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A CUE 2012 poster presentation. This action research study approached the gap from a different direction: how do decision makers consider technology alternatives for classrooms before decisions are even made? This qualitative study explored how educational organizations can use their own narratives to better understand their decisions, as well as to create capacity for stronger technology-enriched learning in the classroom. Through five intervention workshops in January 2011 across a K-12 school district, I worked with 16 stakeholders to examine, understand, and engage narratives that I had gathered in a 2010 district pilot study.
On the positive side, the intervention spurred intent for personal change processes from some of the individuals. It also identified narratives that restrained change. Those restraining narratives linked with district values that reinforced technology as (a) time consuming, (b) expensive, and (c) not part of the core teaching mission. Most other alternatives were missing from consideration, as were considerations and stories of students as technology users. Organizational leaders did not see that they had any responsibilities to encourage new routines, alternatives, and narratives about a positive-focused future using technology.
From these insights, I posed a model of how narrative drivers affect alternatives and routines around technology and other organizational decisions. This approach resulted in a new model, combining theories at the intersection of organizational routines and decision making, narrative research, and technology frames, and organizational cognition. I provided further suggestions for actions at the intervention site, as well as further research directions at this intersection of organizational narratives, decision-making, and social actions involving technology and education.