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Technology Integration in the Classroom Essay

The use of technology in the instructional setting is not a new idea, but advances in computer and other hardware technologies have made it possible to embed instructional technology in the secondary classroom. Schools at the secondary level are installing technology in the classroom that allows the instructor to access software tools, the Internet, and audio and video resources from an integrated, centrally-controlled system. While these tools are typically put in place to allow easier access to instructional resources, the tools themselves present their own unique set of challenges.

These challenges often surface at the outset of a project when room design, classroom renovation, and technology integration are first considered and continue on through faculty training and use of the tools. Discussion lists dealing with classroom technology issues are constantly filled with requests for institutional standards and practices, ideas for designs, equipment recommendations, and information regarding the types or levels of classroom technology being used in the classrooms.

Conflicting demands placed on secondary classrooms require that they be designed to accommodate a wide variety of teacher requests, learning styles, and presentation techniques (Niemeyer, 2003). Instructional technology issues to be addressed before, during, and after implementation include needs assessment, an appropriate technology committee, and the use of external consultants as necessary (Vartabedian, 2002). The challenge is to know the real impact of these new technologies and understand how related areas such as staffing, organization, evaluation metrics, and operating costs are affected (Valenti, 2002).

Problem Statement Day (2003) writes that while there is no single, award-winning design, schools must consider how their technology decisions affect spending and effective use. Without a perfect design model, it is important to investigate as many options as possible before final decisions are made (Riley & Gallo, 2000). Brown (2005b) states that technology integration calls for a clear vision for learning and for the spaces where learning occurs. Such a vision provides leverage that affects all other decisions about learning space design.

Even within the researcher’s home school, different models of technology-enhanced classrooms are being adopted as various managers and integrators develop new classroom spaces on campus. All secondary educators need to be knowledgeable about the effective uses of technology in order to succeed with its integration (Al-Bataineh & Brooks, 2003). Oblinger (2005) maintains that responsibility for classrooms rests with different departments at different institutions, and that the stakes are too high for inadequate design.

Funding for high technology secondary classrooms is sometimes overlooked as grand plans are made for these projects (Voyles, 2006). Budget cuts are often made in the technology line items when funds are insufficient for a project (Johnson & Lomas, 2005). In order to meet the needs of faculty and students, proper processes, designs, training, and support should lead to increased effectiveness and higher satisfaction. Zandvliet and Fraser (2005) demonstrated that physical factors in classroom environments can contribute to student satisfaction by subtly influencing the psychosocial aspects of the classroom.

Teacher satisfaction is also linked to the level of support and access to faculty development and assistance to design and use of high-technology in their classrooms (Hartman & Truman-Davis, 2001). Goal Statement The goal of the study is to know the impact of technology integration that includes standard practices, policies and procedures, stakeholder involvement, ongoing budget and equipment replacement allocation, and technical support in the secondary classroom. My home school with the faculty and students will provide the data related to the impact of and their satisfaction with the different technology integration in their classroom.

The anticipated outcome of the study is to establish a comprehensive view of best practices so that secondary classrooms have a process for integrating technology into the learning environment and providing support for those tools during future construction and renovation projects. A classroom standards document will be developed that incorporated the findings of the study. Research Questions 1. How may learning needs and different kinds of learning experiences be met and extended with the integration of technology in the classroom? 2.

How do teachers and students judge technology in the classrooms for effective teaching and learning? What are their levels of satisfaction with such classrooms? 3. What standards, if any, are used by secondary classrooms for classroom design and technology integration? Who develops and maintains the standards? 4. What components and technologies are included in various levels of classroom design in secondary schools ? What new technologies are being considered for future implementation? 5. How are ongoing funding, support, and upkeep of installed technology coordinated?

Relevance and Significance Strauss (2002) maintains that in order to get the most benefit from technology, secondary educators must stop insisting on applying it to the old talk-and-chalk paradigm; maintaining this paradigm is one important reason why secondary education has not seen a large return on its investment in classroom technology. Giving consideration to the many issues surrounding design of the instructional space must begin at the start of the planning process and be carried through to the end.

There is no single award-winning or “perfect” classroom, so a thorough investigation of instructional tools designed to support the curriculum is necessary (Riley & Gallo, 2000; Day, 2003; Craig, 2006b). Establishing standards and using them in all rooms, even those designed by different vendors, will help to ensure that rooms look and function like others on classrooms (Craig, 2006b). By identifying standard practices, using common terms, and developing an overview of technology integration, my home school will have a more level playing field and be able to work with vendors and integrators more easily.

By studying the different models of technology integration on campus and gathering effectiveness and satisfaction data from faculty and students, future classroom projects can employ the best practices and models identified as a result of the study. Tomei (2002) maintains that teachers should be able to model technology (use it routinely as a teaching and learning tool), demonstrate technology (exhibit it via classroom discussion), and apply technology (promote its use by students to augment their learning).

These ideas should be applied to the design of integrated classroom technology as well. While each schools will maintain its own unique designs and practices that meet specific needs, teachers and administrators and classroom teachers will be better equipped to plan, budget, design, install, and support classroom technology by being able to reference the practices and standards already in place. Strong and Kidney (2004) describe a process that uses academic- related committees and departments to ensure that a pedagogical approach would be used.

A long-range classroom technology plan was developed to address purposes, standards, support staffing, and estimated costs for classroom improvements. After teacher and student satisfaction and needs survey results will be compiled, the long-range plan for technology standards in high-end classrooms was developed. The end result of planning should be a more effective and satisfying instructional environment that will enhance the teaching and learning activities of teachers and students.

Satisfaction is often largely dependent on the environment, ergonomics, training, staff partnerships, seamless fusion of technologies, and effective integration into the curriculum (Coppola & Thomas, 2000). Scope of the Investigation There is no single, award-winning classroom design (Day, 2003). Without a perfect design model, it is important to investigate as many options as possible before final decisions are made (Riley & Gallo, 2000). The study will investigate the use of technology in secondary level classroom.

Several researchers and instructional technology experts have stated that these issues must be addressed during any classroom construction or renovation project (Laverty et al. , 2003; Niemeyer, 2003; Zuckerman, 2004; Craig, 2005; Long & Ehrmann, 2005; Voyles, 2006). Both teachers and students served as the data points at the researcher’s school, and they judged the instructional effectiveness with integration of classroom technology as well as their satisfaction with it.

The challenges and benefits of classroom technology addressed will also be investigated by others such as Passerini and Granger (2000), Al-Bataineh and Brooks (2003), Brown (2005a, 2005b), Long and Ehrmann (2005), and Oblinger (2005). Instructional effectiveness of technology integrated classroom environments were investigated by Hanley (2001); Heinecke, Milman, Washington, and Blasi (2001); Susskind (2005); Apperson, Laws, and Scepansky (2006); Voyles (2006); and Zandvliet and Fraser (2005) will be addressed via the data collection instruments.

Summary The wide variety of technology integration in the secondary level classrooms and the numerous processes used to plan, design, and install those rooms provides a unique opportunity to investigate this area of instructional technology. While schools attempt to balance the demands of administrators, teachers, students, and technology integrators, they must continue to move ahead with technology integration and facility improvements.

Technology staff could be better prepared to manage these projects if they had access to standards, consistent and reliable information, and best practices and processes employed by sister institutions. The study will collect data and information in an attempt to establish such standards and practices for one school that could also benefit other schools in the future. Studying instructional effectiveness and teacher and student satisfaction of high-technology classrooms is beneficial in establishing these standards and preparing for future classroom projects.


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