The final and most concise paper on this topic will be on display at meetings of the Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).
Thursday, October 28,
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Hyatt Regency Orange County - Anaheim, CA
North Tower - 2nd Floor / Salon VII)
Title: Assessing the impact of online technologies on PBL use in US high schools
This paper examines online technologies that can support project based learning (PBL) and how much use of these technologies relates to time spent on this approach to instruction, perceived preparedness and ability to overcome challenges. It examines the responses of 331 teachers, from intentionally varied types of high schools, who used PBL or similar practices to teach math, science, social studies or English. Findings suggest that teachers report more use of PBL, fewer perceived challenges, and a greater sense of preparedness when they use online technologies to support their practice. While use of technologies differs across school type and subjects, the relationship of their use to PBL use is surprisingly consistent. Results help us understand the prevalence of technology uses for PBL and how these are related to PBL use and perceptions, with implications for how new technologies might help extend the reach of PBL-related instructional reforms to more schools.
We will have a whole hour and I’m looking forward to showing new slides, courtesy of Alfred.
We may have time to review some of the other findings from the study too.
I’ve concluded that effective PBL use is a more important goal than technology integration.
The direction of causality that interests me is how technology can make PBL better, not how PBL can help integrate technology.
The result may be the same, but it’s easier for me to think one way not the other. Does that make sense?
Concerning my own technology use, for this research I’ve most often used a word processor, SPSS and Excel, and the occasional Powerpoint. We didn’t even ask about these kinds of technologies in our study. However, I used the Internet to track down teachers from school wide workshops, to contact teachers and provide incentives, to administer the survey, to present findings on our web site, and now to discuss these findings with you.
When I was a teacher, I taught computers and social studies. My students used computers to construct databases and analyze data about their lives and communities (pets, number of televisions, etc.). Surprised?
It would be great to hear about your uses of technology to support PBL and/or PBL to support technology integration. I’ll bet we could put together quite a list. Does someone else want to share their story?