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Running head: EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Examining Technology Barriers in Middle School


Maureen B. Slatter Padilha
Northwest Nazarene University

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Table of Contents
ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION

CONTEXT OF PROBLEM

PROBLEM STATEMENT AND SETTING

PURPOSE

RESEARCH QUESTION

SETTING

PARTICIPANTS

10

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

11

EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY MIDDLE SCHOOL - TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL

11

TOOLS OF COLLABORATION - WIKI AND OTHER 2.0 TOOLS

13

AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT EDUCATING IN THE 21ST CENTURY CAN BECOME

16

RESEARCH METHODS

18

SETTING

18

PARTICIPANTS:

18

LIST ASSESSMENT TOOLS

18

SURVEY TOOL SECTIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS:

19

INSTRUMENTS

20

PARTICIPANTS

21

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

PROCEDURES:

21

DATA COLLECTION

23

RESULTS

24

DISCUSSION

31

REFERENCES

33

APPENDIX 1

36

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH) CERTIFICATE

36

APPENDIX 2

37

RESULTS OF THE SURVEY

37

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Abstract
Teaching in the 21st century requires teachers to adapt the way of instructing and record
keeping from traditional textbooks, papers, and pencils to the digital age. The barriers associated
with teaching in a middle school may be perceived or real, but with the increasing drive to
implement technology in education. This study will help clarify technology barriers in the middle
school setting by examining the responses of teachers and educational staff at Twin Flats Middle
School in regards to their use of technology. Subsequently, the results of this study will lead to a
diagnostics which will be used to assess, guide and offer suggestions to suffice needs and
deficiencies in the implementation and daily use of technology as an enhancement pedagogical
tool to those who may not feel comfortable with it yet.

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Introduction
The study will identify what, if any, the perceived and actual barriers associated with the
use of technology in middle school are.
In 2010, State Superintendent of Public Instruction for Idaho, Tom Luna, implemented
the Student Comes FirstAct, a new piece of enacted legislation that delineated Idahos Three
Pillars of a Customer-Driven Education System. One of such pillars reasserts technology and its
functional educational use and purpose within the educational system and creates the 21st
Century Classroom. This pillar proposes that the 21st Century Classroom is not limited by
walls, bell schedules, school calendars or geography (State of Idaho).
This initiative states that access to technology can help raise student achievement (Luna,
2011). Technology encourages its use as an assistive tool for today and tomorrows students,
further asserting any Idaho student will have access to a highly effective teacher, the necessary
technology, and high academic standards that are comparable with any other country
worldwide. In addition, the SCFA now mandates that students take certain number of online
credits successfully as part of their graduation requirements. Nevertheless, students
technological literacy is merely half of the equation. As a public educator, who has observed an
increasing push to incorporate technology to my daily pedagogy, it is of pivotal importance for
educators to be technologically literate. The right technologies, all of which may not yet be
invented, used properly can alleviate and even entirely remove the current educational crisis. The
solution is at hand, but without technological literacy in our schools right down to the classroom
teacher, it wont be implemented, and well continue down the slope to increasing failure.
(Keller, 2010). The ability to enhance the educational experiences and guide the students to

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

achieving success today must be made using all of the available tools an educator has available
even if it is outside of the comfort zone.
This study aims to explore issues regarding the Use of Educational Technology as well
as the level of Confidence and what the Perceptions of such technology are among the Twin
Flats Middle School (TFMS) faculty.
Context of Problem
In light of Idahos current educational juncture and the fact that middle school naturally
tends to be a cognitively, physically and morally transitional period for children. Middle school
teachers are at an advantaged position to introduce educational technology and encourage its use
(Kenneth, 2006, p. 314). While Piaget theorized that middle-school-aged children are
transitioning from the concrete operational period to the formal operational period of cognitive
development. Eric Jensen (2008) further suggests due to the development of the young brain,
exposure to computers should be kept to minimum prior to 6th grade. Thus tacitly corroborating
the ideal time to encourage the implementation and use of computers, to further academic
growth, lies within the middle school spectrum. As middle-school-level students are
developmentally able to transition from rote learning, as the primary form of comprehension, to
inquiry-based learning, middle school teachers hold an optimum status which can be used to
influence a child into becoming successful life-long digital citizen (Jensen, 2008). As noted in
Heidi Jacobs Curriculum 21 Essential Education for a Changing World (2010), the teacher
[must] provide an education using the tools of the current century.
Upon graduating high school, students will be required to function independently in an
online class or be technologically competent in several different facets of todays workforce.
Therefore, the understanding and eventual mastery of technology will grow from the initial

