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FRIT 7235 Article Summaries

Amanda Sikes
*Since I teach in the technology lab, it was hard to find articles that talked about incorporating
technology into technology. I tried to locate articles that relate to things that I am interested in
learning more about. I hope this is fine since they dont necessarily relate to my area of
certification.
Citation
Armstrong, A. (2014). Technology in the classroom: Its not a matter of if but when and how.
The Education Digest, 81, 39-46. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from
http://www.iasb.com/journal/j070813_02.cfm
Identification
Professional Practice
Summary
This article discusses the general problems with incorporating technology into the classroom and
why many schools are choosing not to allow students to bring their own devices. According to
the article, there are several reasons why schools are struggling in this area. Some of those
reasons are technical support deficiencies, lack of mobile devices, lack of software, teacher
resistance, and district policies. Some of the statistics given in this article really make it stand
out. For example, over half of the students surveyed (55%) say that using a tablet in class helps
them learn math and science better. Of these students surveyed, 39% of them use smartphones at
home but only 6% of them say they are able to use their smartphone during school for
instructional purposes. The main purpose of this article is to address the need for schools to allow
students to bring their own technology or device to school but with this comes problems with
discipline if a good plan is not in place for technology. In conclusion, 80% of school districts say
their schools will have declining technology budgets for the next school year.
Critique
I think this article was very interesting. My school district does not allow students to bring their
own technology or devices. I think this article could be useful to administrators and district
representatives in school systems like mine that do not allow the students to bring their own
devices for instruction. I think the article could have done a better job explaining the details of a
plan that would work for schools. The author encourages schools to have engaging and
empowering experiences for students by focusing on technology and flexibility. It would have
been helpful to see a plan or example policy from a school district that does allow students to
bring their own devices. The personal implication for me would be encouragement to keep
providing my school district research on BYOT and hopefully one day this will be implemented
in our county.

Citation
Boyd, P. (2013). Blogging in the classroom: Using technologies to promote learner-centered
pedagogies. The Researcher-An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26(3), 85-108. Retrieved
March 3, 2015 from http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/94391334/bloggingclassroom-using-technologies-promote-learner-centered-pedagogies
Identification
Professional Practice
Summary
This article examines research on using blogs in the classroom to promote learning. The article
describes the main uses of blogs for the classroom, limitations of blogs and recommendations for
teachers that want to use blogs. According to this article, 57 million people in the United States
read blogs and 12 million people maintain a blog of their own. When students post their ideas on
a blog, they are communicating and collaborating with a large audience as opposed to just the
teacher or a partner. The article defines the main ways that blogs can be used in the classroom:
delivering materials for learning, gathering resources, sharing resources, collaborating, reflective
learning and social communication. Although blogs are a good educational tool, the article also
suggests some limitations for using blogs for instruction. It can be difficult to determine how
often students should post on a blog as well as how much feedback should be given by other
students and the teacher. Feedback from other students can be beneficial but the research shows
that most students do not want to comment on other students blogs. It is suggested that teachers
encourage students to provide feedback by making it part of a grade or participation category.
Students feel uneasy critiquing each others work and sometimes worry about offending
someone or making their friend mad. According to the article, teaching students how to provide
constructive feedback would be an essential part to using blogs in the classroom. Basically, the
article suggest that blogs are an excellent learning tool if students are given appropriate guidance
on how to blog and how to provide feedback to others.
Critique
I think this article is very beneficial to teachers. The article is very detailed and long. It provides
research supporting the reasons for using blogs in the classroom. This article also provides
techniques to overcome the limitations of using blogs. If a teacher is having trouble
implementing blogs in the classroom, this article would be a great starting point. I think there
could be problems with the article though. Nothing was discussed about schools that have
filtering software that block the use of blogs and sites that host blogs. Would the students be
required to do blogging from home only in this situation? For me personally, I enjoyed reading
this article. I have not used blogs in my classroom much. I tried it once but some of the postings
for feedback were out of hand. This article gave me good insight on how to help students
understand how to write constructive feedback. This is something that I should have done before
trying to implement blogging in my room. After reading this article, I may try to use blogs again
and use the suggestions provided to improve my teaching ability in this area.

