Application of Computer Sciences in Teaching

The focal point of the paper is to summarize and critically evaluate the work by Arijit Sengupta named Docbase – a Database Environment for Structured Documents, published in December 1997, by the Department of Computer Science, Indiana University. SGML or “Standard Generalized Markup Language” (Sengupta 1997) is used throughout the world on a wide scale and it is a standard form of representation of the document. The present research is focused on the use of Docbase where the original document is preserved and the platform provides a good amount of sustainability to the original document.

Summary

The research indicates that to serve the purpose of formatting and storing information electronically, software vendors have come up with different word processing applications, e.g. MS Word introduced by Microsoft Inc. However, these applications “provide limited ability to search…for words and phrases in the entire document sequentially and, for large documents, these types of searches often prove to be too slow and time-consuming” (Sengupta 1997). Hence, more efficient information retrieval techniques are the need of the hour. SGML is the call of the day. The fundamental advantage of SGML architecture is in its document representation in a very standardized form. It is also helpful for the user as it is readable even it acts as embedded documentation of information in a completely logistical structure.

This readability of the SGML system can be used as documentation in the context of maintaining an effective human-oriented database. Under this parameter, the system would develop a DTD format that would even support searches that are completely keyword-based. This search system would be very user-friendly and aligned with the existing IR systems. The entire approach of the DocBase is to provide a better human enable interaction system based on SGML architecture.

Critical judgment

While providing the critical judgment of application of Computer Sciences in enhancing teaching skills, it should be noted that it can be seen whatever-exuberance can manage in regard to the integration of DocBase technology into education. What also is seen would be how the integration of education can in fact enhance the learning experience for both teachers and students? This fosters achievement for students and provides a great many more resources within easy reach. The necessity to have supported both in and outside the classroom is evident in the lack of sustainability for integration purposes. This was seen more often throughout the observations of many researchers both in and outside of teaching itself. North Central Regional Education Laboratory and Learning Point Associates, N.R. Iverson and Education World would in fact show that integration of DocBase technology must be taught to the teachers as well as the students, to the administrators as well as the parents. This would facilitate higher capacity for school systems to manage further integration successfully. Factors that contribute to technological integration failure would include the lack of resources in monetary, supply and support fashion. There would also be failures in the willingness to incorporate such learning into the teaching styles of the various teachers. Teachers who have no method of either learning the potential for this integrated learning style or the support to manage doing so, will neglect the potential benefits provided.

This would give the distinct impression that integration of DocBase technology in the classroom facilitates new methods of teaching. The focus of this model was to bring to light how the integration of DocBase technology into teaching practices would in fact be systemic in nature. Teachers, in the viewpoint of Anderson and Dexter, must not only learn individually but also in group situations to better their knowledge in regard to school level goals and what part of this process would be their individual responsibility. The focus also would be on four dimensions found in the learning environment from many treatises including the How People Learn framework explained by Bransford in his 2000 text.

The framework is divided into three sections including: Learning Environment Designs; Learning Environment Elements for Teacher Learning; Organizational Features that May Facilitate Teachers’ Learning Environments. This framework goes on to describe four learning environment designs that include learning-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered. The fact that there would be such a straightforward explanation of these methods gives teachers the ability to see how the application of these processes might be facilitated. This is important in the overall application of technological advances integration.

An interesting and almost coincidental alignment with this consideration would be found in Gloria Antifaiff’s work titled Integrating Technology into the Curriculum. She goes through her work saying that technology changes rapidly and this would have the ultimate tendency to cause confusion in the realm of education. Education in regard to technology must be versatile as the technological advances would be. This must be integrated into the classroom effectively, not haphazardly. The physical machinery involved in technology should not be the singular focus of integration, there should be software and auxiliary machines involved in that integration. Integration of DocBase technology into teaching requires an understanding of the components of technology and all auxiliary attributes as they apply to education and learning. The tools of the trade in education change with the times, but if education does not incorporate the advances in technology into learning, students and teachers lose out.

It is recommended that teachers would use their computers one to five hours each week, most would use for class preparation in place of interaction and they view the World Wide Web as a supplement in place of augmentation of their teaching. Also noted in this piece, students and teachers utilize the computer and its potential more often in grades kindergarten through second than at any other grade level. The fact that teachers are more willing to coordinate computer usage in the classroom routines of younger children is quite interesting and yet they fail to carry this through into the upper-grade levels, allowing the potential to fall off after second grade and dramatically lessen toward middle and high school grade levels.

Upon the introduction of Goals 2000, teachers are utilizing the available resource of technology further regardless of grade level. The more years of experience a teacher has, often, the longer it takes to integrate technology. The newer teachers, ones graduating in more recent years, tend to be more internet savvy. This would factor into the teaching methods that would be introduced to the classroom and the students as a whole. In the case of Project 2000, the supportive inclusion from administration and other support for the teachers involved allowed the capacity for more understanding and acceptance toward integration of DocBase technology.

