Message from Centre for Information Technology in Education within the Faculty of Education

CITE Seminar Series 2015/2016

CITE & Faculty of Education Joint Seminar – Measuring attitudes and dispositions of digital age learners

Date: 3 June 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
Venue: Room 101, 1/F., Runme Shaw Building, The University of Hong Kong
Speaker: Dr. Gerald Knezek, Regents Professor of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, USA
Chair: Prof. Nancy Law, Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong

About the Seminar
Attitudes and dispositions are affective (feeling) components of human perception, rather than cognitive (thinking) or behavioral (taking action) human domains. They are important because they influence the acceptance and use of technologies as well the motivation to learn. We bother with procedures to ensure accurate assessment of attitudes and dispositions ultimately for accountability of impact. A government, school system, or other publicly funded entity wishes to know what is being accomplished with the funds allocated. Attitudes can be changed relatively quickly while changing a student’s general level of achievement takes much longer. Over time positive attitudinal changes lead to higher achievement. These concepts are central to digital age learning.

Research has shown strong links between pupils’ attitudes and the effect on information technology use and learning. Unfortunately, technology changes very fast, so studies must keep up with the current times and also look to the future. In just one decade the emphasis in many countries has shifted from having students perform well on standardized achievement tests to “happiness indices” and nurturing interest in science, technology, engineering, an math (STEM) from an early age. We must anticipate the day when major studies will focus on attitudes and dispositions related to transformations “in the cloud” or in social networking environments. Already emerging are studies of attitudes and dispositions toward mobile devices for informal learning and toward 1-to-1 devices in formal education. There is much work that remains to be done in these areas. This seminar will focus on instruments and techniques for assessing attitudes and disposition toward IT in education, and introduce models for assessing impact on outcomes important to society

About the Speaker
Dr. Knezek’s research interests include measuring attitudes and dispositions toward information technology, developing and testing formal models of technology integration, developing practical research designs, and refining scaling methods and techniques. He is Director of the Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching & Learning (IITTL) at UNT and immediate Past President of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE). He was a Founder of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning (TACTL SIG). He is Lead Principal Investigator for a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovative Technologies project Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World (NSF #1312168), a four-year scale-up expanding five years of initial funding (MSOSW, NSF #0833706) aimed at enhancing middle school student interest in STEM content and careers. He is Co-Principal Investigator for an NSF-funded Digital Fabrication project conducted at UNT in collaboration with the University of Virginia and Cornell University (Fab@School, NSF #1030865) featuring the development of engineering design skills at the upper elementary school level. He was previously Co-Principal Investigator for a U.S. Fund for Improvement for Post-Secondary Education project titled simMentoring (#P116B060398, 2007-2010) as well as an NSF Research in Disabilities grant featuring the placement of virtual students with disabilities in dynamic, online simulator or teachers (2009-11). His most recent funding in the strand of games and simulations for teaching and learning was serving as Co-PI on the umbrella grant and lead PI on the local UNT award from Gates/EDUCAUSE to expand the user base of simSchool worldwide to 10,000.

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