This week we have a special guest contribution by Dr. Janice L. Anderson, Assistant Professor of Science Education to discuss her collaborative work on iPadagogy.
Technology is redefining the traditional pedagogical paradigms of K-12 schools. In North Carolina, thirty school districts have adopted one-to-one computing initiatives with the goal of developing students’ 21st century skills – allowing students to learn not only content but also acquire critical skills (e.g. creativity, collaboration, and digital literacy) (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012). The number of districts implementing 1:1 initiatives will continue to expand as the state of North Carolina moves towards funding only digital textbooks by 2017 (News & Observer, December 16, 2013). However, despite these initiatives, research (e.g. Keengwe, Schnellert & Mills, 2012) has shown that while technology is essential in moving students towards these skills, the existing infrastructure, including professional development, is insufficient to develop the desired outcomes.
UNC School of Education professors Janice Anderson and Julie Justice are leading a team of education graduate students in examining how teachers are integrating iPad technology into their daily classroom practice. Using a design-based research methodology, the iPadagogy research team is working directly with a sixth grade team over the course of the academic year to develop instruction that integrates the technology using the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) a framework that builds upon the previous work of Shulman’s (1983) Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) framework.
- The design of instruction
- The enactment of the designed instruction in class
- Reflection on the implementation by the teacher and team
- Re-design based upon the reflections and outcomes for the next iterative cycle of instruction.
The goal is to think about the intersection of technology with PCK and to begin to move away from substitution mechanisms of integration (e.g. using math drill apps instead of using math drill worksheets) typically found in classrooms, moving towards an integration that transforms and redefines instruction.
As part of this work the iPadagogy research team and the participating teachers are:
- Creating a repository of curricular materials including lesson plans, interactive teacher guides and students materials connected to the Essential Standards that have been developed by the teachers and research team and tested in the classroom.
- Developing a resource of iPad applications that can be integrated into classroom instruction that either correspond to specific content topics or can be used in an interdisciplinary context.
- Developing a professional development model that will allow teachers to develop technological self-efficacy and improve upon their integration of technology (iPads) into their instructional practice.
These curricular materials will be hosted by the LEARN NC website and iTunesU Channel. The first installment of the curricular materials will be in Science. The topic will be based upon the standards found in Sixth Grade Science for Sound and Sound Waves. The aim of these materials is to provide a structure for teachers to integrate the iPad technology into their instructional practice. The materials include:
- A brief overview of the content
- A focus on a problem of practice, specific to the discipline, that the technology helps to alleviate
- An overview of using argumentation in the classroom
- The inquiry activities with their supplemental materials
Each of the inquiry chapters will be structured in a similar manner. The beginning will overview the apps being utilized, as well as any other technology used in the inquiry. This will include directions for downloading and starting the app as well as “how to” videos. The lessons themselves are focused on the North Carolina Essential Standards (and Common Core where appropriate) as well as the Technology Tools and Information Standards. Each inquiry was developed using the principles of backwards design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) as well as the 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) Model of instruction (Bybee, 1997). Future installments of the iPadagogy Series will include materials for English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies.
Guest Contributor: Dr. Janice Anderson
Janice L. Anderson teaches science education courses in the Elementary Education program and the Master of Education program for Experienced Teachers. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, she taught biology and anatomy in Ohio and worked in elementary classrooms in Massachusetts. Preceding her classroom experience, she worked in a molecular biology research lab focusing on reproductive endocrinology and biochemistry.