Action Research

Final Document

 

pepperdine university

xing king


 

Integrating Technology as an Effective Tool in Language Education

Abstract

 

The overall goal of this action research is to learn how technology as an effective tool supports student learning language with deep understanding in a community of practice. My position in the community of practice that I am working in is a foreign language teacher of The Bishop's School in San Diego. Before I entered the Pepperdine OMET program, with the computer technology being increasingly used in my classroom I was concerned about whether or not the use of the technology in my classes resulted in a deeper learning of students.

What I have learned from education theorists, scholars, and educators through the literature review can be summarized as a) Effective learning requires a deep understanding. In order for learners to gain insight into their learning and their understanding, frequent feedback is critical: students need to monitor their learning and actively evaluate their strategies and their current levels of understanding; b) The role of the learning community is a critical part of learning process. Wenger's ideas of community of practice shows how members of a learning community both support and challenge each other, leading to effective and relevant knowledge construction; and c) Technology is used to enhance the learning experience through information dissemination, communication, collaboration, and knowledge construction. The education theorist, Seymour Papert tells us that the computer is a tool. Papert says that schools can be divided into two wings: 1) those that technology as an informational medium, and 2) those that use technology as a constructional medium (doing things, making things, constructing things).

The insights I have gained from the research has helped me identify what the solutions might be. The outcome of the resulting action research is that technology supports a shift toward more student-centered classrooms, 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), and I must vigorously use ongoing assessment to deepen learning, and finally, require metacognition/reflection for students to further reveal and build upon their learning.

In the following sections, my action research goals, activities, data, insights, and reflection are reported. In the section of Where to Go, my future goals and directions are reported. Please click on each section to view my action research final report.