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Sheffield, Caroline C.
A multiple case study analysis of middle grades social studies teachers' instructional use of digital technology with academically talented students at three high-performing middle schools
h [electronic resource] /
by Caroline C. Sheffield.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
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Document formatted into pages; contains 197 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
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ABSTRACT: Appropriate education for academically talented students incorporates the use of complex thinking skills, and encourages the development of interpersonal and leadership skills. One potential tool to achieve these goals is the use of instructional technology. Siegle (2004a, 2005) suggests that it is particularly appropriate to utilize technology with the highly-able because they often possess skills that are effective when using today's technology, specifically abstract thinking and rapid processing. This mixed methods multiple case study explored middle school social studies teachers' instructional use of digital technology to teach highly-able students. The participant teachers were from three high-performing schools, as identified by each school's performance on the state standardized test, and in the school's achievement of AYP.The participants at each school were asked to complete the Internet Use Survey, modified from VanFossen's survey (1999, 2005) and participate in a group interview to gather related information not addressed in the survey. From this larger group of teachers, ten teachers were asked to participate in further study. These ten teachers participated in an interview, submitted instructional-related documents for one month, and were observed in a self-identified, typical technology integration lesson. Findings from this study indicate that the participant teachers viewed technology integration as being beneficial to the education of the academically talented student. However, their practice did not reflect this importance. The participant teachers largely used available classroom technology for teacher-centered activities, including information gathering and presentation. Students were rarely engaged in higher-order thinking tasks using the available technology.The participant teachers identified a number of barriers to their technology integration, primarily equipment functionality and availability. Despite the widespread equipment concerns, one teacher utilized the school's available technology to engage academically talented students in student-centered instructional activities. The Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) conceptual framework can be used to examine why this one teacher used technology differently than the other participant teachers. Additionally, using this teacher's example and the TPACK framework, suggestions for teacher professional development are provided.
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Co-advisor: Michael J. Berson, Ph.D.
Co-advisor: J. Howard Johnston, Ph.D.
21st century literacy
x Secondary Education
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
A Multiple Case Study Analysis o f Middle Grades Social Studies Teachers' Instructional Use o f Digital Technology w ith Academically Talented Students a t Three High Performing Middle Schools by Caroline C. Sheffield A d issertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Secondary Education College of Education University of South Florida Co Major Professor: Michael J. Berson Ph.D. Co Major Professor: J. Howard Johnston Ph.D. Constance V. Hines, Ph.D. Dominic J. Puglisi, Ph.D Date of Approval: March 11, 2009 Keywords: I nternet, computers, TPA CK, mixed methods 21st century literacy Copyright 2009 Caroline C. Sheffield
Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents for all they have done. I would not have been able to complete this program without their continued support and encouragement. They uprooted their lives to help me in this process, words cannot express m y gratitude. To my mom, I would like to extend a particular thank you. Your copy editing services over the past five years have been invaluable. You willingly read and edited everything I wrote, for that I am truly grateful This dissertation could not have been written without the guidance and assistance of my dissertation committee. I would like to thank Dr. Michael J. Berson, Dr. J. Howard Johnston, Dr. Constance V. Hines, and Dr. Dick J. Puglisi for your support and guidance during this process. I would particularly like to thank Dr. Berson for his on going mentorship during my doctoral studies. Much of the data for this study was based upon the work of Dr. Philip VanFossen from Purdue University ; his assistance in both providing access to his inst rument, and his guidance in the analysis of the data were invaluable. I would also like to thank Dr. Brbara Cruz and Dr. James Duplass for their assistance, and professional support throughout my doctoral program. This study could not have happened with out Philip, Carla, and Grady. I would like to thank them for their assistance in arranging meetings with faculty members at each of the three schools. I would also like to thank Simon, Liana, Wendy, LaVerne, Dale, Susie, Kristy, Regina, and Brenda for the ir willingness to participate in this study.
i Table of Contents Acknowledgements Li st of Tables i v List of Figures v i Abstract v i i Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Statement of the Problem 1 Purpose of the Study 5 Research Questions 6 Definition of Terms 7 Resources 8 Remaining Chapters 8 Chapter 2: Review of the Literature 10 Middle Grades Education 10 Adolescents and Technology 14 Defining Highe r Order Thinking 18 Technology and High er Order Thinking 20 Technology and the Academicall y Talented Student 25 Technology and th e Social Studies 28 Teache r Us e of Technology 29 Summary of the Literature 35 Chapter 3: Re search Methods 37 Participants 37 Instruments 42 Inte rnet Use Survey 43 Group In terview Protoco l 44 Individual In terview Protocol 45 Classroom Obs ervation Protocol 45 Procedures 46 Phase I: School level Data Collection 46 Phase II: Individual Case Study Data Collection 48
ii Individual Interviews 48 Classroom Observations 49 Legitimation 50 Data Analysis Procedures 51 Rese arch Question 1 53 Rese arch Question 2 55 Rese arch Ques tion 3 56 M ethods Summary 58 Chapter 4: Results 60 Introduction 60 Description of the Sample 61 Inter net Use Survey 64 Technology Availa bility 64 Technology Use and Comfort 65 Technology Use 65 Comfort with Technology 68 Classroom Intern et Use: Frequency 71 Level o f Classification 73 Barriers to Technology Use 7 5 Classroom Internet Use : Teacher Attitude 76 Qu alitative Data 79 Group Inte rviews: Overview 82 School A: Group Interview 83 School B: Group Interview 88 School C: Group Interview 93 Case S tudies: Overview 98 Case Study: Ms. Hill 100 Case Study: Ms. Alexander 104 Case Study: Ms. Edge 107 Case S tudy: Ms. Roberts 110 Case Study: Ms. Cooper 1 13 Case S tudy: Ms. Buckley 115 Case St udy: Mr. Stephens 118 Case Study : Mr. Adams 122 Case Study: Ms. Norris 125 Case Study: Ms. Smith 127
iii Summ ary of Findings 131 Research Qu estion 1 131 Res earch Question 2 133 Res earch Question 3 136 Chapter 5: Conclusions an d Future Research 144 Introduction 144 Purp ose of the Study 144 Re search Questions 144 Research Methods 145 Discus sion of Findings 146 Possibilities throu gh Technology 150 Limitations 153 Summary 154 Recommendations f or Future Research 156 Referen ces 159 Appendices 172 Appendix A: Survey Instrument 173 Appendix B: Group Interview Protocol 184 Appendix C: Individual Interview Protocol 186 Appendix D: Classroom O bservation Protocol 188 and Lea rning Approaches 191 Appendix F : Teacher Comfort with Software Applications Freque ncy Distribution 192 Appendix G : Teacher Internet Use Level: Mean use IUS, and Self reported Ratings 193 Appendix H : Matrix of Codes Used in Qualita tive Analysis 194 Appendix I: Institutional Review Bo ard Exemption Letter 195 Ab out the Author 197
iv List of Tables Table 1 Demog raphic Information for the High Performing Middle Schools as of September 27, 2008 39 Table 2 ( IUS) 55 Table 3 Demographic and Professional Characteristics of Participants 6 3 Table 4 Available Cla ssroom Technology 65 Table 5 Participant Teacher Technology Use 67 Table 6 Teacher Comfort with Software Applications 69 Table 7 Correlations of Teacher Comfort and Use of Selected Software Appl ications 70 Table 8 Classr oom Internet Use Frequency Distribution 72 Table 9 sroom Internet Use 75 Table 10 Perceived Barriers to Cla ssroom Internet Use 76 Table 11 Teacher Attitude to ward Internet Use Frequency Distribution 78 Table 12 Rho Correlation Matrix (r s ) 81 Table 13 Frequency of Identified Code s: Group Interviews 85 Table 14 Frequency of Identified Codes: I ndividual Interviews 99
v List of Figures Figure 1 Turning Points 2000 and This We Believe Middle School Characteristics from Erb (2001, p. 3). 13 Figure 2 21 st century literacy skills from Bur khardt et a l. (2003) 17 Figure 3 Identified critical thinking skills as adapted from Glaser (1941) and Fishe r & Scriven (1997) 20 Figure 4 ring conc eption of giftedness 26 Figure 5 Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Model (TPaCK) 34
vi A Multiple Case Study Analysis o f Middle Grades Social Studies Teachers' Instructi onal Use o f Digital Technology w ith Academically Talented Students a t Three High Performing Middle Schools Caroline C. Sheffield ABSTRACT Appropriate education for academically talented students incorporates the use of complex thinking skills, and encourages the development of interpersonal and leadership skills. One potential tool to achieve these goals is the use of instructional te chnology. Siegle (2004a, 2005) suggests that it is particularly appropriate to utilize technology with the highly able because technology, specifical ly abstract thinking and rapid processing. This mixed methods multiple case study explored middle school social studies able students. The participant teachers wer e from three high perfo rming schools, as identified by each AYP. The participants at each school wer e asked to complete the Internet Use Survey, modified from and participate in a group interview to gather related information not addressed in the survey. From this larger group of teachers, ten teachers were asked to participate in further study. These ten teachers
vii participate d in an interview submitted instru ctional related documents for one month, and were observed in a self identified typical technology integration lesson. Findings from this study indicate that the participant teachers viewed technology integration as being beneficial to the education of the academically talented student. However, their practice did not reflect this importance. The participant teachers largely used available classroom technology for teacher centered activities, including information gathering and presentation. Students were rarely engaged in higher order thinking tasks using the available technology. The participant teachers identified a number of barriers to their technology integration, primarily equipment functionality and availability. Despite the widespread equi available technology to engage academically talented students in student centered instructional activities. The Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) conceptual framework can be used to e xamine why this one teacher used technology differently than the other participant teachers. Additionally, using this development are provided.
1 Chapter One Introduction Statement of the Problem Academically talented students typically are underserved in the middle school environment (Swiatek & Luplowski Shoplik, 2003). This deficiency is rooted in a number of areas. First, the current standards based reform movement ignores the needs of the gifted, or academically talented child in its effort to develop minimum competencies for all students ( Davidson, Davidson, & Vanderkam, 2004; Stanley & Baines, 2002; Tomlinson, 2002). In January 2002, Presid ent George W. Bush signed into law federal legislation entitled No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a standards based initiative, designed to require accountability in educational achievement NCLB policies call for educational proficiency for all students (U S Department of Education, 2004). This legislation may have, as many advocates for academically talented students believe a negative impact on est students. Tomlinson (2002) an advocate for gifted students, suggest s that academically talented students will be adversely affected by the No Child Left Behind initiative thro ugh benign neglect. Her concern is the impact on the students who have already reach ed proficiency. Tomlinson questions whether their needs will be ignor ed in a class where the teacher must focus on raising the proficiency of the lowest performing students. Indeed, as schools and teachers shift their focus to basic skills and test preparation, curr icula designed to emphasize depth of knowledge, develop
2 hig her order thinking, and the integration of disciplines are all but abandoned. This shift toward test preparation has created a situation in which teachers are either unwilling or una ble to utilize the methods known to benefit the academically talented stud ent (Moon, Brighton & Callahan, 2003 ; Rakow, 2007 ). Second, beliefs intrinsic in middle school education, such as heterogeneous grouping, may have a negat ive effect on academically talented students -causing a delay in achievement (Tomlinson, 1994). Homo geneous grouping of academically talented s tudents is a much debated topic especially in t he middle schools ( Rakow, 2005; Rosselli & Irvin, 2001). The middle school concept clearly outlines that heterogeneous grouping of students is necessary. Indeed, the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) expressly states that social studies classes should be heterogonous to p romote democratic ideals ( 1991). T omlinson (1994) refers to academically talented ( p 177 ) a s the middle school concept in its practiced form is not ideally suited for the gifted student, especially in heterogeneous classes. She uses the concept and achievement is affected adversely by the heterogeneous groupings of the middle school model, as any educational and emotional gains achieve d in the elementary schools often are lost in the middle schools. Gifted specialists strongly advocate for opportunities for academically talented students t o share and work with other individuals who process on a similar level (Clark, 1997). In a meta analysis investigation Kulik and Kul ik (2004) determined that academically talented students grouped into homogenous or nearly homogeneous groupings experience
3 heterogeneous versus homogenous grouping in the middle grades continues and is one of the contributing factors in the lac k of services provided to academically talented middle grades stu dents Finally, teachers are either unwilling or unable to modify in struction for gifted students, due either to a perceived lack of time or a lack of comfort integrating or incorporating gifted modifications ( Moon, Brighton, & Callahan, 2003; Sw iatek & Lu plowski Shoplik, 2003 ). Academically talented students require an environment that necessitates the u se of complex thinking skills -o ne that incl udes problem solving and higher order thinking, enhances creativity and research skills, and encourages the d evelopment of interpersonal and leader ship skills. Appropriate education for academically talented students requires modification of curricula in the form of content, process and product (Winebrenner, 2001) In addition, it should include curricular enric hment and acceleration that incorporates student interest and inquiry based learning. Renzulli (1977) suggests that the intellectual challenge. Adolescent s are in terested in and utilize digital technology. Recent Pew Internet & American Life studies indicate that 93% of teens use technology, and that 88% of teens see the Internet and digital devices such as MP3 players, digital cameras, and cell phones as making t heir lives easier (Lenhart, Madden, Macgill, & Smith, 2007; Macgill, 2007). This positive attitude toward technology would indicate that appropriate education for the academically talented student, as suggested by Renzulli (1977), would incorporate techno logy. Siegle (2004a, 2005), calls for the use of technology with the academically
4 talented not only because of their interest in and attitude toward technology, but also be cause academically talented students typically possess skills that are particularl y processing. The National Council for the Social Studies has also weighed in on the po sition statement regarding the use of technology in the social studies classroom, it too Indeed, technology is an essential component in the social studies curriculum, whether it is an analysis of the socioeconomic impact of new technology, or utilizing digital primary sources. Technology should be contextually integra ted into the social studies curriculum as a reflection of its impact on the modern world (National Council for the Social Studies, 2006). Much has been written on the importance of integrating technology in the social studies ( Berson & Bolick, 2007; Berso n, Lee, & Stuckart, 2001; Friedman & Hicks, 2006; Martorella, 1997; Whitworth & Berson, 2003). In their 2006 analysis of the trends in research related to technology integration in the social studies, Friedman and Hicks (2006) note that the field has begu n to move away from discussions on the potential of enhanced
5 needs of the field, they called for co ntinued dialogu e in a number of areas, t wo of which are of pa rticular interest to this study: xamine how the contextual constraints and realities of school serve to influence how teachers and students are using technology in the classroom; and develo p, describe, and carefully re search products and process that use technology enhanced instructional strategies to support teacher needs and scaffolds student learning within and across the social studies disciplines (p. 252). This study att empts to accom plish these tasks: to examine how middle school social studies teachers integrate technology in their instructional decisions, and to determine the factors that influence these decisions. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to determine the ways in which social studies teachers of academically talented s tudents in high performing western Florida middle schools use digital technology in their classrooms and the factors that influence this use As this study examined the type of technology use d, the frequency of technology use, and ( Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998) was deemed most appropriate. For this stu dy the qualitative data provide d illumination and clarification to the information gathered in a survey, analyzed using quantitative methods, a process that Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2005) call pragmatic research. This study utilized constructs from both the pragmatic and constructivist r esearch paradigms (Paul, 2005). Pragmatic educational research is concerned with applying
6 research into practice. This study is co ncerned with teaching practices and the factors that influence that practice Additionally, Tashakkori and Teddlie (1998) a rgue that pragmatism is the theoretical paradigm to which the mixed methods approach to research is best ascribed. the world is dependent upon his or her experience and perspectives (v on Glaserfeld, and attitude would influence their u se of instructional technology; which clearly is in line with constructivism. The schools chosen for this study were identified by the state of Florida as being among the most successful middle schools in the state, as determined by performance on the sta te standardized test. This suggests that these schools are successfully educating all populations within the school i ncluding academically talented students Additionally, NCLB and the pressure from the potential penalties was lessened. It was assumed that by selecting high performi ng schools, that the standardized testing would not be a significant factor in instructional practice. Research Questions The use of digital technology within the social studies is gaining interest as on line materials are more accessible and the hardware and software are becoming more affordable. Additionally, the use of technology with academically talented students is of increasing interest as technology become and students are more accustomed to using technology. This stud y bridge d these two foci academically
7 talented students and the teaching of social studies, an area that has received scant attention. This investigation addressed the following research questions : 1. To what degree do social studies teachers in high perfo rming middle schools utilize technology in teaching academically talented students? 2. How do social studies teachers in high performing middle schools use digital technology to support higher order thinking? 3. What factors influence social studies teachers in high performing middle schools inclusion of digital technology in their teaching of academically talented students? Definition of Terms Academically talented students : students enrolled in honors social studies classes, including students identified as a cademically talented, as evidenced by their s cores on the state mandated standardized test, and those students identified as High performing middle schools : schools identified in 2006 by the Florida Departme nt of Education ( FDOE ) as being among the top 75 middle schools in the state, determined by school performance on the state m andated standardized test, that also made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) according to the NCLB guidelines in 2007. FCAT : Florida Co mprehensive Assessment Test. This annual high stakes assessment is administered to students in grades 3 11. Students in grades 3 10 are
8 assessed in reading and mathematics. Writing is assessed in grades 4, 8, and 10. Student knowledge in science is asse ssed in grades 5, 8, and 11. Resources Data were collected using four different instruments: a survey a group interview protocol, an individual interview protocol, and an observation protocol. The survey instrument, Internet Use Survey (Appendix A), was modified from a survey conducted by VanFossen in 2005. The group interview ( Appendix B ) was a semi structure interview (Merriam, 1998) designed to capture information about technology use in the three schools not accessible through the survey. The ini tial interview question protocol (Ap pendix C ) included (2007) survey distributed to elementary teachers, and questions derived from concepts highlighted in Judson (2006) related to teacher philosoph y and technology integration. The observation protocol (Appendix D) was derived from two observations forms found Student logy in the Classroom map. SAS statistical software was used for quantitative analysis, and the Atlas.ti program was used to manage qualitative data. Remaining Chapters T he remaining chapters include a review of the relevant literature, a discussion of methodology, a presentation of study results, a discussion of the findings, and recommendations for future research. Chapter 2 outlines the literature related to student
9 use of technology, the concept of 21st century literacy, the use of technology in the education of academically talented students, technology in the social studies, and including participants, instruments, and methods of analysis. Chapter 4 presents the results of the study that pertain to the research questions. Finally, in Chapter 5, the study findings are discussed in context of the research questions and suggestions for further research are presented.
10 Chapter Two Review of the Literature This study is an examination of how social studies teachers in three high performing middle schools integrate technology in their instruction of academically talented students. To contextualize this study, the following topics are examined in the review of the literature: middle grades education, adole scents and technology, higher order thinking, technology and higher order thinking, technology and the academically talented stu Middle Grades Education Middle schools are systematically different from their junior high school predecessors. Although students in both middle schools and junior high schools are typically between the ages of 10 and 14 years, the similarities end there (Williams Boyd, 2003). The junior high school concept emerged in 1918 as a response to overcrowding in the elementary and secondar y schools following World War I; and, were organiz ed with the purpose of preparing students for high school. Teachers in the junior high school were either elementary teachers moved up in grade levels, or high school teache rs moved to lower grade levels; and, were not necessarily trained in the cognitive and affective needs of the early adolescent (Williams Boyd, 2003). In 1975, the National Middle School Association (NMSA) published The Middle School We Need recommendations for reorganizing
11 education in the middle grades to focus on the development al characteristics and needs of the young adolescent (Harbron & Williams Boyd, 2003). The 1985 publication by the An Agenda for Excellence at the Middle Level su pported the call for developmentally responsive schools as Boyd, 2003). Addition influential documents in middle grades education include the NMSA position paper This We Believe initially published in 1982 (N ational Middle School Association, 2003); and, Turning Points initially published in 1989 by the Carnegie Corporation (Jackson & Davis, 2000). Both documents outline the characteristics of the middle school concept; however, o f the two Turning Points had the most widespread impact on middle grades education. Williams Boyd (2003) suggests that the positive reception of Turning Points was due to its non education origins. In the years following their original publishing, both documents have undergone rev isions and re distribution. Figure 1 outlines the middle school characteristic and goals identified in both This We Believe and Turning Points 2000 (Jackson & Davis, 2000) the most recent version of the Carnegie publication. In a side by side comparison it is evident that both publications have a core belief in a middle grades education dedicated t o a developmentally appropriate, yet challenging curriculum, delivered in a democratically governed school by a faculty expert in the needs of young adolescen ts. Indeed, in Turning Points 2000 Jackson and Davis (2000) make the following statement regarding the goals of middle school education.
12 intellectual development. It is to ena ble every student to think creatively, to identify and solve meaningful problems, to communicate and work well with others, and to develop the base of factual knowledge and skills that is the they meet these capacities, every young adolescent should be able to meet or exceed high academic standards (pp.10 11). The realization of the beliefs is seen in the grouping of students into heterogeneously organized interdisciplin ary teams. Within th ese teams, teachers are expected to utilize abilities (Erb, 2001). The dedication to the heterogeneous grouping of students has been the origin of a long standing rift bet ween advocates for the middle school concept and advocates for gifted education (Rakow, 2005). Kulik and Kulik (2004) found through their meta analytic research that academically talented students placed in homogenous or nearly homogenous groupings experi These findings suggest that broad based heterogeneous groupings are not beneficial for academically talented students. Indeed, Renzulli and Reis (1997) reported that parents of academically talented stud ents perceive heterogeneous grouping in the middle grades as being detrimental to their children, as their students are under challenged in this environment. The concerns of these parents are echoed by Tomlinson (1994), who suggested that academically tale nted students are negatively impacted by the heterogeneous grouping in the middle grades.
13 Figure 1 : Turning Points 2000 and This We Believe Middle School Characteristics from Erb (2001, p. 3). In 2004, NMSA and the Nationa l Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) published a joint position statement pertaining to the needs of academically talented students in the middle grades. Although in the publication, the students were referred to Turning Points 2000 This We Believe 1. Teach a curriculum grounded in 1. Curriculum that is challenging integrative, and exploratory. concerns, and based on how students learn best; and use a mix of 2. Assessment and evaluation that assessment methods. promote learning. 2. Use instruc tional methods that prepare 3. Varied teaching and learning all students to achieve high standards approaches. 3. Organize relationships for learning. 4. Flexible organizational structures. 5. An adult advocate for every student. 6. Comprehensive guidance and support services. 4. Govern democratically, involving 7. A shared vision. all school staff members. 8. High expectations for all. 9. Positive school climate. 5. Staff middle grades schools with 10. Educators committed to young teachers who are expert at teaching adolescents. young adolescents, and engage teachers in ongoing professional development. 6. Provide a safe and healthy school 11. Programs and policie s that foster environment. Health, wellness, and safety. 7. Involve parents and communities in 12. Family and community partnerships. supporting student learning and healthy development.
14 as high ability or high potential learn ers; which Rakow (2005) views as an attempt to NAGC call for appropriate identification, assessment, and curriculum and instruction for the academically talented student. Included in this discussion was a concession to the grouping needs of the academically talented student. Districts and schools are challenged to ensure a contin uum of services, among which were advanced classes. In a discussion of the 2004 position state intended by the NMSA/NAGC joint position statement are not tracking practices but rather encompass flexible grouping approaches for instructional the arguments made in s article suggests that the rift betwe en middle school advocates and advocates for the gifted is beginn ing to bridge Adolescents and Technology S tudies of technology usage indicate tha t adolescents actively use media in al l forms. For example, a Pew Internet & American Life Project Study ( Lenha rt, Madden & Hitlin, 2005) indicate s that 87% of children, age d 12 17, self report using the Internet ; of this group, 51% go on line daily. A subsequent Pew study investigating teen utilization of social media determined that 93% of teens use the Inte rnet, a 6% increase from their previously reported amount. Of these on line teens, 64% have utilized one of the wide ranging online content creating activities (Lenhart, Madden, Macgill, & Smith, 2007).
