Date of Award

2-6-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Joyce E. Many - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Laurie B. Dias

Third Advisor

Dr. Dana L. Fox

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ewa McGrail

Abstract

Georgia has invested millions of dollars for technology and teacher technology training in order to prepare students for a technological society (Brackett, Henry, & Weathersby, 1999; Hinton, 2003). While technology affects all teachers, language arts teachers are also challenged to teach multiple literacies (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, & Cammack, 2004). This study investigated the extent that professional development programs impact the language arts teachers’ classroom practice (Bebell, Russell, & O’Dwyer, 2004; Young & Bush, 2004). This case study research explored three high school language arts teachers’ experiences with integrating technology after having participated in a state-mandated professional development course on technology. Rogers’ (1995) Adoption and Diffusion Model was used as a framework in order to understand the factors that influence adoption of innovations and to explore factors that act as barriers or enhance the adoption process. An emergent qualitative research design was used to investigate the following research questions: (1) In what ways do high school language arts teachers integrate technology into their curriculum after completion of said course? (2) To what extent are these practices representative of the experiences addressed in the professional development course? (3) What are teachers’ perceptions of technology integration in the language arts classroom? Data sources included formal interviews, video-taped lessons, observational field notes, teacher portfolios, and other written communications to supplement face to face interviews. A constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Lincoln & Guba, 1985) was used throughout the study by assigning each piece of data a code and category, which was revised and modified as new data were incorporated (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992). Rigor was established through member checks and triangulation of the data. Four themes emerged from the data: (a) technology was adopted as a tool, (b) TAFT resulted in engagement and enthusiasm for using technology, (c) restrictions on time impacted technology integration, and (d) available technology sat idle. Although technology was not used to its fullest potential, the discussion emphasizes that technology training led to technology implementation and impacted classroom practice. The teachers’ perceived attributes of the technologies, and their stance and perceptions of literacy and technology affected their technology integration and determined their adoption and adaptation of technologies.

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