Monthly Archives: September 2012

Learning with Media Reflections

After reviewing Robert H. Kozma’s (1991) article entitled “Learning with Media,” I am convinced that the continued evolution of learning technologies and instructional design will further the need to scientifically explore how media influences the learner. Systemic and theoretical research approaches continue to provide insight on how media is influencing the learner’s ability to connect working memory to long term memory using images, both printed and electronic textbooks, video, gaming, social media, and other forms of hypermedia. Strategic targeting of needs to diverse learners to aide in academic growth using media provides the instructor with the ability to address a variety of abilities and learning styles.

Including the arts element in an integrated STEM approach, (science, technology, engineering, and math), can aide in a greater understanding of how academic vocabulary applies to the topic at hand. Students conduct research of a term and create an artistic expression from their prior research. This activity deepens the learning experience to connect long term memory to working memory. Digital technologies and mediums can provide for the activity to be more engaging, allow for the student to teach others, and contributes to the overall learning process.

STEAM ideas

Kozmo is accurate in identifying how video, television, technologies provide a window of “cognitive engagement” (p. 194). Students strive to understand why content is important. Good teaching can occur when students understand that the subject at hand has a purpose. Teachers must explain how objectives and materials connect to real world scenarios that learners can relate to. Media allows for learners to become exposed to a variety of perspectives, encouraging critical thinking skills that are much needed. Ignoring technologies and media’s role in the learning process is prevents all stakeholders from the ability to tap into rich learning experiences. Media can both add or take away from a learners cognitive ability. Teachers still lack training and knowledge on how to design instruction that foster media related decisions. Teachers must also be empowered with the ability to be creative in the classroom and model life long learning.


Kozma, R. B. (1991). Learning with media. Review of Educational Research, 61(2), 179-211. Retrieved from

Reflecting on Richard E. Clark’s Reconsidering Research on Learning from Media

Just as there are many types of vehicles or modes of transportation in the world, there are many varieties of media and tools that can aide students to become both a producer and consumer of knowledge. In reviewing Richard Clark’s (1983) article entitled “Reconsidering Research on Learning from Media”, I found many interesting parallels to current discussions regarding quality and reliability of online media content.

Clark (1983) stated that “media does not influence learning or student achievement under any circumstances.” He offers the analogy of media as a vehicle “delivering instruction” and compares media’s role to that of a “grocery truck delivering nutritious food.” Clark suggests that research scientists concentrate on media attributes to instructional design, attitudes towards media, and focus on instructional methods instead of media.

The problem with Clark’s analogy, is found in the many generalizations. If the truck has a higher operation cost, that passes the cost to the consumer who now can’t afford quality food.

In 1983, the world did not have the choices and technologies available today. Students are now not only consumers of media, but have the ability to contribute content to a global audience. The questions surrounding the issues of media are more complex. Nutritional content, accessibly, ease of intake, research, creation tools, and ease of feedback offer students new opportunities and learning approaches that were previously unavailable.

Clark is correct in his assessment on the importance of the quality of instruction. The teacher is the most important contributor and can greatly influence learning. Another famous Clarke (1980) stated in Electronic Tutors, “Any teacher who can be replaced by a computer….should be”.

Clark, R. E. (1983). Reconsidering research on learning from media. Review of Educational Research, 53(4), 445-459. Retrieved from

Clarke, A. (1980). Electronic tutors .

Expectations and New Beginings

This year is a transition year for me as I begin a journey of becoming a research scientist and complete my administration certificate.  I am completing a 1:1 K12 initiative that I put so much energy into.  The completion of this challenge is bitter sweet.  As I review the final product and look at what all our team accomplished in the last 2 years, I am very overwhelmed at the amount of change and accomplishments made by a very small team. I feel that I did everything I could to promote and encourage critical thinking, research, global collaboration, media literacy, creation, and publication of student learning and success.  Synergy does not happen alone and everyone must buy in for the program to be successful. Being a change agent is a calling. From this experience, I have grown so much both emotionally, spiritually, and professionally. I have met some amazing and passionate educators. The network of experts I can now tap into is huge, and I feel that I cannot go back to who I was before this all began. Never give up, be the change you want to see, and perseverance were all chants that I passed along to others through this entire experience. Failure was not an option for me, but that is just it. This was and is not about me. This is about students and teachers believing in those very values and understanding that the world and teaching is fundamentally different now.  

Most state and national assessments are administered online, which many do not understand.  We must model critical thinking, media literacy, research, global collaboration, and encourage diversity in product creation.  Teaching is not about preparing students to take a state assessment.  If teachers could stop feeling pressured to focus on that assessment and begin fostering a passion for learning, performance will improve.  It is so easy to blame technology, assessments, or leadership. However, the instructor must also understand that the technology is not the answer.  Lack of technology or no technology is also not the answer.  A balance is needed and classroom management and expectations must be enforced to ensure that learning remains a focus on questioning, research, collaboration, creation, publishing, and evaluation.

I am having a difficult time understanding  Habermas chapter 1.  I am going to actively question, research, and collaborate with others to try to gain a better understanding of Habermas.  

I enjoy debate and philosophy and am looking forward to understanding how to apply strategies to encourage students to think critically and view media from a variety of perspectives.  


Critical Thinking Resources for K12:

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Resources

Larry Ferlazzo Resources


Sandra Wozniak’s Critical Thinking Blog

I Believe…

  • I will model life long learning, contribute and produce quality content, encourage critical thinking and questioning, motivate, interact, collect and analyze new information, collaborate across cultures, and assist students in becoming global thinkers. 
  • I strongly believe in challenging educational stakeholders and students to produce a better world by making connections, building relationships, and maintaining high expectations to foster a passion for learning. 
  • I believe all children, regardless of background, race or religion, can achieve greatness. I will value diversity, encourage creativity, and become an advocate for all students. 
  • I believe all stakeholders must foster the imagination and curiosity of all students and extend learning opportunities by providing real world applications and learning experiences in a fun, supportive, and engaging environment.