I just wanted to quickly bring your attention to a great small and friendly conference right here in Tennessee at Cleveland State Community College.

Proposals for presentations from experienced classroom and industry professionals are being solicited to provide presentations which would be part of a comprehensive Summit program on instructional technologies as they are being applied in education, vocational training, or job performance improvement.

The presentations can include demonstrations of best practices, ways to implement technology, descriptions of educational and technical skills applications, e-Learning, instructional design, product demonstrations, and other topics of interest related to technology and learning.

The proposals should describe events in the form of individual presentations, panel discussions, or hands-on training.

Please submit a separate proposal for each desired presentation; each individual may submit up to four (4) separate proposals. We hope that you will be willing to offer your session twice in order to increase the number of participants who receive your information. To submit your proposal, go to the Cleveland State website at http://www.clevelandstatecc.edu/events/p16/call-for-proposals.php and fill out the proposal submission form accessed from the home page.  Proposal submissions should be submitted by March 31, 2012.

This is a great opportunity that I hope you’ll consider.

Dear SIG-IT Members,

SIG-IT is pleased to announce the awards program for the 2012 AERA annual meeting.  We would like to remind you of the February 1, 2012, deadline for all three 2012 AERA SIG-IT awards.  The three awards are:

  • Best Paper Award
  • Young Researcher Award
  • Student Travel Award

More information about the 2012 SIG-IT Awards, including the application process and the evaluation criteria, can be found below. You may also download a Microsoft Word file with all of the details at http://bit.ly/sigit2012.  Please note, if you think your paper is eligible for more than one of these awards, please choose the award that you think is the best fit and apply for that one.

To submit an application for any of these awards or for more information please email Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu.

Regards,
Michael M. Grant
SIG-IT Chair-Elect & Awards Program Coordinator


2012 SIG-IT BEST PAPER AWARD

Completed applications must be received by February 1, 2012, at 11:59 pm EST.  Applicants will be informed of the decision no later than March 15, 2012.

The SIG-IT Best Paper Award will be presented to the scholar with the best research paper already submitted to SIG-IT and accepted for presentation at the 2012 AERA Conference in any format (paper, poster, or roundtable). The award recipient will be given a plaque and a check for $350 at the SIG-IT Business meeting during the 2012 annual meeting.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must

  • Be a member of AERA and SIG-IT at time of submission
  • Attend the 2012 AERA conference and SIG-IT business meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Be the primary investigator of the completed research study submitted for the award
  • Hold a doctoral degree from an accredited institution in the area of Instructional Technology or a related field

As noted above, the submission for the Best Paper Award must have been submitted to SIG-IT and accepted for presentation at the 2012 AERA Conference.

SIG-IT reserves the right to not issue this award if there are not adequate or appropriate submissions received.

Guidelines for submission:

  • Authors should take necessary steps to remain anonymous. Contact information should only be in the cover letter; the manuscript must be blinded. For further information about how to prepare a blinded manuscript, please consult the APA manual.
  • Papers must be between 2,000 and 9,000 words (i.e., no more than 30 double-spaced pages), including text, references, appendices, tables, and figures.
  • Papers should be formatted according to the APA 6th edition.
  • We accept submissions that investigate the impact of technological and instructional innovations in a variety of contexts, including K-12, higher education, business/industry, and informal settings.

Papers Will Be Evaluated Using the Following Criteria:

  • Relevance and significance of topic and research question(s) to the field
  • Clarity of research question(s)
  • Thoroughness of literature review
  • Appropriateness of methodology for study
  • Quality and completeness of analysis
  • Clarity and soundness of conclusions
  • Promotion of a continuing research agenda or improved professional practices
  • Overall quality demonstrating coherence and reasoning
  • Contribution to the cumulative knowledge base of the field

Application Process:

Submit the following files in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format via email to Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu:

  • A cover letter stating your intent to apply, describing your eligibility for the award, and including contact information
  • Blind manuscript (this means nowhere in your manuscript file should it indicate your name or your affiliation; for further information on how to prepare a blind manuscript please consult the APA manual)

The electronic documents must be submitted in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format only. Please email electronic copies of the cover letter and the paper to Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu.  Papers received after 11:59 pm EST on February 1st, 2012, or not properly blinded will not be considered.

