Educational Technology

2010 Teaching and Learning with Technology Awards

As educators of the 21st century, we need to inspire, inquire, integrate, innovate and influence teaching and learning with technology. The School of Education 2010 two awardees have done just that.

Learning with Technology Award: Margaret Hill

The Learning with Technology Award is presented to a student who demonstrated a greater understanding of his/her own teaching and learning and improved his/her technology skills. Margaret Hill, Middle and High School graduate student, is well deserving of this award. Margaret (or Meg as she is called) was a novice in her use of technology. Dr. Harushimana, who nominated Meg for this award noted that she even “struggled with Word processing tasks like saving a Word document”. But in her language, literacy and technology class, Meg wrote the following reflection about the process of designing a multimedia project: “As a music teacher and music camp director for teenagers, it is almost unforgivable that I do not know my way around the basic technologies of digital recording, posting, editing and sharing music.”

And thus her personal journey began. She wrote in her ambitious project proposal, that she planned to encourage “students to share their performances and compositions with each other, fostering a valuable exchange of information and ideas, as well as giving them a platform for putting something they are proud of out into the public domain.” Meg identified exactly what she wanted to learn and through research and perseverance did whatever it took to improve her own skills. She set the bar higher than initially seemed doable, but demonstrated quality technology integration in her final project, which we know will forever impact her work with students.

Teaching with Technology Award: Ross Kennedy-Shaffer

The Teaching with Technology Award is presented to a student who demonstrated outstanding technology integration in a student teaching, fieldwork or teaching experience. The following are modified excerpts from Dr. Angela Kelly’s nomination.

Ross has demonstrated outstanding technology integration through his work with 8th grade Bronx Institute students during the fall semester of 2009. He designed and co-taught with Prof. Kelly a three-week unit on Newton’s laws that incorporated several different types of educational technology tools. The use of technology greatly enhanced the lessons and contributed to the significant student gains in physics understanding and improved attitudes towards physics. He used four specific types of technology during the student-centered inquiry-based lessons: Interactive simulations online: 

  • Students manipulated variables, made predications, and explained their observations (PhET Interactive Simulations available at
  • iPod Touch Applications. Students used free download applications and were able to control variables to learn about force and motion.  Some examples of applications included Awesome Ball, Paper Toss, and Newton’s Cradle.  
  • Vernier Probes and Interfaces. Students applied Newton’s Third Law to everyday situations and analyzed graphs created by data collected.
  • TI Graphing Calculators. Students used these calculators to figure out the speed of rotating objects on a string. By using the equation , they were able to see that decreasing the radius of rotation results in less velocity. The graphing calculator has a large screen which allows them to recognize computational errors more easily.

The technology integration is crystal clear, but Ross goes further and confirms its value through two different pre- and post-tests. One found that all sub-groups demonstrated significant gains after learning about Newton’s Laws and performing experiments with the use of innovative technology tools. The second pre/post test found that students’ attitudes towards physics had changed – more students reported thinking about physics outside of school, and fewer students felt intimidated by it. Overall, Ross used tremendous creativity in designing lessons and evaluating student understanding.  He is using the results of his work to write his master’s thesis, and to prepare a paper to submit to a peer-reviewed journal in science education. Bravo!  Don’t you wish Mr. Ross Kennedy-Shaffer had been your physics teacher!

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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