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Incorporating Digital Media

Incorporating Digital Media in Middle School Classrooms


Cati Rhodes
University of West Georgia

An investigation of middle school science teachers and students use of technology inside and
outside of classrooms: considering whether digital natives are more technology savvy than their
teachers

Incorporating Digital Media

http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=4da80eb5-851d-47ec-9737dc0395e6595b%40sessionmgr107&vid=4&hid=113
Authors: Shiang-Kwei Wang, Hui-Yin Hsu, Todd Campbell, Daniel C. Coster, Max Longhurst

Summary of the Literature Review


The literature review discusses that the digital native (young teenagers) have grown up
in an age of some major technological milestones such as the invention of the iPod, iTunes,
Facebook, YouTube, Google Docs, smartphones, tablets, etc. These innovations caused this
generation to change the way they look up things, the way they socialize, and the way they
conduct their everyday lives. The literature review goes on to discuss the various generations
and the differences in their knowledge of technology. For instance, teachers are having to catch
up and continue learning all of the newest forms of technology to attempt to keep up with the
knowledge of their students who are growing up immersed in these innovations.
Analysis of Methodology
This study used a mixed methods approach to find out the answers to the following
questions: How do middle school students inside and outside of school technology experiences
differ? How do middle school science teachers inside and outside of school technology
experiences differ? Is there a gap between science teacher and students technology experiences
inside and outside of school? The participants in the study were twenty-four middle school
teachers from Utah and New York along with 774 eighth grade students from Utah (8 schools)
and 305 6th to 8th grade students from New York. To collect data the research group used a
quantitative survey, followed by classroom observations and teacher focus group interviews.
Summary of Results

Incorporating Digital Media

The results from the study discovered that both teachers and students use the same
technological devices at home: a desktop computer, a laptop computer, and a smartphone.
Next, the findings indicated that students typically only use their personal devices along with
social media outside of school, but inside school they mostly use spreadsheets, presentation
tools, word processing programs, and web search engines. Lastly, the study found that science
teachers give plenty of opportunity for the students to use word processing and web search
engines; however, the students rarely had the chance to use cloud computing tools or video
production tools.
Opinion of Research
This study further validated my understanding of middle school students flourishing in
the classroom when technology is utilized. It also proved to me that only incorporating a few
basic word processing and presentation programs is not sufficient. When possible I need to also
use types of social media, YouTube, iPads, video production tools, etc. Teenagers have a passion
and knowledge for using these types of technologies beyond what many older generations can
understand.

Assessing the Impact of Digital Media on Learning and Teaching


http://www.ltd.edc.org/assessing-impact-digital-media-learning-and-teaching
Author: Elizabeth Pierson

Summary of the Literature Review


Pierson and her team completed a study on the impact of PBS LearningMedia, which is a
company that provides research-based digital learning opportunities that align with Common

Incorporating Digital Media

Core standards. The research team wanted to better understand PBS LearningMedias teaching
and learning capabilities, so they focused on the following questions: How do teachers integrate
PBS LearningMedia resources into the curriculum, what is the impact of PBS LearningMedia
resources on teachers and on the quality of their instruction, what is the impact of PBS
LearningMedia resources on students learning, school engagement, and critical-thinking skills,
and what conditions enhance or impede the use of PBS LearningMedia resources?
Analysis of Methodology
This research team used a case-study design to determine the effectiveness of the PBS
LearningMedia program on middle school classrooms in all subject areas. The study was
completed in 2014-2015 in three different school districts in New Jersey and California. There
were forty-seven teachers and 2,211 students who participated in the study. To collect data, the
research team used pre- and post-surveys, weekly instructional logs, classroom observations, and
informal interviews. The team created pretest and post-tests to use before and after the
instruction with PBS LearningMedia.
Summary of Results
The results showed an increase in both student learning and frequency of critical thinking
practices along with changes in the classroom use of the digital media. On average the students
assessment scores increased eight percent except there was no change on language arts
assessments. The teachers who participated felt like they spent much less time lecturing and
more time integrating technology in their lessons. They had many more resources to use when
planning their lessons.
Opinion of Research

Incorporating Digital Media

This study proved that integrating technology in a planned and deliberate manner
increases middle school students learning. Utilizing the PBS LearningMedia program for six to
ten weeks also improves the participating educators instructional practices.

Seven Keys to Unlocking School Transformation with Digital Media


http://cosn.org/sites/default/files/pdf/7%20Keys%20to%20Unlocking%20School
%20Transformation%20June13_FNL_HiRes.pdf
Author: April Chamberlain

Summary of Literature Review


This article begins by discussing how our evolving technology has changed the way we
think, play, socialize, learn, etc., and teachers recognize the value in using digital media to
engage students in the classroom. It states that schools who are changing the culture of the
learning environments to reflect the implementation of the available technologies are connected
to their learning culture. In order for this new learning culture to evolve, all stakeholders
(educators, students, parents, and other community members) must be actively involved and
support the concept. Schools that move away from the traditional styles of teaching should be in
constant communication with stakeholders so everyone fully understands the reasoning, process,
and outcome of the new style of teaching. Without a high level of community support and
involvement, the changes to the school culture will likely fail.

Analysis of Methodology

Incorporating Digital Media

Another factor that makes school transformation with digital media more successful is if
the entire district adopts a new plan to incorporate the technology. A district will not waste time
and money on an initiative with no scaling ability. However, when they see a definite need
with data to support it, they will be more likely to support the initiative. Also, in order to
implement a new school culture, teachers will need sufficient professional learning opportunities
to acquire new skills and strategies and to practice new techniques. These learning communities
that allow personalization and teacher choice will be the most effective.
Opinion of Research
The last tip this article gives to implement a school transformation with digital media is
that colleges of education need to better prepare their teachers-in-training to be better prepared
for the generation of students they will be teaching. An old traditional-style classroom will not
cut it with todays technology-savvy children. There will be far too many missed learning
opportunities along with behavior problems due to the students feeling disconnected from the
old school teaching style. The key points in this article are meant to be considered when
launching, implementing, and sustaining efforts in transforming a school with digital media.
Reflection
I was interested in the topic of digital media for learning in the middle school classroom
because this is my ninth year teaching this age group, and I feel like I still have so much to learn
about it. This year I have been given the opportunity to teach gifted sixth grade students all day,
and the incorporation of technology has been vital in meeting the needs of these advanced
learners. I knew going into this research that I would find many articles that stated how
important it is to utilize digital media in todays classrooms; however, I wanted to see studied

Incorporating Digital Media

completed on the topic to learn exactly how effective the strategy is along with what types of
educational technology is most effective in maximizing student learning.