EDU800 Week 4 Annotation

Hoepfl, M. C. (1997). Choosing qualitative research: A primer for technology education researchers. Journal of Technology Education, 9, 47–63.

The Hoepfl article discusses qualitative inquiry and compares it to quantitative research. The author suggests that qualitative methodologies probe deeper into educational technology than quantitative methodologies. Using a naturalistic approach applied to specific contexts, qualitative research seeks a distinct type of knowledge generation. She states that qualitative research generates situational responses that can be very powerful in understanding learning science, using open-ended questions to derive information. She also explores the role of the researcher in qualitative research, sampling strategies contrasted with quantitative sampling (which usually involves statistical methods), data collection by interviewing and empirical observation, data analysis strategies for data generated by qualitative research, and how judgments of the data are made via a reader in the context of coherence, consensus and instrumental utility. However, the author also highlights how careful the researcher must be to ensure the reliability and dependability of this type of inquiry.

The author gives us great insights on qualitative methodologies for educational research, discussing the challenges of the qualitative paradigm, including humanistic and empirical examination of topics for research, and can be applied more dynamically than quantitative research. It can generate unique and valuable knowledge, that cannot be done with quantitative research. Qualitative research uses inductive data analysis, instead of generating numerical analyses, and results in highly valuable descriptive data. However, this type of data is harder to manage and categorize. It can be more challenging to design research involving qualitative data collection, usually involving collecting data by recording it. With the appropriate methodologies to analyze qualitative data, it can offer deeper insights in the research study of educational technology.

This article serves as a guide for researchers to approach data collection and analysis in a very humanistic manner for educational technology. Since the qualitative study of teacher and student/learner interactions involved in educational technology are much more complex than the responses to an objective survey, a more subjective approach has to be available to study learning science, than for such subjects as chemistry, physics or math. The similarities and complexities that educational research has to social sciences requires that we look at qualitative methods for research not as an afterthought, but perhaps as the primary choice to analyze learning science.


EDU800 Week 3 Annotation

Salomon, G., & Perkins, D. (2005). Do technologies make us smarter? Intellectual amplification with, of and through technology. In R. J. Sternberg, & D. D. Preiss (Eds). Intelligence and technology: The impact of tools on the nature and development of human abilities (pp. 71-86). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Solomon’s article discusses whether technology, in it’s various forms, makes us smarter. He explores everything from the mundane technologies and implements that we use as tools for our daily lives, to those that are used for learning, their effects with, of and through technology. He also discusses that how we use them, whether or not we are experts at the particular technology, and how we interact with them will determine whether they make use smarter. He concludes that technology can improve cognition if they are integrated into the activity to the point that they help organize the thought processes of the activity.

As an examination of the use of technology, Solomon helps to categorize how human beings can utilize technology to improve cognitive abilities. The article gives insight into how we have developed tools throughout human existence, to make our lives easier. But the real value of the tools that we create is to build on top of existing tools, techniques, and methods so that we can explore and discover new knowledge. By that token, technology is essential in making us smarter. The use of technology can allow us to tap into previously unused or underutilizied areas of the mind to effect better absorption and learning to enable us to iteratively create new tools and techniques which enable us to achieve higher levels of intellect.

The article provides a great foundation for exploring opportunities to discover new ways to use technology in learning science, create new learning tools and applications of emerging technology. Our cognitive abilities can be enhanced, not only by experiencing the evolutionary processes that improve human quality of life, but also the ability to accelerate learning, leading to revolutionary advancements in human knowledge and capability. So, this article provides incentive to research, develop and implement technology for new educational systems which can then collectively raise the intelligence of the human race.

EDU800 Week 2 Annotation

Labaree, D. F. (2003). The Peculiar Problems of Preparing Educational Researchers, Educational Researchers 32(4), 13–22.

Labaree explores how the practice of teaching, and teaching skills translate, can be developed into skills for educational researchers and how there are similar characteristics, especially the academic skills, between teachers and educational researchers. He gives strategies for filling the gap between the two when doctoral students pursue their degree. He compares and contrasts the two, including the commonality of academic discipline, discussing the cultural divide between researchers and teachers, and specifically the need for researchers to expand greatly, their world view, whereas teachers alone are limited to the subject matter, modes of delivery, and level of students which they teach. The researcher is unbridled by these limitations. He also compares how researchers in areas of knowledge such the social sciences, medicine and engineering differ from how educational researchers have to approach their subject as they utilize their analytical, theoretical and intellectual skills.

Since researchers are responsible for constructing new knowledge, and teachers are focused on knowledge dissemination, we see the common threads and the overlap between the two, especially since many teachers, once having achieved their doctoral degrees, become researchers. Since the teachers are steeped in the business of education, they naturally can relate to the topic of educational research. Teachers, regardless of the level which they instruct, have to have intimate knowledge of the educational process, therefore they are researching every day that they teach. It almost becomes a instance of the chicken-or-the-egg problem, in which, teachers need to research their subject matter in order to effectively evolve, common knowledge and literacy of the student, and as a researcher, we must push the envelope of existing knowledge and break out new knowledge, of which will become that which is taught.

This article gives ammunition to the student of Educational Technology, in that it outlines various ways to transition from teacher to educational researcher. However, it may also help with forming a cyclical process of going from teacher to educational researcher to teacher, etc. It doesn’t matter what subject matter a doctoral student of educational technology will eventually be involved with, but the process of researching will be ingrained in the subject matter expert, such as Business, or Biology, or Computer Science. The information contained in this article will also help the student of learning science with strategies to both quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the field of education from within and without, in order to be a more effective instructor.

The New Science of Learning

EDU800 Annotation Week 1

Sawyer, R. K. (2006). Chapter 1 introduction: The new science of learning. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.). The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences(p. 1-16). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter One from Sawyer’s book provides insight into how the established educational theories are now being questioned and some are considered flawed, and how learning science is emerging to help develop new models for teaching and learning in educational institutions. The newer theories emphasize the students learning to think, and the practice of externalizing and articulating their knowledge leads to more effective learning. The active, creative and deep learning findings from cognitive scientists, demonstrate that reflection (metacognition), scaffolding, problem solving and thinking to be more effective than the instructionist theory.

Sawyer provides a path and guide to implement Learning Science through Educational Technology. In addition, he provides compelling alternatives to instructionist approaches. The new learning science approach opens up a new way for educational scientists to experiment and test new learning theories, and for researchers to view and advance the science of teaching and learning.  This article raises the game for us to learn, scientifically, how to better teach.  With technology increasingly involved in education, the abstract aspects of active learning, reflection, articulation and learning can be implemented in a concrete way with software applications, Educational AI, providing a clearer path to deep learning than without technology.

For those in pursuit of an Doctorate in Educational Technology Doctorate (DET), this article breaks the ice, provides the first step on a journey to exploring the science of teaching and learning.  It establishes the framework to study Educational Technology techniques, approaches, models, and theories.  It also provides the foundation to build upon for research into developing and implementing technological solutions, leveraging emerging software and networked applications, to the problems faced in teaching in higher education, regardless of subject matter.  By breaking from the flawed approaches to teaching and learning of the past, and treating learning as a science, the future of learning in an increasingly technological society, can be advanced.