High School Teachers’ Perceptions Concerning Technology Integration Into the Curriculum

Introduction

Students are able to relate better with technology driven lessons rather than through traditional methods of teaching. This is evidenced by studies such as those by Lih-Juan (2007) that compared the traditional method of education with that of technology driven lessons. It was shown that computer programs and gadgets, such as iPads, turned ordinary lessons into more interactive sessions which enabled students to learn in a “fun” way. This resulted in higher levels of student interest which resulted in greater lesson retention and even curiosity regarding new lessons that were to be presented. Such results are often hard to achieve utilizing traditional methods of teaching and shows how technology can be incorporated into present day curriculums in such a way that they enhance the learning experience of students.

Based on the example above, it can be stated that technology is an important tool within the current system of education since it allows teachers to provide students with an engaging and interactive learning environment. Lih-Juan (2007) defined technology integration into modern day curriculums as: “using technology to enhance instruction and to create rich environments to help each individual student develop a depth of understanding and critical thinking skills”. The development of greater levels of understanding and critical thinking skills is in part due to the flexibility and level of interaction that can be achieved through technology inspired lessons.

Students can benefit immensely from the use of technology in classroom lessons since it allows them to actively participate and contribute instead of playing a passive role in their classroom (i.e. merely sitting down and listening to the teacher.) In essence, technology driven education helps to create better students through a greater degree of interaction with the lesson which creates more self-directed learning initiatives from students.

At the present, the utilization of technology in learning curriculums has become a popular method of teaching students due to the manner in which it is easily accessible, affordable and allows students to have greater control over their learning experience. Technology, in essence, is an important facet of the modern day classroom since it creates a greater degree of interaction between teacher and student. Since this level of interaction did not exist before the advent of present day technology, it can be stated that the face of education is changing wherein students in the twenty-first century are in a position not only as learners, but as consumers. For example, the work of Torkzadeh, Chang, and Hardin (2011) states that information technology has influenced the nature of work, the process of learning, and ways of accomplishing organizationally relevant tasks. With the advent of new technologies, people have started to experiment with new ways of carrying out their tasks from which the process of teaching and learning has greatly benefitted.

It is based on the apparent benefits of using technology in present day classroom environments that this qualitative phenomenological research study will investigate the perspective of high school teachers, located within an urban school district, concerning the use of technology in their curriculum.

Dissertation outline

The dissertation will consist of the following parts:

  • Chapter 1 will contain the introduction, background of the study, the study limitations as well as its aims and objectives.
  • Chapter 2 will consist of a literature review detailing the various aspects of technology use in education
  • Chapter 3 will consist of the methodology that will be utilized in the study as well as the means by which data was collected.
  • Chapter 4 will contain the results of the study and will discuss the implications of the results.
  • Chapter 5 will consist of the conclusion and recommendation section of the paper.

Purpose of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to examine the perspective of high school teachers regarding the use of technology in classroom environments and whether they believe it would create beneficial results for their students in terms of greater interest in learning. This study will seek to know if utilizing technology is an effective way of creating greater levels of student participation and self-directed learning which would result in better critical thinking and knowledge based skill sets.

To accomplish this, the study will utilize data analysis via survey results gathered from teachers. To this end, what this study will attempt to accomplish is to gather data from high schools in urban location and create a comparison between current literature on educational trends involving the use of education and whether teachers believe that, from a practical standpoint, technology can help to create better students through increased motivation in the lessons that they are being taught.

Scope and Limitations

The independent variable in this study consists of the academic literature that will be gathered by the researcher for the literature review while the dependent variable will consist of the responses gained from the teachers that will be recruited for this study. It is anticipated that through a correlation between literature on the current state of technology use in education and the responses of the teachers, the researcher will in effect be able to make a logical connection regarding the current effectiveness of technology based learning initiatives.

Overall, the data collection process is expected to be uneventful; however, some challenges may be present in collecting data involving digital marketing and current livestock marketing practices that are to be utilized in this study. Such issues though can be resolved through access to online academic resources such as EBSCO hub, Academic Search Premier, Master FILE Premier, Newspaper Source Plus, and AP News Monitor Collection as well as other such online databases which should have the necessary information. Relevant books were also included in the review. It must be noted that the time constraint for this particular study only allows structured surveys with an unrepresentative number of people, and also a limited amount of flexibility when conducting the data collection.

The main weakness of this study is in its reliance on survey results as the primary source of data. There is always the possibility that the responses could be false or that the teacher in question really does not know anything at all about technology use in curriculums. While this can be resolved by backing up the data with relevant literature, it still presents itself as a problem that cannot be easily remedied.

Background

In an attempt to ensure students are have developed the necessary aptitude in the usage of technology for college and careers, some schools are moving away from the No Child Left Behind act and are participating in the College and Career Ready Performance Index. A waiver of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act was granted to 10 states. This waive allows school districts within those 10 states to participate in the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) for statewide accountability, which will start with the 2012-2013 school year (www.doe.k12.ga.us, 2012).

The CCRPI uses Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to evaluate the readiness of students for college and careers. The introduction of CCSS may call for the use of technology within the classroom in an attempt to help teachers engage the students and it may help teachers fulfill educational technology requirements. Several benefits exist for integrating technology into the classroom but some teachers face barriers during the implementing phase of technology integration into their curriculum.

According to Laurillard (2007), the expectation of technology enhanced learning is to make a radical difference to education, specifically, the quality and effectiveness of the learning experience. It is also expected that one of its key contributions will be to make personalized learning a reality. In the current age of wide spread and readily accessible education, it must be questioned whether in the pursuit of making education more accessible various academic institutions have neglected to focus on making lessons more viable in terms of motivating students to learn instead of making it easier for them to obtain a high school degree.

Institutions vie for attendance numbers, graduation rates, and job placements each of which translates into dollars – both from government funding sources and from the students themselves, however, it must be questioned whether such institutions are actually able to impart to students the technological aptitude necessary to succeed in college and workplace environments. When technology is properly used, it may help students develop the skills needed to be successful in a highly technological knowledge-based economy.

Technology may also assist teachers with developing an engaging and effective learning environment for their students. For example, the website, Georgiastandards.org (2011), provides teachers with a link titled Teacher Tools for Integrating Technology, which lists technology-rich sites frequently used by educators in creating teaching and learning activities. Links to these sites include access to quiz generators, courses, lesson authoring tools, flashcards, presentation tools, and more. With the multiple resources available to teachers to help them engage students in the classroom and help provide a stimulating and effective lesson, the question that arises is why some teachers are not taking advantage of these opportunities.

Several states were granted a waiver of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which left states the opportunity to take advantage of the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The targeted state for this study, Georgia is located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia was one of the 10 states given the opportunity to participate in the CCRPI. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a state-led initiative and not a federal mandate. According to Common Core State Standards Initiative (2011), the common core standards enhance the state performance standards and ensure that the students will be taught a world-class curriculum that will prepare them for college or a career.

According to Hill (2011), the goal of CCSS workgroups is to create a system of standards that focused on consistent results, unlike the current system of standards, which differ from state to state. With a cross-curriculum emphasis these core curriculum standards promote growing text complexity, an increased use of technology for sharing information and concepts, and a content-rich curriculum. Participating in the CCRPI will elevate the use of technology in the classroom because the goal of the CCRPI is to prepare students for college and a career.

Colleges are increasingly using technology-based learning wherein they require students to internalize more information via digitized articles than most high schools. As a result, the readings that are given are increasingly more complex and difficult to internalize. According to Hill (2011), both college textbooks and workplace reading tends to exceed a grade 12 complexity level resulting in the need for better critical thinking skills in order to understand and internalize the lesson material. Not only that, college professors increasingly assign more readings from scientific/academic journals and magazines where the word utilization is often of a higher academic caliber than most students are used to. This results in the necessity of developing the academic capacity of students early on while they are in high school so that they will be prepared for the rigors of either college level education or the complexities found in the workplace.

Technology is an important factor in a successful college experience and in careers. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2011), technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of American’s daily lives and work and, as such, it must leveraged to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences, content as well as resources and assessments that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways. While technology provides many advantages to teachers and students, many schools are falling behind with the integration of technology in the learning environment of students. Some schools are beginning to explore the potential of technology within the classrooms but some teachers are reluctant to integrate technology into their curriculum.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics or NCES (2010), 97% of teachers in the United States had one or more computers in the classroom every day, whereas 54% could bring computers into the classroom. Internet access was available for 93% of the computers in the classroom every day and for 96% of the computers that could be brought into the classroom. The ratio of students to computers in the classroom every day was 5.3 to one (NCES, 2010). Although 97% of teachers had access to computers daily in the classroom, teachers reported that they or their students used computers in the classroom during instructional time often at only 40% or sometimes at 29% (NCES, 2010). Teachers reported that they or their students used computers in other locations in the school during instructional time within a school day often at 20% or sometimes at 43% (NCES 2010), which may be viewed as a problem for educational leaders.

Problem Statement

According to the Fulton County School District’s website (2010), Fulton County Schools have been offering technology training to all teachers for years, however, it has had limited impact on the implementation of technology based education initiatives within classrooms. An important factor for effective integration of technology is the teacher’s ability to integrate instructional technology activities to meet the needs of students. According to Gorder (2008), teachers focus on teaching students technology skills which include actually knowing how to utilize that type of technology in the first place. However, many teachers are not comfortable with the needed skills of integration and active learning which are necessary when using technology as a means of teaching students.

