standard instruction that does not make use of computer tools. This paper reports a study conducted during the second year of the project. Student learning is assessed by a geometry test and other tests. Data for answering the research questions of the study are analyzed mainly by appropriate HLM methods. The analysis on the geometry test data is discussed in detail. The experimental group significantly outperformed the control group in geometry performance.

A Drake's Tale: Genetics Software Gets a Lift from Gaming

Author/Presenter: 
Frieda Reichsman
Trudi Lord
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
Many of us learned about dominant and recessive genes in a humdrum high school biology class. Some of us may still recognize the terms and symbols twenty or thirty years later—are your eyes bb or Bb? But, as it turns out, a very small number of traits in humans and other animals, plants, amoeba … you name it … involve the dominance mechanism of a single gene with just two alleles. (An allele is a variation of a gene, like the B or b in the above example.) The more biologists discover about the mechanisms of inheritance, the fewer traits we can point to that involve only one gene or can be illustrated using a simple Punnett square. In fact, biologists are compiling information about our genes at an astounding rate. As the process of sequencing DNA improves, the science of biology is dramatically changing.

Conclusion: Building on the Strengths of Interdisciplinarity

Author/Presenter: 
Brian R. Belland
Samuel B. Fee
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
This chapter concludes The role of criticism in understanding problem solving. In it, the overall message of the book—that criticism and critical theories can serve to aid critical reading and synthesis of the educational technology research literature—is summarized. One of the strengths of the educational technology field is its interdisciplinarity. As students enter the field from many different academic disciplines, they should be encouraged to apply not just the content of their former disciplines but also the strategies of and frameworks for thinking about problems.

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