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Title: Innovating with technology in the classroom : experiences with developing a new tool in support of teaching and learning in A-level history
Author: Shuyska, Jane Alexen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 2719
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This study investigates a process of technological innovation in the classroom, and a range of related issues. It discusses the development of a technology-assisted tool, ThinkSpace, combining computer-based concept mapping and a wiki, aimed at facilitating collaborative and critical engagement with complex study material. The study adopts a design-based research approach in order to develop in tandem the technological implementation of the tool as well as the pedagogical practices for the use of the tool in the classroom. ThinkSpace was introduced into two schools where it was used by A-level history students. In close collaboration with the teachers practical uses for the tool were developed and implemented in the classroom. Data were collected through classroom observation, student and teacher interviews, as well as gathering evidence of students’ work with the tool. The thesis engages with questions of developing pedagogical practice to incorporate technological tools. It provides insights into the processes of working with teachers and students on collaborative innovation projects and the ways in which technology and pedagogy can gradually be aligned to achieve shifts in classroom practice. The project also investigates opportunities for developing productive uses of wikis and concept mapping in the classroom. The results of this study highlight the gradual and incremental nature of innovation in the classroom. The study concludes that innovation with tools such as ThinkSpace requires changes to deeply-seated learning practices, which are closely linked to student identity. If such practices are to be altered, it is necessary to think more carefully about supporting students through the pedagogical changes that some technological innovations endeavour to put into place. Possible ways of providing support in the processes of innovation were found in the present study through the scrutiny of the ways some students were beginning to appropriate the ThinkSpace tool. This suggested more targeted ways of encouraging conceptualisation and collaboration practices, which were the target of the innovation presented here.
Supervisor: Davies, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: e-Learning ; Education ; technology in education ; classroom ; A-level history ; concept mapping ; wiki