Published on March 7, 2014
Research Proposal Pre-Tertiary IT Education in New Zealand Smart Table Name Student ID Paper No. Paper Title : Adel Abdulrahman Khwaji : 07157355 : 158.750 : Information Sciences Research Methods
Adel Khwaji 07157355 Abstract The use of technology in Education is expanding and is an important investment. This ground-breaking pilot study aims to explore the benefits and limitations of the new technology of Smart Tables in the classroom in New Zealand in light of scarce research both home and away. Another aim is to get highlight the experiences of the participating year thee class students and their teachers. Considering that Ethical approval is gained data is collected via Semi-structured interviews. Positive experiences of the students are expected, but as well as the teacher’s struggle to use Smart Tables in line with the curriculum. Introduction In the last ten years, information technology has been growing rapidly. This has been the case in many arenas including business, health, governmental departments and industries…etc. Many first world countries have been also using information technologies in education to invest on the development of young minds who one day will grow to become leaders in many different roles. Thus, the importance of such investment is valued. Many schools around the world commenced using advanced technology education. For example, many young children in school are using Tablet technology as a way of learning the alphabets and numbers. In tertiary education, students can check their grades, check their time tables and enrol for classes online. In order to keep up with technology in the area of education New Zealand will need to follow on the footsteps of such countries. In fact, it would be advantageous if New Zealand can take a step or two ahead. This research explores the use of a new technology which could assist New Zealand with going one step ahead (or at least in parallel to) the world of technology in education. It is known as Smart Table. The smart table is an interactive table-shaped (comes in different sizes) tablet technology which can be used by more than one person at once. The purpose of the research is to examine the benefits and limitation of using Smart tables in New Zealand schools. The research attempts to achieve so by introducing the smart table to a year 3 classroom of a particular school. Then, after 30 days of usage, the teacher and students will be interviewed about any advantages of technology as well as potential limitations. Another purpose is to get a glimpse on individual viewpoints and experiences of using the technology of the smart table in the New Zeeland classroom. 1
Adel Khwaji 07157355 Literature Review Since the smart table is a relatively new technology, research on it is very limited. It is even more limited in the area of education at a primary level. Almalki, Finger and Zagami (2013) define Smart tables in an educational context as a kind of a multi-touch collective learning hub used by students. They advocate for the integration of Smart tables in the classroom based on their observations of such integration in some primary schools in Saudi Arabia. Almalki, Finger and Zagami (2013) described it as an efficient and effective way of enhancing collaborative learning and information sharing between students while learning. So as well as learning it helps with enhancing social skills of students and facilitate enjoyment of learning as it does not resemble traditional ways of learning and includes educational games. Furthermore, Almalki, Finger and Zagami (2013) argue that the Smart Tables stimulate the young students to learn about science, nature, technology, mathematics, and engineering as it is user-friendly, easy to use and involves their senses of touching, hearing, and seeing. Teachers can be creative with designing educational activities via Smart Tables as they come with user-friendly tool kit that allows the creation and modification of activates. Alternatively, they could use a set of already designed applications or tool kits. In terms of limitations or barriers are divided to extrinsic and intrinsic ones (Almalki, Finger and Zagami, 2013). Extrinsic limitations relate to lack of resources such as Wi-Fi internet, computer software, IT support and adequate training. Intrinsic limitations consist of teachers’ attitude or anxiety towards using a new technology, lack of motivation and lack of confidence. (Scot, 2009; cited in Almalki, Finger and Zagami, 2013). Intrinsic limitations also include gaps between the curriculum and Smart tables or lack of integration of that technology in the curriculum (Kiansam & Songan, 2011). Most probably, this research is the first of its kind in New Zealand as the technology will be piloted and the results will be accumulated via qualitative methodology. This provides abundance of information on the benefits and limitations of the smart table on the participating individuals. Qualitative data of that kind in this technology is scarce internationally and probably unheard of in New Zealand. 2
Adel Khwaji 07157355 Methodology To gain ethical approval, Massey University code of ethical conduct was read in addition to completing a screening questionnaire. This indicated that a low risk notification was to be completed and was approved in April allowing data collection to commence in June. Participants for this study will be voluntary and if for any reason they wish to withdraw from the study they will be able to by June 30th. Additionally, I will require seeking permission from the education institution I intend to recruit participants of and will do so by emailing their Human resources representative introducing myself and my study. To discover the advantages and limitation of using the smart Table as experienced by the participating teacher and students, an exploratory study using semi-structured interviews to gather qualitative data was considered an acceptable measure. Semi-structured interviews