This page last changed on Apr 10, 2007 by stepheneb.

Stephen Bannasch's notes from the UDL April 6, 2007 Advisory Board meeting

Notes here that start with "my" or "I" are my personal contributions.

: Questions

Any papers/work/research on teacher usage of technologically delivered rich data about student work and pathways through that work.

I'm most interested in collection, presentation and reports about student work (individually and in collaboration with other students) to support critical thinking and conversation between students and students and teachers, students and parents.

National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)


Ric reports that the overall goal for Thinking Reader is that students are able to read, understand, and enjoy a novel.

My goal for elementary learners in UDL science is to have them be able to create a story grounded in a scientific context and be able to both share their stories and be able to enjoy hearing and discussing other learners science stories.

I consider a key element of good scientific thinking and practice is to enjoy (and not be threatened by) skepticism and critique by others; to be able to provide skepticism and critique in a helpful way to others, and to apply these critical thinking skills to their own work.

I'd like them to be able to:

  • Differentiate evidence and opinion.
  • Take an interest or a puzzle and turn it into one or more questions.
  • Take the questions and frame a question that could be answered with an experiment (hypothesis).
  • Take the hypothesis and turn it into an experimental design.
  • Conduct the experiment and record the data and meta-data (the experimental design and the changes hat occur when actually implemented).
  • Be able to compare an experimental design, the data collected, and conclude whether the hypothesis can be answered.

Ray wonders if the lack of diversity in our pilots will affect the rollout to our larger sites which are more diverse.

Carolyn considers trying a pilot in Fresno.

In the larger rollouts it is VERY important for the UDL materials to be both:

  • connected to teachers curricular goals (State Standards and Frameworks)
  • AND presented in a way so teachers can determine and confirm this easily.

Research questions about scientific discourse ...

One computer per student??? Everybody says it's not practical in the schools working with this project.

BUT We could design our curriculum and technology to deliver activities to workgroups of students AND where appropriate to individual students at separate times.

A possible variation would be a workgroup working on a project using one computer – the learner work is being saved and not differentiated between the learners – and the activity itself (which knows the members of the workgroup) could split itself and ask each learner to contribute something individually.

National Study of the Effectiveness of Educational Technology Interventions

New Report Released on Congressionally Mandated Evaluation of 15 Educational Technology Products

A new report from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., evaluates 15 computer-based reading and math products to determine the effectiveness of technology in bolstering student achievement. The study, the largest of its kind to use an experimental design to study reading and math software products implemented in a range of grade levels across the country, was mandated under Section 2421(a), Part D, of Title II of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Here's the pdf of the report.

At a sixth grade level the products tested were:

  • Larsen PreAlgebra by Houghton-Mifflin
  • Achieve Now by Plato
  • iLearn Math by iLearn

At a high school level the products tested were:

  • Cognitive Tutor Algebra by Carnegie Learning
  • Plato Algebra by Plato
  • Larsen Algebra by Houghton-Mifflin

Anchorage has limited bandwidth: school have 768K connections for average 400 student elementary schools

Support student progression into deeper and more advanced reading/content levels if they are interested.

All video should include transcripts etc.

Chris W. suggests game-like setting where earlier backpack artifacts need to be used later to accomplish later challenges.

David points out limitations of adventure game: how can we know if the learners really understand the science content and processes. The goal should not just be getting through.

At a specific challenge self-rate the collected backpack artifacts as to their usefulness for this specific challenge.

Wayne: perhaps a learner needs a personal docent.

David: perhaps learners could ask a range of mentors with different approaches for help.

Mentors could have roles and careers that matched there approaches.

  • Scientist, Public Policy, Engineer, Mathematician, Statistician

Meta-cognitive probes: Ann Brown, Annmarie Palincsar

Ann Brown
Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar

Ric: A story type where a scientific detective is needed:

  1. An injury caused by fall from water from pipes, in injured party plans to sue!
    • Are the pipes leaking or is it condensation?