As in the Goals 2000 work, all teachers would have training and support in using computers and the internet during classroom instruction. All classrooms, students and teachers would have modern multimedia computer accessibility. Internet capacity would be available for all classrooms and effective and efficient software and online learning sources are considered integral within every school’s curriculum. The results were then tabulated using measures such as School Observation Measure, Expanded Rubric, Survey of Computer Use, Teacher Technology Questionnaire, School Climate Inventory, Technology Coach Survey, Teacher Focus Groups, Principal Interviews, Technology Coach Interview, and Technology Benchmarks. According to the results portrayed, significant differences on nine of the twenty-four SOM strategies in that higher frequency could be assessed. Work centers, more project-based learning, and systematic individual instruction including independent inquiry, all of which were more student-centered. The use of technology and interest in the students themselves would also have shown an increase.

Those that were of the most significance included project-based learning, independent inquiry, and students as knowledge producers. The means found in the rubric here suggest moderate levels in both quality and effectiveness. Project-based learning and experiential learning reflected high rubrics in the spring semester showing significant attainment. Higher ratings would be seen in cooperative learning, independent inquiry, and student discussion, these particular strategies showed even higher than other ratings taken. In this case, this reflects similarly to the Project 2000 case. Demonstrating the introduction of teaching technology from grades kindergarten through fifth would be beneficial to both teachers and students. Teachers willing to use the support offered have noticed a significant difference. Many teachers, the more experience they have, will often wish to see the support prior to bringing new aspects of learning into the classroom. Others, especially newer teachers, tend to automatically integrate due to the fact that computers and technology have been integral to their own learning experience.

In this case, it was a study that determined the responses of teachers and students in regard to the utility present within the integration of the whiteboard. Statistical information was received in regard to successful first use, note presentation, and interactivity. The students were rated on first reaction, attentiveness, ongoing enthusiasm and notes. In both cases, the integration was liked much more than it was felt to be of not much use or completely disliked. This compares to the Ross, Lowther, Walter, McDonald, and Wang piece and the fact that this system with the whiteboard would in fact replace systems such as the overhead projector, charts with chalk and solo work quite frequently mirrors that of the same work done in the Tennessee Technology Literacy Challenge Fund: Evaluation Report. The fact that the comparisons cross borders, affect teachers at various levels and so forth, would in fact be of merit toward the consideration of full technological integration for grades kindergarten through grade five. Teachers in all grade levels appreciate this particular style of technology and use it frequently.

In the Merle Marsh from Computer Learning 2001 and the Computer Learning Foundation there are many factors that affect how integration is managed, dependent on school funding, availability of support methods for the teaching staff and administration and adequate facility planning. The Computer Learning Foundation would provide guidance by bringing responsible leadership in use of computers and related technologies in the classroom. This they manage through Computer Learning Month, in October, as has been managed for nearly two decades. The factors that help this include Digital Workshops in Iowa, Integrated Websites in Colorado, Online Support of School-Level Training in Tennessee, Professional Development in North Carolina, Two Teachers Together with Technology in New York, Professional Development for a New Era in New Jersey and many other programs.

One interesting consideration is how integration of DocBase technology is seen in a global forum. Quite similar in content and consideration to the Ross, Lowther, Walter, McDonald and Wang piece in 2002 would be one written by Carlson and Gadio in conjunction with World Links. The similarities involved would include how many teachers, especially those newer to the teaching profession, appreciate a framework of development in the use of technology in classroom activities and processes. Like those involved in the Tennessee Technology Challenge Fund, the appreciation is in the aspects that are taught in relation to the technology so that the teachers can interrelate that learning with their lessons in the classroom. This is to the benefit for students and teachers alike and can be translated regardless of a teacher’s experience levels in the classroom. Teachers who have degrees higher than baccalaureate level, in fact, have the sense of how technology might enhance the learning environment. Newer teachers with less than five years teaching experience will see the framework as being at the core of their needs. Teachers with higher education levels and longer tenures will see a technological framework differently, and adjust that framework to encompass their techniques as well as technological innovation. This is where experience can be of greater assistance in the integration of DocBase technology. The teachers have the ability to include learning strategies, encompass direct instruction and many other skills including discussion, drill and practice, deduction, induction and sharing. There are many other similar points brought up in the World Links piece that would in fact mirror many of the others, professional development, frameworks, motivations and incentives, training of other school community members including administration members, parents, students, and finding a method of funding that will not interfere with overall learning.

Conclusion

In accordance to the concerned work of Sengupta, this particularly shows that teachers of all education levels are able to be integrated into the potential learning capacity afforded by technology integration. In Teachers Teaching Teachers, maintaining ongoing events and opportunities for teachers to continue teaching each other and support their efforts is the ultimate goal. This, in fact, is definitively similar to the Tennessee Technology Literacy Challenge Fund: Evaluation Report, written by Ross, Lowther, Walter, McDonald and Wang in 2002 in their Interviews on page 2 they reveal that a teacher focus group would be part of their interview process. This focus group, much like the support group in the Marsh piece Teachers Teaching Teachers, in the teacher support group, would in fact bring about similar reactions and further professional development into the integration of DocBase technology for grade levels including kindergarten through fifth and enhancing both new baccalaureate graduates through those with master’s and doctoral levels of education. In many cases, the level of education for teachers would make slight differences in the receptivity of the application of technology toward furthering and improving education.

Reference

Sengupta, A. (1997). Docbase – A Database Environment For Structured Documents. Indiana: Department of Computer Science.