Using a teacher made homepage to teach middle school social studies
This study was conducted in a rural middle school in Southwest Louisiana to determine if a teacher made homepage would be beneficial to seventh grade social studies students in a technology rich classroom. Eleven students aged twelve and thirteen years old and their parents agreed to participate in the study. Ten of the participants were girls. The study was conducted over a ten-week period. Parents and students were interviewed at the beginning and end of the study and the students were closely observed during the eight-week period between the interviews. During the interviews all of the participants were asked how the students use computers and the homepage in school and outside of the classroom. Seven themes and four sub-themes evolved from the study. (1) Seventh grade students enjoy using technology and can use it effectively. (a) Seventh grade students enjoy using technology at school. (b) Seventh grade students enjoy using technology at home. (c) Girls enjoy using technology and use it effectively. (2) Parents are generally not aware of all of the technology opportunities available to them and their children at school. (3) Parents desire vehicles to communicate with the classroom even if they do not use them. (a) Parents and students will communicate with the teacher through e-mail if they determine a need for that communication. (4) Some parents will use a homepage to work with their children on classroom assignments. (5) A homepage can assist in bridging the gap in instruction cause by disruptions in the school day. (6) Technology can be used effectively and efficiently in a seventh grade classroom. (7) A homepage can be an important teaching and communication tool for seventh grade social studies classes. The results of the study show that a homepage can be very beneficial to the students and parents of a seventh grade social studies class. Students enjoy using the homepage in their classes because is more fun when they can utilize computer technology, it is easier to find the required information, it keeps them organized, and it allows them to work on their assignments outside of the classroom. Parents liked the homepage because they could stay abreast of their children's classroom activities and they could easily contact the teacher through e-mail. Creating a classroom homepage can assist in connecting the classroom and the home for students, parents, and teachers.