Citation
An instructional designer learns about technology integration

Material Information

Title:
An instructional designer learns about technology integration developmental work research in an urban school
Creator:
Doughty, Venita Mertz
Place of Publication:
Saarbrücken
Publisher:
VDM Verlag Dr. Müller
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vi, 109 pages : ; 22 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Educational technology ( lcsh )
Instructional systems -- Design ( lcsh )
Educational innovations ( lcsh )
Educational innovations ( fast )
Educational technology ( fast )
Instructional systems -- Design ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 101-109).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
Venita Doughty.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
429339501 ( OCLC )
ocn429339501
Classification:
LB1028.3 .D68 2008 ( lcc )

Full Text
AN INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER LEARNS
ABOUT TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION:
DEVELOPMENTAL WORK RESEARCH
IN AN URBAN SCHOOL
by
Venita Mertz Doughty
B.S., University of Southern California, 1980
M.S., Johns Hopkins University, 1984
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
In partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
2007


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Venita Mertz Doughty
has been approved
by
Mark A. Clarke


Doughty, Venita Mertz (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
An Instructional Designer Learns about Technology Integration:
Developmental Work Research in an Urban School
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Honorine D. Nocon
ABSTRACT
In the twenty-first century, computer literacy has many benefits. Many
people support computer use in schools so that all children can become
computer literate and have improved learning outcomes. However, while the
presence of computers and Internet connections in classrooms is rising,
technology integration in classrooms is not keeping pace. The purpose of this
study was to learn about technology integration at an urban elementary
school, with a focus on understanding what elements contribute to the slow
pace of such integration. This study pursued the research question: what can
an instructional designer learn about technology integration by participating
as a volunteer at an urban school? This qualitative study used developmental
work research, a sociocultural interventionist research method based on
Cultural Historical Activity Theory, to study technology integration at an urban
school. Technology integration has three prerequisites: the instructional
design process to produce an educational technology innovation; the
technology adoption process for teachers to implement that innovation in
their classrooms; and the removal of contextual barriers that constrain
technology integration.
The author spent three years helping in an after school computer club,
assisting teachers and students to use computers in classrooms, and using
participant observation to collect data. The data showed that teachers, who


are often blamed for the slow pace of technology integration, operate under
tremendous constraints, and often lack sufficient computers, software,
planning time, and technical support. Analysis of the data revealed that
technology integration is impacted by three forces: technology, agency, and
structure. All three of these forces must be taken into account when
integrating technology in classrooms. With increasingly diverse students and
mandated curricula and testing, teachers agency is diminished in relation to
growing structural constraints. Therefore, the design of educational
technology innovations needs to fit the classroom context, and structural
constraints need to be lowered. Also, people that share the same object of
student learning, particularly instructional designers and teachers, need to
use a participation model of instructional design that combines elements of
technology adoption, design based research, and developmental work
research to collaboratively design and implement educational technology
innovations in classrooms.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
Honorine D. Nocon


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
My thanks go first to my husband Scott Doughty, and to my three
children, Sarah Doughty, Emily von der Linden, and Alex von der Linden,
who suffered many hours of having their wife and mom reading, writing,
attending class, and doing research. Special thanks go to Sarah who tested
many educational software products for me.
Thanks also to the administrators at Denver Seminary who supported
me in my studies, particularly Craig Williford, Kermit Ecklebarger, and Randy
MacFarland.
Thanks also to my advisor, Honorine Nocon, who helped me learn
how to do research, patiently read and commented on many research
papers, and also showed me how to run an after school computer club. She
always encouraged me, but also challenged me.
Thanks to my other committee members as well, Joni Dunlap, Mark
Clarke, and May Lowry. Your knowledge and expertise were always
generously shared.
Thanks go also to the other doctoral students at CU Denver,
particularly those in the Technology-Enhanced Learning Lab (TELL), the Lab
of Learning and Activity (LOLA), and the Urban School Lab, for support,
encouragement, and many interesting discussions. Particular thanks go to
Marge Mistry, who never wavered in her confidence in me.
Special thanks go to the students, teachers, administrators, and staff
at the urban elementary school where I did my research. You welcomed me,
helped me, talked to me, and showed me high quality education.
Thanks to the Graduate Council at CU Denver for the grant from the
Council Awards for Graduate Student Research (CAGSR) Program that
enabled me to purchase the web-based test preparation software.
Last but not least, I acknowledge my debt to my Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ, without whom none of this would have been possible.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures...................................................xiii
Tables....................................................xiv
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.............................................1
Background...........................................2
Research Problem.....................................6
Method...............................................7
Key Findings and Contribution........................9
Structure of the Dissertation........................9
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION..................................11
Introduction........................................11
Technology Integration..............................11
Goals.........................................13
Prerequisites.................................15
Indicators of Success.........................16
Instructional Design................................18
Analysis......................................18
VI


Design..........................................19
Development.....................................20
Implementation..................................20
Evaluation......................................21
Successful Instructional Design.................21
Summary.........................................25
T echnology Adoption..................................26
Knowledge.......................................26
Persuasion......................................27
Decision........................................27
Implementation..................................28
Confirmation....................................28
Contingent Innovation-Decisions.................28
Characteristics of Innovations..................29
Practical Questions about Innovations...........30
Dynamic Innovations.............................31
Pedagogy and Technology.........................32
Summary.........................................33
Contextual Barriers and Conditions....................34
Dissatisfaction.................................34
Knowledge and Skills............................35
vii


Time...........................................35
Computer Equipment.............................36
Software.......................................38
Support........................................38
Systemic Barriers and Conditions...............39
Successful Technology Integration Projects.....40
Summary..............................................43
3. METHOD...................................................46
Purpose of the Study.................................46
Research Question....................................46
Research Design......................................47
Cultural Historical Activity Theory............47
Expansive Learning.............................51
Developmental Work Research....................52
Modifications..................................53
Research Site........................................53
Research Participants................................54
Teachers.......................................54
Principal......................................55
Assistant Principal............................55
Technology Coordinator.........................55
viii


Librarian
56
Technology Paraeducator........................56
Literacy Coach.................................56
School Students................................56
University Students and Site Professor.........57
Researcher.....................................57
Data Collection......................................58
Participant Observation........................59
Informal Interviews............................60
Technology Survey..............................60
Document Analysis..............................60
Email Exchanges................................61
Researcher Journal.............................61
Test Preparation Reports.......................61
Data Analysis........................................62
Verification of Interpretation.......................63
Summary..............................................63
4. HISTORICAL NARRATIVE AND INSTRUCTIONAL
DESIGN VIEWPOINT........................................65
Introduction.........................................65
Before the Study at Northwest in Fall 2003
66


Getting Started in Fall 2003.........................67
First Turning Point..................................74
First Changes........................................76
Observing Two Classrooms in Spring 2004..............80
Second Turning Point.................................87
Second Changes.......................................89
Participating in a Third Grade Classroom in
Fall 2004............................................92
Participating in a Second Grade Classroom in
Spring 2005..........................................99
Third Tuming Point..................................102
Third Changes.......................................106
Helping Students Use the Web-Based Test
Preparation Software................................107
Helping Teachers and Students with an
Inquiry-Based Computer Project......................119
Evaluating the Use of the Web-Based Test
Preparation Software................................122
Instructional Design Viewpoint......................130
Summary.............................................140
5. CHAT ANALYSIS..........................................142
Introduction........................................142
Before the Study at Northwest in Fall 2003..........143
x


First Turning Point at the End of Fall 2003...........144
Second Turning Point at the End of Spring 2004........148
Third Turning Point at the End of Spring 2005.........157
At the End of the Study in Spring 2006................167
Summary...............................................172
6. DISCUSSION...............................................175
Introduction..........................................175
Competing Explanations for the Slow Pace of
Technology Integration................................175
Lack of Educational Software Development.......176
Teacher Resistance.............................176
Contextual Barriers and Conditions.............176
Intrinsic Barriers and Conditions..............177
Characteristics of Computers and
Educational Software.......................... 178
Cubans Three Explanations.....................178
Considering these Explanations at Northwest...........179
Combining Explanations for the Slow Pace of
Technology Integration................................182
Technology-Agency-Structure Framework for
Technology Integration................................185
Technology, Agency, Structure, CHAT, and
Instructional Design..................................188
XI


Analogy between Learning Theory and
Instructional Design............................191
Transmission Model.........................191
Acquisition Model..........................192
Participation Model........................194
Participation Model of Instructional Design.....196
Summary.........................................202
7. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS........................204
Introduction....................................204
Review of Findings..............................205
Lessons Learned.................................216
Recommendations for Practice....................219
Limitations of the Study........................224
Recommendations for Future Research.............224
Summary.........................................226
APPENDIX
A. QUESTIONS FOR LIBRARIAN............................228
B. QUESTIONS FOR TEACHER..............................229
C. TECHNOLOGY SURVEY..................................230
REFERENCES..................................................231


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
3.1 Structure of an Activity System................................48
5.1 Structure of an Activity System...............................142
6.1 Technology-Agency-Structure Framework.........................185
XIII


LIST OF TABLES
Table
4.1 Fall 2003..........................................................68
4.2 Spring 2004........................................................79
4.3 Fall 2004..........................................................92
4.4 Spring 2005........................................................99
4.5 Fall 2005.........................................................108
4.6 Spring 2006.......................................................113
4.7 Number of questions answered in the
test preparation software.........................................124
4.8 Three years at Northwest..........................................131
5.1 Planned design activity, before the study.........................144
5.2 Early view of teaching activity, at first turning point..........146
5.3 Later view of teaching activity, at second turning point..........151
5.4 Support technology integration activity, at
second turning point..............................................153
5.5 Support classroom technology integration action, at
second turning point..............................................157
5.6 Attempted teaching activity, at third turning point...............158
5.7 Increase student computer literacy action, at
third turning point...............................................160
XIV


I
5.8 Support classroom technology integration action, at
third turning point...............................................165
5.9 Attempted teaching activity, at the end of the study..............166
5.10 Increase student test scores action, at the
end of the study..................................................169
5.11 Preservice teacher project action, at the
end of the study..................................................171
6.1 Combination of explanations for the rate of
technology integration............................................183
6.2 Transmission models of learning and
instructional design..............................................192
6.3 Acquisition models of learning and
instructional design..............................................194
6.4 Participation models of learning and
instructional design..............................................196
6.5 Steps in a participation model of instructional design............198
xv


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
In the twenty-first century, considered to be the Information Age, many
jobs require the use of a computer (Rakes, Flowers, Casey, & Santana, 1999;
U.S. Department of Labor [USDOL], 1991), and computer literacy has many
personal and professional benefits (U.S. Department of Education [USDOE],
1996). Using the Internet, in particular, increases access to learning
opportunities, employment opportunities, cultural and entertainment
resources, social interactions, and political information and participation
(Burbules & Callister, 2000). Also, research shows that teaching and learning
with technology has a small significant positive effect on student outcomes
(North Central Regional Educational Laboratory [NCREL], 2002) and that
students learn the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic faster and
better when they can practice them using technology (Sandholtz, Ringstaff, &
Dwyer, 1997).
Therefore, though some people oppose using computers in K-12
classrooms (Healy, 1998; Stoll, 1995), many people support having students
use computers in schools so that all children can become computer literate
(Means, 1994; Sandholtz et al., 1997; USDOE, 1996). This is especially
1


important for students who have fewer opportunities to use computers at
home. Only 47 percent of Black children and 44 percent of Hispanic children
use the Internet at home, versus 67 percent of White children. Home Internet
use also increases based on family income (National Center for Education
Statistics [NCES], 2006). However, while the presence of computers and
Internet connections in classrooms is rising, technology integration in
classrooms is not keeping pace (Cuban, 2001).
Background
One common explanation for the slow integration of computers into
classrooms is teacher resistance (Demetriadis et al., 2003; Granger, Morbey,
Lotherington, Owston, & Wideman, 2002; Wetzel, 2002), with teachers
negatively characterized as reluctant users or as Luddites (Bryson & De
Castell, 1998). However, this seems to be an oversimplified explanation of
the complex process of technology integration in classrooms, particularly
since many teachers use computers outside of the classroom (Cuban, 2001).
There are many elements that affect technology integration in the classroom
in addition to teachers attitudes, such as elements related to the design and
characteristics of technology, additional elements that influence a teachers
decision on whether or not to adopt a technology (e.g., whether the
technology matches the curriculum), and the complex context of the school
and classroom.
2


