As the data collection and analysis process continues this week, I was surprised to see even more teachers believe their Internet access is dependable. In anecdotal conversations with staff at my school, I have come to determine that the expectations of the speed of the broadband is lowered because of being in a village. Our Internet does not generally go out, but it does get quite boggy at times. Teachers have adjusted their expectations accordingly, and in many cases have worked around our boggy response time.
As more responses have come in on the survey (55% response as of this writing), the results continue to be consistent with the initial 33% responses. I sent out the survey to all 134 teachers in the district. I thought 55% return was a good number. After reading a survey monkey blog and an article on good practices in research, I felt that 55% return, especially after getting consistent responses, was an adequate sample.
I completed six classroom observations this week using Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory’s OPTIC classroom observation tool. I highly recommend this tool for anyone conducting a classroom observation specifically to determine how technology is being used. Not only is it simple to use during an observation, but the results become plainly evident during the observations. My school has plenty of technology in every classroom. Each classroom has either a SMARTboard or a document camera, many rooms have both. Every classroom, except Kindergarten has a set of laptops available for student use. With all the abundant technology, the majority of teachers are using technology to either help deliver instruction or to help students practice skills. In all cases, the observations were scheduled so that I could observe a “normal” use of technology in the classroom. In none of the cases were students using technology to create or to collaborate. On a positive note, in all cases, students were responsible with technology. In many cases, they were only learning to be technology users, as opposed to creators. These observations clearly identified a need to be further discussed with staff. What support do teachers need to encourage them to allow students to innovate and collaborate using technology?
Taking the step to move from using technology to only practice skills to becoming effective users of technology to create and innovate certainly means teachers need confidence in their facilitation of technology use in the classroom. Follow-up interviews may help me pin-point what the obstacles are to integrating technology to this level. Interviews have been scheduled for this upcoming week. This line of question has been inserted into my interview question bank.
Assessing technology integration. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.netc.org/assessing/home/integration.php
Kalpana, C. (11, September 15). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://blog.surveymonkey.com/blog/2011/09/15/how-many-people-do-i-need-to-take-my-survey/
Kelley, K., Clark, B., Brown, V., & Sitzia, J. (2003). Good practice in the conduct and reporting of survey research. Oxford Journals, 15(3), 261-266. Retrieved from http://intqhc.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/3/261.long