Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Senior Teacher's Implementation of Technology Integration

Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Senior Teacher's Implementation of Technology Integration

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study investigated whether a senior teacher with many years of teaching experience, despite lacking adequate technology skills or contending with other barriers, can sufficiently implement technology integration in the classroom. The research was conducted between October 2013 and January 2014 and was focused on a junior high school biology teacher with 17 years of instructional experience. A qualitative method involving semistructured interviews and classroom observation of 4 conducted lessons was used to explore the teacher's implementation of technology integration. The analytical results showed that the teacher's perspectives on technology integration ranged from "technology as a tool for teaching" to "technology as a learning activator." Moreover, external factors such as poor technology management affected the teacher's implementation of technology integration. In addition, the teacher developed a technological-pedagogical-content-knowledge base, building on current pedagogical content knowledge. The findings of this study enhance the general understanding of the development and implementation of senior teachers regarding technology integration, as well as the integration of subject content and pedagogical knowledge in teaching.

Keywords: technology integration, senior teachers, technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK), professional development

1. Introduction

Because of the increased use of technology in schools, teachers should employ technology to enhance their instructional quality and thus enhance the learning experience of students (Cuban, 2001; Desimone, 2009; Maskit, 2011). Studies have demonstrated the importance of using technology in teaching to improve student learning (Merrill, 1996; Kearsley & Shnedierman, 1998; Backhouse, 2003). However, senior teachers with comprehensive instructional experience and confidence in their teaching strategies seldom apply technology in their classes (Russel, Finger, & Russel, 2000; Williams, Coles, Richardson, Wilson, & Tuson, 2000). Pelgrum (2001) indicated that rather than being unwilling to use technology, senior teachers are insufficiently able to do so. Therefore, research is warranted on whether senior teachers who have many years of teaching experience, despite lacking adequate technology skills or contending with other barriers, can sufficiently implement technology integration in the classroom.

Pamuk (2012) demonstrated that technology helps teachers develop innovative instructional methods. However, teachers' lacking computer literacy in most countries constitutes a major impediment in this regard. Studies have indicated that although many teachers often use technology in their daily lives, they do not apply it in class (Cuban, 1993; Ertmer, 2005; Park & Son, 2009; Wang, 2007). Furthermore, studies have claimed that even if schools provided adequate hardware and software, many teachers would still follow the traditional way of teaching (Mumtaz, 2000).

The major reason for a lack of technology use is that teachers are unable to integrate technology with classroom instructional strategies (Niess, 2011; Wetzel & Marshall, 2011). Thus, if teachers possess only technology skills without a strategy for implementation, they might integrate technology insufficiently in their classrooms. Dutt-Doner, Allen, and Corcoran (2005) described how integrating technology in teaching should not involve focusing on the improvement of technology skills; rather, it should support teachers in adequately combining teaching strategies and required subject-content knowledge. Dawson (2012) demonstrated that in addition to technology skills, the ability to integrate subject content knowledge and instructional strategies is vital for facilitating adequate technology application in the classroom. Hence, a teacher should be encouraged to integrate teaching strategies and subject content knowledge with technology skills in teaching. …

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