Teacher Perception of New Technology Use at School

Introduction

Overview of the study

As the facilitators of education, the opinion of teachers is a critical indicator of the success or the failure of any development that is introduced in the realms of education. Therefore, it is imperative to observe that the use of new technology in teaching cannot be successful when teachers are not fully involved in the process of incorporating technology in teaching. As such, this research is critical in policy regarding the deployment of new technology in teaching. It is important to observe that a lot of suggestions indicate the need to deploy web 2.0 technology tools and any other new media tools in learning.

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Yeung et al. (2012) observed that the government of Singapore has developed a policy that is supposed to compel teachers in the country to deploy digital technology in teaching. Going as per this observation, it is worth reiterating the fact that the use of technology in teaching is something that can no longer be resisted, especially considering the level at which the world has been digitalized. It is also important to report that the benefits of technology adoption in education are recorded throughout the academic literature involving the adoption of information and communication technology in learning.

According to Badilla-Quintana, Cortada-Pujol, and Riera-Romaní (2012), the only way through which the perceptions of technology deployment in learning by teachers can be changed is when there is an adequate commitment on the side of the stakeholders in the field of education. This entails putting in place structures that can help teachers adapt and apply technology in schools. However, the overarching question about the adoption of digital technology in learning is about what teachers see as the real benefits of technology. The other thing that comes out of the literature is the fact that a lot of gaps prevail in the realms of education, especially when it comes to the use of technology by teachers in educational institutions across the globe. For teachers to use technology and, perhaps, value the deployment of technology in education, they must first be on the forefront as far as the adoption of technology is concerned.

Overview of study design

The other important observation to make at this point is how the study was designed. From the outset, it can be easily noted that this research was committed to establishing the modes of communication that are being deployed in learning across the United States. The paper then narrowed down to the research topic by way of selecting some high schools in a school district in Central Valley, California. Getting the experiences and ideas of teachers in these schools was vital in providing in-depth information, which is also an indicator of how the teachers perceive the deployment of new media technology in learning in schools in the United States. Perhaps, the other critical observation to make here is the design of the study, involving research within school settings. This in itself gives a clear overview of the real school surrounding and how that environment supports the use of technology in learning.

In their study, Rodííguez et al. (2010) sought to gather the opinions of students concerning the use of new media in effecting learning processes in schools and the adoption of internet technology in public schools across the United States. This is also used in this research in that how the study is conducted seeks to justify the perceptions of teachers on new technology adoption in learning by not only basing on the information that is gathered from the teachers, but also basing on the information that is derived from the students as the key recipients of the programs that entail new technology adoption in learning. The perception of teachers is highly shaped by the technology infrastructure available in the schools. As such, the fact that the research paid attention to the entire school environment in the selected schools denotes that the research is elaborate in scope. This is a plus for this research and makes the researcher gather enough information for synthesis and the subsequent production of elaborate information on technology adoption in learning as viewed by teachers.

Also, research conducted by Badilla-Quintana, Cortada-Pujol, and Riera-Romaní (2012) indicates the relevance of enhancing the capacity of children to adopt and use technology. When children learn new media skills, it becomes easy for the stakeholders to deploy new media technology tools in learning because, in that way, children will already have the required skills, and teachers or the facilitators in education are bound to have an easy time in discharging learning on the new media platform. Based on the study, it is apparent that the opinion of teachers on the adoption of web-based technologies is shaped by the level at which schools embrace the development of structures that shape the adoption of technology in learning in schools across the United States.

Summary of the study

This research sought to answer three critical research questions that were geared at establishing the perceptions of teachers about the use of new media technology in learning in schools across the United States. The research questions used in this study are as follows:

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  • R1. How do teachers describe new media technologies and how they are integrated into daily instruction?
  • R2. How do teachers report training opportunities and administrative support influence their adoption of new media technologies into their teaching?
  • R3. How do teachers describe new media technologies and their connection to the Common Core Standards?

Research question one (R1) attempts to ascertain the level at which new media technology tools can be deployed in learning. Of greater essence in the question is the ascertainment of the level at which the new media technology tools can be integrated with the means of teaching that are used in teaching. As such, this question guides in the ascertainment of the opinion of teachers based on the compatibility of new media technology tools with the instructional methods that are used in schools in the United States. This question raises several other issues about technology deployment in learning, especially because this is a new development that might not effectively integrate with the systems of delivery in education that have been embraced for an extended period.