For this study, I define technology integration in schools as, the use of
technology by students and teachers to enhance teaching and learning and to
support existing curricular goals and objectives (Sun, Heath, Byrom, Phlegar,
& Dimock, 2000, p. 55). Using this definition, students might acquire computer
literacy while using computers to learn core subjects, but computer literacy is
not the main focus of students. Using computers to learn core subjects is
more complex than the use of computers for extra skill practice or as a
reward, and generally requires integrating the use of computers into the
curriculum. Technology integration can take place over short periods of time,
or longer periods of time, though generally multiple years are needed for
teachers and students to develop expertise with technology and for
technology to be smoothly integrated into the practices of a classroom
(Sandholtz et al., 1997).
Three prerequisites for technology integration are the design of
educational technology innovations to be used in the classroom, the teachers
decision to use technology in the classroom (Rogers, 1995), and the
presence of facilitating conditions or the removal of constraining barriers in
the classroom context (Ely, 1999). So, technology integration involves a
technology innovation, a teachers adoption of that technology innovation, and
the context in which the technology innovation is adopted. Therefore, in order
to learn about technology integration in a classroom context, and understand
3


what facilitates or constrains technology integration, these three elements
must all be studied.
Instructional design is the systematic development of instructional
materials and processes using learning and instructional theories, and is part
of the discipline of educational technology. The generic instructional design
process is often referred to as ADDIE, an acronym for Analysis, Design,
Development, Implementation, and Evaluation, the steps of the instructional
design process. The ADDIE model is a colloquial term used to describe a
systematic approach to instructional design, rather than a fully elaborated
instructional design model (Molenda, 2003). The purpose of the instructional
design process is to improve the quality of educational technology. More
successful educational software programs were created through design
processes that were collaborative, iterative, and tested in actual classrooms.
Increases in student learning supported by the more successful programs
were shown through increased posttest scores, and some efforts were made
to design the software to be multicultural, appeal to both genders, and to be
able to be used independently. The content of the software was based on
national standards, and curricular materials and teacher training were
available. The software also had game-like elements that students found fun
and interesting (Barab, Thomas, Dodge, Carteaux, & Tuzun, 2005; Clarke,
Dede, Ketelhut, & Nelson, 2006; Jul, Klein, Jackson, & Soloway, 1997; Liu,
4


Williams, & Pedersen, 2002; Nelson, Ketelhut, Clarke, Bowman, & Dede,
2005).
In order for technology to be used for teaching and learning in a
classroom, the teacher has to decide to adopt that technology for teaching.
The formal name for that decision is the innovation-decision process, which
Rogers (1995) describes in his theory on the diffusion of innovations. The
innovation-decision process consists of five stages: knowledge, persuasion,
decision, implementation, and confirmation. What factors influence a
teachers decision to adopt or reject a technology innovation? Rogers (1995)
lists five characteristics of an innovation that influence the rate of adoption of
that innovation: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and
observability. Relative advantage is how much better an innovation is
perceived to be than the idea or tool that it replaces. Compatibility is how
consistent an innovation is perceived to be with the existing values, past
experiences, and needs of the potential adopter. Complexity is how difficult
to understand and use an innovation is perceived to be. Trialability is how
easily an innovation may be experimented with on a trial basis, and
observability is how visible the results of an innovation are to others.
Certain contextual conditions facilitate technology integration when
present, or constrain technology integration when absent. Some researchers
write about conditions for success for technology-based instructional
5


designs (Dede, 2005) or conditions that facilitate the implementation of
educational technology innovations (Ely, 1999). Other researchers write about
obstacles (Pelgrum, 2001) or barriers (Ertmer, Lehman, Park, Cramer, &
Grove, 2003) to technology integration. Contextual conditions that facilitate
technology integration include dissatisfaction with the existing conditions,
teachers and students having adequate technical knowledge and skills,
availability of sufficient planning and classroom time, adequate computer
equipment and software, and technical and administrative support (Ely,
1999). Successful technology integration projects have most of these
facilitating conditions (Butzin, 2001; Sandholtz et al., 1997; Wilson &
Peterson, 1995).
Research Problem
The purpose of this study was to learn about technology integration at
an urban elementary school, with a focus on understanding what elements
contribute to the slow pace of such integration. My research question was:
what can an instructional designer learn about technology integration by
participating as a volunteer at an urban school? I was seeking a new
perspective on understanding technology integration, and wanted both to
increase theoretical understanding as well as to produce a change in practice,
so using a qualitative method (Krathwohl, 1998) based on sociocultural theory
(Cole, 1996) was a good fit for my research objectives. I used developmental
6


work research (DWR) to better understand technology integration in relation
to teachers work. DWR is a research method that involves analyzing an
activity system and developing and implementing changes to that system with
the practitioners (Engestrom, 2000). DWR is an interventionist method that
seeks to expand knowledge about both practice and theory. While the DWR
method is often carried out by a team of investigators who are invited into a
workplace to help solve problems, in this study I participated as a volunteer,
initiating collaborative change by leading with the little finger. This metaphor
suggests extending a weak part of the hand, which must be willingly grasped
for the other to be led gently along a path (Nocon, Nilsson, & Cole, 2004).
Method
I used participant observation (Adler & Adler, 1987) as my main
method of collecting data, participating as an active member at Northwest
Elementary School for three years and taking field notes based on my
observations. I also informally interviewed some of the participants, worked
with staff at the school to administer a technology survey to teachers,
exchanged emails with other participants, and analyzed documents. I used
Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to analyze the data that I collected.
Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), also referred to simply as
Activity Theory, is a psychological and multidisciplinary theory that describes
collective human activities as being mediated by tools within a community
7


(Cole, 1996; Engestrom, 2000; Engestrom, 2001). In CHAT, the primary unit
of analysis is the activity system, not the individual or the environment. The
activity system includes the subject (an individual or group that acts), the
object (the cultural issue or problem space which is acted upon and
transformed by the subject), tools (both physical and conceptual), community
(those who share an interest in the same general object), rules (implicit and
explicit), a division of labor (assignments of roles and responsibilities,
including power relations), and an outcome (the transformed object). An
activity system is driven by a communal motive which is embedded in the
object of the activity. When a new component, such as a new tool, is
introduced into an activity system it can cause contradictions when the new
component collides with existing components. Such contradictions generate
disturbances and conflicts but can also lead to innovative attempts to change
the activity.
Technology integration is a complex process involving teachers,
students, computers, software, training, support, curriculum, context, and
many other elements. Looking at a single element, or not looking at the
context of the process, would not give a complete picture of this complex
process. CHAT and developmental work research are designed to study
multiple elements of activity systems in their context and therefore are
8


appropriate ways of observing and analyzing the complex process of
technology integration.
Key Findings and Contribution
In this study, I observed, changed, and analyzed technology
integration activities in an urban classroom context as both an educational
researcher and as an instructional designer. I also analyzed the findings from
other technology integration studies, comparing and contrasting them with my
findings and with theories of instructional design, technology adoption, and
technology integration. From the results of this analysis, I constructed a new
conceptual framework for the study of technology integration, and used this
framework to develop a participation model of instructional design. This
framework and model are described in detail in chapter 6.
Structure of the Dissertation
This chapter introduced the research problem, the background of the
problem, the research questions, and the research method. Chapter 2
reviews the literature related to technology integration, including instructional
design, technology adoption, and contextual barriers and conditions. Chapter
3 details the research method used in this study, including descriptions of the
research design, site, and participants, as well as data collection and
analysis. Chapter 4 presents a historical narrative describing the events of the
three years of this study, and looks at these events from an instructional
9


design viewpoint. Chapter 5 provides detailed CHAT analyses of the events
of this study, including the developmental work research interventions.
Chapter 6 reviews explanations for the slow pace of technology integration
from the literature and from the findings of this study, and uses them to
develop a conceptual framework for technology integration and a new model
of instructional design based on that framework. Chapter 7 reviews the
findings of this study and makes recommendations for practice, theory, and
research based on those findings.
10


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION
Introduction
This chapter reviews the literature and research on technology
integration in schools. What technology integration is and why it is important
to increase the integration of technology in schools is discussed first. Next,
elements that are prerequisites for technology integration are reviewed,
including instructional design, technology adoption, and contextual barriers
and conditions. In addition, implications of this review are addressed.
Technology Integration
In this study I define technology integration in schools as, the use of
technology by students and teachers to enhance teaching and learning and to
support existing curricular goals and objectives (Sun et al., 2000, p. 55). The
word technology or the phrase educational technology as used in schools
can refer to the computers and software used for teaching and learning, but
can also refer to other instructional equipment such as graphing calculators or
digital cameras, or even to such non-material items as curricula or learning
strategies. This study focuses on the use of computers and software in
schools, particularly urban elementary schools.
11


Technology integration can take place over short periods of time, or
longer periods of time, though generally multiple years are needed for
teachers and students to develop expertise with technology and for
technology to be smoothly integrated into the practices of a classroom
(Sandholtz et al., 1997). Technology integration projects are considered to be
sustainable if they can be continued for multiple years, particularly if the
projects continue after an initial grant for a project has run out, or after
researchers or other outsiders have left a project after helping to initiate that
project. Technology integration projects are considered to be scalable if a
technology innovation successfully implemented in one classroom or school
can be successfully implemented in other classrooms and schools.
Technology integration projects include one or both of two different
types of software: educational software and productivity software. Educational
software is software that contains information about one or more subject
domains, such as reading or math. Common examples are Reader Rabbit
(The Learning Company, 1989) and Math Blaster (Davidson and
Associates, 1987). Productivity software is general-purpose software used in
offices which is not subject domain specific, such as word processors and
Internet browsers.
12


Goals
Three possible goals for technology integration in schools are: to make
schools more efficient and productive; to transform teaching and learning into
an engaging and active process; and to prepare students for the future
workplace (Cuban, 2001). In light of the current emphasis on standards-
based accountability, reinforced by the passage of the No Child Left Behind
(NCLB) Act of 2001, these goals need to be considered in regard to their
impact on student scores on annual high-stakes standardized tests.
The first goal, making schools more efficient and productive, speaks to
a desire to increase the amount of information transmitted to students
(Cuban, 2001). The focus is on quantity and not quality, with a factory model
of learning, where it is hoped that technology will automate the transmission
of subject domain information to students, leading to better grades and higher
scores on standardized tests. Skill and drill educational software would most
commonly be used to meet this goal.
The second goal, transforming teaching and learning, is often
associated with the desire to use more student-centered or constructivist
learning strategies, to help students develop deeper understandings and to
be able to apply what they learn (Cuban, 2001). The focus is on quality and
not quantity, and the hope is that technology can bring the real world into the
classroom and allow students to work on projects that deepen knowledge.
13


There are concerns, however that this type of learning might not be best
assessed by standardized tests, but require other forms of assessment such
as student portfolios to show student learning gains (Sandholtz et al., 1997).
More flexible educational software might be used to meet this goal, such as
simulation software to study simple circuits (Goodison, 2003) or electronic
books to develop reading skills (Turbill, 2001). In pursuit of this goal, students
might also use productivity software to find information, communicate with
experts, and produce reports and visual aids for presentations.
The third goal, preparing students for the future workplace (Cuban,
2001), is often associated with acquiring computer and information literacy,
twenty-first century skills that employers desire their employees to have.
Based on the information literacy standards (1998) created by the American
Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the Association for Educational
Communications and Technology (AECT), I define information literacy to be
the ability to access information efficiently and effectively; evaluate
information critically and competently; and use information accurately and
creatively. Based on the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)
for students developed by the International Society for Technology in
Education (International Society for Technology in Education, 2000), I define
computer literacy to be the knowledgeable, proficient, responsible, and ethical
use of computers as tools to: locate, evaluate, collect, process, and publish
14


information; solve problems; make informed decisions; communicate and
collaborate with others; and produce creative works. Since standardized tests
focus on subject domains and not computer or information literacy skills, this
type of learning is unlikely to show up on standardized tests. Developing
information and computer literacy generally requires the use of productivity
software such as word processors and Internet browsers rather than the use
of domain-related educational software.
Prerequisites
In order for teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms,
there are three prerequisites. The first prerequisite for technology integration
is that technology needs to exist for the teachers to use. Some of this
technology will be computers and productivity software that teachers can re-
purpose for classroom use. Another type of technology teachers can use is
educational software, created through a formal or informal instructional design
and development process. The second prerequisite for technology integration
is that teachers need to choose to use technology for teaching and learning in
the classroom. More formally, this choice is known as technology adoption, or
the innovation-decision process (Rogers, 1995). The third prerequisite for
technology integration is that certain facilitating contextual conditions need to
be in place, or certain contextual barriers need to be removed, in order for
teachers to be able to implement the technology that they have chosen.
15


