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Running

head: INDIVIDUAL TEACHER TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT

Individual Teacher Technology Assessment Narrative

Margareta V. Tripsa

Kennesaw State University


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Ms. B. is a high school social studies teacher at Vision International School,

an American international school located in Qatar, Middle East. I have administered

two surveys to Ms. B. in order to assess her level of technology use and identify her

new innovations adopter category. Ms. B. has been teaching social studies for three

years and is being changed with teaching information communication technology

classes for the first time. She confessed, when I saw the acronym IC on my schedule

among my other SS (social studies) classes, I did not even know what it meant

(personal communication, January, 2017). With regards to technology equipment, the

school has Promethean boards, Macbooks for middle school and high school students,

and iPads for elementary students. The school is trying to implement a one-on-one

computing program by providing Macbooks for middle school and high school

students and iPads for elementary students, but the school has only sporadically

reached this goal (during the 2014-2015 school year when the student body was

smaller, the middle school was 1:1 Macbooks). Ms. B. has access to a Promethean

board and MacBooks when working with her high schoolers. She could also check

out iPads when she needs them.

Levels of Technology use and Change

The first survey I administered to Ms. B. had the purpose of helping me identify her

Level of Technology Integration (LoTI) and articulate her perspective in regards to

technology integration. According to the responses she provided, I concluded that her

technology integration practices fall under the LoTI level 2, Exploration. At this level,

the teacher focuses on direct instruction and on making sure the students comprehend

the content. The teacher targets the lower level of Blooms Taxonomy (knowledge,

comprehension). At level 2 of technology integration, digital tools and resources are


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used by students for extension activities, enrichment exercises, or research projects. In

her survey, Ms. B. indicated that besides remembering and understanding, she also

focuses on developing students analytical skills. I was tempted to rate her level of

technology integration at a 3, but the fact that she mainly targets the low-level

thinking skills was eye opening and an indication of the fact that she needs to work on

targeting higher-level cognitive processes in her lessons. To advance her technology

integration skills she needs to design and deliver instructional episodes that revolve

around higher-level thinking. As it resulted from observation and interviews, Ms. B.

targets only one high-level thinking skill in her lessons, analyzing, and typically, is

not having her students apply, evaluate, or create content. In the Level of Technology

integration interview, Ms. B. indicated that she uses technology multiple times each

day, but the students only use technology only at least one time a week. In Ms. B.s

class, digital tools and resources are used by students to carry out teacher-directed

tasks that emphasize higher levels of student cognitive processing relating to the

content under investigation. To move to the next level, Ms. B. would need to have her

students use digital tools and resources more often and empower them to create, not

just produce content. She could also engage the students in authentic learning

experiences that would allow them to interact beyond the physical space of the

classroom. The students could be engaged in exploring and solving real word issues.

Level of Technology use and Diffusion of Innovation Level

The diffusion of innovation research explores how ideas spread among groups

of people. Innovations are not adopted at the same time by all people. Rogers (1971)

posited that, according to how long it takes people to start using a new idea, people

can be grouped into five categories: innovators (2.5%), early adopters (3.5%), early
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majority (34%), late majority (34%), and laggards (16%) To collect data regarding

Ms. B.s new innovations adoption level, I have administered to her a nine-question

survey. After analyzing her responses, I concluded that Ms. B. would most likely

identify herself as being part of the early majority group. She seems to be open to new

ideas, but is a little reserved when it comes to implementing ideas as soon as they are

presented to her. On the survey she indicated that she sometimes deliberates before

adopting new innovations or creative strategies. A typical early adopter, she would

adopt new ideas before the average member of a social system would do and she

interacts frequently with peers. Also, both via the survey and during coaching

sessions she shared the fact that she loves sharing ideas with other educators. This is

very important aspect because it generates interest in regards the new ideas or

practices and it typically, influences the late adopters to make changes.

Technology Perspective

Ms. B. believes in the power of technology integration. However, given the

fact that she has been teaching only for three years, her expertise in regards to

instructional technologies is rather limited. During our initial conversations she shared

that she is confortable using the Promethean Board, G Suite applications, and locating

resources for her lessons online. Ms. B. capitalizes on the collaborative nature of

technology. She has her students create audio news casting and presentations. In

regards to digital citizenship her students are neither novice, nor experts, but rather

practitioners. Via the Adopter-Level survey, Ms. B., on a scale of 0 to 5, 5

representing strongly agree, rated her comfort while trying new technologies in the

classroom as a 3. The students in Ms. B.s class use technology to conduct research

online. They know what makes online reading different from reading printed books
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and articles. They know that there are layers to digital text. In her classroom they

work on engaging with and analyzing digital texts in order to enrich their multimodal

literacy skills. As educators we need to make the shift with our students from reader-

decoders to reader-evaluators. (Roblyer, 2016, p. 263)

Ms. B. acknowledges the importance of shaping 21st century learners and the

important part technology plays in this journey. The US Department of Education

noted in a report issued on June 20, 2014 that student access to technology is no

longer a privilege: it is a prerequisite for full participation in high quality education

opportunities. (p. 3) Ms. B. supports this idea and is working towards broadening her

area of expertise in this domain. She revealed that the biggest barrier that prevents her

from utilizing new technologies in the classroom is planning. She believes that our

coaching sessions could provide her with the support she needs to make fundamental

changes into her classroom. She is eager to collaborate with the other social studies

teacher at our school and coach her on publishing opportunities for students with

Google Sites, which was the first focus of our coaching sessions.

