Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Ismahan Arslan-Ari

Abstract

The problem of practice in this research study focused on the inconsistent use of Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals (formerly G Suite for Education) for student collaboration. The purpose of this action research was to investigate how elementary teachers used Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals for student collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal was to make recommendations for technology integration in Grades 3 through 5 in a school in central New Jersey.

The focus of this study was on three overarching research questions: 1. How do elementary teachers at a school in central New Jersey integrate technology using Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals for student collaboration into their daily lessons in a gapped hybrid learning environment?

2. How do elementary teachers perceive first- and second-order barriers to integrating Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals for the purpose of student collaboration in a gapped hybrid learning environment?

3. What are elementary teachers’ perceptions about the integration of Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals for the purpose of student collaboration in their classroom lessons in a gapped hybrid learning environment?

The study was guided by the convergent parallel mixed methods design. Data were collected through a survey, semi-structured interviews, and a review of 307 lesson plan entries during November 2020. Nineteen teachers completed a survey regarding technology integration, first- and second-order barriers, and their perceptions of the use of Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals for the purpose of student collaboration. Additional quantitative data were collected through a review of lesson plans. Qualitative data were collected from eight teachers via semi-structured interviews Open-ended responses from the surveys and interviews were analyzed using inductive analysis. The quantitative findings indicated teachers found time to be a barrier to technology integration and Google was used for collaboration in the classroom. Three main themes emerged from the qualitative data. These themes included the use of technology, including Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals; the benefits of technology integration for socialization, student learning, and teacher growth; and barriers to technology integration. Personal, school, and future research implications were identified and explained based on the results of this study.

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