Framing my research issue 02-05-07Statement of the IssueMy enrollment in a graduate course about Action Research coincided perfectly with myparticipation in a newly formed PLC (Professional Learning Community) at my school. ThePLC’s goal is to provide recommendations to the building committee working on ideas forrenovation of our school. As a member of this PLC and a member of the technology committeeat my school, I decided to focus on technology concerns that should be addressed in therenovation plans. I would like to discover some of the technology related changes that haveoccurred in schools that have been renovated in the last three years through this Action Researchproject. This evaluation study will help me understand the up to the minute possibilities, practicalconcerns and types of technology already in use and draw some relationships about what mightbe appropriate for my school.Until this point, most of our technology improvements have been tailored to our existingstructure in the form of retrofitting the old building to accommodate newer technology. Becauseof the nature of the old building, many limitations are present. Now the opportunity exists toengineer for the future. The problem is to discover what kinds of changes need to take place.Marc Prensky (2005, p.45), in his essay for Edutopia, states, “With very few exceptions, ourschools have not been physically designed for computers.” This is most certainly the case at myschool. So how will our new design deal with computers? Prensky also contends that “For thedigital age, we need new curricula, new organization, new architecture, new teaching, newstudent assessments, new parental connections, new administration procedures, and many otherelements (p. 45).” New architecture and room design may be needed because of the technologychanges. I would like to find examples of how this was accomplished in the newer buildings.
In addition to the physical attributes of the technology changes renovated schoolsincorporated into their buildings, I hope to discover why those decisions were made and if theyhave been evaluated in terms of the anticipated outcome. Hank Bromley (1998, p.24), in anarticle written for the NEA Higher Education Journal asserts, “To gain a full understanding ofwhy a particular piece of technology is or is not used, or used in particular ways or has aparticular impact , we need to pay careful attention to the social context of its use: Who is usingit? Why? Under what conditions and pressures?” The social context is integrally linked with thephysical aspects of technology so must be researched hand in hand. Through a mixed method ofquantitative and qualitative action research focused on the physical and social contexts, I want tofind out about the most current technology integration in my area schools.ReferencesBromley, H (1998). How to tell if you really need the latest technology. The NEA Higher EducationJournal. Spring 1998, 21-28.Prensky, Marc (2005). Adopt and adapt. Edutopia. December, 42-45.