The role of the teacher was therefore restricted significantly in the computer lab in order to limit—and ultimately control—this variable. In reality, however, classroom teachers have a greater role to play in the design, implementation, and delivery of lessons—whether or not they rely on educational technology.
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The history teacher from school 2 who used the VH for the study clearly supports this approach to technology in light of his experience:. I think that the final task they were assigned—which was a research project resulting in an argumentative essay—required either much more teacher direction than the study allowed or much more concrete direction on what to do with each source. Expertise in teaching history as a form of knowledge in the twenty-first century depends on access to and use of complex systems of various knowledge—including technology.
Too often, however, knowledge of technology in education is considered in a vacuum, disconnected from disciplinary knowledge and pedagogy, as if an understanding of how technological affordances work translates into sound practice.
Results confirm that building a community of inquiry in the twenty-first-century classroom cannot be accomplished with educational technology alone. It must lead to a fundamental reconsideration of disciplinary content knowledge and pedagogy so as to develop a coherent educational framework that recognizes how teaching and learning can be changed as a result of technological affordances.
Although most grade 10 students in this study reported having high computer literacy skills, many struggled to engage actively with the various functionalities of the VH program e. This was particularly evident with students from school 2, which has a very large number of immigrant students for whom English is a second language. They may be born with technology, but their relationship to it is often practical and intuitive.
Their immersion in and use of interactive technological tools do not necessarily enhance their inquisitive mode of learning. Generalizations about digital natives do not take into consideration the various cognitive differences in students of different ages and cultural-linguistic backgrounds. What students do with technology outside the school may have little or no significance to the competencies needed to engage in disciplinary inquiries. Mark, a history teacher in this study, reflects on how best to use technology with his grade 10 students in these circumstances:.
I would have liked to be able to use the VH for a less challenging question or a more concrete and directed activity. Technology in education is inevitable. Yet no single technology can be universally applied by teachers. Just as progressivism never entirely replaced formalism in twentieth-century education, digitally enhanced inquiry-based learning methods may never completely displace textbook-centered instruction in the classroom.
Teaching is a complex human activity that cannot be reduced to a set of pre-established pedagogical steps that invariably produce positive outcomes. Digital history programs, such as the Virtual Historian, provide an additional tool to achieve inquiry-based learning in history. Important questions remain unanswered, however. How can it be that digital natives, born and raised with technology, still prefer classroom instruction to a computer lab activity and claim to be distracted by online learning objects?
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We urgently need some empirical studies and practice-informed answers to these pressing questions. Gail Salaway, Judith B. Caruso, and Mark R. Prensky, 1. Wineburg, 7. Linda S. Levstik and Keith C. Mahwah, N. Levstik and Barton, John W. Daniel J. Peter N. Stearns, Peter Seixas, and Samuel S. Davis Jr. Elizabeth Alexander Ashburn and Robert E. Milson, Grant P. Alexandria, Va. Bain, ; emphasis added. Robert K. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, Gardner and Boix-Mansilla, In order to preserve the identity of participants, all the names of students and teachers have been changed to pseudonyms and research codes.
Voss and Wiley, — Kathleen O. Wineburg, Perfetti, Britt, and Georgi, Shemilt, Alaric Dickinson, A. Dickinson and P. Lee London: Heinemann, , 1— Dickinson, Gard, and Lee, Mark Hofer and Kathleen O. Stearns, P. Seixas, and S. Toronto: J. Lorimer, Bain, Toronto, Ont. Bennett, Maton, and Kervin, Interactive 3D worlds and computer modeling can be used to excite interest in the many unique traditional dwellings constructed by indigenous groups in the Canadian High Arctic.
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General cultural trends toward the use of digital media show greater acceptance by students, teachers, and the public. Beyond mere representation of past architectural forms, digital reconstructions can be used to delve into the behavior and performance of unique structures. In research and teaching, it is now possible to model and investigate the response of these structures to the extreme environmental conditions of the North. Virtual worlds can also evoke emotive and effectual knowledge in indigenous users.
