Introduction to My Capstone Research:
Learning how to navigate technology appropriately and being a problem solver are important 21st century skills to teach students. If teachers support students to solve their own problems and navigate the technology world then a door is opened to all sorts of possibilities for their future. But the question remains of how do teachers teach 21st century skills? How can teachers create an environment where students learn how to become problem solvers using technology? Finally, how can students use all 21st century skills to navigate new technology in order to prepare them for the future? Technology can be a tool used to help students demonstrate their problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication skills. When a student uses a new website or program they have to learn to navigate it, which is a skill they will need for the future. By letting students play with a new technology tool, they are able to problem solve and think critically in order to figure out how to use that new tool. Letting students struggle through this process first and then giving them further instructions is a strategy to help them learn. After a few times of struggling on their own, students become better at figuring out the next new technology tool. When students no longer ask questions on how to use new digital media or tools and can problem solves, it demonstrates that they used 21st century skills to get there.
Students took a survey about their technology use and part of the survey asks them to rate their ability to use different websites or technological tools. Questions ranged from how much time they spend using technology outside of school per day to do they have access to the internet at home. Students also rated their ability to use the following: google classroom, google docs, google slides, gmail, legends of learning, online simulators, and stemscopes website. There was a question where students rated themselves on a scale of 1-5 on how confident they are in their ability to navigate new websites or technology tools. The final section of the survey had students rate their skill level using a progress chart, which is similar to a rubric, on critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and technology use. The survey was given before data was taken and at the end of the study to see student growth. The plan was to use technology with an activity or assignment three times a week. There was quantitative data based upon teacher observations. Each assignment the teacher recorded observations on how many times students asked how to use that particular piece of technology. All data taken during this study was based on student’s ability to use and navigate a particular website and not their ability to understand the content. The teacher also tracked 2 students during this study and focused specifically on whether or not they asked questions, to see their progress in technological skills, therefore gathering individual student data and class data.
List of what can be found on each page linked to the right:
Lessons Page: Found on this page will be lessons used during the study including science and technology lesson plans with links to different resources
How-Tos Page: This page includes guides on how to use technology resources found on the reference page.
References Page: This page includes many different technology resources, important academic articles on 21st century learning and technology use and books used during the study.
Assessment Page: Found on this page will be links to rubrics used in the unit, as well as sample student assessments.
Standards Addressed During Research:
My Favorite Technology Tools:
Edpuzzle: This website allows the teacher to create video lessons for your students with interactive questions. I have used this for Bill Nye videos to add built in questions and for other types of science videos like brainpop or crash course kids.
Pear Deck: This website is an add on for google slides which allows the teacher to add interactive slides to already created google slideshow presentations. I have used this mostly during distance learning to help with student engagement.
Adobe Spark: This website allows the user to create graphics, videos and more. I have used this mostly for my masters work including creating videos and to create my final infographic, found above.