Learning through technology
Dale Cook, Ed.D. is the Summit Professor for Learning Technology and Director of the Research Center for Education Technology, Professor of Education Administration, College of Education, Health, and Human Services at Kent State University.
Cook's efforts involve implementing technology initiatives that impact teaching and learning at the university and preK-12 level. The Ameritech Electronic University School Classroom, which began under Cook's direction in 1999, continues today as a technology-rich classroom environment for Pre-K-12 students, and a research laboratory for college faculty and graduate students. In 1999, The Research Center for Educational Technology (RCET) was founded under his leadership. RCET is a multi-faceted center that was established to provide support for researchers committed to studying the impact of technology on teaching and learning. His additional research interests include interagency collaboratives, political aspects of educational leadership, community engagement and digital game-based learning.
Research Project: Research Center for Educational Technology (RCET)
The College's Research Center for Educational Technology (RCET) has been awarded more than $10 million in the past 11 years to study the potential of technology to improve teaching and learning. At the center of RCET's work is the AT&T Classroom, which serves as a unique Pre-K-12 research laboratory and to date has provided Pre-K-12 outreach and professional development to more than 125 teachers and 2,500 students. The situated model of professional development that has been developed from the research conducted in the AT&T Classroom has received national and international attention as an innovative model for improving teaching and learning with and through technology. RCET has also been nationally recognized for its work in the areas of mobile learning, virtual learning environments, and data literacy.
Housed in Moulton Hall, the work of RCET is multifaceted and includes:
Situated Teacher Professional Development. RCET has developed an effective model of situated professional development for Pre-K-12 teachers. During the academic year, local teachers bring their classes for a half-day, every day for six-weeks during which they use the digital tools within a curricular unit of study based on Ohio curriculum standards with most units having a central focus on literacy, math and science content. Over the past 13 years, 123 teachers and 2,463 students have completed a six-week unit in the AT&T Classroom. A total of more than 900 teachers have participated either directly in the Classroom or indirectly through workshops and outreach programs. Once teachers complete their AT&T experience, the Teacher Professional Development model is extended through RCET's Teacher Technology Mentor Project. Based in local school districts, the project uses teachers who have participated in RCET's AT&T Classroom to serve as mentors to provide training and support to his/her building peers with regard to innovative teaching techniques using digital tools for teaching and learning. RCET staff provides additional support and instruction to the teachers through site visits, sharing sessions and training.Project findings have been disseminated through a special issue of RCET's online journal as well as at several international, national and state conferences. http://www.rcet.org/index.php/att-classroom/
Pre-service Teacher Education. The AT&T Classroom is an essential, unique learning facility for students in teacher education programs, providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity for pre-service students to observe the innovative use of technology in Pre-K-12 education. To date, more than 1,045 pre-service students have completed field experiences in the classroom. Students from any Ohio teacher education program can participate in remote observations of the classroom using Web-based video and audio controls. This allows for live dialogue between professors and students without disrupting the students under observation. Last year, approximately 200 pre-service students per semester took advantage of this opportunity on the Kent State University Campus alone.
Learning through 3D Stereoscopic Imagery. RCET is leading the way in investigating the use and advantages of 3D stereoscopic imagery as a tool in educational settings. Since 2008, RCET has been collaborating with Kent State faculty in Biological Sciences on a project entitled, "Kent State University 3-D Stereo-Imaging Classroom Outreach: Developing Northeast Ohio's Future Scientific Leaders." This project places 3D portable stereo-imaging systems in local middle and high school classrooms. To date, pilot investigations have been conducted in the classroom and in eighth grade math and science classes. With funding provided through a grant from the Sisler-McFawn Foundation, RCET is currently investigating the use of 3D technology for teaching high school science content across the 2010-2011 school year.