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The Role of Technology in the Educational Environment Ghostwriter: A narrative virtual environment for children Robertson & Good (2003) Becky Sutton, Jen.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Technology in the Educational Environment Ghostwriter: A narrative virtual environment for children Robertson & Good (2003) Becky Sutton, Jen."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Technology in the Educational Environment Ghostwriter: A narrative virtual environment for children Robertson & Good (2003) Becky Sutton, Jen Tonks, Sam Wheeler, Terry Spokes

2 An Educational Revolution In the later 20th and early 21st century, the marked influence on education comes from information and computing technology (Januszewski 2003) In the later 20th and early 21st century, the marked influence on education comes from information and computing technology (Januszewski 2003) Four major educational revolutions: the invention of reading and writing, the emergence of the profession of teacher, the increase in availability of books, and now, electronic technology (Billings, Moursund & Eugene 1988) Four major educational revolutions: the invention of reading and writing, the emergence of the profession of teacher, the increase in availability of books, and now, electronic technology (Billings, Moursund & Eugene 1988) Information technology is equated with the modern world, economic success and the future; and so schools must embrace this technology (Watson 2001) Information technology is equated with the modern world, economic success and the future; and so schools must embrace this technology (Watson 2001)

3 Educational Technology and Politics Technology has revolutionised the way we work and is now set to transform education. Children cannot be effective in tomorrows world if they are trained in yesterdays skills. Nor should teachers be denied tools that other professionals are trained to take for granted Technology has revolutionised the way we work and is now set to transform education. Children cannot be effective in tomorrows world if they are trained in yesterdays skills. Nor should teachers be denied tools that other professionals are trained to take for granted (Tony Blair, launching the National Grid for Learning, 1997 in Watson 2001) (Tony Blair, launching the National Grid for Learning, 1997 in Watson 2001)

4 Educational Technology = Computers? Computers are at the centre of any discussion of educational technology (Eisenberg 2004) Computers are at the centre of any discussion of educational technology (Eisenberg 2004) The computer constitutes the technological cornerstone of the Information Society (Christensen 1986) and over the last twenty years there have been substantial central government initiatives to promote the use of computers in UK schools (Watson 2001) The computer constitutes the technological cornerstone of the Information Society (Christensen 1986) and over the last twenty years there have been substantial central government initiatives to promote the use of computers in UK schools (Watson 2001) Instruction and training should closely parallel the final desired behaviours, and so if we need workers who are adept at using computers, we should centralise computer use in education (Billings et al 1988) Instruction and training should closely parallel the final desired behaviours, and so if we need workers who are adept at using computers, we should centralise computer use in education (Billings et al 1988)

5 Breadth of Technology The term technology denotes a subject whose history long predates the advent of computers and the Internet (Eisenberg 2004) The term technology denotes a subject whose history long predates the advent of computers and the Internet (Eisenberg 2004) Any thorough history of technology will inevitably include discussions of glass working, textile manufacture, uses of rubber, papermaking, and many other topics centring on the processing of materials (Eisenberg 2004) Any thorough history of technology will inevitably include discussions of glass working, textile manufacture, uses of rubber, papermaking, and many other topics centring on the processing of materials (Eisenberg 2004) Fourth Revolution = calculators, videotape recorders, videodiscs, electronic bulletin boards, computerized databanks, telecommunication satellites, fibre optics, cellular telephones, etc (Billings et al 1988) Fourth Revolution = calculators, videotape recorders, videodiscs, electronic bulletin boards, computerized databanks, telecommunication satellites, fibre optics, cellular telephones, etc (Billings et al 1988)

6 Impact of Technology Technology can transform how we think about ourselves as human beings (Turkle, 1984), how we make decisions in the military, medicine, architecture, and engineering (McCorduck, 1979; Perrolle, 1993 ; Reinhoid, 1984), how we communicate with one another (Vallee, 1982) and how we record history, pass on knowledge, and learn Technology can transform how we think about ourselves as human beings (Turkle, 1984), how we make decisions in the military, medicine, architecture, and engineering (McCorduck, 1979; Perrolle, 1993 ; Reinhoid, 1984), how we communicate with one another (Vallee, 1982) and how we record history, pass on knowledge, and learn (Christensen 1986) (Christensen 1986)

