Through ongoing professional development over the two-year program, each school’s research team will be provided with the resources and increased capacity to leverage data and research in the context of their own educational objectives. Specifically, participants will learn how well-developed research tools can be leveraged and used effectively within different school settings to model and exemplify data-driven decision making, document and replicate best practices, and empirically determine if and how program goals are being met.
Although each school will identify their own unique objectives and goals for the partnership, participating schools will work collaboratively with the International Research Collaborative to implement simple research and measurement tools to:
Reflect on teacher and learning practices, including the varied use of different educational technology tools and resources.
Examine the variation in how teachers and students use different educational technology resources in your school (across grade levels and subject areas), Provide evidence to school stakeholders (administration, staff, parents) that investments and initiatives are accomplishing stated goals.
Better understand how and where teaching and learning is evolving in your school.
Document and measure progress toward meeting your individual school goals.
Support and inform action planning activities using data representing student and teachers’ perspectives and practices.
Provide greater evidence of success to your school and community, and
Identify best practices for tech integration across the schools.
In addition, schools around the world are struggling to better understand the complex and complicated relationship between a variety of emerging ICT-based practices and student outcomes, such as student achievement. Partnership schools will be provided the background and requisite tools to begin to empirically address how their ICT investments and practices are impacting the student outcomes that matter most to partner schools. Indeed, one of the primary goals of the International Research Collaborative will be to provide participating schools with the necessary context, training, tools, and data to undertake such investigations.
Schools participating in the Collaborative will have the unique and valuable opportunity to examine the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of their students and teachers in the context of other international schools implementing 1:1, iPad, and/or BYOD student computing programs. Representing schools from around the world, the International Research Collaborative represents one of the very first global efforts to document the myriad potential advances in teaching and learning afforded by 1:1 student computing.
Each year, participating schools will receive reports detailing practices within their own school context, in addition to reports detailing how their local results fit within the context of results collected from other international schools. It is important to note that this is a collaborative approach, not competitive, and is primarily intended to help provide each school with a better understanding of context with which they are operating 1:1 student computing programs. To ensure the anonymity and confidentiality of school data, pseudonyms and other masking techniques will be used in reporting results from partner schools.
A common theme of education reform is that teachers within schools must become reflective practitioners if they are to become more successful in meeting the needs of increasingly diverse student populations. As Sternberg and Horvath (1995) wrote, “The current popularity of ‘reflective practice’ as a touchstone for teacher excellence suggests that, in the minds of many, the disposition toward reflection is central to expert teaching” (p. 15).
Through this two-year partnership, each school will receive the tools (and their own actual data) to better understand how teaching and learning practices are impacted by ICT across grade levels and subject areas. Specifically through the online professional development sessions, participating schools will be provided with techniques and approaches to engage their teachers in more reflective practices and the use of research and data to improve teaching and learning.
Although the International Research Collaborative will be fully supportive in providing resources and suggestions for capitalizing on each school’s participation, it will be ultimately up to the individual school research teams to determine the extent and model with which they will involve their teachers and other stakeholders over the two-year study period. Again, it should be emphasized that although many schools are participating, the International Research Collaborative is purposefully designed to support the individual goals and aims unique to each partner institution.