The Teacher Technology Integration Experience: Practice and Reflection in the Classroom

Dana Ruggiero, Christopher J. Mong
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 14  •  2015  •  pp. 161-178
Previous studies indicated that the technology integration practices of teachers in the classroom often did not match their teaching styles. Researchers concluded that this was due, at least partially, to external barriers that prevented teachers from using technology in ways that matched their practiced teaching style. Many of these barriers, such as professional support and access to hardware and software, have been largely diminished over the last twenty years due to an influx of money and strategies for enhancing technology in primary and secondary schools in the United States. This mixed-methods research study was designed to examine the question, “What technology do teachers use and how do they use that technology to facilitate student learning?”
K-12 classroom teachers were purposefully selected based on their full-time employment in a public, private, or religious school in a Midwestern state in the United States, supported by the endorsement of a school official. There were 1048 teachers from over 100 school corporations who completed an online survey consisting of six questions about classroom technology tools and professional development involving technology. Survey results suggest that technology integration is pervasive in the classroom with the most often used technology tool identified as PowerPoint. Moreover, teachers identified that training about technology is most effective when it is contextually based in their own classroom. Follow-up interviews were conducted with ten percent (n=111) of the teachers in order to examine the relationship between teachers’ daily classroom use of technology and their pedagogical practices. Results suggest a close relationship; for example, teachers with student-centric technology activities were supported by student-centric pedagogical practices in other areas. Moreover, teachers with strongly student-centered practices tended to exhibit a more pronounced need to create learning opportunities with technology as a base for enhancing 21st century skills in students. Teachers indicated that external barriers do exist that impact technology integration, such as a lack of in-service training, a lack of available technology, and restricted curriculum, but that overcoming internal barriers, including personal investment in technology, attitude towards technology, and peer support, were a bigger indicator of success. Recommendations are made for restructuring professional development on strategies for contextualizing technology integration in the classroom.
technology use, technology integration, in-service teacher, professional development
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