Technology Training Needs and Coaching

The opportunity to coach Ms. B. evolved naturally. It started with an email

followed by a conversation in the lounge. Because Ms. B., who knew I worked as an

Instructional technology coach at the school the previous year, she send me the

following email: I am teaching communication technology this year and next. This

year I have been winging it and using free resources that the technology director has

given me as well as some I have found on my own. I am working on a budget for next

year. I was hoping you maybe had some ideas on what would be something that was

worth money for this class and maybe we could get it. Let me know if you have
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anything off hand. (email, January, 11th, 2017). During our conversation that

followed her email, Ms. B. shared that she has to teach information communication

technology (ICT) classes and she has no ICT training. She shared with me that the

information technology director shared with her some standards, but she could not tell

if the standards that were shared with her were the International Society for

Technology in Education (ISTE) standards or other standards. I immediately realized

that she could be a great candidate for coaching. She was very interested in enrolling

in se series of coaching sessions. After several conversations, I analyzed her

technology training needs using Knights (2015) Big Four framework: behavior,

instruction, content, and assessment. We both agreed that she did not need help with

behavior, but that she needed help in the other three areas: organizing content,

instructional, and formative assessment. Because the need was quite significant, we

had to prioritize her needs. During our initial coaching sessions, Ms. B. seemed to be

highly interested in having her students create websites, as a first step. She was

excited about the opportunity to have her students publish social studies content on

the websites and help them reach the standards both for their ICT and social studies

classes. Setting this up priority number one would also equip Ms. B. with the skills to

have her students create content, not just be passive consumers of content. A second

need that emerged from our conversations and coaching sessions was the need for

creating a curriculum for her ICT classes in order to make sure she would help her

students meet all the standards in a systematic and structured manner. However, given

the fact that it was already January, she preferred to schedule the design of a

curriculum for next year during our last coaching sessions. For the design of the ICT

curriculum we would be using the ISTE standards for students. A third need revolved

around formative feedback. Ms. B. feels that if she employed more technology tools,
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the data she could collect would help her gauge her instruction to better serve the

needs of her students.

We decided to meet every Tuesday for 45 minutes and we scheduled all

meetings through Google Calendar. So far, we had three coaching sessions. I have

started coaching my colleague by employing the 3-step coaching model developed by

Knight (2015): identify, learn, and improve. This model is designed around the idea

of helping coaches communicate proactively, lead effectively, and work in systems

that foster meaningful professional learning that has an impact on student

achievement.

Two important components of the first step of this model, Identify, are

identifying a student-focused goal and identifying a teaching strategy to use to hit the

goal. The student-focus goal was to help her students interact with each other during

their ICT and social studies classes and help them engage with social studies content

in a more productive way. The two most important components of the second step,

Learn, are coaching to provide modeling and the teacher setting time to implement

the practice. During our next coaching meeting, I have modeled for her the process of

creating a website with Google Sites. I also pointed out the benefits of giving the

students the opportunity to publish online and how she could use it in her social

studies, as well. The three most important components of the third step, Improve, are

the implementation of the practice by the teacher, the gathering of the data on

teachers implementation practice, and the conversation that follows with the purpose

of improving practice. The teacher I am coaching has implemented the practice, and

now we are at the point where we need to discuss the implementation and set up new

goals. I have already been in her classroom to take notes and observe her and her

students creating websites. At the end of the coaching sessions I will rate her
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technology integration skills using the LoTi rubric to measure the progress she would

be making.

Reich and Daccord (2008) pointed out that great teachers sometimes use

tech, but technology alone doesnt make great teachers (p. 32) Therefore, through

coaching, teachers can be equipped and empowered to make structural changes to

their instruction in order to reach all students and help them be successful.
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References:

Knight, Elford, Hock, Dunekack, Bradley, Deshler, Donald, Knight (2015). 3 steps to

great coaching: A simple but powerful instructional coaching cycle nets

results. Journal of Staff Development, 36(1), 10-18.

Reich, J, Daccord, T. (2008). Best ideas for teaching with technology. A practical

guide for teachers by teachers. NY: M. E Sharpe

Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating Technology into Teaching, (7th ed). Boston:

Pearson.

US Department of Education (2014). Learning technology effectiveness. Retrieved

from https://tech.ed.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Learning-Technology-

Effectiveness-Brief.pdf
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