7 Applying Technology to Education Classroom apparatus of all kinds may be made more interesting, responsive, or educationally powerful through the integration of novel materials (Eisenberg 2004) Classroom apparatus of all kinds may be made more interesting, responsive, or educationally powerful through the integration of novel materials (Eisenberg 2004) One could incorporate sensors into an anatomical model, so that a child could ask for the name of a particular muscle or bone by touching its representation (Eisenberg 2004) One could incorporate sensors into an anatomical model, so that a child could ask for the name of a particular muscle or bone by touching its representation (Eisenberg 2004) A shop tool could respond to indicate that it is being held in a correct fashion; a sensor equipped baseball could help its user adopt the proper grip for a curveball; a violin bow could help a young musician learn the correct grip; and so forth (Eisenberg 2004) A shop tool could respond to indicate that it is being held in a correct fashion; a sensor equipped baseball could help its user adopt the proper grip for a curveball; a violin bow could help a young musician learn the correct grip; and so forth (Eisenberg 2004)

8 Case Study: GHOSTWRITER [Robertson, J & Good, J. (2003), ACM Press] Based on computer game and virtual reality technology Based on computer game and virtual reality technology Overview of the Ghostwriter game Overview of the Ghostwriter game Scenario Scenario Findings Findings

9 GHOSTWRITER Based on computer game and virtual reality technology : Based on computer game and virtual reality technology : Computer games very popular with children Computer games very popular with children Absorbing and engaging…ideal conditions for learning Absorbing and engaging…ideal conditions for learning Developed by commercial game engine Unreal Developed by commercial game engine Unreal

10 GHOSTWRITER Overview of the Ghostwriter game : Overview of the Ghostwriter game : Pairs of children engage in computer generated role-play, taking on a character each Pairs of children engage in computer generated role-play, taking on a character each A human role-play leader encourages the children to be emotionally involved in the story and to discuss decisions with each other A human role-play leader encourages the children to be emotionally involved in the story and to discuss decisions with each other Role-players control their characters in the virtual world Role-players control their characters in the virtual world COMMUNICATION between players is VITAL COMMUNICATION between players is VITAL

11 GHOSTWRITER GHOSTWRITER Scenario : Scenario : Jenny and Daniel asked by Grandmother to find her friend, Fred, who lives in a castle Jenny and Daniel asked by Grandmother to find her friend, Fred, who lives in a castle Fred cannot leave the virtual castle as he is protecting it from Lady Searle, an evil sorceress Fred cannot leave the virtual castle as he is protecting it from Lady Searle, an evil sorceress Jenny and Daniel become separated Jenny and Daniel become separated Jenny and Daniel eventually find each other but have very conflicting experiences Jenny and Daniel eventually find each other but have very conflicting experiences How will they make sense of these? How will they make sense of these?

12 GHOSTWRITER Findings: Findings: Fun Brilliant! Cool 42 out of the 60 child participants, aged years, were interviewed in pairs after playing the game. All teachers agreed that the game benefited the children.

13 GHOSTWRITER A primary educational aim of the system was to help pupils prepare for story writing activities by role-playing in Ghostwriter and then writing an adventure based on their experiences…pupils who used their experiences during the Ghostwriter adventure as a basis for writing a story produced stories with significantly more descriptions of relationships between characters and dialogue in comparison to stories written during a normal classroom writing lesson A primary educational aim of the system was to help pupils prepare for story writing activities by role-playing in Ghostwriter and then writing an adventure based on their experiences…pupils who used their experiences during the Ghostwriter adventure as a basis for writing a story produced stories with significantly more descriptions of relationships between characters and dialogue in comparison to stories written during a normal classroom writing lesson (Robertson and Good, 2003, p.90)

