EDU 800 Annotated Bib

Researching Educational Technology: Stop Beating a Dead Horse, and Narrow the Scope.

Ross, S. M., Morrison, G. R., & Lowther, D. L. (2010). Educational technology research past and present: Balancing rigor and relevance to impact school learning. Contemporary Educational Technology1(1), 17-35.

Summary. The purpose of the study discussed in this article was to take a more focused look on technology usage in a K-12 environment with special emphasis on the following: effective uses of technology in schools “as  topic for research,” “historical trends in research on educational technology,” and “alternative research designs for balancing internal (rigor) and external (relevance) validity,” as well as “suggested directions for areas of inquiry and research approaches” (pg. 18). The authors found that educational technology is a challenging subject to study as those researching must try to sift through the mass of past research, and focus on conducting research that is relevant and addresses contemporary issues. The first step that a contemporary researcher needs to make is identifying topics to investigate that are meaningful and can hopefully apply to the next decade of educational technology. The authors end their article with the recommendation that future researchers should “reduce efforts to prove the ‘effectiveness’ of technology, while focusing on conducting rigorous and relevant mixed-methods studies to explicate which technology applications work to facilitate learning, in what ways, in which contexts, for whom, and why” (pg. 31).

Evaluation. This article, and the literature review study that was conducted was high quality and very accessible in terms of readability and understanding. The authors clearly defined the questions they were going to explore within the study and defended their choices behind their research approach(es). The authors clearly conducted a very detailed literature review and qualitative study, which I believe is often they most effective approach when discussing educational technology.

Application. While I typically review articles that are not part of my assigned reading for my EDU 800 course, this particular piece was very impactful in terms of how I will start to steer my own research. Prior to reading this article, I had focused heavily on the effectiveness of technology, and really I need to be honing in on a specific technology solving a specific problem for a specific audience. We know, as individuals working in higher education and K-12, that technology does have an effect on learning, that is no longer a debate – now we need to focus on more specific technology and how it is being used in a narrower environment. For my own areas of interest, I brainstormed how i would apply the recommendation in this paper, to my own approach to research within this course and my program. For example, I could focus on how certain technologies can allow for storytelling within online classes and how that impacts Native American students in terms of information retention and future application.

Additional Reading
Alismail, H. A. (2015). Integrate Digital Storytelling in Education. Journal of Education and Practice6(9), 126-129.