ArticlePDF Available

The Impact of Educational Technology on Student Achievement: Assessment "of" and "for" Learning



The author explores current efforts by educators and policy makers to harness the power of educational technology for both assessment "of learning" and assessment "for learning" in K-12 classrooms. (Contains 1 figure.)
Arlington, Virginia
Jack Rhoton and Patricia Shane, Editors
Claire Reinburg, Director
Judy Cusick, Senior Editor
Andrew Cocke, Associate Editor
Betty Smith, Associate Editor
Robin Allan, Book Acquisitions Coordinator
Printing and Production, Catherine Lorrain-Hale, Director
Nguyet Tran, Assistant Production Manager
Jack Parker, Electronic Prepress Technician
Linda Olliver, Cover and Book Design
National Science Teachers Association
Gerald F. Wheeler, Executive Director
David Beacom, Publisher
Copyright © 2006 by the National Science Teachers Association.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
09 08 07 06 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Teaching science in the 21st century / Jack Rhoton and Patricia Shane, editors.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN-13: 978-0-87355-269-1
ISBN-10: 0-87355-269-5
1. Science—Study and teaching—United States. 2. Science teachers—In-service training—United States. I.
Title: Teaching science in the twenty-fi rst century. II. Rhoton, Jack. III. Shane, Patricia.
Q183.3.A1T425 2005
NSTA is committed to publishing material that promotes the best in inquiry-based science education. However,
conditions of actual use may vary, and the safety procedures and practices described in this book are intended
to serve only as a guide. Additional precautionary measures may be required. NSTA and the authors do not
warrant or represent that the procedures and practices in this book meet any safety code or standard of federal,
state, or local regulations. NSTA and the authors disclaim any liability for personal injury or damage to
property arising out of or relating to the use of this book, including any of the recommendations, instructions, or
materials contained therein.
Permission is granted in advance for photocopying brief excerpts for one-time use in a classroom or workshop.
Requests involving electronic reproduction should be directed to Permissions/NSTA Press, 1840 Wilson Blvd.,
Arlington, VA 22201-3000; fax 703-526-9754. Permissions requests for coursepacks, textbooks, and other
commercial uses should be directed to Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Dr., Danvers, MA 01923; fax
Part I Within the Science Classroom
1 e Impact of Technology on the 21st Century Classroom ...........................3
Karen E. Irving
2 e Science Curriculum: Trends and Issues .................................................21
Rodger W. Bybee
3 Classroom Assessment in the Service of Student Learning ......................... 39
Janet E. Coff ey
4 Engaging Teachers in Research on Science Learning and Teaching ............. 53
Emily H. van Zee and Deborah Roberts
5 Celebrating Diverse Minds: Using Diff erent Pedagogical Approaches ........ 67
Hubert M. Dyasi
Foreword .....................................................................................................ix
Preface .........................................................................................................xi
About the Editors .......................................................................................xv
Acknowledgments .....................................................................................xvii
Part II Professional Development: Implications for
Science Teaching and Learning
6 Leading Professional Development for Curriculum Reform ...................... 85
James B. Short
7 Advancing Student Achievement  rough Professional Development ...... 101
John H. Holloway
8 Building Ongoing and Sustained Professional Development ................... 113
Jack Rhoton and Brenda Wojnowski
9 Best Practices for Professional Development for the 21st Century ............ 127
Karen J. Charles and Patricia M. Shane
Part III Leadership in Science Teaching and Learning
10 Leadership in Science Education for the 21st Century ........................ 147
Rodger W. Bybee
11 e Principal as Leader of Change ...................................................... 163
Nicole Saginor
12 Keeping Good Science Teachers: What Science Leaders Can Do ........ 177
Linda Darling-Hammond and Mistilina Sato
13 Understanding Supply and Demand
Among Mathematics and Science Teachers ............................................ 197
Richard M. Ingersoll
Part IV Building Science Partnerships and Collaboration
14 e Importance of Partnerships in Science Education Reform ............ 215
George D. Nelson and Carolyn C. Landel
15 Developing Professional Learning Communities ................................ 231
Beth Giglio
16 No Child Left Behind: Implications for Science Education ................ 243
Susan Mundry
17 Alternative Certifi cation: Aspirations and Realities ............................. 257
Norman G. Lederman, Judith S. Lederman, and Fouad Abd-El-Khalick
Part V
Science of Learning Science
18 Brain Research: Implications for Teaching and Learning ................... 275
James E. Hamos
19 How Do Students Learn Science? ....................................................... 291
Nancy P. Moreno and Barbara Z.  arp
20 e Psychology of Scientifi c  inking: Implications for Science
Teaching and Learning ....................................................................... 307
Junlei Li and David Klahr
21 Research in Science Education: An Interdisciplinary Perspective ......... 329
Michael R. Vitale and Nancy R. Romance
JoAnne Vasquez
Alice came to a fork in the road. “Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“ en,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Science leaders throughout the country are looking for direction
and wanting to know which road to take.  is book of compiled
issues and trends in science teaching and learning is the insight-
ful contributions of leading science educators from across the
country. It will begin to provide the much needed direction and
Not since the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite—48 years
ago—has the need to improve science education in America been as clear
and as urgent as it is today. America’s competitive edge in the global econ-
omy, its strength and versatility all depend on an education system capable
of producing a steady supply of young people well prepared in science and
In the face of many converging trends, eff orts to reform and strength-
en science education have been largely piecemeal and unfocused, yielding
only modest gains. For the past few years, conversations about educational
standards, classroom practice, measurable achievement, and teacher quality
have linked the phrases No Child Left Behind and scientifi c research. What
do these conversations mean, and how might they aff ect people directly in-
volved in science education?  is book will help shed light on some of these
topics and provide a starting place for science educators and administrators
to focus on the future of science in our nations classrooms.
By 2007–2008 all schools will be testing science. Will science become
another “data-driven” reform? Will we have teachers teaching a garbage-in-
garbage-out approach just to make certain their students pass the test? Will
good science teaching become only for the very elite students as our rural
and urban communities struggle to hold onto qualifi ed science teachers,
who too often fl ee to the burbs for better working conditions and wages?
e future is not ours to predict. We do know, however, that, unless there
are drastic changes within the nations science classrooms, we will be raising
a generation of students who have had their curiosity defused. And they
will not know how to think critically and will not become the scientifi cally
literate citizens we need.
True, we face an uncertain future in science education, but we know
that knowledge is power.  is book will provide the resources to give us
that knowledge. On behalf of the National Science Education Leadership
Association (NSELA), I am very grateful for the insight, leadership, and
editing by Jack Rhoton and Patricia Shane.  ese two dedicated science
educators have once again shed light on the critical issues facing all science
JoAnne Vasquez, PhD
NSELA President, 2005–2006
As we move deeper into the 21st century, local, state, and na-
tional reports continue to remind us that standards, assess-
ment, and accountability are common public policy concerns.
ey are, in fact, driving much of our eff ort as we strive to
improve science education at all levels.  ese concerns origi-
nate and are embedded in research—as well as in the politics and econom-
ics of education, which include unparalleled public spending for education
and increasing concern for our knowledge economy and the rapidly evolv-
ing competitive world. Implicit in these concerns are a multitude of issues
ranging from how students learn science to building science partnerships
and collaboration to the ramifi cations of the federal No Child Left Behind
legislation. Even though opinions vary on how to approach the challenges
in education, the mandate for establishing an accounting system for the
outcomes of schooling for all students has never been clearer.
