The Associaton for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) is recognized as the premier professional organization representing those who practice in the fields of Educational Technology, Instructional Technology, and Information Communications Technology (ICT). This brief paper describes current AECT activities and opportunities to strengthen our partnership with the Japan Society for Educational Technology (JSET). Mutual opportunities to benefit from this partnership are also explored.
This article reports on recent trends in research on classroom instruction and teacher education based on the educational technology approach in Japan. First it was surveyed research on classroom instruction and teacher education during the early period of educational technology. Then it traces the genealogy and background of research based on the educational technology approach, having divided the material into research on classroom instruction and teacher education. The article then shifts its focus to the activities of “SIG-02: teacher education and practical research,” one of the Special Interest Groups founded in 2014, and reports on the achievements and future challenges of five SIG study meetings and SIG sessions at three annual conferences.
Game-based learning and open education are two areas of research that have attracted attention in recent years within the global trend of educational technology research, recognized as important subjects for study that will become increasingly popular in the next few years. This paper outlines the research trends in both game-based learning and open education, and places them in the perspective of multidisciplinary research, given the prospect of SIG’s “Game-based Learning and Open Education” that was launched in 2014 by the Japan Society for Educational Technology.
Iterative learning with one learning terminal per child started with computer-assisted instruction and continued to e-learning. It has been difficult to maintain children's motivation with drill learning. In this study, we developed a “connected learning system” and conducted a demonstration experiment. A student competes against unseen rivals on the Internet in real time. Grouping students into almost the same level enhanced their awareness of competition, positively impacted calculation, arithmetic, and the habit of studying at home. Over the last eight months, the demonstration experiment has indicated that the calculating ability of students who used the system has improved in a relatively short time compared to those who did not. In addition, the experiment indicates that the system’s effectiveness is the same or more than that of traditional lessons that enhance calculating ability. Its high effectiveness on students with low academic ability is one of the most remarkable indications.
The purpose of this case study is to clarify the characteristics of communication about the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) among teachers by analyzing elementary schools where document cameras and computers are used on a daily basis. The results of interviews are depicted in a diagram called a “communication flow” regarding teachers who sought information or advice, and teachers whose information or advice was sought by other teachers. There was a tendency for less experienced teachers, and those who were slow to begin document cameras and computers use, to ask for information from more experienced teachers who had adopted the use of document cameras and computers earlier. In addition, the presence of two teachers as advisors was revealed. In the surveyed school, almost every teacher is embedded in the school-wide communication network headed by these two teachers, and it became clear that this is a perfect environment for getting information and advice about not only the use of ICT for teaching but technical details of document cameras and computers.
The purpose of this study is to elucidate the characteristics of experiential learning for teachers in conjunction with the context of educational practice in order to develop a model of factors contributing to such learning. For this purpose, we have conducted two research studies. In the first study, we interviewed school principals with extensive administrative experience in education. The results of the interviews have shown us that it is possible to view teacher learning from the point of view of an “attitude for learning through experience” and that their awareness of this attitude along with a small adjustment of it within their community becomes a key. Based on this finding, a model of experiential learning for teachers has been developed. In the second study, the life histories of three teachers―one young, another middle-aged, and yet another, a veteran teacher―were analyzed on the basis of the experiential learning model developed in the first study. As a result of the second study, it has been made clear that whether a teacher learns from experience depends on the teacher’s attitude in his/her teaching community. Thus, the key for opening up an amenable attitude for teachers’ experiential learning is to take into consideration the community both inside and outside of their profession, in such a way as to transfer teachers to other schools in addition to persuading them to evaluate their own practice. Further, we indicated the validity and possibility of improving the model.
The Socla Project supports high school students' career learning and uses social media to connect them with college students and working adults. The participants were 56 high school students (28 blended learners and 28 fully online learners) who pursued their own career-related topics such as the meaning of work and transitioning to college while receiving help from college students and working adults through Facebook. This study evaluates the project based on the results of using Facebook, a questionnaire given to the participants, and findings from their semi-structured interviews. Although 42.9% of fully online learners dropped out of the project (as opposed to 7.1% of blended online learners), the fully online learners who completed the project demonstrated higher levels of participation and enthusiasm for learning. Furthermore, the questionnaire indicated that learners’ career-related anxieties were alleviated, and their ability to make decisions about their careers and sense of self-efficacy were enhanced. Furthermore, the interviews suggested that conversations with supporters and a survey distributed to the public contributed to the learners’ overall understanding of career-related issues.
In this study, we classified university students into types based on the 3 skills involved in critical thinking, and while analyzing the relationship between disposition, behavior, and abilities related to critical thinking for each type, we analyzed the factors that improve these abilities through disposition and behavior. We identified 3 types of students, and found that, for those who exhibited relatively high critical thinking, accumulated experiences since elementary and middle school influenced current behavior. Those who did not exhibit high critical thinking did not make connections with past experiences, and their current behavior influenced their abilities. For those who exhibited only high written communication skills, their disposition influenced their critical thinking abilities. Based on the conditional probability distribution, we found that groups with high and low critical thinking skills differed in terms of the change of ability improvements based on strengthening of necessary behaviors and dispositions.
This paper aims to assess students' recognition of attained targets of practical seminars for the teaching profession through a curriculum design that uses ICT. In Study 1, we promoted a practical seminar for the teaching profession in 2013 focused on reflection about the contents of visiting lecturers using an e-portfolio for teaching the students, and they did peer assessment of the movies with the system for enhancing student reflection using videos of classes (MORIMOTO and KITAZAWA 2014) using movies of classes made by classroom teachers. However, from the results of the curriculum design, their teaching skills about subjects and methods and techniques of instructional skills did not increase. In Study 2, we changed the curriculum design of the practical seminar for the teaching profession in 2013 to the seminar of 2014. The changes were that the students made the class movies focused on materials and methods and techniques of instructional skills and then did peer assessment of the movies with the system for enhancing student reflection using videos of the classes. From the results, we found that their recognition of teaching skills about subjects and methods and techniques of instructional skills increased.
Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) programs, designed for graduate students aspiring to become faculty members, have been started with the objective of helping students acquire practical teaching knowledge and skills in Japan. In order to provide graduate students with additional opportunities to reflect on the comprehensive activities associated with their teaching, research, and career paths, this study develops a Graduate Student Academic Portfolio (GSAP). The GSAP contains a document that summarizes a student's activities, accomplishments, and future goals, together with any necessary support materials, in a manner that is easily understood by third parties. Further, in a workshop designed to help students create a GSAP, seven graduate students participated and created their own portfolios. Following the workshop, questionnaires were distributed to the participants, who commented on and evaluated the workshop and GSAP creation process very positively. These responses suggest that the GSAP can serve as an effective tool for reflection in PFF programs.
“Flipped Classroom” is a teaching method to prepare learners for their lesson by watching a related video at home where they validate their understanding of the learning contents and then discuss about it at school. In this study, we conducted a flipped class in mathematics: direct proportion and inverse proportion in sixth grade elementary school. To verify the effects of the flipped learning strategies, learners’ video viewing logs, notes at home, and pretest and posttest results were analyzed, which consequently, derived four findings: 1) Even lower-ranked learners could achieve a degree of positive results. 2) Learners’ viewing activities were different based on their ranks. Higher-ranked learners exceeded the allotted viewing time because they watched the videos incrementally to understand the contents well. 3) The higher-ranked learners made detailed notes, while the lower-ranked learners tended not to record their calculations and reflections. 4) Among the lower-ranked learners, those who achieved higher scores in the posttest wrote detailed notes both at home and in school.
The purpose of this study was to examine children's age-related changes in performance and strategies in an area and volume comparison. Kindergarteners and pupils in the lower grades of an elementary school participated in this study. Pairs of rectangles or rectangular solids were presented to the participants, and they were asked to indicate which one was larger. Results showed that the percentage of correct answers in the area comparison tasks varied across age groups in a u-shaped manner, whereas the percentage of correct answers in volume comparison tasks increased in a linear manner. The results from the analyses of the comparison cues that children used revealed that the kindergarteners and first graders were unable to integrate differences in multiple dimensions, and that they utilized the differences as separated cues in the area and volume comparisons. However, second and third graders could integrate and utilize differences in multiple dimensions as comparison cues. These results support the view suggested by Bausano and Jeffrey (1975), that three-year-olds should outperform four- or five-year-olds in area comparisons because three-year-olds tend to compare areas and utilize the differences in the longest dimension as comparison cues.
This longitudinal study examined the relationship between self-efficacy, intrinsic value, and emotional engagement during one semester of university. Self-report questionnaires were administered three times to 217 undergraduates at the three universities. The results of the cross-lagged panel model indicated that intrinsic value at time 1 was a positive predictor of emotional engagement at time 2, self-efficacy at time 2 was a positive predictor of intrinsic value and emotional engagement at time 3, and emotional engagement at time 2 was a positive predictor of self-efficacy and intrinsic value at time 3. These results indicated that the timing when expectancy influenced learning was different from the timing when value influenced learning during one semester. The role of self-efficacy, intrinsic value, and emotional engagement in learning of undergraduates is discussed in light of the current findings.