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

middle school exposure. These technological skills will be needed both inside and outside of the
classroom.
Whereas both teachers and students were faced with unilateral static paper-based
information in the pre-digital academic conjecture, the digital age makes the case for the validity
of technology as an educational tool. Technology provides teachers and students alike access to
instant multiple sources of information allowing for further stimulate the student-centered
inquiry-based methodology tenants while concomitantly enriching the classroom environment.
In the current reality of the United States, most students own the needed tools such as a
smart phone or a personal computer, to perform quick and to-the-point searches (Thomas &
Orthober, 2011). Therefore, in todays world, many students can virtually walk through
museums around the world; explore ancient dig sites, and window shop along the Champs
lyses in Paris, France at any time without ever leaving their desks.
The world is currently faced with unprecedented technological innovations. These
innovations can most certainly compel education to leap forward in such a manner that it may
only be comparable to Gutenbergs invention of the printing press in the 15th century. Like the
printing press allowed the people access to knowledge, so has the invention of newest
technology. Educationally, the tools of the 21st century have allowed more collaboration, access
to primary sources, other cultures and up-to-date events. While the means are available for use
in the educational setting, the tools of the 21st century face issues ranging from accessibility to
technology due to limited budgets, to the lack or desire of training to fully incorporate into the
classroom.
This study will help clarify technology barriers in the middle school setting by examining
the responses of teachers and educational staff at TFMS in regards to their use of technology.

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Subsequently, the results of this study will lead to a diagnostics that will be used to assess, guide
and offer suggestions to the staff to analyze needs and deficiencies in the implementation and
daily use of technology. The study results will be used to find ways to enhance classroom
instruction and pedagogical tools for those who may not feel comfortable with it yet.

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Problem Statement and Setting


Purpose
The purpose of this research is to examine the barriers to the use of technology in middle
school at Twin Flats Middle School (TFMS). Results from this study may help provide valuable
information for teachers, administrators, as well as policy makers as educational technology is
integrated into classrooms across Idaho.
Research Question
To what ability are the teachers at TFMS familiar with and able to use the tools of the
21st century?
Do teachers consider themselves fluent enough in the use of educational technology so as
to not hinder the use of technology in the classroom? Do teachers find importance in using
educational technology, as a resource in a lesson? Do teachers feel that the administration
supports and encourages educational technology use? Do teachers find significance in learning
how to implement educational technology and are willing to stay current, even though
technology changes rapidly?
Sub-questions
Will the staff be willing to learn about a skill that could be used to encourage
collaborative work amongst the teams and students alike and a new way to encourage and
monitor peer-editing?
Setting
TFMS is one of two middle schools in the city in Idaho. As the population of the city has
increased by 28% in the last 10 years, from 34,469 to 44,125 according to US Census
Bureau(2010), so too has the need to address the growing population in the schools by

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transitioning the two junior high schools, 7th through 9th grades , schools to a middle, 6th
through 8th grade schools. In 2009, the 6th grade moved from the elementary school, one teacher
a day, to the middle school and the 9th graders moved to the two high schools in the area
(Anonyms Middle School, 2012). Today, the culture of both the adult and student population is
completely middle school. The culture of the middle school is more innocent than that of the
junior high setting. The environment within the halls is easier for the teachers to manage, the
dances require less behavioral management than motivation and self-confidence building, and
finally, the classroom management has modified as the school created the new environment of
learning.
TFMS is located on the east side of the city. The income level is a blend of both higher
and lower income families thus qualifying the school for school wide title 1 funds from the
federal government. This is based on the percentage of students on free and reduced lunch at
each Title I school.
Participants
The participants in this study will include about fifty teachers, and administrative and
support staff at Twin Flats Middle School (TFMS), in Idaho. The staff will be asked to fill in a
confidential web-based survey with consent given upon completion of the survey. Raw data will
not be reported in any report. A synopsis and general trends between technology use and
experience will be submitted. This survey will have questions under the categories of: Frequency
of Educational Technology Use; Confidence in using Educational Technology; Positives and
Negatives of the use of Educational Technology. The survey should only take approximately
twenty minutes to complete for each teacher.