One point of view on this matter comes from the perspective of Bauer and Kenton (2005) who stated that while teachers have the skills and educational capacity to incorporate technology usage in their lesson plans, there was a considerable level of inconsistency in actually seeing them utilize it on a daily basis. One common thread in the discussion over the value of educational technology is the higher level of student engagement in the learning process that technology seems to provide (Hirsch, 2006). Using information technology has a strong positive relationship with student engagement and these results point to a positive link between information technology use and engagement in effective educational practices (Nelson Laird &Kuh, 2005).

The general problem is that despite the impact that technology has on teaching practices and student learning, teachers are not consistently integrating technology into their curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment. Despite reports of increased investments in instructional technology resources, the universality of internet access, computers, and other forms of technology, and the potential of technology to reform or even transform education, educational technologies are yet to be effectively integrated into instruction in most K-12 classrooms (Levin & Wadmany, 2008).This is important because integrating technology into the curriculum may help prepare students for the technological world that they live in.

The problem is that despite the impact that technology has on teaching practices and student learning, an average of 67% of teachers within the Fulton County School District in Georgia are not consistently integrating technology into their curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students (Fulton County Schools: Three-Year Technology Plan, 2009). Some of the possible reasons behind this lack of implementation could be due to a lack of convenient access to computers, inadequate infrastructure, poor planning for the use of technology, and the inexperience of teachers in using technology as a productivity tool (Levin and Wadmany, 2008).

Purpose

The purpose of this proposed qualitative phenomenological study is to investigate the perception of teachers concerning technology integration into the curriculum in a way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students.

Significance of the Study

This study will shed light on the need to integrate technology and digital resources d into learning experiences to ensure that students can succeed and meet the demands of a society engulfed with digital technology (Johnston, 2012). The teacher’s ability to integrate technology successfully in the classroom plays an essential role in the increasing student engagement in the developing their knowledge and understanding of technology as well as how they should use technology in the classroom and in their future. Providing the current school system with the results of this study may help to increase the level of awareness concerning integrating technology into school curriculums. The results will assist with attempting to resolve issues that may hinder teachers who face challenges when attempting to utilize technology as an educational tool. Lastly, from a macro-educational viewpoint, the information gained from this research study may help school districts develop effective professional development courses to serve teachers who lack the necessary skills and knowledge to create technology driven lesson plans.

Research Questions and Sub-Questions

The research questions that will guide this proposed qualitative research study are:

Research Question

What are the perceptions of teachers concerning implementing technology into their curriculum?

  • Sub Question 1: What are the experiences of teachers with technology use in classrooms?
  • Sub Question 2: What are the perceptions of teachers regarding technology’s impact on learning?
  • Sub Question 3: How have teachers been trained on the use of technology within classroom environments?
  • Sub Question 4: What resources are available within the school to address the questions of teachers concerning technology integration into the curriculum and to assist teachers with implementing technology into the curriculum?
  • Sub Question 5: What recommendations would teachers make to enhance the use of technology in the classroom?

Theoretical Framework

Complexity Theory and Students

In the article “A Child of Complexity Theory: by Hase and Kenyon (2007), readers are introduced to the term “heutagogy” which concerns itself with the concept of “learners as the major agents of their own learning” (Hase and Kenyon, 2007). In essence, complexity theory which is advocated for by Hase and Kenyon (2007), explains that: “an individual’s personal experiences determines the means by which they internalize and learn new pieces of information and it is based on experiences that each individual tends to learn the same type of lesson in different ways”. They state that it is a mistaken belief that teachers can control an individual’s learning experience; instead, a teacher is merely a means of transferring knowledge and skills with the personal experiences of the learner determining how their learning experience is created (Hase and Kenyon, 2007)

. It is based on this that Hase and Kenyon (2007) make the assumption that what is necessary in modern day curricula is not a set standard as determined by the educational institution, rather, what is necessary is the development of a “living” curriculum that centers itself on the experiences of the learner as the key driver towards education.

This means that a certain level of adjustment needs to be taken into consideration based on the learner wherein it is under their prerogative that the process of learning is implemented. It is in this scenario where the concept of technology driven education enters into the picture. Through technology, the development of a “living curriculum“ as stated by Hase and Kenyon (2007) is possible which emphasizes on delivering a better and more interactive learning experience as compared to traditional classroom environments.

Based on complexity theory, it can be seen that it is not the teacher that drives the learning experience, rather, they are mere facilitators of information and that it is up to the student to implement their own methods of self-directed learning. Ordinarily this would be a difficult process given issues with motivation, however, through the use of technology students become more interested in the curriculum and are thus more likely to want to learn and experience more due to greater levels of interest.

The views of Hase and Kenyon (2007) state that the major flaw in present day methods of education is that they create a “mold”, so to speak, in which students are expected to conform in order to learn. However, as seen in the case of “heutagogy” this is a major mistake given that an individual’s personal experience dictates the most effective method for learning. It is when an individual’s desire for self-directed learning clashes with the set models created by an educational institution that often resulted in them getting low grades due to a lack of motivation since they are not learning in the way that they desire (Hase and Kenyon, 2007). One solution to such an issue is the use of technology wherein students can dictate the manner and rate that they learn through their choice of an appropriate technological learning experience.

Garrison and Baynton (1987) explains that independence within the learning process can be defined as “the freedom to choose one’s learning objectives, learning activities, and methods of evaluation. This assumes not only that there are alternatives available but also that the individual is aware of these alternatives and free from coercion regarding their choice”(Garrison and Baynton, 1987). Such a concept is attributable to present day students in high school who do require a considerable degree of independence when it comes to their individual methods of learning. Concepts related to autonomy, choice and the ability to choose the manner in which they learn are processes which are necessary for high school students in order to be able to learn within a setting of their choice.

The concept of independence by Garrison and Baynton (1987) can be thought of as a manner in which these varied needs are solidified into a distinct whole wherein it can be stated that independence is a major component of the framework necessary for high school students to actually obtain an advanced degree. Without a degree of independence in the manner in which they study, it is likely that they would be unable to cope with the learning process and would most likely drop out of the course, distance learning or otherwise.

It is based on this that Handler (2011) explains that instead of promoting one type of teaching model over another, a far better approach would be to focus on the development of self directed learning initiatives wherein students take it upon themselves to learn based on an actual desire to learn instead of thinking of a lesson as nothing more than a prerequisite to completing a course. Handler (2011) posits that one of the fundamental failures in the present day system of education is that many students view a subject that they are taking up as a prerequisite to graduation instead of the learning experience that it is.

Such a viewpoint, Handler (2011) explains, has an observable and measurable impact on student performance whether for students in grade school, high school or college wherein students that have an actual interest and passion for the subject matter that is being taught show a markedly higher performance as compared to those who view the subject as nothing more than a prerequisite. Other studies such as those by Watson et al. (2008) add to this viewpoint by explaining that what is needed in the case of present day teaching models is the creation of motivating factors in line with course completion that encourage self directed learning.

The motivating factors in this case come in the form of technology based solutions such as more interactive lessons that can be conducted through an iPad or computer. This helps to create a more mentally stimulating environment which piques the interest of students resulting in a greater level of motivation to learn and perform both inside and outside of the classroom.

Summary

Technology is changing the way faculty teach and students learn as it becomes a critical compoment to the educational experience, opening more opportunities for the learner than can be encompassed by one campus (Al Musawi, 2011). Technology is changing many aspects of education. It is changing the way students learn, it assists teachers with creating interactive effective lessons, and employees use it in the workplace as well as education. With the waiver from the NCLB act and more schools taking advantage of the CCRPI technology, this may support the success of students in their college and career experiences. Integrating technology into the curriculum has many benefits but many teachers are still not integrating technology into their curriculum consistently. According to Leonard and Leonard (2006), despite the widespread expectation that teachers routinely integrate technology into the curriculum to facilitate student achievement, there is substantial evidence that this is not occurring either in the manner or to the degree desirable.

Lack of convenient access to computers, inadequate infrastructure, poor planning for the use of technology, and the relative inexperience of teachers in using technology as a productivity tool are some factors that may affect the perception teachers regarding the use of technology integration into their curriculum. According to Schrum and Glasset (2006), other factors that present challenges to implementing technology into the curriculum include inadequate funding, access to equipment, lack of time, and comfort, or knowledge about the technology. Further research into the literature will provide critical points of current knowledge, including substantive findings as well as theoretical contributions to the research findings.

Review of the literature

Introduction to Literature

This section reviews and evaluates literature and theories on the use of technology in classroom curriculums as well as methods that are often incorporated into technology based methods of education in order to motivate students and increase their overall performance. This section thus discusses various aspects related to motivational practices, the impact of technology on developing student learning outcomes, teaching styles as well as current practices involved in creating better educational practices. Several resources were used to acquire information concerning potential problems that teachers face when integrating technology into the curriculum. These include but are not limited to peer-reviewed journals from the University of Phoenix’s ProQuest database, EBSCOhost database, Gale PowerSearch database, ProQuest Dissertation and Thesis database, Dissertations and Theses @ University of Phoenix database, and Google Scholar. Articles used were retrieved from industry websites including the Fulton County School District, the Georgia Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics: Institute of Education Science, and the United States Department of education. These resources were used to gain information concerning the impact of technology on learning, to investigate potential barriers to technology integration, to investigate gaps in the literature, and to research the historical overview of instructional technology.

Historical Overview

Educational technology has been around for a long time and with the continued advancements in technology based teaching practices; this has altered the way students learn tremendously. According to Al Musawi (2011), technology has become a critical component to the educational experience, providing more opportunities for the learner than any campus or classroom. Advances in technology mean that it can be an effective tool in learning and development. According to Reiser and Dempsey (2007), through the 1920s and the 1930s, technological advances in such areas as sound recordings, radio broadcasting, and sound motion pictures led to an increase in interest in instructional media. According to Betrus and Molenda (2002), access to technology grew as well as the use of media in schools within the 1930s. New technologies emerged in association with audio recording and playback. A review of the literature will provide an outline of educational technology throughout the years. Reiser and Gagne (1983) defined instructional media as the physical means via which instruction is presented to learners.

