EDU 710 Literature Review #2


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EDU 710 Literature Review #2

  1. 1. Technology Integration 1 Analysis of “The Technology Coordinator: An Analysis of the Interactions and Perceptions that Influence Effectiveness” and “Evaluating computer technology integration in a centralized school system” By Megan Gerdts Touro University College of Education In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for EDU 710 April, 2010
  2. 2. Technology Integration 2 Abstract The purpose of the two papers was to determine the effectiveness of the technology coordinator at a school site and teachers’ perceptions of the coordinator’s job in technology integration. Both articles also took a deeper look at the factors that determine teachers’ use of technology in the classroom. The technology coordinator is generally a volunteer position that is filled by a teacher during the school year. His/her job, as perceived by the teachers that he/she serves, tends to lean heavy on the side of “problem- solver” and less on “technology integration leader”. This perception, along with a lack of technology training, has hindered the use of technology as not just a teaching tool, but as a means for students to construct and learn the required material.
  3. 3. Technology Integration 3 Analysis of “The Technology Coordinator: An Analysis of the Interactions and Perceptions that Influence Effectiveness” and “Evaluating computer technology integration in a centralized school system” Technology integration is a huge topic plaguing many schools across the nation. We know that we should be using technology, but how? District staff and administrators are excited at the possibilities presented with using technology in the classroom and want to “get on board”. The required equipment may or may not be in place, but the desire to be “cutting edge” and help students achieve in the 21st century is real. As our students are exposed to more and more technology, the question becomes, how are schools going to teach in a way that prepares our children to live and thrive in this technological age? The main questions addressed in these two papers are (1) In Cyprus, how are computers being used in classrooms and are the methods used progressive? (2) What are the factors that effect a teacher’s desire or willingness to integrate computer technology into his/her instruction and teaching practice? (3) What are technology coordinators being used to do and what are the perceptions surrounding the position? Methods With the integration of technology, come the inevitable questions of who will train staff, when should this happen, and how does a school or district begin to sort through the many options for training. Most school have a technology coordinator whose job description is a bit nebulous, but generally includes: maintaining hardware and infrastructure, providing software evaluation and training, creating and implementing a
  4. 4. Technology Integration 4 technology plan, and providing professional development in the best practices for technology integration (Kenton, Pusey, Sadera, 2007). A teacher usually holds the technology coordinator position and his/her duties are carried out before or after school hours. It became apparent that teachers’ misperceptions of the technology coordinator’s job were a hindrance in the coordinator’s ability to be a technology integration leader and not just provide technical support. Kenton, Pusey, and Sadera collected data over a three-year period using surveys, student samples, and interviews. Their focus was on professional development, integration of technology, and student achievement (Kenton et al, 2007). Interviews were transcribed and tagged for the different interactions that teachers had with the technology coordinator. When studying the country of Cyprus, Eteokleous used the mixed method approach where quantitative data was collected via survey and analyzed. From the participants in the quantitative portion, the researcher selected twelve teachers that used little technology in their classrooms and ten who used it a lot. Those twenty-two teachers were then interviewed to better understand the factors surrounding their technology integration or lack thereof. (Eteokleous, 2007) Results The results in Eteokleous’ study showed that teachers used computers often for their own purposes, but rather infrequently in their classrooms. When teachers do use computers in their classrooms it is not regular and their use is generally just supportive of the curriculum, not as a means for students to learn curriculum. The three most important
  5. 5. Technology Integration 5 factors for computer-use in the classroom were (1) personal attitudes toward technology, (2) the teachers’ college preparation in technology skills, and (3) their computer literacy (Eteokleous, 2007). From that data, it is easy to see why some people choose not to use technology or are hesitant to do so because they feel inadequately prepared and perhaps have a negative attitude toward technology. Another finding, that is not surprising, is that students are more likely to use computers if their teacher does. During the interviews, it was determined that one of the main factors hindering teachers is the lack of resources. Teachers needed more computers, software, and guidance in how to apply technology to the curriculum. A second hindrance is the rigorous curriculum that lacks computer integration. Teachers are not willing to “sacrifice” the time needed for computer integration for fear that they will not cover the curriculum required. The last major hindrance mentioned was the completely inadequate professional development training. Teachers who know little about computers cannot be expected to use technology in their classroom without many hours of training and preparation time. The lack of support and guidance was enough for many teachers to put technology aside (Eteokleous, 2007). The integration of technology appears to hinge on the attitudes of teachers and the resources available to them. The technology coordinator is an excellent resource that, when used correctly, can provide training and support to teachers. The problem is that many teachers see the technology coordinator simply as a person who is there for technology support, not as a technology integration leader. In the technology integration leader role, there are many wonderful training and learning opportunities for teachers if they are open to it. Researchers found the teachers didn’t approach the technology
  6. 6. Technology Integration 6 coordinator for integration support because they felt that their knowledge was equal to or surpassed that of the coordinator (Kenton, Pusey, Sadera, 2007). Some teachers felt that they were integrating technology where it was appropriate and didn’t need any more suggestions or support in that area. In order for the technology coordinator to be able to do more technology integration work, it appeared that the duties of technology support needed to be handled by someone else. I am not sure that this is feasible at many school sites, but it appears that the coordinator’s role is largely driven by the expectations and perceptions of the staff that he/she serves. (Kenton et al, 2007) Discussion We know that technology is here to stay, so it is imperative that schools figure out how to successfully integrate it. From the two articles presented above, we learned that we have come a long way, but still have a lot further to go until technology is fully integrated into all classrooms. Having the resources needed to integrate computers into every classroom is one of the major hurdles that many schools face. The teachers’ perceptions of technology and the amount of training received are two of the factors that help determine how successful a school will be with integrating technology. Looking forward, it is important for administrators to look at the role of the technology coordinator at each school site. The success of the coordinator’s implementation will be determined, in a large part, by the perceptions held by the teachers at the school. Ultimately, in order to be successful in using computers and technology in the classroom, we must have a paradigm shift starting at the state level. Our curriculum must allow for and integrate technology. Districts must offer the necessary trainings for teachers of all
  7. 7. Technology Integration 7 ability levels to become familiar with and feel successful using computers. Funding for computers, software, and support must be a priority. Although we are on the right track, I believe that we have a long way to go.
  8. 8. Technology Integration 8 References Pusey, P., Sadera, W. & Kenton, J. (2007). The Technology Coordinator: An Analysis of the Interactions and Perceptions that Influence Effectiveness. In R. Carlsen et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2007 (pp. 1660-1663). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Eteokleous, N. (2007). Evaluating computer technology integration in a centralized school system. Computers and Education, 51, 669-686.