Erlyn's Master's Thesis

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Chapter II: Review of the Literature


Book Report 2.0:

Using Wikis for Book Reviews in a Middle School ClassroomA Field Project Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Education


In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of




With Emphasis in


Erlyn D. FukushimaDecember 2010Book Report 2.0

Using Wikis for Book Reviews in a Middle School ClassroomIn partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the




Erlyn D. FukushimaTOURO UNIVERSITY CALIFORNIADecember 2010Under the guidance and approval of the committee and approval by all the members, this field project has been accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree.



Pamela A. Redmond, Ed.D.


Jim OConnor, Ph.D, Dean


Author Release

Name: Erlyn D. FukushimaThe Touro University California Graduate School of Education has permission to use my MA thesis or field project as an example of acceptable work. This permission includes the right to duplicate the manuscript as well as permits the document to be checked out from the College Library or School website.

In addition, I give Dr. Pamela Redmond permission to share my handbook with others via the Internet.

Signature: __________________________________

Date: ______________________________________

AbstractThere are many obstacles teachers face, including having to meet the needs of the 21st century learner. This generation of digital natives relies heavily on the use of technology. Using Web 2.0 sites, such as wikis, is one way to engage these students. This project seeks to utilize wikis to publish and discuss book reviews by students, instead of the traditional pen and paper reports. By effectively using these sites, students actively learn, develop their writing skills, hone digital literacy, and work collaboratively.

Table of Contents

iiiList of Tables

List of FiguresiiiChapter I1Statement of the Problem2Background and Need3Purpose of the Project3Project Objective4Definition of Terms4Summary5Chapter II6Introduction6Necessary Skills7Enter the Digital Natives10Literacy12What Good Are You, Web 2.0?15Summary17Chapter III19Components of the Project20Standing on the Shoulders of Giants21Wiki Handbook22Summary24Chapter IV25Project Outcomes26Proposed Audience, Procedures, and Implementation Timeline:27Evaluation of the Project:28Conclusion30References32Appendix: Using Wikis for Publishing Book Reviews35

List of Tables

Table 1: Workplace Know-How as Identified by the SCANS Report (1991) 8Table 2: Workplace Know-How as Identified by the SCANS Report (1991) with strikethrough items17Table 3: Workplace Know-How as Identified by the SCANS Report (1991) as Evidenced in this Project 30List of Figures

Figure 1: Graphic of Student Outcomes and Support System, Source: The Partnership for 21st Century Learning website: (2001)14Chapter I

The emergence and accessibility of computer technology has impacted the lives of students. Marc Prensky (2001) wrote, Our students have changed radically. Todays students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach (p. 1). He described students as digital natives, or native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet (p.1). Prensky contended that these students were used to receiving information really fast. They liked to parallel process and multi-task. They thrived on instant gratification and frequent rewards and preferred games to serious work (p.2). This change in students affects how teachers teach. The old, traditional pedagogy no longer engages digital natives. Their minds think and process information differently than students of the past because of their daily interactions with technology. Teachers must instruct these students differently than students before. Since 1994, the amount of technology in the classroom has changed. In 1994, when the researcher received her licensure, the percentage of schools nationally with at least one internet connection was only 35%, while the percentage of classrooms wired was only 3% (Atkinson & Gottlieb, 2001, p. 28). In 2010, those numbers grew exponentially - even some of the most rural schools were wired for the internet.

As a middle school English teacher, this author believed that teachers and book reports go together like peanut butter and jelly. She required her students to read novels, truly believing the more you read, the more you know. Students read a book every five weeks or so, and then did a project based on their understanding of the book. Wanting to avoid the kind of book reports her middle school teachers assigned; five paragraph essays summarizing the story elements found in the book, this author created projects instead of reports. These projects required students to not only summarize what was read, but creatively show their understanding of the book by combining artistic ways that were also appealing to the eyes (postcards written from the main character or author telling about their book, time capsules filled with important items from the main character, etc.). The question for 21st century learners is, where is the engaging technology in that?Statement of the Problem

Students cannot imagine life without their cell phones, the use of a computer, or the ability to play video games. So, how can teachers effectively harness this interest in technology and relate it to that of their education? In the report, published through the Henry K Kaiser Family Foundation, Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8 -18 Year Olds, it stated,

8 18 year olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of that time media tasking (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7 hours (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010, p. 11). Children raised on technology see it as their friend and grasp its ideals quickly. These students are ahead of many of their teachers when it comes to using technology to support learning (Engstrom & Jewett, 2005, p.12). Teachers need to keep students motivated by using what keeps them interested the most technology and the internet.

Background and NeedThe report, Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8 -18 Year Olds (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010), reported:

Children who are heavy media users are more likely to report getting fair or poor grades (mostly Cs or lower) than other children. Indeed, nearly half (47%) of all heavy media users say they usually get fair or poor grades, compared to 23% of light media users (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010, p. 13). These students were disengaged in class because they were used to multi-tasking or media-tasking. Students that were asked to learn one concept at a time, found that pace slow and boring. Digital natives needed to multi-task to stay engaged.

Most teachers are digital immigrants - not born into the digital world but have many or most aspects of the new technology (Prensky, 2001, p.1). They are not at the same level of digital literacy as our students. Teachers need to make their curriculum relevant and teach effective and meaningful to our digital native students. Teachers need to stay abreast of what is current and meet the needs of our students.

Purpose of the Project

Web 2.0 sites, like wikis, allow users the freedom to organize, create and modify content that can be published on the internet. In addition, these sites are used as platforms for discussion and allow the creators immediate feedback on their created content. By allowing students the ability to create on such a huge canvas as the internet, this project helped augment their technology skills, and gave them the freedom to produce a project that is as unique as they are. Using wikis allowed students to engage in inquiry-based learning. In addition, students worked collaboratively and provided immediate feedback to their classmates. Students commented on wikis and developed their writing and language skills, and provided (as well as accepted) positive criticism. All the work students did for this project helped strengthen the skills they needed in their future educational endeavors. Project Objective

After learning about Web 2.0 sites, specifically wikis, students created and posted their summaries and book reviews on the internet. Students posted their reviews to the website PBworks. Students were required to comment and provide some sort of feedback on other students wikis.

The success of the project was assessed from student self-reflection, student feedback, as well as daily checks to the website for additional changes to the wikis. This researcher made comments on each students wiki about their progress.Definition of TermsBlog or Web Log A blog (short for "web log") is essentially an online journal or diary where one can post messages, photos, music and video on their own.(Blog, n.d.).

Blogger A contributor to a blog or online journal. (Blogger, n.d.)

Blogosphere Blogosphere is a collective term encompassing all blogs and their interconnections. (Wikipedia, n.d.).Digital Immigrant A person who was not born into the digital world but has adopted many or most aspects of the new