Schools have been using technology since before the 1960s. In the early 1960s technology use included the record player, the movie projector, the slide projector, and the overhead projector. According to Widzinski (2010), the first sound recordings made their way into academic libraries in the late 1920s but media centers were not yet the norm in libraries and recordings were part of general or special collections. It was not until the 1960s that sound recordings became an integral part of education as a learning tool for language labs (Widzinski, 2010). These technologies were not complicated and they provided teachers with useful resources to complement instruction for their students and keep their students engaged.

Audiovisual instruction started to increase between 1947 and 1957. According to Betrus and Molenda (2002), the period between 1947 and 1957 saw a rapid increase in the number of institutions offering an introductory course in audiovisual instruction. Making a leap forward through technology, the headphones were introduced in the 1950s which allowed students to learn different languages and enhanced their learning experience. The idea of utilizing headphones in education came from the theory that students could learn from repetition. Schools developed listening stations using audio tapes to allow students to listen to repeated drills in an effort to learn a lesson or a new language. Listening stations are still in use today within education through the use of computers instead of audio tapes which allow students to repeat a drill easily.

In the 1950s, educational television was introduced. According to Witt (1963), television, as a medium of instruction, was one of the most spectacular and significant developments of the 1950s and by 1963 more than 65 educational television stations regularly presented instructional programs for educational use. Moving forward from educational television, the Xerox machine came about in 1959 which allowed students and schools to copy the needed materials they required for learning. Today several organizations, businesses, and educational systems use photocopying as a means of copying information for later use.

By the 1970s, the handheld calculator and the overhead projector was introduced to education. According to La (2001), in the 1970s there was hardly a school that did not have at least one overhead projector and many had an opaque projector and a slide projector. The handheld calculator brought about debate regarding how the small system would affect the learning of basic skills. According to Leibson (2006), handheld calculators were becoming more available within schools but within elementary and secondary schools computers were hard to find.

An increase in digital technology innovations appeared in the 1980s and 1990s. This age, also known as the information age, is associated with the proliferation of computers in society which accelerated the transition from an industrial age to an information age (Saettler, 1990). It was during this period of time when teachers began to incorporate a new technological tools in their classroom. One of the eponymous developments that marked this period and led to greater technology use was the development of microcomputers which became available to different markets by the late 1970s. According to Saettler (1990), by the early 1980s school systems began to invest heavily in microcomputers for classroom use and by 1985 it was reported that there were at least one million microcomputers in American elementary and secondary schools. The estimate was as high as three million by 1988 (Saettler, 1990).

Technology continued to evolve which eventually led to the whiteboard in 1999. The whiteboard was a welcomed upgrade from the basic chalkboard. The whiteboard offered interaction from teachers and students through the use of a touch-sensitive white screen, a projector, and a computer. Images are projected onto the whiteboard and teachers or students can add to the images using whiteboard pens, or if the screen is touch sensitive, simply by touching the screen (Clyde, 2004).Whiteboards may benefit teachers within the classrooms in the 21st century but present day students currently have laptop computers, the Apple iPad, and multiple interactive Internet sites at their disposal. The U.S. Department of Education (2012) reported that by 2008, 97% of all public schools had one or more instructional computer in the classrooms and 58% of schools contained laptop carts.

Current Findings

The current findings in the literature include information and studies on the impact of technology use on learning, technology use in college and careers, and factors that may affect the perception of teachers concerning technology integration into the curriculum. Some factors that may affect such perceptions include the availability of technology in the schools, planning and professional development, the attitudes and beliefs of teachers concerning technology and the amount of preparation and support teachers have pertaining to technology.

Impact of Technology Use on Learning

Federal legislation mandates an emphasis on technology integration in K-12 education (U.S. Department of Education, 2011) because technology is playing an important role in connecting students to learning opportunities and assisting teachers with educating students. The expectation of educational leaders is to develop plans that encourage teachers to use effective educational technologies in the classroom in an attempt to produce technologically literate students because of the federal legislation mandate (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). New technologies are making computers portable and an abundance of information and instruction exist through the Internet. These factors are presenting high school teachers with opportunities to enhance and supplement classroom instruction. According to Davies (2011), the directive to integrate instructional technology into teaching and learning equations results from the fundamental belief that teachers can enhance learning through the use of technology and that students need to develop technology skills to be productive members of society.

Technology can be used as a tutor, a teaching aid, and a learning tool. According to Ross, et al. (2010), the oldest and most-researched application of educational technology is computer-assisted instruction. These programs provide tutorial lessons, challenges for students, and drill-and practice exercises adapted to the needs of students. Through the use of graphics and animation, coursework and learning material is more interesting and engaging than the traditional workbooks and textbooks. The use of technology can result in a remarkable transformation of a classroom, leading to better learning outcomes and enjoyment in a given course through increased interaction and engagement of students with their instructor and peers (Bojinova & Oigara, 2011). Technology allows students to practice on skills and core content as the teacher work with other students, assess conduct, or complete other tasks. Teachers can also provide students with remedial instruction if the students are underperforming or provide students with enrichment activities if the students have grasped the information through the use of technology. According to Heemskerk et al. (2011), educational technology can contribute to flexibility in the learning environment through its potential to keep content up-to-date and to address personal learning needs for students.

Teachers can experience several benefits from integrating technology into the learning environment. Educational technology is not a homogeneous intervention but a broad variety of modalities, tools, and strategies for learning; therefore, its effectiveness depends on how well it helps teachers and students achieve the desired instructional goals (Ross et al, 2010). Technology can serve as a tutor, a teaching aid, and as a learning tool. Computer assisted instruction is one of the oldest applications of educational technology. Computer assisted instruction programs provide students with tutorial lessons and it allows students to practice drills adapted to a student’s needs (Ross et al. 2010). One benefit of using technology to tutor students is that technology can provide more interesting and more engaging material than textbooks through the use of animation and graphics.

Self-Determination and Student Learning

Based on the work of Deci and Ryan (2008), self-determination theory can be considered a set of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors that influence an individual’s ability to accomplish a particular set of tasks. In the case of this study, this encompasses the capacity of high school students to initiate and complete a high school (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Deci and Ryan (2008) explain that each individual has a different set of motivating factors that influence their behaviours or activities (Deci and Ryan, 2008). As such, when applying this in the case of high school education, one must look at intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors that impact an individual’s decision-making and motivational processes.

Extrinsic methods of motivation can be described as an external motivating factor that provides satisfaction over the completion of a task in the form of a reward or pleasure at its completion. For high school students, this comes in the form of having more opportunities by having a high school degree, the feeling of accomplishment from completing a course, the level of distinction accorded to them due to the possession of a high school degree as well as a plethora of other factors that can be categorized as a “reward”.

Intrinsic methods of motivation on the other hand are derived from an individual’s pleasure/sense of satisfaction at working at a particular task or, in this case, learning a new course. High school students oriented towards intrinsic motivation are categorically different than their extrinsic counterparts since their desire to learn originates not from factors related to external rewards, rather, it is more along the lines of the pleasure, happiness and joy they derive from learning.

This is an important distinction to take into consideration since Deci and Ryan (2008) explains that individual differences in causal orientation impact the manner in which people view the means that they will accomplish a particular task (Deci & Ryan, 2008). In the case of technology integration in education, this helps to create the necessary intrinsic motivating factors since technology makes the lessons more interesting which leads to a greater motivation to learn due to the sheer amount of interest in wanting to learn more about the subject being taught.

According to Carroll (2011), if teachers use computer-based tasks in the classroom wisely, they can provide a series of teachable moments and the opportunity to explore, expand, and emerge into new ways of learning, participating, and thinking. Through technology, students can practice on core content and skills as the teacher works with other students, assess conduct, or perform other important tasks. Technology can also assist teachers with providing low-achieving students with remedial instruction, providing enrichment activities for students who have grasped the information, and provide supplemental instruction when students do not have access to teachers (Rosset al. 2010).

According to Shoffner (2009), the increasing importance of technology in today’s world challenges teacher educators to create technology-proficient teachers, practitioners who can use existing technology, learn to work with emerging technology, and adapt as needed when confronted with technological issues. The management of education is challenged by new and emerging technologies. Technologies also challenge the traditional process of learning and teaching. Educational reform agendas require teachers to transform their teaching and learning through the use of technology within the curriculum. The use of technology in the classroom may provide new cultural, social, and pedagogical experiences that may challenge the technical abilities of teachers, their expertise, and their knowledge; therefore, the importance of developing technology-proficient teachers is increasing. The best way to prepare students for the future requirements of technology is to make sure teachers have the skills and abilities to successfully integrate and use technology in the classroom (Shoffner, 2009).

Technology Use in College and Careers

The current wider paradigm of technology guidance is recognized as a crucial dimension of lifelong learning and promoting both social and economic goals (Vuorinen et al. 2011). Technology in K-12 will help students during their higher education experience because technology builds a strong foundation for an individual’s educational experience and professional life. Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of training, education, and the labor market through technology’s contribution to reducing the drop-out rate, preventing skill mismatches, and boosting economic productivity is an example of the current wider paradigm of technology (Vuorinen et al., 2011). The integration of technology in the K-12 educational environment servers several purposes and two of these purposes includes increasing the technological skills and knowledge of students while at the same time helping to prepare them for the workforce. According to Smolin and Lawless (2011), teachers can use technology to transform the teaching and learning context in a way that will position their students for future opportunities in the global context, preparing them for the interconnected world that technology has helped to make possible.

