Archive for the 'Research' Category

Student Checkpoints: Great for Diagnosis and Feedback

My college students are starting the research paper phase of the writing course. I have built in many checkpoints for the first few classes. They are to show me their thesis that they could select from a page and a half listing or make up their own. I helped about 25% complete or modify their thesis. Many selected the questions such as “Should the government provide child day care centers for working parents?” but they did not put in their position such as “The government should provide child day care centers for working parents”.

Next I asked them to complete a graphic organizer of what they think the possible supporting topics are and to show it to me. About 20% have put down topics that do not support the thesis but are a variation on the topic. In fact, they modify their thesis after re-examining their topics. One student has “Gays should be admitted into the military” but for his topics he has “distinguished military record”, “daily duties”, “friendships”, and “advancement”. He modifies his thesis to “Gays deserve equal treatment in the military”

The more times we build in checkpoints, the more we can diagnose and give formative feedback to our students.

How many checkpoints do you have in the unit you are presently teaching?

Finding Information on the Web: Search Engine or Metasearch Engine

Google searches its own collection of information. However, other search engines are metasearch engines which mean that they search numerous search engines at the same time. You cover more territory with just a few clicks. Also since each search engine has its own strengthens and weaknesses, when you use a metasearch engine you find a variety of different sources.

Some metasearch engines:


Try them and see if you find better, more diversified, results than with your present favorite search engine. Do you have another favorite metasearch engine?

Getting Students To Research a Topic Through YouTube Video


Although we can talk about a topic that we want our students to research, debate, agree/disagree with, do a documentary on, etc., we can motivate them by showing them a YouTube video about the topic. For example, you can show them the video, Spanish is Texas town’s official language, for motivation. Students can listen and write down the major points of both sides.
Then they can research this topic and related ones (Should some towns in Peru have Quecha as their official language although Spanish is the national language? How has Canada dealt with two languages both being the official language?) They can do Internet research, find other YouTube videos to support their side, interview people in person or electronically (email, IM, Skype, videoconferencing, etc.). They can present their factual and emotional evidence to support their view through PowerPoint, other YouTube videos, actual live interviews, their own YouTube video about the topic, a podcast, etc. English students and Social Studies students who hate to write an essay will eagerly do this assignment and then they can write it up in the state-rubric essay writing format.

One advantage of using a YouTube video is that the students can replay the video as often as they want to make sure that they understand the arguments on both sides. They can even style their response in the same or a similar format. They have the scaffolding of the video to help them as they check their information against the video.

How do you use YouTube to help students with their research?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Document Camera Research and A Version of an Opaque Projector

opaque projector

According to The Journal June 2007, the document camera is the new hot technology. For you younger teachers, this technology in a bulker form existed many many many years ago. It was called an opaque projector. Teachers could put an object, a picture, an article, or a book on it and it would project the object to a huge size. We used it for a myriad of classroom activities from science comparisons to looking at students’ writing. I found a 1964 article on the opaque projector “The opaque projector as used in a kindergarten and first grade”

Do we have information on what the advantages and disadvantage of the opaque project were in class? Do we have “best practices” for using the opaque projector? Or we are starting from scratch in our use of the document camera? If so, why? I thought we were in the age of “scientific-based research”? Why do we get “hype” and not research? Why cannot we instantly start to use the document camera for greater student learning instead of going through the trail and tribulation stage?


© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007



Scientifically-Based Methods vs Action Research

Action Research Not Academic Research

I love to read science articles when they show that a theory that we have held for centuries and has been “scientifically-proven” is now considered incorrect. Pluto is a famous example. Dinosaur “facts” change constantly. Science is a dynamically changing body of knowledge.

So what have scientifically-based methods done for the P12 or even the college environment? How many “fads” have been proven to be successful only to be displaced by the next “fad”? How many millions of academic research projects are done each year? Has education fundamentally changed due to any of this research? Greg Toppo in “Education Science in Search of Answers” USA Today 6D Wed Apr. 11 2007 mentions research “studies that do little to help schools solve practical problems such as how to train teachers, how to raise skills, (and) how to lower dropout rates” Education researchers do not do “rigorous …and important research”. He tells that the What Works ClearingHouse evaluates research studies and finds over 75% unacceptable.

Let’s move from academic research to Action Research. How does what you do in your class make a learning difference in your students in the next month in terms of the standards? Try out an instructional method, give several assessments, evaluate the success of the method, and try another method if students are not reaching the success level you want. A simple spreadsheet can be a powerful tool to aid you in your action research. When the class reaches your level, congratulate them. Make your classroom a place where action research makes a real difference in the academic lives of students.

(My 200th blog entry!)

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]

Blog Stats

  • 801,020 hits