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Parent Perceptions of Technology in K-12 Education

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Research paper
Roundtable presentation


Wednesday, December 2, 3:30–4:15 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Presentation 1 of 2
Other presentations:
What the Research Tells Us: Digging into the Benefits of Scholastic Esports

Dr. Theresa Cullen  
Jessica Kamp  
Ja’Corie Maxwell  

There is a plethora of information over technology integrations' effects on students. However, research on parent perceptions of technology in classrooms is virtually nonexistent. We researched parent perceptions of technology using a survey to measure attitude, usage and beliefs of K-12 parents as it pertains technology use in education.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None
Topic: Communication & collaboration
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Inservice teacher education
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
Collaborator
  • Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.
Leader
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Engage education stakeholders in developing and adopting a shared vision for using technology to improve student success, informed by the learning sciences.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand, Graduate student
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Framework

For our research, we chose a phenomenological study design. In this research design, the aim of the researcher is to describe the phenomenon based on the accounts of the participants (Groenewald, 2004). While this may limit generalizability, we believe that our findings would provide a foundation for future research that may yield generalizable results.

Methods

For our research, we used a survey design to obtain the opinions and perceptions of parents and teachers on technology use in education. Our survey was adapted from an existing survey measuring perceptions of technology. We used the survey designed by Baş, Kubiatko, and Sunbul (2016) called the Perceptions Towards Technology in Teaching and Learning Process Scale. This particular survey was designed to measure teacher perceptions of information communication technologies. Information Communication Technologies can be defined as technology such as computers, tablets, and more digital devices. It consists of 25 items on a Likert scale that address attitude, usage, and belief. This survey provided a basis for the questions on our survey, and each question was adapted to fit the perspective of parents rather than teachers. The adapted questions were kept in the same order and followed the same design of the original survey. Examples questions included, “The use of technology makes the teaching and learning process more interesting,” “I reinforce my child to use technology in the teaching and learning process,” and “Teachers should reinforce students to use technology in the teaching and learning process.” Each question was answered on a Likert scale with the options of strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree.
We organized our instrument to include demographic information at the beginning and a number of open ended questions throughout to gain a deeper understanding of parents’ opinions and beliefs regarding technology. The demographic information included the following information: age, ethnicity, level of education, household income, number and grade(s) of child(ren), type of school child(ren) attend, and technology provided at school and at home. The open ended questions asked about parental limits placed on technology use at home, monitoring strategies for technology use, concerns about technology use at home and at school, and considerations for educators on student technology use. Finally, we also included questions asking whether parents received training on technology from their child’s school or if they had sought out training on their own. We compiled all of these elements to create the survey that was to be distributed.
To obtain data, we posted the survey to our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) and they were sent to our professional email networks. Participants were given the option to complete the survey but received nothing for completion. Once data had been gathered, we analyzed and coded the results to summarize our findings.

Results

For the survey results, we analyzed the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation of all 25 survey questions. Answers to the survey were as follows: 1 - strongly disagree, 2 - disagree, 3 - neutral, 4 - agree, 5 - strongly agree. For all but two of the questions, the mode was 4 allowing us to infer that a majority of respondents agreed with the questions. The means of these questions ranged from 3.42 to 4.06 supporting our inference. Questions 11 and 14 were the only questions that had a mode less than 4. Question 11 stated, “The use of technology in the teaching and learning process saves energy.” The mode for this question was 3 and the mean was 3.08. For this question, it’s clear that respondents neither agree nor disagree that using technology saves energy. Question 14 stated, “Teachers should give priority to technology more than textbooks in the teaching and learning process.” The mode for this question was 2, and the mean was 2.70. It is clear that respondents did not agree with this question. We will include more information about these results in our presentation. For the five open ended questions, we first read through the answers looking for themes. We then narrowed down the identified themes and had an external source check for validity. The prominent themes we identified were technology integration concerns, balance of technology and other learning tools, and direct or indirect monitoring of use. These themes will be discussed in depth during our presentation.

