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- TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION IN SCIENCE EDUCATION: A STUDY OF HOW TEACHERS USE MODERN LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN BIOLOGY CLASSROOMS
- Gnanakkan, Dionysius Joseph
- 2017, 2017-07
This multiple case-study investigated how high school biology teachers used modern learning technologies (probes, interactive simulations and...
Show moreThis multiple case-study investigated how high school biology teachers used modern learning technologies (probes, interactive simulations and animations, animated videos) in their classrooms and why they used the learning technologies. Another objective of the study was to assess whether the use of learning technologies alleviated misconceptions in Biology documented by American Association for the Advancement of Science. The sample consisted of eight teachers: four rural public school teachers, two public selective enrollment school teachers, and two private school teachers. Each teacher was followed for two Units of instruction. Data collected included classroom observations, field notes, student assignments and tests, teacher interviews, and pre-and post-misconception assessments. Paired t-tests were done to analyze the pre-post test data at a significance level of 0.05 and the qualitative data was analyzed using the constant comparative method. Each case study was characterized and then a cross-case analyses was done to find common themes across the different cases. Teachers were found to use the learning technologies as a tool to supplement instruction to visualize abstract processes, collect data, and explore abstract concepts and processes. Teachers were found to situate learning, use scaffolding and questioning and make students work in collaborative groups. The genetics, photosynthesis, and evolution misconceptions were better alleviated than cellular respiration. Student work that was collected demonstrated a superficial understanding of the concepts under discussion even when they had misconceptions. The teachers used the learning technologies in their classrooms for a variety of reasons: visual illustrations, time-saving measure to collect data, best way to collect data, engaging and fun for students and the interactive nature of the visualization tools and models. The study’s findings had many implications for research, professional development, teacher education, teaching practice, administrators, and learning technology developers. More detailed research within similar school settings (public, charter, and private) is needed to verify the common findings across the different cases in this study. An implication is that learning technology integration could be modeled with instructional scaffolds and questioning and incorporating higher order thinking tasks. Learning technology developers should consider the collaborative learning groups while developing these technologies.
Ph.D. in Science Education, July 2017