Action Research on the Impact of Video Technology Classrooms on Student Achievement
Audio-Visual Technology & Student Achievement
Research problem / topic. The proposed research study will examine the impact of integrating video technology in classroom lessons on the achievement of students. In this study, consideration will also be given to students' perceptions of the impact of integrated video on their achievement and gender-based differences in achievement related to the integration of video into classroom lessons. Today's students have grown up in an ever changing visual world. With the evolution of television, video cameras, cell phones, GPS navigational systems, and gaming systems there is video everywhere you look. Our students in the twenty-first century have been exposed to some form of video technology in almost every aspect of their lives. Why would it not follow that the use of audio/visual technology in the classroom would help improve student achievement?
Importance of the study. Contrary to Jon Stewart's assertion that, "The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom," educators and information and communication technology (ICT) experts are rapidly advancing our knowledge about the potential positive boost that technology can have on the efforts of instructors to teach and students to learn (Dogra, 2010). On March 1, 2012, Bill Gates spoke to attendees at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Conference in Seattle. Gates specifically spoke about technologies that can help increase the impact of teaching and learning (Gates, 2012). Gates argued that technology can be used to make learning more interesting and to help teachers be more effective. Gates cited a success indicator that the number of K-12 students enrolled in at least one online class increased from 45,000 students in 2000 to 3 million students in 2009 (Gates, 2012). A second indicator of the promise technology holds for improving teaching and learning is a recent United States Department of Education research study that demonstrates that blende learning, which is a combination of online learning and classroom instruction, increases student achievement by 14% (Gates, 2012).
Summary of prior literature. Taking Clayton Christensen's idea of disruptive innovation into the educational system, is a natural extension in a world where the very nature of education is changing in tandem with technology (Christensen, et al., 2008). Christensen described disruptive innovations as technological inventions, products and services, concepts and processes that disrupt the status quo (Christensen, 1997; 2000). In collaboration with Michael Raynor, Christensen applied the concept of disruptive innovations to business (Christensen & Raynor, 2002). Although a disruptive innovation might not gain immediate acceptance or perform well initially -- except for fringe customers or in a niche market (Christensen, 1997; 2000).. However, over time the disruptive innovations will out-perform earlier products and services, satisfy the mainstream market, and businesses that have adopted the disruptive technologies will displace those that are still dependent on prior technologies (Christensen, 1997; 2000).. The ramifications of disruptive innovations are increasingly being felt in the field of education, and the disruption is also being fed by recent scientific studies (Christensen, 1997; 2000).. Research in neurobiology and psychology indicate that the way people learn is often not a good match to the way that they are taught (Christensen, et al., 2008). The implications are that the nation's ability to be academically, technologically, and economically competitive depends on the capacity of educators to re-evaluate instruction, to redefine learning, and to reinvigorate the systems that bring educators and students together (Christensen, et al., 2008).
The literature largely proposes the integration of technology in classroom, offering a wide continuum of configurations for consideration. In a few short years, educators have built a corpus of knowledge about the use of technology in a classroom that makes recommendations for wireless technology, five computers in every class, and response mechanisms on student desks for interactive lecture presentation (Roberts, 2005; Rogers, 2005). In a work that continues the theme of the superiority of charter schools over conventional public schools, Moe & Chubb (2009) argue that cyber charter schools will enable virtual and real-time classrooms where staff is reduced and each student will co-construct a personal curriculum -- a process Gates refers to as building an individualized learning map (2010).
Fullan (2007), who is renowned for his work in educational change theory, reminds us that "educational change depends on what teachers do and think -- it's as simple and complex as that" (p. 107). In order for technology to be successfully integrated into classroom lessons, teachers must be comfortable and fluent with the technology -- and they must be willing to "allow it to change their present teaching paradigm" (Bitner & Bitner, 2002). Volumes have been written about implementing educational change and professional development of teachers in the use of technology. That said, teachers in ordinary schools in modestly funding school districts are liable to lack good models for the effective integration of technology into classroom lessons. The models that appear to be the most readily adaptable to typical classrooms -- those without extensive investments in integral technology -- are being created, tested, implemented, and disseminated by teachers. For instance, a professor of advanced mathematics at an institution of higher education has developed QuickTime videos for teaching multivariable calculus (Levine, 2002). His pedagogical format consisted of lecture presentation of the mathematical concepts interspersed with the appropriate video. Levine (2002) asserts that he has "found that this sort of back-and-forth instruction between the lecture and demonstration is an effective method of presentation" (p. 1).
A different tack on the use of video in classrooms is taking shape with the assistance and support of Vidyo, Inc. Vidyo for Education is working with schools in the United States to provide video conferencing (Raman, 2011). Real world interactions through the use of video conferencing are brought to libraries and classrooms, creating virtual classrooms and virtual field trips that have been too costly for most public school budgets (Raman, 2011). These video conference programs are designed to supplement K-12 curriculum (Raman, 2011). For instance, students at the San Carlos Charter Learning Center (SCCLC), one of the oldest U.S. charter schools, experienced a virtual science class presented by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on the heart and circulatory system (Raman, 2011). The video conference that showed the dissection of a sheep's heart was presented on a desktop and students accessed corollary lessons on iPads (Raman, 2011). The Vidyo platform enables interactive video learning with virtually any computer or mobile digital device from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection or even with a lower-bandwidth public network in remote areas (Raman, 2011). With Vidyo video, teachers can establish white-board functionality, and share documents, video clips, and other types of media in their virtual classes (Raman, 2011).
Although models for the use of video are emerging, there is a dearth of formal assessment of the impact on student achievement. The use of action research to explore the impact of integrating video technology in the classroom holds promise, particularly since it naturally embed the perceptions of the participants in the research in the structure and implementation of the study (Lewin, 1943; 1997).
Purpose of the study. The purpose of the action research study will be to determine if the use of audio/visual technology in an educational setting has a positive impact on student achievement, if integrating technology in classroom lessons impacts students differently based on gender, and if students perceive a relationship between the use of video technology in the classroom and their achievement.
1. Does integrating technology into the classroom, especially video, have a positive impact on students' achievement?
2. Does the use of audio/visual technology in classroom lessons have an impact on achievement along gender lines?
3. Do the students perceive that the use of video technology as a positive impact on their academic achievement?
Research hypotheses. In quantitative research, the goal is to reject the null hypothesis which asserts no experimental effect is evident. Rejecting the null hypothesis indicates evidence of an effect at an acceptable level of significance according to the hypothesis testing measures taken by the researcher. The overarching alternative hypothesis (Ha) in this proposed study is that the integration of technology, particularly video technology, into classroom lessons impacts student achievement. The null hypothesis (Ho) is that there is no impact on student achievement as a result of integrating technology into classroom lessons. Additionally, the alternative hypothesis (Ha) regarding gender differences is that a gender difference is evident due to the influence of the integration of technology into classroom lessons. The null hypothesis (Ho) is that no gender-based differences are evident from integrating technology into the classroom. Moreover, the null hypothesis (Ho) regarding student perceptions is that students do not perceive a positive impact on their academic achievement as a result of the integration of technology in their classrooms.
Participants. The sample in this research would be students from two middle-grade science classes in the same middle school. The sample frame is a non-probability convenience sample based on the assignment of students to…