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Technology Use to Increase Student AchievementDissertation

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students in grades 6-8 in the local school are not achieving in their music classes.

The proposed area of study is to determine the effects of integrating Audience Response systems (ARs) into music classrooms, with a goal to increase student achievement in secondary music programs. Generally, present-day music classrooms are not well equipped with 21st century technology; yet simultaneously, students have become more reliant and dependent on technology to provide them with information, learning tools, and social communication. The lack of classroom computer resources continues to affect how the students are performing on their music assessment tests; this also affects their testing in Science, Reading, and Math subjects (Milner, 2012).

Audio response system technology has many new products, such as the Apple iPad and the iPod. These devices use animated visual illustrations as well as providing a better audio experience in music classrooms (Criswell, 2011). This research will provide information that could effectively provide a sequence of instructional strategies for improved integration of music and technology in the classroom. Subsequently, it will also address how to engage students in the classroom. As well, this research is intended to provide music teachers with a sequential order of effective steps for the integration of technology, and will address how technology could enhance and/or improve music instruction. Research by Banister (2010) demonstrates how music instruction could improve the learning process; it shows higher gains for the student-learners when iPod and other technology devices are used consistently as an integral part of the learning process.

According to Moss and Lapp (2009), 21st century instructional leaders use Web-based education, multiple texts, hip-hop, virtual activities, practical examples, audio and visual technology, math problems, and even advertisements to improve the delivery of instruction. Using modern technology in the classroom for instruction may be useful in future classes, functioning to: change the curriculum, improve computer literacy, improve testing skills, and lead to evaluation of, and appreciation of the different levels of musical expression that are inherent in many communities and cultures (Moss & Lapp, 2009).

This work will focus on creating project-based learning (PBL) lessons using AR devices in a manner such that students are likely to be intellectually engaged in significant learning. As well, it will provide structure that could allow for student and teacher reflections, and will create lessons that can be readily adapted to the individual needs of learners at various levels. In 2010, Chiong and Shuler's study of children between the ages of three to five demonstrated that using iPod devices in the classroom lead to gains in vocabulary and phonological awareness. Furthermore, outcomes from these types of learning experiences can provide added value to the literacy and curriculum goals in the classroom. As well, they are likely to increase participation in question and discussion activities, provide inspiration for creation of music study guides, and provide essential fundamental components for education in music notation (Chiong, Shuler, 2010).

When technology is properly integrated into classrooms, with the addition of computers and hand-held devices along with visual technology, this will provide intrinsic motivation for students. It is expected that such technology will motivate users to explore as they begin to create, build, and develop their own original music selections and attach their own melody lines and rhythms to already created material or original songs (Chiong, et al., 2010).

As shown by this research, there are various struggles within music classrooms concerning the effectiveness of music achievement. This is due to the lack of music creativity, weakness in interpretation of musical notations, and using visual, digital, acoustic means for performance values, and kinesthetic musical elements (VCS, Music curriculum Mu. 5F.1.1, 2013).

In the 21st century, music created using a variety of modern technologies is a vibrant part of the American culture. The music classroom is disappearing in some states, where there have been attempts to take music technology out of the classroom, and/or to eliminate music classes. Simultaneously however, Roach (2013) found that in other classrooms, technology is transforming the way that the delivery of instruction is presented, ranging from the increased use of video presentations to a classroom use of modern technology.

This transformation could retool and reshape the manner in which teachers deliver instruction. As well, use of technology could ultimately, blend enhanced learning styles into science, math, and other classroom subjects, which could provide a more rigorous learning experience to students. This experience of integrating music technology will enhance forward thinking. It will also provide faster processing and provide much needed feedback to improve creative thinking skills (Roach, 2013). During the music instructional time there is generally not enough engagement to challenge young musicians to think at a higher level. Clearly, with such technology, students who have a deeper comprehension could be encouraged to become able to demonstrate and perform at increased levels of achievement; this is likely to improve assessments and result in higher test scores (Ru-De, 2010).

Background and Justification

This study will take place in a middle school in Southeastern United States and will measure the impact of Audience Response Systems on Net Generation Learners (NGL). Eighty percent of the students enrolled at the test school site qualify for free or reduced-price lunches; two of the three schools qualify as Title I schools. The school's attendance rate is 90%, with 14% of students being absent more than 20 days. The student population is divided as follows: Asian -- 7%; Black -- 55%; Hispanic/Latino - 7.8%; and Caucasian -- 31.1%. There were 45 faculty members employed during the 2013-2014 school year. The school is surrounded by low-income and two-story subsidized housing.

According to Tang and Austin (2009), Net Generation Learners are engulfed by digital media; an increasingly number of devices are being developed because of the high demand from this generation. However, many challenges arise for NGL. For instance, the amount and type of technology used in the classroom could affect how the NGL accept feedback and faculty-driven instructions (Nelson & Hauck, 2008). Higher educational standards, increased student achievement, and technologies for teaching and learning have been identified as particularly challenging for education in the digital age (Rose & Meyer, 2007).

According to Rose and Meyer (2007), the flexibility of new media is a strongly positive learning tool for a diverse group of learners. The digital capacity that has been used to combine and transfer text, speech, and images leads to a more varied palette for communication, one that can accommodate the diverse capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses of the brain (Rose & Meyer, 2007). Incidental, but equally important, factors in using the new digital media educationally are that these methods support teachers in the areas of math, music, geography, physics, and physical education (Sunshine State Standards, 2007).

According to Voiogt & Pelgrun (2007), research data demonstrates that there is a significant gap between the reality and potentials of today's digital instructional classroom technology (ICT) and the availability of such technology in the classroom. Teachers consistently express their willingness, desire, and ability to integrate technology into the classroom (Voogt & Pelgrun, 2007). Promoting effective long-range educational technology planning at both the state and local levels will help ensure effective implementation of new technology. It will also lead to the development and maintenance of accountability measures and tracking procedures that are used to evaluate teachers with respect to: [1] improved technology integration within curricula and instruction; [2] increased ability of teachers to communicate and teach; and [3] improved assistance to enable students to achieve Florida's Sunshine State Standards (Florida Department Of Education, 2011).

In many schools, principals and administrators collaborate with teachers in classrooms, libraries, and computer labs to handle the difficult task of planning for technology integration; these administrators and staff also support distributed and uncoordinated efforts by enthusiastic teachers (Poddar & Rohde, 2012). Music technology that is purchased by district administrators may be limited, given that budget concerns likely supersede any decision by these leaders to provide more technology and professional development to core classroom teachers (National Endowment for the Arts, 2012). Specifically, the choice of the technology should be well thought out and discussed with all stakeholders involved. However, it is important to remember that without an educational focus, the technology in question is only an additional device or tool -- the utility of ARS depends on training educators as well (Gyberg & Hallstrom, 2011).

Referring to integrating technology, Ward (2009) showed that when Instructional Classroom Technology was used, students were more motivated, more creative, and performed at a higher level in all of their core courses. For example, students using a musical instrumental digital interface (MIDI) could use the computer to write their original compositions through a music keyboard, guitar, iPad, and additional midi capable devices. The research showed that students became self-motivated; as well, their interest in their music courses impressed many new students to join music programs that include technology (Campbell, 2007). The increase of the integration of technology and resources from the Internet into the students' learning experiences goes beyond the educational environment in terms of impact… [END OF PREVIEW]

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