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Review of Literature
Education in the 21st Century Middle School - Technology as a Tool
In light of the new requirements and that middle school tends to be a naturally
transitional period for children, cognitively, physically and morally, teachers in middle school
are in the prime position to introduce and encourage the use of educational technology (Kenneth,
2006). This is supported by the fact that middle school aged children are navigating through
Piagets concrete operational period to the formal operational period of cognitive develop. In
addition, Jensen (2008) suggests that due to the development of the young brain, exposure to
computers should be kept to minimum prior to 6th grade thus providing the ideal time to
encourage the implementation and use of computers to further growth academically. Students at
the middle school level are developmentally able to move away from rote learning as the primary
form of comprehension to exploration or inquiry based learning (Jensen, 2008). Therefore,
middle school teachers are in the optimum position of the childs life to be able to provide a
framework to foster becoming successful digital citizens as the teacher provides an education
using the tools of the current century (Jacobs 2010). The understanding and eventually mastery
of the tools will be needed, both inside and outside of the classroom. As the high school student
completes school and goes on, they will be required to function independently while in online
class or the workforce. Reducing barriers in middle school to have and use technology, the
teachers will be able to promote the young adolescents ability to navigate the digital tools,
thereby allowing for the student to focus on the content of the class (Jacobs, 2010).
With the new possibilities of learning and using the new devices of the technology age,
the student and teacher are no longer limited to learning using a textbook, pencil, and paper.
Now more than ever, options exist to use various forms of digital tools without restrictions

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virtually eliminating time needed to learn in a traditional format. Many students today already
have tools available to search for answers quickly using their personal cell phones to answer
their questions. For example, students can virtually walk through museums around the world,
explore ancient dig sites, and window shop down the Champes lyses in Paris, France at any
time without leaving their desk.
The atmosphere of education today can promote learning through exploration,
collaboration, and inquiry beyond the restrictions of a student in a desk. Filling in worksheets by
finding the answers in a textbook, as seen in schools of the past, does not have to be the norm.
Nevertheless, there are issues associated with this picture of education in the 21st century. These
issues range from accessibility of technology due to limited budgets, teacher technological
fluency, willingness of teachers to use unfamiliar tools, and support from administration and
policy makers who limit how much technology is accessible.
The study will help clarify technology barriers in a middle school setting by examining
the responses of the teachers and educational staff at TFMS to the use of technology today. The
results of the study will then guide the education, technology, or implementation to use
technology to enhance the pre-existing highly effective job teachers are already doing while
highlighting the needs and abilities of the students as they navigate in the technology world of
today.
It is within part two of Cushner, K. M. (2006). Human Diversity in Education: An
Integrative Approach, that I found relevance toward my study. In chapter 10 of the book, the
focus is on age and development. On page 314, the book refers to the change of diversity as the
shift from junior high to a middle school. The book forces on how middle school is meeting the
needs of the youth as it is fundamental for the intellectual as well as social, emotional, and other

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developmental needs that are met due to having a Developmentally Appropriate Classroom
(DAP) environment. The authors explain the constructivist thought of Developmentally
Appropriate Practice and how it is a form of best practices (pp. 311-312).
Furthermore, the book refers to theorists that support collaborative classrooms (p. 278).
As well as gender issues of middle school students and how they socialize and learn compared to
other age groups (pp. 285-287). Finally, the authors argued of based on Parkers and Deweys
theories of less-teacher-centered concepts that becomes a cooperative learning and small group
activities which prompt best practices. (p. 316)
Tools of Collaboration - Wiki and other 2.0 Tools
As we have incorporated many aspects of the 21st century online environment into our
daily lives, the development of paper-based academic projects is coming to an end. Therefore,
with the ultimate goal to increase student engagement and collaboration while creating effective
interactive paperless pedagogical activities, participants will explore Wikispace as means to
promote paperless essays, cross-curriculum projects, and the start of a digital portfolio (Wetzel &
Strudler) in middle school setting (Witney & Smallborne, Allsop, Sheehy, Cange, MoralesArroyo, Than, Tun, & Wang, Andes &Claggett). Therefore, upon completion of my workshop,
participants will be able to navigate a Wikispace, discuss the benefits and/or obstacles of
Wikispaces as a learning tool and learn how to create a wiki of their own.
The article, Thomas, K., &Orthober, C. (2011), Using Text-Messaging in the Secondary
Classroom, is very useful in giving the information of the use students have of technology and
how they use it on a daily basis already, using a simple tool, the results of the students
participation and grades increased. The article also gives data on to the theorist that would

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support the learning theory that can be attained using technology (text-messaging), such as
Vygotskys constructivist learning theorys emphasis on communication.
Finally, a useful portion of the article talks about issues that may relate to the use of
technology with the youth, such as cheating, cyber bullying, and sexting. But in that the study
researched studies that indicated that the issues do not increase because of technology, but that it
is a moral, not a technological issue that causes the increase of occurrences (pp. 58-59). The fact
that technology does allow for an easier access to the new moral delinquencies, cyber bullying
and sexting, cheating hasnt changed from pre- to post- technology accessibility.
Regardless, the study does suggest that the use of mobile phones or mini-terminals for
text-based communication have potential benefits in the k-12 classroom. The fact that the
mobile device is already in most hands so training the student is already done, then of course, the
fact that the benefits include anywhere and anytime interaction with peers, instructors, and
course content (Thomas & Orthober, p. 59). But steps would need to implement to help
prevent/diminish the moral issues that tend to develop easier due to technology.
Barriers Associated with 21st Century Tools
The article, The Relationship Between Teacher's Technology Integration Ability and
Usage, is very useful in that the research supports my study in why the usage of technology and
those teachers who have high ability generally integrate more technology. The results showed a
positive correlation between teachers' technology integration ability and usage (Pearson r =
0.56). Further examination using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) confirmed the structure of
the scales and revealed a higher correlation between the two scales after adjusting for
measurement error. (Hsu, 2010) The article also looked at the barriers that teachers perceived in
implementing the use of technology.

