A qualitative journey into cyberspace /
Sheahan, Dana M.
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Educators should movefrom teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning, from isolated work to collaborative work, andfromfactual knowledgebased instructions to critical thinking and informed decision-making. The high tech classroom should be more interactive and encourage active, exploratory, inquiry-based learning, as opposed to the didactic mode in which teachersfeed students information. (Valenti,2000, p. 85) The influence of technology in schools is growing as quickly as the students it impacts. As a pioneer in an e-leaming high school, I hoped to better understand the effects and influences of this learning tool in the English classroom. Using interpretive ethnography as my main frame of reference, I examined the role of technology in a grade 9 Academic English class environment. My role was participant observer as I worked with 4 students in the Laptop Program at St. Augustine Catholic High School. Through interview, observation, joumaling, and thick description, I undertook a journey into cyberspace. I documented the experiences, the frustrations, and the highlights of being in e-leaming along with my students. In this study, I specifically considered the issues of teacher training, administrative support, technology support personnel, resource availability, the role of the teacher in a constructivist classroom, and the benefits of the laptop computer as a learning tool in classroom and school.