MAILED: May 18, 2000
An assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and two individuals from the Bloomer School District have been awarded $11,000 in funding through the UW System's Pilot PK-16 Initiative: Fellowship Program for Collaborative Research on Technology Uses in PK-12 Schools.
The grant money will be used for their project titled "Technology in Science: Evaluating Students' Thinking Skills/Content Knowledge."
The project is a collaborative research project between Dr. Mona Majdalani from UW-Eau Claire, Vicki Lyons, technology coordinator for the Bloomer School District, and Deb Houts, physics teacher at Bloomer High School. The trio will provide high school physics students with calculator-based laboratories, calculator-based rangers and computer software. The researchers then will assess the impact these tools have on the students' conceptual development of science and on their reasoning and communication skills.
"(Programs like this allow) faculty members to do research to further refine their scholarship and teaching duties," Majdalani said.
This grant program, which is in its first year, funds collaborative research projects that examine the impact of technology use in schools that offer prekindergarten through 12th grade education. This year, $44,000 was made available to researchers with a maximum grant of $11,000 per project the amount that Majdalani was allotted. A review panel consisting of representatives from PK-12 schools and UW institutions evaluated the proposals and made grant recommendations to the UW System senior vice president of academic affairs who then made the final decision.
The grant money will be used to pay for research time, which includes data collection, evaluation, analysis and syntheses for all three researchers. Money also will be used to cover travel costs for a conference presentation, consultation fees, services and supplies.
Majdalani is excited about the project because it integrates technology into the curriculum and involves collaboration between K-12 educators and UW faculty.
"(The project) will help us enhance our ability to bring technology into the teaching and learning process," Majdalani said. "It helps develop communication and links to the community surrounding our campus."
Majdalani said planning and test development will begin this summer, and data collection will begin in the fall. Analysis and synthesis will take place later in the school year and a conference presentation will be held next spring.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 18, 2000