The purpose of this study was to explore how early childhood teachers conceptualize technology integration, specifically digital game-based learning, and to determine the type of technology integration and digital game-based practices that are currently available within preschool classrooms. The research study sought to identify external challenges at the funding, district, and classroom levels which are relevant when implementing technology into the early childhood classroom. Constructivism and Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) provided the conceptual framework for this study.
The population of this study was six early childhood teachers who are currently teaching in preschool classrooms. The teachers were from one school in a single district in the public school system. Five of the six classrooms were blended classrooms of at-risk and special education students and one was a self-contained special education classroom. Of the five blended classrooms, one was a bilingual at-risk classroom. Each teacher had a morning and an afternoon section with the exception of the self-contained teacher having only a morning session. Two of the six participants do not hold advanced degrees with the same two teachers having two or less years of teaching experience.
Data collection was completed in three phases with the length of data collection lasting two months from beginning to end. It was comprised of a purposeful sampling of six early childhood teachers who each volunteered to participate in the following: a demographic survey, an individual interview, and two classroom observations. Through the data collection process using a demographic survey, interviews, classroom observation, and field notes the four research questions yielded eight themes.
The study of technology integration in early childhood classrooms found that early childhood teachers do feel a responsibility to provide the students with the necessary skills they will need as they move through the education system as 21st Century Learners. While the teachers feel they play a role in technology integration there is a need for early childhood teachers to have age appropriate professional development on digital based games and guidelines for screen time for students within the early childhood years.
|Commitee:||Barshinger, Jack, Larson, Victoria|
|Department:||Leadership in Educational Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||Age appropriate, Digital game-based learning, Early childhood, Technology integration|
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