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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
I've been involved in educational technology since the early 1990s, when I worked for Apple Computer as Education Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. My career at Apple culminated as the Research Manager for the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) international program.
I have been at Santa Clara University since 2001, in a joint appointment shared by the Department of Education and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. In Education I oversee the educational technology "piece" of our teacher preparation program, and I also direct a Masters program in "Teaching and Learning with Technology." I have published articles in a variety of topics, including the use of blogs and online discussions to promote reflective practice, teachers' use of technology in Silicon Valley, and the use of online environments to engage informal communities. Other areas of interest where I hope to have publications soon are: the use of technology-assisted project-based learning (PBL) to enhance history learning, concept mapping as a teaching and learning tool, and the design of web-based spaces to promote communication and collaboration among widely distributed "communities of practice."
My philosophical preference is for constructivist theory, and I am constantly working to enhance my classroom practice to reflect constructivist principles. I will be happy to share my course syllabi with anyone who is interested. In this area, I am starting to work on the design of a new Masters level course on technology integration in the design and execution of project-based learning experiences.
- Technology integration in teacher preparation
- Professional development for teachers about technology and pedagogy
- Constructivist learning environments
- Design of online environments for communication and collaboration
- Concept mapping and visual learning
- Project-based learning
Within the last 6 months I have been working on two different but related projects. what they have in common is the use of concept mapping.
In one project, with a graduate student I have been developing a strategy to use concept maps to create visual representations of multimedia projects created by middle school (8th grade) students. [This was the subject of the conference paper we presented at the SITE conference in Las Vegas the week of March 3-7.] We are finding this use of concept maps very helpful in letting us assess aspects of collaborative work that were not visible (literally) to us when we used rubrics--either holistic or categorical--to analyze the projects.
The second project is at an earlier stage but is potentially much larger. I was asked to lead a workshop for my colleagues at Santa Clara University to introduce them to concept mapping as a tool to support teaching and learning. By way of background, our university has recently approved a new Core Curriculum for the undergraduate program, and many new courses will have to be developed in support of this new Core. The expectation is that many of these new courses will have an interdisciplinary character. This first workshop (in the planning stages for a couple of months) was very well received. One of the outcomes is that all participants would like to see our university purchase a site license for Inspiration, the software I had them work with.
Because I had a joint appointment with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society also in our campus (through August, 2009), I have been also involved in a couple of research initiatives linked t projects going on at the Center. One of them involves the design of the online environment to support the "Global Social Benefit Incubator' (GSBI), a training program for "social benefit entrepreneurs" from around the world. One of many interesting questions we are pursuing here is how the online environment can best support the GSBI process before the participants come to campus for the 2-week intensive residential program, and then after they leave so that they are motivated to remain engaged with the "community of practice" they have joined through this program.
The second project through the Center also deals with social benefit entrepreneurs but with a wider lens. At the Center we coordinate the judging for the "Technology Benefiting Humanity" Awards program, and we have had difficulty keeping the 25 finalists identified every year interested in remaining active within this "community." We are experimenting with a variety of strategies to address the challenges around the creation and maintenance of heterogeneous communities, with a focus on the sharing of local knowledge and effective ways to document and share "best practices". An online environment has been developed for "social entrepreneurs" and related members of the 'ecosystem' worldwide, to support learning, communication, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and daily work.
Hernández-Ramos, P., & Bowker, G. (2008). In absentia: Designing for social learning. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 17, 87-90.
Hernández-Ramos, P., Koch, J., Bruno, A., & Carlson, E. (October, 2007). Designing the online collaboratory for the Global Social Benefit Incubator. Innovate-Journal of Online Education, August/September.
Hernández-Ramos, P. (2007). Aim, shoot, ready! Future teachers learn to ‘do' video, British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(1), 33-41.
Hernández-Ramos, P. (2006). How Does Educational Technology Benefit Humanity? Five Years of Evidence. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 9(4), 205-214.
Hernández-Ramos, P. (2005). If not here, where? Understanding teachers' use of technology in Silicon Valley schools. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(1), 39-64.
Hernández-Ramos, P. & Giancarlo, C. A. (2004). Situating teacher education: From the university classroom to the real classroom. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 20(4), 121-128.
De La Paz, S., Hernández-Ramos, P. & Barron, L. (2004). Multimedia environments in mathematics teacher education: Preparing regular and special educators for inclusive classrooms. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12(4), 599-613.
Conradson, S. & Hernández-Ramos, P. (2004). Computers, the internet, and cheating among secondary school students: Some implications for educators. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation 9(9). [Available online http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=9&n=9]
Hernández-Ramos, P. (2004). Web logs and online discussions as tools to promote reflective practice. Journal of Interactive Online Learning 3(1), Summer. [Available online at: http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/viewarticle.cfm?volID=3&IssueID=10&ArticleID=24]
Roberts, D. F., Bachen, C. M., Hornby, M., & Hernández-Ramos, P. (1984). Reading and television: Predictors of reading achievement at different age levels. Communication Research 11(1).
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