• A 4th grade Curriculum Guide for writing instruction that aligns with the New York State Common Core reading and writing standards.

      Nelson, Kyle (2015)
      This curriculum project provides teachers with instructional resources and lesson plans that integrate writing into reading in a fourth grade classroom. It includes ways to structure writing within their classroom that create an engaging writing atmosphere where students are motivated and are willing to take risks as writers. Answering text based questions requires a particular process that includes understanding the prompt or question, organization or construction of ideas and explaining answers with text evidence. When writing, students are required to write under the three genres of narrative, informative and opinion. The research based strategies have been included as a guide for teachers, along with four modules that contain lesson plans with writing prompts that are part of the three genres. An appendix contains additional graphic organizers and assessment tools for teachers to use during writing instruction.
    • Creating a technology-friendly learning environment.

      Eckley, Cherilyn E. (2014)
      Literacy is no longer limited to reading and writing on paper, but now includes many types of digital devices. Students will now require some digital literacy skills in order to read and write with these new media. Teachers as well will require revised instructional practices in order to incorporate the latest technology into their classrooms. This research study addresses the question of what research says about using features of touch-screen interactive app-based technology to assist classroom teachers in modifying their instruction to a more student centered and technology-friendly learning environment. An extended literature review and synthesis was conducted and produced two major findings. The first finding is that teachers’ lack sufficient knowledge about the features of touchscreen devices may be a factor to limit the incorporating of these into a classroom learning environment; however, those teachers who do take the time and have the interest to learn about or receive professional development in touch-screen devices and incorporating them into lessons and the classroom environment report an increase in knowledge and positive experiences. The second finding is that the “apps” of EdModo, GroupScribble, and VoiceThread all contain features that are particularly helpful for instructional purposes and for building a “community” of learners within a technology friendly learning environment of the classroom.
    • The development of inquiry-based kits to supplement elementary science instruction.

      Diesenberg, Jessica (16/11/2012)
      "Science has been left off the national agenda for too long, and now we are paying the price", said the executive director of the National Science Teachers Association on the results of the 2009 national science exam (Banchero, 2011, p.1). Results showed that only one third of US students had a solid grasp of science. The National Science Education Standards have encouraged teachers to use inquiry-based learning because it allows students to immerse themselves in science and gain content knowledge. As a response to low science scores and stretched budgets, NY teachers use inquiry-based learning designed for them by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). BOCES prepares and distributes hands-on science kits for grades K-6, making inquiry-based learning an option for all elementary students. BOCES provides schools districts with inquiry kits, however doesn't provide instruction for every topic covered over the course of the year. The purpose of this curriculum project was to create five science kits modeled after the Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES kits to enhance the current fourth grade curriculum at Pine Valley Central School District. Each kit is aligned to the science curriculum and includes: eight lesson plans aligned to the New York State standards, eight reflective assessments, three formal assessments, vocabulary lists, materials list and images/graphs. The new kits resemble the current kits and were created to supplement the curriculum, addressing the following five topics: energy from plants, systems of the human body, heat, sound and light, and simple machines.
    • Effective technology integration in module-based curriculum.

      Putman, Lindsay M. (2014)
      This empirical study began with the question of what types of technology are teachers actually using and integrating into their instruction and delivery of the Common Core Module-based curriculum of New York State, in order to increase student achievement? A mixed methodology was used in this observation study. Participants were three elementary school teachers, all female, all Caucasian, all in the same western New York school, and all recognized by their principal as being “successful” integrators of technology into a Module-based curriculum. Data were collected from two individual interviews each, and from classroom observations of Module-based lesson teaching, using an observation sheet designed by the researcher. Results show that individual teacher use of technology ranged from 57% of the lesson time to 100% of the lesson time, and the most common functions for integrating technology were for topic introduction, providing information, modeling a skill, and student practice. The most common technology devices were Interactive White board (IWB), with clickers and teacher computers (laptops and desktop) second. The most commonly used software are was word processing and PowerPoint. Results also show that successful teachers have received professional development specifically on integrating technology into instruction, but are also confident enough to engage in their own trial and error learning. In addition to finding that these successful teachers combine strong knowledge about instructional technology and about instruction generally, results show that in order to successfully integrate technology into Module based lessons, actual technology integration also depends on the focus of the individual teachers: what is developmentally appropriate, or student-centered instruction, or knowing students’ existing knowledge.
    • Effectiveness of using Webquest to teach computer science to middle school students in Saudi Arabia.

      Alshammari, Adel Radhi (2015)
      This study investigated the effectiveness of using WebQuest to teach computer science to middle school students in Saudi Arabia. This research study aimed to answer the research question: How did the use of WebQuest impact first middle school Saudi students’ learning in computer science? This experimental study focused on first middle school students in two schools in Hail city in Saudi Arabia. In each of the two schools, the researcher chose 16 to 17 students by the use of a convenience sampling method. The total participants in this study were 65 boys aged between 12-13 years. The experimental group was taught computer using WebQuest while the control group was taught using traditional teaching methods. The results yielded that there was an increase in the scores when using the traditional approach and WebQuest approach. The students taught by the WebQuest had higher scores as compared to those in the group taught by the traditional approach, but the difference was not statistically significant.
    • An ethnographic case study of technology use in the elementary classroom.

