What Middle Grades Teachers Think About Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning
Abstract: This research explored middle grades’ teacher in-school educational technology use for instruction. A quantitative investigation examined adoption of technology, sources of acquired skills, usage frequencies, perceived effectiveness, and barriers to integration. A total of 796 participants employed across a Mid-Atlantic state from various demographic backgrounds responded to the researcher-developed questionnaire. Findings revealed document creation and presentation programs were most commonly used and perceived as the most effective tools to enhance student learning. Teachers voiced displeasure for video and audio editing software, as well as social networking. Participants indicated personal trial and error as the most likely way to acquire new knowledge. Teacher perspectives offer unique insight and provide an opportunity to further discussion of educational technologies. By better understanding middle grades educators’ use of technology in the field, current teachers and administrators, as well as teacher preparation instructors, may design more reflective curricula. It is recommended future research be performed on a multi-state or regional basis to investigate technology integration at the elementary and young adult grade levels to best prepare future teachers and keep current professionals abreast of research-based best practices.
Presider: Lyudmila Smirnova, Mount Saint Mary College