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Be the Technology: Redefining Technology Integration in Classrooms

, Independence (KS) USD 446, United States ; , University of Kansas, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-44-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


ABSTRACT One way to better understand the difficult instructional issues associated with the integration of computer technology in classrooms is to analyze the teaching practices of teachers using technology in classrooms. We established a set of technology standards and educational practices to describe how teachers who are technologically fluent and proficient are teaching and their students are learning. We learned that technology integration is more than just using and operating computer hardware and software. By establishing defining technology standards and associating specific educational best practices to the standards, teachers were able to advance from using the technology to "being the technology." THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The integration of technology in classrooms and schools is a complex process that entails supporting curriculum goals through the instructional use of computer technology to enhance student learning (Dockstader, 1999). Educational change models often attempt to assess and explain the change process in terms of dimensions or degrees of change. Consequently, one way to better understand the difficult instructional issues associated with the integration of computer technology in classrooms is to examine how teachers implement computer technology. Several models or strategies have been employed by educational researchers and practitioners to provide a systematic approach for determining the quality of innovation implementation. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) (Hall, Wallace & Dossett, 1973) emphasizes change as a developmental process experienced by individuals implementing innovations within an organizational context. CBAM has evolved into a comprehensive systemic change model that allows change investigators and facilitators to understand organizational change from the point of view of the persons affected by the change (Surry, 1997). CBAM is based on the assumption that change is best understood when it is expressed in functional terms-what persons actually do who are involved in the change. Since change involves developmental growth, the focus of facilitation is with individuals, innovations, and the context (Hord & Huling-Austin, 1987). CBAM provides for the development of diagnostic tools based on the design of the innovation being evaluated and the operational patterns of those using the innovation. One of these tools is the Innovation Configuration Matrix or Map (ICM). The ICM delineates an innovation in the form of a two-dimensional matrix along a scale that renders closer approximations of conceptualized implementation or use along one dimension of the matrix and the various configuration components along the other dimension of the matrix. The ICM has relevance for instructional designers and educational practitioners because rather than being a static measure, the ICM has a procedural definition that allows an innovation configuration to be designed relatively easily for a specific instructional innovation. Research questions about educational technology are better formulated when they are concerned with issues of instructional quality and productivity. This study adapted the ICM as a tool to analyze the quality of implementation of computer technology in a school district. METHODS An instrument for analysis of technology integration and implementation in classrooms was developed. This instrument, the Technology Integration Standards Configuration Matrix (TISCM) was based on consensus-building process that followed a process developed by Heck et al. (1981) and used previously by the researcher (Mills & Ragan, 2000). Relevant national, state, and local technology standards were reviewed and evaluated by the researcher in conjunction with the district technology committee and technology coordinator. The committee agreed upon 18 technology implementation standards for the school district. Technology implementation standards were organized into three skill sets or phases: Technology Operations (Standards 1-6), Technology Facilitation (Standards 7-12), and Technology Integration (Standards 13-18). Each successive phase was intended to identify a set of instructional strategies that exemplify increasing technology implementation and integration into classroom instruction and learning. Each technology standard was established as a component of the TISCM and then variations for each component were identified. Variations for each component consisted of discrete categorizations of technology implementation for the corresponding component. Component variations were designed to represent teacher classroom practices along a continuum from unacceptable use to ideal use. The component variations were refined by the technology committee to reflect the actual practices of teachers using computer technology in classrooms. The components and component variations were organized into matrix comprised of four variations for each of the 18 components with each successive variation indicating a level of use representing a closer approximation of ideal use. DATA SOURCES The TISCM was deployed as a paper- and web-based checklist in a school district that had made a substantial investment in computer technology and was beginning a district -wide technology professional development initiative. The school district used in this study is located in a small town in a Midwestern state. The school district has a total enrollment of almost 2,200 students in grades K-12 with 147 certified teachers. Computer technology is used in all the schools in the district. All schools except the high school have computer labs and all teachers have classroom computers. Data collection occurred at both the beginning and ending of a school year. A usable checklist was completed by 80-90 teachers for each data collection. The rubric for recording teacher responses on the checklist was to rate to highest level of use for each component on the checklist. The responses to the TISCM checklist were analyzed by a cluster analysis that identified relatively homogenous groups of cases based on the checklist components. Discriminant analysis was used to assess the adequacy of the classification of implementation pattern groups from the cluster analysis by using the TISCM implementation components as predictor variables. Case summaries by implementation pattern groups were produced to describe the TISCM component attributes of each group. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine if the component attributes of each group were statistically significant and to compare pre- and post-data collections. Post-hoc tests were performed to compare differences between pairs of pattern group means for each TISCM component as well as pre- and post- data collections. RESULTS An interesting finding of the TISCM with the teachers in this school district was that proficiency in the use and operations of computer technology was not a distinguishing attribute of high fidelity technology implementation. Differences among the groups in this study and between the pre- and post- data collections were characterized more by attributes of technology integration than by technology use and operations. This finding has relevance for the provision of technology professional development activities. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that technology training activities for this school district should focus more on instructional strategies and methods to integrate technology in the classroom than on training activities to increase skills in the operation of computer hardware and use of software applications. The results of the data analysis supported the construct validity of the TISCM and the components and variations included in the TISCM reflected the actual instructional practices or behaviors that teachers implementing technology in the classroom have or are considered to have. IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY Although many school districts have established benchmarks or standards for the integration of technology in classrooms, no model or methodology exists for substantiating technology standards with actual classroom practices. The TISCM represents a flexible and adaptable approach to the evaluation of technology proficiency and integration. The TISCM components reflect a set of widely-used standards. A methodology to provide comprehensive and continuous analysis of technology implementation is needed to sustain high levels of use and integration of computer technology in classrooms. This study demonstrated that the TISCM and the corresponding data analysis procedures are an effective tool to determine technology implementation fidelity, to reveal the technology


Tincher, B. & Mills, S. (2002). Be the Technology: Redefining Technology Integration in Classrooms. In D. Willis, J. Price & N. Davis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2002--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2334-2338). Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 26, 2021 from .



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