Citation
Cicconi, M. (2014). Vygotsky meets technology: A reinvention of collaboration in the early
childhood mathematics classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(2), 57-65.
Retrieved March 3, 2015 from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?
sid=f80dcfab-f70f-441a-9f84-1ebda4fc15fb%40sessionmgr4001&vid=2&hid=4203
Identification
Theory-into-Practice
Summary
This article examines Vygotskys sociocultural theory for early childhood education and
examines how technology can increase collaboration and socialization in the math classroom.
Collaboration in the classroom is often a difficult task to accomplish for some teachers. This
article provides some of the major benefits that can occur if successful collaboration efforts are
designed for an elementary math classroom. The first benefit is that students can complete tasks
using computer aided instruction in the virtual world. The study shows that students pre and post
test scores improved and they were more successful than students that were using traditional
methods for math. Another benefit relates to Vygotskys theory of socialization. Using
technology increase socialization in the classroom and provides unlimited opportunities for
collaboration with peers. According to research done by Antonacci, using technology also
increases the level of cognitive functioning as well as their ability to create, analyze and evaluate
material. The article also examines several barriers that have been identified in the process of
using technology for collaboration. Teachers list three main barriers: inadequate resources, lack
of instructional support and content area issues. In conclusion Vygotskys theory talks about the
importance of collaboration at an early age with social learning. Using technology in the
classroom will allow students more opportunities for collaboration thus increasing their social
learning and cognitive development skills.
Critique
I enjoyed this article. I am a big fan of social learning and collaboration in the classroom. I love
to collaborate with my peers and gain new ideas to use for my students. I think this article did a
great job with showcasing all of the positive benefits of using collaboration in the classroom. If a
teacher was hesitant, this article would be a great read to encourage that teacher to try using
technology for collaboration. The article also fairly addressed the barriers and gave suggestions
for how to overcome these barriers. Certain programs were suggested that are free and one of my
favorites, Voki, was on the list. One personal implication this article helped me understand is that
I am not alone with the way I feel sometimes about collaboration. It takes time and effort and
often, I do not feel supported by others. Some teachers feel that collaboration is just a waste of
their time. Hopefully, I can share this article and show them some of the major positive benefits
that collaboration and technology can have on our students.

Citation

Davidson, L., Richardson, M., & Jones, D. (2014). Teachers perspective on using technology as
an instructional tool. Research in Higher Education Journal 24. Retrieved March 2, 2015
from http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/141892.pdf
Identification
Research
Summary
This article explains the research study done to find out teachers perspectives on using
technology in the classroom. Data was collected in many ways including interviews, classroom
visits, lesson plans, and equipment check out lists. The results of the study show that a lot of
teachers have limited use of technology. The first reason given was that they had no access to the
equipment. Teachers complained that their computers were outdated, and very little smart boards
were available at the school. They also blamed their limited technology use on a lack of skills to
troubleshoot problems with technology and a lack of training on how to use the technology. The
study shows that teachers felt like they should be given training on how to use technology
including simple technology like a smart board. The results from this study definitely show that
there should be professional development classes offered on how to use technology and how to
incorporate it into learning.
Critique
I think this article is very helpful for schools. I think it would be the most helpful to technology
coordinators and administration. For example, one of our classrooms had a full set of iPads that
were not being used because the teacher did not understand how to set them up. She was
provided with brand new technology and it was assumed that she knew how to operate and set
them up. I think sometimes administrators and technology coordinators assume that teachers
know about technology and how to use it. This is an assumption that should be revisited
according to the research done in this study. Personally, I think this article made me realize that I
also do this to my students. Sometimes, I just assume they already know how to use a specific
program or technology because most students have grown up using technology. However, this is
not always the case. This study made me stop to think about the way I teach my lessons. I should
probably start each lesson with an overview of the program or application we are going to use
just in case it is the first time a student has used it. I had never thought about it until I was
reading the results of this article.