In a volatile job market, employers may be looking for individuals who possess skills that can be transferred across jobs such as skills using modern technology. Technological literate people may possess knowledge, ways of thinking, acting, and capabilities that assist them as they interact with the technology found in their work environments (Pearson & Young, 2002). The challenge of ensuring that students are proficient in multiple technology skills is taken on by educators to help students be competitive in the job market. An increase in computer-based careers has increased within the past few years. According to Ritz (2011), Engineering professions are encouraging schools to teach engineering principle at the high school level in an attempt to attract young people to engineering careers. These trends are aimed at keeping the United States competitive through the generation of technological innovations. Careers such as software engineering, web design, programming, and data management are in high demand but the need for technological knowledge is not limited to computer-based jobs. The need for technological knowledge in jobs can be found in several job markets. Whether a cashier, educator, assistants, or accountants employees will find that some sort of technology is essential for the job(Ritz, 2011).

National Educational Technology Standards for Students or NETS-S have been established by the International Society for Technology in Education to help graduating students entering the workforce to be successful in the global job market (www.iste.org/NETS, 2011). Students in the 21 century need to be technology literate to be competitive. School districts across the country use NETS as a reference or have adopted its standards to ensure students receive a broad working knowledge of the technology commonly used in the digital age. Technology will be used in a student’s higher education experience at some point. According to Venable (2010), even students thought of as traditional are likely to take an online course at some point in their undergraduate programs, and it is more likely that first year college students will have to complete online courses before they even begin college.

Constructivist Principles

Constructivist philosophy involves building new concepts into the ideas and beliefs already held by students and teachers (Baumgartner & Duncan, 2009). Constructivist learning represents the assimilation of new ideas into existing worldviews and the shifting of those worldviews to accommodate the new ideas. Learners are viewed as actively engaged in developing meaning by a constructivist perspective. A large part of constructivism derived the works of Bruner (1962, 1979), Piaget (1970), Vygotsky (1962, 1978), and Papert (1980, 1983). This theory based on social cognitivism assumes that individuals, behaviors, and environments interact in a reciprocal fashion (Shunk, 2000). Constructivism states learning takes place in contexts, and that learners construct much of what they understand and learn as a function of their experiences in situations.

Technology and constructivism both focus on the development of the learning environment, which can also be viewed as contexts. These learning environments or contexts can be seen in which knowledge-building tools and the means to create and manipulate artifacts of understanding are provided. It is not one in which concepts are explicitly taught rather it is a place where learners work together and support each other as they use a variety of tools and learning resources in their pursuit of learning goals and problem-solving activities (Hannfin & Hill, 2002, p. 77).

This theoretical framework also helps to explain the perceptions of teachers concerning technology integration because their perception play a role in the amount of effort and time that teachers put into developing a learning environment that includes technology. According to Leonard and Leonard (2006), indications are that much of the technology in schools is underused as many teachers decline opportunities to apply technology for instructional purposes or simply feel that they cannot afford the time to refine the requisite computer skills.

Situated Cognition Principles

Many teachers emphasize the idea that situated cognition can bring benefits in improving career competence (Tzu-Chiang, Ying-Shao, & Yeong-Jing, 2011). The idea of situated cognition is appropriate for depicting the professional development of teachers in education. One way to enrich cognition among teachers is through practical experiences in an authentic teaching context. Teachers may benefit from a teacher education program that provides pedagogical knowledge and teaching experience. Using situated cognition principles, teachers may be able to improve their teaching competence in an authentic classroom setting. This proposed qualitative phenomenological study will attempt to further develop the theoretical construct of situated cognition as the basis for increasing the development of technology integration skill for K-12 teachers. The construct of situated cognition is appropriate for this proposed study because this study focus on a teacher’s ability to make appropriate decisions concerning technology integration into the curriculum and their teaching to improve student learning. Leaning normally happens during an activity that occurs in a context and a culture; that is, people build knowledge structures and learn skill sets in specific physical and social contexts (Szymanski & Morrell, 2009).

Potential Barriers to Technology Integration

Teachers are beginning to embrace technology within their classes to enhance their teaching, engage students, and complement the learning material but the process is slow. According Lih-Juan ChanLin (2007), teachers believe that the use of computer technology is a useful tool for teaching and learning, but uncertainty exists when teachers try to adjust to a new teaching tool and a new teaching philosophy that only a few of them have learned to apply. For teachers to effectively use technology in the classroom they must prepare themselves for potential barriers that they may face when integrating technology into the classroom. According to An and Reigeluth (2011), despite generally improved conditions for technology integration including increased access to technology, increased training for teachers, and research efforts for improving technology integration practices, high-level technology use is still low.

Technology integration can be a challenge for teachers and education leaders. Teachers must be willing and able to use technology effectively in their teaching to realize the benefits that the technology can offer (Lih-Juan& ChanLin, 2007). Rather than using technology in the ways that the literature suggests, teachers tend to use technology mostly for communication and low-level tasks, such as word processing, drill-and-practice activities, and exploring websites, many of which align minimally with core pedagogical goals (Brush & Saye, 2009). Current findings in the literature concerning barriers that teachers face when attempting to integrate technology into the curriculum suggests that barriers include the availability of technology, lack of planning and professional development, teachers’ attitudes toward technology, and lack of time and support.

Availability of Technology

The use of technology in society and education as a means of communication, a tool of education, and a channel for marketing is an element that is shaping and redefining individuals’ environment and community. According to An and Reigeluth (2011), students growing up in the 2000s are known as digital natives or the Net Generation indicating they have technology in many aspects of their lives.Technology has provided teachers and students with several opportunities that did not exist just a few years ago. With the World Wide Web people can access volumes of information immediately, procure goods and services, earn degrees, and communicate instantaneously on a global basis. According to Rohaan, Taconis, and Jochems (2010), people should know and understand their technological environment because the technological world is developing fast and technology is taking a constantly growing place in society.

Teachers are aware of the many benefits of using technology in education, which include providing students with challenging lessons, remedial coursework for underachieving students, and providing enrichment activities for students who understand the material.According to Franklin (2007), teachers believe that computers and technology provide students with opportunities to develop and implement new ideas butdespite the many benefits of technology some teachers are still lagging behind in the integration of technology in the classroom. According to Aslan and Reigeluth (2011), greater availability of technology tools does not necessarily mean more technology use in the classroom. Schools opened their doors to computer technology in the 1950s, but technology has yet to enter several classrooms because ofbarriers including lack of resources. Research in the past decade has shown that computer technology is an effective means for widening educational opportunities, but most teachers neither use technology as an instructional delivery system nor integrate technology into their curriculum (Bauer & Kenton, 2005).

Technology within the classroom is a tool for learning and students should be offered an opportunity to explore different technological applications within the classroom, but unfortunately some educational institutions do not prioritize acquiring sufficient technology for the classrooms. PBS and Grunwald Associates LLC’s national research report on teacher’s media use, entitled “Deepening Connections: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology,” (2010), indicated an insufficient capacity of computing devices and technology infrastructure to handle teachers’ Internet-dependent instructional activity.

Planning and Professional Development

Several issues affect technology integration and one is professional development for teachers. The importance of encouraging educational leaders to promote educational technology for both teachers and students was explored by Gulbahar (2007). Educational leaders can provide teachers with professional development courses to assist teachers with technology integration, provide teachers support, and to encourage teachers to integrate technology into their classroom. Although the factors that affect technology integration in general and how to improve professional development efforts, is found in a wealth of literature few studies have examined issues related to learner-centered technology integration (An & Reigeluth, 2011).

When teachers encounter problems during technology integration, and there is a lack of technical support and personnel this may cause teachers frustration. According to Szymanski (2009), research found that providing a situated cognitive perspective that includes elements identified as effective for professional development that meet teacher needs has a positive impact on teachers’ ability to effectively integrate technology into their curriculum. Lack of support causes problems and frustration for teachers and students. Some teachers lack technology skills and pedagogy in using technology, whereas others are unwilling to try because of anxiety, lack of interest, or lack of motivation (Wachira & Keengwe. 2011). Lack of support, skills, interest and motivation may cause teachers to need more time, patience, and motivation during technology integration and the development of required technology skills. According to An and Reigeluth (2011), research suggest that professional development efforts move their focus from building teachers’ isolated technical skills to preparing teachers to implement technology-enhanced, learner-centered instruction.

Teachers may not have a well-developed foundation for technology-enhanced instruction so it is critical for educational leaders to provide teachers with adequate professional development opportunities to support technology integration for teachers. According to Shu Chien and Franklin (2011), the efficiency of professional development influences the adoption and integration of technology in classroom practice. Evidence suggests the more teachers participate in professional development, the more they implement technologies into their instruction and the more confident they are in the use of technology (Chen, 2008). Providing teachers with professional development that is developed to meet individual needs, providing emotional and physical support, encouraging and developing a community of learners, and building a foundation of learning in a “situated context” may be an effective strategy in encouraging teachers to gain confidence and skill in integrating and using technology in the curriculum and their teaching.

Without adequate and appropriate training teachers may believe they do not have support concerning the integration of technology. Integrating technology into the curriculum in a meaningful way that goes beyond the basic use of computers such as word processing and surfing the Internet may be a challenge for many teachers.Support from educational leaders through professional development courses may be appropriate and necessary for teachers. According to Smolin and Lawless (2011), professional development is a necessary component for effectively integrating technology into classrooms. According to Overbaugh and Lu (2008), a considerable number of studies have documented that professional development enhances teachers’ beliefs of self-efficacy regarding the integration and implementation of technology for practical instruction.

