Inspiration for this project?
The need for student engagement and higher interest in learning was the main inspiration for this project. This capstone resulted from the need to engage students in a large class setting. Having struggled with low student engagement motivated me to try something new that would not only engage students with learning but expose them to 21st century skills using technology. The use of video and creating video lessons gives students the power to engage in a new way, to communicate their learning, and encourages higher student ownership. In turn, when students engage and are able to collaborate in a process that is interesting for them, they will see better results in their overall learning experience.
Creating video lessons not only encourages learning but naturally engages students by using tools that they use in their everyday life.
The Achievement Gap
The discrepancy in learning results between English Only students and English Learners was another factor that made me question how technology could affect student engagement for both groups of students. The 2017 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) English-Language Fluency results show a considerable difference between English only and English Learning students. 75% of ELs in 4th grade did not meet standards, compared to 10.81% of EO students that didn’t meet standards. 7.50% of ELs met English Language Arts standards, while EOs scored 37.84%. This study attempts to provide greater insight into how to support students with learning and engagement in the classroom, specifically with use of technology and through skills that could help with academic improvement. At the time of this study, English learners in the group observed showed the greatest discrepancy when it comes to proficiency.
If you'd like to read more about my journey and thinking process throughout this program you may check my blog by clicking on the image to the left.
The research for this study was carried out at a Dual Immersion (DI) school. At this grade level, the percentage of Spanish content in the classroom decreases to 50% from third grade, as per the DI model. Students experience a decrease in Spanish language instruction as they move up the grade levels; they also experience changes in curriculum from one language to another. Student proficiency levels in each academic content vary and class size makes it challenging to meet all student needs and maintain a high level of engagement. English reading ability levels ranged from Basic readers to advanced based on the Reading Inventory. Most native Spanish speaking students have a stronger dominance of their native language, but many struggle to engage with their second language. Having both high and low performing students in the classroom of study created a need for engaging practices, which could support bridging the gap in learning between English only students (EO) and English Learner students (EL).
If you'd like to read my full research paper you can click on the image to the right.