ERIC Identifier: ED358840 Publication Date: 1993-06-00
Author: Dodge, Bernard J. Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Information Resources Syracuse NY.
School-University Partnerships and Educational Technology. ERIC
According to one recent survey, at least 1,200 partnerships have been
established between schools and universities (Wilbur & Lambert, 1990). This
digest describes current thinking and practice involving the use of educational
technology in collaborative activities between schools and universities. It is
not intended to be a comprehensive review or synthesis of the literature, but
rather a pointer to conceptual overviews and cases. After discussing the
features of successful partnerships, this digest will describe four categories
of partnerships involving educational technology:
Development about Educational Technology
Development with Distance Education Technology as a Medium
on Educational Technology
of New Educational Technologies
WHAT LEADS TO A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP?
For a variety of
reasons the relation between universities and schools has been characterized as
a "fickle romance" (Wiske, 1989). In spite of the differences between schools
and universities in reward systems, schedules, roles and rules, many working
partnerships have been created. The most successful projects have been those in
which both parties planned and prepared themselves well before starting the
partnership, adequate resources were allocated to develop and maintain the
activities, and mutual respect between the partners was consciously and
systematically nurtured. Among the specific recommendations derived from
successful collaborators are these:
goals should be jointly conceived and agreed upon. (Knapczyk, 1991; Allum, 1991)
should be actively involved, not just passive recipients. (Knapczyk, 1991:
teachers are to be involved as equal partners, they must be involved for as much
time as the other actors. (Wiske, 1989)
should be reciprocal; each partner should gain something. (Wiske, 1989)
should be mutual; each party must develop an appreciation of the other's
contribution. (Wiske, 1989)
should rotate among partners as appropriate to their skills. (Balajthy, 1991)
should be mutually owned. (Balajthy, 1991)
university must be committed to the collaborative ideal and provide financial
support if necessary, including stipends or load credit for faculty members.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY
Many partnerships have
been formed with the goal of infusing technology skills into the repertoire of
classroom teachers. For example, Balajthy (1991) used a model of consultative
consultation in which a team made up of a consultant from the college, a
classroom teacher, and several student teachers worked together to create and
implement lessons using technology. Byrne, Hittleman, and Marchisotto (1989)
designed a voluntary staff development experience in which classroom teachers
learned to use telecommunications as a vehicle for student writing. Roseman and
Brearton (1989) trained teachers in basic computer use for science education,
and then trained a core subset of the original group as trainers and change
agents at their own school sites.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT WITH DISTANCE EDUCATION AS A
Collaborative staff development has also been carried out with
distance education technology as the medium of delivery, rather than as the
content. Pitcher, Rule, and Stowitschek (1986) used two-way audio and video to
consult with and train teachers at distant sites on several special education
topics. Similarly, Knapczyk (1991) used an audiographic system and fax machines
to deliver special education training.
RESEARCH ON EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
have been established to collaborate on research. These partnerships go beyond
the more common arrangement of schools simply granting permission for university
researchers to study their classrooms. Instead, an effort is made to jointly
establish the goals of the research to the benefit of both sides. The
Educational Technology Center at Harvard University has published several
thoughtful examinations of the dynamics of this kind of collaboration (Wiske,
1989; Lampert, 1988). Hillman (1987) describes the problems that occur in
implementing research when school sites have not been sufficiently involved in
the initial conceptualization of the project.
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES
The goal of the
fourth category of partnership is the development of new educational tools.
Typically, school sites provide input into the design process by articulating
their needs, testing prototypes, and giving formative feedback. Manatt (1991)
describes the creation of a computer-based management system to implement the
School Improvement Model. Burger and Stevenson-Burger (1989) built a
computerized management tool for schools, while another project (Ritchie & Dodge, 1992) developed a tool for student-authored adventure games. The benefit
to the school partner in these examples was the possibility of having software
customized to their needs. To the university partner, having a field-based
source of ideas and evaluation is what made the collaboration work.
An important network of school-university partnerships is the Christopher
Columbus Consortium established by Apple Computer in 1989. Each of the over 40
consortium sites represents a partnership between a university and one or more
schools. With Apple serving as the catalyst with an equipment donation, the
partnerships each undertook projects intended to improve education at the school
site. For descriptions of some of the Christopher Columbus Consortium projects,
see Ritchie and Dodge (1992) and Balajthy (1991).
Balajthy, E. (1991, October). A school-college consultation model for
integration of technology and whole language in elementary science instruction.
Field study report No. 1991.A.BAL, Christopher Columbus Consortium Project. (ED
Burger, M., & Stevenson-Burger, L. (1989). Development of a
computer-based instructional management system through school-university
collaboration. (ED 319 102).
Byrne, M.M., Hittleman, C.G., & Marchisotto, J. (1989). A
telecommunications staff development project. JOURNAL OF STAFF DEVELOPMENT,
Hillman, S.K., and others. (1987, April). The collaborative design in
advancing the school/college interface. (ED 284 496).
Hord, S.M. (1986, February). A synthesis of research on organizational
collaboration. EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, 43(5), 22-26.
Knapczyk, D. (1991). Improving staff development in rural communities. (ED
Lampert, M. (1988). Teachers' thinking about students' thinking about
geometry: The effects of new teaching tools. Technical report 88-1. Cambridge,
MA: Educational Technology Center. (ED 294 724).
Manatt, R.P. (1989, Winter). Staff development, teacher evaluation, and a
microcomputer. JOURNAL OF STAFF DEVELOPMENT, 10(1), 48-51.
Pitcher, S., Rule, S., & Stowitschek, J.J. (1986, October). Inservice
training via telecommunications: Almost like being there. (ED 280 639).
Ritchie, D., & Dodge, B. (1992, March). Integrating technology usage
across the curriculum through educational adventure games. (ED 349 955).
Roseman, J.E. & Brearton, M.A. (1989, March). Computers to enhance
science education: An inservice designed to foster classroom implementation. (ED
Sirotnik, K.A., & Goodlad, J.I. (Eds.). (1988). School-university
partnerships in action: Concepts, cases, and concerns. New York: Teachers
Wiske, M.S. (1989). A cultural perspective on school-university collaborative
research. Report No. ETC-TP-89-3. Topical paper. Cambridge, MA: Educational
Technology Center. (ED 342 051).
Wilbur, F.P., & Lambert, L.M. (1990). Linking America's schools and
colleges: Guide to partnerships and national directory. Washington, DC: American
Association for Higher Education. (ED 340 332).
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