Teachers’ Attitudes and Beliefs Concerning Technology

The attitudes of teachers play an important role in teacher’s decisions on resources that they choose to use for instructional purposes. According to Chen (2008), research findings indicate that teachers’ beliefs play an important role in their deciding how they will integrate technology into the classroom. Individual’s beliefs and attitudes may play more of a role in predictors of performance than knowledge during the planning and executing phase of instruction.

Some teachers are unwilling or afraid to learn additional information on how to integrate technology in a meaningful way within the classroom with students regardless of the student’s needs. Teachers’ attitudes toward technology have an effect on students’ attitudes toward technology. According to Rohaan et al. (2010), it is found that teacher knowledge is essential for stimulating a positive attitude toward technology in pupils.

The urgency and importance of using modern technology in the classroom may be seen as a priority if treated as such by administrators and educational leaders which could persuade teachers to be competently and sufficiently supported and trained to use technology in the classroom, lesson planning, and programming and assessments of student learning.Administrators can play an important role in determining how well technology is used in schools, by gaining a thorough understanding of computer technology’s capabilities, embracing the use of technology in their own professional lives, and by taking a leadership role in using technology effectively and efficiently (Kara-Soteriou, 2009). Lack of technological leadership has been recognized as a potential barrier to technology integration. According toWachira and Keengwe (2011), several teachers cited ineffective technological leadership in their institutions as a big challenge to computer technology integration.

Educational leaders are trying different strategies to integrate technology into the schools. A shared vision by educational leaders is one way that educational leaders are attempting to encourage the use of technology into the classroom. According to Kara-Soteriou (2009), educational leaders inspire a shared vision for comprehensive integration of technology and foster an environment and culture conducive to the realization of that vision. Technology availability is on the rise but teachers’ attitudes have not improved. Teachers are not using technology resources, which may be because of teachers’ attitudes toward technology.According to Levin and Wadmany (2008), teachers are slowly incorporating a small amount of technology into their curriculum even though there is a continuous change in the use of computers as technology advances and new applications become available.

According to Hyslop-Margison and Strobel (2008), the appropriate instructional strategy or practical approach is dependent on the desired learning outcome, the individual student, and the situational context.Researchers have suggested that a crucial factor for successful technology integration into the classroom is the teacher because what directly determines the instruction that takes place within the classroom is the teacher and not external educational agendas or requirements (Chen, 2008). Gaining an idea of teacher’s beliefs and attitudes toward technology is important in determining how much technology the teacher will use in the classroom. According to Chen (2008), the relations between a teacher’s beliefs and attitudes and their practices should help to shed light on how teachers make technology-integration decisions.

Preparation and Support

Technology is believed to enhance student learning. Federal legislation in the United States currently mandates that technology be integrated into school curricula because of the popular belief that learning is enhanced through the use of technology (Davies, 2011). Teachers need to properly prepare for technology integration, and they need technical support, leadership support, and peer support. According to Wachira and Keengwe (2011), the need for teacher preparation to integrate technology into his teaching has been voiced by national professional organizations, federal agencies, and teacher education accreditation agencies for over a decade.

Research shows that educational technology has not been integrated into the curriculum at an acceptable level. Despite reports of increased investments in instructional technology resources the near universality of Internet access, computers, and other forms of technology within the nation’s schools and the potential of technology to reform or even transform education, educational technologies are yet to be effectively integrated into instruction in most K-12 classrooms (Levin & Wadmany, 2008).This lack of technology integration in the classroom may be due to the barriers that exist. Barriers to technology integration have been classified into either external or internal barriers. External barriers include unreliability of equipment, lack of equipment, lack of technical support and other resource-related issues. Internal barriers include both school-level factors such as organizational culture and teacher-level factors such as beliefs and attitudes concerning teaching and technology and openness to change (Wachira & Keengwe, 2011).

Technical support and preparation time are important factors during technology integration. Some studies report lack of time, lack of equipment, and lack of training as barriers to technology integration (Bauer & Kenton, 2005). School districts may not have enough technical resources specialists to assist teachers with technology issues within a building, let alone in individual classrooms. Teachers are finding that basic knowledge of simple trouble-shooting technology tasks are beneficial because of the lack of support. Teachers with trouble shooting skills, who have access to the hardware, and knowledge to use the technology software and hardware, may find that time and experience is needed to effectively integrate technology into the curriculum. According to Wachira and Keengwe (2011), teachers need time to learn how to use computer software and hardware, time to collaborate with their peers, time to plan, and time to incorporate technology into their curriculum. Lack of adequate time implies that teachers are less likely to commit themselves to using technology to enhance student learning (Bauer & Kenton, 2005).

Teachers may experience a lack of time to learn to use technology or to develop technology required activities. Teachers are required to prepare students for standardized tests and to meet curricular standards, which may leave little to no time for them to experiment with new technology, explore new technology, or incorporate new technology into their instructional practice. Teachers may view technology integration as an additional task added to their currently demanding schedule. According Wachira and Keengwe (2011), teachers stated “the unpredictable functionality and the uncertainty of getting timely technical support make it almost not worth the time to learn and use technology.”

Gaps in the Literature

Educational reform agendas require teachers to transform their teaching and learning through the use of technology within the curriculum. According to Shoffner (2009), the increasing importance of technology in today’s world challenges teacher educators to create technology-proficient teachers, practitioners who can use existing technology, learn to work with emerging technology, and adapt as needed when confronted with technological issues. The use of technology in the classroom may provide new cultural, social, and pedagogical experiences that may challenge teachers’ technical abilities, expertise, and knowledge.

Research currently available pertaining to technology use in the classroom is focused on higher education and adult distance learning. A lack of quality studies regarding the common core standards and the use of technology in the K12 classrooms exists; however, the research base continues to grow, which include both studies that attempt to identify factors that lead to effective instruction and comparative studies. According to Hill (2011), to follow the national common core curriculum mandate, we will need to make far better use of technology and there is a need to admit that educators cannot teach students everything. In many cases, because some of these standards are so new and technology has progressed so quickly, the educational research and publication process has not been able to keep up. Thus, both teachers and researchers have their work cut out for them (Robert e al., 2012).

Interactive technology and blended learning approaches may be needed to provide students with a challenging learning environment for students who have met standards and who have mastered the standards. The common core standards focus on preparing students for college and careers beyond high school and for the direction that corporate America is headed in. Implementation of technology into the curriculum is important to assist teachers with preparing students for their college and post-graduate careers, but limited research is available concerning the use of technology and the common core standards. “The whole notion of resources being at the center of quality teaching is missing from teaching standards and even from new initiatives. It is a deeply systemic problem (Marxoux, 2012).”

There is a lack of quality studies regarding common core standards and the use of technology, but research base continues to grow, which include both comparative studies and studies which focus on factors to improve instruction. While technology was not specifically addressed, the Common Core standards for math did emphasize the ability to “have a student use appropriate tools strategically (Marxoux, 2012). A big focus of educational technology is on higher education. Additional gaps noted in the literature indicate that teachers consider and use technology as a tool rather than using technology to enhance the educational environment. This was again seen in the Common Core English language arts standards when there was discussion about strategic use of technology and digital media, as well as the blending of research and media skills into the standards. Technology is there, broached and briefly discussed, but not explicitly (Marxoux, 2012).

Additional gaps in curriculum, instruction, and assessment was noted according to Fulton County Schools: Three-Year Technology Plan (2009). These gaps include a need for more flexible delivery models, as in delivery over the web, by handhelds or tablets and the delivery of information and feedback through Web 2.0 social networking tools is desired, but currently is not supported. Consequently, communication relating to curriculum instruction and assessment are viewed as slow. There is currently a lack of available, video-based, model lessons that support classroom “best practices” for performance instruction and learning (Fulton County Schools: Three-Year Technology Plan, 2009).

This research study may provide information and knowledge to a developing topic, whichis the impact that technology has on education and the impact that technology will have on students’ future careers. The purposed research studywill investigate teachers’ perceptions concerning technology integration into the curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students. This research may add to the body of knowledge in technology integration, teacher education, and professional development as a learning resource and a teaching resource in an urban school environment. According to Martin et al. (2010), high-quality professional development is central to any education improvement effort, particularly those that seek to integrate technology in support of classroom instruction. Successful implementation of education technologies depends upon extensive, high-quality teacher professional development and ongoing support (Lemke & Fadel, 2006).

While addressing the concern of the lack of technology use in the classroom in the area of curriculum and technology, the purpose of this proposed qualitative phenomenological study is to investigate teachers’ perceptions concerning technology integration into the curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students. The findings of this research study may provide evidence of teachers’ understanding and perception of the importance of using technology in the classroom when attempting to implement new hardware, Internet access, and software within the classroom.

The findings of this research study may provide a comprehensive approach into how teachers use technology in the classroom in regard to instruction. The purposed research study may also provide information to educational leaders, which may assist leaders with developing effective guidelines thatuse technology as a learning means and a teaching means in professional development courses for teachers. The proposed qualitative research study may also provide educational leaders with relevant information to assist in their decisions and attempts to reorganize, restructure, improve, or maintain the existing or current methods of technology integration for teachers within the curriculum.

Compared to previous studies this study will employ a unique approach because previous studies focused on the technology requirements mandated by the NCLB act, and this study will focus on technology and the CCRPI. This study may provide information on how technology will help students prepare for college and their careers, how technology may assist teachers in creating an engaging learning environment, and how technology may help teachers reinvent and transform their teaching styles and students’ learning styles. According to Salleh, Jack, and Jusoff (2011), modern education technology will have a significant impact on ideas, forms, processes, methods, teaching, and management of education. The integration of modern education technology in continuing education will play an important role in continuing education innovation. According to Long, Zhaohui, Gengsheng, and Xiaoqin (2008), using modern information technology and modern education theory in developing, designing, evaluating, using, and management of the teaching process and teaching resources will help to achieve the efficient development of continuing education.