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In the article by Kopcha, the study provides some very useful in that the models are
supportive and descriptive in how to help implement technology as part of my action in the
action research part of the task. The article gives an outline and describes the perceived multiple
barriers (time, beliefs, access, professional development, culture) on teachers who are learning to
integrate technology and suggests a number of strategies for integrating technology, such as
establishing a culture of technology integration, modeling technology use, and creating teacher
leaders.
The participants in the study by Wright, V. H., & Wilson, E. K. (2006), From Preservice
to Inservice Teaching: A study of Technology Integration, were pre-service teachers to 1st year
teacher, in the study found that they faced many barriers that were note taught on how to teacher
around them. Some of the common barriers to using technology in the classroom were identified
in the literature (Berson, 1996; Whitworth & Berson, 2003; Butler & Sellborn, 2002). The
barriers included lack of adequate resources lack of resources and support. The other issues were
disconnecting from the teacher education faculty who do not model, promote, and support
technology as part of their curriculum; i.e. the participants would practice what was being used
to teach them.
This article is very useful on page 54, as it supports the reason for the workshop. It
reported that Teacher educators should continue to learn and model new and appropriate
technologies, being aware themselves of when, how, and why technology is used to enhance
teaching and learning. (Wright & Wilson, 2005)
The article, Lowther, Deborah L. Inan, Fethi A. Daniel Strahl, J. Ross, Steven M. (2008)
Does technology integration work when key barriers are removed, clearly states the barriers
to technology integration and solutions on page 198. The article is a very good source as a model

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on how to measure the data of my own survey, suggestions on where to search for support of my
own survey, and the results to compare my own survey and observations with.
An Overview of What Educating in the 21st Century Can Become
The article by Aubusson, P., Schuck, S., & Burden, K. (2009) Mobile learning for
teacher professional learning, benefits, obstacles and issues, is very supportive and an eye
opener on how and why technology is being used or can be used. In this article the focus was not
only on the computer and internet, but on what tools can and are being used by regular teachers
and students to capture and share the in-action aspect of daily activities. One of the aspects of the
article that had an impact on me was how the teacher used his personal cell phone to capture and
record the student product and when asked why, he stated how it was convent, just in his pocket
and not needed to be found as other device would have had to have been.
The other part of the paper that held an impact on me was that the fact that teachers are
not stationary professional and therefore using a mobile device allows for teachers to collaborate
and communicate in an easier and more effective manner. One example was how the teacher
could quickly show the product to another teacher with easy and in that, the discussions can
happen. Finally, the article explains how powerful it is that not only teachers can become more
reflective at the moment, but that students can also help sharing and reflecting by using mobile
devices.
The article, Park, S. H., & Ertmer, P. A. (2008).Examining barriers in technologyenhanced problem-based learning: Using a performance support systems approach, is very
useful as it was conducted in a middle school environment. The article focused on how dealing
with the barriers that teachers and students have faced while integrating technology. This article
provides useful definitions and suggestions on how to successfully integrate technology such as

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Constructivist teaching methods align with meaningful technology use (Hmelo-Silver, 2004, p
631) and that Problem-based learning is a constructivist teaching method in which students
learn content knowledge and problem-solving skills through investigating and solving illstructured problems (Hmelo-Silver, 2004, p. 632).

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Research Methods
Setting
Twin Flats Middle School is one of two middle schools in the city in Idaho. As the
population of the city has increased so has the need to make the change from a junior high level
school until three years ago as both junior high schools changed their student body to encompass
6th through 8th graders (Anonymous, 2012).
The school is a title I school (every teacher, every student) with a student body of current
enrollment of 887 and it has been to a high of 933 students. The school has about 400 computers
located in various locations, such as the four computer labs, technology teachers room, and a
few in other classrooms around the school. Currently computer projectors are only about 20, but
of those, there are only two that can be checked out for teacher use.
Participants:
The participants in this study will include approximately fifty-two teachers,
administrators and support staff at Twin Flats Middle School (TFMS), Idaho. Participants are all
over 18 years of age and chosen based on being an employee of Twin Flats Middle School and
have knowledge of the issue. Participation in the survey will not affect employment status of any
person.
List assessment tools
The primary instrument will be a questionnaire title: Use of Educational Technology
Survey, created and validated by a group of Northwest Nazarene University faculty (HRRC
Approval #622012). The questionnaire has seven sections described below and the paper format
of the tool is attached, but the population will have a choice of the online format using
Qualtrics.com. Additionally, the follow-up workshop will be measured by participation only.

