topic was so full of possibilities for both study and application
that I decided to step back and really figure out what I could
accomplish in the allotted time and how I could structure my
inquiry to continue beyond this course. My method of approaching
this inquiry was to brainstorm the necessary steps that I would
need to take. As I read and process the literature on my topic,
I will refine these steps as needed. I work best by having an
outline, which I can then expand as I make new connections between
what I know and what I'm learning; I process information in
a non-linear way, linking off to different areas as needed,
much like the internet. As I conduct my literature review, I
will begin to synthesize what has been written on my topic and
after an analysis of my current practices, I will develop my
own ideas for curriculum planning and assessment. I have also
posted a message to some of my internet communities, including
ones geared towards art teachers, asking other teachers for
their experiences in using blogs, wikis, etc. and especially
for opinions on assessment when using these tools.
In addition to conducting a literature review, I will register
for a variety of Web 2.0 tools in order to determine their usability,
particularly with special needs students. Using evidence from
my Teacher’s Book and student work, I will analyze my
current practice to determine which areas could benefit from
differentiation and enrichment. Guided by curriculum expectations,
I will then plan programs that will enable students to acquire
and apply art knowledge through a variety of methods. Assessment
will also be designed to suit the programs.
intention is to structure the inquiry so that I can keep going
in the future, especially since the Web 2.0 tools are in a constant
state of change. As I read within the article "What Counts
as Evidence in Self-Studies of Teacher Education Practices?
(Whitehead), the more that people engage in their inquiry, the
more they understand and the more new knowledge emerges. So
even if I can't address all the areas within the time frame
of this course, I will certainly benefit from continuing my
plan to post my inquiry research and my lesson plan ideas on
the internet to allow for sharing and collaboration between
other teachers. The article talks about using web-technology
to present evidence, and I am a strong believer in sharing my
ideas. I hope, as part of an extended plan, to open the inquiry
to collaboration between other teachers, both in the sharing
of ideas and implementation of Web 2.0 tools.
List of Materials
Literature Review and Colleague Dialogue
will use research on the collaborative tools of the Web 2.0
in general, and on the efficacy and implementation of using
these tools in an educational setting and where possible, specifically
within an art classroom. Material will be collected from books,
journals, web-sites and collaborative education communities
on the internet. This material will provide information on what
has been written about the theory behind the use of Web 2.0
tools, how they are being used in educational settings in the
most beneficial and creative ways, as well as limitations to
Curriculum Book – the curriculum will be analyzed for
assignments that can be made richer through wikis, blogs and
other collaborative tools. Observation records and anecdotal
notes will be used to gauge students’ interest and successes
in different activities. When assignments are typically late
or ill-performed, consideration must be given to the efficacy
of the assignment and its assessment.
Marks – marks will be examined for areas of difficulty
Testing Materials – assignment and tests will be reviewed
How Information will be Gathered
Information will be collected through libraries, including York
University’s on-line access, through purchased books,
periodicals, and newspaper articles. Information will also be
collected from on-line sources including sites specializing
in teacher professional development and collaboration and sites
specializing in the uses of technology in education, for mainstream
students as well as students with learning differences. Other
material will be gathered through discussions with colleagues,
both person-to-person and over the Internet.
will also be collected from my own records, including my Curriculum
Book, which includes student marks, anecdotal notes and my curriculum
and assessments. I will also refer to student work, both artwork
and written assignments, for which I have retained photocopies
and digital images.
Information Will Inform Inquiry
The information that I collect will outline various internet
tools that are currently available to educators to provide enrichment
and differentiation in class. Beginning with an exploration
of my own tools and student materials, I will examine the achievement
of my students and efficacy of classroom strategies. These materials
will assist me in determining which areas of my curriculum and
assessment strategies could benefit from an alternative approach.
I will also take into account the different needs of my students,
as they range from having learning disabilities to being gifted/ADHD.
My records will remind me of the different range of abilities
that I need to take into account and help me plan accordingly.
An examination of the tools of Web 2.0 would allow me to determine
which might be a successful way to for students to approach
their learning. As there are many educators currently experimenting
and using these tools, I will be able to learn from their opinions
and advice and judge for myself the efficacy of the tools and
in what situations they might be applicable. Examples of existing
web-sites that use Web 2.0 will provide me with ideas on using
them within my own classroom.
Literature review and colleague dialogue will help confirm whether
these tools have proven successful, detail strengths and weaknesses,
and provide further ideas for their use in my classroom.
in Conducting Inquiry
There are several factors that I will need to consider in making
my inquiry, due to the nature of the internet.
My major concern is for student safety, as the internet is populated
by sites containing inappropriate content. Any application is
also subject to misuse, for example, students posting personal
information or responding to strangers. Education into the safe
and ethical use of the internet should also be a key component
of its use in the classroom. I would also inform parents of
what students are using, so they can supervise students at home
and ensure the safety of their children.
In terms of equitable considerations, I can ensure that all
students have access to computers at school, but I cannot expect
all students to have access at home, due to financial and/or
religious reasons. As well, no site or tool will require any
kind of subscription fee or require personal information. As
well, no tool should be so complicated that it will inhibit
students with learning differences from participating in its
The inquiry takes place over the course of one month as an assignment
for a course in Special Education, although the intent is to
create the basis of an ongoing study that will adapt and expand
with the release of new tools and the discovery of new ways
to use them. Upon completion of the inquiry project, information
will be posted on a web-site as a starting point for collaboration
with other teachers.
and data gather will be ongoing until the last week of the
project when it will be necessary to synthesize the material.
will take place over the course of the second week, completed
in time to submit the draft. Analysis may be revised while
completing the final copy, due July 24th.
review will take place in the second week of the course.
Readings will impact on analysis, so the review will be
concurrent with analysis.
up of the Inquiry takes place from the first week of class
until the due date, as ideas are recorded, expanded and
of the Annotated Bibliography will take place at the same
time as the Literature Review. Additional items from the