With the challenges in mind, this book addresses issues and outlines
the practical approaches needed to lay the foundation upon which science
teachers and science educators—at all levels—can work together to build
eff ective science programs.  e book shares the research, ideas, insights, and
experiences of individuals ranging from science supervisors to university
personnel to those who work for agencies representing science education.
e authors discuss how to contribute to the success of school science and
how to develop a culture that allows and encourages science leaders to con-
tinually improve their science programs.
e 21 chapters in Teaching Science in the 21st Century are organized
into fi ve major sections.  is organization places each chapter within a gen-
eral theme.  e intent is not to provide an exhaustive coverage of each
section, but rather to present a stimulating collection of essays on relevant
issues.  ose major themes are
Within the Science Classroom: e science classroom is a dynamic envi-
ronment in which students have the freedom to explore and to question.
As students learn, they share what they have learned with one another, and
they connect that new knowledge to their existing knowledge of the world.
We introduce this theme in “ e Impact of Technology on the 21st Cen-
tury Classroom.” Next we consider the importance of a standards-based
curriculum, planning and assessing science instruction and student learn-
ing, planning science experiences for diverse student populations, and how
to get classroom teachers engaged in research.
Professional Development: Implications for Science Teaching and Learn-
ing: Within the environment of increased teacher and student expectations,
teacher professional development is cited frequently as a key strategy for
improving student learning.  is theme emerges in four chapters that ex-
amine the eff ectiveness of high-stakes accountability systems in bringing
about improvements in professional development and student learning.
Leadership in Science Teaching and Learning: In today’s complex educa-
tional system it almost goes without saying that, without eff ective leadership
at all levels, substantive change to bring about improved science programs
will not happen. Successful science programs involve many participants—
among them teachers, administrators, and science supervisors—playing
diff erent roles.  is premise is highlighted in four chapters. See in particular
“Leadership in Science Education for the 21st Century.”
Building Science Partnerships and Collaboration: A number of individuals
and programs have demonstrated the potential for catalyzing widespread
improvements in science education by building and nurturing appropriate
partners.  eir approaches can overcome formidable barriers.  is theme
emerges most fully in “ e Importance of Partnerships in Science Educa-
tion Reform.” Other topics include the role of professional learning com-
munities for strengthening the science program, the impact of the No Child
Left Behind legislation on science education, and alternative certifi cation.
Science of Learning Science: One of the aims of science education is to
teach students about our accumulated knowledge of the natural world
and to help them learn to use the methods, procedures, and reasoning
processes that produced that knowledge.  is approach is introduced in
“ e Psychology of Scientifi c inking: Implications for Science Teach-
ing and Learning.”  is theme is discussed at length in three other chap-
ters: “Brain Research: Implications for Teaching and Learning as the 21stst
Century Begins,” “How Do Students Learn Science,” and “Research in
Science Education.”
In addition to the themes described above, the need to address local,
state, and national standards is prominent throughout this publication.
Previous publications in this NSELA/NSTA series are Issues in Science
Education, Professional Development Planning and Design, Professional De-
velopment Leadership and the Diverse Learner, and Science Teacher Retention:
Mentoring and Renewal.
Teaching Science in the 21st Century captures the latest research, trends,
and best practices in science education. Science teachers and science lead-
ers can use it to vitalize their teaching and programs for improved student
learning in science.  is book, therefore, is directed at science teachers,
science department chairs, principals, science supervisors, curriculum
directors, superintendents, university personnel, policy makers, and any
other individuals who have a stake in science education.  e nal de-
terminant of success in our eff ort to improve science education will be
measured by the quality of science programs delivered to our students and
student outcomes.
Jack Rhoton
Patricia Shane
About the Editors
Jack Rhoton is an educator with more than 30 years of experience,
covering every level of education from elementary through graduate
school. He teaches science and science education courses to preser-
vice and inservice science teachers at East Tennessee State Univer-
sity, where he is professor of science education. He is a researcher
in K–12 science, especially in the area of professional development
and its impact on science teaching and learning.
He has served as president of the National Science Education Lead-
ership Association (NSELA), president of the Tennessee Academy of Sci-
ence (TAS), and president of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association
(TSTA). He is editor of the Science Educator, a publication of NSELA. He
is also director of the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science (TJAS), and
editor of the TJAS Handbook and Proceedings. He is widely published and
has directed numerous science and technology grants.
He has received many honors, including the National Science Teach-
ers Association (NSTA) Distinguished Service Award, the East Tennessee
State University Distinguished Faculty Award, the TAS Outstanding Sci-
ence Teacher Award, and the Tennessee Science Teachers Association Dis-
tinguished Educator of the Year Award.
Patricia Shane is the associate director of the Center for Mathematics
and Science Education and is an associate professor of education at the Uni-
versity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she teaches and provides
professional development for mathematics and science teachers. She works
closely with the UNC-Chapel Hill Pre-College Program, which recruits
underrepresented groups into math and science fi elds.
She has been the project director for numerous grants, including more
than 30 Eisenhower grants, and has received awards for service in science
education, including the National Outstanding Science Supervisor Award
from NSELA.
She was a science, mathematics, and reading /language arts coordinator
at the system level and worked as a classroom teacher and guidance coun-
selor at the school level.
She is serving as the immediate past-president of NSELA and is a past-
president of the North Carolina Science Teachers Association and the North
Carolina Science Leadership Association. She is a former district director
for both NSELA and NSTA and is a current board member of NSELA.
About the Editors
Many people worked with us to make this book a real-
ity, and we would like to acknowledge their contribu-
tion. We would like to begin by thanking the staff at
NSTA Press. Two of these exemplary professionals are
Claire Reinburg and Betty Smith. We would also like
to thank the many reviewers whose comments and suggestions were cru-
cial in improving our work: James McLean, University of Alabama; Gerry
Madrazo, Hawaii Department of Education; LaMoine Motz, Oakland
County Schools, Michigan; and Martha Rhoton, Kingsport, Tennessee.
No volume is any better than the manuscripts that are contributed to it; we
appreciate the time and eff orts of those whose work lies within the cover of
this book.
We also want to thank and acknowledge the support, help, and sugges-
tions of the NSELA board of directors: Nicola Micozzi, past president, for
his suggestions and guidance in the early stages of the project, and executive
director Peggy Holliday in the later stages of the project.
Finally, we would like to thank graduate assistant Rick Christian, East
Tennessee State University, for his excellent work. Rick was instrumental in
managing and wordprocessing the drafts of each manuscript.
e Impact of
Technology on the
21st Century Classroom
Karen E. Irving
Little doubt exists that advances in educational technology have
already transformed the American classroom. Teachers in the
21st century enjoy access to information and resources that
their predecessors could not imagine: state-of-the-art informa-
tion available on the internet 24/7 on the most arcane subjects;
still images and video of events from all over the world and even the universe,
data sets on population growth, the environment, ocean currents, weather
patterns, sporting events, and a myriad other topics that are available for
student analysis and research in classroom lessons and projects; virtual fi eld
trips to remote locations such as Antarctica and geologic sites with active
volcanoes or isolated island communities; sophisticated representations of
atoms and molecules that can be enlarged, color coded, and presented in
multiple model systems; animations of processes such as protein synthesis
and salt dissolving in water; and virtual planetarium software packages that
allow teachers to “turn off the Sun” during daylight hours to allow students
to visualize the constellations that are present in the daytime sky.
is chapter explores how educational technology has changed and will
continue to change the ways that teachers teach and students learn in class-
rooms of the 21st century.
e chapter begins with a description of how students can learn from
computers with tutoring systems and drill and practice software. Next, it
explores the use of primary sources available on the internet, data sets, CD-
ROMS, video, and animations that off er examples of how students learn
with (rather than from) technology. Probeware peripheral devices hooked
Part I Within the Science Classroom
to handheld calculators or computers, digital imaging systems such as cam-
eras or microscopes, and multimedia presentation systems and software off er
new ways to collect, analyze, and display data as well as to motivate students
and engage their interest. Connected classrooms promise improved forma-
tive assessment as teachers monitor student learning more closely and tailor
their lessons to individual students’ needs. Communication applications
such as e-mail, discussion boards, chat rooms, teleconferencing equipment,
and course management systems all enhance the choices teachers have to
strengthen writing and speaking skills with the opportunity to facilitate com-
munication with members of the education community. Online learning
communities connect learners and teachers in remote locations and extend
the educational opportunities to a greater number of students. In this era of
testing requirement mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of
2001 (2002), states are motivated to fi nd more effi cient and eff ective ways
to measure student achievement. Computer-based assessments present the
advantage of immediate feedback allowing schools to analyze data, decide
on policy, and implement new programs in a timely fashion. Lastly, this
chapter explores how preservice and inservice teachers can best be prepared
for the educational technology challenges of 21st century classrooms.