To submit an application or for more information, contact Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu.

2012 SIG-IT YOUNG RESEARCHER AWARD

Completed applications must be received by February 1, 2012, at 11:59 pm EST. Applicants will be informed of the decision no later than March 15, 2012.

The SIG-IT Young Researcher Award will be presented to a deserving new scholar in the field who submits a paper that has not been either accepted for presentation or presented before. The award recipient will present their paper at the SIG-IT business meting at the 2012 AERA Conference and receive a plaque and a check for $350.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants must

  • Be a member of AERA and SIG-IT at time of submission
  • Attend the 2012 AERA conference and SIG-IT business meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Be a doctoral candidate or have graduated within the previous 5 years.
  • Be the Primary Investigator of a completed research study. In the case of a co-authored paper, the candidate is required be the primary researcher and first author.

Papers submitted for the Young Researcher Award must not have been or currently be accepted for presentation at any conference – including AERA.

This means that if your paper was accepted for AERA, you cannot submit for this award. If you have presented it or have been accepted to present it at another conference, you cannot submit for this award.

SIG-IT reserves the right to not issue this award if there are not adequate or appropriate submissions received.

Guidelines for submission:

  • Authors should take necessary steps to remain anonymous. Contact information should only be in the cover letter; the manuscript must be blinded. For further information about how to prepare a blinded manuscript, please consult the APA manual.
  • Papers must be between 2,000 and 9,000 words (i.e., no more than 30 double-spaced pages), including text, references, appendices, tables and figures.
  • Papers should be formatted according to the APA 6th edition.
  • We accept submissions that investigate the impact of technological and instructional innovations in a variety of contexts, including K-12, higher education, business/industry, and informal settings.

Papers will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Relevance and significance of topic and research question to the field
  • Clarity of research question
  • Thoroughness of literature review
  • Appropriateness of methodology for study
  • Quality and completeness of analysis
  • Clarity and soundness of conclusions
  • Promotion of a continuing research agenda or improved professional practices
  • Overall quality demonstrating coherence and reasoning
  • Contribution to the cumulative knowledge base of the field

Application Process:

Submit to Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu the following files in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format:

  • A cover letter stating your intent to apply, the title of your paper, your eligibility for the award, and your complete contact information.
  • A blind copy of the cover letter stating your intent to apply, the title of your paper, and your eligibility for the award.
  • Your blind manuscript (this means nowhere in your manuscript file should it indicate your name or your affiliation; for further information on how to prepare a blind manuscript please consult the APA manual)

Submit blind electronic copies of the letters and manuscript. The electronic documents must be submitted in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format only. Please email electronic copies to Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu. Papers received after 11:59 pm EST on February 1st, 2012, or not properly blinded will not be considered.

To submit an application or for more information, contact Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu.

2012 SIG-IT STUDENT TRAVEL AWARD

Completed applications must be received by February 1, 2012, at 11:59 pm EST. Applicants will be informed of the decision no later than March 15, 2012.

The SIG-IT Student Travel Award will be presented to an emerging scholar who is currently a student and who has had his/her paper accepted by SIG-IT for the 2012 AERA Conference in any format (i.e., paper, poster, or roundtable). The purpose of the award is to help defray the costs associated with travel to the AERA conference and to continue to encourage student participation within SIG-IT.  The award recipient will receive a check for $500 and a certificate.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants must

  • Be a member of AERA and SIG-IT at time of submission.
  • Be a graduate student at time of submission.
  • Have a paper, poster, or roundtable session already accepted by SIG-IT for the 2012 AERA Conference.
  • Attend the 2012 AERA conference and SIG-IT Business meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Be the Primary Investigator of a completed research study. In the case of a co-authored paper, the candidate is required be the primary researcher and first author.

