Posted by: Kris Woods | December 20, 2007

Article #4 Student Engagement

Student Engagement, Visual Learning and Technology:  Can Interactive Whiteboards Help?
William D. Beeland, Jr.
Retrieved April 18, 2003, from the University of New Castle website:

Whiteboards, student response devices, projectors, laptops, creation stations, digital cameras, fire wire…

Podcasting, blogging, authentic learning, project-based learning, social bookmarking, wikis, MUVEs like Second Life…

Everyday I can check my RSS reader and skim through the blog postings from my favorites to see the current news in education, library media, student learning, Web 2.0 and so much more.  The equipment and the tools mentioned above are the tip of the iceberg when dealing with 21st century learning and student engagement.  The final reading for the Engaged Learning class is an action research article on the effects on electronic whiteboard (EWB) use on the motivation and engagement of students in a middle school classroom.  Breeland emphasized three modalities: visual, tactile, and auditory learning in order to test the efficacy of electronic whiteboards in the classroom.  The report elucidates a positive response to EWB.  The consensus of the discussion focused on why wouldn’t there be a positive response?  Students today are engaged in learning through the same modalities as they always have been engaged.  The difference can be the tools, but the bottom line is the instructional pedagogy used in the classroom to engage the learners.  As we discussed in class, the tools will not “fix” a “broken” classroom.  21st century tools will enhance the already successful classroom. 

There is a dearth of studies concerning the efficacy of 21st century tools and Web 2.0 implementation in the classroom.  Correction: there is a dearth of academic, peer-reviewed studies.  There is bountiful information about 21st century learning all over the web.  As we begin using these tools in the classroom through a shift in pedagogy, we also have to change our professional development sources.  Through blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, and podcasts we can have access to a plethora of information about Web 2.0, 21st century learning and the changing pedagogy. Will Richardson in his book Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms mentions how he has learned more in the few years he has been involved in the “Read/Write Web” than in his 20 previous years in education (Richardson, p. vii).  Dr. Scott McCleod discusses Scholarship 2.0 and the need for higher education to accept online publishing as a scholarly pursuit.  Not only must we engage our students in learning, but also engage our own learning through use of the same avenues to information as we expect of our students.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: