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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

This researcher is working on her second year of teaching in a local middle school. In the

past year of teaching, she noticed how students were not retaining information, and were not as

engaged in the lessons as they should have been. This year the teacher has implemented more

technology in her classroom. In the past year, displaying anything was nearly impossible due to

the projector being drowned out from the light shining through the back wall of windows of the

classroom. This year, the teacher brought in her television from home and began displaying

power points, pictures, and short video clips that help support the art lessons. There has been a

positive reaction to this from the majority of her students. Many of them have voiced that they

enjoy watching the video clips and seeing picture examples with the lessons. The teacher has

also noticed more of her students are able to recall information quicker now versus the past year

when little technology was used. This year the teacher also allowed the students to use their

cellphones and tablets for art purposes only. Students were able to look up art inspiration and

many were more motivated for their projects because they were able to find a desired art

example. There was one occurrence though, with a parent whom seems to be a luddite. They

did not want their child taking a cellphone to school because they are a family that uses little to

zero technology at home. Neil Postman (1996) is against technology usage, but however this

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teacher is for integrating technology in the classroom to deepen students’ learning and

engagement. Postman (1996) writes,

If there is a single problem that plagues American education at the moment, it is that our

children no longer believe, as they once did, in some of the powerful and exhilarating

narratives that were the underpinning of American culture. To get an idea of these

narratives, I suggest we turn away from Bill Gates. (p. 434)

Postman (1996) may have a negative connotation towards technology in schools, but however,

this teacher has noticed a positive impact by using technology already and intends to continue

incorporating it in her classroom. Technology, to Be or Not to Be in the Classroom, is the

question, but this teacher intends to continue experimenting with technology in the classroom

and see how well students react to it.

Statement of the Problem

Simplicio, (2015) provides examples of schools and universities that have taken on student use

of technology in the classroom with the acronym, “BYOD” meaning “Bring Your Own Device”

for the schools. From the writer’s own observations in the classroom, students seem more

motivated, engaged, and less hesitant in their studies because they have access to information in

their devices. Unfortunately, there is no locally available data on the preferences of students’

relative to the role of electronic devices in their learning. Consequently, this paper will address

this problem in a survey of a selected sample of local teachers to determine their prevailing

attitudes towards technology and its role in education. Specifically, this paper will address the

following research questions:

1. What are local middle school students’ preferences for a variety instructional

strategies that include electronic and the more traditional teacher centered approach?
2. Is technology the future instruction in the classroom?

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3. How valuable and essential is technology to education?

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to deepen the understanding of whether technology

integrated in the classroom is effective or not. This study is going to investigate if technology

helps students’ grasp the content quicker, while also keeping them engaged and thriving in their

learning. This study will look at whether students prefer technology and/or a teacher leading the

lesson as well.

Limitations

This writer would caution the reader to against generalizing too broadly from these

findings. There are significant validity and reliability issues that compromise these findings. Not

the least of which, is this writer’s inexperience as professional researcher.

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CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

The purpose of this chapter is to outline the professional literature related to the problem

identified in the previous chapter. The writers of this professional literature are all investigating

different technology practices to use into the classroom. They all have a common agenda and

goal in mind to make learning more successful and engaging for students. This review is

primarily centered from researchers who are for technology, except there is one opposing

researcher.

Magogwe, Ntereke, and Phetlhe (2013) conducted four different studies in this

experiment. The first one consisted of the perceptions of the students on utilizing Facebook for

class. The study showed that 15% of the students felt uncomfortable with it because they did not

want their professors invading their personal space, but evidence “suggests that the majority are

comfortable with Facebook” (Bosch, 2009; Magogwe & Ntereke, 2013, n.p.). The second

observation showed that “it [made it] possible for students to learn and teachers to teach outside

the classroom walls,” as cited in Johnson, Levine, and Smith, (2009). In the third study students

could actively use Facebook as a safe work space and this helped build positive relationships and

promoted learning. In the fourth study, students used Facebook to communicate with their

professors about their work, (Bosch, 2009 and Wise, Skues & Williams, 2011, as cited in

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Magogwe & Ntereke, 2013).

It [Facebook] has not only become an interactive resource for entertainment but also for

information, communication, collaboration, participation and sharing. Facebook was

introduced as part of the tools used to facilitate group work and to increase

communication and interaction during preparation for the presentation tasks. (Bosch,

2009; as cited in Magogwe & et al., 2013, n.p.).

Bonomo (2016) found different interactive websites other than Facebook for class. On

these other websites students and teachers can make accounts and the information can be saved,

transferred, commented on, edited, and graded.

This website enables students to create online portfolios of their work in a neat and

organized manner. Students can insert images, text and links to organize their material

digitally. There are apps students can download, as well. (Bonomo, 2016, n.p.)

If you are tired of waiting at the copier and are 1:1in your classroom, consider using the

app Handout. This app allows you to take a picture of your worksheet and send it

digitally to your students. The students then complete the worksheet on their app in either

text format or with writing tools. The students then send you the document and you can

grade it digitally with no copying involved. (Bonomo, 2016, n.p.)