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Survey Tool sections and descriptions:


Part 1: Demographic Questions
This section consists of a small six question to establish the base. Information from this
will be used to compare with the other data to find trends or areas of concern.
Part 2: Use of Educational Technology Survey; TTM-ET;
This survey deals with your current impression of using educational technology: In this
section, participates are to answer a statement, based on the definition of what is educational
technology that is the truest with regard to their use of educational technology.
Part 3: Confidence Survey
This part of the survey asks for honest evaluation of how confident the participant is in
using educational technology in the classroom when other things get in the way or create
obstacles for them.
Part 5: Complete the Positives and Negatives Survey
In this section statements are given that represent different opinions about using
educational technology. Participates are to write the number in the space that best summarizes
how much they agree or disagree with each statement.
Part 6: Frequency of Educational Technology Use
This part of the survey asks how frequently educators use various types of educational
technology in the classroom.
Part 7: Final Thoughts and/or Suggestions
In the space below, participates have the opportunity to write in any thoughts or
suggestions that they have which may clarify responses or to help us better understand your

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responses. Participates that believe we have left out any important items are free to use this
section to explain.
Instruments
Qualtrics.com is a survey generator that will allow me to create a survey to gather
information about how the participant uses educational technology today. Qualtrics.com is a
survey program that is password protected and will allow me to analyze the data. All participants
were given the option to take the survey as it was completely on a volunteer basis.
The staff at Twin Flats Middle School will be verbally informed of the research project
and follow up workshop on April 25th, 2012. They will be informed that participation is
completely voluntary and the study will not be linked to them in any method, as the survey does
not use names. Furthermore, the workshop is not mandated as the data collected for the study
only is interested in participation.
All data will be kept confidential. The data will be kept in a locked room, in a locked file
cabinet for any handwritten notes, and in a password protected computer for the digital data.
Raw data will not be reported in any report. A synopsis and general trends between technology
use and experience will be submitted.
The primary method of research is quantitative research, with the survey, and will be
followed up by the intervention, the workshop, on how to create and use Wikispace as a tool.
Some questions do allow for a qualitative approach with the comments section in the survey, but
the primary approach will be quantitative using the Measures of Central Tendencies and running
t static tests to compare the sample population, inferential statistic, to identify barriers for
effective implementation and use of educational technology in todays classrooms.

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Participants
The participants in this study will include about fifty teachers and administrative and
support staff at Twin Flats Middle School (TFMS), Idaho. The staff will be asked to fill in a
confidential web-based survey with consent given upon completion of the survey. This survey
will have questions under the categories of: Frequency of Educational Technology Use;
Confidence in using Educational Technology; Positives and Negatives of the use of Educational
Technology and it should only take about twenty minutes to complete.
Procedures:
Participants at Twin Flats Middle School will be instructed about the study, and given time to
complete the survey on April 25th during a Building Improvement morning meeting dedicated by
Mr. Hyatt.
The participants will be asked to take the digital format of the attached paper instrument,
by using the survey tool, Qualtrics, at www.nnu.us.qualtrics.com. As the study is not mandatory,
participants may choose to elect to not participate without bias towards themselves or their jobs.
In the paper format, participants are to do the following procedures:
Complete the short demographic information on page 2 of this packet;
Read the definition of use of educational technology on page 3 of this packet; then
complete the TTM-ET beneath the definition;
Complete the Confidence Survey on pages 4 and 5 of this packet in your confidence in
using educational technology;
Complete the Positives and Negatives Survey on page 6 of this packet related to the
positives and negatives you see in using educational technology;

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Complete the Frequency Survey on pages 7 and 8 of this packet which asks how
frequently you use various types of educational technology in the classroom.
Share any thoughts or suggestions for clarification on page 8 of this packet;
Seal the survey in the self-addressed, stamped envelope I provided with the survey packet
and return for analysis.
After the tabulation of the survey results, there will be a follow up workshop. The
workshop will address additional ways to encourage writing skills and collaboration amongst
students, ways to build cross-curriculum assignments, and allow for students to create a digital
portfolio of high quality work. The workshop will be held on a Saturday to allow participants to
attend without missing other meetings, which might interfere with this opportunity. The
complete outline of the workshop is available in Appendix 5 of this document. The basic outline
will address these issues:
What is a Wikispace?
How can a Wikispace be used in my curriculum/academic team?
How can student writing skills and collaboration increase using a Wikispace?
Why is it an important idea to create a digital portfolio for the students starting in Middle
School?
How to get started using a Wikispace? And possible issues associated with a Wikispace.
As the workshop is not mandatory to the survey, the collection of data will be how many
people participated compared to the amount of people who took the survey. The purpose will be
to expand possibilities for staff in the use a form of educational technology, and the long term
results would be to observe the same teachers next year to see if they now use the Wikispace or
other forms of educational technology, but that is not associated with this current study.

