Welcome to the home of my Action Research Project - a year-long journey through the innovation of learning and technology. I will use the following definitions as a guide in my action research.
With computer technologies being increasingly used in my classroom I have been concerned about whether or not the use of the technology in my classes results in students learning language with deep understanding. How does technology as an effective tool support student learning language with deep understanding in a community of practice? To answer this question, I have conducted an action research in my own classroom practice. What I have learned from the literature review, a series of research activities, and data analysis can be summarized as: (a) effective learning requires a deep understanding; (b) the role of the learning community is a critical part of learning process as Wenger's idea of Community of Practice shows how members of a learning community both support and challenge each other, leading to effective and relevant knowledge construction (Wenger, 1991); and (c) technology is used to enhance the learning experience through information dissemination, communication, collaboration, and knowledge construction. The outcome of the resulting action research is that technology supports a shift toward more student-centered classroom with students engaged in more challenging work, taking more responsibility for their own learning, and engaging in collaboration with their peers. Technology use in the classroom can enhance learning when it is used as part of a coherent education approach. It must be used in tandem with what we know about how people learn (Bransford, 2000).
Definitions of Action Research:
1. Educators work collaboratively to form questions about their professional practice; to collect, analyze, and interpret data; to draw conclusions about their practice; and to use the results of this research to enhance and improve their professional practice.
New Jersey Education Association [Definitions of terms]. Retrieved August 6, 2004 from http://www.njea.org/Professional Development/DefinitionOfTerms.asp .
2. Action research is a term which refers to a practical way of looking at your own work to check that it is as you would like it to be. Because action research is done by you, the practitioner, it is often referred to as practitioner based research; and because it involves you thinking about and reflecting on your work, it can also be called a form of self-reflective practice.
Jean McNiff (2002). Action research for professional development concise advice for new action researchers. First and Second Editions Jean Mcniff 1995, 1997. Third Edition Jean McNiff 2002. Retrieved July 31, 2004 from http://www.jeanmcniff.com/booklet1.html .