15 2005) study on media usage in 8 18 year olds revealed that 26% of all 11 14 year olds use the computer more than one hour daily. The same study determined that adolescents aged 11 14 spend approximately 30% of their day interacting with media in its variou s forms. Approximately 25% of this time was spent multi tasking, using multipl e media formats simultaneously ( e.g., listening to music, instant messaging [IM] and surfing the Internet ) med to using technology in a variety of formats, often simultaneously. Indeed, the time spent in concert with various media suggests that adolescents not only are comfortable using technology, but also enjoy the interaction. The incorporation of student i nterests is considered integral to gifted education. It follows that if a majority of students in the 11 14 age bracket are engaged with technology, and appear to be intrinsically motivated to work with technology outside of the academic realm, then incorp orating techno logy needs to be a part of the education for the academically talented student comfortable with a variety of formats, they do not necessarily know the most effective ways t to provi de opportunities for students not only to use technology but also know how to learn with it. Bu rkhardt et al. (2003) identify a need for developing 21st century lit eracy in a digitally complex world, students need to think creatively and critically to solve problems and process voluminous information. They
16 also need to possess flexibility and confidence in the use of technology and be able to adjust to new technologies that will inevit ably be part of their future liv e s Burkhardt et al. (2003) id entify four key components to 21st c entury literacy: digital age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication, and high productivi ty (Figure 2 ). Each of these four components includes facets that are already imbedded within gifted education (Siegle, 2004a, 2005). Digital age literacy refers not only to the basic literacy of reading and writing, but also includes an under standing of s cientific principle s, economics, and global issues, as well as an ability to use technology and analyze information. Inventive thinking incorporates the cognitive skills necessary to grapple with the volume of including higher order thinking, flexibility, curiosity, and creativity. For ef fective communication, Burkhart et al. (2003) include the ability to collaborate and utilize interpersonal skills, knowledge of civic and personal responsibility, as well as th e ability to communicate ideas effectively Finally, in the highly productive component, a literate individual is identified as having the ability to plan, prioritize and execute ideas using the appropriate tools and knowledge. The National Center on Educ ation and the Economy (NCEE) in their 2007 document, Tough Choices or Tough Times outlined a future economic landscape different from the 20th century model. NCEE noted a shift in global economic trends that rewards employees who possess the 21st century literacy skills outlined in Burkhardt et al. (2003). This new economic world is captured in the following quotation.
17 It is a world in which comfort with ideas and abstraction is the passport to a good job, in which creativity and innovation ar the key to the good life, in which high levels of education a very different kind of education tan most of us have has are going to the only security there is (National Center on Education and the Economy, 2007, pp 6 7). It would appear that registered voters in the United States agree with NCEE and Burkhardt et al. In 2007, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills published the findings from a nation wide poll asking future economic growth. Nearly 9 9% of voters polled indicated that it was important to outlined in Figure 2. Figure 2 : 21st century literacy s kills from Burkhardt et al. (2003). 21st Century Literacy Skills Digital Age Literary: Basic literacy including scientific, economic and techn ical Visual and information literacy Multicultural and global literacy Inventive Thinking: Flexibility, grappling with complexity, and self direction Creativity, curiosity, and risk taking Higher order thinking including critical thinking and problem so lving Effective Communication: Collaboration and interpersonal skills Interactive communication Civic responsibility High Productivity: Prioritize, plan, and execute for results Effective use of tools Ability to produce high quality products
18 An ability to use diverse technologies obviously is crucial in this digital age. As has been previously stated, most adolescents are comfortable using much of the technology that surrounds them. The key to literacy in this new era is the abil ity to research, hypothesize, analyze, synthesize, and be a problem solver (Wallis & Step toe, 2006). In other words, higher order thinking. Defining Higher Order Thinking Higher order t hinking is a broad term used to describe complex thinking skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving (Lewis & Smith, 1993). What is considered to be higher order thinking varies by individual. The construct of higher order thinking and its subor dinate constructs of critical thinking and problem solving are nestled within thinking or problem solving for one individual, for whom the knowledge is new, is prior knowl edge for others (Newmann, 1990). Although higher order thinking can vary among individuals, there are skills that can be addressed and that can be developed through a curricular model (Fisher, 2001). Higher order thinking inherently falls within the const ructivist theoretical framework. Constructivism can be viewed as confusing due to the diverse uses of the term. I t is used to describe an epistemology, a cognitive theory, a philosophy of teaching, and a form of pedagogy (Molebash, 2002). But in each manif estation of constructivism, the theory is rooted on the premise that knowledge and understanding is individually
19 derived, as opposed to universally defined (Land & Hannafin, 2000). With each of the tasks embedded within higher order thinking (i.e. problem solving, critical thinking, value analysis, and hypothesis testing), it is incumbent upon the learner to construct his/her own understanding of the problem or information and to make decisions according ly higher level cognitive process es that include decision making, value analysis, and hypothesis testing ( Bruning, Schraw, Norby, & Ronning, 2003; Van Sickle & Hoge, 1991). These skills are essential for students to master as t hey wade through the volume of information available on the Internet. These problem solving skills are needed to evaluate and to synthesize such vast amounts of information. Critical thinking has long been discussed in educational research. Dewey (1933) careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the Dewey there have been a number of other definitions of critical thinking that offer slight modifications of one another (Fisher, 2001). Definitions of critical thinking from Glaser (1941), Ennis (1993), Paul, Binker and Weil (1990), and Fisher and Scriven (1997) all include reflective thinking analysis and meta cognition, or knowing what you know, what you think, and knowing how you came to that understanding. For the purposes of this study, critical thinking will b e defined as the erpretation of observations and communications, information Scriven,
20 1997, p. 21). This definition is deemed m ost appropriate for the study because it includes all aspects of thinking necessary for working with technol ogy in th e 21st century. Figure 3 lists 12 critical thinking skills, derived from Glaser (1941) and Fisher interpretation, and synthesis are essential in order to draw meaning from the a rray of information available online. Such higher order thinking is an integral component in gifted education (Renzulli, 1977; Tomlinson, 1996). Indeed, in this digital world, with ever changing techn ology, the ability to reason critically and solve proble ms is more important than just the ability to use a specific type of technology (Siegle, 2004a). Figure 3 : Identified critical thinking skills as adapted from Glaser (1941) and Fisher & Scriven (1997). Technology and Higher order Thinking Over th e last 25 years, the use of co mputers in schools has evolv ed from electronic worksheets to interactive multimedia formats (Jonassen, 2000; Siegle, 2004a). In the 1980s compute rs were typically used as drill and practice tutorials. In essence, Critical Thinking Skills problem recognition identification of problem solution gather pertinent information recognize & evaluate assumptions comprehend and use language interpret data evaluate data and informati on recognize logical relationships draw warranted conclusions test conclusions produce and defend arguments
21 computers wer e utilized as electronic worksheets, requiring little in the way of higher order thinking. In the 1990s, computer usage began to evolve. As the Internet became available in more c lassrooms, computers were used as tools to gather and pre sent information. St udents then were required to analyze, synthesize and communicate information -characteristics of critical thinking. Today, as technology becomes classroom, computers have begun to be incorporated in a dynamic fashion. The availa ble technology enables students to utilize a variety of skills and formats toward a single p urpose, such as digital storytelling (Porter, 2006). It should be noted that the presence of dynamic technology in a classroom is insufficient to encourage higher o rder thinking. Oliver and Hannafin (2000) found that students incorporate d higher order thinking in technology driven tasks only after instruction in critical thinking skills. Siegle and Foster (2001) reported that students do benefit from the open access to technology through the use of laptop computers, appropriate software and constructivist activities as compared with peers who did not have open access to technology. The study was inconclusive as to the attributing factor in student achievement. The f actors influencing achievement were confounding and no indices could be identified as specifically influential. It is likely that student achievement was a result of the combination of open access to technology, the different perspectives offered through s oftware, and the construction of knowledge through presentation activities requiring research and analysis.
22 Constructivist theory particularly is appropriate for the discussion of the use of technology to develop higher order thinking. Jonassen (2000) u describe the use of computers and other technology to construct knowledge. The term mindtool is synonymous with cognitive tool, which is a mental or computational device that extends and supports the thinking process (Liu & Bera, 2005). Jonassen (2000) based tools and learning environments that have been adapted or developed to function as intellectual partners with the learner in order to engage and facilitate critical thinking and highe r order suggests that the computer, when used as a mindtool, aids in scaffolding information and maintaining student en gagement with the information. Computers, when utilized as m indtools aid in the thinking process and assist studen ts in extending beyond their zone characteristics (Jonassen, 2000). Jonassen suggests that this cognitive expansion is due in logy when used as a mindtool. It is also possible that student interest in technolo gy also may permit students to lower their inhibitions with new knowledge and stretch into new realms. Constructivist pedagogy embraces au thentic learning environments -whi c h are student centered and goal di rected (Land & Hannafin, 2000). Geoffrey Scheurman Cognitive constructivism emphasizes how one assimilates newly acquired information into already existing schema, and how schema is modified to accommodate new information that is
23 incongruent with existing schema. In social constructivism, the emphasis is placed on the social and and events. Teachers who utilize constructivist pedagogy, whether cognitive or social in emphasis, will likely use student centered learning that incorporates open ended inquiry and creative problem solving. In other words, in constructivist classrooms, the teacher ac ts a facilitator to or collaborator in the learning process (Scheurman, 1998). Molebash (2002) describes a holistic form of constructivist pedagogy as particularly appropriate for technology integration in the social studies. In this form of pedagogy students work independently on authentic tasks and the teacher circulates as a facilitator as described by Schuerman (1998) Although, it should be noted that more t eacher centered pedagogical styles can be viewed as constructivist, if the instruction meets the philosophical goals associated with constructivism (Molebash, 2002). Academically talented students thrive in such an environment (Siegle, 2005). An example o f a technology oriented student centered task is the creation of multimedia presentations, such as digital documentary films (Siegle & Foster, 2001). Movie making software, s is rapidly becoming available in classrooms nationwide. Using movie making software, students are able to combine film and photographs, sounds and music, and text and transitions to create an original product. Non linear in nature, digital filmmaking provides students an opportunity to c ollect materials and information and edit them in such a way as to best develop the story or line of reasoning. The availability of primary source material on the Internet and in digital archives provides students with previously unfathomable access to
24 a v ariety of sources. Creating a documentary requires students to access these sources, gather available information, determine relevancy, and structure the material in a meaningful way. The selection of sounds and images requires students to analyze informat ion critically and judge the appropriateness and significance of each. Siegel (2004b) identifies four modes of learning associated with technology: acquiring, retrieving, constructing, and presenting information. Digital video production uses all four mode s. Students use technology to research information, capture images and sound from the Internet construct meaning from the information they have acquired, and present it through the filmmaking process. In addition to the creation of digital p roducts, tech nology can be integrated in th e classroom in a number of other ways. Marcus (2008) described how he used iPods to encourage his middle school students to analyze song lyrics, and to make connections with literature. The activity not only piqued the student daily technology, but encouraged sense of classroom community through students sharing of their selected songs. Digital technology can also be used to create a portfolio of student work (Siegle, 2005). Electronic portfoli os, maintained on either flash drives or net servers, enable students to reflect and analyze their previous work and progress. Reflecting on their dev elopment enables student to recognize what they know and how they have evolved thereby enhancing metacogn ition, a key component in higher order thinking.
25 Technology and the Academically T alented Student Technology should be an integral component of the academically talented adolescent a part of t he fe. They are able to integrate technology seamlessly within their daily interactions (Lenhart, et al., 2005; Roberts, e t al. 2005). To ignore the presence of econd, al., 2003). We do not know what innovations are on the horizon. However, we can ensure that students are able to utilize technology to develop higher order thinkin g and collaboration -both goals o f gifted education and key s to 21st century literacy. And third, academically talented students typically possess skills that are particularly effective when d processing (Siegle, 2004a, 2005). Renzulli (1977) defines giftedness as the intersec tion of the potential for above average ability, creativity and task commitment (Figure 4 ) Students who demonstrate their giftedness in the technology or those students whose ability, creativity, and task commitment fall within the technological fields, are categorized as either programmers or Nimz, Lacey & Denson, 2005; Siegle, 2004b, 2005). Programmers typically prefer to work alone with a computer, creating programs and developing web sites. Interfacers typically enjoy assisting teachers and other students with trouble shooting, working with software applications, and improving out dated technology. Although students can be specifically talented in the technical fields, all
26 changing technology. Indeed talents typical of many academically talented students lend themselves to successfu l inclusion of technology in gifte d education. Figure 4 ring conception of giftedness There are three characteristics found in many academically talented students that are beneficial when working with technology: the ability to process informatio n quickly, the ability to transfer knowledge, and creativity (Siegle, 2004a, 2005). Academically talented students are adept at processing large quantities of information rapidly. This skill, the ability to evaluate and synthesize information quickly, is e ssential when exploring the Internet with its plethora of information. To use effectively the information on the Internet, it is necessary to make decisions about which information is relevant, Above Average Ability Task Co mmitment Creativity Giftedness
27 useful, and valid. One must be able to decide quickly whether an information search is effective or whether a new search should be initiated; whether hyperlinks are related and worth following or if they are extraneous and should be ignored. These decisions, and many others, require quick analysis and critical thinki ng -skills found in many academically talented students. To use effectively the multimedia format of current technology, it is necessary to combine information from a variety of sources to construct meaning. Information on the Internet can be seen as a ser ies of puzzle pieces. It is the task of the user to put these individual pieces together to create a whole pict ure. Academically talented students are able to transfer knowledge from one venue to another, which enables them to see the larger picture. This skill is particularly effective when utilizing multimedia formats like the digital filmmaking software, which requires the integration of music, text and images to tell a story. Technology provides opportunities for creation limited only by an s skill and creativity. A blank screen is a blank canvas awaiting text, images, color, transitions, sounds, and more. Academically talented adoles cent is engulfed in a world filled with information and m edia. These students, whether or not they are talented in technology specific fields, possess skills that enable computer and other technology as a mindtool is essen tial in gifted education. Requiring students to construct their own meaning through on line research; analyze, evaluate, and
28 synthesize information; and then present it via a multimedia platform is the embodiment of the curricular goals of gifted education (Renzulli, 1977). Technology and the Social Studies A great deal of attention has been paid to the use of technology in the social studies classroom, both as a pedagogical tool and as a subject of discussion in the classroom ( Berson & Bolick, 2007; Bers on, Lee, & Stuckart, 2001; Martorella, 1997; Whitworth & Berson, 2003 ). The benefits of using technology are generally agreed upon and seemingly obvious. The Internet provides unprecedented access to information and archives. Digital access to the archives of museums, presidential library, organizations, the National Archives, and perhaps most significantly, the Library of Congress enables students to act as novice historians in ways previous generations could hardly ima gine (Singleton & Giese, 1999; V an Ho over, Swan, & Berson, 2004). What once require d travel and special access now can be accessed with the click of a mouse. Access to digital archives is only one of the benefits of using technology in the social studies. Multimedia presentations, such as d ocumentary filmmaking, encourage leadership, research, and collaboration (Steelman, 2005). Blogging, email, and social networking permit people from distant locations to communicate with incredible ease and speed, which c an encourage global awareness -one of the stated goals of the National Council for the Social Studies ( 2001). The impact of technology on our global world is also a topic worthy of discussion in the social studies classroom. Our world is rapidly changing as a result of technology. The imp act of these changes in environment, international relations, public policy, and
29 history are valid discussion topics in a social studies class. Even if the technology itself is not utilized as an instructional tool, it should minimally be a topic of discus sion In 2006 the National Council for the Social Studies published a position statement and a series of guidelines for the use of technology in social studies education. The guidelines outlined in this 2006 position statement were adopted from the guidel ines for using technology to prepare social studies teachers (Mason, Berson, Diem, Hicks, Lee, & Dralle, 2000). These five guidelines are listed below. 1. Extend learning beyond what could be done without technology. 2. Introduce technology in context. 3. Include o pportunities for students to study relationships among science, technology, and society. 4. Foster the development of the skill, knowledge, and participation as good citizens in a democratic society. 5. Contribute to the research and evaluation of social st udies and technology (p 107). In addition to these five general guidelines, the position statement outlines additional specific guidelines for effective use of instruction al technology. Of particular interest with regard to this study is the statement, that VanFossen (1999, 2001) analyzed the use of the Internet by secondary social studies teachers in a state wide su rvey of Indiana teachers. The Internet Use Survey, created by VanFossen, was distributed to 350 randomly selected secondary teachers. A total of 186 surveys were returned, resulting in a 53.1% return rate. The survey was divided into three s ections. The first section asked general questions related to computer access and computer use. In the second section respondents were asked questions related
30 to personal, professional, and pedagogical use of the Internet, as well as any perceived barriers to pedagog ical Internet use. The final section of the survey asked for feedback and general background information. VanFossen (1999, 2001) found that although Indiana teachers had access to the Internet, few teachers actually used t he Internet in their teaching to engage students in activities that require complex thinking. In an effort to understand this lack of use, VanFossen examined teacher comfort with technology. He found that although many were uncomfortable using various computer applications, most were comfortable with using the Internet. VanFossen argues that the lack of pedagogical Internet use may be linked with professional development that is ineffective in demonstrating how to use this resource in the social studies class. Friedman (2006) exami ned the use of digital primary sources by six high school social studies teachers in Virginia. This multiple case study (Yin, 2003) began with a survey of 34 social studies teachers in five high schools that reflected the economic variability in the region From this group of 34 he selected six teachers for further study. These individuals were selected based on their self reported use of technology. Three high frequency users, two low frequency users, and one mid level user were selected. The selection of different numbers of representatives from each sub group is curious. It would seem logical to have the same number of repre sentatives from each category -ideally three, as suggested by Creswell (1998). Friedman found that although most teachers expressed a positive reaction to the use of digital primary documents, their usage of this resource was largely dependent upon access to equipment, specifically an LCD
31 projector. He also determined that technology training alone did not affect the rate with which di gital documents were used but rather how they were used. Teachers with access artifacts. Teachers who had training but lacked access to equipment did not use digital documents. Those teachers who had both access to equipment and training typically used the digital documents in student centered learning situations, or in a more constructivist manner. Judson (2006) s urveyed and observed 32 classroom teachers in an effo rt to related instructional practices and stated teaching philosophy. Judson stated that from his analysis of the available literature, he expected to see a connection between constructivist teaching philosophies and the us e of technology. The 32 teachers selected for this study represented a cross section of grade levels and disciplines. The selection criteria for this study were access to technology and participation in at least one univers ity course on technology inclusion. It should be noted that Judson categorized access to technology as the availability on the school campus to multimedia equipment and/or a computer lab oratory Friedman (2006) found that campus availability of equipment a nd the presence of a computer lab oratory did not equate to ease of access. Indeed, Friedman discovered that many teachers described the protocols associated with accessing campus wide equipment cumbersome and a deterrent to regular technology use. Judson observed all 32 participants for either one or two lessons, r eported as being at least 30 minutes in length. This is not a sufficient amount of time inside a
32 observat ions as evidence within his study. This sampling decision is an apparent weakness in the research design, and ultimately in the conclusions. Judson determined from his research that the re appeared to be no relationship philosophy and technology related instructional practices. It is possible that a different conclusion could have been reached if he had chosen a smaller number of participants and spent longer periods of time in their classrooms. Indeed, it is possible that he would have uncovered patterns of difficulty in accessing equipment as described by Friedman (2006). In a 2005 review of literature, Shaunessy determined that in K 12 education a di ng technology integration. A lso she described teacher attitude toward the technology itself as a significant factor influencing the inclusion of instructional technology. If teachers are uncomfortable using technology, it logically follows that they wil l not incorporate available technology into the ir instruction al practices. Training can influence teacher attitudes toward technology. However, the one size fits all model often employed by school districts is ineffective. Teachers should receive training based upon their level of need, identified by experience and discipline (Shaunessy, 2005). In 2006, Mishra and Koehler offered the construct of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) as a new theoretical perspective through which teacher util ization of instructional technology could be viewed. Mishra and Koehler recognized that the literature in the use of instructional technology lacked a theoretical framework,
33 would be unsuccessful. Their TPCK construct builds upon existing concept of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), both teaching and content is key to how instructional technology is actually integrated. ge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge. They have utilized a Venn Diagram to illustrate this intersection (see Figure 5 ). In 2007, Thompson and Mishra published a modification to the acronym used for Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge It is now referred to as TPACK. T he acronym modific ation accomplished three things: 1) TPACK is easier to sa y as it is less consonant heavy; 2) TPACK emphasizes that there are actually three sets of knowledge working in concert for effective technology integration technology, pedagogy, and forgotten 3) The acronym TPACK captures, according to Thompson and Mishra, the complexity of the knowledge necessary to effectively integrate instructional technology. Indeed, these three forms of knowledge should not be looked at in isolation, but as an integrated whole. TPACK ctional choices with student created digital documentaries using an on line University of Virginia sponsored program, Primary Access. Over the course of the case study, Manfra and Hammond
34 ogy related planned and enacted curriculum, more so than did either content or technology knowledge. The facilitator of student learning, were not altered by the inclusion of instructional technology. Rather, the digital documentaries were incorporated in either class in ways technology, content, and pedagogy that influences effective integration of instructional technology. Figure 5 Model ( TPACK ) C P T TPACK Content Knowledge Pedagogical Knowledge Technological Knowledge Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge
35 Summary of the Literature Toda and ever changing technology. It is crucial that schools prepare their students for a 21st century literacy that goes beyond reading and writing text; students need to be able to utilize higher order thinking. Critical thinking and problem solving, the two key components of higher order th inking, are essential in gifted education (Siegle, 2005) and are thought to be positively influenced by the use of digital technology in a constr uctivist, student centered, learning environment (Jonassen, 2000). Over the past decade, the issue of technology in the social studies classroom has continued to gain momentum in the literature (Whitworth & Berson, 2003). Access to digital archival docume nts has opened a world of opportunities for students to engage in nication through digital media encourages the development of global awareness, an NCSS stated goal. The benefi ts of the use of instructional technology are plentiful. Yet teachers are not readily utilizing instructional technology. In an analysis of the use of digital primary source documents, Friedman (2006) determined that the effective use of technology is ass ociated with the availability of equipment and training. Shaunessy (2005) suggested that teacher attitudes, both philosophy and comfort level, influences the incorporation of instructional technology. Judson (2006 ) did not identify a relationship between t eacher philosophy and technology related instructional practices; although, this may be an artifact of his research design. Incorporating student centered technology instruction can
36 be beneficial to gifted students. What needs to be addressed is how to enc ourage teachers order thinking skills. This study is an attempt to gather information that can be used to answer how to achieve this goal. Shaunessy (2005) notes that literature discussing how to use technology with gifted students is becoming increasing ly pr evalent. What is lacking, however is empirical investigations related to technology and gifted education. This study is an attempt to fill part of this void in knowledge. Additionally, uses of technology in the social studies classroom have focused on largely high school populations (F riedman, 2006). This study examine s the use of technology i n the middle schools, which has generally not yet been inv estigated.