The response to research question one (R1) as it comes out in the findings of the research is that there are a lot of developments in the realms of education that are indicators of the fact that a lot is being done in terms of promoting the ability of teachers to adopt and use new media tools in learning in Central Valley, California in the United States. Among the responses that point at the observation is the finding that teachers in schools covered in the research study are getting familiar with new media tools because of how they are embracing the adoption of computer use and computer technology in communication. The other finding is that the stakeholders in the realms of education have been active in terms of promoting an environment that is adaptive to new technology, which also points at a positive look at technology adoption in learning by teachers in Central Valley, California in the United States.

The second research question (R2) seeks to establish the essence of integrating efforts to ensure that there is success in terms of the adoption of new media tools in learning in schools. Of greater essence in this question is the fact that new media tools cannot be fully adopted by teachers in discharging learning in schools when there is no resounding cooperation between the teachers and the educational administrators as far as the adoption and deployment of these tools in learning and the achievement of positive results are concerned. This research question (R2) guides the research towards establishing the need for promoting a collaborative environment in schools when it comes to the adoption of new media tools in learning in schools in the United States. Teachers cannot work in an isolated environment because their ability to deliver is dependent on the structures that are set by all the other stakeholders in the education environment. This means that the opinions of teachers can be effectively established when the teachers are placed within the education environment where each support element as far as the adoption of technology is assessed in the research is concerned.

The findings of the research question show that the integration of new media tools in learning still faces several challenges. This assertion comes from the outcomes of the research, which point out that teachers are impeded by the level of technology adoption among them and the fact that the curriculum that has been put in place to aid in new media technology adoption in learning has not been fully accepted and embraced by all teachers. In other words, there are still a lot of gaps as far as the discharge of education based on new technology is concerned. Based on the findings of this research, it is apparent that the system of administration in schools has not fully put in place structures that can see the delivery of learning using new media technology.

The third research question (R3) points to the fact that teachers in Central Valley, California are working hard to align with the Core Common Standards that have been set in this sampled study area in the research. The findings indicate mixed results in the sense that a high proficiency was recorded for some teachers, while the level of proficiency was quite limited for other teachers. However, the overall finding pointed at the fact that the level of proficiency was likely to rise as more measures were put in place to aid in increasing the competency of teachers and students in new media technology usage. The findings also pointed at the need for teachers and education administrators to increase the level of collaboration and support from each other to enhance the capacity and the ability to fully adopt new technology tools in learning. Through the structured open-ended questions that were posed to the respondents, it became apparent that there are a lot of suggestions on the means through which the administrators can foster the adoption of new media technology by teachers and the subsequent deployment of this technology in learning. This also points at the fact that there is a gap in terms of the way teachers perceive the adoption of new media in learning, with the variation being necessitated by the wide gap in opinion about new media adoption and use among the teachers.

Emphasis is paid to the research questions, which often redirects the research to the main issues being investigated in the paper. This entails how the teachers perceive the adoption and use of new media in learning in schools in the United States.

Summary of Findings and Conclusion

The main aim of this study was to ascertain the view of high school teachers in the United States concerning the adoption of new technology tools in learning. One of the reasons is that the insights of the educators are vital as far as gaining the required momentum in the adoption of new media in the discharge of learning in schools is concerned. Based on the three research questions that were used in the research, the following can be noted from the research. It is important to list the research questions to bring out a summary of the findings regarding what the research sought to achieve.

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Research question one (R1) stated that:

How do teachers describe new media technologies and how they are integrated into daily instruction?

The findings in the research regarding research question 1 denote that a substantial number of teachers and administrators across high schools in the United States appreciate the value of technology and, in one way or another, embrace the use of technology in learning. As such, it is imperative to observe that most educators value the adoption of technology in learning because of what they see as the worthiness of using technology in enhancing the delivery of education in high schools in the United States. Another important point to bring out here is the willingness of educational stakeholders to support the development of the infrastructure in schools that support new technology adoption and use by both the students and the teachers. It is encouraging to note that all the participants use technology, meaning that technology is something that is embraced by most educators. Also, as long as the administrators support the development of adequate technological infrastructure, it is easy to convince the teachers to fully deploy technology in discharging learning.

How do teachers report training opportunities and administrative support influence their adoption of new media technologies into their teaching?

The findings in the paper show that the schools in Central Valley California were active in terms of the introduction and the subsequent adoption of the new technologies. This is quite encouraging in the sense that it denotes the easiness with which teachers in the schools can access and use new technology in teaching. Moreover, it is important to point out that the school administration in the sampled schools in Central Valley, California was committed to the development of technology infrastructure. Contrary to the early times when teachers in schools were compelled to share computers in the library in some of the schools, the study findings showed that each of the teachers in the schools had been supplied with a laptop. This encourages teachers to use technology to enhance learning efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, it is imperative to conclude that most teachers embrace the initiative of ensuring that they are supplied with the relevant technology tools, computers, and the Internet because these tools make it easier to come up with initiatives of teaching using technology.