14 Controversies of Technology in Education – Positive Aspects Ghostwriter was successful – children enjoyed it Ghostwriter was successful – children enjoyed it Provided an immersive, engaging learning environment Provided an immersive, engaging learning environment Encourages expression of feeling, thinking about course of action, ethical decision making, interaction and promotion of moral growth Encourages expression of feeling, thinking about course of action, ethical decision making, interaction and promotion of moral growth Story-writing after Ghostwriter - significantly more descriptions of relationships between characters and dialogue - transformed plot ideas and language - able to retell in own style Story-writing after Ghostwriter - significantly more descriptions of relationships between characters and dialogue - transformed plot ideas and language - able to retell in own style

15 Computer Games in Education Games provide a forum in which learning arises as a result of tasks stimulated by the content of the games, knowledge is developed through the content of the game, and skills are developed as a result of playing the game (TEEM, 2005) Games provide a forum in which learning arises as a result of tasks stimulated by the content of the games, knowledge is developed through the content of the game, and skills are developed as a result of playing the game (TEEM, 2005) Can be attractive and exciting, therefore motivating (BECTA, 2004) Can be attractive and exciting, therefore motivating (BECTA, 2004) Do not appear related to violence and anti-social behaviour (Gunter, 1998, in Robertson and Good, 2003) Do not appear related to violence and anti-social behaviour (Gunter, 1998, in Robertson and Good, 2003) A social activity (McNamee, 1999, in Robertson and Good, 2003) A social activity (McNamee, 1999, in Robertson and Good, 2003)

16 Technology in Education When certain conditions are met, increased motivation, higher test scores and lower cost When certain conditions are met, increased motivation, higher test scores and lower cost Need technology relevant to curriculum, sufficient access to technology, adequate teacher preparation, technical, school and community support (NCREL, 1999) Need technology relevant to curriculum, sufficient access to technology, adequate teacher preparation, technical, school and community support (NCREL, 1999) The primary reason teachers do not use technology in their classrooms is a lack of experience with the technology (Wenglinsky, 1998, in NCREL, 1999) The primary reason teachers do not use technology in their classrooms is a lack of experience with the technology (Wenglinsky, 1998, in NCREL, 1999) Can be designed and developed to meet specific needs Can be designed and developed to meet specific needs

17 Technology in Education – Cognitive Benefits Technology encourages integrated, inquiry-based learning (Goldman et al, 1999, in NCREL, 1999) Technology encourages integrated, inquiry-based learning (Goldman et al, 1999, in NCREL, 1999) Technology can be used as a tutor, a means to explore, a tool to create, compose, store, and analyze data, and a means to communicate with others (Johnson, 1997, in NCREL, 1999) Technology can be used as a tutor, a means to explore, a tool to create, compose, store, and analyze data, and a means to communicate with others (Johnson, 1997, in NCREL, 1999) Technology can "engage children in exploring, thinking, reading, writing, researching, inventing, problem- solving, and experiencing the world (Bruce and Levin, 1997, in NCREL, 1999) Technology can "engage children in exploring, thinking, reading, writing, researching, inventing, problem- solving, and experiencing the world (Bruce and Levin, 1997, in NCREL, 1999)

18 Technology in Education – Cognitive Benefits Fosters collaboration among students, which in turn may have a positive effect on student achievement (Tinzmann, 1998, in NCREL, 1999) Fosters collaboration among students, which in turn may have a positive effect on student achievement (Tinzmann, 1998, in NCREL, 1999) Self-esteem – increased sense of capability (NCREL, 1999) – particularly if limited access to technology Self-esteem – increased sense of capability (NCREL, 1999) – particularly if limited access to technology

19 Technology in Education – Practical Benefits Prepare students for a future in which both higher education and the world of work are infused with technology – give the confidence and skills in using such technology that they will need after graduation (U.S. Department of Education, 2004) Prepare students for a future in which both higher education and the world of work are infused with technology – give the confidence and skills in using such technology that they will need after graduation (U.S. Department of Education, 2004)