37 Chapter Three Research Methods This multiple, or comparative, case study (Yin, 2003) was designed to examine tion of academically talented students at high performing middle sc hools. The data for this study were collected using a mixed methods paradigm (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007 ; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998); and conducted in two phases The first phase involved administration of a survey to all teachers who m et the parameters of the population descriptor and a group interview of the participating teachers at e ach of the schools studied The second phase included a series of ten case studies of volunteer teachers Each case study involved a n individual interview, a classroom ob servation and an analysis of teacher provide d documentary e vidence To ensure participant safety and ethical treatment, applications were made to the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) of both the participating s chool district This study was determined to be exempt by the Institutional Review Board due to the nature of the study and research participants. Participants The participants for this study are social studies tea chers on the faculty of three high perfor ming middle schools in a large metropolitan school district in western Florida The schools were identifi ed as a high performing middle school based on reports issued
38 by the FDOE The three schools selected were among seven district middle schools ranked i n the top seventy five middle schools in the state of Florida, as indicated from 2005 Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) ( FDOE 2006) From this group of seven, five middle school achieved AYP as described in the NCLB legislation for the 2006 2007 academic year ( FDOE 2007) The three schools selected for this study are from this smaller group of five high performing middle schools. Each demographic statistics, as identified by t he district website, are found in Table 1. The schools selected for this study are identified as School A, School B, and School C. All three of the schools are located in relatively pr osperous suburban areas of the district; none are identifi ed as a Title I school. School B which has the largest number of non W hite ethnic groups and the highest percentage of Limited English Proficiency students, did report that 36.69 % of its student population was economically disadvantaged as evidenced by the receipt of free or reduced lunch (School District of Hillsborough County, 20 0 8 ). Each of the three selected schools has a stud ent population of 1100 or more Although School D met the test performance requireme nt for inclusion in the study, it was excluded for sam pling reasons. School D, which has the largest student population of the five schools, utilized heterogeneous student distribution in social studies classes. This study is focused on teacher practices with academically talented students. This research f ocus could not be addressed in heterogeneous social studies cla sses. School E, which also met the test performance criteria was contacted on three
39 occasions via email and phone. The principal did not respond to research inquiries; therefore, School E co uld not be included in the study. The three schools selected for the study mee t the testing related criteria, provide courses in which teaching with academically talented students can be studied and agreed to participate in this study. Table 1 Demogra phic Information for the High Performing Middle Schools Percent of Students School School Size Free or Reduced Lunch Limited English Proficiency Students with Disabilities White (Non Hispanic) Other Ethnic Groups School A 1 555 15.82 2.06 9. 13 74. 34 25. 66 School B 11 42 36.69 7.09 12.6 1 51.58 48.42 School C 1 082 13.59 2.4 0 8.32 68.95 31.05 School D 15 20 23.22 2.24 10.92 70.5 9 29.4 1 School E 607 24.71 3.7 9 9.88 61.61 38.39 The selection of high performing schools upon which to focus this stu dy was education is neglected, then it would follow that academically talented students are also to receive appropriate modifications and accommodations. Success within t he NCLB parameters suggests that these schools provide appropriate educational experiences for all members of their student bodies, including academically talented students. Additionally, as these schools have met, and continue to meet, the performance e xpectations of the
40 federal mandate, the pressures of the potential penalties outlined in NCLB are less of an issue for these schools than for other schools in the distr ict; and, therefore thought not to be a significant factor in instructional practices in these schools The participant teachers are teachers of middle grades social studies, teaching academically talented students in an honors class setting. For the purposes of this study, academically talented students are those students enrolled in honors social studies classes. Honors classes in this district are comprised of students identified as academically talented, as evidenced by their scores on the FCAT, the state mandated standardized test, established parameters (School District of Hillsborough County, 2007). All teachers who teach at least one section of honors social studies were included in phase one of the study. The phase two participants were l imited to teachers teach ing only social s tudies, and include d teachers who instruct at the 6 th 7 th or 8 th were not factor ed into the selection criteria. A total of 27 teachers participated in phase one of this study : 11 from Sch ool A, 10 from School B, and six from School C. Of the eleven participating teachers from School A, 10 were female, and one was male ; ranging in age from 25 to 59 years Six ed ucational specialist degree. Their teaching experience ranged from 3 years to 31 years of teaching experience, with a mean of 9.72 years. Three teach ers taught 6th grad e geography, five taught 7th grade geography, and three taught 8th grade United States h istory At School B, six of the 10 participating teachers were female, and four were
41 The teachers at School B had between 3 and 38 years of teaching experience, with a mean of 15.8 years. Four teachers taught 6 th grade geography, two taught 7 th grade geography, three taught 8 th grade United States history, and one taught both 7 th and 8 th grades. The six participating teachers from School C were evenly distributed, three male and three female; ranging in age from 25 to 59 years. Two of the s degree. The School C teachers have between 3 and 31 years of teaching experience, with a me an of 13.2 years. Three of the teachers taught 7 th grade geography, and three taught 8 th grade history. The last question of the survey asks th e respondent if he or she wished to participate in additional portions of the study. Of the 27 teachers who c ompleted a survey 18 offered to participate in the second phase of the study: 7 from School A, 8 from School B, and 3 from School C. The teachers selected taught only s ocial studies, one of which was an honors class. Unfortunately, the three volunteers from School C could not be included in the second phase of the study due to time constraints of the impending close of the academic year. The remaining eight volunteers either taught additional subject areas, or asked to be removed from the study shortly a fter volunteering to participate. Th e group of ten participant teachers included eight women and two men each provided a pseudonym The five phase two participants from School A were all female; one taught 6 th grade geography ( Ms. Cooper ) three taught 7 th grade geography ( Ms. Edge Mrs. Roberts, and Ms. Hill ) and one taught 8 th grade geography ( Ms. Alexander )
42 The five participants from School B included three women and two men. Of the three women, one taught 6 th grade geography ( Ms. Buckley ) one ta ught 7 th grade geography ( Ms. Smith ), and one taught a section each of 7 th grade geography and 8 th grade history ( Ms. Norris ) Both men taught 8 th grade history ( Mr. Adams and Mr. Stephens ) This study relied ness to spend the time and effort necessary to collect sufficient information in order to answer the research questions. Teachers were asked to spend no less than two before school department meetings completing a survey and participating in a group inter view. In an effort to compensate the teachers for their before school planning time, breakfast was supplied on each day of the whole department data collection. The ten teachers who volunteer ed for the second phase of the study agreed to spend a signific ant amount of time on this study collecting documents, interviewing, and being observed. To compensate these teachers for their time gift certificates to Blockbuster and the Coffee Beanery were provided to each teacher. By offering these items of compens ation, the researcher accomplished two things: 1) maintained a positive relationship with the p articipant; and 2) demonstrated an appreciation for their time and effort devoted to this process. Instruments Data were collected using four different instru ments: a survey, a group interview protocol, an individual interview protocol, and an observation protocol. Each instrument is described below.
43 Internet Use Survey In the initial phase of the study, all participant teac hers were administered a survey u sing a modification of Internet Us e Survey ( 2005 ) This survey (Appendix A) provide d information regarding Internet usage parti attitude toward Internet use in the classroom, and the teacher perception of environmental influ ences in their use of the Internet The instrument has been utilized by VanFossen in two assessments of Internet use by secondary social stud ies teachers in Indiana Initially used in a 1999 state wide assessment of Indiana secondary social studies teache use of the Internet, the instrument was revised and the study re done in 2005. The instrument was modified for this study to gather additional demographic information and to addre ss the third research question, which addresses the factors influencing t echnology integration. Questions 1 4 through 20 are additions to the sur vey deemed necessary to differentiate software and the frequency with which the teacher uses the software. A dditional changes include question 22 which asks the teacher to self report his or her Internet use ; and, questions pertaining to courses and grade levels taught The survey is divided into three sections Section 1 consists of questions ( 1 8) which pertain to the availabilit y of the Internet and equipment in the classroom and at the 2 items 9 27 addresses technology and Internet use including the frequency of use, type of use, and barriers to use that might exist. Section 3 includes items 28 36 in which respondents provided demographic information, including age,
44 teaching assignment, highest degree earned, and hours of technology related professional development Content validity evidence for the survey was obtained through a review by social studi es experts in the Indiana Department of Education, and through a review by 15 experts in the integration of technology in the social studies (VanFossen, personal communication, November 12, 2007). Instrument reliability was not available in previously publ ished uses of the survey. In a personal communicati on with the he reported a Cronbac for the Internet use questions (question 9 A 9 P) (VanFossen, personal communication, November 12, 2007). The reliability of score s for questions 9A 0.856. The reliability estimates f or the modified survey used in this study were tested using a test retest measure. S ix s ocial studies teacher s at a suburban middle school not included in the study due to its recent opening and lack of test data, were given the survey on two separate occasions. Their responses to the survey questions were analyzed for consistency by determining the percentage of agreement between the test and retest r espon ses for each subscale on the instrument The percent agreement observed in their responses to survey items ranged from 57.38% to 83.60% between the test and the retest; the mean percent agreement for the test re tests was 70 %. Group Interview Protocol Semi structured (Me rriam 1998 ) group interviews with the participating teachers were conducted at each of the three school sites during before school department
45 meetings The purpose of the group interview was to gather information not addressed in the I nt ernet Use Survey. This included the use of technology other than the Internet, specific information regarding barriers to use, examples of t echnology integration, and attitude toward technology integration. The group intervie w protocol is provided in Appendix B As this was a semi structure d interview, questions were modified during the course of the interview to capture additional information. Individual Interview Protocol Ten teachers volunteered to participate in Phase 2 of this study. They participated in an individual interview collected classroom document s and were observed using instructional technology. The interviews were formal and semi structured in organization (Merriam, 1998). The initial interview question pro tocol is shown in Appendix C In addition to demographic items, questions for this instrument are taken from Franklin and ed from concepts highlighted in Judson (2006) related to tea cher philosophy and technology integration. Additional questions in the interview were designed to illuminate how the teacher actually uses technology in his/her social studies classroom. Classroom Observation Protocol The observation protocol ( see Appe ndix D) is derived from two observation ith demographic questions and a classroom map. The blended instrument used in this study has three sections. Section 1
46 captures the classroom environment; including student demographics, time of day, and the physical organization of the room. Section 2 i s an open field notes table, which includes teacher and student behaviors and interactions. Section 3 is a series of questions to be answered upon the conclusion of the classroom observations. The questions were used as a form of reflection on and process of the observations recorded in Section 2 of the instrument. Classroom observations were conducted during a class period in which the teacher is using technology in a self defined The data collected from these observations were intende d to show how these nine observed teachers integrate t echnology in the classroom. The data were triangulated with information from the document analysis and interviews. It should be noted that nine of the ten teachers were observed, as one teacher moved to a different Florida school district for the 2008 2009 academic year. Procedures Phase I: School level Data Collection Following approval of the research proposal, on February 25, 2008, an which required authorization from the district and the individual An IRB exemption was granted on April 1, 2008, as this s tudy explores normal educational practices in an established educational setting. Upon receipt of the IRB exemption, the three department chairs were contacted to arrange dates and times for eligible teachers to complete the Internet Use Survey.
47 Each of the department chairs arranged two before school meetings during April and May 2008; the first meeting w as to complete the Internet Use Survey and the second was to conduct a group interview. School A completed the survey on April 17, 2008, and the group interview on April 24, 2008 ; both meetings were held at 8:00 am in the department chair Ele ven teachers at School A completed the Internet Use Survey; of those teachers seven participated in the group interview. School B completed the survey on April 15, 2008, and the group interview on April 23, 2008; both meetings were held at 8:30am in a soc ial studies classroom. Ten teachers at School B completed the Internet Use Survey; seven participated in the group interview. The six teachers at School C completed the Internet Use Survey on April 30, 2008; four of the teachers participated in the group interview on May 30, 2008. Both meetings were held at 8:30am in the department chair During the initial meeting at each school, teachers were provided with an ion n ot to participate in the study. A ll social studies teachers at each of the schools chose to complete the survey. Each of the surveys was administered wi thin a thirty minute time frame; it took no more than 15 minutes for a respondent to complete the survey. Directions were provided as to how to complete the survey, and the researcher remained a vailable to answer questions The second meeting held at each of the three participating schools was to conduct the group interview. These took place in the thirty minutes prior to the beginning of the school day. The interviews were formal and semi structured (Merriam, 1998). A list of
48 pre determined questions was prepared prior to the group interview ; however, additional questions, or probes, were asked f or clarification purposes during the sessions (see Appendix B) The interviews were recorded using the digital voice recording application t was asked to identify herself, or himself, when respondin g to questions, to ensure accurate transcription of the group interview session. All surveys were collected and group interviews completed prior to the close of the academic year in June 2008. Phase II: Individual Case Study Data Collection T en teachers volunteered to participate in Phase 2 of this study, which included an individual interview, an analysis of classroom documents, and a classroom observation. The ten participants were provided a manila folder to use in document collection. It was at this time that they were asked to begin collecting materials that they use in the classroom and to place these materials in the provided folder. The teachers were requested to collect worksheets, reading s handouts of PowerPoint presentations, lesson plans (if written), class notes, or any other materials used in the class over the course of the last month of the school year. The course documents were collected in an technol ogy. Of the ten tea chers nine provided the requested course materials; one, Ms. Cooper did not. Individual Interviews Interviews of the ten Phase 2 participants took place between May 2008 and October 2008. Ms. Buckley Ms. Smith Mr. Adams and Ms. N orris were interview ed prior to the close of the academic year. Mr. Stephens Ms.
49 Roberts, Ms. Alexander Ms. Hill and Ms. Edge were all intervie wed during the summer break. Ms. Cooper was interviewed in October 2008. The interview instrument asks teac hers to report on typical behaviors and practices; therefore, it is unlikely that the date Interviews were conducted at a classroom and local r estaurants The interviews laste d between 30 and 50 minutes. These semi structure formal i nterviews (Merriam, 1998) used a p re determined list of questions; v ariations from the question list were an effort to gain clarification of comments made by the par ticipants. All interviews The interview recordings were transcribed and emailed to each participant as an attachment. The teachers were asked to review the interview transcript make necessary ch anges, and then return the document to the researcher. This exchange served as a member check for the interview, thereby providing the participating teacher an opportunity to clarify his or her statement s Classroom Observations. Each participant teacher was observed in his/her classroom demonstrating a self identified typical manner The teachers were asked to identify dates when they would be using technology in a manner typical of their technology use. The teachers were observed for one honors class p eriod on the dates identified by the individual teachers. Four observations were conducted prior to the close of the academic year; Mr. Stephens and Mr. Adams were observed on May 23, 2008; Ms. Edge and Ms. Alexander were observed on May 27. The remaining observations were conducted in the first semester of the 2008 2009 academic year: Ms. Hill and Ms. Norris on September 24, Ms. Smith on September 25, Ms. Buckley on October 6, and Ms.
50 Cooper on October 8. Nine of the ten participant teachers were observed during phase two; Ms. Roberts moved out of the area prior to being observed. The observations were conducted in an effort to capture a sample of each use of technology with academically talented students. This qua litative multi case study li es in both the pragmatic (Biesta & Burbules, 2003) and constructivist paradigm (Paul, 2005). Pragmatism as a paradigm for educational research is concerned with the application of research into practice (Biesta & Burbules, 2003). As this study is concerne d with the teaching practices of classroom teachers and the factors that influence that practice, it embodies the concept of research to practice. Additionally, Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2005) call for a pragmatic shift in educational research, one in which the research questions guide research design and analysis, and embraces mixed methodology. Constructivist inquiry attempts to understand reality based on context and beliefs. It was assumed in this study that a tea influence his or her us e of instructional technology -clearly a constructivist assumption. Legitimation Onwuegbuzie and Leech ( 2007 ) identify several threats to legitimation in qualitative research, as well as methods to address these threats. In this study, ther e were several areas where the legitimacy of the data could be questioned. First, there was the possibility that the informatio n gathered via the survey questionnaire was not reflective of reality. It is possible that the responding teachers self report ed behaviors they believe the researcher would want to see. Attempts were made within the context of this study to
51 minimize such a bias through the use of triangulation data sources and methods in the second phase of the study The second threat to legitimati on was the possibility of inaccurately interpreting the participant This threat was addressed through member checking interview transcript s The third threat to legitimation was the possibility of researcher bias A review of the literatur e indicates that there are seve ral themes that can be determined a priori The threat to legitimation would occur if a research er fails to recognize other themes that may emerge during the data analysis process, or if a researcher misinterprets the data. T his threat was addresse d through the use of inter coder agreement measures, and the revisions of themes throughout the analysis process. Data Analysis Procedures As a mixed methods study, data collected were both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitati ve data collected in the first phase of the study, through the survey instrument were analyzed using descriptive statistics. With a sample size of 27 participants ( n =27), t he information from this study cannot be generalized to a larger population; there fore statistical measures that suggest generalization are inappropriate. The constant comparison method (Glaser, 1965) was used to analyze the qualitative data gathered in this study Unlike quantitative oriented studies in which analysis occurs after dat a collection, in the constant comparison method, data analysis coincides with data collection and continues until data saturation is reached (Glaser, 1965; Merriam, 1998). In this method of qualitative analysis, data are analyzed through the use of coding and memos. As new data are collected, emerging themes are compared
52 with previously established themes and information already coded. It is from this process of constantly comparing the data throughout the analysis process that the method receives its name (Glaser, 1965). Several themes were identified a priori derived from a review of the literature. These themes include d attitude toward technology, teaching philosophy, environmental influences, and instructional strategies. Themes were added and revised throughout data collection and analysis (Merriam, 1998). Following an initial comprehensive review of the qualitative data (from survey free response questions, group interviews, individual interviews, observations, and course documents), the a priori the mes were modified to barriers, attitude to ward and comfort with technology, and teaching and learning. These three themes were then used in the further analysis of the data. To ensure reliability in data coding, a second researcher was asked to code mul tiple sections of the interview transcripts. This second researcher was provided with the revised themes and asked to code the interview sections, identifying codes that would fall within the pre compared with the codes identified in the initial survey of the data. An agreed list of codes was derived by comparing the two. Using this agreed list of codes, both researchers coded an interview transcription. The two sets of codes were compared to as c ertain inter coder agreement which was 91.67% agreement between the two Data management was conducted using two computer programs. For the quantitative analysis, SAS statistical software was used; and the Atlas.ti program was
53 used to manage the qualitative data Specific p rocedures used to answer each of the research questions are describe d below. Research Question 1 : To what degree do social studies teachers in high performing middle schools utilize technology in teaching academically talented students? This question incorporates both the frequency and type of technology use The frequency of Internet use was asse sse d using information gathered from question s 9A 9P of the Internet Use Survey (See Appendix A) The response scale for the frequency of use was in the four of a four point Likert type scale that solicited information regarding the frequency with which the surveyed teacher used the Internet in the classroom. A mean frequency of use score (M use ) was computed for each respond ent based on the Using this mean score, respondent teachers were High level Low level User, using the parameters outlined in VanFossen (1999). High level users are those whose frequency of use mean score ranges from 2.75 to 4.0, m id level users are those whose frequency of use mean score ranges from 2.0 to 2.74, and l ow level u sers are those whose frequency of use mean score ranges from 1.0 to 1.9. These mean drive n categories (M use ) were reported level of Internet use to determine if the identification are compatible (See Table 2) In the 2008, VanFossen and Waterson published their findings fro m an update of their 1999 study using the 2005 version of the Internet Use survey. In this new analysis, the method for finding frequency of use was modified to incorporate the type of use as determined by an expert validated Internet Use Scale (IUS) scor e ( Table 2 ). As is shown
54 in Table 2, each of the items 9A to 9P is given a rating by an expert panel that reflects the Using this new method for determining frequency of use, VanFossen a nd Waterson (2008) multiplied the frequency ratings from the Likert sca le by the IUS weight. These weighted scores (IUS total score) were then rank ordered from low to high and then grouped into quartiles to yield categories of use. Respondents in the firs t quartile had an IUS total score 59, and were c lassified as Low level users; t hose in the fourth quartile, with an IUS total score 80, were classified as High level users; and, respondents with an IUS total score betwee n 60 and 79 were classified as Mid Level Users. With a small number of participants (n = 27), it was determined that it would not be informative to mimic the use of quartiles to determine groups. The scores of the participants in this study were grouped into High level, Mid level, and Low level users utilizing parameters. These weighted categories were then compared to the mean driven categories to determine if the re was a difference between the frequency of use and the type of use, as indicated by t he IUS total score (See Appendix G )
55 Table 2 Type of Internet Use Expert Group Rating A. Gather background information for lessons you teach 1.0 B. Gather multimedia for use in lessons you t each 2.0 C. Encourage students to use the Internet to gather background information 2.0 D. Encourage students to use e mail to contact other students or content experts 2.0 E. 3.0 F. Develop in teractive lessons that requires students to use the Internet to complete some ta sk or assignment 4.0 G. Encourage students to develop WebPages for an assignment 3.0 H. Develop WebPages for social studies classes you teach 3.0 I. Have students complete i nquiry 4 .0 J. Access primary source materials for use in your classroom 3.0 K. Search for lesson plans for particular classes you teach 1.0 L. Access digital video clips to use in your classroom 1.0 M. Contact other social studies teachers for professional development or lesson ideas 2.0 N. Have students complete s pecific worksheet activities using the Internet as a resource 1.0 O. Have students analyze webpages for accuracy or bias 4.0 P. Have students compare/contrast informa tion from websites with different points of view 4.0 Research Question 2 : How do social studies teachers in high performing middle schools use digital technology t o support higher order thinking ? This question was addressed using information provided in the Internet Use Survey, the group interviews, and the individual case studies. Question s 9A 9P of the Internet Use Survey asks the teacher to indicate the frequency with which he or she uses the Internet to accomplish a v ariety of tasks. Of the 16 prov ided option s six (items 9C, 9F, 9G, 9I, 9O, and 9P) utilize higher order thinking as described in the literature review, specifically within the context of the critical thinking strategies ide ntified in Figure 2. Those six use the Internet to gather background oriented
56 compare/contrast information from websites with different points of The frequency with which the teacher s use these higher order thinking tasks were analyzed for consistency with the information obtained through the group interview; specifically, the question that addresses the type of technology use with academically talented students. It is in answering this research question that the informati on obtained through the individual cases is particularly relevant as it provide s concrete examples of the way in which teachers are using technology with their academically talented students, and if that use requires higher order thinking. This informati on was analyzed using the method previously described. Research Question 3 : What factors influence social studies teachers in high performing middle schools inclusion of digital technology in their teaching of academically talented students? This question was assessed using a number of data sources. As indicated through the review of the literature, there are several technology. Those mitigating factors include access to equipment (Friedman, 2006), teacher com fort with technology (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; VanFossen, 1999), appropriate professional development ( Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Shaunessy, 2005; VanFossen 1999), and teaching philosophy (Manfra & Hammond, 2007). In addition to the frequency of use, q uestion s 9A 9P of the Internet U se Survey asks the teacher to evaluate the importance of the fifteen Internet related teaching activities; the ratings
57 obtained from this section of the survey instrument were identified as teacher attitude toward the described In ternet activities. Information pertaining to availability of equipment was obtained in the first section of the Internet Use Survey, questions 1 through 7. Frequency analysis of questions 1 through 7 provide d information regarding the availability of equ ipment. Teacher comfort with using technol ogy was assessed using responses to question 21 of the Interne t Use Survey. R espondents indicated their comfort level with a variety of software applications using a four point Likert type scale ranging from 1 = Teacher comfort level was then compared to frequency of application use (items 14 through 20 ) C orrelation analysis using rho was to determine if there was a relationship between comfort and frequenc y of use for each computer application Spearman was deemed appropriate due to the nature of the data, comparing ordinal and interval data sets and the non normality Additionally, each teacher was assigned a comfort mean score determined by the mean of the teachers responses in item 21, which was compared with the f requency of use mean (M use ) obtained from question 9 This result provide s information as to whether or not teacher comfort with technology influenced their instructional use. Correlation analyses using rho was run to determine if relationships existed among the factors influencing technology integration (equipment, comfort, attitude, training, teaching experience, age, and degree). Findings from the Internet Use Survey were then compared
58 with answers from the group interview; and expanded upon with information from the individual case studies. The amount and type of technology related professional development and t raining each teacher has received is addressed on the Inter net Use Survey with questions 34 and 35 Additional information regarding amount and type of professional development was accessed through the group interview and individual cases. T eaching philo sophy is a difficult concept to assess quan titatively. Therefore, to obtain this information, teachers were asked How do you responses to this question were compare d to the information gathered in question 9, which ass esses how the teachers actually use the Internet, and the group interview questions that ask for typical technology use and their opinion regarding the benefits of technology integration. From these qu was placed on the continuum identified in Scheurman (1998), from transmitter a behaviorist oriented instructional style to facilitator or collaborator, constructivist oriented instructional styles as indicated by the type of teaching strategies used and their verbalized understanding of student learning Appendix E Methods Summary This mixed methods multiple case study examined middle school social s tudies academically talented students. The participant teachers were from three high performing schools, as identified by the
59 AYP. The participant teachers were social studies instructors who taught at least one honors section of social studies The participants at each school were asked to complete s survey (199 9, 2005), and participate in a group interview to gather related information not addressed in the survey. From this larger group of teachers, ten were asked to participate in further study These ten teachers participate d in an interview collect ed instru ctional related documents for one month, and were observed in a typical technology integration lesson. The quantitative data collected from the survey were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The qualitative data were analyzed using the constant com parison method described by Glaser (1965).
