Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Action Research - NECC session

Action Research: Blogs, Wikis and More
Cathy and Terry Cavanaugh, University of North Florida, presenters
Wednesday, 10:00 am
Sharon Betts, Educational Technology Coordinator Maine School Adminstrative District 52

What does the research say? I hope this session gives me some insight into how to use some new technologies to complete our own research. I want to be able to answer the those persistent questions: "How do you know this worked?", "How can we improve these lessons?", "What needs do our students have?", "Did I succeed in my outcomes?"

The full room makes me think that others are also trying to answer similar questions.
All handouts are on the NECC site for this session -- I certainly hope every presenter has uploaded their slides.

The Cavanaughs have been doing action research with districts around their University for several years. Many states are beginning to accept this type of research as "in-service" credits for recertification. Action research meets ISTE NETS and National Board standards.
The above site is a guide for classroom action research. I love the idea of linking their site to others around the world to create a community of action research programs. This would than act as a support structure for reflective teaching and improved student learning. Cathy mentioned that ISTE website, Wikipedia, Google Books and Google Scholar make a good starting points for teachers.

The overview of what action research is went a bit slowly. It is possible to Google "action research" and find many models for performing this process. Perhaps many attendees want this type of overview, but personally I like to do my own reviewing - I do appreciate the list of resources. The best part of this presentation, was the integration of modern technology as a platform for completing action research.

Exciting -- the presenters used Web 2.0 and open source applications as tools (cMap for concept maps). Since this is my main area of interest, I was very happy to see these programs appear in many presentions this year.

Blogs to include and work with action research projects or even as informal recording notebooks. Email conferencing and electronic portfolios are tools to contain information as teachers work. The mentors can use an rss feed to stay up-to-date with teachers work and questions.

Many reference links were given:
Some teacher research topics using Blogs are found on

Online surveys and rubrics to analyze the gathered data. Create a graph can be found online at NCES:

I liked the idea of occassionally meeting face to face with teachers completing action research. We must remember that even when emphasizing technology uses, sometimes goals are better met in "old-fashioned" ways.

I believe the audience was very happy with the knowledge and expertise shared by Cathy and Terry. It seems that this is a topic being looked at in many districts across the nation and I look forward to sharing this with my Assistant Superintendent when I return to Maine.

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1 comment:

Cheryl Oakes said...

Thanks for sharing, it was almost like being there! Hope you are enjoying NECC 06.