The alignment of World Wide Web activities referred to by publishers in middle school social studies textbooks with the National Educational Technology Standards for students
Lena Boustani Darwich, The University of Akron, United States
The University of Akron . Awarded
The study was a content analysis of three chapters in three principal middle school social studies textbooks teacher's editions, and the companion World Wide Web sites referred to in the chapters. The content analysis provided a systematic and objective process for categorizing and coding the manifest content of the companion sites, which allowed for an understanding of and an insight into the latent content.
Four research questions were developed based on four National Educational Technology Standards for students: Technology productivity tools (3); technology communications tools (4); technology research tools (5); and technology problem-solving and decision-making tools (6). The research questions dealt with the extent and manner in which students were directed to use technology tools in online activities.
Four coding forms were developed to identify the categories that defined each technology standard. The coding forms underwent an evaluation process; and a pilot test was conducted. The coding process consisted of online coding of 40 references. The data analysis procedure consisted of simple frequency counts and percentages.
The study revealed two major findings that are direct responses to the research questions: The limited number of uses and the limited variety of application of technology tools. The study also revealed three tangential findings: The promotion of teacher-centered approach to instruction; the promotion of student passive reading; and the minimal attention to current events. These emerged through the examination of the physical attributes of the references and of the World Wide Web site content.
The results of the study showed that the references to the World Wide Web were distributed among teacher and student sections; with more references placed in the teacher sections. The results also established that technology productivity tools were least used in the activities; and that technology communications tools and technology problem-solving and decision-making tools were used in all the activities. However, there existed a definite lack of variability in the tools used and in the type of application formats for these tools. The results indicated that the NETS for students standard 3 was not met, and that the NETS for students standards 4, 5, and 6 were partially met.
Darwich, L.B. The alignment of World Wide Web activities referred to by publishers in middle school social studies textbooks with the National Educational Technology Standards for students. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Akron.
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