60 Chapter 4 Results Introduction Over the past decade, interest in technology integration in the social studies classroom has continued to grow (Whitworth & Berson, 2003). Shaunessy (2005) noted an increase in the literature discussing how to use technology with academically talented students What was lacking was empirical investigations related to technology and gifted education. This study attempted to fill part of this void Additionally, much of the previo usly conducted research examining studies classroom focused on high school populations (F riedman, 2006). This study examine d the use of technology in the middle schools, with academic ally talented students, an are a which has not previously been investigated The study was designed to answer the following research questions. 1. To what degree do social studies teachers in high performing middle schools utilize technology in teaching academically talented students? 2. How do social studies teachers in high performing middle schools use digital technology to support higher order thinking? 3. What factors influence social studies teachers in high performing middle schools inclusion of digital technology in their teaching of aca demically talented students?
61 This study utilized a mixed method research protocol, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative analyses in an effort to answer the three research questions guiding this study (Creswell and Plan, 2007; Onwuegbuzie & Leec h, 2005; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). Quantitative d ata were collected using a survey, modified from the Internet for instructional purposes, and the factors that facilita te or hinder that use. I nformation obtained through this survey was expanded upon with the data obtained through group interviews at each of the three participant schools. To further illuminate information gathered in the survey and group interview, ten teachers participated in the second phase of this study, which included individual interviews, classroom observations, and document analysis. The use of these various sources of data provided the ability to investigate further information inaccessible thr ough survey analyses alone. Additionally, multiple data sources provided the opportunity to triangulate findings. Due to the quantity of data collected in this mixed methods study, and the use of a number of data sources to answer the research questions, data from the Internet use survey, the group interviews, and individual case studies are presented first. A discussion of the results within the parameters of the three research questions follows. Description of the Sample Twenty seven teachers ( n = 27) at three high performing middle schools participated in this study from April until October 2008. Each of the teachers was asked Table 3 shows a summary of the demographic data of t he 27 participating teachers, including
62 gen der, highest degree earned, age group teaching experience, courses taught, and hours of technology training Of the teachers participating in this study, eight (29.62%) were male and 19 (70.37%) were female. Tw elve participants (44.44%) have earned a over 60 years. The 18.52% of the participan ts were in each of the following age ranges: 25 29 years, 35 39 years, and 55 59 years. The average teaching experience was 12.73 years, with a range of 3 to 38 years Seven (25.93%) of the teachers taught 6th grade World Geography, 10 (37.04) taught 7th grade World Geography, 9 (33.33%) taug ht 8th grade U.S. History, and 1 teacher (3.70%) taught both 7th grade World Geography and 8 th Grade U.S. History. The teachers reported participating in a mean of 6.63 hours of technology related professional develo pment training, ranging from n o training to 20 hours
63 Table 3 Demographic and Professional Characteristics of Participant s Characteristic Frequency Percent Gender Male 8 29.62 Female 19 70.37 Degree Earned Bachelors 12 44.44 Masters 14 51.85 Specialist 1 3.70 Doctorate 0 0 Other 0 0 Age 24 years or younger 0 0 25 29 years 5 18.52 30 34 years 3 11.11 35 39 years 5 18.52 40 44 years 4 14.81 45 49 years 1 3.70 50 54 years 3 11.11 55 59 years 5 18.52 60 years or o lder 1 3.70 Teaching Experience 1 10 years 16 61.54 11 20 years 5 19.23 21 30 years 1 3.85 31 years or more 4 15.38 Course(s) Taught 6th grade Geography 7 25.93 7th grade Geography 10 37.04 8th grade U.S. History 9 33.33 7th grade Geography & 8th grade U.S. History 1 3.70 Technology Training (number of hours) No training 5 19.23 1 5 hours 8 30.77 6 10 hours 10 38.46 11 15 hours 2 7.69 16 20 hours 2 7.69 N = 27
64 Internet Use Survey Technology Availability As show n in Table 4, 26 of the 27 teachers reported having at least one comp uter in their classroom One teacher was a floating teacher without a classroom, and therefore reported not having an available computer in a classroom. Seventeen teachers ( 62.97 %) repo rted having two or more computers in their classrooms Internet access was reported in all but one classroom. After additional discussions with the teacher it was reported that she did have Internet access for her desktop. She reported a lack of access for student use. Two of the teachers (7.41%) reported a slow Internet connection; however, 24 other teachers (88.89%) at the same schools reported question and not wit h the Internet speed in each school. Indee d, comments made during the survey indicated that teachers felt that the Internet connection was slow, but that according to the survey, it qualified as fast. All but two teachers (7.41%) reported having access to LCD projectors. Eighteen (66.67%) of the participant teachers had an LCD projector permanently in their rooms. Laptop carts were available for check out at all three schools. Three teachers (11.54%) reported one laptop cart available for checkout and 23 teachers (88.46%) reported that there were multiple carts available for checkout. One teacher did not answer this question on the survey.
65 Table 4 Available Classroom Technology Type of Technology Available Frequency Percent Number of Computers None 1 3.70 1 computer 9 33.33 2 3 computers 16 59.26 4 or more computers 1 3.70 Internet Speed No Internet access 1 3.70 Slow Internet connection 2 7.41 Fast Internet connection 24 88.89 LCD projector Not available 2 7.41 1 available for checkout 0 0 Multiple available for checkout 7 25.93 LCD in room 18 66.67 Laptop Cart Not available 0 0 1 cart 2 11.54 Multiple carts 23 88.46 Technology Use and Comfort Technology Use. Participants were asked to report on the amount of time they spent using the computer at school and home The teachers reported spending an average of 10.56 hours per week using the computer in school, with a range of 2 to 20 hours. Their at home computer use averaged 11.37 hours per week, w ith a range of 0 to 20 hours. Of the 27 teachers surveyed, all but one reported having home Internet access. The teachers were also asked to report on the frequency (per week) with which they used the Internet and various software programs. The data per taining to computer use, frequency of Internet use, and the frequency of software use are reported in Table 5
66 All participants reported using the Internet for both professional and person al use. Personal Internet use was reported at a higher frequency than was professional use; 17 (62.96%) of the participants reported using the Internet nine or more times per week for personal reasons, as compared to 6 (22.22%) teachers using the Internet at a similar rate for professional reasons. Participating teach ers reported frequent use of word processing software. Twenty four of the 27 teachers (88.89%) used word processing software five or more times a week, with 13 (48.15%) reporting its use nine or more times a week. Conversely, the teachers reported infrequ ent use of spreadsheet software with 85.19% (n = 23 ) using spreadsheets fewer than three times per week. Indeed, 11 (40.74%) reported never using spreadsheet software. Results similar to those of spreadsheet software use were reported for the participant Seventeen teachers (62.96%) reported never using productivity software; 24 (88.89%) reported never using web publishing software; and, 21 (77.78%) reported never using FTP software. Although not as frequently reported as word processing use, 21 (77.77%) did report using presentation software: 12 (44.44%) at 1 2 times weekly, 6 (22.22%) at 3 4 times weekly, 1 (3.70%) at 5 6 times weekly, and 2 (7.41%) reported 9 or more times weekly.
67 Table 5 Participant Teacher Technology Use Frequency Percent Hours of school computer use No use 0 0 1 5 hours per week 8 29.63 6 10 hours per week 7 25.93 11 15 hours per week 8 29.63 16 20 hours per week 4 14.81 Hours of home computer use No use 1 3.70 1 5 hours per week 6 22.22 6 10 hours per week 9 33.33 11 15 hours per week 3 11.11 16 20 hours per week 8 29.63 Frequency of professional Internet use (per week) Never use d 0 0 1 2 times 3 11.11 3 4 times 7 25.93 5 6 times 6 22.22 7 8 times 5 18.52 9 or more times 6 22.22 Frequency of personal Internet use (per week) Never use d 0 0 1 2 times 3 11.11 3 4 times 3 11.11 5 6 times 2 7.41 7 8 times 2 7.41 9 or more times 17 62.96 Frequency of word processing software use (per week) Never use d 0 0 1 2 times 2 7.41 3 4 times 1 3.70 5 6 times 8 29.63 7 8 times 3 11.11 9 or more times 13 48.15 Frequency of spreadsheet software use (per week) Never use d 11 40.74 1 2 times 12 44.44 3 4 times 2 7.41 5 6 times 1 3.70 7 8 times 1 3.70 9 or more times 0 0
68 Table 5 (Continued) Participant Teacher Technology Use Frequency Percent Frequency of presentation software use (per week) Never use d 6 22.22 1 2 times 12 44.44 3 4 times 6 22.22 5 6 times 1 3.70 7 8 times 0 0 9 or more times 2 7.41 Frequency of productivity software use (per week) Never use d 17 62.96 1 2 times 5 18.52 3 4 times 0 0 5 6 times 1 3.70 7 8 times 0 0 9 or more times 4 14.81 Frequency of web publishing software use (per week) Never use d 24 88.89 1 2 times 1 3.70 3 4 times 1 3.70 5 6 times 0 0 7 8 times 0 0 9 or more times 1 3.70 Frequency of FTP software use (pe r week) Never use d 21 77.78 1 2 times 1 3.70 3 4 times 2 7.41 5 6 times 2 7.41 7 8 times 0 0 9 or more times 1 3.70 Comfort with Technology. To ascertain the participating teachers comfort with software applications, they were aske d to respond to several items using a 4 point Likert scale of 1 = uncomfortable 2 = somewhat comfortable 3 = moderately comfortable and 4 = very comfortable As show n in Table 6, a ll teachers surveyed reported being very
69 comfortable using word processin g software ( M = 4.0) The teachers indicated being moderately to very comfortable with presentation software ( M = 3.41 ), somewhat to moderately comfortable with spreadsheet software ( M = 2.93 ), and somewhat comfortable with productivity software ( M = 2.15 ). The data indicate that the participants were uncomfortable using web publishing software ( M = 1.85 ), and FTP software ( M = 1.85 ). Frequency distributions of teacher comfort with the listed software applications are provided in Appendix F Table 6 Tea cher Comfort with Software Applications Application n Mean SD Min Max Word processing 27 4.00 0 4.00 4.00 Spreadsheet 27 2.93 1.07 1.00 4.00 Presentation 27 3.41 0.80 1.00 4.00 Productivity 26 2.15 0.97 1.00 4.00 Web publishing 26 1.85 1.08 1.00 4.00 File Transfer Protocol (FTP) 26 1.85 1.16 1.00 4.00 Response scale 1 = U ncomfortable ; 2 = S omewhat C omfortable ; 3 = Moderately C omfortable ; 4 = Very C omfortable The relationship between level with software applications and their repo rted use of the same software were examined rh o ( r s ) The results of the correlation analyses are presented in Table 7. Correlation values of .80 or higher are considered a stron g correlation, values of .50 .79 are considered moderate
70 corr ela tion, and values from .20 to .49 Hatcher, & Stepanski, 2005). A statistically significant but weak correlation was found for spreadsheet software ( r s =.390, p<.05) and productivity software ( r s =.464, p<.05) A statistically significant but moderate correlation was found with FTP software ( r s .564, p<.01). Correlation analyses could not be done for word processing software due to the lack of deviation in teacher comfort with word processing software; all teachers survey indicated that they were very comfortable using word processing. It appea rs from the software application and use. Table 7 Correlations of Teacher Comfort and Use of Selected Software Applications Application N Mean M comfort Mean M use Correlation (r s ) p Word processing 27 4.0 4.89 --Spreadsheet 27 2.93 1.85 .390 .044 Presentation 27 3.41 2.37 .301 .127 Productivity 26 2.12 1.92 .464 .017 Web publishing 26 1.85 1.35 .354 .076 File Transfer Protocol (FTP) 26 1.85 1.58 .564 .003
71 Classroom Internet Use: Frequency Question 9 of the Internet Use Survey asks participants to report on the frequency with which they use the Internet in the classroom. The question lists 16 Internet related activities that have been weighted by e xperts in the field of technology integration in the social studies to reflect higher order Internet. The activities were weighted on a scale of 1 (low order use) to 4 (high (VanFossen & Waterson, 2008). Teachers were asked to rate the frequency of their Internet use for each of the 16 categories using a four point Likert type scale (1= never 2= rarely 3= occasionally and 4= frequently ). The frequency levels were further operationalized in the s The frequency distribution for each o f the 16 Internet related activities is reported in Table 8. The teachers most frequently used the Internet to gather information, 85.19% of respondents indicated occasional or frequent use of the Internet to gather background information 81.48% report s imilar use for gathering multimedia and 80.77% for encouraging students to gather background information In contrast, 77.78% of respondents reported never encouraging students to develop WebPages, 62.96% report never having students analyze websites for accuracy bias, 48.15% report never asking students to compare and contrast websites from differing viewpoints, and 55.56% never encourage students to use email to contact content experts or other students.
72 Table 8 Classroom Internet Use Frequency Distri bution Frequency of use (in percentages) Type of Internet Use IUS weight Never Rarely Occasionally Frequently Mean SD A. Gather background information for lessons you teach 1.0 0 14.81 25.93 59.26 3.44 .751 B. Gather multimedia for u se in lessons you teach 2.0 0 18.52 29.63 51.85 3.33 .784 C. Encourage students to use the Internet to gather background information 2.0 0 19.23 42.31 38.46 3.19 .749 D. Encourage students to use e mail to contact other students or content experts 2.0 55.56 18.52 14.81 11.11 1.81 1.08 using the Internet 3.0 33.33 25.96 29.63 11.11 2.19 1.04 F. Develop interactive lessons that requires students to use the Internet to complete some take or assignment 4.0 11. 11 48.15 37.04 3.70 2.33 .734 G. Encourage students to develop WebPages for an assignment 3.0 77.78 14.81 7.41 0 1.30 .609 H. Develop WebPages for social studies classes you teach 3.0 44.44 25.93 11.11 18.52 2.04 1.16 I. Have students complete inquiry 4.0 48.15 29.63 18.52 3.70 1.78 .892 J. Access primary source materials for use in your classroom 3.0 7.41 25.93 29.63 11.11 2.96 .980 K. Search for lesson plans for particular classes you teach 1.0 0 29.63 33.33 37.04 3.07 .829 L. Access digital video clips to use in your classroom 1.0 14.81 44.44 29.63 11.11 2.37 .884 M. Contact other social studies teachers for professional development or lesson ideas 2.0 3.70 25.93 51.85 18.52 2.85 .770 N. Have students complete specific worksheet activities use the Internet as a resource 1.0 25.93 44.44 25.93 3.70 2.07 .829 O. Have students analyze webpages for accuracy or bias 4.0 62.96 25.93 11.11 0 1.48 .700 P. Have students compare/contrast information from websites with differe nt points of view 4.0 48.15 37.04 14.81 0 1.67 .734
73 The participants most frequently used the Internet for information gathering, a similar result to that found by VanFossen and Waterson (2008). The five most frequent uses, as determined by the respon de nts mean Internet use (See Table 8 ), included gather ing background information ( M =3.44 ), gather ing multimedia ( M =3.33 ), encouraging students to gather background information searching for lesson plans ( M =3.07 ), and accessing primary source material ( M =2.9 6 ). Participants reported rarely using the Internet to encourage student communication outside the classroom. Students were not encouraged to communicate using email ( M =1.81 ), nor develop WebPages ( M =1.30 ). Teachers rarely utilized Web Quests ( M =1.78 ), no r did they have the students analyze webpages for bias ( M =1.48 ) or compare and contrast websites from different points of view ( M =1.67 ). The mean use scores for the remaining six Internet activities ranged from the infrequent, develop a WebPages for course s taught ( M =2.04 ), to the nearly frequent, contact other social studies teachers ( M =2.85 ). Level of Classification The participating teachers were classified as high level users, mid level users, or low level users of the Internet using the two methods employed in VanFossen (1999) and VanFossen and Waterson (2008) The data are reported in table found in Appendix G. T eachers were categorized by their Internet use mean scores ( M use ) using the parameters outlined in VanFossen (1999): h igh level users a re those whose mean score ranged from 2.75 to 4.0; m id level users are those whose mea n score ranged from 2.0 to 2.74; and, l ow level u sers a re those whose mean score ranged from 1.0 to 1.9. Using these parameters, 7 teachers (25.93%) were identified as High level users, 14 (51.85%) were
74 Mid level users, and 6 (22.22%) were Low level users. These results resemb le the quartiles identified in the VanFossen (1999) study. descri rate [IUS(rate)] i s determined by a summation of frequency scores multiplied by the by expert validated weighted IUS as described in Chapter 3 High level users were identified level users as having an IUS between 60 and 79, and Low (59.26%) were identified as High level users, 10 teachers (37.04%) were identified as Mid level users, and 1 teacher (3.70%) was identified as a Low level user. Of the 27 participating teachers, 13 (48.15%) had an increase in their level of Internet use when the rates were calculated using the IUS sco res. Indeed, one teacher moved from a Low level user, as determined by the M use to a High level user as determined by the IUS score. These increases suggest that the quality of Internet use, as determined by the IUS value, classification than the frequency with which the Internet was used. Teachers were also asked to self evaluate their level of Internet use (using item 22) As is shown in column 3, o f the 27 participants, 12 (44.44%) identified themselves as High level users, 10 (37.04%) as Mid level users, and 5 ( 18.52%) as Low level users. When compared with their levels as identified by both the M use and IUS scores, 21 (77.77%) accurately identified their level of use, as determined by at least one of the two calculated ratings Of the remaining 6 teachers, 2 ( 7.40%) underestimated their level of
75 Internet use, and 3 (11.11%) overestimated their leve l of use. The teacher who moved from a Low level to High level user self identified as a Mid level user. The data pertaining to se is presented in Appendix G As a follow up to their frequency self assessment, the teachers were asked about their desire to use the Internet in the classroom. The frequency distribution of the e 9 Twenty two of the 27 teachers (81.47%) reported a desire to use the Internet more often or much more often than their current practice. Four teachers (14.81%) indicated that they are using the Internet as much as they care to; and, one teacher (3.70%) r eported using the Internet less often than in previous years. Table 9 Desire to Use the Internet Frequency Percent No desire to use in the classroom 0 0 Currently using as much as the care to in the classro om 4 14.81 Would like to use more often than currently using 10 37.03 Would like to use much more often than currently using 12 44.44 Currently using less often than in previous years 1 3.70 Barriers to Technology Use Teachers were also asked t o identify what barriers were prohibiting their use of technology if they were not currently using the Internet as mu ch as they would like. Table 10 shows the barriers to use identified by the teachers. The most frequently identified barrier was lack of access to equipment, specifically an insufficient number of
76 classroom computers. Also frequently identified was a lack of training in how to apply the Internet in teaching. Classroom Internet Use: Teacher Attitude In addition to measuring the frequen cy with which teachers used the Internet, question nine asked the participants to reflect on their attitude toward using the Internet in the classroom, as indicated by the level of importance they gave the fifteen teaching activities. Teachers were asked to rate the importance of the 16 categories using a four point Likert scale (1= not an important teaching tool/activity 2= a somewhat important teaching tool/activity 3= an important teaching tool/activity, and 4= a very important teaching tool/activity ) Table 10 Perceived Barriers to Classroom Internet Use Barrier to Use Frequency Percentage Lack of access to equipment (only 1 2 computers in classroom) 16 59.26 Lack of access to equipment (no Internet access in classroom) 3 11.11 Lack of access t o equipment (no projector) 4 14.81 Lack of general computer training 5 18.52 Poor Internet search skills 2 7.41 Lack of training in how to apply the Internet in my teaching 10 37.04 Frustration over failed searches 3 11.11 Internet technology is not a n improvement over the textbooks 0 0.0 Concern over students accessing inappropriate materials 3 11.11 My school has a policy that prohibits Internet use in the classroom 2 7.41 n = 27
77 oom I nternet use is shown in Table 11 Sixty eight percent of the surveyed teachers found encouraging students to use e mail to be either not important or somewhat important. Similarly, 61.53% of the teachers found encouraging students to develop Webpages as either not important or only somewhat important. Information gathering was identified as either important or very important by nearly all surveyed teachers: gathering background information (92.31%), gathering multimedia (96.15%), encouraging students to gather information (92.31%), accessing primary source materials (92.31%), and accessing digital video clips (92.31%). In addition to such straight forward information gathering uses, 96.16% of the surveyed teachers indicated that it was important or very important to develop interactive lesson plans that require students to use the Internet. The participants rated information gathering activities highest among the 16 Internet activities: accessing primary source material ( M =3.65), gathering multimed ia for lessons ( M =3.62), encouraging students to gather information ( M =3.54), and gathering background information for lessons ( M view encouraging students to use email ( M =2.24), and encouraging students t o develop WebPages ( M =2.27) as being an only somewhat important activity. These results are frequent, and using the Internet as a tool for outside student communication (e mail and WebPages) was infrequent.
