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The Research Says: Bridge This Gap!

This week I attended the AECT conference and it was quite different from any conference that I have attended.  AECT – the Association for Educational Communications and Technology – was a gathering place of graduate students and researchers from all over the world.  These amazing people have been digging into educational technology and all of the different influences it is having in education.

This was not like ISTE or OTA, there was no App Smackdown, or super cool tool session – this was about research.

It got me wondering – how can we get the research into the hands of the teachers?  In a way that teachers would appreciate?  In a way that informs practice and encourages teachers to make positive change.  In a way that matters.

When I was in the classroom (until last year), I did not have time to read the research.  Teachers don’t have time to read a well put together literature review, or methods section.  They need the idea, was it successful, can I use it, give me a couple of examples in real life.  If a quick scan of Twitter or some focused Google searching did not give me what I was looking for – then I moved on.

How can we bridge this gap?  Our teachers work so hard and have so much going on, that wading through research is not at the top of the list.

Talking with some of my committee members led to this discussion: what if research was culled down to the most important items, put into an infographic, placed in a blog under 600 words, with links to the actual research (should teachers have time and want it) and links that showed the research in practice.  Would teachers read it then?

Teachers want to be brilliant for their students, schools, and communities.  They want to make a different that lasts a lifetime.  They want to reach students in new and amazing ways.  Can we make it easier for teachers to adopt new ways of thinking?

A quick example as a sum up – when I was a pre-service teacher in the early 1990’s, my media class consisted of using an overhead projector, micro-fiche, and the VCR.  Today I teach pre-service teachers how to use blogs, interactive whiteboards, websites, social media, virtual tours, infographics, movie making, tablets (and more) as part of their educational practice.  These future teachers are learning how to step into new technologies, so that as things change, they are not intimidated.  I had to learn how to use cool new stuff, like the internet, as part of my teaching practice on my own.  Without the benefits of research or instruction from those who had really investigated this new thing.

Teachers have so much more available to them now than ever before, yet it is so hard to step out of their comfort zones.  Research says “……..” and research says “……….” and yet very little change occurs.

Can we find a way to get research into the hands of teachers in a way they can use it?  I wonder what the research says….


About Scott

My name is Scott. After 18.5 years as a high school math teacher in public education I have made the move to become a full time PhD student. This decisions was difficult, but has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. Teaching in high school was an incredible experience for me, so leaving an environment that I loved for the unknown was a challenge. As I high school teacher, I taught almost every math course that could be offered. I was able to earn National Board Certification in Young Adult Math. I was honored as my building Teacher of the Year, no mean feat at Edmond Memorial High School!! My career changed as I became fascinated with educational technology and all of the things that it can do for teachers. I flipped my class. I used iPads and blogging (in high school math!!). I started using gamification and mastery learning. I changed my practice. I chose to go back to school to learn as much as I could. To bring that knowledge from academia and research to the teacher on the front line. I have had the opportunity to present at several conferences and share what I have learned with others. Its through these connections that we can be the best teachers we can for our students. They deserve it and we sell ourselves short when we don't give it. I love talking with teachers about change. About incorporating educational technology. About the power that they have to change lives. My blog space is me, it shares my passions and frustrations, my joys and my learnings. If you are interested in what I am studying, please visit my graduate school pages. If you are interested in the flipped classroom, I have some links to get your started. I would love to meet you! Do not hesitate to reach out! I would enjoy the opportunity to work with your staff or trade ideas with your teachers - let me know! Have a great day! #BeBrilliant


One thought on “The Research Says: Bridge This Gap!

  1. Great thought – one that, strangely, I’ve been thinking about this as well. I think the authors should be asked by the source of the funding to do pieces on their research – IMPORTANTLY at the level(S) of the likely users. A quote from Albert Einstein (yep, probably an expectation from me…) comes to mind: “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t really understand it.” Pretty good expectation – understanding research; and pretty good measure – explaining it simply!!!

    I suppose it could be done via Wikopedia but it has too much ‘baggage’ for me. I and many others use YouTube to learn material and skills. And the number of views I’d think would be a pretty good measure of usefulness. Got another thought: I’m a recent fan of Curious.com. They investigate curious topics, explain it simply, and include other references for further consideration. I’m not suggesting using this website; rather starting a new website, maybe a lot of them to do this. Would be good to have voluntary ‘reviews’ by colleagues and users.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by jcbjr9455 | November 7, 2015, 1:29 pm

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