For years science teachers have been using technologies such as pH me-
ters, balances, overhead projectors, and optical microscopes in the class-
room. In this chapter, educational technology tools will be characterized
as computer- and calculator-based electronic devices used to complete an
educational task.
Learning From Technology
Information delivery is the paradigm that learning from technology sup-
ports. In this way of thinking about learning, the computer (or teacher)
provides information to students, students read and understand the infor-
mation, and achievement occurs when students provide an adequate re-
sponse to questions regarding the content of this information.  e student
serves as a passive recipient of knowledge.  e teacher/computer functions
as an information delivery system (Reeves 1998).
e literature contains mixed messages regarding the eff ectiveness of
computer-based instruction, computer-assisted instruction, intelligent
learning systems, and other computer tutoring systems. In 1995, a study of
Part I Within the Science Classroom
101 eighth-grade students in Turkey on the use of computer-aided instruc-
tion in chemistry classrooms followed a pre- and posttest control group
design.  e authors found that students using the computer-aided instruc-
tional program on the mole concept and chemical formulas showed signifi -
cantly higher scores than the control group recitation sections (Yalçinalp
et al. 1995). In another study, Chang analyzed 159 Earth science students’
achievement in Taiwan in a pre- and posttest control group experiment and
found signifi cant diff erence between the groups (Chang 2001). Students
in the problem-based computer-based instruction group scored generally
higher on total items as well as on knowledge and comprehension-level
items than did students in the control group.
On the other hand, Wenglinsky in his study on the relationship between
educational technology and student achievement in mathematics attempted
to identify whether computer use was making a diff erence in mathematics,
which kind of computer use had what kind of eff ect, and how diff erences
among students impacted achievement. After controlling for socioeco-
nomic status, class size, and teacher characteristics, fi ndings from this large
quantitative study of 6,227 fourth-graders’ and 7,146 eighth-graders’ scores
on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) pointed to
lower achievement in groups with higher levels of drill and practice expo-
sure to computers and higher achievement with “higher order” applications
of technology in the classroom. Wenglinsky concluded that how computers
are used in the classroom represents an important factor in student achieve-
ment (Wenglinsky 1998).
Another large-scale longitudinal study with the West Virginia Basic
Skills/Computer Education Program (BS/CE) focused on reading, lan-
guage arts, and mathematics with a gradual phase-in of technology equip-
ment and training from kindergarten through third grade. Using regression
analysis, researchers concluded that the BS/CE program was responsible for
a signifi cant portion of the total variance in the measured student achieve-
ment (Mann 1999). Kulik analyzed more than 500 individual papers on
the impact of computer-based instruction, computer-aided instruction, and
other drill and practice software in a large meta-analytical study.  e nd-
ings from this work showed 9 to 22 percentile gains for the computer-using
groups over control groups (Kulik 1994). In addition to improvement in
student achievement data, Kulik found that computer-based instruction
Part I Within the Science Classroom
decreased the amount of time needed for students to learn. Johnston, in an-
other review of the research on the eff ectiveness of instructional technology,
reported eff ect sizes for computer-based training ranging from 0.20 to 0.46
depending on the population and eff ect sizes for instructional technology
in general ranging from 0.15 to 0.66 standard deviations. Of note is that all
eff ect sizes reported favorable fi ndings when compared to traditional teach-
ing methods (Johnston 1995).
As these studies indicate, use of computers for drill and practice or as a
student tutor has some support in the literature. In the data-driven current
educational climate, school districts bent on increasing student achieve-
ment on standardized tests have taken note.  ese research reports, how-
ever, often add the caveat that, while large quantitative studies point to
achievement gains, closer examination of the data shows that educational
technology is less eff ective when learning objectives are unclear. Limiting
educational technology integration to learning from technology overlooks
many contributions that technology can make in 21st century classrooms.
Learning With Technology
Knowledge construction is the paradigm for learning with technology.
Rather than using technology as a source of information to pour into a pas-
sive learner, teachers employ technology to engage students with real-world
problem solving, conceptual development, and critical thinking (Ringstaff
and Kelley 2002). Student involvement with technology includes data col-
lection, organization, analysis, and communication of results.
Use of primary data sources and interactive websites or software provides
teachers with opportunities to engage students in inquiry-based science lessons
from preschool to college level.  ese inquiry-based lessons enlist students in
hands-on, minds-on science and encourage creative thinking and problem solv-
ing. Moore and Huber identifi ed two types of internet sites as appropriate for
inquiry-based lessons: 1) sites with data sets and interactive data visualization
tools such as graphing programs, and 2) interactive sites that allow students to
control virtual equipment and simulated resources (2001).
Data sets play a central role in the El Niño lesson in which students use
monthly climate data (temperature and precipitation) from online databases
to determine if the weather in their community varies from the norm during
El Niño years. Students are introduced to spreadsheets, descriptive statistics
Part I Within the Science Classroom
(averages and standard deviations), and using graphing techniques to ana-
lyze the data (Bell et al. 2001). Other types of data sets that support inquiry
lessons include athletic records, chemical element and periodic table data,
and tidal information.  e Center for Technology and Teacher Education
at the University of Virginia off ers a wealth of sample lessons for science and
mathematics teachers that demonstrate how data sets can be integrated into
lessons.  ese lessons can be accessed at
Interactive websites off er tools that students can use to learn about ab-
stract science concepts. For example, students can change frequencies or
wavelength and view the impact on wave formation and sounds at www.; students can place seismom-
eters and triangulate to locate the epicenter for an earthquake at http://www.; or students can view animations of
water molecule visualizations to help them understand acids and bases at
Software programs allow students to explore aspects of nature during
the school day that would ordinarily be impossible. As part of an inquiry
unit on Earth-Sun-Moon relationships, an Earth science teacher introduces
her students to a virtual planetarium program.
Ida asks students to check their moon journals to recall where the Moon
was located two days ago, where it was located yesterday, and where they
expect to fi nd the Moon today. Students share not only locations for Moon
sightings from their journals, but also off er details about the shape and
size of the Moon. Ida opens a virtual planetarium and shows images of the
Moon’s position and shape for the preceding few days to confi rm students’
observations. She asks, “If the Moon rises around 3:30 PM today, what
time would it rise on Sunday? Will it rise earlier or later? What phase will
the Moon have on Sunday?”
Ida continues the lesson: “Where do the stars go during the daylight
hours?” Students consider possible answers, and agree that the stars must
still be in the sky but that the power of the Sun’s light makes it impossible
to see them. Ida uses her virtual planetarium program to “turn off the Sun
and reveals the stars that students would see at Rural High School that day
(Irving 2003).
In this lesson, Ida engages her students using both real data in their
moon journals as well as virtual data from the planetarium software. Ida
Part I Within the Science Classroom
takes advantage of the unique features of this educational technology tool
to allow her students to view the night sky during the daytime and to ob-
serve the apparent movement of heavenly bodies. She structures her lessons
to engage students in learning by helping them formulate questions, collect
evidence, make predictions, and apply the knowledge of the motion of the
Moon to the motion of the stars.
