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Instructional Technology Integration: An Evaluation Study

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Dr. Michael Wright  

How is instructional technology integrated into K-12 schools and used in classroom instruction pre- and post-COVID-19? Teacher attitudes and beliefs regarding the use of technology and limited financial support to access technology are significant factors impacting technology integration.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Professional learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Inservice teacher education
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  • Design, develop and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Evaluate results of professional learning programs to determine the effectiveness on deepening teacher content knowledge, improving teacher pedagogical skills and/or increasing student learning.
For Educators:
Learner
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.

Proposal summary

Framework

Using a Gap Analysis framework research focuses on the knowledge, motivation, and organizational influences related to effectively implementing instructional technology in the classroom.

Methods

Stratified sampling of over 1,000 teachers within the forty-five elementary, middle and high schools that includes the various socio-economic environments the schools inhabit within the district.
Criterion 1. Full-time classroom teachers. These teachers are responsible for lesson planning and differentiating instruction for students of various ages.
Criterion 2. Teachers who have more than one-year experience teaching in any district. Teachers who have taught for more than one year will have a clearer understanding of the lesson planning requirements and instructional practice.
Criterion 3. Teachers who teach core content areas in kindergarten through twelfth grades such as Math, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Teachers of core content areas need to lesson plan to engage students in a variety of methods.

Survey Instrument.
The survey contains approximately 60 questions divided into five sections. Section 1, asks some general demographic information. Section 2, asks questions about general technology use in the classroom. Section 3, asks questions about specific technology use in the classroom before and after remote teaching during the COVID-19 Quarantine and school closure. Section 4, asks about opinions and attitudes on technology integration. Section 5, asks questions regarding areas of improvement/technical needs.

Results

Although data collecting has not been finalized, it is predicted that the data will reveal organizations needs to provide resources such as hardware, software, mentors, and local informational technology support in the form of long term situated professional development. The recommendation will likely be that districts establish a formalized process to identify the priorities and instructional technology resource needs for schools and teachers.

Importance

In Lowther and Inan's 2010 article, the researchers collected data from over 1,300 representative teachers to examine the impact of teacher demographics, teacher beliefs, readiness, computer proficiency, and school-level factors on technology integration. The study suggested that teacher readiness, followed by teacher beliefs and availability to technology, has the most significant impact on instructional technology integration.
Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010) determined that when teachers feel confident in their abilities to use technology and have sufficient technical assistance, they have more positive beliefs about integrating technology in the classroom. Changing teachers pedagogical approach in teaching by incorporating IT is a long-term process. Teachers, however, might not change their teaching practices if they do not see the value of technology integration in the classroom (Orlando, 2014). Schools that have a technology coordinator expose teachers to new instructional technology tools and applications, which expand teachers' instructional toolbox and pedagogical methods. Additionally, teacher preparation programs play an essential role in training teachers to use instructional technology (Bauer & Kenton, 2005). The research indicates that building upon teachers' digital pedagogical skills improves confidence in their ability to try new instructional strategies in the classroom (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Improving this scholarship requires changing pedagogical beliefs, improving teacher self-efficacy, and addressing school culture. Although these changes can be challenging, in-service teachers have a specific framework within which to work, the content they teach. Site-based professional development focused on the curriculum, and the individual instructional needs of the teachers improve teacher self-efficacy, which in turn helps change pedagogical beliefs (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010).
 Students today learn differently than students in the past and benefit from multiple options in engaging with content (Prensky, 2001). Additionally, critical thinking and reflection are essential tools for students to adapt to help students process and become digitally literate consumers of information (Lambert & Cuper, 2008). Failure to provide sufficient training and mentoring support, coupled with a lack of teacher confidence in using technology effectively, can result in teachers using pedagogical strategies that do not meet the needs of students. (Prensky, 2001).

This study seeks to uncover some of the motivational, knowledge, and organization gaps facing teachers today in light of the CoVid-19 pandemic.

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Dr. Michael Wright, School of the Cathedral
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