These prerequisites will be discussed in more detail after a brief discussion of
the indicators of success for technology integration.
Indicators of Success
There are many different indicators of success in studies of technology
integration in schools, depending on the technology being implemented and
the goals and focus of the implementers and other concerned parties such as
instructional designers and researchers. Some studies focus on one of these
indicators of success, while other studies look at a number of these indicators
of success. The indicators that follow are roughly ordered in terms of
increasing instructional and practical value. The first of these indicators of
success is simply whether the technology is designed well (Gifford & Enyedy,
1999; Jul et al., 1997; Littleton, Light, Joiner, Messer, & Barnes, 1998; Liu et
al., 2002). Does the technology meet the design goals, and does it reflect the
learning or design theory it was designed to reflect? The second indicator is
whether teachers implement the technology well, or at all (Goodison, 2003;
McDonald & Hannafin, 2003; Mouza & Bell, 2001; Staples, Pugach, & Himes,
2005; Wetzel, 2002). The third indicator is whether the students use the
technology correctly, or at all (Klawe, Westrom, Davidson, & Super, 1996;
Lim, Nonis, & Hedberg, 2006; Liu et al., 2002). The fourth indicator of success
is whether student computer and information literacy skills increase through
the use of the technology (Sandholtz et al., 1997; Turbill, 2001; Wilson &
16


Peterson, 1995). The fifth indicator is whether content lesson outcomes are
learned through use of the technology as indicated by posttest scores, and
whether the outcomes are learned better through the use of the technology
than through another way (Barab, Arici, & Jackson, 2005; Clarke et al., 2006;
Liu, 2004; Nelson et al., 2005). The sixth indicator is whether student scores
on standardized tests increase through the use of the technology, and
whether the scores increase more through the use of the technology than
through another way (Butzin, 2001; McDonald & Hannafin, 2003). In the
current climate of concern for the results of annual high-stakes testing, this
sixth indicator is considered by some practitioners to be one of the most
valuable, though the fifth indicator of increased scores on posttests also
indicates instructional effectiveness. The seventh indicator is whether the use
of the technology is sustainable in the original implementation context, and
the eighth indicator is whether the use of the technology is scalable to other
implementation contexts (Barab, Thomas, et al., 2005; Clarke & Dede, 2006;
Clarke et al., 2006; Fishman, Marx, Blumenfeld, Krajcik, & Soloway, 2004).
The last two indicators are generally only pursued if the technology was
already shown to be instructionally effective in at least one place for some
period of time.
17


Instructional Design
Instructional design is the systematic development of instructional
materials and processes using learning and instructional theories, and is part
of the discipline of educational technology. The generic instructional design
process is often referred to as ADDIE, an acronym for Analysis, Design,
Development, Implementation, and Evaluation, the steps of the instructional
design process. As noted above, the ADDIE model is a colloquial term used
to describe a systematic approach to instructional design, rather than a fully
elaborated instructional design model (Molenda, 2003). The terms
instructional design and instructional development are often used
interchangeably to refer to the creation of educational technology innovations.
The purpose of the instructional design process is to improve the quality of
educational technology. Some educational technology is created by
instructional designers to test a learning or design theory, while other
educational technology is created to meet an instructional need or goal, or to
solve an instructional problem. There are a variety of instructional design
theories and models, which can be distinguished by how they recommend
that the steps of the instructional design process be accomplished.
Analysis
In the analysis step (A) of instructional design, designers study some
combination of the needs and goals of instruction, the content to be learned,
i
l
I
18


characteristics of the anticipated learners, and the context in which the
learning will occur (Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2004). Designers should also
consider the needs and characteristics of the teacher and of any researchers
studying the technology to be designed (Jul et al., 1997). The amount of time
spent on analysis can vary widely, from designers being told briefly about the
anticipated learners, to designers making a brief visit to observe the
anticipated learners, to designers participating in learning activities with the
anticipated learners over a period of time.
Design
In the design step (D), designers take the information that they have
gathered from the analysis step and then use learning theories to determine
how to include learning strategies in the technology to help learners meet the
identified learning needs and goals. Initially, instructional design was based
on behaviorist learning theory, but was later adapted to include ideas from
cognitive information processing learning theory (Driscoll, 2000; Morrison et
al., 2004). These learning theories are sometimes described as being
teacher-centered because instruction based on these theories is designed for
teachers to help students accomplish pre-specified behavioral or cognitive
objectives. Opinions vary as to whether instructional design can be used with
constructivist learning theories, since constructivism, often described as
student-centered, calls for learners to pursue their own learning goals and
19


construct their own meanings. However, constructivist instructional designers
design open-ended learning environments such as microworlds that promote
discovery and exploration (Driscoll, 2000).
In addition to being distinguished by learning theories, the design steps
of different instructional design models call for varying levels of collaboration
with users. Participatory design (Blomberg, Giacomi, Mosher, & Swenton-
Wall, 1993; Bodker, Granbask, & Kyng, 1993) calls for some degree of
collaboration with users, though sometimes this collaboration does not take
place in the learning context (Jul et al., 1997). Design-based research calls
for ongoing collaboration with users in the real-world learning context (Collins,
Joseph, & Bielaczyc, 2004).
Development
In the development step (D) of instructional design, designers or
developers take the information gathered and generated during the analysis
and design steps, and develop an educational technology innovation based
on that information. While the ADDIE model has two additional steps after
development, some designers consider their task finished after development,
because one or both of the next steps is actually accomplished by the users.
Implementation
In the implementation step (I) of instructional design, a teacher has
students use the educational technology innovation to enhance teaching and
20


learning. Since the implementation step of ADDIE calls for teachers and
students to use the created technology, if the innovation is used by teachers
and students in the classroom to support existing curricular goals and
objectives, then the implementation step of ADDIE is actually technology
integration, whether this is for shorter or longer periods of time.
Evaluation
In the evaluation step (E) of instructional design, users and/or
designers evaluate the created technology to see whether it meets the
specified learning needs and goals and is effective and efficient. That is, the
technology is evaluated to see whether it is successful. Based on this
evaluation, designers may revise the technology (Morrison et at., 2004).
Going from a later step in the ADDIE model to an earlier step, such as
following evaluation by revision of the design or development, is referred to as
a cyclic, ongoing, or iterative process, which means that steps in the process
repeat or recur.
Successful Instructional Design
What attributes of the instructional design process make educational
software developed through this process more successful? Descriptions of
the instructional design process for a number of educational software
programs used in multiple classrooms have a set of traits in common. First of
all, frequently implemented educational software was tested, evaluated, and
21


revised a number of times in classroom settings (Barab, Thomas, et al., 2005;
Clarke et al., 2006; Jul et al., 1997; Liu et al., 2002; Nelson et al., 2005), so
the design process was iterative and done in a real-life setting. Also, either
the designers collaborated with the teachers and students on the design of
the software (Barab, Thomas, et al., 2005; Clarke et al., 2006; Jul et al., 1997;
Nelson et al., 2005), or feedback from teachers and students during frequent
field testing was used to revise the design of the software (Liu et al., 2002).
Quest Atlantis, River City, and Alien Rescue are subject-specific educational
software programs that were designed to help students learn subject content
using student-centered learning strategies, and student posttest scores
increased after use of the software, suggesting that these programs helped
increase student learning (Barab, Arici, et al., 2005; Clarke et al., 2006; Liu,
2004; Nelson et al., 2005). Planlt Out, RiverBank, and Modellt are software
tools designed to help students do inquiry-based science projects, and
teachers and students were happy with the learning results from the software
(Jul et al., 1997).
Quest Atlantis and River City were both specifically designed to appeal
to girls as well as boys (Barab, Thomas, et al., 2005; Clarke et al., 2006;
Nelson et al., 2005), though Alien Rescue showed no performance
differences between girls and boys (Liu, 2004). Quest Atlantis was specifically
designed to appeal to multiethnic students (Barab, Thomas, et al., 2005),
22


though all three software programs were used successfully by multiethnic
students (Clarke et al., 2006, Liu, 2004; Nelson et al., 2005). The content in
Quest Atlantis, River City, and Alien Rescue was based on national content
standards, and curricular materials and professional development were
designed to complement the software. Also, these three software programs
had game-like elements that students found interesting and fun (Barab,
Thomas, et al., 2005; Clarke et al., 2006; Liu, 2004; Nelson et al., 2005).
River City and Alien Rescue had elements added by the designers to scaffold
student learning to make it more likely that students could use these software
programs independently (Clarke et al., 2006; Liu et al., 2002; Nelson et al.,
2005). These software programs showed most of the indicators for success
listed earlier. However, no mention was made of trying to design the software
to be easier for non-native English speakers to use or of making the software
available in a language besides English.
Two other educational software programs were also created through
collaborative, iterative design processes in real-life settings, and seemed to
be popular with teachers and students, though no posttests were given to
show their effectiveness (Klawe et al., 1996; Leu et al., 1998). One program,
Explorations of the Ancient World, was created with the goal of developing
design principles based on teachers instructional needs, so once that goal
had been met the designers may not have wanted to continue supporting the
23


software program (Leu et al., 1998). The other software program, Phoenix
Quest, was part of a multi-year project to increase childrens interest and
achievement in math and science, especially for girls (Klawe et al., 1996).
The project was discontinued, perhaps because of a lack of funding or
perhaps the designers found another way to meet that goal. Neither of these
projects mentioned national standards, curricular materials, or professional
development (Klawe et al., 1996, Leu et al., 1998).
Another educational software program, the Probability Enquiry
Environment, was tested in a classroom and showed increases in posttest
scores (Enyedy, 2003). Two other software programs, Say Say Oh Playmate
and Rappin Reader, that were designed to appeal to African American
students, showed increases in posttest scores but were not tested in a
classroom (Pinkard, 1999). Three versions of the same route-planning task
were created as three different software programs, and girls performed well
on Honeybears, the version with no male stereotyped elements, but did not
perform well on Pirates or King and Crown, which did have male stereotyped
elements (Littleton et al., 1998). No iteration or collaboration was mentioned
in any of these studies, and the goals of the studies seemed more focused on
testing theories rather than solving classroom instructional needs. Again,
none of these projects mentioned national standards, curricular materials, or
professional development.
24


ALPINE, a web-based science program aimed at teaching students
about weather concepts (Mouza & Bell, 2001), and two web-based test
preparation software programs based on television game shows (McDonald &
Hannafin, 2003) were tested in classrooms and did not show increases in
posttest scores. No mention was made of the design process being
collaborative or iterative, or being based on national standards. One study did
mention that teachers received training during one meeting, which appeared
to be a number of months prior to implementation, and also said that that was
probably not enough teacher training (Mouza & Bell, 2001). Both of these
studies mentioned teacher resistance as a barrier to successful
implementation of the software, though no alternate explanations were
explored (McDonald & Hannafin, 2003; Mouza & Bell, 2001).
Summary
In summary, the more successful educational software programs were
created through design processes that were collaborative, iterative, and
tested in actual classrooms. Increases in student learning were shown
through increased posttest scores, and some efforts were made to design the
software to be multicultural, appeal to both genders, and to be able to be
used independently. The content of the software was based on national
standards, and curricular materials and teacher training were available. The
software also had game-like elements that students found fun and interesting.
25