Electronic data collection devices help teachers move the classroom to
the fi eld where students enjoy opportunities to use inquiry to develop ques-
tions based on their observations. Tools such as electronic probeware to
collect pH, temperature, or oxygen levels link directly to handheld calcula-
tors or laptop computers and allow students to collect, record, and ana-
lyze data (Hefl ich et al. 2001). Middle and high school teachers in North
Carolina engaged in a three-year technology-integrated project, Students
as Scientists, developed by the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
e project included collecting and analyzing water samples from diff erent
sources in the Wilmington area and comparing their results to existing wa-
ter-quality data available on the web (Comeaux and Huber 2001). Another
example includes the use of motion detectors to help students understand
kinematics graphing (Flores 2001; Friedler and McFarlane 1997).
Imaging devices such as digital cameras and digital microscopes off er
additional opportunities for visualization in the science classroom. Students
can observe the imbibation and germination of seeds using time lapse pho-
tography and digital microscopes.  e transformation of a caterpillar into a
chrysalis and the emergence of the butterfl y captured in time lapse images
as described below off er students windows into the subtle changes of nature
that once could be learned about only in books (Bell and Bell 2002).
Ninth-grade biology students work in small groups at their low hex-
agonal laboratory stations fi nishing up an acid-base pH laboratory activity.
Amy demonstrates the digital camera that students will use to record images
during their inquiry projects. Students suggest recording close-up images of
the plants at diff erent stages of growth, images of the plants being treated
with acid rain, images showing how the watering system functions to pro-
vide the plants with moisture, and images of the lighting system.
Amy next introduces the butterfl y metamorphosis inquiry project. She
asks her class to compare the experimental design of the acid rain project
with this new observational project. In addition to the acid rain journal,
Part I Within the Science Classroom
students will record data daily in a butterfl y journal.  ey will take pictures
using a digital camera, record behavior using a digital microscope with both
snapshot and video capture capability, make sketches by hand and record
data describing the behavior of their caterpillars. Amy reviews the diff erence
between observations and inferences with her students before she distrib-
utes the pillboxes with the caterpillars to her students (Irving 2003).
A diff erent kind of educational technology use occurs in the connected
classroom. Connected classroom technology refers to a networked sys-
tem of personal computers or handheld devices specifi cally designed to be
used in a classroom for interactive teaching and learning.  ese networked
technologies include response systems, classroom communication systems,
and newer systems included under the CATAALYST (classroom aggrega-
tion technology for activating and assessing learning and your students’
thinking) name (Roschelle et al. 2004). Connected classroom systems of-
fer opportunities for improved formative assessment through questioning
and immediate feedback and allow teachers to tailor instruction to meet
student needs (Black and Wiliam 1998; Fuchs and Fuchs 1986). Students
beam answers anonymously to a receiving station and histograms of student
answer choices are displayed. Data logs are archived for later analysis. Dis-
course that occurs in a safe environment through the public examination
of problem solving and alternative conceptions helps students understand
their role as critical listeners and thinkers in the classroom (Artzt and Yaloz-
Femia 1999). In the connected classroom, teacher adaptive expertise allows
formative assessment that can monitor students’ incremental progress and
keep them oriented on the path to deep conceptual understanding.
Improving Communication With Technology
e classroom, especially at the secondary level, has been described as a
culture of isolation (Schlagal et al. 1996). Electronic communities for stu-
dents and teachers off er a wealth of opportunities to break down barri-
ers between people and provide settings for idea sharing and peer support
(Bull et al. 1989; Casey 1994; Bodzin and Park 2002). Teachers use online
communities, electronic bulletin boards, lesson plan banks, and listservs
to stay connected to the larger educational community outside their class-
room. Web-based forums promote refl ective thinking for preservice science
teachers in remote student teaching placements (Bodzin and Park 2002,
Part I Within the Science Classroom
2000). In addition to supporting refl ective practice, the public nature of
the discourse encourages participants to respond thoughtfully (Yore 2001).
Pairing inservice teachers and preservice students provides opportunities
for improved teacher-student teacher communication, and also focuses
on technology transfer from the university teacher education classrooms
to inservice teachers (VanMetre 2000).  e Teacher Institute for Curricu-
lum Knowledge about the Integration of Technology (TICKIT) at Indiana
University used asynchronous web-based conferencing for K–12 teachers
from rural Indiana schools. Online debates focused participants around a
particular content and resulted in greater content-based discussion than
face-to-face forums (Bonk et al. 2002).
Teleconferencing technologies off er the opportunity for teachers and
students in remote locations to have two-way audio and video communica-
tions. Cybermentoring with elementary and secondary schools has been
explored in Washington State with telephones, e-mail, web design, and
both low- and high-end videoconferencing systems. Recent projects pairing
university faculty and students with K–12 students and teachers included
fourth-grade science mentoring and ninth-grade Earth science curriculum
planning projects (Maring et al. 2003). Online courses with high-end video
conferencing are already in use for courses off ered to Japanese students.
Professors at Stanford, the University of California, Davis, and California
State University, Hayward, off er pre-MBA courses to students in Tokyo’s
Hosei University. With complete multimedia capabilities, the videoconfer-
encing system allows Japanese students to see live presentations of classes
off ered in California. Professors and students have access to a full palate of
writing utensils to annotate and save slides from class lectures and discus-
sions (Shinkai 2004).
e Rural Technology Initiative (RTI) sponsored by McREL (Mid-
Continent Research for Education and Learning) provides quality train-
ing in technology integration for mathematics and science teachers and
administrators in remote rural locations in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri,
Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.  is project pro-
vides training targeted at increasing student achievement through the use
of technology and eff ective teaching strategies. Online courses save schools
the travel, substitute, and hotel expenses usually associated with traditional
professional development opportunities. Videoconferencing, an internet
Part I Within the Science Classroom
portal, and teleconferencing are part of the online delivery system for this
professional development. Science teachers receive college credit in science
technology integration to help teachers meet the NCLB highly qualifi ed
teacher requirements (REL Network 2004).
Course management systems have become more popular on college and
university campuses as well as for schools in the K–12 sector. Although
initially courseware companies suggested that these tools would help reach
‘distant’ students, the audience for courseware tools is mostly local students
in traditional educational programs. Convenience for large numbers of resi-
dent students as well as off -campus adult students plays an important role
in the use of course management systems.  ese applications allow profes-
sors to build course content, off er chat rooms for guided discourse, link to
electronic resources on other websites, and manage course grades. Course
management tasks such as planning, organizing, structuring, tracking, re-
porting, communication arrangements, and expectations were tracked by
Nijhius and Collis in their study of 51 instructors’ use of web-based course
management systems at the University of Twente, Netherlands, during one
academic year (2003).
Assessment and Educational Technology
In this era of NCLB testing requirements, states are searching for more
effi cient and eff ective ways to determine student achievement. Comput-
er-based assessments off er the advantage of immediate feedback, allowing
schools to analyze data, decide on policy, and implement new programs in
a timely fashion. Traditional testing formats often take weeks or months
to score and return to schools. According to Education Week’s Technology
Counts report in May 2003, 12 states and the District of Columbia are
already using or piloting computerized exams. All except one of these pro-
grams are internet-based (Edwards 2003).
e demands of NCLB can be seen as either support for or hindrance to
computerized testing. Although technology off ers the potential for stream-
lined assessment and accountability options, schools need computers for
students to take tests online. With budgets limiting school options, it seems
unlikely that many school systems will be able to take advantage of this
opportunity without an infusion of capital.  e secure conditions required
to limit opportunities for cheating on high-stakes tests represent another
Part I Within the Science Classroom
problem. Students across a state must take the test in a limited time and un-
der the same conditions as all other students.  e questions become: How
many computers are needed, and can the connections needed to internet
websites be guaranteed across the state at the same time? Equipment often
varies from school to school, complicating the issue of fairness. If some
students in a state take paper-and-pencil tests and others take computerized
versions, is one group or the other advantaged? Do students with outdated
computers suff er compared to their peers with more modern technology
resources (Olson 2003)?
