Sunday, March 24, 2013

Update on my Action Research Project

I am researching how to effectively use technology in the classroom. I am observing and document the way a fourth grade class is using technology. The class uses the SMART board and SMART response daily, iPads at least once a week, and computer programs at least a few times a week. I have documented specific activities done with the iPads like calculating volume using an app called Think 3D, and creating congruent figures, determining angles, and comparing similarities in figures using the app Geoboard. Both activities kept the kids engaged and focused and at the end of the class period all students were able to perform calculations successfully. (Retention will be determined later.) Smartboard is used collaboratively and to teach whole group or small group daily. The smart response system is used to quickly evaluate the achievement of students and refocus the lesson as needed. Spending time on the concepts the students need to work on is easy determined by the teacher through the use of the clickers. Reteach or moving on occurs immediately. Again student achievement seems to be improving. I will be collecting STAAR scores for these students from last year and comparing it to the score for the year 2013. I will be looking to see if there is an improvement in scores and in which areas the score are higher. I will be looking at the specific way the technology was used to see if there was a correlation. I have another class that uses almost no technology. I will be using this as my “control group”, so to speak. I will see if there is any discrepancy in their math scores compared to the technology group’s math scores. Did the technology group outscore the “control group” especially in the areas where specific technologies were used? I will be looking to see if other factors could have influenced the scores at all. Results will be recorded and plans will be made to adjust technology use as needed.

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