Dissertation Defense Announcement
The College of Education announces the final dissertation defense of
Jennifer T. Townes
for the degree of Doctor of Education
March 29th, 2016 at 10:00 am in 320 Ball Hall
Major Advisor: Carmen L. Weaver, EdD
Technology Integration Strategies for Teachers Faced With Limited Access to Technology
The driving forces for integrating technology are to prepare students for the workforce and to increase student knowledge and skills. However, technology is not transforming education as it should, and studies show the teacher is a significant component in whether technology is effectively being integrated into the classroom. The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers' plans to increase technology use in their classroom. The views of teachers who participated in professional development were examined. The research included addressing the specific barriers of limited hardware, software, and Internet connectivity teachers face when implementing technology. The study asked if teachers would increase technology integration that focused on student use after strategies that address the barriers to working with limited access to technology were provided.
This mixed methods study examined quantitative data collected through the Teachers Technology Questionnaire-R (TTQ-R) and the Technology Skills Assessment-R (TSA-R) and qualitative data through an interview protocol. Differences in the data collected from the pre and post instructional intervention survey using a paired samples t-test were not found to be statistically significant; however there were observable differences. Participants' perceived general readiness to integrate technology decreased after completing the instructional intervention as shown through the TTQ-R. However, confidence related to integrating technology focused on student use of technology did increase. The change in confidence could be due to the fact that the participants were not aware of the increased emphasis on the effective use of technology in schools to prepare students for the 21st century.
The themes of levels of student use, benefits and barriers of technology use and, perceived readiness emerged through the analysis of data collected through the interview protocol and the TTQ-R. The participants in this study recognized many of the same benefits and barriers found in the literature. Access to more and better resources, increased motivation and student engagement listed as benefits (Cuban, 2001; Gaffner, 2014; Weaver, 2012). The barriers the teachers reported facing include limited access to hardware and Internet connectivity, time constraints, (Cuban, 2001; Weaver, 2014), classroom management and student behavior, (Kopcha, 2012) and skill level (King, 2013).
The findings of this study contribute to the existing body of literature in two ways. The findings support the current literature that examines the benefits and barriers of technology integration. Second, the findings provide support for the need of content-specific professional development for integrating technology.