SIG-IT reserves the right to not issue this award if there are not adequate or appropriate submissions received.

Guidelines for submission:

  • Authors should take necessary steps to remain anonymous.
  • Papers must be between 2,000 and 9,000 words (i.e., no more than 30 double-spaced pages), including text, references, appendices, tables and figures.
  • Papers should be formatted according to the APA 6th edition.
  • We accept submissions that investigate the impact of technological and instructional innovations in a variety of contexts, including K-12, higher education, business/industry, and informal settings.

Papers will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Relevance and significance of topic and research question to the field
  • Clarity of research question(s)
  • Thoroughness of literature review
  • Appropriateness of methodology for study
  • Quality and completeness of analysis
  • Clarity and soundness of conclusions
  • Overall quality demonstrating coherence and reasoning
  • Contribution to the cumulative knowledge base of the field

Application Process:

Submit via email to Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu the following files in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format:

  • A cover letter stating your intent to apply, the title of your paper, your eligibility for the award, confirmation of your intent to attend the 2012 AERA meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and your complete contact information.
  • A blind copy of the cover letter stating your intent to apply, the title of your paper, your eligibility for the award, and confirmation of your intent to attend the 2012 AERA meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Your blind manuscript (this means nowhere in your manuscript file should it indicate your name or your affiliation; for further information on how to prepare a blind manuscript please consult the APA manual)

The electronic documents must be submitted in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format only. Please email electronic copies to Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu. Papers received after 11:59 pm EST on February 1st, 2012, or not properly blinded will not be considered.

To submit an application or for more information, contact Michael M. Grant at mgrant2@memphis.edu.

While I don’t usually publish advertisements, this one will be useful to many folks. From my Inbox:

Learning from Media: Arguments, Analysis, and Evidence
Edited by Richard E. Clark, University of Southern California

This volume incorporates essays questioning the meta-analyses of computer-based instruction research, Robert Kozma’s counterpoint theory of “learning with media”, science-based technology verus experience-based craft and science-based “authentic technologies”.

This book presents a view of the historical development and current opinions in an ongoing debate about the role of instructional technology and media in learning and performance. The question driving the debate is whether media such as computers and television are able to influence the

learning of anything, by anyone, anywhere. In the early 1980s, I joined the debate with an article that claimed that all available research best supported the conclusion that there are no learning benefits to be had from any medium used for any instructional purpose for any learners in any setting.

Free Shipping if you call and place your order by August 30th. 1-866-754-9125

Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Image via Wikipedia

I had the distinct honor to be included in Connie Malamed’s list of 12 Unique Blogs Are Written By Professors over at the eLearning Coach blog.  To follow the Oscar sentiment of “It’s an honor to be nominated,” it certainly was an honor to be included on Connie’s list.  It was equally humbling to see the others on the list as well, such as George, David, Scott, and Michael.  (I do know it sounds a little shallow to also hear “It’s an honor to be included with the other nominees,” as well.)

I am friends and colleagues with many of the folks on this list, so thanks for thinking of me, too, Connie.  I see many of these folks as making significant contributions in formal and informal publishing to the areas of instructional technology, elearning, instructional design, and teacher education.  In their blogs, you can see that these guys use the blogs to connect with their professional communities, but they also use their blogs within their teaching.  So, you can see these guys are models for me in many ways.

Who else do you follow and use as a model?

pen and docI’m pleased to say that another book chapter in completed and onto the presses to be published.  This one was with awesome collaborators, Dr. Drew Polly at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Joanne Gikas (a doc student of mine), the Director of Online Programs at UofM.  This chapter is on supporting technology integration in higher education.  Together, the three of us offer two different cases of how technology integration has been handled at our respective institutions.  We also offer some good lessons learned from both our experiences as well.

Official title?
Supporting Technology Integration in Higher Education: The Role of Professional Development.

