Current Work and Research

Online Learning

During my time pursuing my second master's degree in higher education leadership and administration, much of my work (particularly in my capstone research course) was in current trends in online learning. Online learning has experienced a great increase in recent years, with many hoping online learning would help increase access and availability to higher education. Critics argue that online learning degrades the higher education experience and offers no benefit. Much of the research that has been conducted to date has supported the notion that there is high variation in online learning coursework and outcomes.

Flipped Learning

Developments in technology and access of technology in the school setting have yielded many more opportunities in education, particularly in areas such as flipped learning. Flipped learning provides students the opportunity to engage in more personalized instruction that moves more at their own pace. Moreover, flipped learning provides teachers the optimal opportunity to move away from being a "content provider" in the front of the classroom to more of a facilitator role, working side by side with students to interact with content in meaningful ways. Over the past year, I have focused on exploring methods of integrating flipped learning into the classroom to develop practical strategies and understandings that can be applied to future research.

Previous Research

Scratch

Since January 2010 I have been working with several teachers in the Albany City School District to design and implement programs involving the programming language Scratch. Scratch, developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT, is a programming language designed for children. Beginning originally with 4th and 5th grade students, the program has expanded to include 3rd grade students, and has branched out from the single elementary school in which we began the program. Moreover, I have implemented lessons to 7th grade students to introduce them to programming and mathematical concepts. Scratch allows students to learn concepts from several disciplines at once while also engaging students in deep problem solving situations and sparking creative thinking. One of the next steps we plan on taking is developing the program into a virtual classroom environment allowing more students from varying schools to participate. More information can be found at www.strose.edu/Scratch. Information on the program itself, along with instructions on how to download Scratch, can be found at scratch.mit.edu. This work has been in collaboration with Laurie Ellis, Steve Costello, and Alice Florance.

Scratch Cookbook

Of late I have been working towards authoring a technical book featuring Scratch programming techniques. The book is scheduled for publication by PACKT Publishing in July 2013, more details can be found at: http://www.packtpub.com/scratch-programs-cookbook/book.

Electronic Portfolio Research

An effective classroom teacher is able to deeply reflect upon their teaching practices and decisions they make in the classroom every day. To develop these habits, teachers should be taught this early in their career. At The College of Saint Rose, many of the programs in the School of Education require teacher candidates during their student teaching semester to create a portfolio to not only reflect on their practices, but also to demonstrate their learning over time. Two programs have adopted an E-Portfolio format. This was a decision informed by research compiled from a vast number of resources. In a partnership with Information Technology Services, a new in-house portfolio system was developed thereby more effectively meeting the needs of the students and faculty involved in the process. My research is ongoing with the professors involved teaching the seminar course taken by student teachers who are developing their portfolios in the electronic format. We are interested in seeing the responses to the use of the electronic portfolio, and evaluating the effectiveness of changing to such a format. This work has been in collaboration with Carol Rasowsky and Dana Abbott.

Teacher-Student Relationships and Theories of Learning

It has long been suggested that the primary practice of implementing a pedagogy in the classroom informed by a positivist framework not only has turned students away from the desire to learn mathematics, but has also led to ineffective relationships between the teacher and student in the classroom. My research focuses on examining the teacher-student binary in part by examining the work of the philosopher Hegel and relating this relationship to how students come to know. The ideas of a pedagogy informed by a constructivist epistemology have been around for several decades; however, there has been little research in developing a pedagogy that can be effectively and efficiently implemented into the classroom. One of my aims is to spark more development on this topic and work towards developing pedagogical practice that teachers can move towards over time

If you have any questions regarding my research, or if you are interested in partnering on research projects, please use the contact me section of the website.