Trends in Classroom Technology Use

RES 5000 - Matt Briggs

Topic and Research Question

Topic: Understanding Trends of Technology Use in Classroom Activities

Context: While working in a 21st Century School with large amounts of available technology (including 1:1 Laptop Initiatives), I discovered that unusually large amounts of middle and high school teachers are not using this technology. Those that are seem to use it only for direct instruction or to show videos.

Research Question: What factors motivate or hinder trends in teacher use of technology in classroom activities?

Is This You In The Classroom?

The Review of the Literature


Known Positives of Technology Use in Activities:

  • Perception Changes of Students
  • Measured Excitement and Creativity in the Classroom
  • Increased Value of Learning with Student Centered Activities

Known Motivations and Hindrances of Teacher Use:

  • Experience with Technology
  • Level of Teaching or Experience
  • Perceived Restrictions
  • Prior Experiences in Classroom Activities

Known Suggestions for Increased Use:

  • Time for Teachers to Explore
  • Providing Examples of Positive Experiences
  • Supplying Correct Types of Support

So Why Is My Proposed Study Needed?

The literature reviewed presented quality findings, but certain limitations emerged:

  • Outdated technology was studied
  • High stakes testing was not studied as a hindrance
  • Little focus on a technology rich setting
  • Technology professional development is common now

21st Century Learners

Paradigms of My Proposed Study

My proposed study takes a naturalistic approach - I feel many factors could play a role in how teachers incorporate technology into their everyday lessons and activities. These factors could differ from person to person, scenario to scenario, or experience to experience.

My proposed study takes a look at technology from a constructionist point of view - Teachers assign value to the use of technology in their own way. In this case, it would be unfair to judge all teachers and their use of technology based on the results of this proposed study.

In this case, I feel that multiple truths are possible, and my job as the researcher would be to uncover some similarities in these truths.

Methodology of My Proposed Study

Qualitative Approaches:
  • Due to my naturalistic opinion and interpretative constructionist point of view
  • Allows me to view the question through the eyes of the participants
  • Looking to give participants a chance to respond creatively in areas

Context and Qualitative Methods:

  • Methods are important considering my participants work in a technology-rich setting
  • While not everyone will have same standards, many systems are adopting similar practices - will allow for transfer of findings
  • I am certainly not saying "this is how it is for everyone"

Flexibility and Qualitative Methods:

  • Methods allow for limited structure related to my instruments
  • I will have the ability to research topics with participants as they become known
  • Based on initial findings, questions may change as the process goes on

Instruments of My Proposed Study

Initial Web-Based Survey (link below):

  • Will be sent to all core content middle and high school teachers at two school clusters within the county of focus
  • Sent out towards the end of the second six-week grading period, as to not coincide with beginning/ending of school, any major holiday, or any period without a long break so participants are not deterred from taking it or giving skewed answers
  • Anonymous and should take less than 15 minutes
  • Chance to leave contact information to become part of second stage focus groups

Focus Group Interviews:

  • Participants selected from list of those who left contact information
  • Will hopefully develop a group of 10 participants (5 high school, 5 middle) that will be divided equally between male and female participants
  • First interview will be around 45 minutes in length, with questions developed from the initial web-based survey; second session will be a report of the findings and chance to gain respondent validity
  • Pseudonyms will be used in study report to ensure anonymity. Participants selected for second phase will receive a $10 gift card to a local retailer in hopes of boosting interest
  • Interviews will be conducted during the school day (if possible), after winter breaks to ensure teachers are rested and ready to given true responses

Hopes and Dreams of My Proposed Study

The goals of my proposed study are to learn what factors motivate of hinder technology use within classroom activities. By studying a county with abundant technology and ample professional development in this area, I am eliminating some suggestions for improvement mentioned in prior studies. This will allow me to uncover new topics of discussion in the area, given that most school systems are moving to technology rich settings. My hope is that this proposed study will give all involved in the process of moving their school towards higher technology integration a chance to address concerns before they become bigger issues. I also hope this proposed study will offer motivations to those who are lagging behind in seeking opportunities to include technology in activities.

Hopefully, this proposed study will prove that technology integration is beneficial to the student and teacher, allowing both to take learning to a higher level of value.

The Goal Is To Eliminate This...