However, some of the software that was used in fewer classrooms or
discontinued had some of these features, and it was not always clear from the
studies why the software was not still in use.
This section looked at elements of the design process that might
constrain or enable technology integration. The next section will look at
elements of teacher technology adoption decisions that might constrain or
enable technology integration.
Technology Adoption
In order for technology to be used for teaching and learning in a
classroom, the teacher has to decide to adopt that technology for teaching.
The formal name for that decision is the innovation-decision process, which
Rogers (1995) describes in his theory on the diffusion of innovations. The
innovation-decision process consists of five stages: knowledge, persuasion,
decision, implementation, and confirmation.
Knowledge
In the knowledge stage of the innovation-decision process, the teacher
becomes aware of an educational technology innovation and learns a little
about how it works. Some diffusion scholars think that the adopter passively
becomes aware of an innovation, and that the awareness of the innovation
may generate a need for the innovation, while other diffusion scholars think
that adopters with a need will look for an innovation that will meet that need
26


(Rogers, 1995). This debate is related to the design process, where some
designers create an innovation to meet an existing need, while other
designers create an innovation based on a theory, hoping to generate a need
for the innovation.
Persuasion
In the persuasion stage of the innovation-decision process, the teacher
acquires enough information about the innovation to form a favorable or
unfavorable attitude toward the innovation. The adopter may mentally think
through whether the innovation will meet a need (Rogers, 1995). Teachers
have very little time to judge whether software meets their teaching needs
and try out the software, so designers need to include enough information
with software so that teachers can see whether the content of the software
matches their curriculum and will work for the students and computers in their
classrooms. A later section of this review describes characteristics of the
innovation that may influence the adopters decision.
Decision
In the decision stage of the innovation-decision process, the teacher
chooses to adopt or reject the innovation. A favorable decision is called
adoption, while an unfavorable decision is called rejection (Rogers, 1995).
27


Implementation
In the implementation stage of the innovation-decision process, the
teacher has students use the educational technology innovation to enhance
teaching and learning. During the implementation stage, the teacher may
change or modify the technology to better fit the classroom context, which is
known as re-invention (Rogers, 1995) or adapting instruction to the local
setting (Wilson, 1999). Since the implementation stage of the innovation-
decision process calls for students and teachers to use the created
technology, if the innovation is used by teachers and students in the
classroom to support existing curricular goals and objectives, then the
implementation stage of the innovation-decision process is actually
technology integration, just as it is in the ADDIE process.
Confirmation
In the confirmation stage of the innovation-decision process, the
teacher seeks reinforcement of the adoption decision already made or
reverses a previous adoption decision and discontinues use of the
technology. Discontinuance may occur because an adopter is dissatisfied
with the innovation (Rogers, 1995).
Contingent Innovation-Decisions
Some innovation decisions are contingent. Contingent innovation-
decisions are choices to adopt or reject an innovation that can be made only
28


after a prior innovation-decision (Rogers, 1995). In the case of a teacher
adopting technology, in many cases a teacher can only adopt a technology if
the teachers principal has already decided that the school will adopt the
technology. Also, a student can generally only adopt a technology in the
classroom if the students teacher has already decided to adopt the
technology in the classroom.
Characteristics of innovations
What factors influence a teachers decision to adopt or reject a
technology innovation? Rogers (1995) lists five characteristics of an
innovation that influence the rate of adoption of that innovation: relative
advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. Relative
advantage is how much better an innovation is perceived to be than the idea
or tool that it replaces. Teachers want to know if the time and expense
needed to use the innovation will increase student learning over their current
teaching materials. The greater the relative advantage of an innovation is
perceived to be, the faster that innovation will usually be adopted.
Compatibility is how consistent an innovation is perceived to be with the
existing values, past experiences, and needs of the potential adopter.
Teachers want to know whether an innovation matches their curriculum and is
compatible with their teaching style. The higher the degree of compatibility is
perceived to be, the faster that innovation will usually be adopted. Complexity
29


is how difficult to understand and use an innovation is perceived to be.
Teachers want software to be easy to understand and use for teachers and
students, and to be reliable and require little technical support. The lower the
degree of complexity is perceived to be, the faster that innovation will usually
be adopted. Trialability is how easily an innovation may be experimented with
on a trial basis, and observability is how visible the results of an innovation
are to others. The more trialable and observable an innovation and its results
are, the faster that innovation will usually be adopted.
Practical Questions about Innovations
Cuban (2001) gives a list of practical questions that teachers ask about
a technology, and the answers influence a teachers decision to adopt or
reject a technology. Is the technology simple enough to learn quickly? Is the
technology versatile? Will the technology motivate my students? Does the
technology contain skills that are connected to what I am teaching? Is the
technology reliable? If the technology breaks, will someone come to fix the
technology? Will the amount of time I invest in learning to use the technology
yield a comparable return in student learning? Will student use of the
technology weaken my classroom authority? Teachers taking time to study
the characteristics of an innovation and ask questions about whether the
innovation will benefit the students and not make teaching more difficult is
30


sometimes construed as resistance (Bryson & De Castell, 1998), but is
actually a normal part of the innovation-decision process (Rogers, 1995).
Dynamic Innovations
One issue with Rogers (1995) theory about the innovation-decision
process is that the innovation is presented as fixed and static, and not
something that can be changed by an adopter except through re-invention.
However, as described above, technology integration can be the
implementation step of both the instructional design process and also the
innovation-decision process, which implies that technology integration
connects these two processes, so these two processes are not separate and
unrelated. Another way of saying this is that using the ADDIE model, an
instructional designer creates an educational technology innovation that a
teacher makes an innovation-decision to have his or her students use to
enhance teaching and learning and to support existing curricular goals and
objectives, which is technology integration. This further implies that
technology integration is a process that includes or is preceded by the steps
of the ADDIE model and the steps of the innovation-decision process:
analysis, design, development, knowledge, persuasion, decision,
implementation, evaluation, and confirmation.
Furthermore, if the instructional design process is collaborative,
iterative, and happens in the real-world context of the classroom, then the
31


teacher can influence the designer to make changes to the innovation if the
teacher is not satisfied with the technology. In this way, the innovation is no
longer fixed and static from the viewpoint of the adopter, and the adopter has
another choice besides discontinuing the unsatisfactory technology. However,
another implication of linking the instructional design and innovation-decision
processes is that the design choices made by the designer are constrained by
the needs of the teacher.
Pedagogy and Technology
If a teachers decision whether or not to adopt a technology innovation
is a major factor in technology integration, then one approach to speeding up
the technology adoption process is to change teachers, usually through
professional development (Demetriadis et al., 2003; Ertmer et al., 2003;
Wetzel, 2002), in order to influence a teachers perception of technology by
increasing teacher knowledge and skills or changing teacher beliefs or
attitudes. Many researchers perceive that teacher beliefs and attitudes about
technology are related to teacher beliefs and attitudes about pedagogy,
though researchers differ on the relationship between these two sets of
beliefs and attitudes. Cuban (2001) observed that introducing technology did
not change teacher beliefs about pedagogy, but that teachers who already
had student-centered teaching beliefs rather than more traditional
pedagogical beliefs were more likely to adopt technology. Other studies found
32


data that suggested that the relationship between technology and student-
centered teaching practices actually went the other way, and that introducing
technology into classrooms led teachers to have more student-centered
teaching beliefs (Lim & Hung, 2003; Rakes et al., 1999; Sandholtz et al.,
1997).
Further linking technology and pedagogy, Ertmer, Addison, Lane,
Ross, and Woods (1999) described teacher beliefs about teaching and
technology that constrained technology integration as intrinsic barriers, and
recommended a dual focus on both technological and pedagogical issues
during on-site teacher training in order to overcome these intrinsic barriers to
technology integration. Demetriadis et al. (2003) also recommended
pedagogical training as well as technological training for teachers in order to
facilitate technology integration, cautioning that some teachers would try to
implement technology in support of more traditional teaching practices.
Teaching about technology and pedagogy can also be enhanced by explicitly
teaching about how to integrate technology (Wetzel, 2002).
Summary
In summary, a teachers decision as to whether or not to adopt a
technology innovation is affected by the teachers knowledge of and
perception of the technology innovation. That innovation might be fixed,
though with the innovation-decision process linked to the instructional design
33


process, the teacher might be able to have the designer change the
innovation. Some researchers try to change the teachers perceptions of
technology through professional development in order to facilitate technology
adoption and integration. However, is the teacher really free to decide to
adopt or reject a technology? The next section will look at contextual
conditions that facilitate technology integration and contextual barriers that
constrain technology integration.
Contextual Barriers and Conditions
Some researchers write about conditions for success for technology-
based instructional designs (Dede, 2005) or conditions that facilitate the
implementation of educational technology innovations (Ely, 1999). Other
researchers write about obstacles (Pelgrum, 2001) or barriers (Ertmer et al.,
2003) to technology integration. Certain contextual conditions facilitate
technology integration when present, or constrain technology integration
when absent.
Dissatisfaction
One condition that facilitates technology integration is dissatisfaction
with the existing conditions (Wetzel, 2002). Whether this dissatisfaction is an
innate feeling or is induced by external factors (Ely, 1999) such as social
pressure (Frank, Zhao, & Borman, 2004) or expectations of the school
principal (Staples et al., 2005), it calls on teachers to change. This condition
34


of dissatisfaction might also be described as a need (Granger et al., 2002), as
in the knowledge stage of the innovation-diffusion process, or be described
more positively as a goal (Barowy & Jouper, 2004) or a vision (Sandholtz et
al., 1997; Wilson & Peterson, 1995).
Knowledge and Skills
Another condition that facilitates technology integration is teacher
knowledge and skills (Ely, 1999; Rakes et al., 1999), though lack of
knowledge and skills (Pelgrum, 2001; Staples et al., 2005) can be addressed
with training (Barowy & Jouper, 2004; Demetriadis et al., 2003; Ertmer et al.,
2003; Wetzel, 2002). Also, the amount of technology-related teacher training
is significantly related to student achievement (NCREL, 2000). Technology
integration is also facilitated by student knowledge and skills (Granger et al.,
2002; Sandholtz et al., 1997; Wilson & Peterson, 1995).
Time
Availability of time is an important condition that facilitates technology
integration (Ely, 1999). Teachers are extremely busy, with many competing
demands on their time (Frank et al., 2004; Tang & Ang, 2002). Teachers need
time to learn and explore how to use and teach with technology (Turbill, 2001;
Wetzel, 2002), time to plan lessons that integrate technology (Ertmer et al.,
1999; Lim & Chai, 2004; Pelgrum, 2001), and time in the classroom and
35


school schedules for students to use technology (Granger et al., 2002;
Pelgrum, 2001; Tang & Ang, 2002; Wetzel, 2002).
Computer Equipment
Availability of tangible resources, such as computer and networking
equipment (Lim & Hung, 2002; Pelgrum, 2001; Sandholtz et al., 1997), is an
additional condition that facilitates technology integration. References to
funding or money refer to the cost of these and other tangible resources (Ely,
1999). This computer equipment needs to be available when the teachers
need it (Tang & Ang, 2002; Zhao, Pugh, Sheldon, & Byers, 2002), in sufficient
quantities so that students can have enough time on the computers (Barowy
& Jouper, 2004; Ertmer et al., 1999; Sandholtz et al., 1997; Staples et al.,
2005; Turbill, 2001; Wetzel, 2002). Research and best practices indicate that
in order for significant student gains to result from the use of technology, one
computer is needed in the classroom for every four to five students (NCREL,
2000; USDOE, 1996). The computer equipment also needs to be working
and somewhat up-to-date (Ertmer et al., 1999; Granger et al., 2002; Pelgrum,
2001). However, sometimes teachers are flexible and find ways to work
around equipment deficiencies (Barowy & Jouper, 2004; Ertmer et al., 1999;
Granger et al., 2002), though that takes additional time.
It is easier for teachers to integrate technology in their classrooms
when they have one modern, Internet-connected computer in their classroom
36


for every four to five students. With one computer for every four students,
teachers can divide their classes into four groups, so that while one group is
using the computers the other three groups can be working with one or more
teachers or working independently at their tables. Also, if one group uses the
computers each day for four days, that allows for an extra day where the
students can go on a field trip or participate in some other special activity and
not miss their time on the computer. As the number of students per computer
increases above five, the time needed to rotate all the students through the
computers quickly becomes impractical, particularly with younger children.
Statistics about student to computer ratios need to be read very
carefully. Even when only internet-connected computers used for instruction
are counted (NCES, 2005a), some of the computers are in computer labs and
not in classrooms. As a simple example, an elementary school that has a
computer lab with 20 computers, 10 classrooms with 20 students each, and a
student to computer ratio of 5:1 (40 computers for 200 students) only has two
computers in each classroom. So each classroom actually has a student
computer ratio of 10:1. In addition, with only one computer lab and computer
classes held in the computer lab for students from 10 classrooms, very few of
the teachers will be able to schedule time for their class in the computer lab.
37


