Development of a Questionnaire for Determining the Factors in Technology Integration among Teachers

Article excerpt

This paper uses the data from a survey among school teachers to conduct a series of factor analysis to test the reliability of a set of items to determine the factors deemed important in technology integration among teachers. The results suggest that there are specific dimensions of items that can be used to determine the factors perceived by teachers as important for technology integration into their classrooms. Five clusters of factors were identified, including: Social Impact, Curriculum Concerns, Interest & Experience, and Personal Need.

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Although current teaching practice welcomes technology into the seamless curriculum of our schools, teachers' attitudes toward the infusion of technology into schools is still playing an important role in classroom integration of technology (Demetriadis et al., 2003). Teachers' beliefs are essential in considering how a teacher teaches, thinks, and learns. Teachers' perception as to the use of computer technology influences their teaching philosophy (Sugar, Crawley & Fine, 2004).

As also observed, educators increasingly recognize that in order to teach creatively, teachers need to shift from traditional teaching toward approaches that help students incorporate technology into their learning. However, such a transformation of curriculum and pedagogy is a complex task for teachers who must develop new knowledge, skills and beliefs (Wiske, Sick, and Wirsig, 2001). Although much effort has also been made in preparing teachers to use technology with learning and teaching, teachers might approach technology with different perspectives (Farnsworth, et al., 2002). School settings and administrative support provided to support individual need of training and implementation are essential considerations in technology integration (Gray, 2001). In addition, social and curricular issues, such as spiritual and physical support from the community, and fulfillment of curriculum needs are all important concerns (Shayo, Olfman, & Guthrie, 2000).

A previous study (ChanLin, 2003) employed an in-depth approach to assess teachers' perception about approaching technology among a group of creative teachers. It was observed that teachers with creative teaching techniques are supposed to be more explorative, and positive about how technology is used in classroom. However, most of these teachers still felt that incorporating new technology into classroom requires suitable training. Technical and administrative support or systematic incentives from schools are also critical considerations. Various personal issues, such as the teachers' ability to overcome possible technical problems and to handle technology effectively have impacted on teachers' intentions of implementing technology into their teaching. From the study, 29 items from environment, curriculum, personal, and social aspects were identified (ChanLin, 2003).

As a continuation of the previous study, the purpose of the study was to identify: (1). What were the main factors perceived by teachers as being important to technology integration into classrooms, and (2) What were the constructs of each factor in technology integration? It is suggested that it is possible to construct some specific aspects of the factors of the technology integration in school teaching. The factors being measured might not be necessarily technologically determined. instead, more fundamental concerns of the teacher-technology interaction in the education setting would be identified.

Method

A questionnaire originally containing 29 items focusing on various aspects from environmental, personal, social and curricular issues related to technology integration was used in this study. The items used to construct the scale were derived from previous research (ChanLin, 2003). From the questionnaire, the Likert scale ranging from "Strongly disagree" (1 point) to "Strongly agree" (5 points) was used to indicate teachers' agreement on the factors that were important to their approach to technology integration. …

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