allow gaining in-depth material on individual’s experiences and perceptions. (Cowie, Naylor, Rivers, Smith, & Beatriz, 2002). Five (91.5 cm × 74 cm × 65.4 cm) smart tables are installed in the participating class by a qualified technician. The participating teacher is given 1 day training on how to use the internet and interactive applications. Then the teacher uses 2 applications a day for thirty days to teach a class of 25 students. After thirty days, interviews are conducted within 2-3 days with the students and the class teacher. Then data will be analysed and the results will be reported describing separately viewpoints and experiences of students and teachers. Following there will be a discussion that compare and contrast their views and experiences of using the smart tablet in a learning environment. The feedback and responses from these individuals are very crucial in analysing the benefits and limitations of such new technology in Primary-level education in New Zealand as experienced by our group students and their teacher. This study pursues a narrative interview style to get the participant to discuss their experiences with Smart Tables in a learning environment. This style of interviews is a useful to gather rich data of individual’s experiences. Additional data of whether the participant is a student or teacher will be collected to give more substance to the study. Additionally, it will allow the researcher to compare and contrast these two groups to recognise any similarities. A guide to interview participants will be created and it will involve two parts to help answer the research questions. The first part will give the participant a chance to express their views on IT in the learning environment. The second part will deal with participants sharing their experiences of IT in a learning environment context. A pilot interview will be conducts to ensure that the questions make sense. The research will require participants to be interviewed in a semi- structured manner, in order to preserve the anonymity of the participants it will be held in a location that is convenient to the participants and not in the education entity itself. Additionally participants will be tape recorded if 3
Adel Khwaji 07157355 consent is given, these recording will be transcribed by the researcher but if they do not consent to be recorded then notes will be taken. The interviews duration will be approximately 30 minutes and consist of two questions as well as a few questions maybe be asked following responses if the participant mentions something of interest. However, these questions asked will be noted. To In addition, finish up the interview participants will be asked is there any other points this will allow participants to speak freely within the context of the topic and raise any concerns and “drive” the interview in any direction they wish, it is also a good way to give a feel of control for the participant. All participants’ responses will be transcribed and copies will be sent for the participants to review and sign off. We then begin with our data analysis as this study is qualitative a thematic content analysis will be used for interpreting the data and identify themes and patterns, this method will also allow themes to emerge from the data itself (Braun & Clarke, 2006). In addition, this study will utilize a computer software (Nvivo) that will help manage and organise data effectively e.g. easier to retrieve, annotate, locate words or segments of data. (Burnard, Gill, Stewart, & Treasure, 2008). Respondents will be analysed the same way but separated into their groups “students” and “teachers”. Once participants have signed off their transcriptions of the interview, they will be read through and summary of what has been said will be jotted down the margin this procedure is called open coding and will also help eliminate any material that is off topic. The following stage will allow the putting these phrases on a blank page and reviewing them to eliminate any reoccurring number of themes. Furthermore, a review of the list once more to refine category that has can be grouped to become a subdivision of that particular category. This will create a final reduced list of categories that each will be allocated a different colour by the researcher. The next stage will be going back working through each transcript and annotating it with the appropriate category colours. The annotated data will then be represented in a table under the appropriate category. Bunard et al (2008) acknowledges the importance in qualitative data that a constant comparison and re-reading of data for strong integrity and interpretation to avoid contrary interpretation of data. 4
Adel Khwaji 07157355 Expected Results It is expected that many of the students will be interested in the technology and will have a lot positive feedback about their experiences, what they have learnt and the fun easiness of using it. Clash or inconsistencies between the curriculum the Smart Table is quite expected and the teacher may talk about it as one of the limitations. Facing any of the extrinsic limitations mentioned above is not expected as the research is designed to avoid these. In any case, this technology is relatively new and needs a lot of research and resources if it has any potential to grow in New Zealand schools. 5
Adel Khwaji 07157355 References Almalki, G., Finger, G., & Zagami, J. (2013). Introducing SMART Table Technology in Saudi Arabia Education Systems. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 4(2), 46-52. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Pyschology , 3, 77-101. Burnard, P., Gill, P., Stewart, K., & Treasure, E. (2008). Analysing and presenting qualitative data. British Dental Journal , 204 (8), 429-432. Kiansam, H., & Songan, P. (2011). ICT in the changing landscape of higher education in Southeast Asia. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 27(8), 1276-1290. 6
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