How do teachers describe new media technologies and their connection to the Common Core Standards?

The results of the study show that most of the teachers had adopted more than one new media technology. This is a positive result that showed the willingness of teachers to adopt more technologies given the support received from the school administration. The other finding reported in the paper is about the need for a lot of guidance for the teachers from the administration, which can see the embrace of the Common Core State Standards by the teachers. This follows the observation that the administration should ensure that they create a supportive environment in schools that can see all the teachers adopt and use new media tools in learning. Thus, it is imperative to conclude that the complete implementation of the Common Core State Standards begins with the administration, which has to first ensure that all the teachers are adopting and using technology. This makes it easy to deploy technology based on certain standards of teaching or learning in schools in the United States.

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Implications

This research was aimed at increasing the level of knowledge about the potential of deploying technology in teaching in K-12 schools in the United States. Based on the three research questions, data were collected to ascertain the current school environment and whether the school environment can support the use of technology by the teachers in teaching. This research could spur the development and implementation of several critical strategies that will promote the efficiency and effectiveness of technology deployment in teaching by teachers.

At this juncture, it is imperative to bring in the observation by Lai (2009), who observed that new media tools have kept coming up and they are helping the teachers and the students to be learners, as well as creators of knowledge. The findings of the paper still point at the fact that the creation and synthesis of knowledge by the teachers and students can be easily attained through new media tools, as long as there is enough commitment by education administrators to help in the development of the critical infrastructure. Provided that there is adequate technology infrastructure in schools and teachers and students are equipped with skills to use technology, teachers are bound to remain committed to teaching using technology.

The main strength of this research is that it focuses on schools, meaning that the results attained are largely applicable across schools in the United States. However, it is also important to note that the research is concentrated in one state in the United States, meaning that the conditions that prevail in the given state could vary with other states. This would limit the findings of the research. According to Capo and Orellana (2011), new media tools deployed in education are supposed to contribute to the creation, modification, and sharing of information. While the research does not focus on the real attributes of technology adoption and use by teachers, it points at what the teachers see as the potential of deploying new media tools in teaching.

Theoretical implications

This case takes the explanatory case study approach. Therefore, it is imperative to observe that research questions are used as tools for attaining data. Several hypotheses can be derived based on the research findings, which can again be used to inform future research as far as technology deployment in education is concerned. The rationale informing this assertion is that explanatory case studies, just as this research, do not deploy hypotheses in the search for information, but hypotheses are derived from the findings of the research. On that note, and based on the findings in the paper in line with the research questions, it is worth bringing out the three hypotheses that are reflected in the findings. These include:

  1. Most teachers are adopting new technology tools in their daily chores, a factor that implies support for the deployment of technology and new media tools in learning.
  2. The administration is offering a lot of support as far as the development of infrastructure that supports the adoption of new media tools in learning.
  3. There is a disconnect between the adoption of technology in teaching and the enforcement of learning through the Common Core Standards.

Based on the study design deployed in the research, it is worth concluding that the findings of this research are indeed indicators of the objectives of the research. The information that comes out in Chapter 2 of the paper points at the fact that technology, though with several challenges, is indeed one of the ways to go as far as improvements in terms of delivery by teachers are concerned. However, it is important to bring out several issues about the strength and weaknesses of this research. One weakness that has not been mentioned in this research is that it simply ignores the opinions of the students, who are part of the subjects in this research. Students as part of the sample could have played a resounding role in determining the opinions of the teachers on the use of new media tools in teaching. Nonetheless, it is also important to appreciate the fact that the research takes the initiative of involving teachers and administrators in the final sample. Getting the opinions of the teachers and the administrators gives a clear picture of the way the teachers perceive technology, both the acquisition and the deployment of the technology and new media tools in teaching. The findings in the paper point to the fact that there are a high desire and pressure to deploy new media in learning. However, a consideration of the structures of technology, which is the enabling factor if all new media and technology can be deployed in high schools.

