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Teachers, Technology and the Classroom

Teachers, Technology and the Classroom
Jean Clarke
University of St. Mary

I am so glad I had the opportunity to take the course, Action Research. My first
course at University of Saint Mary was in my concentration of study, technology. The
assignments given in that course expected me to use the information learned in this
course. I am so grateful that I have now completed the course and have the necessary
background information on conducting action research.
One of most crucial things I learned in this course was how to properly critique an
article. I feel more confident viewing an article and evaluating it using Mills rubric. The
rubric includes 5 dimensions; relevancy, author, source, methodology and date.
(Mills 2014) I found this rubric extremely helpful when searching for credible articles.
This rubric will be beneficial to me in future research.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the constructive criticism of my peers. One of the
benefits of online learning is being able to read and review peers work. I did not have this
experience in my other schooling years. I learned a great deal from my peers in class and
gained an interest on their research topics as well.
Another important aspect of the course was that of ethics. I learned the
severity and importance of conducting ethical research. I gained knowledge and now
stress the importance that “researchers must not put their need to carry out their study
above the responsibility to maintain the well-being of the study participants.” (Mills
2014) My classmate’s posts regarding this topic were very intriguing to me. I am glad
such high ethical standards are in place to ensure ethical research.

The USM conceptual framework states that "Our conceptual framework builds
upon the belief that teachers (our candidates) are leaders who shape change through
research and reflective practice." (USM Conceptual Framework of Knowledge in Action)
I think this course really drives this point home. Teachers are forever reflecting
and changing. We have to keep education current. The only way to do that is through
research. Teachers need to research best practices and put them into action.
One of the standards of the National Board Profession Teaching Standards is to
"Promote student learning utilizing assessments, technologies, and best instructional
practices. “(NBPTS 2014) This goal is so relevant to this course. As a teacher, this is my
number one goal. I want students to learn through best practices. It is this reason that I am
completing my masters degree. I am constantly in search of the best ways to better my
students.
The topic I selected for my Area of Focus is technology usage in the
classroom. Teachers have an abundance of technology tools at their fingertips in my
district and do not utilize the tools. I would like to research, Why are teachers not using
these tools? How can the district provide more incentive for teachers to use the
technology provided? I would like to find out why some teachers are so reluctant to use
the technology in the classroom. I want to survey the teachers. I would like to show the
results to the director of curriculum and help him to put a plan into place. I think student
engagement, student test scores and students technology skills will all increase when

technology is properly used in the classroom.
John Spencer outlined 11 main reasons why technology is not being used: fear,
low self efficacy, testing, consumerism, lack of leadership, inconsistent paradigms,
personal experience, humility, optional, lack of technology, and lack of research.
(Spencer 2012) I would like to hone in on these components and address them within my
district.
I feel strongly about this topic as I am a big proponent of technology in the
classroom. I work in a small district where funds are allotted yearly for technology. I
think it is foolish of the teachers to not take full advantage of these resources. In the
future, I would like to collect data on whether the tests scores have risen due to an
increase in technology. I would be interested in seeing the results of this research. I feel
like my area of focus and research project needs to be conducted first. Teachers need to
feel comfortable using technology before going into this future study. This is something I
will research in my career.

References
Mills, G. Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher. 5 ed. Upper
Saddle River: Pearson Education INC, 2014. Print
Spencer, J. (n.d.). 11 Reasons Teachers Aren't Using Technology #edchat #edtech.
Retrieved from http://www.educationrethink.com/2012/07/11-reasonsteachers-arent-using.html
NBPTS. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.nbpts.org/
USM Conceptual Framework of Knowledge in Action