Here’s the abstract:

As institutions of higher education increase access and support the use of educational technologies, there is a need to examine how to best support faculty’s integration of technology into their courses. In this chapter we discuss findings and issues related to supporting faculty’s integration of technology in university-level courses. We share data from two cases: a university-wide faculty professional development project and a professional development center designed to focus on supporting faculty’s integration of technology. Lastly, we provide implications related to faculty professional development.

Need a citation?
Polly, D., Grant, M.M., & Gikas, J. (in revision). Supporting technology integration in higher education: The role of professional development. In D. Surry, T. Stefurak, & R. Gray (eds.), Technology integration in higher education: Social and organizational aspects.  Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

How about the file?
Technology Integration in Higher Education

Multicultural Education & Technology journal

Multicultural Education & Technology journal

Tom Lucey and I have just had accepted a new journal article.  The article is titled “Ethical issue in instructional technology: An exploratory framework” and it will be published in Multicultural Education & Technology journal.  In reality, this is much, much, much more attributable to Tom than myself.  Tom graduated from the University of Memphis a few years backs, and we have worked together on a couple of different articles and chapters together, including “Dimensions of the digital divide” and “Influences interpreting a technology component to financial education for Grades K-4: Another dimension of the digital divide.”  Tom’s got great tenacity, persistence and ideas.  I hope you’ll take a look at the article and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Ward M. Cates

Ward M. Cates

It’s interesting to me how little time we devote in schools to teaching critical thinking. Lots of folks seem to think it’s important (for example, funders like NSF, multiple consumer and or/business groups’ reporting on what schools should do, professional organizations like ISTE, AECT, AERA, and NRC), but that does not seem to translate into a tangible focus in schools on helping learners acquire such skills.

Clearly, saying this could make me look like a teacher-basher, just another person lining up to take a swing at teachers, as if they were at fault for all the shortcomings of society. Let me make it clear: I feel great empathy for teachers. I am a former classroom special education teacher, a former high school English teacher, and a former elementary language arts teacher. I work in a program called Teaching, Learning, and Technology. My daughter is a high school English teacher, and my wife works in an elementary school.

What worries me is that we spend so much time now in K-12 classrooms focusing on facts that we do not have enough time to focus on thinking. And no one seems to have a test to measure critical thinking skills that carries with it a similar level of public trust as our standardized achievement tests (whether they deserve such trust or not).

For many years those of us in the instructional technology community have been talking about how technology might be used to scaffold thinking skills, how we might allow teachers and students to focus on learning content through the solution of realistic problems using primary and secondary sources, while at the same time getting support for thinking skills development.

Almost 20 years ago, working as part of a design group at George Mason University funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I built a HyperCard-based prototype that used videodiscs to help learners focus on exploring Ken Burns’ The Civil War series while they were provided with scaffolding in the form of “TQEs” (Thinking advice, Questions to consider, Exploring advice). Then 14 or so years ago, I worked with a different development team under funding from DARPA and then NSF to develop a Web-based application that formally taught thinking skills and provided enhanced scaffolding on analyzing primary and secondary multimedia sources using those thinking skills. We even were awarded a patent on that product.

But the market wasn’t ready for it, and as we came into No Child Left Behind, the at-that-time-new focus on thinking skills faded and we never really got past building prototype versions to demonstrate capability.

As I write today, I find myself wondering what kinds of technology products to support thinking skills are out there now about which I know nothing. I haven’t seen much in the literature. What are people doing to support thinking skills? How have things changed over the last 10 or so years? Is anyone doing anything innovative and would he/she be willing to talk about that work?

In fact, I’m wondering whether a group of folks out there might want to work with me to co-author an article on the state of technology-supported critical thinking. Maybe it isn’t one article, but rather a special issue, perhaps like the special issue of Educational Technology on design decisions I guest edited a few years back. So, what are you doing and is anybody out there interested?

