Author Archives: chinhsi
Author Archives: chinhsi
Since we published this article Learning in one-to-one laptop environments: A meta-analysis and research synthesis on Review of Educational Research, we have received many calls for this study.
Here are just a few:
ps. this title is very misleading!
Education Week did a good job summarizing our findings:
Among the findings from that review:
- A 1-to-1 laptop environment often led to increased frequency and breadth of student technology use, typically for writing, Internet research, note-taking, completing assignments, and reading.
- Students used laptops extensively throughout the writing process, expanding the genres and formats of their work to include writing for email, chats, blogs, wikis, and the like.
- Student-centered, individualized, and project-based learning appeared to increase in at least some instances of 1-to-1 laptop rollouts.
- Student-teacher communications (via email and Google docs, for example) and parental involvement in their children’s school work increased in some instances.
- Students expressed “very positive” attitudes about using laptops in the classroom, as findings consistently showed higher student engagement, motivation, and persistence when laptops were deployed to all students.
- Students’ technology and problem-solving skills improved and their ownership of their own learning increased, according to some evidence.
- There were mixed findings on whether 1-to-1 laptop programs helped overcome inequities among students and schools.
Those results should be interpreted with caution, the researchers said, because they tended to rely on observation, survey, and interview data.
Published: March 16, 2016
Learning Mandarin from birds
Contact(s): Kristen Parker , Catherine Ryu , Michael Jenkins
Scholars of the Mandarin Chinese language can learn a lot from birds.
That’s the premise of a new language learning game designed by a Michigan State University researcher and an interdisciplinary team of students.
Inspired by the varying tones of bird species, Picky Birds teaches students the four main Mandarin tones by helping them associate each tone with a corresponding colored bird, said Catherine Ryu, associate professor of Japanese literature and culture, who recently received a patent for the technology on which the game is based.
“Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, which means the same word can mean something entirely different depending on the tone used,” Ryu said. “And this is fundamentally different than how we use tonal inflections in English.”
For example, in Mandarin the word “ma” (English sound equivalent) can mean “mother,” “flax,” “horse” or “to yell” depending on the tonal inflection used.
Picky Birds is based on research showing brains are wired to associate high pitches with lighter hues, Ryu said. So the birds in her game are yellow for the high even tone, green for the rising tone, blue for the dipping tone and red for the falling tone.
The app is an outcome of Ryu’s Tone Perception Efficacy Study, which she conducted with Aline Godfroid, assistant professor of second language studies, and Chin-Hsi Lin, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education. ToPES investigated two related questions regarding language:
• How do people perceive, process and retain tones as a sensory perception, especially when the tones in question are not an integral aspect of their own language backgrounds?
• To what extent can people learn to differentiate tones and retain that information?
Ryu will use Picky Birds next month for a Mandarin tone perception experiment, hoping to recruit 40 students without any prior exposure to Mandarin Chinese to participate.
Once Picky Birds is vetted, Ryu will work with MSU Technologies to market the app to users; they expect to begin commercialization in the fall.
In addition to College of Arts and Letters faculty and students, the Picky Birds team includes media and information majors specializing in game design and development in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and a computer music composer who teaches at Mott Community College in Flint.
Ryu hopes to expand her research team to include neuroscientists, graphic artists, creative writers, game developers, web developers, mechanical engineers and social media specialists.
“It’s a high-energy group of collaborators,” Ryu said. “When we all get together with linguists, truly exciting conversations take place.”
Development of Picky Birds was supported with funding from MSU’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies under the Targeted Support Grant for Technology Development program.