Title

Empowering Underachieving Youth with Developmentally Appropriate Web 2.0 Technology Tools

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Lack of a thorough knowledge of child development and theory that serve as a base for the design of electronic equipment, and lack of teacher input in the selection process leads to the waste of precious funds, gross misapplication, and hence developmentally inappropriate classroom technology practices. Further, in order to foster social and emotional skills and enrich the social climate for all children and youth, especially those from high-poverty populations (Strand I.), and in order to improve instruction (Strand II), it is imperative that teachers (not necessarily technology staff) choose developmentally appropriate technology for their students.

Brief Program Description

Research-based and developmentally appropriate technology strategies are presented orally and in table format (NAEYC, 2012; Piaget, 2001; Vygosky, 1987). The table, also offered as a hand-out, provides a quick point of reference for classroom teachers.

Target audiences of this presentation include teachers, teacher educators, technology specialists, and instructional designers. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and dialogue with the presenters.

Summary

More than once over the years we have witnessed a growing phenomenon---technology personnel (not necessarily classroom teachers) repeatedly adopting expensive electronic programs without knowledge of their theoretical grounding, authenticity, and applicability to the students and program(s) they are supposed to enrich (Garner, 2003; Lightfoot, 2011; McKenzie, 2001). Result? Wasted monies (Dede, 2012; Mageau, 2012; Needleman, 2012) and developmentally inappropriate equipment used briefly then relegated to the back closet (Becker, 1998; Hughes & Ooms, 2004; National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2012). In order to break this cycle of spend-use briefly-discard-spend, we propose that before spending precious funds on inappropriate technology for students, those involved need to consider cognitive development (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2009; Piaget, 2001; Vygotsky, 1987) and the theoretical bases which undergird the technological equipment under consideration. Without knowledge of these things, the technology will be short-lived at best or doomed from the beginning. With these ideas in mind, our purpose here is to improve academic instruction by offering developmentally appropriate technological strategies (i.e., Web 2.0 tools) defined by their theoretical grounding(s) and cognitive appropriateness, and used successfully in our own classrooms.

Evidence

Developmentally appropriate technological strategies defined by their theoretical grounding(s) and cognitive appropriateness reject the notion of controlled incremental structured frameworks, such as programmed instruction (Gagné, 1987; Skinner, 1968), into which students and their needs are “plugged” (McCall, 2002, 2012) thereby stifling personal choice, responsibility, and student empowerment. Developmentally appropriate strategies reject the multitude of programs which focus on rote drill and practice (Chatel, 2005). Many of these programs are indeed self-paced but not developmentally appropriate and not grounded in children’s individual needs and wants. Lastly, while it is important that students learn how to create spreadsheets, graphs, and other statistical databases, the attention paid to these things quite often overwhelms the attention paid to teaching students metacognitive strategies, critical analysis, responsibility, and creative problem-solving (Kearsley, 1998). Instead, developmentally appropriate technology stimulates and enriches a child’s cognitive, linguistic, socio-emotional, and psychomotor development in a nurturing and democratic environment ( NAEYC, 2009; Noddings, 1992, 1995). The focus is on choice (Piaget, 2001), dialogue (Vygotsky, 1987), authenticity, responsibility toward oneself and others, and reflection. For example, Animoto, one of the tools listed in the table, offers children the freedom to choose meaningful activities (e.g., developing, producing, then sharing slides or videos) which stimulate creativity, critical thinking, and reflection (Copple & Bredecamp, 2009; Dewey, 1901, 1902, 1916; Kohn, 1993).

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Linda Ann McCall received her Ed.D in Curriculum Studies with an emphasis in Instructional Improvement from Georgia Southern University. She has taught for over thirty-five years, fifteen in private education, and eighteen in public education. She now serves as Associate Professor in the College of Education at Armstrong State University. Her publications include “Brain-Compatible Learning for the Gifted: A Phenomenological Approach,” GSU Forum, Vol. 4, No. 2; “Excellence and Equity in Curriculum for Intellectually Gifted Students,” GSU Forum, Vol. 3, No. 1; “Realizing a Vision: Implementing an Effective Teacher Preparation Assessment System,” Gateways to Teacher Education, Vol. 5, No.2; and “Brain-based Teaching and Learning in Today’s Diverse Classrooms: A Perfect Fit----But Be Careful!, DKG Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 3. She has received numerous awards for her thematic integrated approaches to teaching and learning (e.g., USA Today National Team-teaching Award, 2000; Teacher of the Year, 1995). Her primary interests are critical thinking/praxis and pedagogical reform, especially in the areas of curriculum, technology, and the structure of schooling itself.

Jackie Hee Young Kim, ED. D., is an associate professor at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA, where she has taught online classes and childhood education courses for the past six years. She taught technology integration courses for preservice teachers at State University of New York Cortland for two years before joining ASU in 2007. Her publications related to technology integration in the classroom and distance education have appeared in numerous professional journals and books and she has given many presentations at professional meetings. She enjoys southern living, writing, and teaching in coastal Georgia.

Keyword Descriptors

youth empowerment, developmentally appropriate technology

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Empowering Underachieving Youth with Developmentally Appropriate Web 2.0 Technology Tools

Harborside Center East and West

Research-based and developmentally appropriate technology strategies are presented orally and in table format (NAEYC, 2012; Piaget, 2001; Vygosky, 1987). The table, also offered as a hand-out, provides a quick point of reference for classroom teachers.

Target audiences of this presentation include teachers, teacher educators, technology specialists, and instructional designers. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and dialogue with the presenters.