They give an example of a tenth-grade history teacher who integrates technology in her

lesson plans. The students are all given a folder with all the information needed to access the

online sources being used in the lesson.

These included the class Edmodo© site, links to Google Docs for responding to the

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reading, and the Web 2.0 polling tool, Socrative©. Each digital tool was chosen for the

purpose of supporting students' comprehension of the content-specific reading and

providing opportunities to respond to and synthesize their learning. (Shinas & Steckel,

2017, n.p.)

Another researcher, Mahoney (2015) says, “For optimum learning, the real world can be

streamed instantly into the classroom setting.” The internet is an essential tool in education, but

also is having a quiet workspace is useful.

Technology can enable classrooms and labs to flex and adapt to students’ needs. Informal

collaborative study spaces set up in locations across campuses can provide connectivity

as well as work surfaces and space. Collaboration spaces can also incorporate monitors

for students to share video and documents of all kinds. There might be a smaller space in

front of the monitor and a larger space behind, allowing for a small audience to gather.

(Mahoney, 2015, p. 174-175)

The most important use of technology in his classroom is the internet. The textbook that I

have is out­ dated, but through the internet, students are able to access the most current 

scientific information. Using the internet as a virtual science textbook has several 

advantages.  (Boles, 2011, p. 39)

It [vocabulary,] has been infused naturally into the conversation after hearing it in context

through the website’s animation. This is a way to promote literacy in the science 

classroom even though a virtual text is being used. With a text­book there is one article or

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diagram for all students; on a website there are all sorts of presentations of the same 

material.  For example, students can choose the rock­cycle diagram at a particular 

website that is easiest for them to understand. While students are investigating, he 

encourages them to share with one another sites that they think are particularly helpful, 

and all students are engaged in the activity rather than reading silently or round robin out 

loud.  (Boles, 2011, p. 40)

Students are not the only ones benefitting from technology.  It is helping student teachers as well 

and other teachers.

Student teachers used the computer for individual instruction for ESL learning activities,

extra practice programs, to create materials for specific students and for math programs.

They used programs for practice, typing, reading, and spelling. Cooperating teachers

used individual instruction to allow students to progress according to their own needs.

The cooperating teachers stated that the computer provided a great help for special needs

children, individualized spelling lists, individualized worksheets and activities and math

skill games for individual students. (Bell & Fidishun, 2009, p.199)

The one opposing author, Neil Postman (1987) would argue that technology doesn’t need

to be pushed in education.

Together, this new ensemble of electronic techniques called into being a new world – a

peek-a-boo world, where now this event, now that, pops into view for a moment, then

vanishes again. It is a world without much coherence or sense; a world that does not ask

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us, indeed, does not permit us to do anything; a world that is, like the child's game of

peek-a-boo, entirely self-contained. But like peek-a-boo, it is also endlessly entertaining.

(Postman, 1987, p. 77)

This is why I think it accurate to call television a curriculum. As I understand the word, a

curriculum is a specially constructed information system whose purpose is to influence,

teach, train or cultivate the mind and character of youth. Television, of course, does

exactly that, and does it relentlessly. In so doing, it competes successfully with the school

curriculum. By which I mean, it obliterates it. (Postman, 1987, p. 146)

Summary

The purpose of this chapter is to outline the professional literature and studies. All the

researchers listed above except for one, Postman (1987), agree that technology is necessary in

furthering education. The researchers, in agreeance, all have the common goal of implementing

technology in the classroom through using the internet for educational websites, computers,

laptops, computer labs, quite work spaces, videos, and etc. The common agenda and goal in

mind is to make learning more successful, engaging, and remember-able.

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CHAPTER THREE

METHODS

This teacher will be using a few different methods in this study. She will give a survey to

all educators at her local school. The survey will take roughly 10 minutes to complete. This

teacher is also inspired by the professional literature in Chapter One and is considering

implementing more technology in her classroom to see how students respond. If this teacher

decides to experiment, she will implement more technology and monitor the students’ progress,

learning, and engagement over a semester’s time. The sample regarding the students would

begin in August and end in November. This teacher would evaluate and take students’ opinions

regarding the use of technology in the classroom in at the end of November.

Survey

In this survey, “Teachers, Time, & Technology,” it is given to the educators at the local

school this teacher is employed at. In this survey, it asks information regarding the teacher and

questions pertaining to their experience and knowledge in using specific technological resources.

There are five questions and check skill level sections. One of the sections of the survey asks,

“Check the line that best describes your skill level in the following technologies and circle the

technologies in which you would like more training.” The skill level asks for the participant to

rate themselves between “Inadequate Unskilled, Somewhat Skilled, Somewhat, and Adequate.”