Citation

OBannon, B., & Britt, V. (2012). Creating/developing/using a Wiki study guide: Effects on
student achievement. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 44(4), 293-312.
Retrieved March 2, 2015 from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?
sid=d0795d6e-1167-4815-904b-506b6d300a9e%40sessionmgr4005&vid=2&hid=4203
Identification
Research
Summary
This article summarized a study done to find out if creating and using a wiki would increase the
knowledge of Web 2.0 tools for teachers. Some of the major benefits of using a wiki would be
that wikis are good for collaboration, editing, and most of them are simple and easy to use. Wikis
teach students how to think critically and solve problems which are very important for 21st
century skills. Another benefit found was that wikis do not require that much background
knowledge since they are fairly easy to navigate. However, the study also indicated that wikis
can be deceiving since some of the content cannot be verified. This study involved 113 students
that were studying to become a teacher. The results of the study indicate that students feel using a
wiki does increase their knowledge of Web 2.0 tools because they had hands-on practice as well
as they were able to view peer wikis to gain knowledge. The study indicated that most students
enjoyed the wiki; however, they were not up-to-date with editing the wiki or making changes. So
the level of participation was not great in this study. The study also showed that students did not
communicate very well using the wikis so they were not providing each other with feedback.
Critique
This is the second article that I read that discussed how students tend to feel uncomfortable
giving feedback to peers and critiquing their peers work. This makes me want to come up with
strategies for my classroom that will help teach students how to give constructive feedback and
also how to be open to receiving feedback from others. I think this article is beneficial since it
shows that using a blog can increase knowledge so we know that using a blog is a good thing.
However, just using the blog is not enough. As a teacher, I think we should be using a blog to
share with our students. This is something that cannot be neglected. A successful blog should be
updated regularly and that was the problem with the blogs mentioned in the study. Once they
were written, most students did not go back to update them. I know that this research was done
on college students so it may not relate that well to my middle school students; however, I have
noticed some of the same challenges in my own room. I constantly work on ways to improve
communication and collaboration and using a blog would be a great way to accomplish this task.
I think as a teacher I would need to provide clear examples and guide students in how to create
their own blog and also set clear expectations for giving and receiving feedback. If this is done
properly in my room, I think using blogs for education could be a success.

Citation
Rafool, B., Sullivan E., & Bataineh, A. (2012). Integrating technology into the classroom. The
International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society, 8(1), 57-71. Retrieved

March 3, 2015 from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=89bf38545bb4-4292-b51c-afa85b7e723e%40sessionmgr4001&vid=5&hid=4203


Identification
Research
Summary
This article focused on finding out if using technology in the classroom would increase the
motivation, engagement and satisfaction of students more than when technology was not used.
The students participating in the survey were both elementary and high school students. Each
student was assigned class activities to complete using technology. After each task was
completed using technology, each student was given a survey to rate their engagement,
motivation and satisfaction. They had to complete four activities using technology during the
research study. The results of the survey were very positive. Of all the students surveyed, 96% of
them strongly agreed or agreed that they felt more engaged when using technology. Only 4% of
students disagreed that they were more engaged using technology. The results for motivation
and satisfaction were very similar with only 2% saying they were not motivated to complete the
assignment using technology and 2% also disagreed that they were more satisfied when using
technology. Final results of this study show that using technology in the classroom will increase
motivation, engagement and overall satisfaction of students.
Critique
I will say that this article was very interesting to me. Most interesting was that both elementary
and high school students felt the same way about using technology in the classroom. This leads
me to believe that it is a universal feeling with all students. I think the research is very useful to
all teachers, but especially to teachers that do not use technology as much as they should. Seeing
these results should make these teachers stop and think about what they are trying to accomplish.
Of course, we all want to motivate and engage our students so if 96% of them say using
technology will accomplish this, then I would say we should be using technology as much as
possible in the classroom. I did not see many problems with the research study other than the
group used for the study was a little bit small. They only used around 100 students for the study.
However, I do not think this is a major drawback to the results. For me personally, this research
opened my eyes to how important technology is in education. I am constantly looking for ways
to use more types of technology in my classroom even though it is a technology class. This
article should really be a good encouragement to all teachers about the importance of finding
ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms.