78 Table 11 Teacher Attitude toward Internet Use Frequency Distribution Frequency of use (in percentages) Type of Internet Use Not important Somewhat important Important Very important Mean SD A. Gather background information for lessons you teach 0 7.69 34.62 57.69 3.50 .648 B. Gather multimedia for use in lessons you teach 0 3.85 30.77 65.38 3.62 .571 C. Encourage students to use the Internet to gather background information 0 7.69 30. 77 61.54 3.54 .647 D. Encourage students to use e mail to contact other students or content experts 20.00 48.00 20.00 12.00 2.24 .926 using the Internet 3.85 15.38 38.46 42.31 3.19 .849 F. Develop interactive lessons that requires students to use the Internet to complete some take or assignment 0 3.85 53.85 42.31 3.38 .571 G. Encourage students to develop WebPages for an assignment 15.38 46.15 34.62 3.95 2.27 .778 H. Develop WebPages for social studies cla sses you teach 11.54 26.92 38.46 23.08 2.73 .962 I. Have students complete inquiry 11.54 15.38 50.00 23.08 2.85 .925 J. Access primary source materials for use in your classroom 0 7.69 19.23 73.08 3.65 .629 K. Search for lesson plans for particular classes you teach 3.85 7.69 38.46 50.00 3.35 .797 L. Access digital video clips to use in your classroom 0 7.69 50.00 42.31 3.35 .629 M. Contact other social studies teachers for professional development or lesson ideas 3.85 11.54 26.92 57.69 3.38 .852 N. Have students complete specific worksheet activities use the Internet as a resource 3.85 26.92 46.15 23.08 2.88 .816 O. Have students analyze webpages for accuracy or bias 7.69 30.77 34.62 26.92 2.81 .939 P. Have students co mpare/contrast information from websites with different points of view 3.85 23.08 42.31 30.77 3.00 .849
79 In an effort to determine the relationships among the factors associated with classroom Internet use and technology integration, the intercor relations among variables were computed The following variables were used in the correlation analysis: Internet use mean score, IUS score, software use mean, self reported technology use, comfort with software applications, technology training, LCD avail ability, computer availability, degree earned, teaching experience, age, and attitude toward Internet mean score. The intercorrelation matrix is shown in Table 1 2 A statistically significant and strong correlation was found between Mean use and IUS score ( r s =.86, p<.01) indicating that, Internet use are strongly associated. Statistically significant but moderate correlations were found among six pairings: Mean use and s elf reported use; Mean use and comfort with software applications; Mean use and mean of attitude toward Internet use; IUS and self reported use; IUS and comfort with software applications; and, teaching experience and teacher age. The correlation between ag e and teaching experience; however, for this study the correlation is not considered informative. Statistically significant yet weak correlation was present between self reported and both comfort with software applications ( r s =.45, p<.05), and attitude to ward Internet use ( r s =.42, p<.05). Qualitative Data The constant comparison method (Glaser, 1965) was used to analyze the collected qualitative data. Several themes were identified a priori derived from a review of the literature. These themes includ e d attitude toward technology, teaching philosophy, environmental influences, and instructional strategies. Themes were added and revised
80 throughout data collection and analysis (Merriam, 1998). Following an initial comprehensive review of the qualitative data (from survey free response questions, group interviews, individual interviews, observations, and course documents), the themes were e then used in the further analysis of the data. The unit of analysis for the interview data, both group and individual interviews, was words, phrases, sentences, and passages related to the identified codes, which are subsumed under the three identified themes (Appendix H). A second researcher was asked to code multiple sections of the interview transcripts t o en sure reliability in data coding This individual was provided with the revised themes and asked to code the interview sections, identifying cod es that would fall within the pre determined themes. survey of the data. An agreed list of codes was derived by comparing the two. Using this agreed list of codes, both researchers coded an interview transcription. The two sets of codes were compared to as certain inter rater reliability, which was 91.67% agreement was conducted using the Atlas.ti progra m. The program provided an accounting of code frequency counts and quotations for each of the identified codes.
81 T able 1 2 (r s ) Mean use IUS score Mean software Self reported use Comfort software Techn ology training LCD availability Computer availability Degree earned Teaching experience age Mean attitude Mean use -IUS score .86 * -Mean software .35 .37 -Self reported use .59 * .57 * .25 -Comfort softwa re .59 * .68 * .14 .45 -Technology training .35 .23 .08 .11 .24 -LCD availability .11 .06 .00 .06 .21 .30 -Computer availability .01 .08 .06 .02 .06 .18 .21 -Degree earned .09 .03 .02 .34 .23 .05 .27 .07 -Te aching experience .23 .08 .14 .13 .04 .24 .10 .33 .31 -A ge .03 .07 .21 .12 .13 .17 .18 .31 .21 .75 * -Mean attitude .60 * .61 * .32 .42 .30 .06 .02 .00 .05 .06 .00 -Note. p<.05 ; ** p<.0 1 Mean use = mean of Internet use from ques tion 9; IUS score = weighted score from question 9; Mean software = mean of software application use; Comfort software = mean of comfort with software applications; Mean attitude = mean of attitude toward Internet use from question 9
82 Group Interviews : O verview Semi structured (Me rriam, 1998) group interviews with the participating teachers were conducted at each of the three school sites during before school department meetings The group interview s were designed to gather information not addressed in the Internet Use Survey such as : use of technology other than the Internet, specific information regarding barriers to use, examples of technology integration, and the prot ocol is provided in Appendix B. As this was a semi structure interview, questions were modified during the course of the interview to capture additional information. The group interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Atlas ti software. Frequency counts were provided for each of the codes within the three themes: barriers to use; teaching and learning; and attitude and comfort with technology. Table 1 3 displays the frequency counts, by code, for each of the three themes. An analysis of the group interview frequency data indicates that the most often discussed topic was that of equipment related barriers to technology integration. Indeed, the four codes describing equipment barriers (access to equipment, functionality of equipment, age of equipment, and lack of equipment) were mentioned 52 separate times over the course of the three group interviews, this constitutes 64.20% of the codes associated with barriers and nearly a quarter (23.60%) of all items discussed in the interviews. Barri ers related to administrative policy were also frequently discussed; district administrative policies, school administrative policies, high stakes testing impacts, and firewall issues were
83 mentioned a combined 32 times, or 39.51% of the barrier associated items. Over one quarter of the items discussed during the interview related to teacher and student technology use. However, of the 54 instances of technology use codes, 40 (or 74.07%) related to teacher use of technology, and 14 (or 25.93%) involved stude nt technology use. Under the theme of attitude and comfort with technology, the teachers most often mentioned their own, or colleagues, discomfort with technology. Technology related professional development was also a concern for the participating teach ers School specific information is discussed below. School A : Group Interview Seven teachers at School A p articipated in a group interview held in the understanding of stud ent learning, their general use of technology, their use of technology with academically talented students, and barriers to their technology integration. Alth ough each teacher provided his or her own individual perspective to the questions asked, there wer e general trends evident in the answers provided. consensus from the seven teachers can be summarized by the following quote from Ms. ands on, where they are participating in an answer the question. Every child learns s o differently and that is why you have to have so many different ways
84 and approaches to learning. r, putting our notes to camp front of the group. But, you have to tap into whatever is best for them. Overall, the teachers interviewed at School A identified active learning strategies as being the most effective way of encouraging student learning in the middle grades. When asked about the type of technology used in their classrooms, the teachers expressed frequent use of document cameras and presentation software, and occasional use of interactive white boards and digital cameras. The most commonly used classroom technology was the Interne t, for both information gathering and teacher communication. The Internet based information was used as research for other projects, or as an aid to classroom instruction. Ms. Cooper described a typical use of the Internet in her daily class activities. I use photographs all the time. We just did capsule hotels in Japan and when they Then I showed them w hat a capsule hotel looks like and they went bonkers. Photographs are so important. The photos she described were taken from various Internet sites and projected during class. Student use of technology was identified, specifically in doing research fo r a project, or in the use of presentation software. However, the teachers more frequently identified their own use of technology.
85 Table 13 Frequency of Identified Codes: Group Interviews Theme Frequency Barrier to use Access to equipment 17 Func tionality of equipment 15 Age of equipment 8 Lack of equipment 2 District administrative policies 11 School administrative policies 9 High stakes testing 5 Firewall 7 Physical Environment 6 Financial Concerns 6 Time constraints 2 Digita l Divide 2 81 Teaching and learning Teaching philosophy 11 Student centered 8 Higher order thinking 5 Curriculum constraints 2 Understand needs of talented 8 Prepping students for tomorrow 4 Purchase own equipment 4 LCD projector use 4 Internet use whole class 7 Internet use teacher 1 Presentation software teacher 9 Presentation software student 5 Digital filmmaking 1 Other technology teacher 12 Other technology student 4 Teacher administrative technology u se 1 Information availability 8 Laptop use teacher 2 Laptop use student 4 111 Attitude and comfort with technology Teacher attitude toward technology 4 Teacher comfort with technology 1 Teacher discomfort with technology 7 Teacher experience with technology 2 Technology in teacher education 2 Technology in professional development 5 Fear of inappropriate materials 2 Student attitude toward technology 1 Student comfort with technology 3 Student experience with technology 2 28
86 They were asked about the benefits of integrating technology into thei r classes. as more up to date. And, they are more interested. Because they are more int erested, it saw technology as a way to interest the students, and to open their horizons. pecial their lifestyle is compared to the rest of the world. So, we get to open up (the Internet) opens up. Seeing the waterfalls, and actually understanding the Ms. Edge ). The potential pitfall s of Internet use w ere discussed in the interview, specifically students accessing inappro priate material. However, the expressed consensus was that the benefits were worth the risks associated with student Internet use. When questioned about the factors influencing their technology integration, the Ms. Edge described the issues with accessing the media center and the available technology. makes it (the media center) the only place to meet. So that means that every club or organization that has more members than can meet in a classroom (meets in the
87 used f or testing the media center but you get bumped. You think you have the media center and Ms. Cooper express ed another concern with all the functional computers being housed in School A d oes have one new laptop cart, purchased with a matching grant. According to Ms. Edge who wrote the grant, these computers are not currently being used for two reasons. 1) When the school year began, they were used as an emergency solution to the insuffic ient number of computers purchased for the technology electives. 2) The computers have a design issue that makes them particularly fragile, and are not feasible for use in a classroom. There were two other laptop carts available for check out. However, a ccording to Ms. Edge they are not functional. The other two laptop carts we have are scavenged from carts from when the school opened up seven years ago in 2000. But, they are Apples and there are only about half on the cart that actually work. The last time I brought it into my little suckling pigs around the cart as the kids are all tied to the cart, trying to get of them (the Apples) and you can see the guts (of the computer). They are falling apart.
88 Indeed, the equipment availability and functionality has become such an issue that several of the teachers have purchased their own, a nd that is what is being used in the classroom. Two additional barriers to technology integration were discussed in the interview. stakes testing has plorer, FCAT explorer. If you want to do FCAT explorer FDOE sponsored test practice site for students. A second issue, vocalized by Ms. Carroll, w as her own comfort with technology and the lack of The people that are resources are overloaded. And so Overall, the teachers who participated in the School A group interview saw technology integration as beneficial to their own teaching and for their students learning. However, they did identify multiple barriers that are prohibiting them from maximizing the potential benefits of technology. Those barriers include equipment availability, equipment functionality, high stakes testing, and teacher comfort (or discomfort) with technology. School B: Group Interview Se ven teachers from School B participated in a group interview held in the classroom of one of the participating teachers, Ms. Smith As in the interview held at
89 School A, each teacher had their own perspective on the questions; however, there was consensus related to student learning and barriers to technology integration. Similar to the teachers at School A, the teachers at School B identify active learning strategies as being the most effective for student students in the middle grades. The following quot e from Ms. Dennis best captures the opinions expressed by the participating teachers. they teach other students. Sometimes I will have them create their own PowerPoint, or create their own le ssons to teach something, they seem to be learning it best when they are actually presenting it to someone else. problem solving and knowledge application as being assistive to student learning; however, all te achers identified active learning as being the most effective with their students. The teachers were asked to describe their use of non Internet technology. The teachers reported use of LCD projectors, interactive whiteboards, presentation software, and document camera s. One teacher, Mr. Stephens also indicated that he use s digital cameras, flash drives, digital portfolios, and digital filmmaking in his classroom. The most frequent ly s use of an LCD projector to project presentations and website. The majority of the interview addressed the barriers the teachers perceived as inhibiting their technology integration. The number one concern of all the participating teachers was equipment both access and functionality. T heir concern is typified by Ms. Dennis, who commented, I know a lot of my team would like to do a lot of these things
90 (use technology) But, you have to check it (the LCD projector) out and return it that same day. They j going down every single day and checking it out. They want to have it already set up and ready to go. Heaven forbid you turn it ( a laptop cart) in late, or something takes longer than you wo difficult impediment to their technology integration. Indeed, due to perceived restrictions to equipm ent access, one of the teachers in the interview purchased her own laptop, document camera and LCD projector. Several others have purchased a laptop to use in class. Unlike School A, wh ich had two semi functioning laptop carts that could be check ed out, and no fully functioning carts that could leave the media center, School B had six portable laptop carts with wireless Internet and wireless laser printing for checkout from the media center. The majority of the compute rs in the six carts do function; ho wever their full functionality was a concern expressed by multiple teachers in the interview. [W] 2008 right now. Some of the basic barriers to have true multimedia, to have the truly integrate and do the interactive types of things that kids need to learn, you need good microphones, you need integrated cameras in laptops to do really good presentations, good speakers, external hard drives, or labs that have space to sa ve huge files becaus Mr. Stephens )
91 Other teachers agreed with the Mr. Stephens When discussing the computers in her classroom, Ms. Smith There are so many web quests and f discussed a problem she had recently faced drive int o one of the laptops and his jump drive is so advanced that the computer interview. What comes to mind job is th century technology and trying to prepare them for the 2020s the students for what they will be doing i The teachers at School B are not lacking equipment. However, they are faced with problems inherent in technology, functionality and compatibility In addition to concerns over access and functionality, sever al teachers expressed concern about their own ability to use the available technology. Ms. Gonzalez stated the I want to really learn how to use things more. I would like to have more knowledge, and so I would like more training on differe nt things so that I could figure out how to use it in the classroom. somewhat intimidated because I would have computer problems and Mr. Stephens would send the kids over to help me
92 go to learn more echoed by Ms. Smith who said Smart boards down there (in the media center) but no one knows how to use them. A final barrier identified during the School B group interview was the impact that standardized testing has had on the ability to integrate technology into the classroom. Mr. Stephens n test preparation has had on student technology use. we did the History Fair which was extremely high level research and we used the technology, digital documentaries. constantly to make that (the FCAT) the focus. That is what the administration wants to hear. They want to see the continuous improvement model. We are constantly working, and re teaching the skills. While the y were getting the same ten minutes long. We spent an entire semester creating thi s and it is extremely high level research. The kids were doing 21 st century skills and they were harder to defend
93 His concern that the FCAT was supplanting student technology use was supported by Ms. Taylor who said, ct based hard er to prove to an administrator. The teachers at School B see the value of using technology in the classroom but they are faced with barriers that they perceive as inhibiting their technology integration Although they have equipment, unlike School A, the teachers still feel that there are equipment barriers impeding their use of technology The barrier most often described, and which had the most vehement reaction, was equipment functionality, or a lack of functionality. Also of concern for these teachers was access to equipment, their own comfort with technology, and the impact that standardized tests have had on student use of technology. School C: Group Interview Four teachers at School C participated in a group interview held in the department chair were asked questions related to student learning, technology i ntegration, and barriers to use. As previously stated, the teachers each had a unique perspective on the questions asked; however, there were general trends which were evident from their answers. When asked about how students learn best; the general conse nsus was that students need learning environments that require them to manipulate content. Mr. s comment captures working with the content rather than you just talking at them. Whether it
94 in other words, they advocated active learning as most effective for student l earning in the middle grades. All of the teachers in the group interview mentioned using an LCD projector, or a interactive whiteboard, on daily basis. When asked about the availability of projectors at School C, Mr. Brady inquired about was the availability of portable laptop carts. The teachers reported that there were seven, each with a minimum of 12 functioning laptops, available for checkout. Although e quipment appears to be readily available at School C, Mr. Brady purchased his own projector, laptop, and Bluetooth tablet, to ensure that he had daily access to equipment. Unlike the two prior schools, where access was of major concern, the teachers at Sc hool C were more concerned with incompatibility issues and the district firewall. One of the problems I have is compatibility. The stuff I make at home, I bring it 5 years old the one I use at home Mr. Michaels was not alone in his sentiment. Mr. Brady stated that incompatibility was a major is He joked that
95 All four teachers expressed a frustration with the restrictiveness of the district fi lthy pictures by typing in one thing here at school. And then you type in something like acknowledged a need for the security, they questioned whether the firewall could differ entiate between student and teacher log But, for us Technology professional development was another frustratio n for these teachers. All four identified themselves as regular users of technology. They found that the professional development offered by the school district was inappropriate for their needs. been to the Instructional Services Center; it was a waste of time. I already knew all that. Why did I go? I think th hey focus too much on word and PowerPoint and picture taking, rather than things we can actually use. Like how d o I use that Mimeo, how do I use that Smartboard? I know they have some of that training, much of anything to this point and they are just starting to learn. But, those of us who have been doing it for a while and are comfortable,
96 Despite their frustrations with compatibility, the firewall, and a vailable professional development, all four teachers viewed technology as being beneficial to their academically talented students. Mr. Michaels said that using technology gave him teaching seem much more validated, and that they teacher that is teaching it probably rather than just chnology, Student interest in technology was also mentioned in the interview. Mr. Michaels stated, use computers because it is actually a motivation for them to do it. If you give them a piece of paper and a book, they are not going to want to do it. If you give them some kind of technology to play with while the y are doing it, it will make it process while using the equipment at the same time. It helps them organize and work Overall, the teachers at School C articulated many of the same benefits of technology integration that teachers from both School A and B ide ntified. They also expressed frustration with equipment functionality. Access to equipment seems to be less of an issue at School C than either School A or B. Despite the reported access to equipment, teachers at School C also purchased their own equipmen t to ensure daily
97 availability and functionality. The teachers at School C expressed more concern over the district firewall and technology professional development than did the teachers at Schools A and B. Despite the differences among the three schools there were several commonalities that can be identified First, teachers at all three schools viewed active learning as the most effective way of teaching students in the middle grades; and, the teachers identified technology as a n effective tool to eng age students in active learning. All of the participating teachers identified benefits from integrating technology, most in the form of information access and presentation. At all three schools several barriers to technology use were identified; the mos t frequently mentioned were equipment related. Teachers expressed particular frustration with the functionality of computers which included equipment age, as well as compatibility issues Other equipment related barriers included access and the restrictiv eness of the district firewall. Several teachers expressed concern over the impact that high stakes testing has had on student technology use particularly that they feel pressure from administration to focus more on skills and less on project type assignm ents. Finally, teachers at both end s of the spectrum in ability to use technology expressed displeasure wit h the availability of technological professional development. Teachers who were hesitant users of technology reported that there was not enough pro fessional development available; and teachers who were regular technology users were frustrated with the simplicity of the professional development offered. These three group interviews concluded the first phase of this two part study.
98 Case Studies : Overv iew The second phase of this study involved the case studies of ten volunteer teachers, five from School A and five from School B. In this phase, the teachers were asked to participate in formal, semi structured interview (Merriam, 1998), provide one mon checked, and analyzed using Atlas ti software. Frequency counts for the combined ten intervie ws were provided for each of the codes within the three themes: barriers to use; teaching and learning; and, attitude and co mfort with technology. Table 14 displays the frequency counts, by code, for each of the three themes. An analysis of the frequenc y counts of codes from the combined individual interviews suggests that equipment related barriers were a dominant concern for the participating teachers. Equipment related barriers were mentioned 83 separate times over the course of the ten interviews, 43 .23% of all barriers discussed and 13.52% of all items discussed in the interviews. Of particular concern was access to equipment, functionality of equipment, and a lack of equipment. Teacher and student use of technology was mentioned 141 times, or 22.96 % of the items discussed. Within these 141 separate instances, 94 (66.67%) were related to teacher use of technology; 47 (33.33%) were about student use of technology which was similar finding to the group interviews. A discussion of the individual case studies are provided below, with information from the document analysis and classroom observation provided for additional insight.
99 Table 14 Frequency of Identified Codes: Individual Interviews Theme Frequency Barrier to use Access to equipment 45 Functionality of equipment 18 Age of equipment 6 Lack of equipment 14 District administrative policies 8 School administrative policies 26 High stakes testing 27 Firewall 6 Physical Environment 4 Financial Concerns 10 Technology Special ist 4 Time constraints 16 Student skills 2 Digital Divide 6 19 2 Teaching and learning Teaching philosophy 42 Teacher centered 24 Student centered 23 Higher order thinking 28 Curriculum constraints 7 Technology need greater for non g ifted 1 Understand needs of talented 11 Prepping students for tomorrow 12 Purchase own equipment 6 LCD projector use 9 Internet use whole class 15 Internet use teacher 4 Internet use student 20 Word processing teacher 3 Word proce ssing student 1 Presentation software teacher 15 Presentation software student 9 Digital filmmaking 3 Other technology teacher 22 Other technology student 6 Teacher administrative technology use 15 Laptop use teacher 4 Laptop u se student 6 Desktop use teacher 1 Desk top use student 2 289 Attitude and comfort with technology Teacher attitude toward technology 40 Teacher comfort with technology 16 Teacher discomfort with technology 20 Teacher experience with technology 12 Technology in teacher education 13 Technology in professional development 14 Fear of inappropriate materials 2 Student attitude toward technology 7 Student comfort with technology 1 Student experience with technology 8 133
100 C ase Study : Ms. Hill Ms. Hill is a 7th grade World Geography at School A. She is in her early 40s and is the only participating teacher in the study to have earned a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. A 14 year veteran teacher, Ms. Hill has tau ght 4 th grade, 7 th grade, and grades 9 teaching, she worked for county parks and recreation departments. She earned her teacher credentials by taking certification courses as a non degree seeking student. She indicated that there was little instruction in technology integration in her educatio nal background. W kids should be given the biggest and broadest opportunity to go way above the bar. I think that people learn through experience eel that if you philosophy, which advocates active learning, is in slight conflict with her expressed role as a social studies teacher. [I]t changes with each subject. Wh en I was teaching government to seniors, I really felt it was my role to teach them to be responsible citizens, and walking them through the entire process understanding what the Constitution was and why it is important for them and voting. In US His tory I felt like my job was to give them a clear picture of why we are like what we are today. In Geography, I
101 really try to give them a skill set. I give them some historical background and some fact based things l set and understanding our place in the universe. I in conflict with her statement that people learn through e xperience. It appears from these indices that Ms. (Appendix E). Ms. Hill studies teacher more than he r stated teaching philosophy. She indicated her most frequent use of technology was in administrative uses, specifically using PowerPoint presentations as a tool for lesson planning, e mails, and grade book software. She did state that she felt technology future. Ms. Hill specifically mentione d using Google Earth, PowerPoint presentations, and websites in her classroom. She alluded to a desire to use technology for student projects.
102 In an observation of what she deemed to be a typical use of technology, she used a PowerPoint presentation to guide a lecture with graphic organizer (Duplass, 2006), followed by supplemental websites. Used as another mode for presenting inform ation, the websites were quickly visited and little time was given for a through analysis of the available information. The documents provided by Ms. Hill appear to corroborate her statements in the interview and the classroom observation. She provided 8 documents to be analyzed. Of the eight, seven required students to process information. However, only one required critical thinking (as identified in Figure 3 ); which was also the only example of student technology use. In this activity, students were asked to complete on line research. The remaining activities were various worksheets that required little in the way of critical thinking and appeared to be practice activities associated with content presentation. As was indicated in the group interview s, Ms. Hill has encountered barriers to her technology integration. Technology availability has been an issue for her in years prior. To compensate for a lack of technology, she used money received for National Board Certification to purcha se a laptop and LCD projector. d t one. Ano ther availability concern she expressed was accessing the portable carts in the media center.