Practical implications

Teachers are the main facilitators of education in the sense that they are at the center of the deployment of technology in learning in schools. From the research, it is apparent that teachers are part and parcel of the revolution in information and communication technology, and the use of new media in communication is also embraced by the teachers, besides being largely embraced by the students. One intriguing thing is that the application of new media tools in learning is a policy affair that does not depend on the opinion of teachers per se but also depends on the standards that are put in place to guide the adoption and the continued use of these tools in learning in schools. While teachers are receptive to technology, the deployment of the technology in teaching is another thing altogether because it requires the establishment of the means of moderating the manner and level at which new media tools are used by the teachers in teaching. There is a need to involve a high number of stakeholders in the development of standards that can enable the establishment of an environment that adequately supports the deployment of new media in teaching. Looking at the issue of technology adoption in learning calls for researchers to consider the opinions of teachers, most of which point at the willingness to do so, only that the teachers are not aware of the way to go.

Future Implications

The findings of this research indicate difficulty in adopting the Common Core Standards in teaching amidst the adoption and support for technology and new media tools usage in learning to stress the need to train the teachers in line with how they are supposed to use new media tools in teaching. The will of teachers as far as technology adoption and deployment in teaching lies in the commitment of the administration to come up with the standards that can see the moderation of the tactics used in deploying technology in learning. Future research needs to pay more attention to the standards of learning, specifically how learning can be organized in an environment that is supportive of new media technology in learning.

The other thing that comes out of this research is that educational administrators seem not to be committed in the course of promoting the deployment of technology in teaching. In other words, educational administrators are the ones charged with the responsibility of ensuring that teachers embrace the adoption of technology and use the new media tools in teaching. This research invigorates the desire to look into what can be done in terms of the policy to foster the development of a supportive environment and culture of learning that embraces the use of new media tools.

Recommendations

Recommendations for future research

  • Future research should focus more on the perception of students towards new media tools used by teachers in delivering instructions. It is unfortunate that this study mainly focused on teachers and the administrators and gave little attention to students, yet they would influence the teachers’ adoption of new media technology as they are the direct recipients of the instructions.
  • It would be advisable for future research to incorporate the views of all stakeholders in the use of technology in teaching. This would involve the information technologists who develop the tools. The opinion of teachers, students, and education administrators would help IT developers come up with tools that are in line with traditional modes of delivering teaching instructions.
  • This study was primarily based on one school district, Central Valley, California. Future research should spread to other school districts in the US so that the findings would be more generalizable. As for now, the findings of this study may not be a true representation of the new media uptake and use by the teachers in the US.
  • Given that the findings indicate that teachers still prefer traditional means of instruction and they are hesitant to adopt new media tools, future studies should seek to establish the best way to integrate both traditional and new media tools.
  • It is evident that the level at which the use of new media technology is incorporated in teacher training influences teachers’ adoption of the new media tools. As such, future studies should seek to establish the extent to which teacher training colleges in the US implement new media tools in the curricula in preparing teachers to adopt new media tools.
  • The introduction of new tools of instruction in the future should be preceded by pilot studies before rolling out the entire program in the school district in the US. Researchers in the field of education should take advantage of taking the perceptions of teachers as they would help establish the best way to roll out the new technology.

Recommendations for practice

  • The findings of this study about the perceptions of teachers about new technology use should be incorporated into teacher training curricula. For instance, teachers should start practicing the use of new teacher during their training so that they easily take up new technology tools in teaching once they start practicing.
  • The findings suggest that adopting new media tools in teaching can improve the effectiveness of delivering teaching instructions. This should form a basis for incorporating the findings into practice.
  • There is a need for the convening of stakeholders to agree on the clear way forward if the deployment of technology in teaching has to be successful. This is in line with the finding that there is a disconnect between the embrace of technology and the ability of teachers to work according to the Common Core State Standards.

References

Badilla-Quintana, M., Cortada-Pujol, M., & Riera-Romaní, J. (2012). Internet navigation and information search strategies: how do children are influenced by their participation in an intensive ICT project. International Journal of Technology & Design Education, 22(4), 513-529. Web.

Capo, B., & Orellana, A. (2011). Web 2.0 technologies for classroom instruction: High school teachers’ perceptions and adoption factors. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 12(4), 235-253.

Lai, K. W. (2009). Knowledge construction in an online learning environment: A case study of a doctoral course. Paper presented at the International Council of Distance Education Conference.

Rodííguez, P., Nussbaum, M., López, X., & Sepúlveda, M. (2010). A monitoring and evaluation scheme for an ICT-supported education program in schools. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 13(2), 166-179.

Yeung, A., Taylor, P. G., Hui, C., Lam-Chiang, A., & Low, E. (2012). Mandatory use of technology in teaching: Who cares and so what? British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(6), 859-870.

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