Guest blogger:  Dr. Ward Mitchell Cates is associate dean for Lehigh University’s College of Education where he is professor of Teaching, Learning, and Technology. He has published over 70 articles, monographs, book chapters, instruments, and proceeding papers related to educational technology. Contributing or consulting editor for two journals, he reviews for several more. He has been involved in numerous grant projects, principally focusing on the use of technology to enhance instruction. Dr. Cates is a former international president of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology and serves on its Foundation Board. This past November he received AECT’s Distinguished Service Award.

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Jongpil Cheon

Jongpil Cheon

by Jongpil Cheon

The faculty members in instructional technology program were invited to visit some classrooms by a technology support team of a school district. All the classes we visited in two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school were using a Smartboard and clickers (classroom response system). In the discussion session, the main request from the technology support team was that these tools should be in pre-service teacher curriculum. I understand that these tools become more popular and we need to teach how to use the tools. However, all classroom activities were still teacher-centered except that the students chose their answers with clickers or pointed at something on the screen in front of the class. I felt there was a gap between real classroom settings and research findings. I started thinking about how to narrow the gap in a practical way. There should be something we could provide for teachers rather than journal article. That’s my initial thought.

Web 2.0 has been a big word. As the owner of this blog stated, Web 2.0 tools have three big features: a) easy to learn, b) variety of tools, and c) low cost and networked community. There are many websites introducing Web 2.0 tools such as http://www.go2web20.net. In addition, some sites focus on classroom tools such as http://www.classroom20.com. However, there are a few websites that introduce currently available technology tools for K-12 classrooms with useful categories and application samples. Therefore, I opened a wiki space (http://tools4classroom.wetpaint.com) to collect any available tools including hardware and software as well as website using Web 2.0 technology. I asked my students to add a tool they know. It is the beginning of my own project. The main goal is creating a resource to support effective Web 2.0 technology integration that would be the second edition of teacher technology handbook (http://teacherhandbook.memphis.edu). I am seeking ways of categorizing various tools based on a teacher’s point of view. Furthermore, an evaluation system such as a benchmarking system can be implemented with another Web 2.0 tool.

Screen capture of technology 4 classrooms wiki

http://tools4classroom.wetpaint.com/

If you have time, please add a tool to the wiki space, and let me know any useful website about Web 2.0 technology integration to classroom. You are more than welcome to suggest a categorizing method as a comment.

(Last, congratulations on launching a blog!  I hope this blog will be a resource and a communication point in the instructional technology field.)

Guest blogger:  Dr. Jongpil Cheon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership in the Instructional Technology program at Texas Tech University.  He taught elementary schools in Incheon, Korea, and has served as an instructor at the Incheon Education and Science Research Institute, Incheon, Korea. Dr. Cheon has received numerous honors, such as being named outstanding doctoral student at the University of Memphis, and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. He has contributed to several instructional technology books and has many presentations and publications in the fields of adaptive learning system, online instruction and interface design. He has also served as a system manager in Advanced Instructional Multimedia Lab at the University of Memphis, and developed numerous websites, instructional technology integration manuals, and Web-based courses.

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Dr. Robert M. Branch

Robert M. Branch

by Robert M. Branch

Visual literacy deserves a syntax and grammar distinct from the parameters that define verbal literacy, such as syntax and grammar. Ergo, a paradox occurs when we use verbal language to define visual literacy.

Verbal literacy is most commonly defined as the ability to read and write, and a means of interpreting data and information into knowledge and ideas. A verbally literate person understands spellings, grammar, and syntax for a chosen language. Educators tend to associate verbal literacy with the fundamental success of a student in the classroom, and the success of an ordinary citizen to function in society. However, visual literacy is also necessary for the success of an ordinary citizen to function in society.

There have been many published definitions of visual literacy since Debes (1970) defined visual literacy as “a group of vision-competencies a human being can develop by seeing and at the same time having and integrating other sensory experiences” (p. 27). Rezabek (1999) noted that visual literacy could also be defined as the ability to accurately interpret and create messages (mostly in text form) that are transmitted through the sense of sight. I prefer my definition (Branch, 2000) of visual literacy as “the understanding of messages communicated through frames of space that utilize objects, images, and time, and their juxtaposition” (p. 383).