Although high-stakes testing raises many issues for educators, low-stakes
diagnostic computerized testing off ers many possibilities for improving stu-
dent performance.  e logic is that success on low-stakes tests will lead to
improved performance on their high-stakes cousins. In addition to low-
stakes individual classroom use of computer-based testing, many experts
predict that most states and districts will use online test preparation pro-
grams to help raise student scores on high-stakes assessments. Twelve states
already have computer-based practice exams available to help students pre-
pare for state-mandated tests (Borja 2003).
Opportunities for special education students to fully participate in the
classroom through the use of assistive technologies are the focus of research
eff orts in both the special education and educational technology communi-
ties (Rose 2001; Hitchcock et al. 2002). Inexpensive, effi cient test delivery
and rapid scoring as well as an opportunity to make state tests more ac-
cessible to special populations of students argue in favor of computerized
testing programs. Special education students may serve as test populations
as educators experiment with new technology-based assessment systems. In
Indiana, electronic portfolios are used to measure the progress of students
with disabilities. A videotape of oral reading ability collected annually pro-
vides a unique and highly individual view of a student’s progress over a
multiyear period (Goldstein 2003).
Other innovative programs in computerized assessment include Indi-
ana’s plan to create a deep online test item bank with each item linked to
appropriate state standards and Oregon’s eff orts to produce an online writ-
ing assessment. Adaptive testing, where students are pitched questions from
the computer test bank that are chosen based on performance on earlier
items, provides useful diagnostic information for educators, but does not
Part I Within the Science Classroom
meet the demands of NCLB to assess each student against the grade-level
standards set by the state. South Dakota developed an adaptive online test-
ing program, but has made it voluntary for schools and has added a paper-
and-pencil test to meet the requirements of the NCLB legislation (Olson
2003; Trotter 2003).
Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century Classroom
Professional science and education organizations have stated positions re-
garding the preparation of science teachers (AAAS 2002, 1998; ISTE 2002;
NCATE 1997; NRC 2000; Willis and Mehlinger 1996). Common aspects
of the recommendations off ered for teacher preparation include a) provid-
ing skills training for educational technology in the context of science teach-
ing; b) modeling appropriate uses of educational technology to teach sci-
ence in preservice methods classes; c) providing opportunities for preservice
teachers to practice using educational technology in science teaching; d)
providing opportunities for preservice teachers to observe inservice teachers
model educational technology use for science teaching; and e) providing
opportunities for preservice science teachers to use educational technology
during their student teaching experience.
e early literature regarding student teacher use of technology in secondary
science teaching revealed that despite attempts to provide technology training
for preservice science teachers, little transfer of this knowledge to their second-
ary classrooms occurred during their teaching (Barton 1993; McFarlane 1994;
Kennedy 1996; Parkinson 1998; Byrum and Cashman 1993). Simply teaching
novice teachers how to use technology proved insuffi cient preparation for them
to integrate the same skills into their classroom teaching. Findings from recent
research projects indicate that participants who complete a sustained technol-
ogy-enriched preparation program report feeling adequately prepared to teach
science using technology both during student teaching and during their fi rst
year in the classroom (McNall 2003; Irving 2003).
ePCK, electronic pedagogical content knowledge, includes the knowl-
edge classroom teachers need in addition to the knowledge of their con-
tent domain, pedagogy, and curriculum in order to integrate educational
technology successfully into their teaching. Shulman (1986) fi rst described
pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) as the teacher’s knowledge of the
best ways to teach particular concepts, which concepts are apt to cause con-
Part I Within the Science Classroom
fusion for students, common misconceptions for students in a particular
domain, a wide variety of teaching strategies from which to select the best
approach for a particular student group, and the most appropriate demon-
strations, laboratory exercises, analogies, images, diagrams, problems, and
explanations to make a subject transparent for students. Expert teachers
not only have a deep conceptual understanding of the topics they teach,
but they also understand why students are challenged when learning some
topics and not others.
Two important aspects of ePCK for integrating technology into science
teaching include being able to recognize the connection between the tech-
nology, the science content, and the pedagogy for a lesson, and being able
to recognize how the technology can help students dispel or avoid miscon-
ceptions in a particular domain. As with science content, it is not enough
to have a deep understanding of educational technology to be able to teach
eff ectively using its tools. Teaching involves identifying the match between
the learner’s prior knowledge, how the new content fi ts with the already
known, and the strategy the teacher chooses to present new topics. Teacher
knowledge of educational technologies that off er compelling animations,
interactive simulations, images, data sets, data collection and analysis tools,
and communication tools that fi t the curriculum topics for their science
discipline is an important element of ePCK.
Not every domain in a science class will fi t the use of educational tech-
nology equally well. Hands-on activities where students manipulate objects
and create artifacts in the classroom off er compelling strategies for many sci-
ence concepts. However, many concepts in science are abstract, complex, and
invisible without the aid of special technologies, or too subtle for ordinary
viewing in the classroom. Electronic technologies off er science teachers a host
of powerful tools to help students visualize these concepts. ePCK knowledge
involves the developing process of recognizing the parts of a science curricu-
lum that would benefi t from the use of educational technology tools to illu-
minate abstract or complex topics. Knowing about the technology, knowing
how to use the technology, knowing how the technology fi ts the curriculum,
knowing how the use of the technology contributes uniquely to the lesson
and helps students avoid or dispel misconceptions regarding the content in a
particular domain constitute important aspects of ePCK.
Teacher education programs face the dual burdens of constantly chang-
Part I Within the Science Classroom
ing educational technology as well as a climate of rising expectations for
technology use in teaching and learning. Despite these challenges, an excel-
lent example of an integrated technology enrichment program is provided
for student teachers at the University of Virginia (Bell and Hofer 2003;
Cooper and Bull 1997).
In this program, students learn not only learn how to use educational
technologies but also are encouraged and required to envision, plan, and
implement lessons using technology with objectives clearly tied to the na-
tional and state standards.  e sequential mode of instruction—from the
introductory course focusing on word processing, e-mail, and networking
through an educational technology course with a science- and mathematics-
specifi c syllabus followed by a year-long science methods class where edu-
cational technology is routinely modeled in appropriate and eff ective ways
provides a sustained approach to technology integration. Students spend
time identifying resources, learning how to use them, thinking about how
they fi t the curriculum objectives of their specifi c disciplines, designing les-
sons to include these technologies with a guiding framework provided by
the Flick and Bell standards for eff ective and appropriate integration in
science classrooms (Flick and Bell 2000), and fi nally refl ecting on the suc-
cesses and failures of their implementation eff orts.
What are the messages to educators about the impact of educational tech-
nology in 21st century classrooms? Sweeping changes have occurred in the
workplace where faxes, computer networks, e-mail, and teleconferencing
alter the daily routines of modern people. Policy makers, business lead-
ers, and parents urge educators to prepare students for the high-tech world
of the contemporary community. School boards and superintendents
have amassed impressive resources to wire and equip the school houses of
America to allow students and teachers access to the powerful interactive
technologies of the future. Not only will students in the 21st century learn
with technology, but colleges of education have an obligation to help their
preservice teachers learn about and implement educational technology in
their teaching and learning.
An important message that can be gleaned from the research on edu-
cational technology in classrooms of the 21st century is that technology
Part I Within the Science Classroom
represents a means, not an end. Educators and policy makers recognize
that in addition to infrastructure, maintenance, and reliability, an essential
condition for success is that teachers must have ePCK, electronic pedagogical
content knowledge. Teachers must know not only how to use the technol-
ogy but also how to teach with technology in appropriate and eff ective
ways. Technology alone does not improve instruction or student achieve-
ment; rather, technology works when it serves clear educational goals and is
implemented in pedagogically sound ways.