103 media center, if every te acher wanted to do at least one technology project we would (have problems). Luckily there are a lot (of teachers) it, so I can get in there a few more days. Getting a consistent number of days takes a lot of planning ahead and beat ing out all the other teachers who are planning when I plan to do a project and book it (the class set of computers). Low many times this year for testing. And, i so sad. Ms. Hill and other teachers from School A reported that the functioning laptop carts were only available for use in the media center, which was often unavailable due to schedule conflicts. She also expressed concern over her ability to use the available technology. I learn how to use it, there will be somethin knowing or not remembering the basic skills like how you log in, or change a font, or Ms. Hill expressed concern line. know how to filter through it and pick out what are the important things. They also do
104 Despite these frustrations, Ms. Hill views technology integration as necessary for preparing he r students for tomorrow. If we go out and find people in real jobs these days and ask them, most of them will have a comfort level with using computers and technology. I think it makes them better prepared for the real world not necessarily social stu dies but life in general. Case Study : Ms. Alexander Ms. Alexander is an 8th grade United States History teacher at School A. She is in year veteran teacher, Ms. Alexander has taught 4 th grade and 8 th grade. The 2007 2008 year was Ms. Alexander 2008 2009 school year. Ms. Alexander She earned her teaching certif indicated that she received no instruction on the use of technology within the classroom. When asked to describe her teaching philosophy, Ms. Alexander stated, It sounds And, by that I just mean being able to find the avenues, the strategies, the skills, anything to go ahead and help these kids be successful in school. She clarified her statement by saying, lo t more meaningful than someone regurgitating. Her stated teaching philosophy was supported by how she viewed her role as a social studies teacher. As a social studies teacher I just wanted to engage the kids in real world experiences. The textbook is on
105 of the textbook, so I try to take things off the pages. I teach it (the textbook materials) but I also bring in real world experiences on how the past is really preparation for the future; and, how t hey can use that information to propel forward. That was my whole purpose for doing projects, because it gave them hands on experience with social studies, with the world, with teaching as I do as the teacher. Ms. Alexander is a proponent of the Histor y Alive! program from the Teachers Curriculum Institute (Bower, Lobdell, & Owens, 2005). From the first time that I utilized History Alive methodologies in my class, I can honestly say it changed my whole outlook on teaching social studies. I used to t each in I had the kids answer the questions, then boring for me. The kids were sleeping, there were behavior problems. So when I got a chance to an swer the questions and construct for me the question with the answer that was the turning point. It was in my first year. Because, once I went to the training and saw how I could use the training in my classroom, it changed everything. She organized her class in groups and required her students to complete a variety of projects, both within the class and at home. On the day she was observed, students were presenting a six week long project on the Presidency. Students were required to complete a group office, and then teach that information to their classmates. The project included an oral
106 presentation, a visual presentation, a handout, and student created assessment. The gro up presenting during the observation had created a PowerPoint presentation to share their information. After time for the initial research, students completed the assignment at home, including creating the presentation. It appears from the interview, obser vation, and Schuerman (1998). kids are going into the 21 st century and b eyond. So, technology is very big. Kids are not doing what they have been doing in the past which is dealing with textbooks and that stuff When discussing technology in the classroom, Ms. Alexander most often mentioned her own equipment use including e mail, using a course website, document camera s, and PowerPoint. She rarely mentioned student use of technology except when referring to at home access. Indeed, when asked if she had any goals for using technology in her classroom, she replied that she had none. Despite her apparent ambivalence toward classroom technology use, Ms. Alexander (technology) application. I see that being the application part of Bloom s. I had th e opportunity to see it happen when I introduced my project, I told the kids what I wanted from the project, and then let them go on their own. Althoug h Ms. Alexander had an LCD projector and a document camera permanently in her room, she felt that she had limited access to equipment. The principal
107 restricted use of the laptop carts during the year. Originally, they were not allowed in the portables, wh ere Ms. Alexander taught. By the end of the year, the laptops were not If I wanted to use the cart, I would have to go to the media center to do that Y ou have two computer stations, and you had the laptops that you could check out. And then, you had people using the media center, like the Language Arts teachers using the media center to check out books. Other classes used it for videos. There was a lot of activi ty in the media center. She also expressed frustration with the availability of seemingly minor equipment, such as sufficiently long Ethernet cords to permit projecting the Internet using the LCD projector, which the media specialist was reluctant to provi de. Interestingly, when asked directly what barriers she faced, her response was, the majority of the kids had technology t was apparent from her answer to this question, and others, conceptualize technology integration to be stu dent use of t echnology within the classroom -that was something to be done at home. Case Study : Ms. Edge Ms. Edge is a 7th grade World Geography teacher at School A. In her early 50s, Ms. Edge has 6 years of classroom experience, all at School A, and al l in 7th grade She reports receiving little in the way of technology related professional development t hrough ACP; indeed, she could only recall receiving instruction in Excel.
108 is wrong to try and h completely quiet room. I like to hear things going on to see them interacting with one s Her statements about her role as a social studies teacher appear to match her stated teaching teaching the kids how to use cause and effect, to and, to get them to see outs It appears that Ms. Edge However, she did expr ess What I came to realize that teaching reading skills seems to be where the emphasis is now to the point w h ere it supersedes the curriculum. Which I think is really sad. Technology is something that she Specifically, teachers should provide students to develop researching skills using on line materials. It is absolutely critical that we teach the m the difference between a blog, an encyclopedia, and a primary sou the critical thinking skills to be able to discern the difference. We have to face
109 classroom. When asked to describe how she used technology in her social studies class, Ms. Edge described student use of websi tes for information gathering and educational games, and the use of PowerPoint for group work presentations. An analysis of the documents submitted support her interview statements. Over the course of the month in which the documents were collected, the students used the computers in the media center at least review games. The classroom observation confirmed her statements and the available documentation. Studen ts were engaged in review activities using on line geography quizzes. The students were responsible for running the technology, and the website was projected for whole class viewing. Similar to the other teachers at School A, Ms. Edge expressed frustratio n over equipment availability and functionality. like the media center guards it with its life (portable laptop cart) into your classroom corralled in the media center, their functionality is questio They have all been scavenged. We used to have four of them (laptop carts) but they have all been scavenged cart Due to her frustration with Ms. Edge as other teachers have done, purchased her own laptop, document camera and LCD projector to use in her classroom; thus ensuring daily access to technology.
110 Despite her frustratio ns, Ms. Edge continues to see the benefits of using technology with her students, especially the academically talented. It allows me to technology, it just opens up so much more ith them. Because, usually the honors have more empathy, more understanding, they are able to look at the world outside of themselves in 7th re yet. The honors kids, you can just take them so much further. Technology, especially the Internet, provides Ms. Edge with the tool to open her students Case Study : Ms. Roberts Ms. Roberts is a 7th grade World History teacher at S chool A. In her early 30s, Instructional Technology (IT) She has taught for six years, teaching 7th grade geography and 8th grade history at two schools in the district. Thi she moved to a school district on the east coast of Florida for the 2008 2009 school year. Due When asked about her teaching philoso respond to high expectations. It is important to find what touches them what gets their es, she sees that as manifested in issues to touch their lives to show them how it Indeed, she sees technology as being one of the ways to intrigue
111 what they are used to. Th at is their life. Ms. Roberts has a highly favorable opinion about technology integration, as one might expect with an IT masters. technology is new scenarios, new variables thrown i n ... them think and have to solve problems outcomes, different things they can do to use the Internet to complete scavenger hunts, condu ct research for projects, and use educational games for review. She also uses a document camera an LCD projector, and a laptop on a daily basis. She did express that she would like to have the students do more with technology. When I first started teac hing, I thought about how I wanted to teach kids HTML ing, some not nothing. Just trying to catch them up so that they can do something takes just too much time away from the curriculum. It really unfortunate because I think they really need it. Part of the frustration she felt was curricular time constraint s; another was pressure from high
112 In addition to curricula r and testing frustrations, Ms. Roberts identified the district firewall, equipment availability, and teacher knowledge as being major barriers to technology integration. Ms. Roberts was in a unique situation at School A. Because of her IT expertise, her colleagues regularly called on her for technical assistance, when the development to be a district wide barrier to technology integration. I try to do as much as I can, but at school every night until 8pm and not get done. Training is definitely a big needs to be more targeted training. I think that is a big barrier. As has been previously discussed, the laptop carts at School A are restricte d to the media center. Ms. Roberts found that she had trouble accessing the media center on numerous occasions. Tested (that have access) had the lab taken away from me for science, because science is on the FCAT now. Social studies is the low man cial hours and hours and days and days computers).
113 Her l ack of access eventually led to her nearly giving up trying to gain access. By the In an examination of the class materials Ms. Roberts submitted, it is evident that although she has technical skills, students are not necessarily reaping the benefits. The integrated technology was teacher directed, and the majority (12 of 16 activi ties provided) did not require critical thinking. Indeed, many of the activities were worksheets that required little beyond reading comprehension. It appears from an analysis of her submitted documents and interview responses that Ms. Roberts would fall into the Ms. Roberts left the district before arrangements could be made for an observation; therefore, the interview and documents materials could not be verified with observation data. Case Study : Ms. Cooper Ms. Cooper is 6th grade World Geography teacher at School A. In her late 50s, Ms. Cooper has 11 years of teaching experience in 5th and 6th grades, both in her current position at School A and at a n elementary school in another state Althoug h her Ms. Cooper spent several years working as an assistant in the engineering field L ittle in the way of classroom technology was i ncluded in her teacher preparation When asked to describe her teaching philosoph include that her background is in Direct Instruction, and
114 from her comments that Ms. Cooper is teacher centered, in that she is the ori gin of information in the class, which would place her discussing how she uses technology in her classroom, she discussed projecting pictures from the Internet, requiring students to conduct Internet research, gathering current information for her geography class, and projecting ima ges using a document camera. A class observation confirms her reported use of technology, in that she used a document camera to share images with her stud ents. Ms. Cooper did not supply documents for analysis; therefore the class observation and interview data can not be compared with documentation. Similar to other teachers at School A, Ms. Cooper views the biggest barrier to technology integration is e quipme nt availability, specifically the housing of the computers in the media center. h You could also have a class in there (the media center) doing research, and another one checking out books. You could have five classes. And that is that much
115 dist raction. She also suggested that there are not enough computers for a school the size of School A. In a discussion of the lack of equipment at the school, Ms. Cooper reflected on what was available at her previous school; and, in stark contrast, what was n ot available at her current school. At my previous school, every classroom had two computers for the children, the teacher had her own computer, the students had one hour a week that they went to a computer lab, where I told the computer teacher what we were studying so she We also had two 30 laptop carts that we could sign out and take to our classrooms at any time. Which is not the case here. Indeed, this lack of access to the equipment, part icularly the laptops, appears to be the consistently identified barrier to technology integration for the five teachers at School A. Case Study : Ms. Buckley Ms. Buckley is a 6th grade World Geography teacher at School B. In her early 50s, Ms. Buckley ha s four years of teaching experience, all in 6th grade at school B. She than 20 years prior. She reports taking two courses related using technology in the classroom. When asked about her teaching philosophy, Ms. Buckley stated, I am a very I enjoy having debates in the classroom, I believe it gets their brains working, and it might get them to think in a
116 differe things they can put their hands on that they can do. I believe that students l earn best by documents provided by Ms. Buckley shows that although she uses a variety of strategies in her class, few (3 of 20) incorporated critical thinking strategie s; and none required the students to use technology. In the class observation, Ms. Buckley used a PowerPoint review activity, one that was both a presentation of information and a quiz on the five themes of geography. The PowerPoint was completed as a who le class activity. It appears learning (Schuerman, 1998). In the Internet Use Survey, Ms. Buckley had one of the highest frequency of use and IUS scores, indicating that she is a frequent user of technology. However, when asked directly, Ms. Buckley acknowledged that she does not regularly use technology, due to a perceived lack of available equipment. to do something in the library it is already taken there are other teachers in their working or they are doing something in there. availability I feel. She stated that she had a document camera in her class; but, did not have an LCD projector to display the images. Additionally, sh e expressed a desire to have a laptop available for her use. She did, however, have three desktops in her classroom, one teacher
117 desktop and two for student use. These perceived equipment rela ted barriers according to Ms. Buckley prevented her from integrating technology the way that she would have liked. that function that would be awesome. I would use it at least three times a week An additi onal barrier to her use, one that is not solely equipment related, was the impact of high stakes testing. Ms. Buckley indicated that there has been a push at School But as f ar as the high stakes testing in concerned the FCAT Not only is the test focused curriculum affecting her integration, she has found it difficult to access the portable laptops during the two months prior to test admini stration. Although not often used in her class, Ms. Buckley views technology as an essential component to student education. I feel it is essential because the students are very visual with day and age and the way students are. They grow up with techn ology. Their minds are all keyed to technology. They are playing games at home. They are on the Internet at home. They are doing everything with their little hands and the buttons and going they are used ( sic. ) to that. To stand up there lecturing or writing on the board it gets a little boring for them. Where if you have even the ELMO alone with an LCD attention.
118 Case Study : Mr. Stephens Mr. Stephens one of two men include d in phase two, is an 8th grade United States History teacher at School B. I n his late 30s, Mr. Stephens has 12 years of teaching experience in grades 6 11, the majority of which has been at two middle schools, the last five years at School B In additio n to social studies, Mr. Stephens taught technology courses at a district high school. teaching certificate by taking non degree seeking classes at a local university. He reports that there was little classroom technology incorporated in his teaching preparation, as he earned his certification in a non traditional manner. However, prior to teaching, he worked for a computer company and has had a long interest in technology. When asked about his teach integrate the curriculum and offer students an opportunity to be successful with their He views his primary role as a social studies teacher as citizenship education and not teaching toward a education through a democratic classroom, one in which they regularly work in cooperative groups to complete tasks. Mr. Stephens views technology as an essential component of student education, due to the world in which the students will exist after graduating from school.
119 understanding of technology. The world we live in, there is a divide between what the kids do in t heir personal lives, which are usually tech based, and the classrooms, which is generally book Tech literacy needs to be daily and it needs to be something that will help the kids achieve in the future. There are timeless ways to teach and somet imes, the kids are so inundated with technology, that it becomes extremely powerful to just use a book or use imagery. completely competent with technology. To achieve the tech nolo gy literacy described by Mr. Stephens he sees a need for personal laptops for each student, digital cameras, photo editing, video editing, and external hard drives, among other equipment. He sees this vision as not a possible reality due to budgetary res trictions and district maintenance contracts. signing three year technology contracts. It costs them an arm and a leg for something that is $700, they are paying $1400. I und erstand they have a comprehensive contract for repair purposes where they essentially have one fleet and they can swap out for maintenance. And that is the goal for them long taff to do all repair work it becomes too complex for them and they become overwhelmed. o have Apple
120 computers... In the middle and elementary level, Apple is clearly the better product. The When asked about barriers to technology integration, Mr. Stephens identified a number of issues both at the district and school level that have impacted both him and his colleagues. At the school level, he feels pressure from office politics related to equipment check out, specif broken, and needs repair, and software security is so limiting, for example even being able to see a CD Rom drive, particularly frustrated with the district security policies. Many student flash drives given only to the technolog y specialist. He acknowledges the need for security. He sees the benefits of technology integration outweighing the risks. The district, according to Mr. Stephens sees it differently. Right now, the district, the school, and the tech coordinator see the risk as more important than student learning. That is clearly something that needs to be with every monitor them with the use of scissors, we monitor them with during testing, and
121 There is special vision sof tware that you can see every desktop, you can see what recognized because it needs administrator right s to be recognized. Saving work is the number one issue at that point. What is the point of starting a project if you Equipment functionality, district security, and office politics are only a handful of the barriers Mr. Stephens identified in the interview. He has felt increased pressure from school administration to focus on tested reading skills; and feels that technology based assignments are not valued because they cannot be measured. As a reaction to the perceived pressure he stated t integrates into his social studies class. Despite these pressures, frustrations, and barriers, Mr. Stephens does continue to use technology in his social studies classroom. He describes the way h e integrates technology in the passage below. There are a number of ways to use technology to teach social studies. The way audio or video clip you can present that to the class and be in the room with them (the historical than that, you want students to get to the point where they make a nd create their
122 the kids have their research and then in turn apply and synthesize it, and the kids ey do the most work for it, and they also have a lot of ownership. And, I think we are more successful in meeting our learning objectives when we do it that way. Mr. Stephens is clearly passionate about technology, 21st century literacy, and the social st udies. Class observations and document analysis confirmed his described technology utilization. On the day his class was observed, students were working in group s of three to four students to complete what Mr. Stephens his assignment is an on going project that lasts for the last six to eight weeks of the school year. In the project, students form companies that contract with Mr. Stephens to complete tasks to demonstrate their understanding of the course content, and in return receive group member earns. The students craft contracts using a word processor, conduct research using the Internet and school databases, create PowerPoint p resentations and digital documentaries, and use spreadsheets to outline their payroll. This technology integrated project is facilitated by Mr. Stephens but is directed by the students and their own interests. This observed project, when combined with st atements he made in the Case Study : Mr. Adams Mr. Adams the second of the two men in phase tw o, is an 8th grade United States History teacher at School B. In his early 60s, Mr. Adams has 38 years of teaching
123 experience in the middle grades. O riginally earning finished hi s teaching credentials in 1970. Seven years lat Educational Leadership. Mr. Adams reported receiving an extensive exposure to technology in his teacher training; including computer program. However, as this technology training was in the early 1970s, he felt that it was of little use to him in this digital age. When asked to describe his teaching philosophy, Mr. Adams I think that to help them mature, not only in an academic s explained that students learn best when they are happy, and that by using a variety of teaching strategies, and encouraging students to use their individual talents, he can provide a welcoming and enjoyable classroom e xperience. These statements suggest that Currently, Mr. Adams most often uses technology as an administrative tool, such as using e mail and an electronic grade book. He has u sed PowerPoint for class presentations; and, has worked with his teammates to develop interdisciplinary projects that required Internet research. He views technology as an elective component in student es along with it. I think the intention is great -but with all the rules and regulations that keep kids from doing the research I think it has taken a giant step backward. As his above statement suggests, Mr. Adams h as encountered barriers to technology integration. He
124 time constraints. His dominant concern was with the restrictions to Internet use, te exemplifies his frustration. had a warm up H e did not they are pretty good. I think the computers need to be upgraded eventually. satisfaction with the equipment is most likely due to the fact that he does not use it regularly. He recently purchased a lapt op for class use, and he does not frequently assign ms unlikely that he would be as aware of functionality issues as someone who uses technology on a near daily basis, such as Mr. Stephens Mr. Adams sees the benefit of integrating technology within the classroom, especially in the realm of higher order th inking, specifically with information ideas? Can you find the information that backs u p your position? I think it could work Despite seeing the benefits of using technology, Mr. Adams rarely does so In an analysis of his class materials, there was not a single occasion of technology use by either him or the students. On the da y of the classroom observation, Mr. Adams did utilize a PowerPoint presentation as an exam review. After class, he confided that another
125 teacher had made the presentation and that he was somewhat nervous using it. The students, however, were engaged and se emed to respond well to his use of the presentation software. Case Study : Ms. Norris Ms. Norris teaches both 7th grade World Geography and 8th grade United States History at School B. In her late 20s, Ms. Norris s ocial science. She later returned as a non degree seeking student to earn her teaching credentials. Currently in fourth year of teaching, Ms. Norris has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade social studies at School B. She reported that technology was omnipres ent in her teacher preparation, including Internet based classes, use of various equipment, and guest speakers specifically addressing technology integration in the social studies. When questioned about her teaching philosophy, she responded that it was away with something they can implement in their future lives, whether it is basic life this voting, or s a significant Ms. Norris subscribes to a more teache r centered learning environment, one with the teacher serving as a manager of information (Schuerman, 1998).
126 She is currently using technology for administrative purposes ; she utilizes a personal organizer to maintain class records When asked if technology integration is an essential or an elective componen technology, because she definitely beneficial. Because there are different ways of learning, different ways of presenting material further, it was e vident that Ms. Norris teacher centered. Different forms of lessons, different forms of technology whether it is PowerPoint, LCD projector, overhead instead of me standing there lecturing and them sittin g there staring, I can have a PowerPoint presentation ready. It serves as a visual aid or reinforcement. e was the following. more engaged than in a traditional lecture without visua ls, the integration she described is teacher centered. Throughout the course of the interview, Ms. Norris did not address student use of technology. An examination of the documents she provided supports her description of her class activities and technolog y use. Technology was used for content
127 presentation in one class activity. Students were provided an option to use technology in their project work, but these were at home projects. If students wished to use technology it was to be done at home. The cla ss observation confirmed the teacher centered use of technology and classroom organization. Ms. Norris did not lecture, however information was carefully disseminated through a video, assigned readings, and assigned tasks. When questioned about barr iers s he has encountered when trying to use person. I never know what cord goes where, where to plug it in. I think it is a matter of Ms. Norris could potentially be classified as a reluctant user of technology; of the 27 teachers participating in this study, she was only one not to have home Internet access. Case Study : Ms. Smith Ms. Smith is 7th grade World Geography teacher at Scho ol B. She is in her mid 20s and has three years of teaching experience, all in her current position. She earned a a n educational technology course during her teache r prep aration; in which, she created lesson s that integrated various forms of technology. When asked about her teaching philosophy and the ways in which students learn best, she responded with the following statement. I would say that every kid can learn -its just how to do you tap into how that kid learns. Being a teacher is all about patience and how much you are willing to help -tap into their background
128 knowledge. Let them try to experience w them instead of standing up there going on and on and on about nothing. ( 1998) matrix, which emphasizes modeling, and helping students to pr oce ss reality. This philosophy is demonstrated in her classroom with her reported use of a variety of strategies to engage students in the learning process, including activities from Geography Alive! (Bower, Lobdell, & Owens, 2005). Ms. Smith identified tech nology as an essential component of student education. Her most frequent uses of classroom technology are as an administrative tool and as a form of content presentation, through PowerPoint. She also regularly uses websites in whole class presentations to supplement class discussion and readings. An analysis of the documents provided by Ms. Smith indicates that she does indeed regularly utilize her LCD projector to examine websites and present class content. Indeed, during the observed class, the students engaged in a visual discovery activity in which they analyzed images projected on the screen using the LCD projector. During the interview, Ms. Smith discussed the development of higher order thinking using technology with the following statement. I think any kid can Google on the Internet. But if they are able to tell the difference between a good website, a bad website, credible information, or if something was edited on Wikipedia because someone thought it would be information that they are gathering on the
129 into a power point that. Interestingly, in the section of questio n 9 that addressed analyzing websites for bias and accuracy, Ms. Smith inconsistency. It is likely that her res ponse to the survey is more accurate and her answer She also appears to possess a misunderstanding of academic talent. When asked if technology was particularly appropriate for academica lly talented students, she replied with the following statement. Those kids have that technology at home, they have computers at home, they have internet access, they know how to use PowerPoint. To me, the need is more for the advanced and regular kids -be exposed to it to see how this type of information and knowledge and how to use technology can help them later on in life. This statement makes one erroneous assumption, that all academically talented student s possess socio economic privilege. This is not the case; especially in a school with the economic diversity of students found in School B, where 36.69% of the students receive free or reduced lunch. Ms. Smith expressed a desire to use technology more fre quently than she currently does. She indicated that there were several barriers inhibiting her technology integration. According to her, the significant barrier was equipment availability. With
130 regard to availability, she expressed concern over the appar ent inequity of equipment dispersal among the academic disciplines. Specifically, all mathematics teachers were provided with a laptop, and document camera, and an LCD projector. She also voiced frustration with the time constraints that are associated wit h checking out equipment. running behind? people get more technology than others. I would use it as much as they would, but I only get it for a certain amount of time. Also of concern was equipment functionality, appropriate training on available FCAT robots. Despite the frus tration she feels with trying to overcome availability, functionality, and other barriers to technology, Ms. Smith still sees technology integration as a worth the available tec The results from these ten case studies support the findings from the group interview. Teachers see the value in using technology in the social studies. They see it as a tool for information gathering, and in some i nstances for encouraging critical thinking. They all expressed concern over various barriers to technology integration. The most frequently identified barriers were equipment access and functionality. Several teachers
131 identified both pressure from high st akes testing an d district security policies as inhibiting their successful utilization of technology. The manner in which each teacher utilized the available technology varied depending upon their own situation, teaching philosophy, and comfort with techn ology. Summary of Findings Each of the three research questions was examined using both the quantitative data collected through the survey, and the qualitative data gathered in the group interview and case studies. The three research questions are addre ssed in the following sections. Research Question 1 The first research question pertains to the frequency and manner with which middle school social studies teachers use digital technology with their academically talented students. This question is addre ssed through survey questions 9 24 and is triangulated with information in the group interview and ten case studies. The 27 participant teachers reported an average of 10.56 hours of at school computer use, and 11.37 hours of at home computer use. The mo st frequently used application was word processing software, with nearly 89% of the surveyed teachers reporting using word processing five or more times per week. Although not as frequent as word processing, nearly 78% of the participants reported using p resentation software. The teachers reported rarely using spreadsheet, productivity, web publishing, or FTP software. Participant teachers were classified as high level, mid level, or low level Internet users as determined first by their mean use score ( from survey question 9), and then
132 through the Internet Use Scale score, described in VanFossen and Waterson (2008). Using the mean scores classification, 7 teachers were identified as high level users, 14 were mid level users, and 6 were low level users. When the participants were reclassified using the IUS method, all teachers were either high level users (16 participants), or mid least one level. This classifica tion increase is interesting, as it suggests that the type of Internet use may have more influence than the frequency with which it is used. Nearly 78% of the participating teachers were correctly able to indentify their frequency of Internet Use, suggest ing that the teachers possessed a level of self awareness with regard to their classroom technology integration. Of the 27 participating teachers, all but one reported having home Internet access. The teachers used the Internet more frequently for persona l reasons than for professional purposes. When asked about their professional use of the Internet, the teachers reported most often using the Internet to gather information, a result similar to VanFossen and encourage their students to use the Internet to connect with those outside of the classroom, either through website development, or through email. The teachers also rarely used WebQuests, and they did not often require their students to analyze websites for bias, accurac y, or perspective. These data were supported by the group interviews. Teachers at each of the three schools repeatedly extolled the benefits of technology as a way of gathering information, for both them and their students. There was lit tle discussion of using the Internet for other purposes, such as web design.