Software
Availability of appropriate software is another condition that facilitates
technology integration (Ely, 1999). Productivity software, such as word
processors and Internet browsers, is fairly easy to find and can be used for
many purposes (Sandholtz et al., 1997). Educational software needs to
closely match the subject and curriculum (Demetriadis et al., 2003; Leu et al.,
1998; Staples et al., 2005; Zhao et al., 2002), and it can be difficult to find
appropriate educational software at the right level (Turbill, 2001), even if it
exists. This is more of a challenge for elementary teachers because they
need to find software to match math, literacy, science, and social science
(Butzin, 2001), where teachers at higher levels might only need to find
software to match one subject. It would be easier for teachers to find
appropriate software that matched their curricula if districts that use the same
curricula in all schools at the same level provided curricula that already
included technology use in lesson plans and also provided appropriate
software that matched the curricula or at least reviewed software to see
whether it matched curricula and provided lists of appropriate software.
Support
Availability of support is another important condition that facilitates
technology integration. This support includes administrative support, in the
form of commitment, project leadership, and executive leadership (Barowy &
38


Jouper, 2004; Demetriadis et al., 2003; Ely, 1999; Granger et al., 2002;
Pelgrum, 2001; Staples et al., 2005; Zhao et al., 2002), as well as
opportunities for shared decision-making (Cuban, 2001; Ely, 1999; Wilson &
Peterson, 1995) and rewards and incentives (Ely, 1999). This support also
includes technical support (Demetriadis et al., 2003; Granger et al., 2002; Lim
& Hung, 2002; Pelgrum, 2001; Tang & Ang, 2002), pedagogical support
(Ertmer et al., 2003; Sandholtz et al., 1997; Wilson & Peterson, 1995), and
classroom help (Ertmer et al., 1999; Turbill, 2001).
Systemic Barriers and Conditions
The contextual barriers and conditions described so far mostly pertain
to the classroom or school in which a teacher works. However, schools are
part of larger systems such as districts, states, and countries, and so
technology integration in the classroom is also facilitated or constrained by
the contextual barriers and conditions created by the larger systems to which
classrooms belong. For example, teachers and administrators may feel
unable to integrate technology because they feel pressured instead to have
students spend time preparing for mandatory high-stakes tests or
examinations, the results of which are published outside the school
(Demetriadis et al., 2003; Lim & Hung, 2003; Park, Cramer, & Ertmer, 2005;
Wetzel, 2002), such as the annual high-stakes tests specified by NCLB.
Curricula may be mandated by the school or district, and may even be
39


scripted (Izumi, 2002; Kercheval & Newbill, 2001), reducing the flexibility of
teachers to choose to use technology. Additional time demands and
constraints are also placed on teachers when schools adopt an inclusive
approach to teaching students with special needs (NCES, 2005b), and the
number of students who are not native speakers of English increases
(National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition [NCELA], 2006).
Successful Technology Integration Projects
All of the numerous contextual conditions listed in the previous section
that facilitate or constrain technology integration impact technology integration
in classrooms, and all of the facilitating conditions usually need to be present
in varying degrees to facilitate technology integration (Ely, 1999), and the
constraining conditions, or barriers, need to be reduced or worked around.
Technology integration is a very complex process, so it is perhaps not
surprising that complaints are heard about the lack of technology integration
in schools (Cuban, 2001). There are, however, some technology integration
projects that have succeeded.
The first large technology integration project, which is still considered
one of the most successful, was the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT)
project (Sandholtz et al., 1997).The Apple computer company teamed with
public schools, universities, and research agencies starting in 1986 to
conduct a 10 year experiment about the potential of technology in schools,
40


focusing on teachers experiences. All of the teachers were volunteers, so
they may have shared Apples vision of technology enhancing teaching and
learning. The project provided every teacher and student in the project with a
computer for the classroom and another computer for home use, since the
computers were not portable. The project provided a variety of software
packages for every classroom, training for the teachers, a technology
coordinator for each school to provide ongoing technical and instructional
support, and release time for the teachers for collaboration and team
planning. Researchers collaborated with teachers and administrators, and
administrators permitted daily schedules to be flexible.
Not many changes in instruction were observed in ACOT schools
during the first few years, but by the end of the project many of the teachers
had evolved from using teacher-centered learning strategies to using student-
centered learning strategies, and many teachers and students exhibited
mastery of technology. Only students at one of the five initial schools in the
project achieved higher standardized test scores, and that school focused on
using computers to increase basic skills and test scores. In the other schools,
the test scores remained the same even though less time was spent on
learning basic skills, and more time was spent on developing critical thinking,
problem solving, and technology skills.
41


In another technology integration study, a new elementary school
opened with a vision of implementing reform initiatives, including student-
centered learning strategies supported by technology, a vision that was
developed using a consensual method (Wilson & Peterson, 1995).
Administrators and teachers worked together to implement that vision.
Teachers received early and thorough technology training, and a full-time
computer coordinator provided technical and instructional support. Each
classroom had four to six Macintosh computers and an assortment of
educational and productivity software. No mention was made of release time,
though teachers were allowed to take computers home for six weeks over the
summer. The study indicated that students were motivated to learn with the
technology, and showed tentative learning gains in a variety of areas.
Standardized test scores were not available for the study.
In a third technology integration study, a new elementary school
opened using Project CHILD, an instructional model for Grades K-5 that uses
classroom computers as part of hands-on learning stations (Butzin, 2001).
Three teachers formed cross-grade clusters (K-2 or 3-5) with each teacher
focusing on reading, writing, or math. The implementers of Project CHILD had
a vision of promoting cultural diversity in a high-tech, soft touch
environment. Teachers received training in the summer before the school
opened, and continued to receive extensive training and coaching during
42


each school year. There were approximately five students per instructional
computer in each classroom, and materials included a wide array of
instructional software that was correlated to the curricula. No mention is made
of technical problems or technical support. At the end of the first three year
cycle, Project CHILD students in grades two and five achieved statistically
significantly higher scores on standardized reading and math tests than
students at a school with comparable demographics.
In these studies, teachers successfully integrated technology. Most of
the contextual conditions listed in this section as facilitating technology
integration were present at each school. Teachers do not integrate
technology in a vacuum, but in real-life classroom contexts with conditions
that facilitate or constrain technology integration. These studies indicate that
having a vision, knowledge or training, time, computers, software, and
administrative and technical support facilitate the integration of technology.
Summary
This chapter reviewed the literature and research on technology
integration in schools. First this review discussed technology integration as
the use of technology in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning and
to support existing curricular goals and objectives, and described three goals
of technology integration in schools: making schools more efficient and
productive; transforming teaching and learning into an engaging and active
43


process; and preparing students for the future workplace. Next, this review
discussed elements that are prerequisites for technology integration, including
instructional design, technology adoption, and contextual barriers and
conditions. Technology integration was shown to be a part of the instructional
design and technology adoption processes. This review also showed that
technology integration takes place in contexts that have conditions that
facilitate or constrain technology integration.
This review highlights the extremely complex nature of technology
integration, and shows that many different elements are involved. Some of
the studies of technology integration reviewed in this chapter would have
been more informative if they had contained information about more of these
elements. Having a theoretical framework that tied these all of these different
elements together into an explanatory model that made it easier to look at all
of the elements that influence technology integration would also be useful. In
addition, doing more technology integration studies in real-life classroom
contexts would be beneficial, since there were so few studies of that nature
available. Many of the technology integration studies that were available also
did not fully address multicultural and multilingual issues. Furthermore, many
of the successful technology integration projects had extraordinary resources
that are not available in most schools, so doing technology integration studies
with more limited resources would be valuable as well.
44


In the following chapter I describe the research method for this study,
including the research question, the research design, the research site and
participants, and how the data were collected and analyzed. This description
will show that this study was done in a real-life classroom context with limited
resources, and addressed multicultural and multilingual issues.
45


CHAPTER 3
METHOD
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to learn about technology integration in
classrooms, with a focus on understanding what elements contribute to the
slow pace of such integration. I expected that this understanding would lead
to the discovery of ways for instructional designers to help increase the pace
of technology integration in classrooms.
Research Question
The specific research question addressed was: What can an
instructional designer learn about technology integration by participating as a
volunteer at an urban school? After I came to understand that the
prerequisites for technology integration include both the instructional design
process to create an educational technology innovation, and also the
technology adoption process for teachers to decide to implement that
innovation in their classrooms, my emergent questions were: What elements
of instructional design facilitate or constrain technology integration in urban
classrooms? What elements of technology adoption facilitate or constrain
technology integration in urban classrooms?
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Research Design
For this qualitative study, I used a variation of the method of
developmental work research (DWR) which is built on Cultural Historical
Activity Theory (CHAT) (Engestrom, 1996). DWR specifies that the
researcher will collaborate with the research participants to change their work
practice by implementing a series of interventions that emulate the phases of
a cycle of expansive learning. DWR seeks to expand knowledge about both
practice and theory. In this section I will next describe CHAT and expansive
learning before further describing DWR.
Cultural Historical Activity Theory
CHAT, also referred to simply as activity theory, is a psychological and
multidisciplinary framework for studying human practices with both the
individual and social levels of human action interlinked (Engestrom, 2000;
Kuuti, 1996). CHAT is based on Kant and Hegels classical German
philosophy, the writings of Marx and Engels, and the cultural-historical
psychology of Vygotsky, Leontev, and Luria (Engestrom, 1999). In the
original formulation of cultural-historical psychology, Vygotsky introduced the
concept of mediated action. A subject does not act directly on an object, but
uses a mediating artifact, also referred to as a tool or instrument. Leontev
expanded Vygotskys concept of individual mediated action into a concept of
47


collective activity, and Engestrom (1996) depicted this collective activity
system graphically as shown in Figure 3.1.
Tools
Rules
*
Outcome
Figure 3.1. Structure of an Activity System (Engestrom, 1993, p. 68)
In the activity system in Figure 3.1, the subject refers to the individual
or subgroup whose agency is chosen as the point of view in the analysis. The
object is the raw material or problem space at which the activity is directed
and which is transformed into the outcome (Engestrom, 1993). The
relationship between the subject and the object is mediated by material and
conceptual tools which are used in the transformation process (Kuuti, 1996).
The community consists of the individuals and subgroups who share an
interest in the same general object (Engestrom, 1993). The relationship
between the community and the subject is mediated by rules that are the
48


implicit and explicit norms, conventions, and social relations of the community
(Kuuti, 1996). The relationship between the community and the object is
mediated by the division of labor (Kuuti, 1996) which refers to both the
horizontal division of tasks between the members of the community and to the
vertical division of power and status (Engestrdm, 1993, p. 67). An activity
system is driven by a communal motive which is embedded in, or organized
by, the object of the activity (Engestrom, 2000).
There are three levels of processes in an activity (Kuuti, 1996). At the
highest level, activities are longer-term processes that are driven by the
motive of transforming the object of the activity into the outcome. For
example, a construction company may participate in the activity of building
houses, transforming building materials into houses. At a lower level,
activities consist of chains of shorter-term individual and cooperative actions
that are related to each other by the same overall object and motive. Actions
are conscious and are driven by an immediate, defined goal that is part of the
higher level motive of transforming the object. Continuing the example of a
construction company, employees of the company may carry out actions such
as building the framework for a house, or pouring a concrete foundation for a
house, as part of the activity of building houses. At the lowest level, actions
consist of chains of operations, which are well-defined habitual routines used
as answers to conditions encountered while performing an action. Again
49


