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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

VSS2007 (Guest Blogger) - What Works in K-12 Online Content Area Teaching

Session notes from our guest blogger, Abby.

What Works in K-12 Online Content Area Teaching
Cathy Cavanaugh
Bob Blomeyer
Meredith DiPietro
Lynne Anderson-Inman

Language Arts and Literacy: Meredith DiPietro, Rick Ferdig
(Didn't share any research)

5 principles
  • Positioning practices around literacy (Shoman's Pedagogical Content Knowledge)
  • Balanced literacy approach
  • Reading/writing connection – reciprical nature of the two. Cannot be taught separately
  • Various constructivisms -
  • Component architecture – taking content and breaking it down into chunks effectively
  • Importance of standards (NETS, IRA, NCTE, US DOE) provides structure for how use technology to meet standards
Reading and Technology Online
  • Decoding: kidpix, hypersudio, PPT, Electronic storybooks
  • Developing context strategies (facilitating prediction abilities in content and word): Cloze activities and scramblers
  • Phonics Instruction: Rhymer, Merriam -Webster dictionary
  • Reading comprehension: Internet research activities
  • Fluency with speaking tools: create story in word or ppt story and add audio component to these
Writing and Technology
  • Concept maps and venn diagrams: Inspiration, Gliffy (collaborative concept mapping tool), PPT, or Hyperstudio
  • Collaborative writing and editing: google docs, telecollaborative; internet project registry
  • Collect, reflect, and share student writing: online publishing with blogs, wikis, online portfolios
  • Vocabulary: visual thesaurus, vocabulary university
  • Writing and inquiry: Yahooligans, web searches
Three other areas
  • Technology and literature : internet classics archive
  • Struggling, diverse, and at-risk readers: IRA focus on struggling learners; say Hello to the world
  • Technologies for listening and speaking: Podcasting, vodcasting
Tech and literacy: Teacher PD
  • Online PD courses: free ed, word2word language courses
  • Online professional journals: Reading online, language literacy
  • Listserves, blogs, podcasts, and discussion forums: L-Soft, early childhood education groups
Future Trends with Teaching literacy
  • Understanding media literacy and role of new literacies (media literacy)
  • Importance of social software (myspace, facebook, 2nd life)
  • Need more research and funding for understanding at-risk students
  • Importance of pedagogical technological content knowledge
Humanities - Bob Bolmyer
(Didn't share any research)

What are the humanities?
  • Fine and performing arts
  • Languages and linguistics
  • Philosophy
Why the humanities
  • Not recall or recognition
  • Analysis and synthesis
  • Creation of new knowledge and
  • Communication of such knowledge in highly engaging form
Humanities offer content areas ideal for bringing 21st century skills into any classroom.

Mathematics Online - Cathy Cavanaugh

  • US DOE showed 15% of public school DE enrollments were in mathematic
  • Advanced HS math courses focus on teaching abstract concepts and problems
  • Symbolic representations of math concepts can be made more concrete for students through virtual manipulations
Virtual Manipulatives:
  • Study of online algebra class at FLVS compared performance on graphing linear equations of students who used online graphing tools to students who didn't (Cavanaugh, Bosnick , Hess, Scott, 2005) No sig. difference but still could be helpful.
  • Studies supporting shared whiteboards. Illuminate spaces. Peer to peer tutoring.
  • Hwang's 2005 study of data mining for diagnosing student problems in learning.
Teacher PD: teacher support and feelings of cohesiveness in online math class were higher for teachers who had more hours of PD in math and content

Co-teaching and Facilitation: Kleinman, Carey, Bonifaz, ...2005) onsite math tutors worked with groups had significant effect with student performance

Practices of Effective Math Teachers:
  • Strong communicators
  • Regular feedback
  • Monitor performance
  • Schedule tutoring
  • etc—missed it
Science learning
  • (Leu, Csateck, Hartman, .... 2005) Use of internet integration resulted in lower level achievement on simple declarative K and greater achievement in conceptual science learning among middle school students. Inquiry based science.
  • Collaborative PBL/ Inquiry-based science showed promise
Teaching students with special needs - Missed presenter's name

Special Needs students are numerous and diverse
  • Students with disabilities: 14% of students nationwide. Of these, 47% have learning disabilities
  • ESL students: 20% nationwide, of these 40% qualify for ELL support
Competency problems
  • Inadequate reading and writing skills (in English for ESL students)
  • Inadequate study skills
  • Inadequate background knowledge
Choose “accessible” websites and text materials
  • Law: Section 508 of rehabilitation act 1998 – screen readers
  • Web accessible Initiative (WAI) of W3C
  • National Instructional Materials Standards (NIMS) Going into implementation this year. All published materials have electronic version.
Select online courses that are accessible and customizable
  • Indicators of accessible courses – Burgstahler, 2006
  • Adopting principles of UDL- Rose and Meyer, 2002. Have multiple ways to present information, multiple ways to express learning (input fields, concept maps, collaboration. work, different types of deliverables), multiple ways of engaging students (interviews, roll plays, team inquiry, think-links)
  • Incorporate supported text
Suggestions for improving learning
  • Incorporate “supported text” (Anderson – Inman and Horney 1998, 2007)
  • Adopt materials to be read out loud (best is to have highlighting that goes along with it)
  • Provide vocabulary supports (hyperlinked to glossary, map my word dictionary)
  • Enhance background knowledge: link to more information (picture, text, additional context)
  • Provide text in smaller chunks (i.e. one paragraph at a time --> feel successful and feels manageable)
  • Chose dynamic vs. static illustrations
  • Teaching in 3D immersive worlds in second life has promise (Richter, Anderson-Inman, & Frisbee, 2007)
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