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How teachers integrate technology and their beliefs about learning: is there a connection?

Research indicates that teachers who readily integrate technology into their instruction are more likely to possess constructivist teaching styles. Evidence suggests there is a parallel between a teacher's student-centered beliefs about instruction and the nature of the teacher's technology-integrated lessons. This connection between the use of technology and constructivist pedagogy implies constructivist-minded teachers maintain dynamic student-centered classrooms where technology is a powerful learning tool. Unfortunately, much of the research to date has relied on self-reported data from teachers and this type of data too often presents a less than accurate picture. Versus self-reported practices, direct observations that gauge the constructivist manner in which teachers integrate technology are a more precise, albeit protracted, measurement. In this study 32 classroom teachers completed a survey to measure their beliefs about instruction, but they were also directly observed and rated with the Focus on Integrated Technology: Classroom Observation Measurement (FIT:COM). The FIT:COM measures the degree to which technology integrated lessons are aligned with constructivist principles. Analysis did not reveal a significant relationship between practices and beliefs. Although most teachers identified strongly with constructivist convictions they failed to exhibit these ideas in their practices.

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Current educational reform movements in different disciplines emphasize the importance of a student-centered classroom (AAAS, 1993; National Council for the Social Studies, 1994; National Council of Teachers of English, 2000; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000). Many school administrators now advocate that teachers put aside notions of traditional teaching in favor of developing learning environments where students share ideas, grapple with the meaning of new information, and defend divergent thinking. This type of student-centered and student-active learning is often called constructivism. Leaders in educational technology have also thrown support to the idea of moving away from linear direct instruction and toward constructivist classrooms. Notably, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) endorses technology integration that is student-centered and emphasizes teacher facilitation (ISTE, 2000).

The use of technology in K-12 education has grown steadily since the inception of classroom computers in the 1970s (National Governor's Association, 1999; Puma, Chaplin, & Pape, 2000). Today, it is commonplace to discover teachers using technology for a variety of purposes, including record-keeping, accessing lesson plans, creating study guides, and communicating with parents. Students too, are found busy employing technology to compose reports, analyze data, communicate with experts, and perform research. Few argue that technology will not continue to become even more embedded in student experience. However, classroom visitors often see technology integrated in a variety of ways. Some teachers maintain tight control and use technology only for presentation purposes. Other teachers, with the same resources and access, allow students nearly full reign of technology decisions. Why do such varied pedagogical styles exist for technology integrated lessons? It is, of course, possible that these classroom practices mirror the teachers' nontechnology integrated lessons and what is observed is a reflection of what the teachers believe constitute quality instruction. That is to say, a teacher who firmly believes the best way for students to learn content is through informative teacher-delivered lectures will give little consideration to the idea of using technology as a means for student exploration. Likewise, it appears logical that a teacher who firmly believes in exploratory learning is not going to be an advocate for drill and practice software. Another possibility is that teachers use technology in a way they think is aligned with their beliefs, but on close inspection the teachers' lessons are misaligned or incongruous with the teachers' convictions. This latter possibility is especially credible in light of the fact that teacher perceptions of how often and how effectively technology is used for student-centered purposes differs dramatically from student perceptions (BellSouth Foundation, 2003).

Finally, it is possible that a poor attitude toward technology or a fear of using technology causes teachers to implement lessons that are different from their nontechnology lessons. If this is true then a student-centered teacher may pull in the reins and deliver instruction that is atypically linear. Likewise, a didactic teacher may detach himself from the technology to the point where students in his class finally have genuine participation. So an issue emerges of whether or not teachers use technology in a way that is aligned with their beliefs about learning or if their attitudes toward technology are superseding these beliefs about quality instruction.

Teachers possess tremendous authority to implement adoptions and adhere to classroom reforms with fidelity. This type of power is not limited to educational technology; when establishing any classroom innovation, it is the teacher who is the key determinant of implementation. When it comes to technology, teachers cannot deny the existence of technology in schools, yet how often the technology is used and how the technology is used is heavily dependent upon individual teachers. A primary research question is simply how is technology being used? Once that question is answered, a researcher can delve further and ask why is the technology being used in that particular way?

