Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CAL 2009: Towards a naturalistic conceptualisation of technology integration in classroom practice: The example of school mathematics

Captured live at #cal09, posted late.

K.B.H. Ruthven, University of Cambridge

Innovations change schools but more importantly, schools change innovation. You have to look at the place of technology in the classroom. Project looked at the practical theory and craft knowledge that frame teachers action when using technology. Wanted to develop a model that would describe how teachers use technology.

Teachers saw "Assisted Tinkering" as useful but did not always connect this into their model of technology use. The project found a great deal of "craft knowledge" that had grown up around the use of technology yet there was very little research exploring this craft knowledge. For example using computer based tools and resources often involved changing teaching room and will more often require a shift in classroom routines - what effect does this have on experienced teachers who have built up successful routines and are then asked to change this because of the introduction of technology. Can be helpful to consider:

Activity Formats - templates for action and interaction.

Curriculum Script - the set of options a teacher has to help them teach a topic. They may feel under pressure to abandon a curricular script when adopting new technology but this does not necessarily make sense - their curricular scripts are vital.

Time Economy - how do teachers manage the rate of teaching. Also worth noting that new technologies very rarely completely replace older technology. Almost always they run alongside each other.

In response to question, there was an observation that teachers did not always connect what was done with (for example) hand geometry instruments (e.g. protractors) and dynamic geography tools. Curricular documents seemed to perpetuate this by listing ways protractors should be used to measure angles but not acknowledging role of dynamic geometry tools in doing this.

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