continuing the example of a construction company, employees may carry out
habitual operations such as hammering nails and cutting boards as part of the
action of building the framework for a house.
Five principles serve to describe activity theory more fully. First, a
collective activity system is the unit of analysis when studying human
behavior, not individual actions which cannot be fully understood outside of
the context of the activity system in which they are situated (Engestrom,
2000; Kuuti, 1996). Second, activity systems are multi-voiced, with
participants having multiple points of view, traditions, and interests. Third,
activity systems take shape and get transformed over lengthy periods of time,
so their problems and potentials can only be understood by studying their
history. Fourth, contradictions are structural tensions within and between
activity systems that are sources of disturbances, conflicts, change, and
development. Contradictions will be discussed in more detail in the following
paragraph. Fifth, when contradictions in an activity system are aggravated,
participants sometimes question the established norms of the activity system
and work to expansively transform the activity (Engestrom, 2001).
Contradictions generate disturbances and conflicts in an activity
system, but can also lead to innovative attempts to change the activity
(Engestrom, 2001). There are four levels of contradictions in activity systems.
Primary contradictions appear within components of the activity system. The
50


main source of primary contradictions in capitalist societies is the conflict
between the use value and the exchange value of a component. The use
value of an item is its utility in and of itself, while the exchange value of an
item is its monetary value (Engestrom, 1987). Secondary contradictions
appear between the components of an activity system, particularly when a
single new component is introduced, such as a new tool or a new rule.
Tertiary contradictions appear when participants in the activity system
introduce a new more culturally advanced form of the object and motive of the
activity. Quaternary contradictions appear when there are conflicts between
the central activity system and neighboring activity systems with which it is
linked. Participants in an activity system may experience aggravated
contradictions as overwhelming double binds, dilemmas where all of the
available alternatives are unacceptable (Engestrom, 1987). For example, a
patient with a badly infected leg may be given the choice of having the leg
amputated or dying, and find both alternatives unacceptable.
Expansive Learning
CHAT is used to analyze activity systems as part of DWR. DWR is a
research method built on CHAT, and DWR is also related to expansive
learning, which is a form of collective learning triggered by aggravated
contradictions in an activity system. This learning leads to a historically new
form of the activity when participants work collectively to reorganize or re-
51


mediate the activity by changing the components of the activity system in
order to resolve the contradictions. Expansive learning happens in cycles or
spirals over lengthy periods of time. DWR was created to document, analyze,
and facilitate these expansive learning cycles. Expansive learning consists of
five phases. The first step occurs when primary contradictions and a need
state develop in the current way of working. The second step occurs when
secondary contradictions and double binds develop. The third step is for
participants to form a new object and motive and add or create new tools,
creating a new model of work. The fourth step is to implement the new work
model in actual practice. The fifth step is to consolidate and reflect on the new
way of working (Engestrom, 1996).
Developmental Work Research
DWR consists of five steps that correspond to the five phases of
expansive learning. The first step is to participate in the activity and
discussions at the research site in order to get a grasp of the primary
contradictions and the need state in the current way of working, and also to
use CHAT to describe and diagram the activity. The second step is rigorous
analysis of the activity, looking for secondary contradictions and double binds,
and also looking at the history of the activity system and the object. The third
step is to work collaboratively with the participants to support and analyze the
design of a new model of work and the development or selection of new tools.
52


The fourth step is to support and analyze the implementation of the changes,
and the fifth step is to record and evaluate the outcome of the changes
(Engestrom, 1996; Nilsson, 2003).
Modifications
While DWR is often carried out by a team of investigators who are
invited into a workplace to help solve problems, in this study I participated as
a volunteer, initiating collaborative change by leading with the little finger.
This metaphor suggests extending a weak part of the hand, which must be
willingly grasped for the other to be led gently along a path (Nilsson, 2003;
Nocon et al., 2004). I also modified DWR by using an attentive presence
approach (Nocon, 2000; Nocon et al., 2004) where my frequent physical
presence at the school, my commitment to attending to the needs of the
teachers, and the help that I gave to teachers and students had a positive
impact on my relationship with the teachers and staff of the school.
Research Site
The public elementary school that participated in this study, referred to
here as Northwest, was selected both for reasons of convenience and
because it was an urban, bilingual school with low scores on annual high-
stakes tests. I had a contact at Northwest before this study started, so that I
could gain entry into the school, and I wanted a school that would present
more of the current learning issues in education than a suburban school.
53


Northwest had approximately 375 students, with grades from preschool to
fifth grade when this study started, and sixth grade was added during the third
year of this study. Approximately one third of the students at Northwest were
native Spanish speakers, and Northwest was beginning to add a dual
language strand at the rate of one grade per year when this study started. In
a dual language program, also known as a two-way immersion program,
English speakers learn a second language, and non-native English speakers
of that second language learn to speak English and are helped to maintain
their native language (Center for Applied Linguistics, 2006). Northwest was
also in their second year of implementing a new literacy curriculum when this
study started, and in their first year of implementing a new math curriculum.
Research Participants
Teachers
The teachers at Northwest were primarily European American women,
though there were a few Latina teachers, a few men, and one African
American teacher. Most of the teachers spoke at least some Spanish, with
some of the teachers being fluent in Spanish and at least two of the teachers
being native Spanish speakers who were also fluent in English. Teachers at
Northwest had an average of 10 years of teaching experience, and most had
been at Northwest for many years. In addition to the regular in-service
54


teachers, there were also substitute teachers and paraeducators in the
classrooms.
Principal
The principal at Northwest had high technology skills and encouraged
the teachers at the school to integrate technology with instruction. She was
part of the school technology team that made decisions on computer use at
Northwest, and sometimes fixed technology problems for other people.
Assistant Principal
The assistant principal was on the school technology team and also
coordinated test preparation efforts for the end of the year high-stakes tests.
The assistant principal who was at the school when this study started left at
the end of the second year of this study, and a new assistant principal was
hired.
Technology Coordinator
The technology coordinator had high technology skills, but also had
another full time student support role at the school. She sometimes went
around the school maintaining computers and printers, and was responsible
for part of the maintenance of the network. She was also on the school
technology team.
55


Librarian
The librarian at the school had high technology skills and taught
computer classes in the computer lab in the library.
Technology Paraeducator
The technology paraeducator had high technology skills, also taught
computer classes in the computer lab, and went around the school
maintaining computers and printers. The technology paraeducator was a
native speaker of English but was also fluent in Spanish.
Literacy Coach
The literacy coach helped teachers use the new literacy program and
also observed teachers in their classrooms during literacy instruction. In
addition, she helped teachers teach English as a second language.
School Students
Approximately eighty five percent of the students at Northwest were
Latino and 10 percent were European American. There were also a few
African, Asian, and Native American students. One third of the students were
native Spanish speakers. Seventy three percent of the students qualified for
free or reduced lunch, and most of the students did not have computers at
home.
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University Students and Site Professor
Northwest was a professional development school in partnership with
the university I attended, so there were preservice teachers doing their
student teaching at the school, and a site professor from the university who
supervised and taught the preservice teachers. The site professor was a
member of the doctoral lab group in which I participated at the university, and
also served as the gatekeeper for this study. In addition, the site professor
directed a before and after school computer club at Northwest that was based
on the Fifth Dimension model created by Michael Cole and Peg Griffin (Cole,
1996; Nicolopoulou & Cole, 1993; Nocon, 2002). The preservice teachers,
two other doctoral students, and I participated in the computer club. The
computer club was seen as a benefit by the principal and teachers, and
created an activity that made it possible for me to interact regularly with
students as a participant observer.
Researcher
I am a European American woman who grew up in a blue collar home,
attended private Christian schools, and earned bachelors and masters
degrees in Computer Science. I took two years of Spanish in high school,
though I forgot most of it, and I was exposed to a fair amount of Latino culture
while growing up in Los Angeles. I worked as a computer programmer in
various locations in the United States for 20 years before becoming interested
57


in using technology for education. I completed six graduate level instructional
design classes, which included earning a certificate in Designing and
Implementing Web-Based Learning Environments. I was appointed as the
Director of Educational Technology at a theological seminary where I work
with professors to design, develop, and implement online classes and
integrate technology in classrooms. I am married to a European American
network administrator and have three children who were ages 10, 17, and 19
when this study started, and who primarily attended suburban public schools.
All five of us are self-confessed bookworms and computer geeks, with each of
us having our own Internet-connected computers. I believe that computers
have the potential to improve classroom teaching and learning and I prefer
more student-centered teaching practices, such as problem based learning,
to lecturing. I started participating at Northwest by helping in the computer
club, and continued to participate in the computer club while expanding my
role to help students use computers in classrooms.
Data Collection
I collected data at Northwest from August 2003 to May 2006, three
school years, using a variety of data collection methods. The first month of
each school year was very busy at both the school and the university, so that
month I would only be at Northwest two or three times, and the computer club
also did not start right at the beginning of the semester. After the first month,
58


the time I spent at the school each week varied, but I was usually at the
school two or three days a week for a total of 8 to 10 hours each week.
Participant Observation
I used participant observation (Adler & Adler, 1987) as my main
method of collecting data, moving from a more peripheral membership role
where I observed more than I interacted when I first started, to a more active
membership role for most of this study where I functioned similarly to a part-
time technology coordinator or a dedicated parent volunteer in addition to my
role as a researcher. I took field notes of my observations, jotting down quick
notes in little notebooks during activities at the school and then elaborating on
these notes when copying them later into a full-size notebook or computer
file. By observing and interacting with the other participants I was able to
experience and understand activities in the school as specified by DWR.
I was looking for elements that facilitated or constrained technology
integration in classrooms, so when writing field notes I concentrated on
information about students observable behaviors, teachers observable
behaviors, classroom content, classroom activities, classroom organization,
the physical environment of the classroom, and any information about
technology. These are all elements included in the analysis step of
instructional design and the persuasion and decision steps of technology
59


adoption. I also looked for information about activity systems and their
components, such as rules, tools, and division of labor, in the classrooms.
Informal Interviews
I informally interviewed the librarian in spring 2004 using the list of
questions in Appendix A. I informally interviewed two teachers, one in fall
2004 and one in spring 2005, using the list of questions in Appendix B. I
frequently talked with teachers, staff, and students as I participated in
classrooms and the computer club, attended meetings, and walked through
the hallways. I often asked questions during these talks, jotting down the
answers in one of my little notebooks.
Technology Survey
In fall 2004,1 worked with the school technology team and the site
professor to create and distribute a teacher technology survey at a teacher
meeting using the list of questions in Appendix C. I entered the information
collected from this survey into an Excel spreadsheet so that I could look at all
of the answers from a single teacher as well as comparing the answers from
all of the teachers to a single question. I also informally asked two teachers
and two staff members follow-up questions about their survey answers.
Document Analysis
I examined documents that were available in the school, such as
handouts about the reading levels of books given to me by the reading coach
60


and posters hanging on walls. I also examined numerous public documents
on websites that had information about the school and the schools curricula,
including statistical information about the teachers and students at the school
and student scores on annual high-stakes tests.
Email Exchanges
I exchanged emails infrequently with teachers and staff at the school,
and frequently with the site professor and the university students. Some of
these emails were for planning purposes and other emails were to ask
questions.
Researcher Journal
I kept a researcher journal, reflecting on the data that I was collecting
and the ways in which I was collecting data. At times I exchanged emails that
discussed events at the school with the site professor and the other doctoral
students who participated in the computer club, and these emails also helped
me to reflect on my data.
Test Preparation Reports
Using the reporting capabilities of the web-based test preparation
software used at the school during the third year of this study, I collected
information on the number of questions students answered for each topic,
and how many of those questions the students answered correctly. I also
printed out a number of reports about overall levels of use of the software at
61


