Bull, G. (2009-2010). Finding students who learn from media. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(February 5), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=February_No_5_4&Template=/MembersOnly.cfm&NavMenuID=4495&ContentID=25255&DirectListComboInd=D
The author, Glenn Bull, explores an area of learning where media is incorporated into teaching. The reason for this study is to see if the students that use media are more engaged in their work than students in a regular class room. In this project, they used a tool called PrimaryAccess. PrimaryAccess storyboard, an extension of PrimaryAccess, allowed the students to create a visual historical narrative in a single class period. Since this tool was online, it also offered the teachers the possibility to see if the students were more engaged while using the media than when they wrote a regular essay. On average they found that students that worked on the storyboard spent more time than the students writing the essay.
This article reminds me of the video we watched about Gardner’s theory on Multiple Intelligences. In the article, they are looking at the fact that students learn differently. Teachers are struggling to come up with new intriguing and engaging ways to learn. By introducing technology they enhance the education. They discover that student’s find “authenticity, its alignment with student interests, its real-world importance, and degree of student choice” engaging. I believe it is important to introduce more technology in today’s class room. Using the storyboard as a medium to learn in order to engage students is a step in the right direction. Oftentimes it becomes tedious to use the same tools while learning. To keep the students interested and to challenge them, you need to use different forms of media.
Are the students spending more time on the project because it is computer based rather than pencil and paper? Or is it because it is a new interesting tool to use for learning that they have not been exposed to before?
I think it is a combination of both. If I take a step back and think about how I use the computer, I have to say it is very engaging to use a computer when working on a paper, more so than if I was to write with paper and pencil. If I have a question while writing I can engage and look up information and then write down my findings right after. It becomes interactive. You use both hands while typing, you read and you can listen to videos, and watch paintings. The storyboard is probably a new fascinating tool for the students to use. Anything new is good. However, I think the storyboard idea will continue to be interesting to the students because your ideas keep evolving when you work on the project and you can visualize the progress.
Would the students that showed low technology and low content while using the storyboard also show that when writing a regular essay with pencil and paper or are they “low” just because they prefer the pencil and paper? Not so sure about this answer. Perhaps they don’t find computer use so interesting and perhaps it is overwhelming for some. New technology might take you outside your comfort zone and it becomes too challenging. Pencil and paper might be more comfortable. It would be good to see if these same students showed a greater interest with the pencil and paper. What was the difference between the storyboard and the pen and paper use? I also believe that the difference in the groups is based on personal motivation. Students that performed really “well high technology and high content” took advantage of the tool and excelled. These students were probably really interested in the subject matter and the fact that they used the storyboard was just another incentive for them to keep working and doing very well on their assignment. For students that are not very interested in the subject matter, the storyboard might change their minds so they become more interested when they have a new tool to work with.