Author

Janet Dedmon

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael M. Grant

Abstract

To move beyond technology use and realize the full benefits of technology integration, school districts need to provide effective technology professional development experiences. The purpose of this action research was to describe middle level teacher attitudes and perceptions regarding technology training and professional development in Woodcreek School District in order to recommend more effective technology professional development offerings. The research questions of this study focused on (1) the attitudes middle level teachers have toward technology professional development and (2) factors that may influence those attitudes. Going deeper into the influences on attitudes toward technology professional development, this study also explored (a) the influence of a teacher’s beliefs about technology integration and (b) the influence of a teacher’s perception of his or her personal technology skills.

A teacher survey and teacher interviews were used for data collection. Middle level teachers (n = 84) responded to five survey categories: (a) introduction and informed consent, (b) general demographic information, (c) personal technology skills, (d) thoughts about technology integration, (e) thoughts about teaching and learning, and (f) thoughts about technology professional development. Teachers were invited to participate in in-depth, semi-structured interviews based on self-reported negative experiences with technology professional development. Three teachers volunteered.

Findings revealed that most participants (80%) indicated that most of their technology learning took place on their own and in their own time. A majority enjoyed

attending technology professional development (69%) and found it helpful (63%). However, fewer participants responded that technology professional development impacted their teaching practices, and only 43% indicated they felt adequately trained. Technology professional development was either too general or too overwhelming for participants. They also expressed preferences for hands-on, content-specific technology professional development sessions. Participants were proficient in technology skills (82%), but only 58% indicated they were confident in their ability to integrate technology. Most participants responded that technology integration was important for student success (74%), but only 48% indicated it was a priority for them in their classroom. The findings help inform school technology professional development practitioners in the design and implementation of effective opportunities for teacher technology growth.

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