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IES Contract

Title: Capitalizing on Social Networking: Social Networking Practices to Increase Adolescent Literacy Engagement and Achievement
Center: NCER Year: 2009
Principal Investigator: Miller, Dave Awardee: Knowledge Athletes
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2.5 years Award Amount: $750,000
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: EDIES09C0018

Purpose: Nearly all middle and high school students use multiple digital technologies like blogs, wikis, and instant messaging in their everyday lives. However, many Web 2.0 technologies are not yet commonplace within traditional classroom practice and most teachers do not have an efficient method for integrating student-generated content into effective classroom practice. This project team proposes to develop a real-time social media web application to enable teachers to productively orchestrate online classroom dialogs and student engagement through an integrated set of digital technologies.

Project Activities: As the project team develops this social media web application, they will seek ongoing feedback from students and teachers. Formative data will be collected to assess how the technology alters students' work, engagement, and self-confidence in literacy and writing. The team will also develop an online resource to train and support teachers using the product. When development is complete, a year-long pilot study will be conducted on the usability of the application, the feasibility of the application's implementation within a classroom setting, and the product's ability to support students' literacy engagement. . The study will test six grade 8 and six grade 11 language arts classes. Key outcomes will include student and teacher ease of use, engagement, overall satisfaction, and pre- and post student writing assessments.

Product: This product will include a real-time web application for teachers and students with sophisticated, user-friendly instruction and content delivery framework. The product is intended for student and teacher use in both traditional English language arts and other instructional contexts to support student reflections and interactions with literature and other media.