LitReview: A Case Study of the Integration of a Video Learning Center at an Elementary School

Keefe, D. D. (2003). A Case Study of the Integration of a Video Learning Center at an Elementary School. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Author: David D. Keefe.
Title of article: A Case Study of the Integration of a Video Learning Center at an Elementary School.
Publication year: May 2003.
Database source: Dissertation Abstracts.
Name of journal: n/a.
My Codes: VCContentProviders, VCProjects, VCExperts, VCK12Implementation.

Main point of the article: This dissertation investigates the integration of a video learning center into a K-6 elementary school.

Methods: This is a qualitative study, specifically an interpretive research study. It uses Fourth Generation Evaluation methodology.

The unit of analysis was a K-6 elementary school that has receive recognition for innovation in technology integration. The school has 900 students, including 2 deaf and hard-of-hearing students. 10% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. p. 43 The school is technology rich p. 44, with three full time technology specialists (K3, 4-6 and video learning center).

Data collection included interviews with teachers, observation of students during videoconferences with content providers, and observed teacher and student preparations for an all day UN Videoconference on Human Rights. 24 hours of videoconference, video editing and classroom activity was videotaped and reviewed. Interviews were also conducted with the technology coordinator, principal, gifted education teacher, and video learning center coordinator.

p. 54 “While due to the qualitative design, this study is not generalizable, but it may serve as a model for development and evaluation of similar projects.”

Chapter 5(p. 93-) discusses the claims, concerns and issues with integrating a Video Learning Center into the curriculum in an elementary school.

  • Claim: Positive effects on teaching and learning (improved teacher objectivity, curriculum enrichment, growth opportunity for teachers, facilitates inclusion across curricula, reverse mentoring)
  • Claim: Extension of technology integration (the Internet as amplifier, video learning center worked with the One-to-One program) .
  • Concern: Constructivist learning experiences.
  • Concern: Engagement and student deportment.
  • Issue: Technology and teaching skills needed by VLC coordinator.
  • Issue: Faculty development in application of technology.

My Comments/Notes:
Think about the difference between technology that assists students and teachers in doing the same educational tasks, and technology that is a “transformative application” p. 5.

They still have a complicated videoconference room tied into a TV studio for sending programming to the whole school. Not a mobile cart. But still the same use of VC that I’m interested in.

A study by Honey, McMillan, Culp, & Carrig, 1999 is a 17 year student of technology integration in a New Jersy school district. It identified eight reform strategies integral to the school district’s success. p. 12. The eight strategies are (p. 127-129):

  • Instructional leadership at the building level
  • Effective school improvement teams
  • Extensive professional development
  • Emphasis on student creativity / Expression of ideas in multiple formats
  • Providing different points of entry for children working at different ability levels
  • A de-emphasis on remediation and an emphasis on learning for all
  • Establishment of classroom libraries and media-rich classroom environments
  • Multi-text approach to learning, including integration of technology into instruction

Lit Review Notes
His literature review focuses not just on videoconferencing but on “learning theory related to technology, knowledge management and story telling, web as a new learning environment, and TV and digital video learning.” p. 10.

Page 18 has a nice chart of teaching paradigms related to models of distance/distributed learning. (i.e. experiential simulations – think CET CLC’s e-Missions; and collaborative learning; think MysteryQuest.)

Need to look further into Dede’s research from 1996 and 2002 that shows the critical components for success, including “involvement of trained coordinators at every implementation site” which is a main focus of my intended research.

Hayden 1999 is another study to look into further. “K-12 teacher panelists who had prior experience using videoconferencing were found to have stronger agreement with constructivist elements.” Hayden has a list of characteristics of videoconference systems that support constructivist learning.

Literature review process comment. He mentions studies based on a dated technology (analog videotape editing) and says most of them have”limited direct relevance”; but then discusses one study that has enduring relevance.

Definitions are a big problem with videoconference research. Keefe uses the term “distributed learning environment”. “A distributed learning environment augments and amplifies the classroom- and textbook-based instruction that characterize much of the other instruction in the various curriculums in K-12 schools.” p. 16. Page 19 as another application of the term “distributed learning environment” to mean where distance learning is combined with face-to-face.