Karen E. Irving
is an assistant professor of Mathematics, Science, and Technology in the School of
Teaching and Learning at  e Ohio State University and co-director of the West-
Central Excel Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. She received the
2004 National Technology Leadership Initiative Science Fellowship Award for
her work in educational technology in science teaching and learning.
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 2002. Project 2061:
Blueprints online 1997 [cited July 23 2002]. Available at
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 1998. Blueprints for reform.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Artzt, A., and S. Yaloz-Femia. 1999. Mathematical reasoning during small–group problem
solving. In Developing mathematical reasoning in grades K–12: 1999 yearbook, eds. L.
Stiff and F. Curio. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Barton, R. 1993. Computers and practical science: Why isn’t everyone doing it? School
Science Review 75 (271):75–80.
Bell, R., and L. Bell. 2002. Invigorating science teaching with a high-tech, low-cost tool [website].
e George Lucas Educational Foundation 2002 [cited 02/06/11 2002]. Available from
Bell, R., and M. Hofer. 2003.  e Curry School of Education and long-term commitment
to technology integration. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education.
Bell, R., M. Niess, and L. Bell. 2001. El Niño did it: Using technology to assess and predict
climate trends. Learning and Leading with Technology 29 (4):18–26.
Black, P., and D. Wiliam. 1998. Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom
assessment. London: King’s College London.
Bodzin, A. M., and J. C. Park. 2000. Factors that infl uence asynchronous discourse with
preservice teachers on a public, web-based forum. Journal of Computing in Teacher
Education 16 (4): 22–30.
Part I Within the Science Classroom
Bodzin, A. M., and J. C. Park. 2002. Using a nonrestrictive web-based forum to promote
refl ective discourse with preservice teachers. Contemporary Issues in Technology and
Teacher Education 2 (3).
Bonk, C., L. Ehman, E. Hixon, and L. Yamagata-Lynch. 2002.  e pedagogical TICKIT:
Web conferencing to promote communication and support during teacher professional
development. Journal of Technology & Teacher Education 10 (2): 205–33.
Borja, R. 2003. Preparing for the big test. Education Week’s Technology Counts 2003, May
8, 23–26.
Bull, G., J. Harris, J. Lloyd, and J. Short. 1989.  e electronic academic village. Journal of
Teacher Education 40 (4): 27–31.
Byrum, D., and C. Cashman. 1993. Preservice teacher training in educational computing:
Problems, perceptions and preparations. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 9
(1): 20–24.
Casey, J. 1994. TeacherNet: Student teachers travel the information highway. Journal of
Computing in Teacher Education 11 (1): 8–11.
Chang, C. 2001. Comparing the impacts of a problem-based computer-assisted instruction
and the direct–interactive teaching method on student science achievement. Journal of
Science Education & Technology 10 (2):147–53.
Comeaux, P., and R. Huber. 2001. Students as scientists: Using interactive technologies
and collaborative inquiry in an environmental science project for teachers and their
students. Journal of Science Teacher Education 12 (4): 235–252.
Cooper, J., and G. Bull. 1997. Technology and teacher education: past practice and
recommended direction. Action in Teacher Education 19 (2): 97–106.
Edwards, V. B. 2003. Tech’s answer to testing. Education Week, May 8, 8–10.
Flick, L., and R. Bell. 2000. Preparing tomorrow’s science teachers to use technology:
Guidelines for science educators. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education
[Online serial] 1 (1): 39–60.
Flores, A. 2001. SSMILes#51: Inclined planes and motion detectors: A study of acceleration.
School Science & Mathematics 101 (3):154–161.
Friedler, Y., and A. E. McFarlane. 1997. Data logging with portable computers: A study of
the impact on graphing skills in secondary pupils. Journal of Computers in Mathematics
& Science Teaching 16 (4): 527–550.
Fuchs, L. S., and D. Fuchs. 1986. Eff ects of systematic formative evaluation: A meta–
analysis. Exceptional Children 53 (3):199–208.
Goldstein, L. 2003. Spec. ed. tech sparks ideas: Testing tools for children with disabilities
attracts mainstream attention. Education Week Technology Counts 2003, May 8, 27–30.
Hefl ich, D. A., J. K. Dixon, and K. S. Davis. 2001. Taking it to the fi eld: e authentic
integration of mathematics and technology in inquiry-based instruction. Journal of
Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching 20 (1): 99–112.
Hitchcock, C., A. Meyer, D. Rose, and R. Jackson. 2002. Providing new access to the
Part I Within the Science Classroom
general curriculum: Universal design for learning. TEACHING Exceptional Children
35 (2): 8–17.
Irving, K. E. 2003. Preservice science teachers’ use of educational technology during student
teaching. PhD diss., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
ISTE. 2002. National standards for technology in teacher preparation. International Society
for Technology in Education [cited Dec 20, 2004. Available from
Johnston, R. 1995.  e Eff ectiveness of Instructional Technology: A Review of the Research.
Paper read at Proceedings of the Virtual Reality in Medicine and Developers’ Exposition,
June 1995, at Cambridge, MA.
Kennedy, J. 1996. Essential elements of initial teacher training courses for science teachers:
A survey of tutors in the UK. Research in Science and Technology Education 14: 21–32.
Kulik, J. A. 1994. Meta–analytic studies of fi ndings on computerized instruction. In
Technology assessment in education and training, eds. E. Baker and H. O’Neil. Hillsdale,
N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Mann, D. 1999. Documenting the eff ects of instructional technology: A fl yover of policy
questions. In Secretary’s Conference on Educational Technology. Washington, DC: US
Department of Education.
Maring, G. H., J. A. Schmid, and J. Roark. 2003. An educator’s guide to high-end
McFarlane, A. 1994. IT widens scope for acquiring key skill. Times education supplement:
McNall, R. 2003. Beginning secondary science teachers’ instructional use of educational
technology during the induction year. PhD diss., Curry School of Education, University
of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
McREL Launches Rural Technology Institute. 2004. Mid Continent Research for
Educational Learning 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2004, from
Moore, C. J., and R. Huber. 2001. Internet tools for facilitating inquiry. Contemporary Issues
in Technology and Teacher Education 1 (4): 451–464.
National Research Council (NRC). 2000. Inquiry and the National Science Education
Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
NCATE. 1997. Technology and the new professional teacher: Preparing for the 21st century
classroom. Washington, DC: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Nijhuis, G., and B. Collis. 2003. Using a web-based course-management system: An
evaluation of management tasks and time implications for the instructor. Evaluation
and Program Planning 26 (2):193–201.
Olson, L. 2003. Legal twists, digital turns. Education Week’s Technology Counts 2003, May
8, 11–16.
Part I Within the Science Classroom
Parkinson, J. 1998.  e diffi culties in developing information technology competencies with
student science teachers. Research in Science & Technological Education 16 (1): 67–78.
Reeves, T. C. 1998.  e impact of media and technology in schools: A research report
prepared for the Bertelsmann Foundation. Retrieved December 18, 2004, from www.
Ringstaff , C., and L. Kelley. 2002. e learning return on our educational technolog y investment:
A review of fi ndings from research. San Francisco: West Ed RTEC.
Roschelle, J., W. R. Penuel, and L. Abrahamson. 2004.  e networked classroom. Educational
Leadership 61 (5): 50–54.
Rose, D. 2001. Universal design for learning. Journal of Special Education Technology 16 (4):
Schlagal, B., W. Trathen, and W. Blanton. 1996. Structuring telecommunications to create
instructional conversations about student teaching. Journal of Teacher Education 47
Shinkai, Y. 2004. Videoconferencing system brings Japanese students face-to-face with U.S.
professors. In T H E Journal: T.H.E. Journal.
Shulman, L. S. 1986.  ose who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational
Researcher 15: 4–14.
