New Media Literacies - Research Plan 2011-12


Themes for Research

The PLAY! program is organized under three main themes:

I. NML’s Curriculum and Instruction Model
(Focus: critique and revision)
This theme focuses on revising NML’s current curriculum & instruction model by adapting it to address issues and concerns related to integrating new media literacies and mindsets into the public educational system.

II. Participatory Professional Development Model
(Focus: design, development and implementation)
Theme two focuses on the development and implementation of a participatory model of professional development that is aligned with the reality and needs of K-12 public schools.

III. Digital technologies as Platform for Learner-Researcher Practices
(Focus: teacher and student / social change)
Theme three takes a step further in the process of devising a professional development model by documenting educators' and students’ practices and uses of digital technologies across subject areas and school activities, and, as well, by investigating changes in learners’ perspectives and school practices. The goal of this last theme is to focus on identifying practices, mindsets, and structures that will support teachers’ successfully integrating new media practices and technologies into their teaching.

PLAY!’s overarching question is, “How can we integrate the tools, insights, and skills of a participatory culture (as defined in the NML white paper) into the public education system in the United States?

Orienting questions based on three key themes outlined below are:
  1. How can we adapt the current NML model for integrating new media mindsets and practices into public K-12 schools?
  2. How can PLAY! inform the conceptualization of a participatory model of professional development?
  3. How (and in what ways) does/do the PLAY! Program impact the educational practices of public K-12 teachers in the state of California?

How data will be collected from the above research questions are outlined in the table below. The orienting questions provide a focus for guiding the project's development, implementation, ongoing documentation and research, and evaluation.

Table 3: Central Themes and Orienting Questions
Themes
Orienting Questions
Data Collection Methods
Data Analysis
I. NML’s Curriculum and Instruction Model

Focus: critique and revision

NML researchers involved:
1)
Q: How can we adapt the current NML model for integrating new media mindsets and practices into K-12 public schools?

(Note: the NML model includes 3 challenges, 4 forms of participatory culture and 12 skills)
I. Collection of documents
Data Sources: NML documents, NML website, NML white paper, Teachers' Strategy Guide: Reading in a Participatory Culture worked example; New Hampshire Early Adopters worked example, Previous NML courses syllabi and other documents, Research meetings Google docs; and prior research on teachers' uses of digital technologies
II. Survey
Data Sources: pre and post survey of all participating students and teachers at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.

III. Discussion Groups
Data Sources: Orientation sessions (notes & audio transcripts), and Research meetings.

IV. Focus Groups
Data Sources: First Summer Sandbox (5-day workshop), and initial implementation of RFK-LA Media Lab projects during 2011-12.

V. Participant Observation
Data Sources: schools
Analysis of common themes and categories




II. Participatory Professional Development Model

Focus: design


NML researchers involved:
1)
Q: How (and in what ways) does the combination of the RFK-LA Media Lab programming with summer sandbox, followed by self-directed PLAY! days inform the conceptualization of a participatory professional development model?
I. Collection of documents
Data Sources: PLAY! Summer Sandbox course, Research meetings Google docs, and web interface documents (including data generated by the PLAYground web interface)

II. Discussion groups
Data Sources: Research meetings

III. Videotapes
Data Sources: Summer Sandbox, Follow-up (online), Selective interviews (with pilot participants).

V. Interviews
Data Sources: Pilot participants

VI. New Action Research Component of the PLAYground
Data Sources: participant two action research / discipline specific challenges, and selective interviews with participants.
Quantitative analysis of information generated by the PLAY! web interface tools (including use by participants)

Qualitative analysis of common themes and categories

Discourse Analysis


Cross-case study analysis


Cultural model analysis


Member checking
III. Digital technologies as Platform for Learner-Researcher Practices

Focus: teacher and student /social change
NML researchers involved:
1)
Q: How (and in what ways) do the digital technologies aggregated into The Playground impact the educational practices of public K-12 teachers and students?
I. Collection of documents
Data Sources: PLAY! Summer Sandbox pilot course documents, participants' documents (challenges and voicethread), and web interface documents (including data generated by the participants)
II. Survey
Data Sources: pre and post survey of teachers and students.

III. Discussion groups
Data Sources: Research meetings

IV. Focus Groups
Data Sources: Semi-structured focus groups with afterschool program and summer sandbox participants

VI. Videotapes
Data Sources: The RFK-LA Media Lab programming and summer sandbox, and selective interviews (with teachers and students).

V. Interviews
Data Sources: Pilot RFK-LA Media Lab programming and summer sandbox participants

VI. Participant observation
Data Sources: classrooms, schools, home, community
Quantitative analysis of information generated by the PLAY! web interface tools (including those used by participants)

Qualitative analysis of common themes and categories


Discourse Analysis


Cross-case study analysis


Member checking


Cultural model analysis