Successful Implementation of Technology to Teach Science: Research Implications

Successful Implementation of Technology to Teach Science: Research Implications

David A. Slykhuis (James Madison University, USA) and Rebecca McNall Krall (University of Kentucky, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-750-0.ch012
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In this review of recent literature on the use of technology to teach science content, 143 articles from 8 science education journals were selected and analyzed for the use of technologies in teaching science, pedagogies employed, and successes of the implementations. The resultant data provides a snapshot on how technology is being used in the teaching and learning of science, and the research methods used to explore these issues. Levels of research and levels of success were developed and applied to the article data set to characterize the types of research and technology implementations described in the literature. Articles that showed high levels of successful implementation of technology along with a high level of research were explored and explained in greater detail. The review underscores the research trend toward using technology to illustrate abstract concepts and make objects that are invisible to the naked eye, visible and malleable in computer modeling programs. Implications for successful use of technology to teach science are discussed.
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Business leaders are calling for technologically and scientifically literate workers to enhance U.S. corporations’ competitive edge in the global marketplace (Friedman, 2005). Technology enthusiasts tout the motivational potential of educational technologies to promote and improve students’ problem solving abilities. Technology advocates have underscored the potential of computer technologies as a panacea for improving students’ scientific literacy and 21st century skills—a necessary skill base for success in the increasingly competitive global marketplace (Metiri Group, 2003). Likewise, the National Research Council (NRC, 1996) and the American Association for Advancement in Science (AAAS, 1993, 2000) recommend using technology to foster student experiences analogous to those carried out by scientists—such as data collection and analysis, constructing and manipulating models, and communicating results—as well as to help students construct conceptual understandings of abstract science concepts.

The call for increased use of technology in schools is evident in the dramatic increase in computer availability in classrooms today. From 1988 to 2009 there has been a dramatic drop in the computer to student ratio from 1:30 in 1988 to 1:5.3 in 2009 (Gray, Thomas, & Lewis, 2010). The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that in 2009 97% of all teachers had access to at least one computer in the classroom, 93% of which offered Internet access (Gray et al., 2010). With the increased accessibility of classroom computers, one might expect the instructional use of computers also to rise. A ten-year review of NCES data, however, suggests the rise in use has been less than what might be expected (NCES, 2000; Gray et al., 2010). As Table 1 illustrates, teachers have increased their use of computers from 1999 to 2009 by 44%. However, the greatest increase was attributed to their use of the Internet to support student research (64% gain). Other areas showing significant gains included the use of graphics (e.g., digital images, animations) to illustrate concepts (34% gain), the use of drill and practice programs to promote student learning (19% gain), and using computers to support problem solving and data analysis (18% gain).

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Chapter 1
Margaret L. Niess
Technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) is a dynamic lens that describes teacher knowledge required for designing, implementing, and... Sample PDF
Teacher Knowledge for Teaching with Technology: A TPACK Lens
Chapter 2
Matthew J. Koehler, Tae Seob Shin, Punya Mishra
In this chapter we reviewed a wide range of approaches to measure Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). We identified recent... Sample PDF
How Do We Measure TPACK? Let Me Count the Ways
Chapter 3
Thomas C. Hammond, R. Curby Alexander, Alec M. Bodzin
The TPACK framework provides researchers with a robust framework for conducting research on technology integration in authentic environments, i.e.... Sample PDF
Assessment in Authentic Environments: Designing Instruments and Reporting Results from Classroom-Based TPACK Research
Chapter 4
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
In this study, we examine the validity of the Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK) through a systematic review and meta-analysis.... Sample PDF
A Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK): Complexity of Individual Aspects and Their Interactions
Chapter 5
Lynn Bell, Nicole Juersivich, Thomas C. Hammond, Randy L. Bell
Effective teachers across K-12 content areas often use visual representations to promote conceptual understanding, but these static representations... Sample PDF
The TPACK of Dynamic Representations
Chapter 6
Erica C. Boling, Jeanine Beatty
This chapter informs teacher educators and individuals involved in teacher professional development about the tensions that frequently arise when... Sample PDF
Overcoming the Tensions and Challenges of Technology Integration: How Can We Best Support our Teachers?
Chapter 7
John K. Lee, Meghan M. Manfra
To address the myriad effects that emerge from using technology in social studies, we introduce in this chapter the concept of vernaculars to... Sample PDF
TPACK Vernaculars in Social Studies Research
Chapter 8
Stephen J. Pape, Karen E. Irving, Clare V. Bell, Melissa L. Shirley, Douglas T. Owens, Sharilyn Owens, Jonathan D. Bostic, Soon Chun Lee
Classroom Connectivity Technology (CCT) can serve as a tool for creating contexts in which students engage in mathematical thinking leading to... Sample PDF
Principles of Effective Pedagogy within the Context of Connected Classroom Technology: Implications for Teacher Knowledge
Chapter 9
Christopher J. Johnston, Patricia S. Moyer-Packenham
Multiple existing frameworks address aspects of teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics with technology. This study proposes the integration of... Sample PDF
A Model for Examining the Criteria Used by Pre-Service Elementary Teachers in Their Evaluation of Technology for Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 10
Joseph M. Piro, Nancy Marksbury
With the continuing shift of instructional media to digital sources occurring in classrooms around the world, the role of technology instruction in... Sample PDF
Technologizing Teaching: Using the WebQuest to Enhance Pre-Service Education
Chapter 11
Travis K. Miller
This chapter details a theoretical framework for effective implementation and study of technology when used in mathematics education. Based on... Sample PDF
A Theoretical Framework for Implementing Technology for Mathematics Learning
Chapter 12
David A. Slykhuis, Rebecca McNall Krall
In this review of recent literature on the use of technology to teach science content, 143 articles from 8 science education journals were selected... Sample PDF
Successful Implementation of Technology to Teach Science: Research Implications
Chapter 13
Irina Lyublinskaya, Nelly Tournaki
A year-long PD program was provided to four NYC integrated algebra teachers. The PD comprised of teacher authoring of curriculum that incorporated... Sample PDF
The Effects of Teacher Content Authoring on TPACK and on Student Achievement in Algebra: Research on Instruction with the TI-Nspire™ Handheld
Chapter 14
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
This chapter examines issues surrounding the design of research in educational technology and teacher knowledge. The National Research Council... Sample PDF
Making the Grade: Reporting Educational Technology and Teacher Knowledge Research
About the Contributors