How technology is used in classrooms has been examined by numerous studies (Moursund, 1999; National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2000; Solmon, 1999; U.S. Department of Education, 2000). These studies emphasized an inventory approach by counting computers, calculating student to computer ratios, and tallying computer time. These how studies were more literally focused on how much. This type of accounting of hardware and computer activity time does not argue for, nor disprove, whether technology integration is aligned with any particular pedagogical style. Existing data of how technology is used in classroom settings relies primarily on two sources: (a) self-reporting of teachers, and (b) inventory records kept by state and district personnel (Anderson & Ronnkvist, 1999; CRITO, 1998; Quinones & Kirshstein, 1998; Smerdon et al., 2000; Solmon, 1999). Missing from these sources is evaluative data obtained from uniform observations of technology integration. Coupled with this dilemma of reliance on self-reported practices, is a lack of understanding of how teacher beliefs about instruction and attitudes toward technology affect the routine of integrating technology. Correlating classroom observations of technology integration to epistemological beliefs about the nature of instruction and attitudes toward technology is a logical step toward understanding classroom use of technology.

The second question of why technology is used in a particular way involves determining if teacher practices are aligned with instructional beliefs or if poor attitudes toward technology are resulting in uncharacteristic lessons. Examining the link between technology integration practices with beliefs and with attitudes can help us understand why some teachers choose to maintain very tight control over student actions, specifying specific student products and even keystrokes, while other teachers feel more comfortable allowing students to delve independently into projects and to select software according to student needs.

BACKGROUND

To date, most studies related to teachers and their use of technology have focused on cataloging computer skills and availability of technology within schools and have reported that the availability has grown substantially (Anderson & Ronnkvist, 1999; Puma et al., 2000; Smerdon et al., 2000). However, there is much less research on how frequently and in what manner these technologies are being used. Findings of the U.S. Department of Education suggest that as availability of technology has grown, the manner of how teachers teach has not dramatically changed (Smerdon et al.). The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) revealed that only half of the public school teachers who had computers or the Internet available in their schools used them for classroom instruction. Word processing and the creation of spreadsheets was the most often cited task assigned to students (61%) and 50% of teachers stated they had students use computers to practice drills (Smerdon et al.).

Acknowledging a continued low ratio of frequent technology users among classroom teachers, other researchers have focused on determining the confluence of factors prevalent among teachers who are frequent technology users (Becker & Ravitz, 2001; Becker & Riel, 2000; Ravitz, Becker, & Wong, 2000; Riel & Becker, 2000). Three significant findings underscore the differences among those teachers more likely to give frequent assignments involving computer work. First, the relatively few teachers whose pedagogy involved a small number of topics covered in great depth were twice as likely as those reporting a large number of topics to assign computer activities. Secondly, teachers with five to eight computers in their classroom, compared with teachers with access to computers limited to computer labs, were twice as likely to give students frequent computer experience. Finally, teachers with greater technical knowledge use computers more (Becker & Ravitz).

Specific to the relationship between technology integration practices and teacher beliefs, research is limited. Researchers at University of California provided some evidence that computer use among teachers is related to more constructivist practices and to changes in practice in a more constructivist-compatible direction (Ravitz & Becker, 2000). Based on surveys, a strong correlation was found to exist between computer use and a constructivist view of learning. This suggests that computers may be one factor that enables teachers to carry out their constructivist philosophies. In addition, teachers who reported more extensive use of computers also reported greater change in their practice in a constructivist direction. Those who reported an increase in computer use over the last five years also reported substantial increases in constructivist practice (Ravitz et al., 2000). These findings were culled from a survey questionnaire returned by 4,083 classroom teachers. However, surveys are not always considered effective measures of technology integration (Willis, Thompson, & Sadera, 1999). Willis et al. contended too much educational technology research has relied upon surveys, "[surveying] being easy to do, however, does not mean it is always important as a means of advancing the field. We may not need another attitude survey ... that shows that teachers have positive thoughts about telecommunications" (p. 38).