While there are similarities between verbal literacy and visual literacy, educational research suggests that visual literacy is informally introduced when an individual is becoming verbally literate. Thus, visual literacy has emerged as a domain of knowledge worthy of its own definition, independent of verbal literacy language, however, systematic inquiry about ways images can be formed to construct a common visual language, independent of verbal language, remains unformed. The challenge now is to reconcile the paradox of using verbal language to define visual literacy.

References
Branch, R.  (2000).  A taxonomy of visual literacy.  In A. W. Pailliotet, & P. B. Mosenthal (Eds.), Advances in reading/language research Volume 7: Reconceptualizing literacy in the media age.  (pp. 377-402).
Debes, J. L.  (1970).  The loom of visual literacy: An overview, 1970.  First National Conference on Visual Literacy (p. 16).  New York: Pitman.
Rezabek, L. L.  (2005).  Why visual literacy: Consciousness and convention.  TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 49, 19-20.

Guest blogger: Dr. Robert M. Branch currently serves as a Professor and Interim Department Head for the Department of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology at The University of Georgia. His teaching emphasizes student-centered learning while his research focuses on diagramming complex conceptual relations. He is a member of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), American Educational Research Association (AERA), International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA), International Society for Performance and Instruction (ISPI). Rob’s publications include the Educational Technology and Media Technology Yearbook, a Survey of Instructional Development Models, and Taxonomy of Visual Literacy.

Charles B. Hodges

Charles B. Hodges

by Charles B. Hodges

I work in an environment where thousands of learners access web-based learning materials daily. Web-based learning is a major topic of research and discussion in the professional organizations to which I belong. I teach graduate-level instructional design courses, and I will soon be involved with undergraduate-level technology integration courses. Exploring the endless stream of new Web 2.0 tools that emerge and imagining (or reading in my friends’ blogs) how these might be used to facilitate learning is something I enjoy. Recently, I have found myself considering ethical issues surrounding all of these interests:

When designing instruction, how much attention should be given to making sure that instruction is accessible to all learners?

By accessible here I mean accessibility in terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In conversations with colleagues on this topic I have heard comments like: “If federal money is not involved, you don’t have to worry about accessibility.”, “Why worry about something that affects such a small number of people?”, “We’ll worry about accessibility when someone complains.”

These comments were both shocking and depressing to me at the same time. Shouldn’t we do the right thing for our learners, all of them? I often describe an instructional designer as being an advocate for the learners. I understand the difficulty involved with making accessible web-based materials. A great deal of my work has involved mathematics and the specialized symbols necessary for communicating mathematics brings the difficulty to the forefront quickly. I also understand the issues of cost during development in both time and money. However, for those that have commented to me about small numbers of people (which I am not sure I buy, by the way), I have tried to champion the case of accessibility makes for better usability for ALL. Who wouldn’t, for example, like to be able to search the text of a podcast for all the instances of a particular word or phrase?

For now I have decided to take a middle road — demonstrating emerging technologies and discussing clever and interesting uses of them for education, while at the same time making it clear that there are real issues regarding accessibility for many new web-based tools and services. Is this the right thing to do? I am starting to see eyes roll when I bring up accessibility and I think that is progress. My interpretation of the rolling eyes is “here we go again.” They must be starting to remember

Guest blogger: Chuck Hodges has worked in higher education for nearly 17 years, all in math departments. He has earned degrees in Mathematics (B.S., M.S.) and Instructional Design and Technology (Ph.D. from Virginia Tech). Currently, he wears many hats in his role as manager of the Virginia Tech Math Emporium: facilities manager, researcher, logistics expert, stand-up trainer, and learner advocate. He will soon be surrendering all of those hats to move south and be an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at Georgia Southern University.

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