In developing the most recent National Education Technology Plan, the U.S. Department of Education (2004) enlisted the aide of America's students, the Millennial Generation. A survey of these tech-savvy students demonstrated that, “they have a better understanding of the intricacies and opportunities presented by the technological revolution than many of their elders, notably including a generation of teachers and administrators” (p.16 ). Studies suggest that for these students, “the Internet appears to have stimulated interest in learning in general and, in particular, a revival of interest in researching and innovating using technology” (p.10). Their use of information and communication technologies reach even to the youngest ages with the largest group of new Internet users being 2-5 year olds (p.66).
Given the emphasis on technology as a teaching/learning tool coupled with the “tech-savvy” uniqueness of the Millennial Generation, it would seem that schools would embrace technology to engage students in new ways and transcend the walls of the traditional classroom. The question is, “How is technology being used in the classroom with this generation of students who have come of age with computer technology?” This paper addresses the question of technology use through a discussion of current uses of technology and reports on the results of qualitative study of technology use in ten U. S. schools.
In order to provide a comprehensive profile of current uses of technology for teaching and learning, the researchers visited 10 U.S. school districts geographically dispersed so as to represent each region of the country. Semi-structured interviews, which best fit the qualitative paradigm, were conducted with elementary and secondary teachers and administrators from schools identified as technology-proficient within their school districts. Prevalent themes derived from the interviews address the following questions: Why use technology? How is technology used? What factors affect the use of technology? What is the future of technology?
|Keywords:||K-12 Technology Use, Best Uses of Technology, Role of Technology, Benefits and Impediments to Effective Integration|
Professor, Department of Educational Technology, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, USA
Professor, Divison of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, College of Education, University of Idaho, USA
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