133 As Phase 2 of the study included interviews, as well as document analysis and classroom observations, the technology integration of the ten case study teachers could be examined more closely than can be done through a survey instrument. All ten teachers reported using digital technology for administrative purposes, to gather background information, and for content presentation. Of the ten teachers, only two appeared to regularly encourage student in class on line research, and technology project creation. for student research and project creation, or students were expected to use their at home technology. The typical teacher in this study frequently uses technology, both for personal and professional purposes. Most often the teacher uses technology for word processing, administrative purposes, and content presentation. When using the Interne t, the teacher is searching for information, or encouraging students to search for information. The teacher is not using technology for web designing, nor for file sharing. Additionally, the teacher is not requiring students to analyze websites for bias, perspective, or accuracy. Research Question 2 to support higher order thinking. This question is addressed with information taken from survey question 9, with additional i nformation provided in the group interviews and case studies. Question 9 of the Internet Use Survey listed 16 classroom uses of the Internet. Of these 16, six require students to utilize higher order thinking skills, which is a necessary
134 component of a n appropriate education for academically talented students. These six uses include requiring students to conduct research; to create a website; to complete an inquiry analyze we bsites for accuracy and bias; and, to compare and contrast websites from divergent perspectives. Each of these tasks requires students to critically analyze information and use problem solving to complete a task. Of the six tasks described, only one was u sed by a majority of the participant teachers. Over 80% of the teachers surveyed reported that they required their students to use the Internet to gather information at least occasionally, 38.46% reported doing so frequently. Although the teachers require d their students to access information from the Internet, their responses indicate that they do not require the students to analyze the information found. Indeed, nearly 89% of the teachers surveyed reported that they either rarely or never had students a nalyze websites for accuracy and bias. Over 85% of the teachers stated that they either rarely or never had students examine websites from websites, nearly 41% developed l essons that required the students to use the Internet to over 77% of the participating teachers reported rarely or never using them in their class. Nor, were the teacher s requiring students to create web pages. Indeed, over 92% of the teachers reported never or rarely requiring student web design; of this group, 77.78% reported never requiring students to design webpages.
135 In the group interviews and individual case stu dies, teachers stated that they could see a connection between higher order thinking and technology use, and all teachers agreed that higher order thinking was important in the social studies. The teachers identified that maneuvering through vast stores of information on line requires students to utilize critical thinking, specifically analysis and synthesis; and, that students have to comp uters. The case studies support ed the survey data, in that only technology related lessons requiring higher order thinking involved information gathering, with the exception of one teacher, Mr. Stephens. In his classes, students were engaged in a variety of technology related projects that required higher order thinking, such as digital filmmaking and creating presentations. The majority of teachers in this study view technology as an essential component to student education, largely due to the need to prepare students for a technolo gy driven future. This sentiment is best summed by Ms. Dennis at School C, who identified work with The typical teacher in this study sees the value of technology in the social studies, and identifies it as helping students to develop higher order thinking skills. Ho wever, by using technology as either a form of content presentation or a source of information, the order thinking. Although students are being required to gather information, and decide wh at is relevant and
136 important, clearly a higher order thinking skills, other opportunities for critical thinking are being missed specifically in analyzing websites for bias, accuracy, and perspective. These activities would be a natural extension of the a lready implemented task of information gathering. Research Question 3 The third question inquires into the factors that influence the participating several factors th equipment availability (Friedman, 2006), teacher comfort with technology (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; VanFossen, 1999), technology related professional development (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Shau nessy, 2005; VanFossen, 1999), and teaching philosophy (Manfra & Hammond, 2007). In addition to the factors listed above, teacher attitude toward technology was considered to be a factor separate from professional development and teaching philosophy. The s urvey provided information pertaining to equipment, comfort, attitude, and barriers. Relationships among these factors were examined using correlation analysis. Information gleaned from the survey was further examined using both the group interviews and t he case studies. In his 2006 study, Friedman found that teachers reported that lack of access to equipment, specifically an LCD projector, was the predominant barrier to their technolog y integration. The survey for the current study indicate that all but one teacher had access to at least one computer in their classroom. The teacher without a computer was a floating teacher, who did not have a classroom. Nearly 63% of the surveyed
137 teachers have more than one computer in their classroom. Internet connect ion speed was determined to be fast, although heavy on line traffic would slow connection speed during class. Twenty five of the 27 teachers reported having access to an LCD projector; indeed, 18 had a projector placed permanently in their room. There were mobile laptop carts available for checkout at all three schools. The correlation analysis examining the relationship between LCD availability, computer availability, and Internet use, indicated that no correlation existed among the three. Despite a lack of a statistical ly significant correlation, and having a great deal of technology within the school and classroom, teachers still reported that the largest barrier to their technology integration was equipment, both availability and functionality. In revi ewing the group interview and case study data, it becomes evident that although teachers do have some concern about the amount of technology available, the real issue in equipment availability is administrative policies regarding equipment check out. This is especially true at School A, where although there are laptop carts available, they cannot leave the media center. By limiting the mobile carts to this space, the administration has in effect reduced student access to technology. Indeed, several teach ers at School A learning environment, which could have as many as five classes working in a facility the y was not as restrictive as equipment check. In contrast, accessing equipment was not identified by the participating teachers at School C as being a barrier to thei r technology integration.
138 The teachers at all three schools expressed great frustration with the functionality of the available technology, due to equipment age and district security measures. Mr. Charles, a teacher at School B best summarized the teachers to compatibility issues in software and available memory. Several of the teachers run programs, or display presentations that they prepared on their home computers. Mr. Michaels from School C voiced their frustration. One of the problems I have is compatibility. The stuff I make at home, I bring it 5 years old, the one I use at g Not only are teachers frustrated with what amounts to wasting their own time, but they are also frustrated that their students are prevented from saving materials due to the ability to read newer flash drives. Ms. Smith at School B described (USB flash drive) into one of the laptops and his jump drive is so advanced that the computer drives; however, this would require administrative privileges, which are available only to
139 teache rs question whether it is appropriate to ask students to create a product on the Another functionality concern for many of the teachers in this study was district policies, especially with regard to security. There were two areas of c oncern with the described in the previous paragraph. The second issue, that was voiced at all three chers understand the need for security, they question whether or not a uniform firewall is the answer. They for the kids. But, for use e one, teachers could have Unfortunately, in the current economic climate, the functionality of equipment significant outlays of capital. Indeed a n umber of teachers at all three schools have purchased their own equipment to use in the classroom; thereby, reducing issues of compatibility and availability. However, despite equipment issues, a few of the teachers, specifically Mr. Stephens and Ms. Edge, continue to utilize the available technology; they Several researchers have suggested that appropriate technology related Mishra 2008; Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Shaunessy, 2005; VanFossen, 1999). The participants in this study reported a mean of 6.63 hours of technology professional
140 development, with a range of no training to 20 hours. A weak correlation existed between technology professional development and the frequency of use (as indicated by the mean score). This suggests that although a relationship may exist between training and use, it is weak. The qualitative data collected in this study provide some clarity to the impact of professional development on teacher technology use. Teachers at all three school s indicated that they saw a need for technology related professional development. The participants described a desire of how to use and incorporate interactive white boar ds, and to become more familiar with the technology available in the schools. The teachers at School C suggested that targeted professional development would be more effective than what is currently being offered in the district. really done much of anything to this point and they are just starting to learn. But, those of us who have been doing it for a while and are comfortable; there is nothing new that is available to study, that the training currently being offered in the district is insufficient for both the reluctant and the experienced computer user. It is logical to assume that teachers who are more comfortable with technology will be more likely to use it in their classrooms. In the survey, participants were asked to indicate their level of comfort with a number of software applications. All 27 teachers h word processing. The teachers also indicated were not as comfortable with other applications, i.e. spreadsheets, web design, and file
141 sharing. A correlation between co mfort and frequency of use could be expected; however, this was not the case. The correlation analysis indicated a moderate relationship between teacher comfort with technology and teacher attitude toward Internet use. Teacher attitude was assessed using q uestion 9 of the survey instrument. The question not only inquired about the frequency with which the teachers used technology, assigned an attitude mean score, simi lar to their frequency of use mean score. It was this mean score that was then compared with other factors in the correlation analysis, in which the relationship between comfort and attitude was found. It is logical that teachers who are more comfortable w ith technology, including the Internet, will have a more favorable opinion of ways to incorporate it (the Internet) into the class. As one might expect, the teachers most highly valued information gathering activities, which mimics their use patterns. Atti tude and use rates were similar for both activities that encourage student communication with those outside the classroom, the teachers reported that these were of low importance, and they did not ask students to use the Internet in this manner. Interestin gly, most of the teachers surveyed stated that analyzing webpages for accuracy, bias, and perspective were important or somewhat important learning activities; this is drastically different from the frequency with which teachers used these strategies. The se results suggest that in the case of analyzing websites, factors other than attitude may be in effect, such as time constraints. study was teaching philosophy. There were no questions in the survey that assessed the
142 questions in the group and individual interviews designed to uncover their teaching philosophy. In addition to direct questionin g, an analysis of class documents and classroom observations provided a window into the learning environment created by the teachers. The teachers participating in the interviews all expressed a need for the middle grades students to be engaged in active teachers vocalized a belief in active learning, the manner in which they implemented active learning strategies was dependent upon their teaching philosophies. Most of the teachers included in phase two utilized a teache r interview questions, an analysis of the collected documents, and throug h classroom observations. Three teachers (Mr. Stephens, Ms Edge, and Ms. Alexander) can be also as indicated by their interview responses, documents collected, and classroom observations. Two of the three teachers who view their role as a f acilitator of learning were the only teachers in Phase 2 to frequently encourage in class student use of technology, as indicated through document analysis and classroom observations. These two teachers, Ms. Edge and Mr. Stephens, required students to cond uct research on line and then create a product using technology. Ms. Alexander, the third teacher classified as
143 a facilitator also required the students to complete an extensive project requiring students to construct their own understanding of a topic. So class chose to use technology to complete the project; however, this was done at home, not in the class setting. The remaining seven teachers, although they crafted learning experiences that used technology, it was typ ically used as a form of content presentation, with the teacher in control of the technology and the content. technology is influenced by a number of factors, not the leas t of which is equipment availability and functionality. Indeed, teachers at all three schools indicated that equipment was a significant barrier to their classroom use of technology. Perhaps most interesting are the findings with regard to attitude, comfor t, and teaching philosophy. The data indicate that participating teachers are more likely to have a positive attitude about technology integration if they are comfortable with the equipment. Additionally, a hilosophy has a significant impact on the way in which the teacher uses the available technology. Mr. Stephens and Ms. Edge, the two teachers who used technology in a student centered format, both were comfortable using technology, saw the benefits of usi ng technology with their students and their
144 Chapter 5 Conclusions and Future Research Introduction Purpose of the Study Interest in technology integration with in t he socia l studies classroom continues to be of interest as the new technologies and new research shape the field (Friedman & Hicks, 2006 ). This study attempted to fill a void in the existing research Specifically, this study examine s the use of te chnology in the middle schools, with academically talented students, an area which has not previously been investigated The purpose of this study was to determine the ways in which social studies teachers of academically talented students in high performi ng western Florida middle schools use digital technology in their classrooms and the factors that influence this use As this study examined the type of technology used, the frequency of technology use, and echnology, a mixed methods approach (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998) was deemed most appropriate. Research Questions This study was designed to address the following research questions; all of which were addressed with both quan titative and qualitative data collected using mixed methodology.
145 1. To what degree do social studies teachers in high performing middle schools utilize technology in teaching academically talented students? 2. How do social studies teachers in high performing m iddle schools use digital technology to support higher order thinking? 3. What factors influence social studies teachers in high performing middle schools inclusion of digital technology in their teaching of academically talented students? Research Methods T his study utilized a mixed method research protocol, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative analyses in an effort to answer the above research questions (Creswell and Plan, 2007; Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2005; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). Quantitative instructional purposes, and the factors that facilitate or hinder that use. Information obtained throu gh this survey was expanded upon with the data obtained through group interviews at each of the three p articipant schools. To enhance information gathered in the survey and group interview, ten teachers participated in the second phase of this study, whic h included interviews, observations, and document analysis. The use of these various sources of data provided the ability to investigate further information inaccessible through survey analyses alone. Additionally, multiple data sources provided the oppo rtunity to triangulate findings.
146 Discussion of Findings Mixed methods studies may initially appear messy, with information from va rious data sources contradicting e ach other. However, there is power in the mess. Survey data is limited in what it can asse ss; it is limited by the questions asked and what the responses to the survey can be verified and challenged through the use of qualitative methods. Often, this will proce ss will uncover conflicting data. This study is no of technology integration and their actual implantation of digital technology. The participa nt teachers indicated, through the survey instrument and the interviews (both group and individual), that technology integration was important for student learning. However, in an analysis of their practice, (as evidenced by their survey responses, document analysis, and classro om observations) it was clear that although teaches were 21st century literacy skills (See Figure 2). The teachers reported that they used the Internet to gather informa tion, and that it was important for students to do the same. However, few teachers required students to gather and analyze information in the class setting. The participating teachers suggested that the root s of the d iscrepancy between their desire and t heir practice w ere the barriers to technology integration inherent in the classroom. Friedman (2006) identified equipment availability, particularly access to an
147 rep orted access to and functionality of equipment to be barriers to their use. However, nearly all teachers reported having computers in the classroom; and, they also reported that they could access LCD projectors. Indeed, the majority of the teachers had an LCD equipment evidently stems from a different source; specifically functionality and administrative policies. The teachers identified multiple administrative pol icies that have hindered their use -There are solutions to these problems. First, schools, as typified by School A, need to re examine their checkout policies, and provi de teachers with a more flexible procedure. Second, district security policies need to be re examined. The current firewall is all inclusive; all users are blocked from potentially threatening websites. Several of the teachers suggested an alternative, ha ving levels of firewalls that are accessed with the access instructional materials that are blocked by more stringent firewall measures. Finally, the teachers express ed concern with the security measures inhibiting equipment. Newer flash drives often have to be loaded onto a computer upon their initial use. The way the school system cur rently operates, teachers do not have administrative access to load software, which would include these flash drives. Teachers need to be provided with limited administrative privileges so they can load flash drives and trouble shoot potential problems.
148 T echnology is always evolving; therefore, the functionality and compatibility of equipment will be a continuing problem for schools. Indeed, most of the teachers at the three participating schools expressed frustration with the functionality of the equipme nt available for their instructional use. This situation is not going to change in the near future, especially within the constraints of the current budgetary concerns. Therefore, teachers need to be shown how to work with the technology available to them in their classrooms. As suggested in the literature (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Shaunessy, 2005; VanFossen, 1999), technology related professional was identified as a need by many of the participants; however, concerns were voiced about the usefulness of the currently offered technology related professional development. What needs to happen is that teachers need to be provided with training opportunities using the equipment that is available to them in their classroom. This would require trainings to take pla ce at the the available technology, then it is hoped that they would be more comfortable integrating technology into their instructional practices. The literature sugg ests that appropriate education of the academically talented student requires that students be engaged in activities that encourage higher order thinking and creativity; which are modified for the students needs through instructional process, and content, and student product (Clark, 1997; Rakow, 2007; Tomlinson, 1996, 2002). Thus technology integration that meets the needs of the academically talented student would include opportunities for th e student to gather information and craft products that demonstr ate their understanding. This cannot be accomplished if the only
149 individual with access to technology is the teacher. It appears from this study that most of the teachers at these three schools are not u sing digital technology in a way as to challenge the academically talented student and encourage their intellectual development. What can be done? A look at conceptualization of teacher technology integration could be informative Using the TPACK construct, the manner in w hich teachers integrate technology, if they integrate, is determined by the interaction of three forces: content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technological knowledge. Each of these three forces will influence the manner in which teachers utilize t echnology. To b e more specific, teachers need not only know how to use technology; but, also know how to use technology to teach their specific field. The results from this st udy can be viewed within the TPACK construct. The teachers whose teaching phil osophy was managerial used teacher centered pedagogical methods, with or without technology. Teachers whose teaching philosophy was more constructivist, with the teacher acting as a facilitator to learning, used student centered pedagogical methods, with o knowledge into the mix, you have a clearer picture of how these teachers used technology with their academically talented students. The teachers who were not comfortable using the available equipment, generally chose other pedagogical methods. The teachers who were comfortable with the available equipment used technology in a manner that supported their pedagogical style, whether it was teacher or student centered. If it is important for academically talented students to be provided with opportunities to engage in tasks requiring higher order thinking, then it is important that their teachers be
150 provided with an opportunity to develop student centered pedagogical skills. Additionally, teachers need to be provided with discipline specific training that demonstrates how to encourage student thinking and creativity through technology integration. TPACK one that would encourage appropriate educational opportunities for academically talented students using technology. Possibilities through Technology technology integration, both real and perceived, and the disparit attitude toward technology and their actual practice. Yet, there were teachers who took part in this study who demonstrated technology integration in such a way that the educational needs of the academically talented student could be m et these outliers are of interest due to their ability to integrate technology despite the barriers It is suggested by information presented in the literature review, and by Sheffield (2007) that academically talented students benefit from a class env ironment that encourages higher order thinking and creativity through the use of digital technology. Of the teachers participating in this study, one teacher, Mr. Stephens, utilized technology in his classroom in such a way that the academically talented students were required to conduct on line research, synthesize information, and create a product to share with a class. The tasks he required of the students were within the framework of a larger, student driven, group work project, which not only addresse d their cognitive needs through appropriate content, process, and product; but also their affective needs through
151 group work, and opportunities for self regulation. Mr. Stephens did not have a laptop cart in his room. He had four computers available for s tudent use; yet, he was able to craft the technology driven learning experience by working with other teachers and with students by requiring students to sign up for shifts on the available computers, by completing status reports if they used the computers in other areas, and by providing non Internet reference materials so that the students would not loose their momentum without a computer. Mr. Stephens exemplifies an outst anding teacher of academically talented students. He knows that they are coming of age in a digital world, and is dedicated to encouraging the development of their 21st century literacy skills. Although he feels frustration with equipment barriers, and a dministrative policies, he has found a way to integrate technology effectively in his American History class. What can be learned from understandi ng of how to appropriately use technology to teach the social studies to acad emically talented students; he utilizes classroom technology for student creation, not only content presentation. I n other words, he has TPACK as described by Mishra and Koehler (2006). This suggests that the TPACK framework is informative and should be used as an organizing tool for pre service and in service education. Specifically, conten t, pedagogy, and techn ology; and conducted using the technology available to the
152 classroom teacher. Professional development using the TPACK construct would require that the teachers not only be taught technology, but also content specific pedagogy. Prepar ing teachers to appropriately educate academically talented students would require that they first be well versed in student centered, constructivist teaching practices within the content area, which in this study was the social studies. Once teachers have been exposed to and provided an opportunity to practice student centered teaching, then the technology layer can be added. Technology professional development should include exposure to available technologies, which would include demonstrating use, as wel l as providing opportunities for teachers to collaborate and create lessons using technology available in the classroom. Technology is a tool that teachers will use the further their existing practices. If they utilize teacher centered strategies, then the ir technology use will be teacher centered. Conversely, if teachers utilize student centered strategies, then they are more likely to involve students in technology integration. Second in light of budgetary concerns in the current economic situation, it is unlikely that major changes will occur in available classroom technology. Therefore, it is imperative that pre service teachers be taught to think of possible solutions to the perceived barriers to technology integration which can be addressed if techn ology professional development is done in the school setting. Mr. Stephens demonstrated entrepreneurship when he solved the equipment availability issue by working with other teachers, and by providing reference materials when students rotated off the co mputers. I magine what Mr. Stephens could have accomplished in a classroom with ample technology. As the price of technology
153 continues to decrease, it would benefit schools to re examine their purchasing practices and equipment policies. Additionally, it i s beneficial for pre service teachers and in service teachers to be exposed the variety of cost effective technology available, so that they can act as an advocate for technology integration. Digital technology is vital to this information age. To expec t students to learn in an environment that does not include them in the use of information technology places them at a disadvantage for their future. It is undeniable that barriers to technology integration exist. However, teachers like Mr. Stephens who se entrepreneurial strategies should serve as an example of what technology integration can be despite these barriers. Limitations There were limitations to this study that should be discussed. First, not all of the schools meeting the selection criteri a were included in the study, due to a lack of the department chair at School C, teachers from that school could not be included in the case study phase, as there was n ot sufficient time to collect data by the time the phase one components were complete. Third, not all materials were collected from all ten case study participants. Ms. Roberts left the district before she could be observed; and, Ms. Cooper failed to prov ide course materials, although she was sent multiple reminders. Fourth, this study spanned two academic years; the time of year when the participating teachers were interviewe d and observed may have had an e ffect on their responses and teaching strategies. This potential limitation was lessened through the use of multiple data sources, which served as both triangulation and clarification. Fifth, due to the nature of the study,
154 including the small sample size, findings from this study cannot be generalized t o a larger population. Sixth, it is possible that surveyed participants provided what they considered to be socially appropriate responses rather than what they actually did in the classroom By using multiple data sources, this legitimation threat was le ssened. Finally, also a interpretation of the data. This legitimation threat was controlled through the use of member checking, for the individual interviews, and by assessing inter rater reliability. Summary This mixed digital technology in their teaching of academically talented students. The study was conducted in two phases: school level and individual case study. In the school level phase, teachers were asked to complete a survey first used by VanFossen (1999) that school based group interview In the individual case study phase, ten teachers were asked to participate in an individual interview, collect classroom documents for a document analysis, and the survey were analyzed using frequency counts, and correlation analyses utilizing rho Data from the group interviews and individual interviews were analyzed using the constant comparison method. Information gleaned from classroom observations and document analysis served to triangulate information gathered through the survey and interviews.
