This week, I concluded data collection for my project. The next step is to firm up my initial analysis on the data I’ve collected from my district. Then I will get with my partner and we will see what the results look like when we mesh the data from two districts.
Last week, I completed classroom observations. This week, I added interviews as the last leg of my research triangle. I conducted five interviews with a variety of teachers in my building… from 4th grade to high school.
During this week, I did validate that all teachers interviewed did use instructional technology. All use document cameras and interactive whiteboards to present instructional material. The five interviews conducted did match the above data as far as the amount of time spent on technology. Only two teachers indicated a regular use of technology by students as users. In most cases, the teacher was the user and students were receivers. It seems that this mostly has to do with comfort level. The teachers need to be more comfortable using the technology and need to be more comfortable letting students use the technology.
Simply put, digital literacy is the ability to to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies (thank you wikipedia). I was concerned that this question might throw the interviewees. Based on interviews, I no longer think it was a confusing question based on terminology. Generally, I don’t believe that teachers understand what digital literacies are. Based on the use of technology, I believe this thought was validated. My interviewees really didn’t understand the depth of technology use which defines someone as digitally literate. If a teacher is standing at the front of the classroom projecting a lesson, whether it is on a regular or an interactive screen, that does not make someone digitally literate. We would like to get students creating and innovating using technology. This would be evidence of a digitally literate person.
The interviews also validated that basic media tools are not being taught in the classroom. Again, in some cases, these tools are being used to teach or enrich lessons, but students are not being taught how to create and innovate with these tools.
An article in Edudemic reviewed a study which investigated what teachers thought about integrating technology. Their findings mirrored what I have been finding in my data collection during the last couple of weeks. Teachers think that students benefit from technology in the classroom. But, teachers “feel as though they need better training in integrating technology in their classrooms.” I think teachers need an easy tool to use that will help them integrate technology into their teaching and classroom activities that support the current standards. I am not pleased teachers feel this way, but the results of my data and other published literature validate the critical need of a resource tool to help them.
Diary, this week was really hectic trying to complete interviews, connect results to previous data and still teach my class, and hold parent teacher conferences. I felt pleased ending the week with five finished interviews in my hands.
Lepi, K. (2012, September 12). Study shows what teachers and parents really think about education technology. Edudemic, Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/study-shows-what-teachers-and-parents-really-think-about-education-technology/