The quest of Quest Atlantis: Developing a nuanced implementation of a technology-rich educational innovation
Michael K. Thomas, Indiana University, United States
Indiana University . Awarded
This study examined the tensions surrounding the implementation of a technology rich educational innovation called Quest Atlantis in a local public elementary school. Three qualitative case studies of three classrooms implementing the innovation and a subsequent cross case analysis were undertaken to illuminate: the reasons why teachers chose to implement the innovation in their classrooms, the core challenges and tensions of implementing this innovation, the supports necessary to successfully implement the innovation, and the adaptation that the innovation underwent in the course of its implementation. Such case studies can help researchers develop theories of learning in technology rich environments and learning by way of such innovations.
The results of this study indicated that teachers implemented this innovation because of its alignment with their existing curricular goals, its flexible adaptivity, its emphasis on social commitments and because the children who used the innovation enjoyed it and were enthusiastic for its continued use. Core challenges and tensions in the implementation included security concerns related to the innovation's use of web-based communication features, providing appropriate support, and balancing the innovation's intended use and its actual use in implementation. A full-time onsite supporter of the innovation was very helpful in the implementation. Support for this innovation had to be technical as well as social. Like the innovation itself, support had to be flexibly adaptive. Adaptations the innovation underwent during implementation included design features to address security concerns and the development of international collaborations between children using the innovation for learning activities by way of an online virtual environment.
The implications of the results of this study are that educators seeking to successfully implement technology rich innovations in schools must provide ways for the innovation to adapt to local contexts, provide ample appropriate support for teachers using the innovation, and centralize the role of children in the implementation process.
Thomas, M.K. The quest of Quest Atlantis: Developing a nuanced implementation of a technology-rich educational innovation. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
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