Additionally, survey data have proven to be unreliable; beginning teachers particularly have reported to hold reform-minded views of instruction and describe their practices as very student-centered while observation shows the contrary (Simmons et al., 1999). Although teachers profess student-centered beliefs, studies have revealed inconsistent practices (Brown, 1969; Mayer & Goldsberry, 1987; Raymond, 1993; Simmons et al., 1999; Weiss, 1997). This misalignment between teachers' stated convictions and observed classroom practices can be interpreted two ways, (a) the teachers provide obliging responses on survey questionnaires, or (b) the teachers' perception of their teaching practices is truly and markedly different from actual practice. Some research has shown teachers' beliefs about best teaching practices are prone to be in weak agreement with their own philosophic beliefs underlying those practices. Consequently teachers fail to use aligned practices in the classroom (Brown, 1969). Even though there may be school, district, or national support for student-centered classroom practices, inconsistencies persist regarding actual implementation (Mueller & Zeidler, 1998; Weiss, 1997).

This study sought to actually observe teachers integrating technology and to correlate these observations with stated beliefs and attitudes of the teachers. Two research questions were posed, 1) how do teacher beliefs about instruction relate to the practice of integrating technology, and 2) how do teacher attitudes toward technology relate to the practice of integrating technology?

METHODOLOGY

Participants and setting. Thirty-two classroom teachers participated in this study. These teachers were volunteers and represented grade levels from primary to secondary. There was no bias toward any particular subject area. The criteria for selection was the teachers' schools had technology available for integration, and the teachers had taken at least one university course or district supported workshop related to the use of technology in the classroom. Though school settings varied, all of the schools were capable of providing at least one multimedia computer with an accompanying projection system in the classrooms and provided teachers access to a computer lab.

All classroom observations were scheduled in advance with the teacher. The researcher specified beforehand an interest in observing technology-integrated lessons considered by the teacher to be good examples of learning. Observations were no less than 30 minutes and lasted the duration of what the teacher stated was the lesson. Each teacher was observed either once (n=14) or twice (n=18). Some teachers were observed once because they used technology minimally and/or indicated that the lesson observed was very reflective of all their technology integrated lessons. Some teachers were observed a second time because they either informed the researcher that the lesson spanned more than one day and, in order to get a true sense of the lesson, consecutive visits were necessary. Other teachers were visited a second time because the teacher indicated their use of technology varied and a second observation would provide a better overall sense of their practices.

Measurement of teachers' beliefs and attitudes. The Conditions that Support Constructivist Uses of Technology (CSCUT) survey (Ravitz & Light, 2000) was used to measure teachers' beliefs and attitudes. As indicated, the intent of the survey was to measure teachers' beliefs about what constitutes quality instruction and to measure teachers' attitudes toward technology. Teachers completed the survey unmonitored and returned it by mail. The CSCUT survey was based on the Teaching, Learning, and Computing Survey (CRITO, 1998). Developers of the CSCUT survey analyzed the Teaching, Learning, and Computing Survey data and maintained pertinent and reliable items resulting in the synthesized and economical CSCUT survey. CSCUT developers chose items that were most closely associated with teaching believed to be consistent with constructivist-based reforms and with the accompanying uses of technology (Ravitz & Light, 2000).

The CSCUT survey is arranged into four categories, (a) Teaching Philosophy, (b) Computer Use Attitudes, (c) Computer Use Objectives, and (d) Computer Knowledge and Skills. The emphasis of this study was to examine the relationship among teachers' beliefs about instruction, attitudes toward technology, and the practice of integrating technology. The first category of the survey addresses the objective of eliciting teacher convictions about instruction while the second category reveals attitudes toward technology. The third and fourth categories were retained to maintain the integrity of the original survey and to assure participants did not have deficient technology skills.

Measurement of classroom practice. To measure constructivist teaching practice when technology is integrated into instruction, the Focusing on Integrating Technology: Classroom Observation Measurement (FIT:COM) was used. The development of the FIT:COM was based on educational technology standards (ISTE, 2000) as well as teaching standards from various disciplines (National Council for the Social Studies, 1994; National Council of Teachers of English, 2000; National Research Council, 1996; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000). A validity study found the FIT:COM to be a sound instrument supported by significant inter-rater reliability (r=.9, n=8, p < .001) and internal consistency measures (Cronbach-alpha = .9, n=40, p < .05 [Judson, 2002]).

Variables. The independent variables for this study were derived from the teacher survey. These variables were Teaching Philosophy and Computer Use Attitude. Succinctly, the variables were beliefs about instruction and attitudes toward technology. The mean of total scores a teacher obtained on the FIT:COM was the dependent variable of concern. Within this variable were other dimensions (subsections of the FIT:COM) that were considered. The dimensions of (a) Design of Technology Integration, (b) Class Dynamics, (c) Meaning and Purpose of the Technology Integration, (d) Nature of Content and Knowledge, and (e) Technology as Tools, were all examined. The limit of the scope of this study did not promote subsection factors to be treated as independent variables. Yet, emerging patterns among these factors were documented and noted for future study.

