Implementing technology in the classroom: Assessing teachers' needs through the use of a just-in-time support system
Alissa N. Anderson, Wilfrid Laurier University , Canada
Master of Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University . Awarded
Given the importance of computer technology in classrooms today, it is crucial to identify the types of supports that will facilitate teachers' effective implementation of technology. Ten teachers (four kindergarten, four grade one, and two grade one/two) received just-in-time support while introducing a reading software program in their class. An additional 12 teachers (four kindergarten, seven grade one, and one grade two) were exposed to the software, but did not receive just-in-time support. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses of instructional sessions were conducted in order to determine the kinds of support that teachers required throughout the intervention. Results provided an in-depth look at how the software was integrated within the classrooms. Analysis of the just-in-time support indicated that the greatest number of support requests pertained to computer software related issues, followed by computer hardware related issues, and a smaller number of requests for support regarding classroom management issues, reading related issues, and "other" issues. The greatest level of support was required at the initial stage of implementation, with the number of support requests declining over time; however, the types of support requested did not differ across the stages of implementation. Outcomes based on teachers' self-report responses suggested no significant differences between teachers in the just-in-time support and minimal support only control conditions with respect to computer use, comfort with computers, integration, views on computers, and views on the software program specifically. Student performance indicated that the software program was successful in facilitating the development of reading and pre-reading skills.
Results provide a summary of the kinds of supports required of teachers when planning and implementing a new software program. This study provides instruction for future training in order to ease the transition to computer based learning.
Anderson, A.N. Implementing technology in the classroom: Assessing teachers' needs through the use of a just-in-time support system. Master of Arts thesis, Wilfrid Laurier University.
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