Importance

Implications for Teachers
As a result of these findings, teachers should attempt to integrate technology with traditional means of teaching. This will ensure that students learn hands on skills that are necessary for cognitive development, while learning the technology skills needed to be successful in the technology-laden world. Additionally, this balance will give students opportunities to develop or improve social skills. Furthermore, if the information is presented digitally and physically, it provides multiple opportunities for the information to be connected with existing information and retained. Technology integration should also take into account students age and cognitive development. This will ensure that students have the opportunity to develop in a way that will support their success in both of these realms. Since increased integration leads to increased Screen Time, teachers should be mindful of the amount of time that their assignments require students to be “plugged in” and try to make that a reasonable amount. Additional direct and indirect monitoring would ensure that students remain on-task and working efficiently. This increased monitoring would assist teachers in keeping students engaged while decreasing student Screen Time.

Implications for Principals
To assuage the concerns of parents, we propose the following remedies to parental concerns. As instructional leaders, effective and appropriate use of technology should be an insistence. Educational administration should encourage that teachers and classroom leaders move up the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) Model of Technology Integration into the realms of Modification or Redefinition. This will ensure that technology is being used in a meaningful way in the classroom and not as a substitute for paper and pencil assignments. Additionally, principals and instructional leaders should lobby upper administration for increased indirect monitoring tools, not just for parental peace of mind, but as to keep technological distractions limited. This will ensure that parents and teachers can allow students to work safely without access to unauthorized sites.

Implications for Future Researchers
Our research findings were meant to be a foundation for additional research to stand on. With this in mind, future research is still needed. There is some information on what parent perceptions are, however, more research is needed on how they form and change over time. These questions could be answered by a longitudinal study that followed parents from the birth of their child to college and questioned them about their perceptions on technology, when they changed, what caused them to change, and the effect this has had on them and their children. Future research could also focus on the perceptions of grandparents and how those change as a result of the interactions with their grandchildren. This research would add a plethora of information to the existing body of knowledge on parental perceptions of educational technologies.

Conclusively, parents are an important structure in the education of children; that is undeniable. Parents, in more than one way, create the students that we have in our classrooms. Parents do this through their words, actions, and the lessons they teach for years before we ever get to meet their children. However, parents perceptions and how they relate to education, are an area of research that still has many unknown variables. The goal for this research project was to uncover basic connections between parent perceptions of technology in education and create a foundation for further research to build on. It is our hope that this research accomplishes our aforementioned goal and will begin to start a conversation that will result in additional study.

References

Baş, G., Kubiatko, M., & Sunbul, A. M. (2016). Perceptions Towards ICTs in Teaching-Learning Process Scale [Database record]. Retrieved from PsycTESTS. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/t53684-000

Ceka, A., & Murati, R. (2016). The Role of Parents in the Education of Children. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(5), 61–64. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ou.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1092391&site=ehost-live

Chen, R.S., & Tu, C.C. (2018). Parents’ Attitudes toward the Perceived Usefulness of Internet-Related Instruction in Preschools. Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, 21(2), 477–495. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ou.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1179396&site=ehost-live

Groenewald, T. (2004). A phenomenological research design illustrated. International journal of qualitative methods, 3(1), 42-55.

Ortiz, R. W., Green, T., & Lim, H. (2011). Families and Home Computer Use: Exploring Parent Perceptions of the Importance of Current Technology. Urban Education, 46(2), 202–215. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ou.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ914061&site=ehost-live

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Presenters

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Dr. Theresa Cullen, Arkansas Tech University
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Jessica Kamp, Edmond Public Schools
Graduate student

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Ja’Corie Maxwell, Muskogee Public Schools
Graduate student

I was born and raised in Muskogee, OK. I graduated from Muskogee High School in 2012. I attended Northeastern State University and earned my B.S. in Science Education in 2016. In 2018 I began attending the University of Oklahoma and in 2019 I earned my M.Ed in Educational Psychology with a focus on Integrating Technology in Teaching. In 2020 I began working on my Ph.D in Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum. When not studying, I enjoy dreaming up innovative ways to use different technologies.

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