Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Middle school teachers' understanding of technology integration
by James, M. Lovetta, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009, 194; 3387974
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine middle-school teachers' understanding of technology integration. Three questions were addressed. (1) How do teachers define "technology integration"? (2) Is their definition of "technology integration" reflected in their teaching practices? (3) What factors affect their technology integration practices? Thirty-seven teachers from three school districts were observed and interviewed. Teachers were observed during class sessions for practices related to technology use.

Observations were followed by semi-structured interviews. Initial questions were based on the four elements of information diffusion defined by Everett Rogers. These are innovation, communication channels, time and social systems.

The exploratory nature of the study provided reason to use an inductive approach for data analysis. Using the constant-comparative method, raw data from teacher observations and interviews were continuously analyzed against new data that was collected. In this way, links in the data were used to develop conclusions and answer the study questions.

Based on commonalities in their beliefs, motivations and practices, the teachers were categorized into five groups. These were Dynamic users (Group 1), Technology integrating users (Group 2), Knowledgeable intermittent users (Group 3), Limited approach users (Group 4), and Non-users (Group 5). The teachers in Groups 1 and 2 integrated technology in ways similar to those described in the literature. They used rich, descriptive expressions to define the concept of technology integration. They overcame barriers within their environments and used technology in their teaching. They believed that using technology in the classroom benefited student learning and that technology fits well with their curriculum and teaching practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wildemuth, Barbara
Commitee: Banks, Karen, Hughes-Hassell, Sandra, Solomon, Paul, Sturm, Brian
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Information & Library Science
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle School education, Educational technology
Keywords: Constructivism, Diffusion of innovations, Middle-school teacher, Rogers, Everett M., Teacher beliefs, Technology integration
Publication Number: 3387974
ISBN: 9781109546903
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