      Babaeer, Shahad (2014)
      Technology has become an essential tool that supports the education process and offers educators effective strategies in order to address all learners’ needs, and assess students’ understanding. The purpose of any instructional technology is to enhance the experience of the learners and the learners’ ability to master the material by using a range of technology such as computers, iPads, and SMART boards. This paper is an ethnographic case study to answer the research question, “How does a teacher effectively integrate appropriate educational technology to support students’ learning in an elementary classroom”? This research examined effective ways of integrating educational technology into the elementary classroom. Data collected included non-participant observations and open- ended surveys of the teachers. The sample included four elementary classrooms and four elementary school teachers from an American school and four elementary teachers from a Saudi Arabian School. The most significant finding that I have seen through my research in the United States school is that there were a large and diverse number of technologies in each classroom. The SMART boards were the most prevalent technology tool being used with the teachers using SMART boards for their daily lessons. As a result of my study I believe that the SMART board should be a required teaching tool in each elementary classroom.
    • Female teachers' perception of utilizing technology in Social Studies in Saudi public schools.

      Busaeed, Ghada (2015)
      This study aims to obtain an understanding of Saudi teachers' perceptions on technology use in the classroom. In particular, it aims to answer the questions on what the teachers' perceptions are about the effects of technology on their teaching and what difficulties they encounter when using technology. A Likert-scale survey was used to collect data, with the questions divided into three sections, namely questions on the teachers' perceptions on the use of technology in their classes, its impact on the students and teachers, and the challenges that the teachers face with technology. The research involved 32 female teachers from public schools in Saudi Arabia. An analysis of the data through descriptive statistics showed the following mean score for the teachers' perception on technology use: 4.42 (Lessons are more interesting when teachers use technology)…etc. On the other hand, the following is the mean score for the impact of technology use: 4.13 (Able to reinforce and expand on content being taught)…etc. Finally, the following are the mean scores for the challenges that the teachers encountered when using technology: 4.09 (Inefficient time to prepare materials based on technology)…etc. These results imply that the participants have positive perceptions of technology use; that they believe technology use to have a positive impact on their teaching and on the students' learning; and that lack of support from their school administrators are their greatest challenges with using technology in the classroom.
    • Instructional technology and literacy performance.

      Hillebert, Amanda R. (2014)
      Technology use in schools appears to be growing rapidly in many school districts, so this researcher wanted to determine if the instructional technologies being purchased by schools were in fact beneficial to the students. This thesis was completed to address the research question of how instructional technology impacts literacy development in students. To answer that question, the researcher conducted an extensive literature review and research synthesis. The collected studies were organized into five categories: instructional technology with computer software, with interactive white boards (IWB), with digital story booking/podcasting, with mobile devices, and impact of teacher attitude on instructional technology. Analysis of the studies in each category produced the following findings: that instructional technology impacts literacy development in a positive way, specifically by improving reading and writing skills, increasing student participation and engagement, increasing standardized test scores, and increasing reading comprehension across content areas. Instructional technology with digital story booking/podcasting increases literacy development in emergent literacy skills, student performance, and vocabulary. Instructional technology with mobile devices increases phonemic awareness skills and student responsibility. Findings also show that teacher positive attitudes towards instructional technology influence student positive attitudes towards instructional technology, which in turn improves student literacy development. The findings of this literature review are applicable to all teachers in all content areas because instructional technology is used in all content areas at all grade levels.
    • The relationship between using technology classroom and the Social Studies teachers’ attitudes in Saudi Arabia.

      Alqhtani, Ebtssam (2015)
      Technology is an ever-changing tool for educators. This Masters project was designed to clarify if there are relationships between social studies teachers’ attitudes about technology and about using it in their classrooms. Findings suggest that the teachers’ gender, years of experience in teaching, and levels of education have an influence on their attitudes about using technology in the classroom. A questionnaire designed to measure teacher’s attitudes and practices was developed via the online tool Survey Monkey®. In addition, this research found that the gender did not impact attitudes about using technology in the classroom. Years of teaching experience was slightly related to teachers’ attitudes about technology, and there was a moderate correlation between classroom technology use and teachers’ attitudes about using technology. In addition, teachers with higher levels of education had more favorable attitudes about using technology in the classroom.
    • What research shows about literacy instructional strategies specifically for students with specific learning disabilities.

      Braunscheidel, Jennifer R. (2015)
      Within general education and special education classrooms are students with specific learning disabilities, and within these classrooms are general education and special education teachers who may or may not have specific training in how to teach reading to those students. This situation leads to the question of what literacy instructional strategies general education and special education teachers can use for literacy instruction with students who have specific disabilities related to literacy. The most appropriate way to answer this research question was with a research synthesis. The exhaustive literature review and subsequent research synthesis for this study produced three findings. The first is that research has determined five literacy instructional strategies that produce positive impact on students with specific learning disabilities: direct instruction with individuals, direct instruction in groups, repeated oral reading, technology integration, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies. The second is that the most useful and versatile instructional strategies are the three that produce positive results for all three age ranges of elementary, middle school, and adolescents: repeated oral reading which impacts oral fluency, direct instruction with an individual, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies, both of which impact reading comprehension. The third finding is that the main literacy skills to be targeted by literacy instruction for students with specific learning disabilities at the middle school and adolescent age range appears to be reading comprehension. These findings then form the basis of professional development for teachers that takes the form of an online interactive module.