DERN provides a weekly review of important educational ICT research with links to research about schools, training and higher education. Research reviews focus on issues and trends that impact on the use of ICT in education.
Today’s students need to be skilled in the use of ICT, that is they need to be able to effectively search and retrieve information, manipulate images, use ICT creatively and critically, design surveys, develop online presentations, use a range of writing tools and even being able to code. The recently published Australian ICT literacy report disseminates the findings of national tests undertaken by year 6 and year 10 students to ascertain their ICT knowledge, ICT skills, usage patterns and perceptions of ICT.
New technologies are redefining teens’ social interactions and leading to changes in teen culture. Today's teenagers are increasingly using technology to stay connected with one another and establish new networks and friendships. Social media and digital devices have become important cultural symbols significantly impacting on the development of their identity – but more importantly, we need to ask, what is the impact on their learning and literacy? A recent US study sought to understand how urban teens perceive their technology use in relation to their group culture and explores its potential for learning and in particular for literacy instruction.
Feedback is fundamental in learning – it is through explanation of errors that we learn. It is valuable then to ask, what is effective assessment feedback? Can students interpret and use assessment feedback to improve learning? Can technology aid assessment feedback? A recent study explores the role of assessment feedback through a research project which investigated how students at a UK university engaged with summative feedback, particularly focussing on the use of technology to address the identified issues.
Today’s students can access video recordings of lectures, participate in forums and share learning or access relevant resources from learning management systems. Learning is no longer restricted to a classroom of students tentatively listening and note taking; it can take place in traditional, online or blended settings. An Australian study investigates students’ attitudes to traditional and online methods of learning in a first-year introductory accounting unit and explores whether there are significant differences between face-to-face and online learning options and preferences for online learning technology by gender.
Open educational resources (OER), that is educational materials that are in the public domain, have gained much attention in higher education and more recently in K-12 teaching and learning. A recent US study sought to find out whether open educational resources, specifically open textbooks, can be considered as high quality as copyright-restricted alternatives for K-12 educators, and determine whether the adaptation of these textbooks to local or classroom needs makes any difference in evaluation of their quality.
The 2015 OECD report, Students, computers and learning - making the connection has generated significant, and somewhat polarised, commentary. It claims to provide an internationally comparative analysis of the digital skills that students have acquired, and of the learning environments designed to develop these skills. The report is based on data derived from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and other 2012 OECD reports.
Use of digital games in primary and secondary school classrooms is sporadic, While advocates believe that digital games promote engagement and deeper learning, not all teachers are convinced that digital games promote learning or have a place in the classroom. A recently published study explores the question of why some educators embrace digital game-play in the classroom, what is it that sets them apart from their colleagues?
The use of technology in assessment is increasing, with students able to take formative assessment such as completing quizzes and submitting assignments online. However, the vast majority of exams are still taken by pen and paper. A disconnect exists between learning practice and exam practice. Nevertheless, for such a fundamental change in assessment practices to occur buy-in from all stakeholders including students is essential. In considering future practices, an Australian study explores university students’ preconceived ideas about e-exams.
Australian government statistics reveal that 91% of Australian households with children have a computer and access to computers is no longer seen as an obstacle for most young people. However, students’ experiences with technology beyond school are only just starting to be explored. What is the impact of technology access and use at home on ICT skills and technology use at school? A 2015 Australian study explores this question with a group of year 9 students.
Flipped learning is a term used to describe learning that is carried out inside and outside the classroom. A short paper articulates the results of a 3 year longitudinal study that examined the usefulness of four asynchronous tools provided to elementary/primary science teacher interns in a flipped classroom to assist them in creating their first lesson plan.
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Students, computers and learning - making the connection
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