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All data collected during the study will be kept in a password protected computer and
files in my locked cabinet.
John Hyatt, the school administrator, has approved this research study (see Appendix 2).
Data Collection
The teaching staff will be given time on April 25th to complete the survey using the webbased survey tool on Qualtrics.com. The data will be kept in the program under password
protection. Once I start to analyze the data, I will use Microsoft Excel which will be available
only to me and in a password protected computer.
The follow-up workshop on May 18th, 2012, is not mandatory. Participation in the
workshop is the only data being measured, not who show up, therefore anonymity is still in place
as the data collection will be the counting of heads.

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Results
The purpose of this research is to examine the barriers teacher feel are hindering the use
of technology in middle school. The results of the study are based on the online survey using
www.Qualtrics.com, where of the 50 staff members in the middle school that were asked to take
the volunteer survey only 28 attempted to complete and only 23 completed the instrument with
10 who added Final Thoughts and/or Suggestions.
The results for this survey explores to what ability the teachers at Twin Flats Middle
School (TFMS) are familiar with and able to use the vast tools of the 21st century? The survey
was administered on volunteer bases and from the responses the following questions will be
answered which are vital for successful integration of technology:

Do teachers consider themselves fluent enough in the use of educational


technology so as to not hinder the use of technology in the classroom?

Do teachers find importance in using educational technology, as a resource in a


lesson?

Do teachers feel that the administration supports and encourages educational


technology use?

Do teachers find significance in learning how to implement educational


technology and are willing to stay current, even though technology changes
rapidly?

Out of the 27 responses for question one, Years of Teaching Experience, the results
indicated that the experience of the teachers range from 1 year to 28 years. The mean years of
experience are 13.293 and the Highest Educational Level, with 61% of the responses indicating
Some Credits beyond Bachelors Degree with 17 out of 28 responses Figure 1. When asked,

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Have you taken or are you currently taking an online class, 57% of the responses yes, and 43%
no Figure 2. The results further indicate that the majority of participates are using the online
classrooms for personal growth, but 86% are not planning to obtain an online teaching
endorsement Figure 3.
Figure 1

#
1
2
3
4
5

Answer
Bachelor's
Some credits beyond
Bachelor's Degree
Master's
Some credits beyond
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Total

Response
4

%
14%

17

61%

14%

11%

0
28

0%
100%

Figure 2

Figure 3

#
1
2

Answer
Yes
No
Total

Response
4
24
28

%
14%
86%
100%

In addressing the use of educational technology, zero of the participates find that the
educational technology as a tool is overrated, while one participate, 4%, expressed the
impression that "It is good for students to be aware of educational technology, and I'd like to use
more of it, but I just can't get to it right now." A surveyor stated I would use more technology in
my class IF I had technology in my class-. Whereas the majority of the respondents, 60% with a

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

26

standard deviation of 1.14, found value in using educational technology as a key part of the
lesson plan Figure 4. The low percentage might be indicated by this statement made by a surveyor
Using technology in the classroom can have benefits for student performance, but we cannot
just throw a bunch of technology into the classroom just the sake of bringing it in, it has to means
something, otherwise we may as well tell the kids to bring their Xboxes to school
Figure 4

#
1
2
3
4
5
6

Answer
The use of education technology as a teaching tool is overrated. I don't see
any need to use a lot of technology in my classes; my current methods
work well.
It is good for students to be aware of educational technology, and I'd like
to use more of it, but I just can't get to it right now.
I have been thinking about increasing my use of educational technology; I
think it might help students learn more effectively.
I have been talking to others about using more educational technology in
my classes or looking up information, and I have begun trying out a few
new methods.
I have been using and will continue to use many types of educational
technology in my classes; I am continually learning how to make it work
even better.
I have been actively using educational technology in my classes for over 6
months; it is a key part of my course designs and lesson plans.
Total