Conclusion

An investigation into the perceptions of teachers concerning technology integration into the curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students is essential in understanding why teachers do not use technology in the classroom. A review of the literature may provide evidence that technology has been in the educational system for several years but teachers are reluctant to use it because of perceived barriers. Teachers have a responsibility to meet the needs of various learners and technology may be the key to assist teachers with meeting those expectations. Several factors were explained in the literature that may have an effect on teachers’ decision to use technology in the classroom. Factors that may have a negative effect on teachers’ integration of technology in the classroom may include teachers’ access to technology, the availability of technology, effective planning, professional development courses, teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward technology and preparation and support.

States currently mandates that technology be integrated into school curricula because of the popular belief that learning is enhanced through the use of technology (Davies, 2011). Because technology is essential in education, standards and guideline were established to encourage teachers and educational leaders to integrate technology into the curriculum. Research shows that students currently live in a digital society, which is an indication that technology will be important to students’ education experience and careers. According to Venable (2010), even students thought of as traditional are likely to take an online course at some point in their undergraduate programs, and it is more likely that first year college students will have to complete online courses before they even begin college.

This proposed qualitative study will investigate perceived barriers that hinder teachers from integrating technology into the curriculum successfully. The results of the proposed qualitative research study can provide educational leaders with insight into what teachers perceived as barriers to technology integration, which may allow educational leaders to provide teachers with the proper assistance to help them integrate technology into the curriculum.

Summary

The literature review provides an explanation of the terms that were used to search the literature, a historical overview of trends in technology, an explanation of the significance of technology, potential barriers to technology integration for teachers, and gaps in the literature. Technology has been in schools for several years starting in the early 1900s. According to Reiser and Dempsey (2007), through the 1920s and the 1930s, technological advances in such areas as sound recordings, radio broadcasting, and sound motion pictures led to an increase in interest in instructional media. From these innovations technology continued to evolve.

Through the years technology has made several advancements that led to the photo copier, listening labs, and to microcomputers in the classrooms in the 1990s. According to Saettler (1990), by the early 1980s, school systems began to invest heavily in microcomputers for classroom use, and by 1985, it was reported that at least one million microcomputers were in American elementary and secondary schools. The advancements in technology provide teachers and students with different learning resources, immediate access to information, and the ability to learn in any location at any time. According to Luo (2011), the advancement of educational technologies, especially computer technologies, has brought significant changes in the educational system with computers playing a more important role in teaching and learning.

Technology is significant in education because it assists teachers with providing an effective engaging learning environment for students. Federal legislation mandates an emphasis on technology integration in K-12 education (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). The expectation of educational leaders is to develop plans that encourage teachers to effectively use educational technologies in the classroom in an attempt to produce technologically literate students because of the federal legislation mandate.

Teachers are still deficient with using technology in the classroom according to state standards. According to An and Reigeluth (2011), despite generally improved conditions for technology integration, including increased access to technology, increased training for teachers and research for improving technology integration, high-level technology use is still low. The lack of technology use in the classroom may be because of potential barriers that teachers face when trying to integrate technology into the curriculum. Some barriers include technology availability and access to technology, lack of preparation time and professional development courses, teachers’ attitudes toward technology, and lack of time and support. A discrepancy exists between the use of technology among teachers and the availability of technology. According to Hew and Brush (2007), problems that exist in the literature are associated with the relationship between obstacles external to teachers and barriers that are intrinsic to teachers, knowledge gaps related to the relationship between integration strategies, and knowledge gaps related to the barriers and strategies associated with the different stages of technology integration by teachers.

Training, support, technology availability, and positive attitudes by the teachers may be important in removing the perceived barriers that teachers face when integrating technology into the curriculum. School leaders may be pre-occupied with the integration of the CCRPI and may not view support for teachers in technology integration as a priority. Teachers may be at a disadvantage in technology integration. The methodology in chapter three will describe the collection and analysis of data that will be implemented into the proposed qualitative research study to identify the barriers to integrating technology in the classroom. The information will be gathered from a sample of teachers from three high schools in the southeastern region of the United States.

Research Methodology

Introduction to Methodology

This section aims to provide information on how the study will be conducted and the rationale behind employing the discussed methodologies and techniques towards augmenting the study’s validity. In addition to describing the research design, this section will also elaborate on instrumentation and data collection techniques, validity, data analysis, and pertinent ethical issues that may emerge in the course of undertaking this study.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this proposed qualitative phenomenological study is to investigate the perceptions of teachers concerning technology integration into a curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students.

Objective

The objective of this study is to provide educational leaders with relevant and valuable information to assist in their decision-making process as they address the problem of the lack of technology use within the curriculum. The reason behind this is connected to the current challenges faced by teachers involving the need to properly train students before they enter college or the workforce due to the growing need for technologically competent workers and college students.

Research Design

Merriam (2009) in her book “Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation” explains that qualitative research is a type of exploratory research in that it tries to examine and explain particular aspects of a scenario through an in-depth method of examination (Merriam 2009, 3-21). While it is applicable to numerous disciplines, it is normally applied to instances which attempt to explain human behavior and the varying factors that influence and govern such behaviors into forming what they are at the present (Merriam 2009, 3-21). Thus, it can be stated that qualitative research focuses more on exploring various aspects of an issue, developing an understanding of phenomena within an appropriate context and answering questions inherent to the issue being examined. It is based on this that the researcher chose a qualitative approach to be utilized within this study due to the need to understand the perspective of teachers regarding technology use in classroom environments and how it could be potentially beneficial to students as the enter proceed from high school into college or the general workforce.

A qualitative research method will allow free responses from a diverse sampling of participants which may allow the researcher to identify patterns within perceptions of teachers regarding technology integration in an urban school district. A key characteristic of the qualitative research method is the use of interviews. The results from each school will be analyzed to identify any patterns that may exist in an urban school environment that may prohibit teachers from integrating technology into their curriculum.

Through the interview, this proposed qualitative phenomenological research study may provide information on how the construct of situated cognition relates to a teacher’s ability to make appropriate decisions concerning technology integration into the curriculum and their teaching to improve student learning outcomes. Using attribution and grounded theory as a guide, this research study will focus on how knowledge of the perceived attributes currently not obtained could affect the way that technology facilitators work with teachers in integrating technology into the curriculum and what type of intervention they use.

Furthermore, it is imperative to note that the study will employ a interview technique for the purpose of collecting participant data from the high school chosen for examination. A interview technique is used when the researcher is principally interested in descriptive, explanatory, or exploratory appraisal as is the case in this study. Grounded by the fact that the teachers will have the ability to respond to the data-collection tool by way of self-report, this project will utilize a self-administered interview schedule (i.e. the teachers can fill up the interview at their own convenience) for the purpose of data collection. An analysis of related literature will be used to compare the study’s findings with other research on the subject which will help to justify the results of the examination conducted on the teachers.

Role of the Researcher

The role of researcher in this particular study is primarily that of a recruiter and aggregator of data. This takes the form of the researcher being the primary point of contact when it comes to contacting the needed high school in order to get permission to obtain the necessary amount of subject data from the various individuals within the areas where recruitment and direct face-to-face interviews will occur (i.e. within the high school itself). During each individual interview/interview distribution, the researcher will communicate with the research subjects by giving an overview regarding what is expected of the respondent and how their response is contributing towards the greater body of knowledge involving technology integration in school curriculums.

Theoretical Framework for Examination

Attribution Theory

Attribution theory centers around the derived assumption of a particular individual/group of people regarding a particular process, product or service based on their experience with it. It is often used as means of investigating consumer opinions regarding a particular product and to determine the level of satisfaction derived from its use. By utilizing this particular theory as the framework for this study, the researcher will be able to correlate the opinions of the interviewees regarding their perception of technology use in the classroom. This particular theoretical framework helps to address the research objective of determining current practices within present day systems of education by creating the framework that will be utilized within the interview. Utilizing attribution theory, the research will design the research questions in such a way that they delve into the opinions of the teachers in order to better understand what factors influence their perspective regarding technology.

The needed information will be extracted through a carefully designed set of questions whose aim is to determine how a particular teacher’s experience with the technology use in the classroom affects the way they perceive its overall effectiveness and if in their opinion, significant improvements need to be implemented or not in present day teaching methods. However, it should be noted that while attribution theory is an excellent means of examining the opinions of interviewees, it is an inadequate framework when it comes to determining the origin of problems in certain cases. Grounded theory, with its emphasis on utilizing a specific framework to guide a researcher during the examination process can be considered an adequate method of performing the more “in-depth” aspects of the research.

Grounded Theory

The advantage of utilizing ground theory over other theoretical concepts is that it does not start with an immediate assumption regarding a particular case. Instead, it focuses on the development of an assumption while the research is ongoing through the use of the following framework for examination:

  • What is going on?
  • What is the main problem within the company for those involved?
  • What is currently being done to resolve this issue?
  • Are there possible alternatives to the current solution?

This particular technique is especially useful in instances where researchers need to follow a specific framework for examining a problem (as seen in the framework above) and, as such, is useful in helping to conceptualize the data in such a way that logical conclusions can be developed from the research data.

By utilizing the framework of grounded theory to perform an examination of the interviewee responses and the data from the literature review, the researcher will be able to adequately examine the processes utilized within the education industry related to encouraging better levels of student motivation through the use of technology and whether such processes are effective based on the data collected.

It is assumed by the researcher that there can be an effective correlation between technology use and great levels of motivation to learn from students. What you have to understand is that in qualitative research the concepts or themes are derived from the data. According to various studies, grounded theory provides systematic, yet flexible guidelines to collect and analyze data. That data then forms the foundation of the theory while the analysis of the data provides the concepts resulting in an effective examination and presentation of the results of the study.

