Enhancing meaningful learning by integrating technology into instructional design is central to this project. The most influential theory associated with this process is the cognitive theory of multimedia learning proposed by Mayer (1997). It is based on the theory that humans have two ways or “channels” of processing information; auditory and visual, otherwise known as the dual-channel assumption. By leveraging both of these means, and by building connections between multiple representations of the same information, meaningful learning is more likely to occur (Mayer, 1997; Moreno & Mayer, 2003). Another important contribution to theory about learning with technology is the modality principle, closely related to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. It postulates that using multiple modalities when presenting information leads to more learning transfer. Importantly, it also focuses on cognitive load, or the amount of information that can be processed and held in the working memory before loss of information occurs. Cognitive overload is often an impediment to retaining information and according to Moreno & Mayer (2003) can be managed by using specific instructional design principles. These theories and principles are the theoretical basis for bringing video, audio and other multimedia presentations and technology into the classroom.
This project is based on 2 theoretical areas: Freirean theory of dialogue and society, and the major economics models of assignment such as the Boston Mechanism and Deferred Acceptance. The first area is Paolo Freire’s theory of dialogue (Freire, 1970). Freire states that dialogue, particularly between leaders and community, is essential to liberation and education of the masses by challenging historically held methods via the use of critical thought. Critical thought raises consciousness and questions the assumption that people should fall into established routines or systems, rather than help to form new systems that better address their needs. This emphasis on conscious, collaborative action gives power to community members motivated to redefine aspects of their educational system. Studies that address community dialogue in the context of school choice and parental preference have found that districts often disregard parental involvement or assume parental preference and choices where little information supports those assumptions (Hastings, Van Weelden, & Weinstein, 2007; Rothstein, 2002; Schneider & Buckley, 2002). Whether by negligence, lack of budget, lack of motivation, or simple ignorance, schools tend to operate on long held beliefs regarding parental preference that may not stand up to examination, but which tend to go unchallenged and largely unpublicized. Freire’s emphasis on dialogue is reflected in this project by my advocacy for parental and community involvement with the development and editing of school assignment mechanisms. Families and community members deserve not only to be part of the conversation, but to be explictily invited to that conversation and involved in the solutions. Additionally, information about these mechanisms must be presented in accessible language, and with appropriate context. This paper serves as a bridge from the inaccessible and often intimidating language of economics and educational theory to the people most affected by the discussion: families and students.
The second area is the area of economic theory that gives us the Boston Mechanism, Deferred Acceptance, Gale-Shapley, Top Trading Cycles, Columbus Student Assignment Mechanism, and other school choice systems. These economic and mathematical theories are similar to those used in college acceptances, medical interns and residents rotation assignments, and even distribution of goods and services. Many rely on a random lottery at some stage of operation, and most take into consideration sets of priorities and preferences. Most also are...