Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

William Morris

Abstract

Administrative observations show the use of digital technologies to facilitate learning and technology skill development are inadequate among teachers at a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) accredited magnet school with International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) based student technology guarantees. The purpose of this descriptive research study is to describe teachers’ skill and confidence levels of technology use, teachers’ perception of barriers to their technology integration, and levels of in-class technology integration in a STEAM accredited middle school with student Technology Guarantees in order to develop recommendations for future professional development and technology acquisition.

The research study was conducted through a series of quantitative measures including digitally administered surveys, lesson plan reviews, and classroom instructional observations. Qualitative measures include focus group interviews following the quantitative data collection phase. Participants include a purposive sample of twelve core content teachers employed full-time at the technology driven school research site. The research study aims to answer three research questions: 1) How do core content teachers in a STEAM accredited middle school with student Technology Guarantees describe their level of skill and self-efficacy in technology usage?, 2) How do core content teachers in a STEAM accredited middle school with student Technology Guarantees describe their barriers to technology integration?, and 3) How do core content teachers in a STEAM accredited middle school with student Technology Guarantees integrate technology for instructional purposes?

Findings indicate that teachers describe their technology skills in a mix of strengths and weakness with polarized groups of teachers having either high or low technology skills and low self-efficacy. The primary barriers perceived by teachers include access to technology resources, adequate time to plan and implement technology enhanced instructional practices, and a lack of outside support for teachers to help them connect technology with their current curriculum. The effects of these barriers are greater on teachers with lacking technology skills and lower self-efficacy. Technology integration practices at the study site occur mostly at lower replacement or amplification levels with low intentional planning. Higher levels of technology integration were observed at greater frequencies with teachers considered to be skilled and confident technology users.

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