Trotter, A. 2003. A question of direction: Adaptive testing puts federal offi cials and experts
at odds. Education Week’s Technology Counts 2003, May 8, 17–21.
United States Department of Education Offi ce of Elementary and Secondary Education.
2002. No Child Left Behind: Closing the Gap in Educational Achievement. Washington,
VanMetre, S. 2000. Productive partnerships. e Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin 67 (1): 38–40.
Wenglinsky, H. 1998. Does it compute?  e relationship between educational technology and
student achievement in mathematics. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
Willis, J. W., and H. D. Mehlinger. 1996. Information technology and teacher education. In
Handbook of Research on Teacher Education, eds. J. Sikula, T. J. Buttery and E. Guyton.
New York: Prentice Hall International.
Yalçinalp, S., O. Geban, and I. Özkan. 1995. Eff ectiveness of using computer-assisted
supplementary instruction for teaching the mole concept. Journal of Research in Science
Teaching 32 (10):1083–1095.
Yore, L. D. 2001. Heightening refl ection through dialogue: A case for electronic journaling
and electronic concept mapping in science classes: A commentary on Germann, Young-
soo, & Patton. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial]
1 (3).
... New developments in classroom collaboration including dynamic math element question types enable to implement the digital task presented in this paper for formative assessment. GeoGebra Classroom is a connected classroom technology (CCT), a term referring to "a networked system of personal computers or handheld devices specifically designed to be used in a classroom for interactive teaching and learning" (Irving, 2006). According to Irving (2006), connected classroom technology offers "opportunities for improved formative assessment through questioning and immediate feedback" (p. ...
... GeoGebra Classroom is a connected classroom technology (CCT), a term referring to "a networked system of personal computers or handheld devices specifically designed to be used in a classroom for interactive teaching and learning" (Irving, 2006). According to Irving (2006), connected classroom technology offers "opportunities for improved formative assessment through questioning and immediate feedback" (p. 16). ...
This paper discusses the conception of an online formative assessment tool in the field of functional thinking and focuses on the first cycle of a design-based research project. This tool is based on a preceding qualitative research project in an Austrian grade 7 class for examining students’ conceptions as well as possible influences of designed digital worksheets on their conceptions. Research results led to considerations on how to implement the digital tasks in regular teaching for diagnosing and enhancing students’ conceptual development concerning functions. New developments in online classroom collaboration such as GeoGebra Classroom enable the implementation of the digital tasks for formative assessment. In this paper, we present digital worksheets that focus on one particular task addressing a graph-as-picture error, summarize relevant research results from the preceding study, and outline the conception of an online formative assessment tool.
... In literature, similar names appear for connected classroom technology (CCT), such as student response systems (SRS) or classroom response systems (CRS). Their common features are that they facilitate the communication between teachers and students, they display student responses in real time, and allow rapid aggregation of student work by teachers (Fies & Marshall, 2006;Irving, 2006;McLoone, Kelly, Brennan, & NiShe, 2017;Shirley, Irving, Sanalan, Pape, & Owens, 2011). According to Wright, Clark, and Tiplady (2018) connected classroom technologies offer a broad range of innovative features, which are summarized in various researches and also explored in a variety of approaches within a project. ...
... According to Wright, Clark, and Tiplady (2018) connected classroom technologies offer a broad range of innovative features, which are summarized in various researches and also explored in a variety of approaches within a project. One great potential of connected classroom technologies is that they offer immediate information about students' progress to teachers as they could monitor their students' work real-time (Irving, 2006;Shirley et al., 2011;Wright et al., 2018). Moreover, connected classroom technologies enable most of the students to contribute to activities and taking a more active part in a classroom discussion (Roschelle & Pea, 2002;Shirley et al., 2011;Wright et al., 2018). ...
Conference Paper
In this paper we outline suggestions for a new prototype tool that is currently under development. This new tool will combine a powerful mathematic software and a student response system, which allows teachers to create a classroom culture where students can give explanations. It will shorten the time for collecting students’ responses and offers possibilities to work with these responses afterwards. By conducting semi-structured interviews with teachers highly knowledgeable in using technology, we found out that they need new features for formative assessment to foster classroom discussions. These include monitoring and collecting students’ work in a convenient way and using students’ responses in varying follow-up activities in a classroom. With this tool, teachers could have the advantage of encouraging students to explain their thinking by giving each student a voice during classroom discussions by letting them write down their thoughts and sharing them easily in class.
... In literature, similar names appear for connected classroom technology (CCT), such as student response systems (SRS) or classroom response systems (CRS). Their common features are that they facilitate the communication between teachers and students, they display student responses in real time, and allow rapid aggregation of student work by teachers (Fies & Marshall, 2006;Irving, 2006;McLoone, Kelly, Brennan, & NiShe, 2017;Shirley, Irving, Sanalan, Pape, & Owens, 2011). According to Wright, Clark, and Tiplady (2018) connected classroom technologies offer a broad range of innovative features, which are summarized in various researches and also explored in a variety of approaches within a project. ...
... According to Wright, Clark, and Tiplady (2018) connected classroom technologies offer a broad range of innovative features, which are summarized in various researches and also explored in a variety of approaches within a project. One great potential of connected classroom technologies is that they offer immediate information about students' progress to teachers as they could monitor their students' work real-time (Irving, 2006;Shirley et al., 2011;Wright et al., 2018). Moreover, connected classroom technologies enable most of the students to contribute to activities and taking a more active part in a classroom discussion (Roschelle & Pea, 2002;Shirley et al., 2011;Wright et al., 2018). ...
... CCT are networked systems of computers or handheld devices specifically designed to be used in a classroom for interactive teaching and learning. Previous research has underlined those affordances of CCT that make them effective tools for FA: monitoring students' progress, collecting the content of students' interaction over long timespans and for multiple sets of classroom participants (Roschelle & Pea, 2002); providing students with immediate private feedback, supporting them with appropriate remediation and keeping them oriented on the path to deep conceptual understanding (Irving, 2006); enabling students to take a more active role in classroom discussions and encouraging them to reflect and monitor their own progress (Roschelle & Pea, 2002;Ares, 2008). ...
... Notwithstanding the potential of these tools, many researchers have stressed that their effectiveness depends on the skill of the instructor and on his/her ability to incorporate procedures such as tracking students' progress, keeping students motivated and enhancing reflection with technologies (Irving, 2006;Kay & Le Sage, 2009). Some studies, in particular, have highlighted that CCT increase the complexity of the teacher's role with respect to 'orchestrating' the lesson (Clark-Wilson, 2010;Roschelle & Pea, 2002). ...
This contribution addresses the theme of technology for formative assessment in the mathematics classroom and in particular the ways connected classroom technology may support formative assessment strategies in whole class activities. Design experiments have been developed through the use of a connected classroom technology by which students may share their productions, opinions, and reflections with their classmates and the teacher during or at the end of a mathematical activity. With this technology the teacher may create polls, submit them to the students, gather their answers and show the results in real time. The paper discusses how polls can be used during classroom activities to foster the activation of formative assessment strategies. As a result of the design-based research, a classification of polls according to their contents and aims is proposed. Different ways of structuring classroom discussions and patterns of formative assessment strategies, which are developed from the different types of polls, are discussed.
... Connected classroom technology (i.e. networked systems of digital devices in the classroom) provide opportunities for teachers to elicit, connect and develop ideas (Irving, 2006). Connected classroom technology allows teachers to monitor students' progress and ideas and to use them in forwarding math-talk (Clark-Wilson, 2010). ...
