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2003 In Search of Successful Technology Integrators

Date: 2003
Author: Jana M. Willis
Affiliation: University of Houston
Keywords: staff development, teaching, learning, technology


Have you ever wondered what skills, knowledge, access, support or training the teachers who are successful at technology integration possess? Do they arrive in the classroom fully equipped with a full range of high-level technology skills? Do they teach a particular grade level, content area, or student population? Do these "techie" teachers have an abundance of technology resources, training, and support at their disposal? What is the magic recipe that teachers can follow that will guarantee some level of success at integrating technology into the classroom curriculum? Several data collection methods were used to gain an understanding of the experiences of the teachers as they moved through the training course into the implementation process for integrating technology into the curriculum.

Key Findings:

* The results of this study indicate that the individual characteristics of the teachers, the content area they teach, their previous teaching experience, their career goals, and their classroom environment have an impact on how and to what degree they integrate technology into their classroom curriculum during and after training in the processes of technology integration.

* A course designed to train teachers in technology skills and technology integration raises the skill levels of the teachers and increases the use of technology in the classroom, but the course used in this study did not alter the teachers' established teaching methods. This researcher hypothesizes that such alterations require a more comprehensive effort than one class.

* Training in the integration of technology that is a combination of both integration of technology and skills training is more beneficial than basic technology skills training alone, but technology training that is aligned with the curriculum and relevant to what teachers do in the classroom is most effective.

* The findings of this study support previous findings that the individual teachers' beliefs, previous teaching experiences, content areas, and classroom environments directly affect their teaching practices and therefore influence their uses of technology integration in the classroom.

* Training program developers and instructors must address these two factors if the individuals enrolled in their programs are to move beyond training to implementation in their own environments.

* First, technology integration that promotes effective uses of technology in teaching and learning must be an integral part of all education programs and not limited to teacher-training courses.

* The educational value of integrating technology into the classroom curriculum must be emphasized in all education programs. Technology integration must become a component of the entire education process and not be confined to technology training courses.

Source Article: http://www.nesinc.com/PDFs/2003_15Willis.pdf