Holli Bice

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Hengtao Tang


The purpose of this action research was to describe teachers’ beliefs about technology in the classroom and identify the barriers they faced when integrating technology at a small, private school for students with dyslexia. The amount of technology available in schools has increased steadily over the past two decades. Additionally, online learning has become a viable option for K-12 students, and the novel Coronavirus forced many teachers and students into this environment during the 2020 school year. Despite increased access to technology, higher-level uses have not followed, and many teachers at the school continue to struggle integrating technology in their classrooms. This research focused on three research questions in an effort to understand how teachers’ beliefs may be affecting technology integration at the school. The first question sought to describe new online teachers’ beliefs about the role of technology in teaching and learning. The second question identified the barriers teachers perceived to hinder technology integration. Finally, the third research question explored whether or not teachers’ classroom practices were in alignment with their stated beliefs.

This study followed a mixed methods design to address the research questions. Quantitative data was collected through a survey administered to all 55 teachers at the school in order to gain descriptive information about how technology was being used throughout the school. From this sample, six participants were selected for follow-up interviews. Participants were identified as either experienced technology integrators, intermediate technology integrators, or novice technology integrators. Qualitative data was collected from these participants through three interviews and two classroom observations in order to provide additional descriptive data to answer the research questions. Quantitative data revealed more teacher-centered beliefs and practices of teachers at the school. However, qualitative findings showed teachers with more student-centered beliefs integrated technology more in their classrooms. Findings also revealed external factors, namely the school culture and distance learning, influenced teachers’ beliefs about the role of technology. Barriers to technology integration were identified by all participants. First-order barriers identified included time, access, and co-teacher’s beliefs. Only novice integrators and one intermediate integrator experienced second-order barriers, specifically lack of technological knowledge and teacher’s beliefs. Implications from this study include providing professional development adapted to teachers’ levels of technology integration. Additionally, steps to reduce first-order barriers identified in the study are suggested.