Procedures. During observations, the researcher recorded notes regarding teacher practices, student engagement, characteristics of the technology integration, and other related occurrences. Following the lesson, the researcher completed the FIT:COM observation form. Scores obtained from multiple observations were averaged to determine a mean score to reflect the nature of each teacher's practice of integrating technology. The teachers were aware that an observation instrument was being employed, but were uninformed as to the contents of the FIT:COM. Participants were provided with the teacher survey and instructed to either mail their responses or arrange to have it picked up from their school.

FIT:COM cumulative scores may range from zero to 100 with lower scores indicating inferior constructivist technology integration and higher scores indicating quality constructivist technology integration. A correlation analysis was conducted to determine if there were any significant interactions between independent and dependent variables. Regression analysis yielded Pearson product moment coefficients (r) as a measure of the strength of linear relationships between variables.

FINDINGS

Teaching Philosophy and Computer Use Attitude sections of the CSCUT survey gauged teachers beliefs and attitudes respectively. High scores in the category of Teaching Philosophy indicate a constructivist teacher. High scores in the Computer Use Attitude section indicate the teacher considers technology useful for teaching and learning. Additionally, the CSCUT survey contains a Computer Use Objective section and a Computer Knowledge and Skills section. High scores in the Computer Use Objective section indicate the teacher has grand goals for student use of technology (e.g., expressing themselves in writing, presenting information to an audience). High scores in the Computer Knowledge and Skills section of the survey indicate the teacher reports to be expert in breadth and depth of technology. Table 1 summarizes results of the teacher survey.

Correlation analysis was conducted to determine relationships between observed teaching practices and beliefs about instruction and between teaching practices and attitudes toward technology. Teaching practices, as measured by the FIT:COM, did not significantly correlate to teachers' reported philosophy, as measured by the Teaching Philosophy section of the CSCUT instrument (n=32, r=.151, p=.410). Additionally, teaching practices did not significantly correlate to teachers' attitudes toward technology, as measured by the Computer Use Attitude section of the CSCUT survey (n=32, r=.157, p=.392).

Two research questions prompted this study. The first of these questions led to investigating the relationship between teachers' beliefs about instruction and the observed practice of technology integration. A strong relationship would have found teachers with strong student-centered beliefs also enacting constructivist-based practices when integrating technology. The second question accounted for the possibility that teachers might have poor attitudes toward technology and this would lead to technology integrated lessons representing attitudes about technology and not beliefs about instruction. As the Computer Use Attitudes data reported in Table 1 indicate, teachers included in this study had good attitudes toward technology and viewed technology as a valuable instructional aid. This finding demonstrates teachers in the sample were not inclined to be inhibited by technology and implemented technology integrated lessons as they saw fit. Because teachers in the study were volunteers willing to allow researchers to observe their technology integrated lessons and had participated in technology related professional development, this finding about their amenable attitudes is not surprising. Attitudes about technology were agreeable and not prohibitive. The high attitude scores leads to greater emphasis on the first research question--are beliefs reflected in practice?

Considering the idea of teachers' beliefs manifesting in practice, prior research provided no clear indication of expected results. Some research, relying on self-reported data, suggested direct relationships between teachers' use of technology and constructivist held beliefs. Yet other research warned of the unreliable nature of self-reported data and the incongruity between stated beliefs and observed practice.

Among the 32 teachers, a wide array of teaching strategies was observed. These strategies included projecting lecture notes, instructing students to enter lab data into spreadsheets, having students complete multimedia presentations (with and without a teacher-made template), and allowing students to conduct sociological research of personal interest related to the ethical use of biotechnology. A range of normally distributed teaching practices resulted, with FIT:COM scores ranging from 8.0 to 91.5 (M=47.7, SD=18.9, n=32). However, correlation analysis of FIT:COM scores and reported beliefs about instruction failed to yield significant relationships. Put simply, the researchers stepped into the classrooms with a constructivist lens and found there was no significant correlation between teachers' reported beliefs about instruction and their actual practice of integrating technology.