Instrumentation

As mentioned earlier, aside from relevant literature, this study will utilize a set of interviews in order to examine the perspective of teachers concerning technology integration into a curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students. This can consist of how it affects their ability to teach students, how it has enabled the distribution of lesson material, and how it has impacted the motivation of students to learn, as well as other such factors related to the positive effects of technology integration.

It is based on this that the research interview will be geared toward teachers of high schools in urban populations and will focus on issues that primarily impact technology integration in the classroom. Although the researcher acknowledges the fact that rural school systems are also similarly impacted by technology integration in lesson curriculums, the fact remains that considering the sheer size of the South Eastern states and the inherent difficulty in contacting people found in such locations, it was decided that for the sake of safety and expediency, the researcher should focus primarily on urban high schools.

Another factor that should be taken into consideration is the necessity to choose teachers who are more aware of technology integration and who take a more active part in this process. Cluster sampling will be particularly helpful for the purpose of this study. This approach will enable the researcher to find the respondents quickly and, above all, safely.

Population

The population of the proposed qualitative research study will consist of certified general education and special education teachers from three urban high schools within a southeastern school district in the United States. From that population, 25 general education high school licensed teachers comprise the sample under investigation. As of 2010, Fulton County Schools consisted of more than 6,800 certified personnel (Fulton County Schools, 2010). Fulton County schools have a total of 16 high schools, which include two open campus high schools. The 21 general education high school teachers will come from three of the high schools. An informed consent letter will be submitted to the Southeastern School district for permission to use the premises of the school for conducting the study.

Research Subjects

The research subjects for this particular study will consist of certified general education and special education teachers recruited from three urban high schools within a southeastern school district in the United States The sample will consist of 25 general education and special education teachers from three urban high schools in Fulton County School District in Georgia. Seven participants from each of the high schools will be used for the qualitative phenomenological research study and four of the participants will be used for a pilot study.

Do note that the individuals who will be utilized in the study must fulfill the following requirements in order to be considered viable enough to be included:

  • Must have a high degree of literacy in order to understand the concepts that the interview and interview entail.
  • Must have a general awareness regarding the concept and impact of technology integration in curriculums
  • Should be a teacher for more than 7 years.
  • Should fall into one of the following categories: a general education practitioner or a specialized education practioner
  • The research subjects should also fall under the age demographic of 23 to 55 years of age in order to ensure they have developed sufficient awareness and experience regarding the impact of technolog intergration in curriculums.
  • Last, the research subjects who are included in this examination should not be school staff that have no teaching experience (i.e. secretaries, librarians, etc). This ensures that all responses will be based entirely on the experiences of experienced educators, which ensures that the responses given are only applicable to the topic that is being examined.

Though it may be true that the level of research subject discrimination the researcher is implementing is indicative of a certain degree of undue manipulation of the study results, what must be understood is that it would be necessary for the research subjects involved to actually have a certain degree of knowledge regarding technology use in curriculums so the level of research subject discrimination is needed so as to produce a relevant contribution to the research material. Thus, the level of research-subject discrimination is justified in this particular case.

Justifying Sample Size

According to Crouch and McKenzi (2006), qualitative research focuses on meaning and not making generalized hypothesis statements. The sample size for qualitative research should be large enough that most or all of the important perceptions are revealed, but the sample must not be so large that data becomes repetitive and no new data is evident. At this point the study has reached saturation. The results of the proposed qualitative research study will determine whether the sample size was successful in reaching saturation. According to Guest et al. (2006), the idea of saturation is helpful at the conceptual level, but it provides little practical guidance for estimating sample sizes for the robust research prior to data collection.

Data Collection Procedures

A key characteristic of the qualitative research method is the use of interviews, surveys, or interviews. Through an interview, this proposed qualitative research study may provide information concerning the central phenomena of the study. According to Old et al. (2005), qualitative research is characterized by the collection and analysis of textual data through interviews, focus groups, and observation, and by its emphasis on the context within which the study occurs. Interview questions will be used in this proposed qualitative phenomenological research study to assist the researcher with investigating the research objectives of the study. An e-mail containing an introduction of the study will be sent to the faculty of three high schools. The email to the faculty will include an informational letter and a copy of the informed consent form. The form will include a space that will give teachers the opportunity to provide their school e-mail address. Teachers can print the informed consent form, sign it, and return the form in a self-addressed stamped envelope that will be provided to each participant. A copy of the informed consent form will be made and returned to the school which will then be forwarded to the teachers.

Data collection is an essential step in any form of empirical research (Shank, 2006). The interview will consist of a demographic section and open-ended questions which will allow participants to express their views, experiences with technology, and their perceptions concerning technology integration into the curriculum. An opened-ended question is phrased in such a manner that it encourages participants to provide a meaningful answer using the participants’ knowledge and experience. According to Neuman (2006), open-ended questions ask a question to which respondents can give any answer. The interview will require participants to provide qualitative responses based on their experiences.

Participants who return the signed informed consent form will receive an e-mail which will contain contact information in the event that the participants have questions. The interview will occur during the teacher’s planning block or after school hours on the school’s premises. A tape recorder will be used to capture the teacher’s response. No hard copies will be made available of the data to ensure adherence to research guidelines regarding the protection of research subjects. Data will be stored and saved on a secure personal computer located in the office of the researcher’s home.

Participants will have the opportunity to listen to their response from the interview before submitting their response which will ensure an accurate portrayal of their perspectives. This method will strengthen the validity of the data. The results from each school will be analyzed to identify any patterns that may exist in an urban school environment regarding technology integration in school curriculums.

Informed Consent

Data collected during qualitative research should include informed consent forms for the subjects. An informed consent form gives the researcher permission to conduct the study. The research subjects will be presented with a brief summary of the purpose of the study along with an estimation of the duration of the time for the interviews which may be between five and 10 minutes.

Consent is not just a form, a signature, or mark but a process of information exchange between the researcher and research participants on the research process (Ochieng, 2012). The participants will be recruited using staff e-mail. Schools in the selected school district have an e-mail system set up that will allow individuals to send a mass e-mail to the school’s faculty at once. Participants will be informed that their participation is voluntary; there will be neither benefits for their participation, nor any risks involved in participating in the proposed qualitative research study.

Confidentiality

Participants will be informed on the anonymity and confidentiality of the study and the interview process. Information retrieved from the proposed qualitative research study such as the participant’s identities, signed informed consent forms, and data collected will be placed in a safe and secure location during the research study. According to Neuman (2003), confidentiality is when the researcher holds information in confidence or keeps it secret from the public with the participant’s names or any other information with identity markings attached to it. Participants will have the opportunity to ask any additional questions concerning the overview of the study prior to signing the informed consent form. Participants will be asked to submit an informed consent form prior to the proposed qualitative research study and participants will be informed that information provided will remain confidential and no personal information will be published.

Participants will be given a number, which will be used as an identifier in an attempt to keep participants personal information confidential. A systematic approach will be taken which will allow the researcher to keep track of the participants. A coding system will be used that will keep the respondents identities confidential in an attempt to stay within the guidelines of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the research code of ethics.

Information collected from the proposed qualitative research study will remain on file in a secure location for three years and at the time will be destroyed through incineration at the conclusion of the study. Digital recordings of information will remain on the hard drive of a secure computer for three years and after three years will be destroyed at the conclusion of the proposed research study. Hard copies of information will be shredded after three years following the proposed qualitative research study.

Geographic Location

The specific geographic location for the proposed qualitative research study is a school district in the southeastern region of the United States. Atlanta, Georgia is the county seat of Fulton County with Fulton’s population reaching approximately 920,581 in 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Out of the 920,581 people living in Fulton County there are 90,000 plus students enrolled system-wide (Fulton County Schools, 2010). The Georgia Public School system is composed of several districts. The three schools targeted for this proposed qualitative research study are located within the Fulton County School District.

Instrumentation

Observations, interviews, and interviews are instruments that a researcher can use to collect and document data in a research study. The proposed qualitative phenomenological research study will use interviews distributed through e-mail as the primary instrument to collect and document data. The interview will include a series of multiple choice and open-ended questions in an attempt to help gain a detailed understanding of the perceptions of teachers concerning technology integration into the curriculum.

The selected high school’s administrators and faculty will receive an e-mail that contains a copy of the interview questions and a description of the research study. Participants will provide responses to questions that reflect in-depth consideration of the related issues during the face-to-face interview. The face-to-face format will allow participants the opportunity to prepare a response and it allows participants time to consider their response without feeling rushed which may encourage information-rich data.

The problem is that despite the impact that technology has on teaching practices and student learning, an average of 67% of teachers within the Fulton County School District in Georgia are not consistently integrating technology into their curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students (Fulton County Schools: Three-Year Technology Plan, 2009).

Research Protocol

The proposed qualitative research interview protocol will consist of several research questions to investigate the perceptions of teachers concerning integrating technology into the classroom. The research interview will address the research question and the sub research questions. The research question asks “what is the perception of teachers concerning the implementation of technology into their curriculums?” Sub research questions address the experiences with technology in the classroom and the perception of teachers regarding technology’s impact on student learning. Additional sub questions investigate how teachers have been trained on how to use technology in the classroom, what support, pertaining to technology, is available to teachers, and their recommendations to enhance the use of technology in the classroom.

The interview template that will be used for the proposed qualitative research study will not be an existing research protocol; therefore, the research tool must be validated. Each question of the interview protocol was designed to investigate the objectives of the study.

Instrument Reliability

Reliability can be used to establish credibility, truthfulness, and believability of a research study (Neuman, 2003). According to Leedy and Ormrod (2010), reliability is the consistency with which a measuring instrument yields a certain result when the entity being measured has not changed. Reliability and validity are essential components of research investigations (Neuman, 2003). According to Simon (2006), the extent to which items correlate with each other is is when repeated measurements produce the same results.

