Nova Southeastern University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 5692-5698
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Today, it would appear that technology can be seamlessly incorporated into the classroom because 21st century citizens use technology everyday for a wide range of information literacy purposes such communication, collaboration, and online research (Partnership for 21st Century Literacy, 2004). It is expected that teachers and students use technology to enhance classroom practice (International Society of Technology and Education, 2007, 2008). How can teachers integrate technology into the curriculum to support students’ literacy development, while meeting curriculum expectations? This is the question guiding a self-study that explored the use of technology in one second grade classroom. Self-study research, which is a form of action research that relies on teacher reflection and empirical data (Creswell, 2007, 2008; Kennedy, & Edmonds, 2010) seeks to examine practice in particular contexts (Lewison, Leland, & Harste, 2008). Data from the teacher’s lesson plans, curriculum materials, and student work samples created with technology were collect and analyzed using document and content analysis (Creswell, 2007; Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2006). The classroom teacher completed the Technology Integration Matrix: Table of Student Descriptors and the Technology Integration Matrix: Table of Teacher Descriptors (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, 2011) to determine the extent to which technology is being used to enhance learning. The Matrix measures technology integration on five levels from low to high level of integration: entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation. Characteristics of the teacher’s and students’ use of technology in the classroom showed some variation in the data. The students’ use technology falls along the mid to upper level of the Technology Integration Matrix. Student descriptors show their use of technology ranges from active, authentic, and goal oriented adaptation to collaborative, constructive, infusion. The data shows some alignment between the teacher’s and students’ use of technology. Although it appears that none of the students are using technology in transformative ways, the technology they use appears to be meaningful, purposeful, and allows them to work independently or collaboratively to construct knowledge. The teacher’s self-assessment reveals that technology integration ranges from adaptation to transformation. The area in which the teacher descriptors diverge from the student descriptors is in their active use of the technology. In this instance, the teacher appears to have a transformative use of technology while students are rated at the infusion level. This data suggests that the teacher’s role is to facilitate the technology-based experiences for students rather than allowing them to use the technology in unconventional ways. The data generated from the Matrix was triangulated with the other data sources to identify patterns particularly commonalties and areas that disconnect between and among the sources (Creswell, 2007; Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2006). Findings suggest that a wide range of technology and digital tools were used across content areas. Some of the technology tools included audio recordings used to differentiate and foster read aloud; word processing used by students to produce a final; “published” copy of their writing; video recordings that provide background knowledge of subject area material in Science and Social Studies; computers used for student research.