September 23, 2017

EDET 636 Impact of Tech Week 3 Blog

EDET 636: Impact of Technology on Student Learning
Week 3 Blog
Essential Question: What will you have to know and do to begin your research?

            To begin my action research in the classroom, I need to first identify the area that I will conduct my research in. I will try to have the focus to be on technology and how it impacts students and student learning in a high school Algebra classroom. Merriam and Tisdell recommend that when selecting a topic you should seek out what improvements can be made in your every day life or what are you curious about that would help you in your professional career. (2016) Sagor points out that this first step is very important because “Considering the incredible demands on today's classroom teachers, no activity is worth doing unless it promises to make the central part of a teacher's work more successful and satisfying.” (2000)
            After the topic is identified, I will need to figure out what the research problem is so that I can seek clarity and ideas of solutions to the problem through research. Merriam and Tisdell explains that the area of interest or the topic of interest is not good enough for action research but rather a problem within that topic needs to be stated so that the research can recognize the problem and come up with a solution. (2016) These problems can be shared in a question format and it might be helpful to have more than one question or problem so that if the research is successful in answering the question, the research has room to grow into solving more problems.
            Next, the researcher needs to discover the theoretical framework of the topic. Merriam and Tisdell define theoretical framework as “the underlying structure, the scaffolding or frame of your study” that consists of concepts or theories that will inform the researcher and the reader of the topic so that everyone is on the same page. (2016) It seems difficult to discover the theoretical framework but I find it necessary so that the research has a good base to start on. With this, it is necessary to seek out and discover the research that has already been conducted on the topic so that time is not wasted within the action research. If a method has already been found to be more effective than others, it would be best for the researcher to know this ahead of time so that more ground can be covered in the research.
            Lastly, in preparation for research in the classroom, is to identify the sample of students that the research will be conducted on. I have already decided that this will be done with my Algebra 1 class mainly because I have the most difficult time with them when it comes to interest of learning mathematics. Soon I will have the topic I want to look at identified and I will begin my research into how the problem has been solved in the past by other educators or researchers.


Merriam, S. B. & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. San Franciso, CA. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sagor, R. (2000). Guiding School Improvement with Action Research. ASCD. Retrieved from

September 17, 2017

EDET 636 Impact of Tech Week 2 Reflection

This week I could not figure out why qualitative research was giving me such a hard time. I could not see how asking people about their experiences and the way they make meaning of these experiences was research. It wasn’t till I read Gerald’s post and comments of other posts did I realize that maybe my linear mathematics brain has forced me to put numbers to all research. I would like to start looking at some qualitative research projects. The purpose of looking at these would be to figure out how the researcher summarized his or her research. How do they come up with a conclusion inductively and what do they offer to the world of educational research?

Last week’s Twitter session was great but now I plan to come prepared with a few questions to add to the conversation. Will we need to lead a twitter session?

September 16, 2017

EDET 636 Impact of Tech Week 2 Blog

EDET 636: Impact of Technology on Student Learning
Week 2 Blog
Essential Question: How is Qualitative Research a good lens through which to view classroom research?

            Researchers might have a different reason or desired outcome from the research and many times these researching perspectives fall in one of the following four categories (Merriam & Tisdell)
·      Positivist- a purpose to predict and control a research. Experimental and survey are the main types of research format
·      Constructivist- a purpose to describe, interpret, and understand. Qualitative is the main type of research format.
·      Critical- a purpose is to create change or empower. Examples of research includes feminist, participatory action research, critical race theory
·      Postmodern- a purpose is to deconstruct, question, problematize, or interrupt. Example include queer theory.
Of these main types or perspectives of research, classroom research seems to fall in the constructivist category because teachers and adults working with students are trying to understand student learning, then describe and interpret student learning so that they can become better teachers. The main way to conduct a constructivist perspective research is to take a qualitative approach to the research.
            Merriam and Tisdell explain that qualitative research gives a chance for a researcher to step into the world of certain situations and circumstances. There are methods and guidelines to help someone who is interested in viewing things in their natural habitat and attempts to interpret these things by looking how others bring meaning to the topic or thing being researched. Qualitative research does not look at the frequency of a happening but rather tries to interpret, decode, and share the happening by looking at experiences of people connected to or affected by the happening. (2016)
            In order to have more of a guideline or direction of qualitative research, Merriam and Tisdell provided four main characteristics of this type of research. They are listed below. (2016)
·      Focus on meaning and understanding: “The overall purposes of qualitative research are to achieve an understanding of how people make sense out of their lives, delineate the process (rather than the outcome or product) of meaning-making, and describe how people interpret what they experience.” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016)
·      Researcher as primary instrument: The person who is doing the research should be doing all of the data collecting and analysis so that the researcher can be flexible in which way they want to continue by analyzing the data as the research is moving forward.
·      An inductive process: The researcher does not start with a theory rather the researcher uses the data to build concepts and create theories off of the analysis of the data.
·      Rich description: The data needs to consist of words, pictures, videos, etc instead of numbers.
These characteristics of qualitative research convince me that this method of research is a great way to conduct classroom research. Teachers are constantly looking at and considering personal student experiences and the students’ meaning of the experiences. As a teacher, I consider the qualitative type of data more than just the numbers part of student data. I understand if and when students understand the concepts being learning not because the assessment shows me they passed but because the students’ meaning of the material is evidence.


Merriam, S. B. & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. San Franciso, CA. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

September 9, 2017

EDET 636 Impact of Tech Week 1 Reflection

            As I was reading about action research, I started to think about what parts of teaching would I focus on in an action research project. I find that having a clear vision and understanding of what the teacher wants to be changed will help the research be effective. Gerald’s post made me reflect on how important the before hand research is in order to have a method of teaching to implement that might actually be positive in the classroom. If I decide to use a new technology in my classroom but I don’t research about the ways to use it effectively or how it could negatively affect my classroom, then I might cause harm to learning for my students. Josie’s post reminded me how important the method of data collection is because without data how will we know if the new method worked or improved the classroom.

            I am excited for this semester but I am a bit worried about the structure of the class. I feel like I don’t quite understand how our Twitter sessions will work and what direction our Action Research projects will go. Hopefully on Monday we will talk about this but it would be nice to briefly meet on Blackboard collaborate in order to pose questions or clarify the course’s goals and assignments.