the end of the school year, as well as printing out some sample questions and
screen shots.
Data Analysis
I analyzed the data from the standpoint of both an educational
researcher and an instructional designer. I looked for themes in the data that
were related to instructional design and technology adoption and also looked
for emergent themes. I used Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to
further analyze the data and themes, as specified by DWR (Engestrom,
1996). I identified activity systems and their components in the classrooms
and looked for disturbances, contradictions, and double binds. I did a
historical analysis of the data, identifying turning points and changes that I
made with the teachers to the classroom activity systems during my years at
Northwest. As part of this historical analysis, I put together a chronological list
of dates of events at the school from the data and then constructed time
matrices of the important events (Miles & Huberman, 1994).
I compared the data and the findings from my analysis of the data to
both studies of instructional design and technology integration projects in
other classrooms, which is to say the practice of technology integration, and
also to theories about instructional design and technology adoption. In this
way I developed the technology integration framework that I was constructing
62


both upwards from everyday or spontaneous concepts and also downwards
from scientific concepts (Vygotsky, 1986).
Verification of Interpretation
To ensure internal validity, I employed the strategies of triangulation,
member-checking, thick descriptions, clarification of researcher bias,
prolonged time in the field, and peer debriefing (Creswell, 2003). To
triangulate the data, I collected data through multiple sources including
observations, informal interviews, a technology survey, document analysis,
and exchanges of emails. I checked my observations with members,
particularly observations of student learning. I included thick descriptions of
the research setting (which are evident in chapter 4). I clarified my biases, as
noted in an earlier section of this chapter. I spent three years participating at
the research site. I discussed my observations and findings with the site
professor and the other doctoral students who also participated at the
research site.
Summary
The purpose of this study was to learn about technology integration in
classrooms, with a focus on understanding what elements contribute to the
slow pace of such integration. The specific research question addressed was:
What can an instructional designer learn about technology integration by
participating as a volunteer at an urban school? To investigate this research
63


question, I used a variation of the method of developmental work research
(DWR) which is built on Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT)
(Engestrom, 1996). I collaborated with the teachers and staff at an urban
elementary school, referred to here as Northwest, to implement a series of
interventions designed to support an increase in technology integration. I
collected data using a variety of data collection methods. I analyzed the data
as both an educational researcher and as an instructional designer, looking
for emergent themes and analyzing the data with CHAT. In addition to
seeking understanding of technology integration, and implementing
interventions in teachers work practice, I also sought to develop theory about
technology integration. The following chapter presents a historical narrative of
the data as well as my changing understanding as both a researcher and
instructional designer over the course of this study. This will be followed by a
presentation and analysis of the findings using CHAT in chapter 5.
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CHAPTER 4
HISTORICAL NARRATIVE AND INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN VIEWPOINT
Introduction
This chapter first presents a narrative description of the three years
that I spent at Northwest, an urban elementary school. This narrative is
divided by the description of turning points when reflection on my experiences
led me to change my thinking about technology integration and the actions
that I was taking at Northwest. Descriptions of these turning points include
brief mentions of the Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) analyses that I
did on the activities at Northwest, which are explained more fully in chapter 5.
Following this narrative description, I look at my experiences at Northwest
from an instructional design viewpoint, performing the analysis and evaluation
steps of an instructional design process. Writing a narrative description of my
experiences at Northwest and looking at my experiences from an instructional
design viewpoint were part of a research process that led to answers to my
research question: What can an instructional designer learn about technology
integration by participating as a volunteer at an urban school?
I
!
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Before the Study at Northwest in Fail 2003
As an instructional designer, I wanted to develop educational software
based on student-centered learning principles that could be used in urban
classrooms to enhance teaching and learning and to support existing
curricular goals and objectives. I knew that computers were not widely used in
classrooms, not just from research articles, but also because even my
youngest child, about to enter the fifth grade, seldom used computers at
school. When I had designed business software in the past, it was always of
more help to the users when they participated in the design, so I wanted to
find teachers and students to participate with me in the design of educational
software.
I had used computers successfully for learning and work for almost
thirty years, and believed that technology could bring about positive changes
in education. I assumed that the best way to bring about educational change
was to create educational technology innovations, particularly software
innovations, which were superior to existing products. I theorized that my
technical knowledge about instructional design and my theoretical knowledge
of student-centered learning principles could be combined with the practical
teaching expertise of teachers, and the interests and cultural backgrounds of
students to create technically superior and instructional^ effective software. I
66


naively assumed that the superiority of this software would be a sufficient
condition to directly lead to its implementation in classrooms.
I particularly wanted to develop educational software in a bilingual
school because of the increasing numbers of non-native English speakers in
schools, and because of a cross-cultural experience that I had in the summer
of 2003. I took my two daughters with me to a small city in the south of
Sweden to help in a computer club similar to the one that would start at
Northwest in fall 2003. When we arrived in Sweden, we quickly discovered
that none of the signs or train announcements was in English. Also, though
many Swedes spoke English, they had varying levels of fluency. In addition,
because the computer club was for children, all of the software menus in the
computer lab were in Swedish. Using software with menus in another
language was challenging. Outside of the computer club, we discovered that
ordering food at restaurants, grocery shopping, and cooking in another
language were also challenging. I felt empathy for the immigrants who arrived
in America to find very few people who spoke their language.
Getting Started in Fall 2003
This section describes how in my first semester at Northwest, an urban
elementary school, I helped in the computer club, observed five classrooms
briefly, and worked with the school technology team to administer a
technology survey to the teachers. Table 4.1 shows the months when I did
67


activities in fall 2003, as well as which new programs started at Northwest in
2003. Table 4.1 also shows when classes began and ended at Northwest and
at the university where the preservice teachers and I took classes.
Table 4.1 Fall 2003
July 2003 August 2003 Sept 2003 Oct 2003 Nov 2003 Dec 2003
Northwest First day of classes 2nd year literacy program Dual language ECE and Kind. Math program started upper grades Computer club started Math program introduced lower grades Winter break
University First day of classes Last day of classes
Researcher Two classroom visits Three classroom visits Teacher technology survey Follow up questions to survey
In fall 2003,1 helped in the before school computer club at Northwest.
Preservice teachers who were training with teachers at Northwest also helped
in the computer club, which was directed by the site professor who
supervised the preservice teachers. The emphasis of the club was writing,
and we helped students write and illustrate their stories on the computers
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using Kid Pix (Broderbund Software, 1991), Storybook Weaver Deluxe
(The Learning Company, 1995), and Microsoft Word. Students also played
board games that encouraged literacy, such as Boggle and Scrabble.
I helped in the computer club because, as a novice instructional
designer and an experienced computer programmer, I wanted to recruit
teachers to work collaboratively with me to design educational software. I also
thought that helping in the computer club would be a way for me to benefit the
school while getting to know the students and the school context. I expected
an urban, bilingual school to be different and more complex than the
suburban schools that my children attended.
Because I had used Windows computers for about 12 years, I
expected to be able to help students and other adults use the computers, but
all of the computers in the computer lab where the club was held were
Macintosh computers. I could still help with some basic computer functions,
but I also had to learn some of the unusual things about Macintosh
computers, like how to shut down a frozen program, and how closing a
window was not the same thing as exiting a program.
The supplies that we needed for the computer club were stored in a
closet in the literacy coachs office. When we went to get or store the
supplies, I observed the posters on the walls, which were about literacy.
Sometimes the literacy coach was there, and if she was not busy I could ask
69