20 Technology in Education: Difficulties Not all technology, such as Ghostwriter, is good for all classrooms, or indeed for all pupils (Becker, 1994) Not all technology, such as Ghostwriter, is good for all classrooms, or indeed for all pupils (Becker, 1994) Effective use of technology must be supported by significant investments (hardware, software, infrastructure, professional development, and support services) Effective use of technology must be supported by significant investments (hardware, software, infrastructure, professional development, and support services) Call for evidence regarding the efficacy and cost- effectiveness of technology in schools (Panel on Educational Technology, 1997; Melmed, 1995) Call for evidence regarding the efficacy and cost- effectiveness of technology in schools (Panel on Educational Technology, 1997; Melmed, 1995)

21 Technology in Education: Difficulties Difficult to evaluate benefits: Benefits of technology cannot be treated as a single independent variable Benefits of technology cannot be treated as a single independent variable Impacts upon critical thinking, analysis skills, making inferences and problem solving Impacts upon critical thinking, analysis skills, making inferences and problem solving Assessment methods and instruments should be appropriate to the learning outcomes promoted by those technologies (Glennan & Melmed, 1996; Conte, 1997) Assessment methods and instruments should be appropriate to the learning outcomes promoted by those technologies (Glennan & Melmed, 1996; Conte, 1997)

22 Technology in Education: Difficulties Difficult to evaluate benefits: Multiple quantitative and qualitative evaluation measures may be necessary to document student learning outcomes. Heinecke, Blasi, Milman, and Washington (1999) Multiple quantitative and qualitative evaluation measures may be necessary to document student learning outcomes. Heinecke, Blasi, Milman, and Washington (1999) Learning how to use new technology may take precedence over learning through new technology. "The technology learning curve tends to eclipse content learning temporarily; both kids and teachers seem to orient to technology until they become comfortable" Goldman, Cole, and Syer (1999) Learning how to use new technology may take precedence over learning through new technology. "The technology learning curve tends to eclipse content learning temporarily; both kids and teachers seem to orient to technology until they become comfortable" Goldman, Cole, and Syer (1999)

23 Technology in Education: Difficulties Until benefits can be adequately measured- investing in technology can prove fruitless. Such analyses, however, are very costly and time consuming Until benefits can be adequately measured- investing in technology can prove fruitless. Such analyses, however, are very costly and time consuming Costs of successfully implementing new technology are vast- why risk undertaking such a massive task in the face of established learning aids Costs of successfully implementing new technology are vast- why risk undertaking such a massive task in the face of established learning aids Many innovations in education have come and gone without fulfilling their promises Many innovations in education have come and gone without fulfilling their promises Schools will be held accountable for these investments, so there is a lack of enthusiasm Schools will be held accountable for these investments, so there is a lack of enthusiasm

24 Technology in Education: Difficulties Changes in the classroom correlate with changes in other educational factors Changes in the classroom correlate with changes in other educational factors Because schools are complex social environments it is impossible to change just one thing at a time (Glennan & Melmed, 1996; Hawkins, Panush, & Spielvogel, 1996; Newman, 1990) Because schools are complex social environments it is impossible to change just one thing at a time (Glennan & Melmed, 1996; Hawkins, Panush, & Spielvogel, 1996; Newman, 1990) Technology cannot be simply added to an existing educational setting Technology cannot be simply added to an existing educational setting

25 Technology in Education: Difficulties Research suggests that the value of technology is not realized unless attention is paid to several important considerations that support the effective use of technology Research suggests that the value of technology is not realized unless attention is paid to several important considerations that support the effective use of technology (Chang, Henriquez, Honey, Light, Moeller, & Ross, 1998; Cradler, 1997; Frederiksen & White, 1997; Hawkins, Panush, & Spielvogel, 1996; Honey, McMillan, Tsikalas, & Light, 1996; National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, 1996; Pea & Gomez, 1992). (Chang, Henriquez, Honey, Light, Moeller, & Ross, 1998; Cradler, 1997; Frederiksen & White, 1997; Hawkins, Panush, & Spielvogel, 1996; Honey, McMillan, Tsikalas, & Light, 1996; National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, 1996; Pea & Gomez, 1992).

