Computer Usage in Fourth and Fifth Grade Elementary Classrooms
|Advisor(s):||Dr. Linda Crawford|
|Degree:||Ph.D. in Educational Technology|
This study examined factors and perceptions that influenced the implementation of computer technology in fourth and fifth grade classrooms. Change theory provided a framework for examining the differences exhibited between teachers who were identified as high-end users, midlevel users, and low-end users of technology. Computer usage of 20 teachers was identified based on their responses to a questionnaire and interviews.
The low-end users' pedagogical styles were reflective of teacher-centered instructional methodologies, while high-end and midlevel users' pedagogical styles were student-centered. Pedagogical styles influenced the level of implementation in the classroom. Low-end users complained more about the working ability of the computers than other users. Since the computers were inoperable to them, there was no flexibility to locate other resources to promote computer technology implementation. Midlevel and high-end users also complained but found ways to use the technology either in other colleagues' classrooms or in the media center. Midlevel and high-end users did not rely solely on the Internet but instead used different resources to increase student learning. Teachers who utilized student-centered methods were more successful and flexible in implementing technology than those who used teacher-centered instruction.
The findings suggest that to increase the amount teachers use computer tools in their classrooms and improve how they are used; administrators should provide professional development opportunities to change instructors' attitudes and beliefs about technology.