When, where, how, and why Berkshire County high school teachers use the Internet for teaching and learning
Michael J. Youmans, Boston College, United States
Boston College . Awarded
This study draws on both quantitative and qualitative data collected from public and private high school teachers in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, to describe their current uses of, beliefs about, and knowledge base surrounding the Internet for teaching and learning. An underlying assumption of this study is that before the outcomes of teachers' uses of the Internet can be addressed, there must first be a clear understanding of how teachers are actually using it for preparation, instruction, and student-directed work. 142 teachers responded to a survey about their most prevalent uses of the Internet, as well as their perceptions about both its value and the obstacles that prevent its effective deployment. Nine participants were chosen from six of the schools to provide richer detail and further examples of major trends discovered in the survey data. The grounded theory, complementary methods study elicited themes that suggest how and why the preponderance of the participants are currently using the Internet to inform and enrich their professional practice and suggest a new domain of teacher knowledge, namely technological pedagogical content knowledge. Key factors influencing teachers' decisions about Internet use include their perceptions about its importance for teaching and learning as well as about the obstacles it poses. The study is significant both in adding to the current knowledge of how some teachers are using the Internet to enhance their craft, offering a methodological lens supporting a multiple measures approach to assessing and understanding teachers' use of technology, and developing a theoretical framework for understanding the particular kind of knowledge Internet-using educators possess. It closes by suggesting a fruitful area for future research and professional development lies in helping teachers build their technological pedagogical content knowledge.
Youmans, M.J. When, where, how, and why Berkshire County high school teachers use the Internet for teaching and learning. Ph.D. thesis, Boston College.
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