Response

0%

4%

9%

26%

30%

30%

23

100%

The survey queried the current impression of the educators frequency to types of
educational technology being used in the classroom. The most frequently used technology by
the educators, at a 100% response and a standard deviation of 0.62 with a variance of 0.38, is a
program to record student data or assessments such as Power School, Edline, ect. The highest
used device within the past 6-months in class is the desktop computer with the standard
programs to help create presentations, documents, or other programs to facilitate the learning
environment on a daily basis.
Whereas, the majority of the educator response to the Frequency of Educational
Technology Use section of the survey selected I never use this form to I have used the form

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

27

of educational technology, but RARELY in class over the majority of the options. The use of
newer technology rated lower on the frequency scale Figure 5, which may be best summed up in the
comment by a teacher, I dont have a projector or smart board so I am way behind! I have a
DVD player that doesnt work, a VHS player that does work, and a TV and TVator. Further
supporting the low numbers the results show that 20 out of the 31questions, 65%, indicate that
the majority of responses rarely used the educational technology tools mentioned in the survey
which is supported by one teachers statement if parents or administration can make the case
that technology is not helping the students for some reason, then I wont use it until I can find a
better method. No one can just rubber stamp technology and say that it is helpful or best
practice.

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

28

Figure 5

The result of the frequency and how few the teachers of the middle school use the vast
devices available in the classroom (refer to Figure 5) is evident in the outcomes of the confidence
survey section. In general, the teachers responded confident to completely confident when
asked if the use or solution to using technology. However, the confident level dropped when
examined about the administration support to technology when budgets are tight even though
65% of the responses states the use of educational technology will benefit me during teacher
evaluations as well as benefit the students personal growth and learning. Additionally 52% of
the responses show a lack of value of using educational technology while talking about using

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

29

technology in teaching approaches and only 30% feel confident that technical support person can
help with problems in technology.
The positive and negative precipitation around the use of educational technology in Twin
Flats Middle School varies from agree to strongly agree or the other extreme of disagree to
strongly disagree. 70% of the respondents found it in an agreement that gaining additional
skills in technology would benefit the classroom, and 74% found that the use of technology
leads to improvement in the learning environment for the students. Yet, 61% of the respondents
felt that learning new skills required to use technology will take time away from family and
friends, even though 70% state that using technology in the class would make them feel like an
experienced teacher and that learning about additional classroom applications for educational
technology seems exciting.
A negative perception to using technology based on the survey is that the responses feel
with 91%, that the amount of information available to using educational technology to learn
about and at 87% are not confident that the traditional methods of teaching are the bet
approaches to maintaining high standards and student interest. Another area that the results
showed a disagreement with the idea that using technology would add more of a burden to
grading with 78% result as well as the results show that the teachers do not feel that using
educational technology would increase more favorable reviews, 74% but 91% of the populace
disagreed that using technology would reduce the quality of the learning environment and
decrease the student learning.
The results of the perceptions both positive and negative statements toward educational
technology show that the teachers disagree with the statement that educational technology is not

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

30

needed for student learning, 91%, as well as 87% of the surveyed disagree with the statement
that with technology the quality of the classes would reduce. Further disagreements with the
statements against using technology are the concepts that with technology the stress in working
with students, parents, and/or lessons would increase, 87%, and 83% of the respondents
disagreed with the statement that I dont know enough about educational technology to become
effective using it.
Nevertheless, the results show that the respondents neither agreed nor disagreed in
majority about statements such as, I would feel a greater sense of value in my teaching if I used
educational technology in class 61% in disagreement and 39% in agreement, I would feel more
effective as a teacher if I were to use educational technology in class, with 43% in disagreement
and 57% in an agreement. Additionally, the statement that using educational technology would
make me feel more optimistic about my career resulted in only 57% in agreement and 43% in
disagreement.

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

31

Discussion
This study aimed to explore the perceived issues regarding the Use of Educational
Technology as well as the level of Confidence and what the Perceptions of such technology
were among the Twin Flats Middle School (TFMS) faculty. The results found in the Confidence
Survey section, answers the question: Do teachers feel that the administration supports and
encourages educational technology use? Only 26% answered that they agreed I am convinced
that my administration will support my use of educational technology even when budgets are
tight. Therefore the support for using technology in the classroom is not supported by those who
can make the choices to incorporate the resources as the school lacks in educational technology
devices. Moving forward into the 21st century learning is hard when the support is not given or
perceived to be available. At the time of the survey, Twin Flats Middle School only has four
computer labs, and two of those rooms had been booked for the whole year with other classes or
activities. The fact that the teachers want to support learning in the 21st century using the tools
available, the school itself is behind in the time technology wise.
Do teachers consider themselves fluent enough in the use of educational technology so as
to not hinder the use of technology in the classroom? The lack of support for using and educating
the staff hinders on the willingness to use is seen in the Frequency of Educational Technology
Use section of the survey. The teachers, who are the leaders of the youth rarely, to never, heard
of the vast majority of the tools available for teachers to implement into their curriculum being
part of the 21st century. The majority of technology tends to be centered on the teachers needs
and access to devices. This may be the result that there is lack of access to technology as best
stated in the response of a teacher I feel that you should ask people if they really have access to

