ETEC 690, Spring 2009

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    Using Excel to Understand Story Problems
    (Department of Educational Technology, Univeristy of Hawaii, 2009-05-09T00:59:14Z) Evangelista, Teri ; Ho, Curtis ; Menchaca, Michael
    Math classes can boring and distant to most students. The solution seems to be to pull away from traditional teaching practices and move towards learning styles. Every student does not learn in the same exact way. Enabling learners to approach something as complex as a mathematical word problem through graphing helps the learner process the data calculated, and integrating technology to ensure accuracy and a clearer picture of the data should increase student success. One of the major findings in this study was that students had never thought of using Excel to do math problems, yet many know its ability to store data and fewer realize that scatter plots can be created from the program. Teachers might consider tapping into this underused resource to deepen their learners’ understanding of using algebra in everyday life using Excel.
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    Cell Block: The Creation of a Video Game for Seventh Grade Science Students
    (Department of Educational Technology, University of Hawaii, 2009-04-16) Reece, Deanna M.K. ; Ho, Curtis P. ; Menchaca, Michael P.
    Today’s classroom model is based on a 19th century industrial model that is not designed to serve the needs of current 21st century students. This paper details the design and creation of a two-dimensional, side-scrolling video game on cell structure and function of the typical animal cell for seventh grade science students in an intermediate school in Hawaii. Students who had a difficult time learning the material presented in traditional methods played the video game in order to review the materials and reinforce their understanding. Results show a significant difference between some students’ scores on pre and post assessment data indicating that their understanding of the concepts improved after playing the video game. Observational data from the classroom teacher included in the discussion provide insight on the decline in other students’ postassessment scores. Expert and student feedback regarding game play are also discussed.
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    Technology Orientation for Distance Education Students, Can it Help?
    (Department of Educational Technology, Univeristy of Hawaii, 2009-04-16) Larson, M.P. ; Menchaca, Michael
    Online learning has become an increasingly popular mode of delivery in higher education. Many working adults and individuals living in rural areas depend on distance education courses and programs to further their educational goals. There is, however, a fear factor for inexperienced technology users and people returning back to school after a long absence. Studies suggest that offering an orientation may provide positive learning experiences that can ultimately help students gain self-efficacy and successfully complete their programs. A Skype orientation instructional module was created and tested by first-time distance education students during the second week of instruction. Data was collected on the effectiveness of the module and on students’ technological perceptions of themselves. Implications of this data are discussed in this paper.
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    Assistive Technology: Using Switch-Activated Toys and Devices for Preschool Children with Motor Impairments
    (Department of Educational Technology, Univeristy of Hawaii, 2009-04-14) Omori, J. ; Menchaca, M ; Menchaca, M
    Many special education teachers have not received adequate training to make informed decisions when implementing assistive technology tools to enhance the learning of their special needs students. Yet, schools are mandated to provide special education students appropriate assistive technology interventions to support their learning needs. For this study, a web-based instructional module on using switch activated toys and devices for preschool children with motor impairments was developed to provide special educators a free on demand informational resource. The author tested the instructional module to study its effectiveness on empowering special educators to incorporate switch-activated toys and devices. The results and implications of this research should help to refine this module and lead to the development of future free on-demand modules for special educators in other areas of disabilities.
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    Computer Skills Workshop for Incoming Community College Students
    (Technology, Colleges, and Community Worldwide Conference, 2009-04-16) Urasaki, Leanne ; Ho, Curtis ; Menchaca, Michael
    Colleges today are requiring students to conduct more and more administrative business as well as academic tasks using computers and the Internet. Despite this, research shows there are still students entering college without these computer skills. This is particularly true at the community college level. This study examines the effects of a pre-semester basic computer skills workshop for students entering Hawaii Community College with little or no computer experience. Findings indicate participants (n=4) found the workshop effective, felt they improved their computer skills, and were as a result better prepared to enter college. However, these findings should be viewed with caution due to the small sample size of the study.