DISCUSSION

Beginning a discussion when the point to consider is lack of correlation is arguably more difficult than deliberating on variables with high correlation. Yet, data indicate there is no significant correlation between teacher practices and teaching philosophy (i.e., beliefs) or between teacher practices and attitudes toward technology. Careful consideration of the results suggests these data do not just indicate a lack of correlation, but may hint at deeper dynamics. Previous studies indicate the results of this study are both expected and unexpected. Apparent is the dilemma of why observed practices did not match teachers' beliefs. Several researchers have found self-reported data unreliable, particularly in the case of teacher practice (Brown, 1969; Mayer & Goldsberry, 1987; Mueller & Zeidler, 1998). Simmons et al. (1999), encountered a similar pattern in a study of teachers who reported to hold reform-minded views of instruction and indeed described their practices as very student-centered. Nonetheless, observation of teaching practices differed sharply with self-reported data (Simmons et al.).

Other research indicates significant correlation to be expected between the dependent variable of teaching practices and the independent variable of beliefs. Most notably, the Technology Counts research project and resulting reports argue there is a causal relationship between the beliefs a teacher holds about instruction and how technology is integrated into a lesson (Ravitz, 2000; Ravitz & Becker, 2000; Ravitz et al., 2000). Those studies provide evidence that computer use among teachers is related to the teacher's constructivist character. This study does not support that conclusion. Ravitz and Becker (2000) also suggested computers may be one factor that enables teachers to carry out their constructivist philosophies. On that point, this study can offer lukewarm support. Certainly in some cases, computers did enable observed teachers to carry out constructivist convictions, but computers also enabled teachers to carry out traditional routine as well.

It is not likely teachers were deceitful when reporting their convictions. Instead, it is assumed teachers answered questions regarding beliefs and attitudes with honesty. Given this assumption, trying to understand why the results of this study show a lack of correlation between what a teacher believes constitutes good instruction and what is observed in a classroom leads to generating a new hypothesis. A possible explanation resides in the field of research dealing with teacher expertise. It is proposed that what is vexing the results are the varying degrees of expertise included in the sample. Among the 32 teachers, when gauged as constructivist technology users, there are likely experts, advanced beginners, and novices.

We know experts behave differently and are commonly more efficient with classroom tasks (Berliner, 1986). Experts make inferences and do not literally report what they see whereas novices tend to hold literal views of objects and events (Berliner, 1986). For example, to the novice, a picture of groups of students in a classroom is just that. To the expert, inferences are made that the picture depicts small group discussion or possibly project work. Additionally, there are differences in the emotional state displayed by teachers at various levels of expertise (Berliner, 1986). In a study in which teachers of varying levels of expertise planned and then taught a lesson, the novices were quite happy about their performance, although it was not rated highly by external evaluators (Berliner, 1988). Contrary, experts in the same study were disappointed with their performance, although evaluators rated it more highly.

Why would teachers perceive their own instruction with such variability? What is likely occurring is that teachers of varying expertise are identifying different salient features of their teaching and these salient features often differ from those identified by an expert observer. For example, consider a novice who has read literature indicating that a constructivist classroom involves group assignments, hands-on activity, and projects. This novice might view his own classroom as very constructivist if indeed students were assigned to work as groups and all students were busily completing assignments at the computers. For the novice the salient features of the lesson are the perfunctory group assignments, existence of group tasks, and the actual typing at the keyboards. For the expert, the salient features of the same lesson are quite different. An expert would identify the extent to which students learned from other group members, whether students formed genuine schema that related to past experiences, and if the use of technology was actually aiding students' ability to construct new understanding. The idea of salient features thus becomes a decisive factor in understanding teacher responses regarding attitudes and beliefs. This expertise hypothesis warrants further study. Subsequent studies should examine expertise as a factor influencing teachers' perceptions of their own technology integration. Controlling for expertise may yet lead to correlation between what teachers consider effective teaching and what is observed in classrooms.

IMPLICATIONS

This study demonstrates that teachers' beliefs about instruction do not necessarily resonate in their classroom practices when integrating technology. However, most teachers would state that they do indeed maintain a classroom embodying constructivist tenets. An implication here is that professional development must be constructed that is attentive to these points. Teachers say they conduct student-centered classrooms; observation of the practice of integrating technology differs with this view. Professional development must be specific to the goal of integrating technology in a constructivist manner. Typically, professional development related to constructivism is disjoined from professional development related to technology integration. The emphasis of such professional development should focus on the rationale of constructivism, not on forcing the use of technology.

