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Technology use in Self-Contained Classrooms
WALDEN UNIVERSITYEd.D. Program
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Students Signature: Rebecca Hope Weisert
Many researchers and theorists (Bandura, 1977; Brill, 2001; Braddock, Rizzolo, Thompson, & Bell, 2004; Gardner, 2000, 2006; Kearsley & Ormrod, 1999; Prensky, 2007; Weiss, 2000) believe technology use is a great way to supplement classroom learning and the social environment of the classroom. Questions remain on how to get reluctant teachers change their unwilling, unenthusiastic point of view about technology integration. Some classroom educators, however, have been reluctant to incorporate technology. These teachers’ perspectives and anxieties must be considered as the movement toward technology integration continues. Qualitative Design Diagram
To gain a better understand of teachers’ points of view, this study will employ a research study using a narrative phenomenological design approach. The rationale for using this method is that it allows the researcher to document several teachers’ “lived experiences” (Creswell, 2007, p. 57), and to analyze the outcome of a new shared lived experiences before and after the technology experiment.
The population for this research will be certified special education teachers who teach seventh and eighth grade self-contained classes in the Northwest District. The researcher is interested in studying these teachers because there is a limited technology use in their classrooms. The study will be conducted in the actual classrooms using available resources in the teacher’s rooms and not in the computer lab during computer class. Creswell (2003) stated, “Qualitative research needs to be conducted in the natural setting or actual place of study (Creswell, 2003, p. 181). The researcher will use qualitative phenomenological analysis to analyze data or textural description of participants who experienced the phenomenon or experiment” (Crewell, 2007, 61). This study will be used to aide in the development of a teacher technology training program. The purpose of the study is to gather data from this one group of teachers who do not use technology in their classrooms before the pre- test to see if their attitudes change after the exposure treatment of an experimental technology based lesson plan.
The researcher will begin by interviewing these teachers about their beliefs about technology in their classrooms and about past technology use. Teachers are chosen because they admitted more technology needs to be used but they share some reluctant views or experiences about technology.
The primary materials that will be used to conduct this qualitative action research study will be materials gathered from recording audiotape face-to-face interviews with the same group of teachers and by asking participants the same series of broad or open research questions before and after the study to examine any differences and similarities in opinions toward technology use in the classroom after the experiment. The researcher will ask teachers to record their thoughts during the experiment in a journal to document their thoughts. Also, the researcher will have the students document their learning in their own journal throughout the experiment. This instrumental documentation will be utilized to record the teachers’ and students’ thought process throughout the experiment.
This study will collect and examine data from field notes from observations, participant’s journals and questionnaires from the study to develop a “cluster of meaning” (Creswell,2003,61.),or theme of views held by the teachers.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
The researcher will use qualitative analysis to analyze the data.
Threats to quality
Creswell (2007) declares that potential issues could arise in conducting a phenomenological research when the researcher does not carefully chose participants carefully who share common experiences and views about technology.
Nature of the study
This qualitative phenomenological study will investigate and gain the teacher’s view of real life technology experiences of these self-contained special education teachers and seek to find the relating phenomenon held in their belief system. In hope to bring about discussion about why these teachers have fears or reluctance of technology in their classrooms in order to improve students’ learning, and to generate social change and achievement in the classroom environment.
Creswell, J. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.
Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & Research design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage.