Friday, September 4, 2015

Week #1

Essential Question: What is classroom research and how can it improve technology integration in my classroom?

According to McNiff (2002), classroom research “involves identifying a problematic issue, imagining a possible solution, trying it out, evaluating it (did it work?), and changing practice in the light of the evaluation.” I teach science, and for me, this definition makes me think of doing an experiment. I have been teaching my students about the scientific method over the past few weeks, and I was thinking about how similar it is to action research. In class we aren’t focused on changing anything but it teaches students how to conduct research. I see this as a great place to start in explaining to kids what I plan on doing, when I start to conduct my own research for this class.

I have been very curious about the use of Twitter in a school setting. I am excited to see how it works in this class, and am looking to incorporate it into my teaching. I recently came across a video titled Social Media: Making Connections Through Twitter (2015). They made a very good point. What if you don't think about the boundaries of your school district as being a limiter. What if you want your teachers, your Principals, your Central Office staff, even your kids to have opportunities to cross-pollinate across the boundaries of school districts, then all of a sudden social media makes learning come alive in incredibly powerful ways.” This is something that I haven’t really considered. Technology can bring learning outside of just your school. According to this, it would encourage kids to keep learning even when school is out.

There has not been a lot of research on the effectiveness of Twitter, as it has recently gained popularity. The research that has been done shows that using Twitter in the classroom has mostly been positive. Most research has been done at the college level. Junco (2010) looked at the GPAs of college students using Twitter compared with a control group, and found that the Twitter group had a higher GPA, by about 0.5. They also found evidence of a higher engagement recorded by the students using Twitter. I may not teach college, but my goal as a high school teacher is to prepare my students for college. With these results, it encourages me to look into effective uses of Twitter in a classroom.

I am very eager to add technology to my lessons in any capacity that might make a positive impact on my students’ learning. Twitter is just one example of a new technology I plan to try. I can’t wait to see the knowledge I gain throughout the course of this semester by taking this class, and by doing my own research.


Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2010). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 119-132. Retrieved September 5, 2015, from

McNiff, J. (2002). Concise advice for new action researchers. In Action research for professional development (3rd ed.).

Social Media: Making Connections Through Twitter. (2015, August 7). Retrieved September 5, 2015, from


  1. You can follow Junco on twitter @reyjunco!


  2. I think its very interesting that college students on Twitter had a higher GPA, and also that engagement was higher for students using Twitter. Gives me something to think about, for sure. I love what you said about encouraging kids to keep learning when they aren't in school. Learning shouldn't stop just because they aren't in the building anymore. I can't wait to look into the resources that you used!

  3. I am excited for you to use Twitter with your students. I can't wait to hear about how it goes for you. I think they will love it! I've never been a huge Twitter fan, but I've had it for many years. I am revamping my Twitter now and focusing on using it more for educational and academic purposes instead of social media. I agree with Sarah that you are going to see higher engagement!