Reliability is used to reduce biases and errors that can occur during a research study. According to Yin (2003), the goal of reliability is to minimize the errors and biases in a study; therefore, a study can be deemed reliable if the researcher follows steps from previous studies of an earlier researcher and similar results are obtained. Researchers are encouraged to fully document each steps of their research study which will allow future researchers to repeat an earlier study. As such, proper documentation of the data collection process improves the study’s reliability.

Instrument Validity

Validity is an indication of how sound the research study is, and it applies to the methods and design of the research study. According to Leedy and Ormrod (2010), the validity of a measurement instrument is the extent to which the instrument measures what it intends to measure. Essentially validity indicates that the research findings truly represent the phenomenon that the researcher is claiming to measure. Two types of validity exist in research studies, which are internal validity and external validity. Internal validity includes the rigor of a research study and the extent to which the researcher have considered alternative explanations for any causal relationships he explore.

Data Analysis

To investigate the participant’s perceptions concerning technology integration into the curriculum of teachers, the data analysis will be completed manually for the proposed qualitative research study. While computer-based data analysis has the benefits of speed, consistency, and efficiency, analyzing data manually allows the researcher to become engaged in her study. According to Basit (2003), most qualitative researchers analyze their data manually. Through analysis, researchers attempt to gain a deeper understanding of what they have studied and researchers continually refine their interpretations through manual procedures. According to article “Introduction to Content Analysis (2011)”, researchers quantify and analyze the presence, meanings, and relationships of certain words and concepts, and make inferences about the messages within the texts. Using a manual method may allow the researcher opportunities to revisit how the data will fracture into units and coding while referring to multiple occurrences of similar concepts and categories with one participant, and across participants, by comparing entries in the coding from side by side. These logistics are consistent with a data analysis strategy used in grounded theory and constant comparison.

The coding process will use categories to label participants responses to the open-ended questions in the interview. In the process, the generated codes will test continuously their plausibility and usefulness considering new and previously coded information. As described, previous concepts and categories constantly will be refined, modified, elaborated, or discarded as coding progresses. Memos will be used as an additional means of data analysis.

Ethical Considerations

Possible ethical considerations that may arise through this study consist of the following:

  • The potential for unintentional plagiarism through verbatim lifting of information, arguments, and points of view from researched source material.
  • The use of unsubstantiated information taken from unverifiable or nonacademic resources (e.g., Internet articles).
  • The use of a biased viewpoint on issues that may inadvertently result in an alteration of the interview results.
  • Presentation of data without sufficient corroborating evidence or a lack of citations.
  • Falsifying the results of the research for the benefit of the initial assumptions of the study.
  • Using views and ideas without giving due credit to the original source.

According to Saunders et al. (2000), “Ethics refers to the appropriateness of your behavior in relation to the rights of those who become the subject of your work, or are affected by it” (p. 130). In addition to seeking approval from the doctoral thesis board, a letter of consent will be sent to the head of the program to request individual indulgence and approval in conducting the study.

Mailings will be sent to the individual schools explaining the main objective of the study and requesting their consent for participation. Further communication will proceed via e-mail between those who agree to take part in the interview and the researcher to ensure that all individuals understand the requirements for the study. I will also take time to elaborate the rights of participants during the study process, including the right to informed consent and the right to confidentiality. By addressing these concerns through guidelines on proper ethics and research, it is expected that few ethical concerns will need to be addressed.

Conclusion

The proposed qualitative research study focused on teachers’ perceptions concerning integrating technology into the curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment. To accomplish the task of investigating those perceptions a qualitative phenomenological research method will be used. Qualitative research produces results not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification (Hoepfl, 2011). To analyze the qualitative data received through a interview protocol, data coding will be used. Participants will completeinterviews in which the link will be e-mailed to them through a county e-mail system. Participants will be asked several questions to allow the researcher to investigate their perceptions concerning technology integration into the curriculum. The research design is appropriate because it will allow the researcher to investigate teachers’ perceptions concerning technology integration into the curriculum in a meaningful way by allowing participants to speak openly through open ended questions.

The goal of chapter three was to provide a detailed description of the research method, an explanation of the research method appropriateness, the research sample, population, data collection, instrumentation, the data analysis procedures, and the validity of the research study. Chapter four will provide a detail report of the data analysis process, the sample demographics, the research findings, and a brief explanation of the rationale of the research questions.

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Appendix A

Data Access and Use Permission

High School Teachers’ Perceptions Concerning Technology Integration into the Curriculum

I plan to conduct an interview with teachers concerning their perceptions on integrating technology into the curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students for use in the aforementioned research study.

In order to complete the dissertation, I will need your permission to conduct the research study using interview questions at three of your high schools in the Fulton County School District. In granting this permission, I understand the following (please check mark each of the following as applicable):

  • X The data will be maintained in a secure and confidential manner.
  • X The data may be used in the publication of results from this study.
  • X This research study must have IRB approval at the University of Phoenix before access to the data identified here is provided to Yolanda Rogers
  • X Access to, and use of, this data will not be transferred to any other person without my/our express written consent.
  • X The source of the data may be identified in the publication of the results of this study.
  • X Relevant information associated with this data will be available to the dissertation chair, dissertation committee, school as may be needed for educational purposes.

High School Teachers’ Perceptions Concerning Technology Integration into the Curriculum

Appendix B

Informed Consent: Participants 18 years of age and older

The following is the consent form that will be utilized in the study:

Consent Form

High School Teachers’ Perceptions Concerning Technology Integration into the Curriculum

Dear Participant,

You are cordially invited to participate in a research study involving the examination of the perception of High School Teachers Concerning Technology Integration into the Curriculum.

You were selected as a participant based on your knowledge involving technology use in the classroom as well as in the field of education. Prior to participating in this study, please read through this form in order to familiarize yourself with the responses expected of you. Should you have any questions or concerns, please voice them to the researcher at any time. This study is being conducted by xxx who is a doctoral degree candidate.

Background of the Study

The purpose of the proposed qualitative phenomenological research study is to investigate the perception of teachers concerning technology integration into the curriculum in a meaningful way that will deepen and enhance the learning environment for students.

Procedures

Should you agree to participate in this study; the following will be asked of you:

  1. Sign the consent form indicating that you are willing to participate in this study and that you are allowing the researcher to utilize the information you give as part of the data analysis.
  2. Give clear, concise, and, above all, honest answers on the interview, as well as to the individual interviewing you.
  3. Fill out all the segments of the interview.
  4. Indicate your demographic data on the interview.
  5. Be interviewed by the researcher after finishing the interview and give honest responses.

Assurance of Anonymity

All information that will be obtained via this method of data gathering will be kept strictly confidential with all research participants being assured of the anonymity of their responses. None of the responses will be released with any indication that they were given by a particular individual. The results will be quantified into basic statistics to ensure that no personally identifiable information can be identified. Information gathered from respondents of the survey will be destroyed after a period of 10 years to further ensure that no personal information will be leaked in any way.

Voluntary Nature of the Study

Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary. Your decision as to whether or not to participate will not affect your current or future relations with anyone involved in the study. You may withdraw from the study at any time without any penalty, even if you initially decide to participate.

Risk from Undertaking the Study

Although there are no outright risks in participating in a study of this nature, there are some long-term risks that should be taken into consideration. The possibility exist that participants in the study may face victimization or undue criticism due to the views they present, which may or may not appeal to the “image” that various school systems wish themselves to be portrayed. In order to prevent such problems from occurring, all the data will be sealed within a locked cabinet and will not be presented without ensuring that all possible methods of identification have been removed beforehand.

Agreement

By signing this form, you agree that you understand the nature of the study, the possible risks to you as a participant, and how your identity will be kept confidential. When you sign this form, this means that you are 18 years old or older and that you give your permission to volunteer as a participant in the study

Consent Form

High School Teachers’ Perceptions Concerning Technology Integration into the Curriculum

Contacts and Questions

The researcher conducting this study is xxx. The researcher’s adviser is xxx, PhD. You may ask any questions you have now. If you have questions later, you may contact us.

Contacts

You will receive a copy of this form from the researcher.

Statement of Consent

Statement of Consent

Appendix C: Interview Questions

General Questions

  1. What grade level do you teach?
  2. How many years have you been teaching?
  3. How many years have you been teaching for this district?
    Technology Use in the Classroom
  4. How long have you used computer technology for instructional purposes?
  5. How do you feel about using computer technology for instructional purposes?
  6. What factors might contribute to the use of computer technology for instructional purposes in your classroom?
  7. How do you use computer technology within your classroom in a manner that deepens and enhance student learning?
  8. What factors would encourage effective use of computer technology in your classroom?
  9. Tell me about a time that you used computer technology well within your classroom.
  10. Tell me about a time that you used computer technology within your classroom and it did not go well.
  11. How did the use of computer technology affect the students learning within your class?
  12. What additional comments would you make regarding the integration of technology and the use of computer technology for instructional purposes in your classroom?
    In-Service Professional Development
  13. What are your professional development opportunities for using computer technology in your classroom?
  14. Besides professional development where do you find information regarding using technology in your classroom?
  15. What specific professional development opportunities do you deem necessary to help you use computer technology for instructional purposes in your classroom?
    Technological Support
  16. What is adequate technical support for using computer technology for instructional purposes in your classroom?
  17. Tell me about a time when you did not have the kind of technical support you needed to effectively use technology in your classroom.
  18. What resources are available to you within your school who you can ask for help or that you may use for technology integration support, technology training support, or questions and concerns about technology integration?