What Students Think About Technology and Academic Engagement in School: Implications for Middle Grades Teaching and Learning
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Lee, J. & Spires, H. (2009). What Students Think About Technology and Academic Engagement in School: Implications for Middle Grades Teaching and Learning. AACE Journal, 17(2), 61-81. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/27007.
Volume 17, Issue 2, April 2009
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Chesapeake, VA
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Students today live in technology-rich environments that shape their interactions with information and with each other. Children in the 21st century have access to a wide range of technology resources and tools for learning in real-life contexts. This study reports on a survey of 4000 North Carolina middle school students about what they need to be engaged and achieve in these 21st century settings. In addition to the large-scale survey, 48 students from three different geographical areas of the state participated in six focus group interview sessions. The results of the survey and focus group interviews are reported in the context of similar previously reported national surveys of students’ uses and thoughts about technology. Collective findings from these studies suggest that students use technology differently inside and outside school. We argue that to facilitate student learning that is engaging and meaningful, middle grades teachers must bridge the gap between their students’ uses of technologies in and out of school. Furthermore, we suggest that as middle grades teachers consider the various roles that technology plays in children’s lives in and out of school they should pay special attention to the particular needs of middle level learners.
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