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There are letter questions “A – K” to answer in the skill level section. The next skill level has

letter questions, “A – H” with the same rating categories as the prior section discussed. The

instructions for this one are, “Check the line that best describes your skill level in the following

programs and circle the programs in which you would like more training.” This survey may

require roughly ten minutes to complete. A sample of the survey is included in Appendix A.

Sample

The survey participants, local teachers, are all over 21 years of age and the majority of

them live in Chattanooga. A few teachers live in other surrounding counties. There is not a

particular sample group, it is strictly given to the employees of the local middle school. If this

teacher decides to evaluate her students and the impact of technology in the future, her sample

group would consist of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade males and females. Their ages would range from 10

– 15. The majority of the students’ ethnicities are Caucasian, with fewer African Americans,

Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and other ethnic groups.

Ethical Considerations

A consideration from the literature provided in Chapter One, in this practice is using

social media as classroom engagement and educating, because some parents may not allow their

child to participate in social media. The teacher could develop a permission form and students

that return signed forms from their guardians, may use social media for class. Other students may

be assigned to groups in order to participate. Another consideration is the facility of the school.

Not all schools and especially not at this teacher’s local school is there a designated quiet work

space. There are computer labs and chrome carts but unfortunately those resources are very

competitive and not all of them function correctly. A few ethical considerations from the survey

is that not all classrooms in this local school have the same resources. Some teachers have an

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advantage over others because of the technology advances they may have in their classrooms.

Another consideration, is the age of the teachers. Some of the teachers may not have grown up

using technology versus younger teachers who have most likely been using technology the

majority of their young adult years.

Summary

In conclusion, the primary methods will include that technology in education is likely the

preferred route for present and future teaching. It is then the opinion of this teacher that these

technological procedures would produce adequate information on which to make an informed

decision regarding the question identified in this paper.

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CHAPTER FOUR

REQUIREMENTS

The potential amount of time that could be required is a semester, 18 weeks, if this

teacher so chooses to experiment with technology in her classes. The survey for the cooperating

teachers at the local school will require roughly 10 minutes. The survey may need a week to

gather and total all information. The local resources could be easily used to duplicate the survey

required and consequently completing this project should not be relative to expenses.

Time Line

Given that this research effort must be completed before graduation, the following time

line will be proposed:

August: 14th – 31st

September: 1st – 29th

October: 2nd – 31st

November: 1st – 30th

The time to complete this study is a semester. This study will be conducted with this

teacher’s six classes. During the time of the semester, four of the classes will change related arts

classes because they are on a nine weeks system. The four new classes will be another set of

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students to see how impactful technology in the classroom is. There will be an estimate of 250

students during this semester that will be used during this survey. The estimated time for the

cooperating educators at the local school is about a week’s time to gather and sort the data.

Budget

After considering the budget involved in deeming this study, there will be no significant

outlet to complete this project. She has determined that local resources could be easily used to

duplicate the survey required and consequently completing this project should not be relative to

expenses.

Summary

After considering the two confining variables of Time and Budget, it seems clear to this

investigating teacher that the question outlined in Chapter One may be completed in a timely

manner. The teacher believes this survey can be accomplished. This teacher also believes that if

she so chooses to implement more technology in her classroom that it is practical as well and the

time lines and budget ought to perform nicely together. Technology, to Be or Not to Be in the

Classroom, this teacher has decided that technology is necessary for education. The advances

and rapid growth of resources available can aide all different levels of students. Like Bonomo

(2016) said about sending documents through and app to his students, this teacher can see that

being a very effective tool in her class. She could send a document of a famous masterpiece to

her students through the app and the have class discussion and discovery in a completely

different and new way. This teacher is willing to implement more in her classroom and see the

progress it will behold. This teacher is also excited to see the reaction of her students and the

engagement that potentially follows.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barba, L. I., Kaw, A. K., & Le Doux, J. J. (2016). Guest editorial: flipped classrooms in STEM.

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Bell, V., & Fidishun, D. (2009). Learning from each other: student teachers, cooperating teachers

and technology. International Journal of Instructional Media, 36(2), 195-205.

Boles, S. R. (2011). Using technology in the classroom. Science Scope, 34(9), 39-43.

Bonomo, J. B. (2016). Creating a paperless classroom. Techniques: Connecting Education &

Careers, 91(6), 8-9.

Gehrett, M. (2015). Investigating the use of mobile technology for classroom instruction: a case

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Jason, S. D., Michele, J., Stanley, V., & Sharon, F. (2014). Barriers to systemic, effective, and

sustainable technology use in high school classrooms / obstacles a l’utilisation

systemique, efficace et durable de la technologie dans les salles de classe des ecoles

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Jolly, S. J. (2017). Technology in the Montessori classroom: teachers’ beliefs and technology use.

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Magogwe, J. M., Ntereke, B., & Phetlhe, K. R. (2015). Facebook and classroom group work: a

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Shinas, V. H., & Steckel, B. (2017). Technology integration for the 21st century classroom:

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APPENDIX

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APPENDIX A

Survey

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