her questions. She showed me the website for the new district elementary
literacy program, and some of the instructional books the teachers used for
the program. She also told me about reading levels for books and a little
about how native Spanish speakers learned English in school.
Due to my interest in using computers as part of literacy instruction, I
studied the information about the district elementary literacy program. The
literacy program used a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction that
was based on research and was designed to raise student achievement. The
literacy program was introduced at Northwest in kindergarten through grade
five in the fall of 2002, and was mandated by the district for schools with low
test scores on the annual high-stakes tests in reading and writing. The literacy
program required a daily three-hour instructional block divided into a ninety-
minute readers workshop, a one-hour writers workshop and a one-half hour
skills block. At the beginning of the readers workshop, the teacher presented
a whole-class mini-lesson on a specific reading skill to the whole class, and
then students read independently, with partners, or in a guided reading group
with the teacher. The writers workshop started with a whole-class mini-lesson
on a specific writing skill, and then students wrote independently in their
writers notebooks. The skills block addressed reading and writing skills
explicitly with direct instruction.
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During my first two months at Northwest, as well as helping in the
computer club I observed each of five classrooms for about an hour. In one
week I observed three bilingual lessons, one lesson on reading and writing in
a second grade class and two lessons on math and writing in a fifth grade
class. Both teachers spoke in both Spanish and English, and used poster
paper to write words that the students might not know in both Spanish and
English. Both teachers also used pictures to illustrate what they were saying
or held up the items that they were talking about. The second grade teacher
explained how to do a picture walk through a book to make sure it is a just
right book. The fifth grade teacher led a discussion of the difference between
telling (decir) and showing (ensenar) your readers something in a story.
Both classes also alternated between group time and individual work time.
There was a fire alarm during the second grade class, and everyone in the
school building went outside and waited until we could go back into the
building and resume class.
In the next three weeks, I visited three other classrooms. The third
grade class had a lesson on telling time, which the teacher taught to one
group in Spanish, and the preservice teacher taught to another group in
English. Both teachers used little cardboard clocks to illustrate the different
times. The first grade class had a whole-class mini-lesson on reading where
the class discussed the sequence of events in a story and constructed a
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graphic representation of the story. The lesson was interrupted by an
announcement. After the lesson the students spent individual time writing in
their writers notebooks, with individual help from the teacher, the literacy
coach, and the paraeducator. Then the class came together again and
students shared from their writers notebooks. During this class the teacher
spoke only in English. The fourth grade class had a substitute teacher who
read part of a fiction book about Mexican immigrants to the whole class in
English and also led the class in a discussion about the book. None of the
students in the five classrooms used computers while I was there.
A month after the classroom observations, I met with the school
technology team and the site professor to talk about my study and to ask
permission to interview teachers. My questions about student and teacher
technology practices at the school were related to what the principal wanted
to know about how teachers were using technology in classrooms. The
principal also wanted to know if there were barriers keeping the teachers from
increasing technology use in their classrooms, and I wanted to know what
kind of educational software teachers wanted. The principal wanted the
teachers to fill out a technology survey before I interviewed them. The
technology team, the site professor, and I developed the technology survey
together and gave it out at the next teachers meeting. A few minutes after the
teachers started filling out the technology surveys, the math coach began
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talking about the new math program. While the upper grades had received
their materials earlier, the materials for the lower grades had just come in,
three months after the start of school. I realized that this was the second new
program to be mandated by the district in two years, with the first new
mandated program being the literacy program implemented the previous
year.
Most of the questions on the technology survey were open-ended, and
I looked at all the answers together for each question. All of the teachers had
two Macintosh computers in their classrooms, one of which was connected to
the Internet. The teachers used the Internet-connected computer to send
email, record attendance, and prepare instructional materials. Some of the
teachers in the lower grades had students read electronic books and play
learning games on the computers. Some of the teachers in the higher grades
had students do Internet research and type in their reports. Ten of the 18
classroom teachers listed time constraints as a reason why they did not use
computers more. Seven teachers stated that they did not have sufficient
Internet-connected computers or software. Five teachers said they wanted
software in Spanish, and five teachers said they wanted literacy software.
Most of the teachers said they wanted software that ran locally because of the
lack of Internet connections and also because of security concerns. In a
follow-up interview, I found out that parental permission is needed for
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students to use the Internet, and that Internet use must be under direct adult
supervision. I also found out that there are problems with software CDs in a
school setting, because they are often damaged, lost, or stolen.
First Turning Point
I came into Northwest Elementary School wanting to find teachers who
would be interested in working collaboratively with me to design educational
software for the elementary classroom. After just a few months, and with only
a few hours in classrooms, I could see that the teachers were too busy to get
involved in such a project, even if any of them were interested. The teachers
were implementing two new district-mandated programs, and the answers to
the technology survey showed that most of the teachers were too busy to
even use very much technology during class.
Also, analyzing the situation with CHAT, there was a contradiction
between the object of the teachers, increasing student learning, and my
object, developing educational software. This CHAT analysis is described
more fully in chapter 5. Of course, in the long term I expected that the use of
the educational software that I wanted to develop would contribute to student
learning. However, in the day to day reality of the school, the fulfillment of that
expectation seemed far away.
In addition, my observations and my CHAT analysis helped me to
realize that the classroom context was much more complex than I had
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expected. Classes were very different than I remembered from when I was in
school, when all the students sat in neat rows and had a textbook for every
class. Having students with varying degrees of fluency in Spanish and English
made everything more complicated, too, especially for me since I spoke
almost no Spanish. Also, if I was going to go ahead and try to write
educational software with little or no involvement from the teachers, I would
need to know much more about student characteristics, classroom contexts,
and subject content than I had expected.
Furthermore, I had expected to write educational software for Windows
computers, and every computer in the school was a Macintosh computer. I
could barely use Macintosh computers, much less write software on
Macintosh computers, and every computer in my house was a Windows
computer. I might be able to write Internet software that would run on both
Windows and Macintosh computers, but I found out from the technology
survey that there would be security issues involved, as described earlier. At
least the second computer in each classroom at the school was scheduled to
be connected to the Internet over the winter break.
I was also curious about the reasons that teachers gave in the
technology survey for not using technology more. How common were the
answers the teachers gave about not having enough time, and needing more
Internet-connected computers and software? What were other schools doing
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to address these issues? How were other schools integrating technology in
classrooms? I was also concerned about the low use of computers in
classrooms. If the teachers were not able to integrate technology in their
classrooms, how could they have students use software that I developed?
First Changes
I read books and research articles about technology integration in
order to learn more about what other schools were doing about technology
integration. I found out that many teachers cited lack of time (Granger et al.,
2002; Lim & Chai, 2004; Pelgrum, 2001; Tang & Ang, 2002; Turbill, 2001;
Wetzel, 2002) and lack of sufficient Internet-connected computers (Barowy &
Jouper, 2004; Ertmeret al., 1999; Granger et al., 2002; Pelgrum, 2001; Tang
& Ang, 2002; Wetzel, 2002) and software (Ely, 1999; Staples et al., 2005;
Zhao et al., 2002) as barriers to integrating technology, just as the teachers at
Northwest did. I also found out that having only one computer in the
classroom is considered to be the most difficult situation when integrating
technology (Wepner, Valmont, & Thurlow, 2000) and I hypothesized that
having two computers was not much better.
Two common suggestions for dealing with a single computer in the
classroom were to use a projector to display the computer screen to all the
students, or to use the computer as part of a self-directed learning center. I
knew that the school only had one projector that teachers could check out,
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and that not all of the teachers knew how to use the projector, so that did not
seem to be a good suggestion for Northwest. The centers sounded like a
possibility, so I found a book on literacy centers for grades one to three
(Marriott, 1997), and an article on using centers during guided reading time
(Ford & Opitz, 2002). However, when I talked to the third grade teacher and
the literacy coach about centers, I found out that the district had had negative
experiences with centers in the past, and that the new literacy program with
the readers and writers workshops was an alternative to centers. However,
the new literacy program did not make suggestions for how to use computers
as part of readers and writers workshops.
Successful technology integration projects usually had more than one
or two computers in each classroom. In the successful Apple Classrooms of
Tomorrow (ACOT) project (Sandholtz et al., 1997), every student and teacher
had a computer, though the authors claimed that a smaller number of
computers would have sufficed. In the successful technology integration
project at Peakview Elementary School, teachers had four to six computers in
each classroom (Wilson & Peterson, 1995). One article claimed that four or
five computers per student were needed for successful technology integration
(NCREL, 2000; USDOE, 1996). I started thinking about how I could get more
computers for the teachers, possibly by applying for a grant.
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I also looked for district and state technology standards for teachers
and students on the Internet. I found a page on the district website that
proposed new district standards for Information Literacy and Technology (ILT)
proficiencies for students by grade, including spreadsheets from first grade
up, a slideshow in Kid Pix in second grade, and Microsoft PowerPoint
slides and two-handed typing from third grade up. I was excited about these
standards until I asked a few teachers and other staff at Northwest about
them, and only the librarian, who was also the computer teacher, was familiar
with them. Since the computer classes were only 45 minutes long for two or
three times a week, that did not seem to be enough time for students to learn
all the technology skills in the standards.
In order to learn more about the Northwest classroom context, student
characteristics, teacher characteristics, and subject content, I wrote a
proposal in March for the principal, to ask two teachers if I could observe their
classrooms for a few weeks that year, and then help the same teachers with
technology integration the following year. Table 4.2 shows the months when I
did activities in spring 2004.1 knew that I needed to spend more time in
classrooms, and I wanted my research to benefit the teachers. I thought that
helping in the classrooms and increasing resources for the teachers would
help me learn about technology integration and the classroom context, and
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also benefit the teachers. The proposal was approved, and two teachers
agreed to let me observe their classrooms that year.
Table 4.2 Spring 2004
Jan 2004 Feb 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004
Northwest Computer club resumed Spring break last 2 weeks Spring break first week Computer club ended Last day of classes
University First day of classes Last day of classes
Researcher Research proposal to principal Bought Mac laptop Attended AERA 1 week in a 2nd and 3rd grade 4 weeks in a 2nd and 3rd grade Generic grant proposal to university 1 week in a 2nd and 3rd grade Grant search results returned
I also bought a Macintosh laptop that was compatible with the school
computers. That way, I would have more time to use and troubleshoot a
Macintosh computer, I could develop and test software on a Macintosh
computer, and I could also bring the laptop to school for students to use. I
was still thinking about developing educational software for the school, but
starting to wonder about when I could make it happen.
In April, I attended the annual meeting of the American Educational
Research Association (AERA), a large educational research conference. I
attended many presentations, but the information that impacted me the most
came from a conversation with a researcher. I asked Dr. Donald J. Leu
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(personal communication, April 16, 2004), a well-known researcher and
professor in literacy and technology, for recommendations for literacy
software for the elementary classroom. He said that it was not which software
you used that made an impact on learning, it was the way the teacher used
the software. I was stunned. I had always thought that when students used
computers for learning that it was the software that impacted learning, and
that the better the software was, the greater the impact on learning the
software would have. To me, his statement was like telling someone who
believed that the sun revolved around the earth that instead the earth
revolved around the sun. I thought about Dr. Leus statement frequently as I
participated in classrooms and read about technology integration over the
next few months, testing his statement for truth and slowly integrating it into
my own thinking.
Observing Two Classrooms in Spring 2004
For the last six weeks of the 2003-2004 school year, starting in late
April, I observed a second grade and a third grade classroom. After I talked
with each teacher, we decided that I would spend two hours on Thursday
mornings with the second grade teacher, and two hours on Thursday
afternoons with the third grade teacher. Both of these times were during their
literacy lessons, though if I was early to the second grade class I also saw
part of the math lesson. Sometimes my schedule or special school activities
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disrupted this plan, and I rescheduled for another day. As we discussed the
arrangements, both teachers apologized that they were using less technology
this year than in previous years due to the new math and literacy curricula
mandated by the district.
Both teachers had about 24 students. The second grade teacher, a
bilingual native English speaker, had more English speaking students, and
the third grade teacher, a bilingual native Spanish speaker, had more Spanish
speaking students. The two classrooms had individual student tables that
could be arranged in various patterns. Sometimes all the tables were in a
large circle, and sometimes tables were clustered together in groups of four.
Student work and various instructional charts were on the walls. Both
teachers had two Macintosh computers, which by then were both connected
to the Internet. The third grade teacher also had an old Apple computer and
an even older Apple computer that she owned. The third grade classroom
had a printer near the computers, but the second grade used a printer that
was across the hall. Both classrooms had hundreds of books, in both Spanish
and English, at many different reading levels, in a corner of the classroom.
During literacy lessons, students spent about half their time studying
reading, and the other half studying writing. The students spent some time in
small groups with the teacher or another adult, and some time at their desks
reading or writing. Small groups, divided by language, were made up of
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students with similar reading levels. The teachers also taught whole-class
lessons on reading and writing skills. Occasionally students went one by one
to the teacher to have their reading evaluated. The third grade teacher also
had times where her students took turns using educational software related to
literacy. Sometimes a special education teacher came and took one or two
children from the classroom, and then brought them back later. Both teachers
had paraeducators in their classrooms during the literacy lessons. The
second grade teacher also had a preservice teacher who was training in her
room.
My initial plan was to just observe, but teachers and students asked
me to help students read, do math problems, and use the computers. Helping
two second grade boys do Internet searches for their animal reports was
more difficult than I expected. First of all, I had to deal with a number of
technical problems. One of the Internet browsers did not work, even after
restarting the computer, though finally a different browser worked. The two
boys asked me numerous questions about using the browser, searching, and
navigating the websites, as well as about the content they were reading and
their assignment, often at the same time. As I answered their questions, I
found out that I knew much less about foxes and sharks than I had thought. I
had difficulties finding websites about foxes and sharks that answered the
questions the boys were researching, and more difficulties deciding if the
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websites were at a second grade reading level, especially since one of the
boys was taking notes in Spanish. The Spanish word for shark was not in my
vocabulary, and when the boy asked about a website that said that elephant
sharks ate seals, with my halting Spanish I may have given him the
impression that elephants ate sharks.
In addition, I later found out from the teacher that I should have had the
boys print out the websites, but not only had I not found the printer yet, it had
never occurred to me. I also did not know the classroom rules, so I did not
know how to answer when one of the boys asked if he could go to the
bathroom. When I left after class, I was exhausted. How, I wondered, could
the teacher help all the students use computers at once (or even six students
at once if there were three other adults), even if she had more computers or
took the students to the computer lab?
The second grade teacher told me that she wanted software that
integrated with her math curriculum. She had been given a website address
for a website with math activities, but she would have had to match up the
problems with her curriculum which she did not have time to do, or rearrange
her curriculum to match the website which she did not want to do. She
wondered if there was software that went with the curriculum. I eventually
found out that there was, but it was expensive. The district had some copies
to borrow, but I did not know how many or for how long. The second grade
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teacher also told me that she spent a great deal of money on books for her
classroom and did not have money to buy software, too. The literacy coach
had said that teachers should have at least 1,500 books in their classrooms to
have enough different levels of books, so I knew that the teachers needed to
spend a great deal of money on books.
I continued observing and occasionally helping in the two classrooms
for the next few weeks. The time I helped the two boys search the Internet
was the only time I saw any of the second grade students use the computers.
I helped students put map puzzles together, and listened to students read and
explained difficult words such as musket. On a few days, I worked with three
or four third grade students at a time while they used educational software
related to literacy. I brought in more literacy software, that I bought with my
own money, and the students were excited about Carmen Sandiego Word
Detective (Broderbund Software, 1997), Disneys Reading Quest with
Aladdin (Disney Interactive, 2001a), La Sirenita Aventura Interactiva (The
Little Mermaid Interactive Adventure) (Disney Interactive, 2001b), and other
titles that were new to them. I encountered a number of technical problems
with the computers in the third grade classroom, especially the older Apple
computers, even resorting a couple of times to inserting a paper clip into a
small hole to eject a CD-ROM. I encountered extra challenges helping the
Spanish speakers use the software, including both trying to figure out the
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Spanish software, and also wondering how to translate English words such as
dotted and plaid when the Spanish speakers used the English software. I let
the students use my Macintosh laptop, and while the new software ran well
on it, some of the students had problems using the touchpad.
I observed both classes in various groupings and doing different
activities. I also asked the teachers how they wanted to use computers in the
future and if I could come back to their classrooms the next year, to which
they agreed. In addition, I thought about how I could increase their
computers, software, planning time, technical support, and technical training.
With the articles that I had read, and what I had observed in the classrooms, I
believed that any technology integration project in a classroom with fewer
than four or five moderately up-to-date computers per student would fail. I
decided to apply for a grant to pay for the resources needed.
I wrote a generic grant proposal in May that the principal approved,
and then sent it to the university grants office. I wanted to purchase six
laptops, a locking cart, a wireless router, some educational software, and a
projection device. I was concerned about whether laptops were a good choice
for second and third graders, but sharing the computers between two
classrooms lowered the costs, and laptops took up less space than desktop
computers. I also wanted money for release time for the teachers for planning
time and technical training, and money to pay the school technology
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