Noting the implication for the need to unite professional development in the areas of constructivism and technology integration, a warning is extended. Uniting these two items is not the same as hitching one to another. Constructivist theory and technology integration have both long been tagged with the reform label. Despite a review of literature, how technology integration became wedded to reform instruction is not clear. Likely, because both the use of educational technology and the implementation of reformed teaching methods are often considered maverick, the two have become entwined in thought. Technology integration is not necessarily a pillar of reformed instruction. However, hasty assumptions have indiscriminately thrown technology integration under the umbrella of reform. It is dangerous to assume both constructivism and technology integration would fit nicely into a workshop entitled Reform Methods--the inference being that anything seeming new and avant-garde falls under the nomenclature of "reform." Constructivism is a theoretical framework leading to classroom methods; technology integration is better represented as a method stemming from nearly any ideology. Utilization of technology is not a goal of constructivism. However, the use of technology may very well enable the dynamics of students constructing personal meaning, learning from one another, learning from experts, and creating unique interpretations. Professional development must enable teachers to access technology in ways that support their proclaimed (and likely deeply felt) student-centered intentions. The supposition is for professional development in the area of technology integration to move beyond training teachers to use specific hardware and software. The goal is for professional development to take better aim at the target of establishing constructivist practices. Technology is not a mechanism that enables constructivism, it is a device best used at the moment when it enables students to gain deeper understanding. Technology as tools--this is the implication.

Results of this study are contrary to reports of some larger scale studies. However, those larger scale studies were conducted without the mechanism of classroom observation. For even the least inquisitive, the question is surely whether this small scale study simply suffers from a lack of magnitude or if the larger scale studies missed a most crucial piece of data. This study discovered a misalignment between beliefs and practices. An alternate title for this study might have been The Virtual Reality of Integrating Classroom Technology: Where Intention Meets Practice.

References

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Anderson, R.E., & Ronnkvist, A. (1999). The presence of computers in American schools. Teaching, learning, and computing: 1998 national survey (Report No. 2). Irvine, CA: Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations.

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Becker, H.J., & Riel, M.M. (2000). Teacher professional engagement and constructivist-compatible computer use (Report No. 7). Irvine, CA: Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations.

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Berliner, D.C. (1988, April). Memory for teaching as a function of expertise. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

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Judson, E. (2002). Relationships among instructional beliefs, attitudes toward technology, and constructivist practices of technology integration. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University.

Mayer, R.H., & Goldsberry, L. (1987, April). The development of the beliefs/practice relationship in two student teachers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

Moursund, D. (1999). Will new teachers be prepared to teach in a digital age: A national survey on information technology in teacher education. Santa Monica, CA: Milken Exchange on Education Technology.

Mueller, J.C., & Zeidler, D.L. (1998, April). A case study of teacher beliefs in contemporary science education goals and classroom practices. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Diego, CA.

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National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (2000). Teachers' tools for the 21st century: A report on teachers' use of technology (NCES 2000-102). Jessup, MD: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Improvement and Research.

Puma, M.J., Chaplin, D.D., & Pape, A.D. (2000). E-rate and the digital divide: A preliminary analysis from the integrated studies of educational technology. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

Quinones, S., & Kirshstein, R. (1998). An educator's guide to evaluating the use of technology in schools and classrooms. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

Ravitz, J. (2000). Conditions that support constructivist uses of technology survey. Profiler. Retrieved February 3, 2006, from http://www.bie.org/Ravitz/cilt_project/cilt_survey.html

Ravitz, J., & Becker, H.J. (2000, April). Evidence for computer use being related to more constructivist practices and to changes in practice in a more constructivist-compatible direction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Ravitz, J., Becker, H.J., & Wong, Y. (2000). Constructivist-compatible beliefs and practices among U.S. teachers. (Teaching, Learning, and Computing: 1998 National Survey Report). Irvine, CA: Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations.

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Riel, M., & Becker, H. (2000, April). The beliefs, practices, and computer use of teacher leaders. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Simmons, P.E., Emory, A., Carter, T., Coker, T., Finnegan, B., Crockett, D., et al. (1999). Beginning teachers: Beliefs and classroom actions. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(8), 930-954.