26 Technology in Education: Difficulties Students who would most benefit from effective technology use (females, special-needs students, minority students, disadvantaged students, students at risk of educational failure, rural and inner-city students) are often consigned to less frequent access, older equipment, and simple software applications (Gaines, Johnson, & King, 1996) Students who would most benefit from effective technology use (females, special-needs students, minority students, disadvantaged students, students at risk of educational failure, rural and inner-city students) are often consigned to less frequent access, older equipment, and simple software applications (Gaines, Johnson, & King, 1996)

27 Technology in Education: Difficulties Teachers' perceptions of their students' capabilities can shift dramatically when technology is integrated into the classroom (Honey, Chang, Light, Moeller, in press) Teachers' perceptions of their students' capabilities can shift dramatically when technology is integrated into the classroom (Honey, Chang, Light, Moeller, in press) Teachers frequently find themselves acting more as coaches and less as lecturers (Henriquez & Riconscente, 1998) Teachers frequently find themselves acting more as coaches and less as lecturers (Henriquez & Riconscente, 1998) Students cannot be expected to benefit from technology if their teachers are neither familiar nor comfortable with it Students cannot be expected to benefit from technology if their teachers are neither familiar nor comfortable with it

28 Technology in Education: Difficulties Teachers need to be supported in their efforts to use technology. The primary reason teachers do not use technology in their classrooms is a lack of experience with the technology (Wenglinsky, 1998; Rosen & Weil, 1995). Teachers need to be supported in their efforts to use technology. The primary reason teachers do not use technology in their classrooms is a lack of experience with the technology (Wenglinsky, 1998; Rosen & Weil, 1995). Often it takes years until teachers can use technology effectively in core subject areas (Goldman, Cole, & Syer, 1999) Often it takes years until teachers can use technology effectively in core subject areas (Goldman, Cole, & Syer, 1999)

29 Technology in Education: Difficulties Wider changes: Important to build time into the daily schedule allowing teachers time to collaborate with their students. It may need more than a daily 30- or 40-minute period (Becker, 1994) Important to build time into the daily schedule allowing teachers time to collaborate with their students. It may need more than a daily 30- or 40-minute period (Becker, 1994) Community-wide involvement in determining the school's technology goals benefits the entire educational process (Panel on Educational Technology, 1997) Community-wide involvement in determining the school's technology goals benefits the entire educational process (Panel on Educational Technology, 1997)

30 Technology in Education: Difficulties School districts that successfully integrate technology show a clear and meaningful connection between technology and larger educational goals. Panush, and Spielvogel (1996) School districts that successfully integrate technology show a clear and meaningful connection between technology and larger educational goals. Panush, and Spielvogel (1996) These wider considerations add to the spiraling cost These wider considerations add to the spiraling cost

31 CONCLUSIONS Guidelines for developing Ghostwriter : Guidelines for developing Ghostwriter : Meaning Meaning Background information Background information Virtual lives need to have value Virtual lives need to have value Responsibility Responsibility Difficult moral choices Difficult moral choices Story and environment need to make sense Story and environment need to make sense Role-player leader must be human Role-player leader must be human

32 CONCLUSIONS General guidelines [adapted from Taylor, R., 1988] : General guidelines [adapted from Taylor, R., 1988] : Apply technology first to major educational problem areas … make it useful! Apply technology first to major educational problem areas … make it useful! Do not assume introducing technology to address an issue will be successful first time Do not assume introducing technology to address an issue will be successful first time Do not be afraid to try new technological developments … be flexible and open-minded. Do not be afraid to try new technological developments … be flexible and open-minded. Evaluation is essential Evaluation is essential Assume that heavy use of technology will cost the school far more than expected Assume that heavy use of technology will cost the school far more than expected

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