Integration of simulation technology in the current education classroom serves as new dawn to the modern students (Wendy, 2006). It is believed that teaching capabilities and learning methods of the teachers are going to be improved; thus, impacting quality education for the current students. There is a reform in the education sector on condition that this form of educational technology is accepted in the curriculum system. Simulation technology involves running educational software program, where students learn through a series of academic simulations, such as issue based learning, task based learning and lastly problem based learning.
These technological reforms in education prove to enhance autonomous study among the students (Branford, 2002). This paper will try to address the issues, how instructors have designed models such as the pilot simulator, so as to address the issue of motivating the students towards accepting the real world situations. Simulation technology has been found to lead the users to the constructivist educational approaches, including their ability to relatively free from risks. Several scholars have come up with four key principles, which are vital in illustrating how simulation technology has led to improved learning in the classroom. First, the students should be given opportunities to yield own knowledge through collaborating in classroom.
Secondly, the written knowledge and life skills should be closer to real life and practical situations. Thirdly, it is quite essential to devise numerous contexts and multiple interpretations, so as to enable to prepare the students well in applying knowledge to the correct contexts. Lastly, more knowledge and life skills perspectives need to be harnessed in order to save students from unnecessary cognitive, educational straitjacketing (Ardock, 2008).
The simulation technology has been found to build the educational settings around three fidelities, which include: equipment, environment, and lastly psychology. The equipment fidelity facilitates modeling academics items that match the real life situations, so as to enable the student understand further.
Statement of the Problem
Education and technology have been found to be some of the most dynamics establishments that are subject to continuous changes, globally (Touriniemi, 2008). Several scholars have done recommendable research work on integrating various technologies in the academic circles, so as to ease the practicality of education to the students and teachers. However, they have forgotten the simulation technology, which is essential in the provision of real life software programs for improved understanding (Ramsey, 2008 January). This paper will explore how the education system will benefit from the simulation technology, and how technology can be expanded to the system, while addressing carefully the so called problems found to bedevil it on its initial integration to the students. The educational sector, in most parts of world, roams in the darkness quagmire, since most of the teachers experience lack the knowledge of this technology. Thus, it is vital to harness ways of integrating technology in the education system and boosting the students’ ability to understand different real life situations (Raph, 2007).
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study will be investigating how simulation educational technology will enhance full educational participation of teachers and students in the classroom. Moreover, the research will also explore some of the obstacles faced by the teachers in introducing simulation educational technology, in the classroom. The researcher will also instrumentally and adequately investigate some of the technological methods, which the technologically oriented teachers use, in order to introduce the applied technology for a broad use, in the classroom.
Lastly, it is necessary for the research to find out how the academic discipline, age of the students, and the grade attainment relate to this technology. This is believed to help the other researchers in finding a way to integrate simulation technology in the education system, in a careful manner. However, the research is not limited to the above moderate variables, since the researcher will also look at how the simulation technology relates to the resources available, years of teaching and lastly the available professional, technological equipment, from the education point of view.
Significance of the Study
The main aim of this research is to explore adequately how the technologically oriented teachers have integrated the simulation educational technology in the classroom. The study will specifically be embedded on the way technology can be used, problem or challenges linked to it and how the instructors can be involved to its use, as a way to educational reform. This is because some researchers have only inclined towards educational technology and somehow ignored the simulation education technology (Wendy, 2006). Secondly, it has been found that simulation technology will improve the learning environment through enhancing students’ ability to understand real life situation, which are new to them. Thus, studying and researching on this form of integrated technology might possibly lead to an instrumental education reform for the current study setup.
Moreover, the study will significantly help the educational administrators, within other forms of educational technology essentials, to reform the educational system, globally. This may lead to restructured reform in the education instruction methods used by the teachers in the classroom.
Research questions guides the manners under which the research on investigation of simulation technology has impacted students in the classroom. Four main questions have been designed to give a way to the objectives of the study (Branford,2002).
Research question 1: How do technologically oriented teachers use the simulation educational technology in enhancing students’ active engagement in the classroom?
Research question 2: What are some of the main barriers to the full integration of this technology in classrooms?
Research question 3: What are long term effects of the simulation technology adoption in the educational sector?
Research question 4: How do technologically savvy teachers apply the simulation educational technology programs in the education system?
Objective of the Study
The general objective of the study is to investigate how the simulation technology has been used and enhance the educational reforms needed in the modern classrooms.
The definite objectives that will be investigated are embedded on the research questions, as outlined above in this paper. More specifically, they include:
- To investigate how the technologically oriented teachers use the simulation technology to enhance students active engagement in classroom.
- To find out some of the barriers to the full integrations of the simulation technology in the classroom.
- To determine some of the long term effects of simulation education technology adoption in the education sector.
- To investigate how the technologically savvy teachers apply the simulation technology in the education sector.
The research will employ multiples of educational frameworks; however, the main two are simulation and pedagogical principles frameworks that are more embedded to the constructivist views of learning, which are found under the pedagogical subdivision of psychology. Educational scholars and psychologist claim that the conceptual framework has been found to be helpful in setting up the mind of the students, before the technologically savvy teachers start their teaching programs. This depicts how the conceptual frameworks match to simulation educational technology (Tuoriniemi, 2008).
