AERA Day 2: Making Sense out of Meaning

My brain is still spinning with musings from AERA Day 2 in which I was honored to meet Dr. Linda Darling Hammond, albeit it was in the bathroom.  I saw her reflection and couldn’t help but say “Linda” she responded “yes” , and I responded “I love your work Linda” (there would be a picture of us here if it was not for the situation). 

Getting to meet the guru of teacher professional development in the most unlikely place makes this event so exciting.  But what drives me out of bed every morning is the opportunity to meet so many other researchers in the field of education who are creating a ripple effect in the field of education.  Just like Linda, they too have an impact on the lives of students and teachers in public education.  

Day 2 was a hodgepodge of papers and presentations from researchers around the world.  I was happy to learn that professors from California State University, East Bay are developing a toolkit, Next Gen ASET for teacher educators to influence how preservice teachers are prepared to teach science.   The heavy lifting they are doing to develop this science education frameworks will certainly support teacher’s efficacy and ability to teach science.  

Technology is also having a much bigger place and space at this year’s AERA conference.  Several studies focused on the impact of technology on student learning and teacher professional growth.  A study by IES showed that technology is influencing student learning and the gap between computers at home and income is shrinking

Facebook and Twitter were popular social media platforms for researchers to examine how technology mediates teacher professional development (note this is how I promote my blog maybe a future study here).  One study by Zainuddin and colleagues found that Facebook has a positive impact on preservice teachers social interaction, knowledge sharing and problem-solving.  Another study by Dr. Fischer at UCI  examined what elements of Twitter influence teacher interaction.  Although negative Tweets get much media coverage these days, with teachers it is positive and caring tweets that get the most attention.  The idea that this particular tool is open, democratic and collaborative with less hierarchical leadership structures is what it makes it so popular and engaging for teachers.  

screen2bshot2b2018-04-172bat2b9-39-322bam-2505550  We are at the final stretch today! My colleague Cynthia Sistek-Chandler and I will be at our poster session: Investigating the Motives, Strategies, and Tensions of Instructional Technology Coaches: How Coaches Influence Teachers’ Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge.  I know it’s a long title but there is a high correlation between title word count and acceptance rate at AERA 😉 This is part of the SIG (Special Interest Group)
“Technology as an agent of change for teaching and learning”  today at 12:25 so it’s times to pack up and get ready to go! If you are in the NYC area I will be at the New York Hilton Midtown, third floor Americas Hall from 12:25-1:55 today I promise to capture a picture and post in my final day of AERA musings. 

I finally made it to my first Broadway Show Phantom of the Opera

See you all on the flip side as I travel back to my hometown of Santa Cruz this evening and I hope to see you all again next year in Ontario for AERA 2018! Read my first day of musings here