Wayne suggests that research on human-computer-interaction on MUDs (Multi-User-Domains) might inspire some of our work about how to create rich environments that could

David: perhaps not use a story but start with a Big Question and the activity is both

  • doing the conceptual probes, critical thinking, research and experiments
  • AND categorizing all this work and putting it into the learners own compelling narratives
  • AND putting it into the learners own compelling (scientificaly-grounded) narrative

David and Ray

If we start with a process goal like this: Students should be able to perserve through an investigation path that includes dead-ends and the necessity of reforming a model.

Wayne: Immersive game environments give great feedback to learners exploration and experimentation in all kinds of ways.

What is the role of the teacher if the learning is based in such an immersive environment?

I think the environment must be designed to specifically create artifacts that promote discussion both between students and students and teachers and students and parents.

Sherry Hsi:

  1. Test out your ideas/story forms/challenges early and often with formative feedback groups of kids.
  2. Andee Rubin's research on Zoombini's showed that girls needed a puzzle.
  3. Exploratorium has an island in Second Life.

Check out good external tools

  1. Retriever
  2. YouTube

Joe Oliver: mentioned tools

Bob presents smart graph:

Scott's smart graph example: not available online yet.

David's done eye movement research that shows many students pay little attention to graphs.

Progressive display of graphs attributes is important. This happens automatically when a student is creating a graph from real-time sensor data. George Collison did this in the SeeingMath project.

  • See: Repaint Line function in the Seeing Math Algebra Interactive: Linear Transformer for an example.

How can we help kids learn more about graphs?

  1. Scaffolding can help show salient points.
  2. Discourse around salient points on graphs could help learners.

Bob: Should we drop the narrative structure?

Stephen (presenting his version of David Rose's earlier idea): Yes, instead present a Big Idea and scaffold the learners research; surveys; experimentation with models and probes;

Could we present an activity topic in many alternate ways:

  • magic school bus type narrative
  • Science Slueth/scientific detective challenge
  • Second Life immersive game with science challenges.
  • The Big Question inquiry path with a connected web of activities covering many topics/skills/levels

The Big Question could be combine with a collection of Science Sleuth pathways in.

How can we tell whether a learner has missed a key idea. What is the assessment loop?


Kids are so bored because textbooks are terminal experiences.

Recast sidebar and find words that describe it's functions for meaningfully (that doesn't mean not using sidebars).

Chris: How can we scaffold to support kids to make as many differing and alternate neural connections around a concept. Kids should be able to enter where they are (and understand that they've entered an inviting environment which can go much deeper both vertically and laterally).

California average of 10 minutes a week of science K-3, only 1 hour a week 4-6.

Reading First: 200 minutes a day required now
Math Now: 200 (??) minutes required soon
Science Finally: 100 (???) required later

A profound issue with mandates like this is that often implementation is balkanized – for example that the 200 minutes of Reading First doesn't include time spent reading for science or math. Or using math in science may not count as math learning. The result is that the learning isn't integrated and there may be almost no time left for science.

Teachers may also need help/scaffolding to help plan. Not all teachers are good planners.

I think to actually do this truly successfully the intervention must be comprehensive and include:

  • better UDL science
  • teacher professional development
  • connection to teachers administration and community goals
  • AND IMHO changes to accountability models.
    • state comprehensive tests
    • other AYP attributes

Jerry: How about also supporting after-school programs, para-professions who work one-on-one.

Jerry: Don't let the standards get in the way of making sure that the science is relevant.

Chris: If you do fewer modules make sure you do more formative testing with kids to try out you more formative research ideas and curricula. You need the learning that will come from these tests to help you change the design of your curricula and technology.

MO: connect to the GLE (standards)

Bob suggests looking at the TELS Design Principles Database.

Can we cover more standards than just science (math and reading?)

Document generated by Confluence on Jan 27, 2014 16:49