Smerdon, B., Cronen, S., Lanahan, L., Anderson, J., Iannotti, N., & Angeles, J. (2000). Teachers' tools for the 21st century: A report on teachers' use of technology (Statistical Analysis Report NCES 2000-102). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Solmon, L. (1999). Results from a study of 27 states' district technology coordinators. Milken Family Foundation. Retrieved February 3, 2006, from http://www.mff.org/publications/publications.taf

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Weiss, I.R. (1997). The status of science and mathematics teaching in the United States: Comparing teacher views and classroom practice to national standards, [NISE Brief]. National Institute for Science Education. Retrieved February 3, 2006, from http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/NISE/Publications/Briefs/Vol_l_No_3/

Willis, J., Thompson, A., & Sadera, W. (1999). Research on technology and teacher education: Status and future directions. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(4), 29-45.

Note

This material is based upon research supported by the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (CRESMET) at Arizona State University. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CRESMET. The author would like to express gratitude to Dr. Marilyn Carlson, director of CRESMET, for her support and guidance.

APPENDIX

FIT:COM Sample Items
 Never Very
 Occurred Descriptive

 2) Technology was a means for supporting 0 1 2 3 4
 curricular objectives, as opposed to being
 a separate curricular focus.
 8) Interaction with technology provided 0 1 2 3 4
 students with a sense of independent
 control and mastery over an environment.
15) Students used technology to solve problems 0 1 2 3 4
 and make informed decisions.
23) Students used technology to construct 0 1 2 3 4
 models, increase productivity, and produce
 creative work.


From the FIT:COM Evaluator's Guide:

2. Technology was a means for supporting curricular objectives, as opposed to being a separate curricular focus.

If technology use is designated as an entity divorced from the goals of the lesson (e.g. "computer time"), then actual integration has not occurred. Integration of technology should occur because it is a timely and useful tool to support learning.

8. Interaction with technology provided students with a sense of independent control and mastery over an environment.

A key to student motivation can be a feeling of autonomy. If the student interaction with technology results in sustained and intense effort that would likely otherwise occur, then it can be said that the student-to-technology partnering yields a greater cognitive enterprise.

15. Students used technology to solve problems and make informed decisions.

A shared cognition develops as students utilize technology to help solve problems. If student use of technology leads to unquestioned answers, this item would be scored low. If students instead access technology in order to gather information and this allows them to thoughtfully consider decisions and draw conclusions, the item would be rated high.

23. Students used technology to construct models, increase productivity, and produce creative work.

Effective technology use is seen as freeing the students from laborious tasks and enhancing learning by acting as a productivity tool.
Scoring rubric for item 23

0 -- No such activity occurred.
1 -- Very limited technology access for students. May only view a
 teacher presentation.
2 -- Students are accessing technology but it remains questionable as to
 whether the use of technology is yielding greater results than
 alternate methods.
3 -- The technology use is now a necessary component of the lesson. The
 technology integration is enhancing the learning. Teacher and
 students may still falter and not utilize "technology as tools"
 to full capability.
4 -- Productive student activity that seamlessly incorporates technology
 to achieve goals is distinctive of this lesson


EUGENE JUDSON

CRESMET at Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ USA

eugene.judson@asu.edu

*Note: This material was partially supported by the National Science Foundation under Project Pathways grant No. EHR 0412537. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The author thanks Dr. Marilyn Carlson for her support of this research.
Table 1 Teacher Survey Results

 TP CUA CUO K & S

Grade K-4 (n = 7)
 M 78.7 82.9 96.4 92.9
 SD 11.8 14.3 4.5 7.5
Grade 5-8 (n = 7)
 M 78.1 96.2 92.1 95.7
 SD 4.9 10.1 2.3 5.4
Grade 9-12 (n = 18)
 M 72.5 95.2 90.0 94.4
 SD 13.5 7.2 11.9 5.2
Overall (n = 32)
 M 75.1 92.7 91.7 94.4
 SD 11.9 10.8 9.5 5.6

Note. TP = Teaching Philosophy; CUA = Computer Use Attitudes; CUO =
Computer Use Objectives; K & S = Computer Knowledge and Skills
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Article Details
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Author:Judson, Eugene
Publication:Journal of Technology and Teacher Education
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2006
Words:6254
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