Citation
Shih, R. (2013). Effect of using Facebook to assist English for business communication course
instruction. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 12(1), 52-59.

Retrieved March 2, 2015 from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1008867.pdf


Identification
Research
Summary
This article examines using Facebook for a business communication course for college students.
The study indicates that students are able to improve their communication skills and professional
knowledge more by using Facebook than the traditional online class. Facebook is ideal for
interaction, exchanging images, messages and instant feedback from others. In this particular
article, 111 students were involved and they were required to sign up for Facebook and join their
specific class group. They were required to complete 4 writing assignments during the duration
of the course. The peer assessment part of the study was the most interesting part. Most of the
comments made in this study had to do with grammar and spelling errors which is very common
on all forms of social media and can be very damaging in the world of online business
communication. Also interestingly, most students said they worked harder to make sure their
grammar and spelling were correct since they knew their peers would be critiquing them for
everyone to see. The overall finding of the study was that using Facebook for instruction can
increase motivation, collaboration and exchange of information among students.
Critique
I enjoyed this article. The reason I selected this article is because my instructor this semester
incorporated an optional Facebook group for our class. I was one of the students that chose not to
join the optional Facebook group because I felt like checking one place (Go View) was enough
for me. After reading this article, I have started to rethink my decision. The research positively
correlated with a better learning experience for the students participating in the Facebook groups.
The class was Business Communication so learning how to communicate online is essential to
this type of class. I also teach a business communication unit in my own classroom. Although we
are not allowed to use Facebook at our school, this article really had me thinking about
alternative ways I can use the Internet to encourage communication and discussion about
business communication. I also loved the part of the article that discussed how using Facebook
can help grammar and spelling. I see so many of my Facebook friends using incorrect words and
spelling things wrong. The teacher in me always wants to correct them, but the friend in me
always worries about offending someone. I think it would be ideal to have an environment where
correcting others was accepted and encouraged in order to promote better business
communication skills. Of course, the downside to this is that using a second form of online space
requires commitment from the instructor to be able to manage both the online environment and
the Facebook environment.

Citation
Zhang, M., Trussell, R., Gallegos, B., & Asam, R. (2015). Using math apps for improving
student learning: An exploratory study in an inclusive fourth grade classroom. Tech

Trends 59(2), 32-39. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from


http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8afb85f5-8302-46c2-b3c34d01a9e3295a%40sessionmgr4003&vid=2&hid=4203
Identification
Research
Summary
This study was designed to measure the effectiveness on using math apps to reduce the
achievement gap for struggling students. The students that participated in the survey were from
4th grade and over half of them were at risk or had a specific disability. In the study, three
different math apps were used as well as a pretest and posttest to determine if students were
improving from app use. There are some advantages to using math apps as opposed to traditional
instruction for math. Math apps allow students to work at their own pace and they provide
immediate feedback to students. The results of the study show that on all three assessments,
students improved their performance after using the math apps. However, results also show that
the struggling group made a bigger improvement on all three assessments so the achievement
gap was reduced based on the use of math apps.
Critique
I enjoyed this article. I am very interested in computerized math. For a few years, I taught a math
remediation program for students using computer based software. I think this article could be
useful to math teachers that are trying to improve the grades of struggling students. I also think it
could be useful to schools like mine that need to lower the achievement gap of students. I do feel
this research has potential problems. This sample size was very small. Only one class was
observed and 90% of this class was made up of Hispanic students. I do not think it represents a
fair sample of the population of most schools. Also, there are so many apps for math and only 3
apps were used in this study so it would not be relevant to anyone that was not using one of those
3 apps for teaching math. For personal implications, I have always been a big advocate for using
computer software and apps to help struggling students. I always encourage my students to find a
math program to use while we have downtime in the computer lab. One of their favorites is
Sumdog.