Professional Development for technology integration into the elementary curriculum has been a costly and frequently ineffective endeavor. The idea for the Tech Buddy model came from this frustration. Teaming a teacher who had high comfort and self-efficacy levels with technology, however who still had much to learn, together with a teacher who was willing to learn, but had low comfort and self-efficacy levels seemed natural.
The study consisted of 13 educators and one Administrative Intern from the school of study. The study paired a mentor who had a high level of comfort and self-efficacy with ICT integration with a mentee who had a low level of comfort and self-efficacy with ICT integration as measured by a pre-study self-assessment. The pairs were formed using three types; two were same grade level pairs, two were adjacent grade level pairs, and two were nonadjacent grade level pairs. All participants attended one half-day release time per quarter, one two-hour planning time per quarter and one evening stipend time per semester. Three of the six pairs began the study using iPads. Three of the six pairs began the study using Chromebooks. Midway through the study, the pairs all switched in order to use the other devices. The researcher also conducted interviews of each participant midway and at the end of the study. At the conclusion of the study, each participant again took the self-assessment in an effort to determine if the study was affective in increasing comfort and self-efficacy levels with ICT integration into the curriculum. The conclusion of the self-assessment indicated an increase in comfort level and self-efficacy in all participants except one pairing. The results were mostly positive and expected, however, one of the pairing did not show anticipated growth in all areas of self-assessment.
The conclusion of the study indicated the Tech Buddy program is a viable option for increasing comfort and self-efficacy levels of ICT integration into the elementary curriculum. The use of one particular device over another did not seem of concern. Application of the model should pay particular attention to how each mentor perceives his or her role as mentor.
|Commitee:||Hutcheson, Jill, Winslow, Kevin|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Elementary education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Professional development, Technology|
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