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Best practices of technology integrating teachers: Pictures of practice from four elementary classrooms
DISSERTATION

, Georgia State University, United States

Georgia State University . Awarded

Abstract

Statement of the problem. For over a decade, computer technology has been present in classrooms across the United States. Large sums of federal, state and local money have been spent on computers. However, according to Becker's (1994) nationwide study, only about 5% of computer-using teachers are “exemplary”: creating classroom environments in which computers are both used often by students and employed in ways to promote students, intellectual growth, not merely to develop isolated skills. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how and why elementary teachers might integrate technology into their classroom practices. The following served as guiding questions: (1) How are elementary teachers, identified as technology integrators, practicing technology integration? (2) Why are they practicing technology integration? (3) What are their beliefs about technology integration?

Methods. Qualitative methods were employed to gather and analyze data. Four participants were chosen using the reputation case selection sampling technique (Miles & Huberman, 1994). They were elementary teachers in grades 3–5 from a large metropolitan school district located near a large southeastern U.S. city. For this study, a variety of data gathering techniques were used: participant observations, interviews, and review of documents (Stake, 1995; Yin, 1998). Boyatzis' (1998) thematic analysis was employed as a means to interpret the data collected in this study.

Results. This study provided data to write a thick description of four elementary teachers identified as technology integrators. Eight emergent patterns were borne out by the data: (1) Technology integrators use effective teaching practices. (2) Technology integrators make use of multiple bard and soft technologies. (3) Instructional uses of technology impacts students. (4) Technology is a tool. (5) Technology fluency is an important basic skill. (6) Barriers exist that impact technology integration. (7) Reasons for technology selections are based on efficiency and currency. (8) Factors beyond the classroom influence practice.

The general conclusion of the study is that best teaching practices and best technology integration practices go hand-in-hand. There are personal belief factors and other factors beyond the classroom that influence technology integration.

Citation

Dias, L.B. Best practices of technology integrating teachers: Pictures of practice from four elementary classrooms. Ph.D. thesis, Georgia State University. Retrieved June 20, 2019 from .

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