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2007 Teacher Concerns During Initial Implementation of a One-to-One Laptop Initiative at the Middle School Level

Date: 2007
Author: Loretta Donovan, Kendall Hartley and Neal Strudler
Affiliation: California State University, Fullerton and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Keywords: teaching, Students, One-to-One


Many schools are initiating projects that place laptop computers into the hands of each student and teacher in the school IJjese projects entail a great deal of planning and investment by all involved. The teachers in these schools are faced with significant challenges as they prepare for teaching in classrooms where every student has a computer. Using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model of change, this study investigated the concerns of teachers in the early stages of a one-to-one laptop initiative. The results of the study indicate that teachers fall into two relatively well-defined categories in terms of their concerns regarding the innovation. Ihe majority of teachers have genuine concerns ahout hoiv the introduction of laptop computers into the school environment will impact them personally. A lesser number have comrrns ahout how they will be able to best use the laptops to meet the needs of the students.

Key Findings:

* Teacher concerns in this study were at many levels; however, concerns were primarily at the Self or Task level.

* At the beginning of any school year, teachers have concerns about being fiiUy prepared to teach the incoming students.

* Observations throughout the first year of the laptop initiative (in the concurrent study) revealed that several teachers rarely used the laptops for teaching and learning, once again confirming their concerns about being proficient with the innovation.

* These teachers more frequendy used the technology for fiinaions they were personally comfortable with such as word processing and searching the Internet.

* This can be interpreted as an indication that they were uncomfortable with the prospect of modifying their existing practices and making accommodations for teaching in a one-to-one environment.


* Training arid development should be related to teacher concerns if training is going to be meaningiiil and innovation adoption sustained.

* As a result of this study, differentiated professional development was recommended to school administration. For example, tor the teachers who were concerned about how to integrate technology and meet curriculum standards, the recommendation was put fortli that the professional development team focus on promoting student tasks involving technology rather than more complex concepts stich as online communication or electronic submission of assignments.

* For teachers with management concerns who were worried about taking full advantage of the technology for reaching and learning, it was recommended professional development focus on moving ahead with student-centered technology integration such as having students create multimedia projects.

* As the one-to-one initiative continues, it is recommended that teacher concerns be re-evaluated to not only track changing teacher concerns, but to ensure that professional development continues to be in alignment with concerns.

* It is critical that when asked to adopt an innovation teachers feel important and Involved.

* It was recommended as a result of diis and other concurrent studies at the school site that the program continue yet the teachers be kept informed of all decisions involving the laptop initiative.

* It was recommended to the administration of this school that they do not get disheartened by the concerns of the teachers during this early phase of the program, yet that they continue to monitor such concerns so they can continue to address them. Teacher buy-in is crucial for sustained innovation implementation.

Source Article: http://aalf.org/Resources/Journal%20of%20Research%20on%20Technology%20in%20Education%2039(5).%20263-286