155 All teachers in this study were classified as either a mid level or high level user of technology as determined through the method described in VanFossen and Waterson (2008). The teac hers most frequently used the Internet for information gathering and content presentation. Rarely did they require their students to communicate with others outside the classroom; nor did they require students to analyze websites for bias, accuracy, and p erspective. When asked to evaluate the importance of tasks, information based on their frequency scores, the teachers did not view requiring students to communicate with in dividuals outside the classroom as an important learning task. view this as an important learning task. In an analysis of the type of technology integration most of ten used, it was apparent that the teachers were not using technology to engage students in higher order thinking or creativity, with the exception of two teachers. integrati on, several themes arose. First, nearly all of the teachers included in this study viewed equipment, either access or functionality, as a barrier to their technology integration. Second, teacher comfort with technology was associated with s att itude toward, and ultimately frequency of, technology integration Third, teaching philosophy appears to have an impact on the way in which technology is TPACK construct is of particula r use as a method to explain the manner in which the participating social studies
156 teachers used technology with their academically talented students. It is apparent from the data collected in this study, that most teachers in this study do not use technolo gy in the classroom in a manner that would be most beneficial to academically talented students. Most teachers are using available classroom technology as a form of content presentation, with the teacher as manager of both information and technology. More appropriate for the needs of academically talented students, coming of age in a digital world, would be for teachers to facilitate student learning by providing students with opportunities to gather information through on line data sources, analyze materia l for relevance and importance, and then create a product using technology. By doing so, order thinking, c reativity, and encourage 21st literacy. Recommendations for Fut ure Research The results of this study are similar to those reported by VanFossen (1999), VanFossen and Waterson (2008), and Friedman (2006) in that teachers largely used the Internet for gathering information; and, that teachers perceived equipment avail ability and functionality to be a barrier to their technology integration. Of the four studies, including this one, two are multiple case studies and the other two are state wide surveys. A potential study that would link these four with other similar stud ies would be a meta analytic study, possibly through a research synthesis procedure, to see if commonalities among the studies exist. A meta analysis would provide an opportunity for generalization which is not possible with most of the research conducted in social studies technology integration (Friedman & Hicks, 2006).
157 Findings from this study suggest that teaching philosophy is an important influence in the way in which teachers use technology. Judson (2006) failed to find a connection; yet, Manfra and Hammond (2007) reported that in their case studies, philosophy, indeed, played a role in the nature of technology integration. A potential study of interest would be a larger scale examination of teaching philosophy, the frequency of technology use, and the type of technology integration. This could be done using a research design similar to the one employed for this study, in which a survey is followed by targeted case studies. The survey for such a study would need to include information not only on th e frequency of technology use; but, also information pertaining to type of use and teaching philosophy. One of the more interesting findings pertaining to teacher attitude toward and use of the Internet was that although the majority of the teachers in th is study viewed having students analyze websites for bias, accuracy, and perspective as an important learning activity, few did so. Another possible study to come out of this research is to examine what barriers are preventing the teachers from requiring students to analyze information. It was suggested that time constraints may be a cause; however, it is unclear in this study where the barriers lay. Mr. Stephen technology integration is of particular interest, as the structure of his class and studen t assignments were decidedly different from other teachers in the study. Indeed, the method in which he integrated technology into his social studies class optimized opportunities for students to interact with technology through research and product creat ion. A potential follow up study to this one would be an in depth case study
158 Information obtained through a study of outliers, such as Mr. Stephens, would provide insight into what makes them and their teaching practices different; which could provide guidance for teacher preparation and in service professional development. Finall y, an easily utilized taxonomy of technology integration does currently exist in the literature. A possible future study could be the creation of this taxonomy. This would require an meta analysis of the existing literature, as suggested previously, combi ned with numerous in depth case studies. The detail gathered in case study research could be used to fully describe the levels of technology integration, which would not be available through meta analyses, nor through survey data. Technology and the socia l studies is emerging from its adolescence (Berson & Balyta, 2004). Research in the field is moving into new areas including digital citizenship, new technologies, and social networking. However, questions still remain as to what is actually happening in the classroom, how we can understand teacher technology integration, and what we can learn from extraordinary teachers to prepare pre service teachers and assist practicing teachers. The recommend studies described address these needs.
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173 Appendix A Survey Instrument Internet Use Survey School: _________________________________________________________________ The purpose of this survey is to gather information regard ing the classroom use of the Internet by s econdary social studies teachers. Some questions ask about equipment in your classroom. If you are a floating teacher, please think about each classroom your are in as your classroom. Internet and Equipment Availability : 1. Please indicate the number o f computers in your classroom. (Please select one answer. ___ I have no computer in my classroom ___ I have a single computer in my classroom ___ I have 2 3 computers in my classroom ___ I have 4 or more computers in my classroom 2. Please indicate the type of Internet access you have in your classroom (Select one): ___ I have no Internet access in my classroom ___ I have a slow Internet connection (<56K) for one computer ___ I have a slow Intern et connection (<56K) for multiple computers ___ I have a fast Internet connection (>56K/DSL) for one computer ___ I have a fast Internet connection (>56K/DSL) for multiple computers 3. Please describe your ability to project images from a classroom comp uter (Select one): ___ I have no access to a projector ___ I can run output from my computer to a TV screen in my classroom ___ My school has one LCD projector that I can check out ___ My school has multiple LCD projectors that I can check out ___ I h ave an LCD projector located permanently in my room 4. Please describe the availability of equipment to print out resources from the Internet at your school (e.g., to print out primary sources such as photographs, maps, etc.): ___ I cannot print out mate rials from the Internet at my school ___ I use a school wide, or departmental printer with a limited budget for printing ___ I use a black and white inkjet printer located in my classroom ___ I use a color inkjet printer located in my classroom ___ I u se a black and white laser printer located in my classroom ___ I use a color laser printer located in my classroom
174 Appendix A (Continued) 5. How many computers in the computer lab at your school have Internet access? (If ___ I never use the lab ___ 17 ___ none ___ 18 ___ less than 15 ___ 19 ___ 15 ___ 20 ___ 16 ___ 21 or more ___ Slow dial up (<56K) ___ Fast dial up (>56K) ___ DSL/Cable/Ethernet 7. Please describe your access to laptop carts, or classroom notebook computers (Select all that apply) ___ We do not have these in my school ___ We have one laptop cart with wireless Internet access avai lable for checkout ___ We have multiple laptop carts with wireless Internet access available for checkout ___ We have multiple classroom sets of wireless notebooks available for checkout. 8. Do you have Internet access at home? ___ Yes ___ No
175 Appendix A (Continued) Technology and Internet Use: 9. Do you view this teaching activity/tool as important for your teaching? How often do you use the Internet in the following ways? (Select the responses that match your opinion and use by pl acing a in the appropriate box.) Not an important teaching tool / activity A somewhat important teaching tool / activity An important teaching tool / activity A very important teaching tool / activity Never Rarely (several times per year) Oc casionally (several times per month) Frequently (Once per week or more) A. Gather background information for lessons you teach? B. Gather multimedia (music, maps, etc.) for lesson you teach? C. Encourage students to use the Internet to gather background information? D. Encourage students to use e mail to contact other students or content experts (e.g., historians)? E. Take students on a the Internet to visit a museum or other on line locatio n?
176 Appendix A (Continued) Not an important teaching tool / activity A somewhat important teaching tool / activity An important teaching tool / activity A very important teaching tool / activity Never Rarely (several times per year) Occasio nally (several times per month) Frequently (Once per week or more) F. Develop interactive lessons that require students to use the Internet to complete some task or assignment? G. Encourage students to develop their own WebPages for an assi gnment? H. Develop WebPages for social studies classes you teach? I. Have student complete inquiry J. Access primary source materials (e.g., images, diaries, historic newspaper articles, documents, etc.) f or use in your classroom?
177 Appendix A (Continued) Not an important teaching tool / activity A somewhat important teaching tool / activity An important teaching tool / activity A very important teaching tool / activity Never Rarely (several times per year) Occasionally (several times per month) Frequently (Once per week or more) K. Search for lesson plans for particular classes you teach? L. Access digital video clips to use in your classroom? M. Contact other social st udies teachers for professional development or lesson ideas? N. Have students complete specific worksheet activities using the Internet as a resource? O. Have students analyze webpages for accuracy or bias? P. Have students compa re/contr ast information from websites with different points or view?
178 Appendix A (Continued) 10. On average, how many hours per week do you spend on your computer at school ? ___ 0 ___ 5 ___ 10 ___ 15 ___ 20 or more ___ 1 ___ 6 ___ 11 ___ 16 ___ 2 ___ 7 ___ 12 ___ 17 ___ 3 ___ 8 ___ 13 ___ 18 ___ 4 ___ 9 ___ 14 ___ 19 11. On average, how many hours per week do you spend on your computer at home ? ___ 0 ___ 5 ___ 10 ___ 15 ___ 20 or more ___ 1 ___ 6 ___ 11 ___ 16 ___ 2 __ 7 ___ 12 ___ 17 ___ 3 ___ 8 ___ 13 ___ 18 ___ 4 ___ 9 ___ 14 ___ 19 12. How many times per week do you use the Internet for professional purposes (e.g., lesson planning, research, materials gathering, professional development)? ___ Never __ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week 13. How many times per week do you use the Internet for personal productivity or enjoyment purposes (e.g., online banking, shopping, communication with friends, emai l)? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week 14. How many times per week do you use word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word) for personal or professional purposes? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week 15. How many times per week do you use spreadsheet software (e.g., Microsoft Excel) for personal or professional purposes? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week
179 Appendix A (Continued) 16. How many times per week do you use graphic/image software (e.g., Photoshop) for personal or professional purposes? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week 17. How many times per week do you use presentation software (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint) for personal or professional purposes? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week 18. How many times per week do you use productivity/scheduling software (e.g., Microsoft Outlook) for personal or professional reasons? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week 19. How many times per week do you use web publishing software (e.g., DreamWeaver) for personal or professional reasons? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week 20. How many times per week do you use FTP software (e.g., WS_FTP) to upload files to a school server? ___ Never ___ 5 6 times ___ 1 2 times ___ 7 8 times ___ 3 4 times ___ 9 or more times per week
180 Appendix A (Continued) 21. How comfortable do you feel using the f ollowing computer applications? (Select responses that match your level of comfort by placing a in the appropriate box.) Uncomfortable Somewhat Comfortable Moderately Comfortable Very Comfortable Word processing (e.g., Microsoft Word) Spreadsheet s (e.g., Microsoft Excel) Graphic/Image software (e.g., Photoshop) Presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint) CD ROM Instructional Simulations Productivity/Scheduling software (e.g., Microsoft Outlook) Web publishing software (e.g.,D reamWeaver) FTP software to upload files to school server (e.g.,WS_FTP) 22. How would you classify your instructional related Internet use? ___ I am a frequent user of the Internet in my instructional practices. ___ I am a mid level user of t he Internet in my instructional practices. ___ I am an infrequent user of the Internet in my instructional practices. 23. Which statement best describes your desire to use the Internet in your classroom teaching? (Select only one) ___ I have no desire t o use the Internet in my classroom. ___ I am currently using the Internet a bout as much as I care to in my classroom ___ I would like to be using the Internet more often in my classroom ___ I would like to be using the Internet much more often in my classroom ___ I am currently using the Internet less often than I have in the past
181 Appendix A (Continued) following factors currently prohibit you form increasi ng your classroom Internet use (check all that apply). ___ Lack of access to equipment (only 1 2 computers in my classroom) ___ Lack of access to equipment (no Internet access in my classroom) ___ Lack of access to equipment (no projector) ___ Lack of general computer training ___ Poor Internet search skills ___ Lack of training in how to apply the Internet in my teaching/classroom ___ Frustration over failed searches (i.e., sorting through Google searches to find relevant material) ___ I do other materials for my students. ___ I am concerned about students accessing inappropriate material over the Internet ___ My school has a policy that prohibits Internet usag e in the classroom (if you check this, please answer Question #25). in Question #24, please explain below. ________________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _______________________ 26. Please describe any additional concerns (not listed) that may prevent you from greater use of the Internet in your classroom: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________ __________________ ____________ 27. In your opinion, what are the potential benefits of using the Internet in your classroom for your students? In other words, why go to the trouble of having students use the Internet in your classroom? ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________
182 A ppendix A (Continued) Background Information: 28. What courses are you currently teaching? (check all that apply) ___ World Geography ___ American History ___ Other social studies course ___________________________ 29. What grade level(s) are you cur rently teaching? (check all that apply) ___ 6 ___ 7 ___ 8 30. What is your gender? ___ Female ___ Male 31. How old are you? ___ 24 or younger ___ 35 39 ___ 50 54 ___ 25 29 ___ 40 44 ___ 55 59 ___ 30 34 ___ 45 49 ___ 60 or older 32. Year s of teaching experience (including this year): ________ 33. What is your highest earned degree? ___ Doctorate (PhD or EdD) ___ Other ________________________ 34. How many hours of training or professi onal development have you had related specifically to using the Internet to teach social studies in your classroom? (Select one ___ 0 ___ 5 ___ 10 ___ 15 ___ 20 or more ___ 1 ___ 6 ___ 11 ___ 16 ___ 2 ___ 7 ___ 12 ___ 17 ___ 3 ___ 8 ___ 13 ___ 18 ___ 4 ___ 9 ___ 14 ___ 19
183 Appendix A (Continued) 35. If you answered that you have had training or professional development in related to using the Internet in the socia l studies, please describe this professional development. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ __________________ 36. Please take a moment to reflect on this survey and provide some feedback for the researcher. Perhaps you have a strong opinion about the use of the Internet in social studies classrooms? Perhaps you expected a different set of qu estions on this survey? Perhaps you want to share a positive or negative experience you have had using the Internet in your social studies classroom. Please feel free to outline these reactions (or any other) below. ______________________________________ __________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ______ __________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________ __________________________ May I contact you later to participate in a dditional portions of this study? ___ Yes ___ No If yes, please write your Email address and work phone number on the back of this survey. Thank you for your time and input.
184 Appendix B Group Interview Protocol School: ________________________________ __________________________ Number of teachers eligible to participate in the group interview: ____________ Number of teachers participating in the group interview: ___________________ Time of interview : _______________ AM PM Date of interview: _______ ________ Interview location: __________________________________________________________ Description of interview location: Questions: How do you think students learn best? Please explain your answer. What type of technology, other than the Internet, are y ou using with your honors classes? How would you describe your technology use with your honors classes? Please describe the way you typically use technology in your honors class. In your opinion, is it beneficial to use technology with your honors students ? Please explain.
185 Appendix B (Continued) What factors do you see encouraging or inhibiting your use of technology in your honors classes? o Equipment availability? o Comfort with technology? o Appropriate training? o FCAT pressure? If you could alter the factors influencing your integration of technology, would you? If you would, how would you change your current situation and instructional practices?
186 Appendix C Individual Interview Protocol Participant: ______________________________ (code) School: ___________ ______________________ Time of i nterview : _______________ AM PM Date of i nterview: _______________ Interview l ocation: __________________________________________________________ Description of i nterview l ocation: Questions: How long have you been teac hing? What grade levels have you taught? Where? What is your educational background? Is teaching your first career? If not, what other types of employment have you had? When did you complete your education coursework? What type of technology was includ ed in your teacher preparation, if any? What do you see as your primary role as a social studies teacher? (Follow up question as necessary.) How would you describe your teaching philosophy? What type of environment do you think is best for student learning ?
187 Appendix C (Continued) Describe a typical day in your classroom. What are you doing? What are the students doing? In what ways do you currently use technology for administrative purposes? Do you view the inclusion of technology as essential or an elect ive component in student education? Please explain. How do you envision technology integration? Is this vision a reality? Please explain. With regards to technology in the classroom, what do you feel most confident doing? What do you feel least confident ? Has your confidence levels influenced your technology integration? How? What barriers do you encounter when trying to integrate technology? o Probing questions related to: materials, management, support, and skill How has high stakes testing affected yo ur technology integration? When you hear the term higher order thinking, what do you envision? How do higher order thinking and technology relate to one another? How do you include technology in your social studies class? o Follow up questions related to : materials, management, planning and projects Describe your plans for the year re: technology and higher order thinking. This list of questions is a base of questions. Other questions may arise during the interview.
188 Appendix D Classroom Observation Prot ocol School : ______________________________________________________ Teacher Observed (code) : ________________________________________ Date of Observation : __________________ Time of Observation : __________ AM/PM to __________ AM/PM Period Observed : _______ __ Total number of students during observation : ____________ (as part of class) Number of boys: ________ Number of girls: ________ Diversity (number of each ethnic group determined by appearance) : Asian/Pacific Islander ______ African American ______ H ispanic ___ White (non Hispanic) ______ Native Am erican _______ Other ______ Map of the Classroom :
189 Appendix D (Continued) Instruction Observation : Time Teacher Actions/Directions Student Actions
190 Appendix D (Continued) Listing of me dia/technology available in the classroom : __________________________________________ ______________________________ Objective of lesson observed : ___________________________________________ _____________________________ Technology utilized in the lesson : __ _________________________________________ _____________________________ Does technology use match or reflect the learning objectives? YES NO ____________________________________ ______ _____________________________ How is the technology being used in the class? __________________________________________ _____________________________ s role -a guide to student use or a presenter of information? ___________________ ______________________ _______________________________ _________________________________________ _______________________________ Is equitable time provided for all students to u se technology? Explain. _________________________________________ _______________________________ Are students engaged in cooperative learning when using technology? YES NO Is technology introduced for independent, small group, or whole class use? __ _______________________________________ _______________________________ Observation form adap ted from Reed and Bergmann (2005 )
191 Appendix E Role of Teacher Transmitter Manager Facilitator Col laborator Nature of Knowledge Universal, objective, and fixed Universal and knowledge) Individually constructed; (contingent on development) Socially constructed; (distributed across knowers) Grounding Theoretical Tradition Behaviorism Information Processing Cognitive Constructivism Social Constructivism Metaphoric al View of the Learner Switchboard Computer Nave Scientist Apprentice Nature of Teaching Activ ity Present Reality to students: disseminates information incrementally, demonstrate procedures, reinforce habits with independent practice Help students process reality: assemble information rich environments, model expert memory and thinking strategies foster metacognition conceptions of reality: promote disequilibrium with discrepant objects and events, guide students through problem solving activities, monitor reflective thinking after discoveries Participate with students in con structing reality: elicit and adapt to student (mis)conceptions, engage in open ended inquiries, guide self and students to authentic resources and procedures Nature of Student Activity Replicate reality transmitted by authorities: listen, rehearse, re cite Manipulate reality perceived through senses: practice thinking and memorizing activities, develop schemata and automatize skills, practice self regulatory strategies Experience reality during physical and social activity: assimilate information, de velop new schemes and operations to deal with novel experiences, reflect on physical, social, and intellectual discoveries Create reality during physical and social activity: manufacture (cultural) understandings, actively engage in open ended inquiries with peers and teachers, reflect on co constructed meanings
192 Appendix F Teacher Comfort with Software Applications Frequency Distribution Software Application Frequency Percent Word processing software Uncomfortable 0 0 Somewhat co mfortable 0 0 Moderately comfortable 0 0 Very comfortable 27 100 Spreadsheet software Uncomfortable 4 14.81 Somewhat comfortable 4 14.81 Moderately comfortable 9 33.33 Very comfortable 10 37.04 Presentation software Uncomfortable 1 3.70 Somewhat comfortable 2 7.41 Moderately comfortable 9 33.33 Very comfortable 15 55.56 Productivity software Uncomfortable 8 30.77 Somewhat comfortable 8 30.77 Moderately comfortable 8 30.77 Very comfortable 2 7.69 Web publishing sof tware Uncomfortable 14 53.85 Somewhat comfortable 5 19.23 Moderately comfortable 4 15.38 Very comfortable 3 11.54 File transfer protocol (FTP) software Uncomfortable 15 57.69 Somewhat comfortable 4 15.38 Moderately comfortable 3 11.5 4 Very comfortable 4 15.38
193 Appendix G Teacher Internet Use Level : Mean use IUS, and Self reported Ratings Participant M use (Rate) IUS (Rate) Self reported rate 1.1 (Buckley) 3.0 (High) 114 (High) Mid 1.2 (Smith) 2.19 (Mid) 83 (High) High 1.3 ( Norris) 2.06 (Mid) 81 (High) Low 1.4 (Stephens ) 2.81 (High) 111 (High) High 1.5 (Adams ) 1.81 (Low) 66 (Mid) Low 2.1 1.5 (Low) 101 (High) Mid 2.2 3.38 (High) 129 (High) High 2.3 2.0 (Mid) 70 (Mid) Mid 2.4 2.5 (Mid) 96 (High) Mid 2.5 2.13 (Mid) 79 (M id) High 3.1 (Roberts ) 2.5 (Mid) 94 (High) Mid 3.2 (Hill ) 2.94 (High) 110 (High) High 3.3 (Alexander ) 2.0 (Mid) 69 (Mid) High 3.4 (Cooper ) 1.94 (Low) 68 (Mid) Mid 3.5 ( Edge ) 3.13 (High) 115 (High) High 4.1 1.75 (Low) 61 (Mid) Low 4.2 2.44 (Mid) 88 (High) Mid 4.3 1.63 (Low) 63 (Mid) Low 4.4 2.38 (Mid) 98 (High) High 4.5 1.63 (Low) 56 (Low) Low 4.6 2.13 (Mid) 77 (Mid) Mid 5.1 2.0 (Mid) 74 (Mid) High 5.2 2.5 (Mid) 86 (High) High 5.3 2.25 (Mid) 82 (High) Mid 5.4 2.88 (High) 112 (High) High 5.5 2.13 (Mid) 75 (Mid) Mid 5.6 2.94 (High) 110 (High) High Note. M use mean of Internet use from question 9; rate determined as described in equency multiplied by the weighted score provided in Table 2; rate determined as described in VanFossen & Waterson (2008). Self reported level are as reported in survey question 22.
194 Appendix H Matrix of Codes Used in Qualitative Analysis Barriers to Technology Integration Teaching and Learning Attitude an d Comfort with Technology Equipment Barriers: Access to equipment Functionality of equipment Age of equipment Lack of equipment School, District, State: District administrative policies School administrative policies High stakes testing Firewall Physical environment Financial concerns Technology specialist Other Barriers: Time constraints Student skills Digital divide Philosophy and practice: Teaching philosophy Teacher centered Student centered Higher order thinking Curriculum constraints Technology n eed greater for non gifted Understanding needs of talented Prepping students for tomorrow Teacher technology use: Purchase own equipment LCD projector use Internet use whole class Internet use teacher Word processing teacher Presentation software teacher Other technology teacher Teacher administrative technology use Laptop use teacher Desktop use teacher Student technology use: Internet use student Word processing student Presentation software student Digital filmmaking Other technolog y student Laptop use student Desktop use student Teacher: Teacher attitude toward technology Teacher comfort with technology Teacher discomfort with technology Teacher experience with technology Technology in professional development Fear of inap propriate materials Student: Student attitude toward technology Student comfort with technology Student experience with technology
195 Appendix I Institutional Review Board Exemption Letter
196 Appendix I (Continued)
197 About the Author Caroline C. Sheffield is a doctoral ca ndidate in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Social Science Education at the U niversity of South Florida (USF). She is currently a visiting instructor in Secondary Education at USF. Her research interests include an interested in how 21 st literacy is manifested in innovative teaching practices wi thin the social sciences. She is pa rticularly interested in how technology is used in classrooms to engage students in higher order thinking. from the College of William and Mar y. Ms. Sheffield teaches courses in elementary and secondary social science methods, a pre internship practicum course, and a diverse learners elective course She has served on the executive board of the graduate student forum of a national organization, and has served as a reviewer for numerous publications and conferences. She is a former middle school social studies teacher in both Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Florida and in the School District of Hillsborough County, in Tampa, Florida.