He does talk about satellite “videoconference” as well. I wonder now if my initial preferred focus of H323 videoconferencing is too narrow and if in actuality the lessons learned from CuSeeMe and similar tools apply to today’s videoconferencing as well.

p. 32. Another definition. Videoconferencing learning in an elementary school “as a tool for augmenting and amplifying classroom instruction.” Also interesting from p. 32, the stakeholders for this study feel the combination of video conferencing, video production and close circuit transmission through the school are essential for success.

Good Ideas
Here’s an interesting concept: “computer supported cooperative learning.” p.15. How about videoconference supported cooperative learning? We are so totally doing that with Jazz next week. MysteryQuest definitely does that too.

p. 57. The school uses the Boyer Model (The Basic School: A Community for Learning) which provides the school “with a way to measure whether the integration of technology is consistent with the overall beliefs and goals to which the school has subscribed.” See p. 58 & 59 as well. The vision for technology in the school blends with the Basic School vision. Imagine having a clear vision on how technology fits the school’s instructional vision in the schools you work with!

p. 62 Weekly team meetings “provide a forum for teachers to discuss appropriate uses for technology in different subject areas, and to give each other technical assistance with the use of specific pieces of equipment. Another excellent way to provide ongoing support for teachers.

Need to know more about p. 31. What the research shows and what the research does not show. “The extension of videoconference learning to the elementary grades is an evolving application that is just beginning to receive research attention.”

p. 51. The study results should be viewed “as limited to application in technology-rich learning environments.”

In the Results section (chapter 4), the author describes a “day in the life of the video learning center” with various activities compressed into one day. The VCs included hosting a holocaust survivor as he spoke to high school students in two other states; a student-to-student interaction on rockets with a class in Northern Ireland; a videoconference with an oceanographic institute;; and a videoconference with several schools and the United Nations.

The Results section describes several factors that are key to successful videoconferences:

  • students and teachers preparing for the videoconerence
  • the VC coordinator helping the teachers select programs
  • the VC coordinator giving an introduction to VC behavior before the conference starts
  • students are encouraged to use “their playground voice” to speak loud enough for the microphone

Things I’ve Noticed Too
p.53-54. Even this technology-rich school had teachers who didn’t want to change their curriculum for a VC that just showed up. “The most negative factor involves some teacher reluctance to take advantage of serendipitous opportunities that occur during the school year that would require altering the previously agreed to curriculum plan.” 🙂 Sound familiar???

p. 91. Kids cared so much about their international videoconference that they came in on a snow day to participate.

p. 116 “Integrating a facility like the VLC into curriculum requires more than just an investment in space, technology and communications infrastructure. The capabilities of the VLC Coordinator have a strong role in determining the success of the overall program.” Yes!!! I really believe this!

New Thoughts
p. 97 The VC coordinator, who has seen many videoconferencing, said, “I’ve worked over the years, especially in video-conferencing, helping at each grade level, and the teachers become familiar with it, realizing how it really compacts curriculum as opposed to adding on one more thing they have to do.” Do your teachers see it this way? What does it take to find the right opportunities that not only match, but compact curriculum?

p. 126 “The videoconference learning milieu also helps teachers observe and reflect upon their students’ interactions to a greater extent than in most other settings, and teachers in this study reported that they quite frequently saw behaviors in the VLC that they had not previously observed in the classroom.” This is really interesting. What does that mean for that student’s learning?

Your Comments
This is the first in a series of research article “notes” that I’ll be posting throughout the summer. I invite you to join the conversation. What ideas struck you? What do you agree with? What questions does this article raise in your mind? Your comments are very much welcomed!

0 replies on “LitReview: A Case Study of the Integration of a Video Learning Center at an Elementary School”

  1. Quick notes…

    Have you contacted Wheeling for their research on Operation Montserrat? It might be interesting because since MQ is similar to Montserrat. The concept of “flow” might apply in other areas and they had lots of data included. I got a copy of the initial report, not sure what the status of it is now, but it is probably relevant to your research.

    My second note is….WOW! I am going to be learning a lot while you work through your program! Thanks for sharing and keeping us thinking.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.