Interactive Cable Archives and Videoconferencing
The integration of technology into curriculum and instructional practices in P-12 education has been gaining momentum in classroom reform across the nation (Mowre-Popiel, Pollard, & Pollard, 1994). Interactive and digital technologies are now recognized as tools by which educators can bring unique resources into the classroom (Schutte, 1998; Wise, 2002) and engage students in dynamic, self-constructed learning (Branzburg, 2001). The use of technology as a tool that supports instruction and learning is transforming the traditional way of teaching; both digital and geographically located resources now offer an enriched content that was not available to earlier generations (Branzburg, 2001). As a result, many authors and researchers believe that the use of technology within educational settings will serve to motivate students to learn more, both with and without teacher assistance, effectively promoting increased cognitive development (Gernstein, 2000; Wise, 2002). While there are many projects involving the utilization of interactive and digital technologies in classroom instruction (Buckle, 1995; Gernstein, 2000; Warner, 1999; Petersen, 1998), there is limited scientific evidence of its effectiveness in improving teaching and learning when compared to traditional instruction. In addition, there exists almost no literature that illustrates the impact of the combined effect of both digital and video resources.
Purpose of the paper
The purpose of this paper is to describe the developmental process used to create technology-infused curriculum and the methodology used to document the combined impact of the enriched curriculum and instruction on students’ affective and cognitive domains. In addition, preliminary findings of pilot studies, conducted during the summer and fall of 2003 will be presented. The curriculum unit under study consisted of a civics education unit on the “Power of the Presidency” prepared for use in grades 7-12 (AP). Technological resources included interactive cable archives and point-to-point videoconferencing.
Review of Literature
The late 1980’s ushered in a period of change in the American educational context, with a major focus on integrating technology in P-12 classrooms (Dwyer, Ringstaff, & Sandholtz, 1990). Several authors credit this continued use to the belief that technology integration supports philosophies of instruction that perceive each student as a unique learner, thereby aiding in the transformation of teacher-centered classrooms into student-centered settings (Mowre-Popiel, Pollard, & Pollard, 1994; Bork, 1997).
Research has provided at least partial support for this belief. Multiple studies have shown that instructional technology enhances learning (e.g. Clouse, 1991-1992; Phillips & Soule, 1992). An early study of technology-supported instruction, conducted by the Educational Testing Service, found that students learned more quickly in a web-based environment, compared to traditional classroom settings (Ragosta, 1982).