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

32

technology, a lot of people would love to use technology, but their districts do not allow them
access to it because of the funding.
Therefore to answer the question: Do teachers find importance in using educational technology,
as a resource in a lesson? The results of the survey is supported by the response More changes
need to happen in America to help education, just brining in the new little gadgets will not be the
silver bullet that fixes things. In other words, yes the gadgets are around, but besides the cost,
the survey results indicate that the teachers only agree, with multiple responses in the 70%, that
educational technology is a resource.
Do teachers find significance in learning how to implement educational technology and
are willing to stay current, even though technology changes rapidly? A surveyor supports this
question in the statement, The time allotted for collaboration with other teachers who do know
how to use technology and/or being trained for using it in the classroom is severely limited.
Additionally, the confident level of the staff is in the low 60% when asked about using a variety
of educational technology. This may be because the staff doesnt feel supported or that
financially it is impossible to support the learning environment. Nevertheless, the fact that many
of the teachers have been teaching for more than five years, and that 91% of the population felt
that to keep up with the ever changing world of teaching in the 21st century would require more
time than they are able to give. Without change being given by everyone, the way forward will
be difficult, but it is possible.

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

33

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EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL


Appendix 1
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Certificate

36

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

37

Appendix 2
Results of the Survey
Initial Report
Last Modified: 12/13/2014
1. Years of Teaching Experience
Text Response
11
23
31
2
25
3
28
1
2
6
7
4
25
21
2
15
21 years
21 years
25
16 years
18
18
10
12
3 years
7
2
Statistic
Total Responses
2. Highest Educational Level:
#
Answer
1
Bachelor's
Some credits beyond Bachelor's
2
Degree
3
Master's
4
Some credits beyond Master's

Value
27

Response
4

%
14%

17

61%

4
3

14%
11%

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

Degree
Doctorate
Total

Statistic
Min Value
Max Value
Mean
Variance
Standard Deviation
Total Responses

38

0
28

0%
100%

Value
1
4
2.21
0.69
0.83
28

3. Have you taken or are you currently taking an online class?

#
1
2

Answer
Yes
No
Total

Statistic
Min Value
Max Value
Mean
Variance
Standard Deviation
Total Responses

4. Current School:

Response
16
12
28
Value
1
2
1.43
0.25
0.50
28

%
57%
43%
100%

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

39

Text Response
O'Leary Middle School
Support Services
O'leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
o'Leary
N/A
University of phionex
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary
OMS
OLMS
U of I and NNU
Boise State University
O'Leary Middle School
O'Leary Middle School
OLeary Middle school
Statistic
Total Responses
5. Teaching Level:
#
Answer
Elementary
1
(K - 6th
grade)
Middle
2
School (7th 8th grade)
High School
3
(9th - 12th
grade)
Alternative
4
School
Total

Value
26

Response

14%

24

86%

0%

0%

28

100%

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL


Statistic
Min Value
Max Value
Mean
Variance
Standard Deviation
Total Responses

Value
1
2
1.86
0.13
0.36
28

6. Are you planning on obtaining an online teaching endorsement?


#
Answer
Response
1
Yes
4
2
No
24
Total
28
Statistic
Min Value
Max Value
Mean
Variance
Standard Deviation
Total Responses

40

%
14%
86%
100%

Value
1
2
1.86
0.13
0.36
28

2
3
4

Answer
The use of education technology as a teaching tool is
overrated. I don't see any need to use a lot of
technology in my classes; my current methods work
well.
It is good for students to be aware of educational
technology, and I'd like to use more of it, but I just
can't get to it right now.
I have been thinking about increasing my use of
educational technology; I think it might help students
learn more effectively.
I have been talking to others about using more

Response

7. Please read ALL of the statements below before answering. This survey deals with your
current impression of using educational technology: With regard to your use of educational
technology, please indicate which ONE of the following statements is most true of your
situation:

0%

4%

9%

26%

EXAMINING TECHNOLOGY BARRIERS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

5
6

41

educational technology in my classes or looking up


information, and I have begun trying out a few new
methods.
I have been using and will continue to use many types
of educational technology in my classes; I am
continually learning how to make it work even better.
I have been actively using educational technology in
my classes for over 6 months; it is a key part of my
course designs and lesson plans.

30%

30%

Total

23

100
%

Statistic
Min Value
Max Value
Mean
Variance
Standard Deviation
Total Responses

Value
2
6
4.74
1.29
1.14
23