Experiences derived from primary school and college students, and Padleirmiut Inuit Elders who experienced digital reconstructions of pre-contact Inuit dwellings in a 3D virtual theater CAVE [computer automated visualization environment] at the University of Calgary, suggest that virtual environments may also be useful in initiating and establishing archaeological interpretation and discourse, as well as assisting personal identity recovery. In the United States and Canada, archaeological project funding often stipulates that public opportunity for engagement be provided.
Digital imaging can become an essential part of this outreach effort. In addition, there is the sensitive issue of repatriation of native artifacts. Virtual 3D artifact copies allow archaeologists to return sacred objects to their original communities, while keeping valuable information from the artifacts available for research and study. Today, accessing historic materials through the Internet demands that any representation of an object be web-compatible.
By placing artifacts in surroundings with other objects, a context is constructed for understanding what life was like in the past. With artifacts that have deep cultural significance, there is also an opportunity to associate virtual objects with myths and ethnographic commentary. In addition, the growth of social media allows users in remote communities to add their comments, stories, videos, or photos to websites with accessible virtual copies of artifacts, as part of a running dialogue that can be shared with the world.
For museums, this connection between the real and virtual offers exciting possibilities of linking physical displays with virtual interactive content. With Arctic content, the authors have experimented with the web, kiosks, and 3D stereoscopic projection systems, including passive and active projection systems, autographic screens, CAVEs, and 3D theaters.
These environments have been used for both teaching and museum exhibits. Now with affordable 3D TVs the opportunity to augment museum exhibits and explore whole worlds is possible. Creating virtual worlds begins with the conversion of field data and archaeological and historical records into 3D computer models.
Creating 3D objects usually requires some knowledge of CAD computer-aided design. When CAD is used as a tool to create a digital object from drawings and field data, both aesthetic and practical concerns impact the final results.
This is particularly true when drawings are incomplete or missing critical dimensions. In this sense CAD models are representations, limited by the data, skill, and time available to a digital artist to translate historic documents into a 3D form. As developers of educational content, a high priority must be given to virtual worlds that present an accurate likeness of archaeological artifacts and their context. With greater acceptance of laser scanning over the last decade, archaeologists now have a tool for accurately creating 3D images of objects from the size of an arrowhead to the extent of a building or city.
A major advantage of laser scanning is that measurements can be made off the 3D model without damaging the actual object, avoiding the impact that repeated measurements can have on fragile objects.
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With laser scanners it is possible to acquire point measurements on a vast scale and at high fidelity. Laser scanners can be designed to capture minute detail, with resolutions as fine as 30 micros, providing researchers with a source of data not possible to acquire with more traditional hand measurement techniques. Virtual 3D replicas also have distinct advantages over real objects because replicas facilitate a systematic analysis of shape and form.
This is particularly self-evident in the case of fragile pottery, where laser-scanning technology has been used to arrive at the shape of a vessel.
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In cases where only a partial vase has survived, it has been possible to reconstruct the entire pot from the remaining potsherds. In an attempt to automate this process, researchers at the University of Tiburg have developed algorithms that can take a collection of potshards and reassemble the pot into its most likely shape. Long-range laser scanning technology can be used to create 3D images of a building or an entire archaeological site.
By taking successive scans of a site over time it is possible to create a virtual record of the excavation. The reconstruction of a Thule whalebone house provides a case study of laser scanning use for documentation and research that leads to public access to the results of archaeological research. These domiciles were constructed by the Thule peoples, who are the cultural and biological ancestors of contemporary Inuit and Eskimo groups of the North American Arctic and Greenland. Thule groups had expanded eastward from the Bering Strait region into the Canadian Arctic by the late twelfth or early thirteenth century.
Unlike northwestern Alaska, the coastlines of the Eastern Arctic did not have a ready supply of driftwood to build houses.
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A roof structure of whalebone was erected over a house pit lined with flagstone. The raised sleeping platform, kitchen, and storage areas were also built from flagstone. The roof frame would have been covered with hide and a thick heavy layer of sod, and with snowfall, an additional burden would have been placed on these structures.