Secondly, the researcher decide to use the simulation theoretical framework, as it will draw the students and the teachers toward the realities and reduce their risks, for example, the flight moderator that can act a pilot to illustrate to the students how flight takes place.
This section will examine some of the historical studies carried out by various scholars on their race, in terms of educational reforms. There are two kinds of literature review. The general literature review just gives the general perspective of the study. Secondly, there is the literature review that is more specifically inclined to the research.
Specific Literature Review
Can the Digital World Enhance Simulation of Reality?
This research paper is developed from the work of Castronova and Bastle. It tries to explain the world of digital technology and its impact on the learning environment. The researcher of this work had applied the virtual reality, within the setting of an educational form, or a tool, in order to compare various work of variables from the social and economics environments. The researcher, after a successful experiment, came to conclude that the videos, virtual realities and even the televisions had a prominent role to play, as far as enhancing the educational reforms is concerned. Wendy has observed that video games can provide more information than real instructor, given that there is proper supervision of the lessons (Wendy, 2006). Ramsey adds further that concentration of the students is also boosted (Ramsey, 2008).
A study of Educational Simulation Part 1:
Engagement and Learning by Wendy K. Adams
The research paper states that technology has become an essential tool in education with the introduction of simulation and the computer oriented animations being the most popularly used (Ardock, 2008). Adams have found it easy in giving instructions in a group of scholars, when most of the books are stored in forms of DVDs and URL or even in library websites. The paper goes further to analyze the impact of the simulation, in order to know its effectiveness. The researcher involves several students in the simulation process before they are interviewed. The goal is to know, how much they feel they learn if taught by using equipment and without equipment. Two articles are designed from the ET project carried out by Perkins in 2006 with other educators, where they tested the control measures and ways of improving the simulation work, in the classroom (Wendy, 2006).
The intention of this section is to devise a methodology that will be used to analyze the data collected and recorded in classroom (k-12). The section also contains an explanation of the relationship between two variables: dependent variable and the independent variable. The simulation technology software programs serve as the dependent variable that is determined by other variables. On the other hand, the independent variable found to influence the dependent variable. Independent variables include: teaching experience of the technology proficient teachers, age, race, and thinking ability of the students in the classroom. In this section, the researcher will provide a description of research design, participants, data collection methods, settings, and limitation of the study (Branford, 2002).
Broadly the research paper will conceptualize on the population of the k-12 classroom. However, the vast diversification of this population on socio economic activities together with the variables mentioned in this paper, will make a significant contribution to the study. Therefore, it is unnecessary to limit the study to the sample drawn from the classroom. This sample setting will facilitate the collection of the data and analysis immensely.
The research proposed will use survey monkey design method, where the scientists are found not able to control or manipulate the variables involved in the study. Inference about the relationship of the two variables will not be manipulated. Thus, the study will mainly involve the collection of data about the relationship between simulation educational technology and the teaching experience of the technology, for proficient teachers’ application (Branford, 2002).
Population and Sampling Plan
The participants of research study are mainly students and the technology savvy teachers in the k-12 classroom, which is located in North Central Texas, in U.S.A. It is expected that a random method of sample selection will be employed to obtain a list of the teachers and students involved in the study. It is expected that out of a 45 student classroom, k-12, a sample of 40 students will yield a valid result per 25 technology proficient teacher. This sample will provide an adequate statistical comparison of the two variables studied; hence, the expected variation will be minimal.
Data Collection Methods
Both the primary and the secondary collection methods of data will be employed. The interviewing and the internally controlled questionnaires will be provided to the teachers and students. The teachers and students will be provided with 40 qualitative questions on whether simulation technology improve the learning environment and enhance understanding of the real life situations. The independent variable and the dependent variable, as well as simulation educational technology, will be subjected to the primary data collection methods mentioned in this paper.. The moderators’ variables, which involve: the age, race and thinking capacity of the people, will have the data collected through secondary methods, such as textbooks, DVDs and internet sources. Some of the involved teachers are selected through triangular data method, and they include; 9-12, 7-8, 5-6 grades. Note that the interview will take 46 hours.
Several data analysis method will be employed. First, on the collected descriptive data about the age thinking ability and the race of the students in relationship to the simulation education technology, mode, means and median, range and standard deviation methods of data analysis will be used. Secondly, in order to determine the relationship between the dependent variable, simulation education technology and the independent variables, teaching experience of the technology proficient teachers, the Pearson moment of coefficient correlations will be employed. T-statistics, chi square and the data analysis variance will be used to explore any difference arising between the moderator variables and the dependent variable. Every fourth teacher will be selected.
Limitation of the Study
There are several limitations that emanate from this study. First the generalization of the study will be limited as the population studied lack heterogeneity. Mostly, it involves students and teachers meaning the data are relatively more homogeneous. Secondly, the relationships between the dependent and independent variables are measured on the basis of subjective perceptions rather than on actual behaviors; therefore, actual life situations are not fully covered in the research. Lastly, the instruments used in the data collection and analysis are not always accurate; hence, they can manipulate the accuracy of the data (Tuoriniemi, 2008).