Full-text available
The purpose of this study is to further our understanding of orchestrating math-talk with digital technology. The technology used is common in Swedish mathematics classrooms and involves personal computers, a projector directed towards a whiteboard at the front of the class and software programs for facilitating communication and collective exploration. We use the construct of instrumental orchestration to conceptualize a teacher’s intentional and systematic organization and use of digital technology to guide math-talk in terms of a collective instrumental genesis. We consider math-talk as a matter of inferential reasoning, taking place in the Game of Giving and Asking for Reasons (GoGAR).The combination of instrumental orchestration and inferential reasoning laid the foundation of a design experiment that addressed the research question: How can collective inferential reasoning be orchestrated in a technology-enhanced learning environment? The design experiment was conducted in lower-secondary school (students 14–16 years old) and consisted of three lessons on pattern generalization. Each lesson was tested and refined twice by the research team. The design experiment resulted in the emergence of the FlexTech orchestration, which provided teachers and students with opportunities to utilize the flexibility to construct, switch and mark in the orchestration of an instrumental math-GoGAR.
... It has positive effects on the intrinsic motivation and on the development of metacognitive skills, and allows students to use evaluation criteria as tools for reflection to guide their own learning path and personal growth. The teacher, student's peers and the student him/herself are the agents of formative assessment, and research in the field shows that digital technologies can be a powerful tool for teachers in order to monitor students' progress, provide immediate feedback to students, enhance self-monitoring of the students and highlight the deeper roots of an error [47,[63][64][65][66][67]. ...
Full-text available
The COVID-19 crisis has strongly affected the school system. In Italy, at-distance forms of didactics have been activated, changing the physiognomy of schools in terms of social interaction, practices and the identity of the individuals. In this paper, we address the issue of how teachers are facing the crisis: our focus is on assessment, as a key variable catalyzing personal history; beliefs; the interface between students; teachers and the school system. We study teachers’ beliefs as part of their identities and assessment as a fundamental variable of beliefs. A qualitative content analysis of the open-ended answers to an online questionnaire is carried out to understand the main characteristics associated with assessment by teachers and the obstacles to overcome in the context of long distance learning (LDL). The data show that teachers did not identify valid assessment methods for LDL during the lockdown, especially due to the lack of control over the students. A misconception emerges concerning the definition of formative assessment together with a new awareness of the possibilities offered by digital technologies regarding the individualization of didactics. This study helps to understand which teachers’ beliefs are related to assessment are and how they are shaped.
... students' handheld graphical calculators with the teacher's computer, e.g. TI-Nspire navigator (Irving, 2006). For example, Clark-Wilson (2010) reported on a project investigating secondary school teachers' practices using this system. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reports a study of teachers' use of Connected classroom technology to prepare for whole-class discussions building on students' computer-based work in mathematics. The study investigates four upper secondary school teachers' management of time and progression during the phase of the lesson where students are working in pairs. The findings highlight various didactical choices made by the teachers. These choices and some related challenges are discussed.
... Additionally to this review, we made also a literature review and gathered information about student response systems (SRS), classroom response systems (CRS) and connected classroom technology (CCT), which appear in the literature under different names, but have in common that they facilitate the communication between teachers and students as well as display the student responses in real time (Fies & Marshall, 2006;Irving, 2006;McLoone, Kelly, Brennan, & NiShe, 2017). Besides we were not only interested in how the tools work and in their advantages for teachers and students. ...
Conference Paper
The aim of this poster is to present suggestions how a new live session feature for GeoGebra could look like, which can be used either to share GeoGebra resources with the students or to collect the responses in a convenient way and clear format on a dashboard and to use them to start or guide a classroom discussion. The suggestions are based on the review of already existing online tools, a literature review and semi-structured interviews with experts.
... Murphy and Beggs (2003) observed that there was a declining interest in school science due to the content heavy nature of the curriculum as well as ineffective teacher pedagogy and the perceived difficulty of school science. According to Osborne, Simon and Collins (2003) the quality of science teaching is essential to promoting students" positive attitudes toward the subject, and technology has a role to play in the teaching and learning environment (Irving, 2006;Hennessy, Ruthven and Brindley, 2005;Quellmalz, 2013). This can be achieved through high levels of student involvement in lessons, personal support for students, positive relationships with classmates, differentiated teaching practice and a variety of learning activities (Myers & Fouts, 1992). ...
Full-text available
This paper explores lower secondary school students" attitudes to mathematics and science, to the teaching and learning of these subjects and the use of technology in the classroom. The data analyzed in this paper were obtained as part of an international project, Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education (FaSMEd), which examined whether technologically enhanced formative assessment practice could improve the attitude and attainment of learners in science and mathematics at lower secondary level. This paper is focused on data from a survey and Q sort activities which investigated students" viewpoints in the context of mathematics and science classes in Ireland. The analysis showed that in general students have a positive attitude and self-image about learning science and mathematics, however the science students had a significantly more positive view of the subject, of their ability, and of the use of technology than their mathematics peers. The Q sort data showed that students who preferred to work alone tended to find technology less helpful than students who liked to work collaboratively. Students who saw the value of technology were often persistent and liked working with others. This has implications for the integration of technology in science and mathematics classes.
Full-text available
Describes a structure for electronic mail (e-mail) use by students that promoted idea exchanges. Students were trained to send regular e-mail messages to professors, teachers, and students during their field experience. Analysis of the messages indicated that a significant strand of professional conversations occurred spontaneously on important themes. (SM)
Presents an activity in which students work in cooperative groups and roll balls down inclined planes, collect data with the help of an electronic motion detector, and represent data with a graphing calculator to explore concepts such as mass, gravity, velocity, and acceleration. (Contains 12 references.) (Author/ASK)
Almost all the instructors at the Faculty of Educational Science and Technology of the University of Twente have been using a web-based course-management system for their courses since 1998. To set up a course, an instructor completes a course environment form with general information such as a course description, a roster and links to external websites; during a course the instructor adds information such as feedback and data relating to assignments, lecture presentations, and reactions to discussions. At the end of an academic year, the information stored in all course environments in the system can be counted and analysed. This report gives an overview of all instructor contributions stored in the faculty's web system during the academic year 2000-2001 and it is used as data for an ongoing analysis of tasks that instructors must manage while using a web-based course management system. In addition, the time spent by instructors is also presented. Together, these analyses can help lead a way to more efficient and effective use of web-based course-management systems, and, thus, to more acceptance of their use.
Science and technology education have enjoyed a meaningful partnership across most of this century. The work of scientists embraces an array of technologies, and major accomplishments in science are often accompanied by sophisticated applications of technology. As a result, a complete science education has, in principle, involved a commitment to the inclusion of technology, both as a tool for learning science content and processes and as a topic of instruction in itself (American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1993; National Research Council [NRC], 1996). These elements have traditionally been a part of teacher education in secondary science. Science education has generally involved teaching not only a body of knowledge but also the processes and activities of scientific work. This view has linked the scientific uses of technology with hands-on experiences. The term "hands-on science" was descriptive of the major curriculum reform projects of the 1960s and became a label for a revolution in teaching science through the next two decades (Flick, 1993). So-called "hands-on science" instruction impacted teacher education as new curricula made its way into preservice courses. Teacher education was also influenced by teaching methods, such as the learning cycle (Lawson, Abraham, & Renner, 1989), based on theories of student learning that implied the necessity of interacting with physical materials.
Although the science education community values inquiry-based science instruction, the goal remains illusive. In the absence of significant changes designed to provide teachers with better support for inquiry teaching, true inquiry-based instruction is probably not a realistic option for many science teachers (National Research Council [NRC], 1996), especially novice teachers (Crawford, 1999; Huber & Moore, 2001a; NRC, 1996; Wong, 1998; Wong & Wong, 1998). Viable support for inquiry teaching can come in many forms, all of which are aptly dubbed as pathways to reform by the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996). The reforms called for in the Standards focus on the changes required to ensure excellent inquiry-based K-12 science instruction for all students. Viable pathways to such reforms include a variety of options ranging from content-based plans (e.g., Crawford, 1998; Matthews, 1998), to general process-oriented strategies (Greene, 1998; Huber & Moore, 2001a; Liem, 1987).