Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 15(3), 368-394. (2015)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study examined how teachers perceive and implement technology in a seventh-grade social studies class.
The study took place in a middle school in a city in central Illinois.
The participants were a veteran social studies teacher and his 22-year-old intern, who was completing a yearlong professional development school experience as part of her senior year in college.
The authors used a case study approach. Data were collected through interviews and classroom observations.
The findings reveal that both participants believed that technology could foster critical thinking, improve literacy skills, promote self-regulated learning, and increase student engagement.
However, the participants could not provide their students access to computers since the computer labs were booked for most school days in order for students to take state and district-mandated standardized tests in math and reading. Hence, the teacher felt restricted by the limited technology access for his students.
The authors found that external barriers, such as the lack of access to technology, support, and time, interfered with teachers’ belief in the relevance and benefit of technology for teaching and learning.
The authors conclude that although the participants believed that using technology can benefit their students, the barriers they faced had more influence than their beliefs and attitudes on their decision to use technology in the classroom.