Annotated Bibliography

Learning Theories, Barriers, and Technology Use in Education:

An Annotated Bibliography

Introduction

Technology is rapidly developing and growing every day.  There are new tools being designed and implemented that can be used to make things more efficient and effective.  Many believe that technology is an essential part of everyday life.  Technology is readily available and most take full advantage of it.  However, technology use and implementation in education, for many teachers, is still minimal.  There are many factors that may be contributing to this.  The focus of this annotated bibliography is to begin to research the correlation between learning theories, barriers, and the use of technology in education.

References

Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? Educational Technology Research & Development, 53(4), 25-39.

Ertmer, a professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Purdue University, wrote this article to place an emphasis on the need for more research to see if there is any correlation between teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and their technology practices.  Some researchers have found an inconsistency in teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and their classroom practices.  In a study conducted of technology-using teachers, researchers found the same to be true.  The teachers believed they had constructivist philosophies, but when they implemented technology, they seemed to have more of a mixed approach.  It was pointed out that with these inconsistencies, it would be difficult to measure the beliefs accurately.  Individual belief systems don’t have to be consistent, which makes belief systems more inflexible and not as dynamic as knowledge systems thus making it extremely difficult, even daunting, to change a teacher’s beliefs.  Helping teachers adopt new successful practices is the way to change beliefs.  Starting simple is more productive than expecting a sudden change tied to instructional goals when it comes to technology.  Confidence and competence must be built for change to take place.  Social-cultural influences also shape beliefs. Change is less likely to take place if it deviates too far away from core values and pedagogical beliefs.  There has not been much research on the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and technology use.  Without this research, teachers may not be able to facilitate technology use effectively and successfully without the underlying fundamental beliefs.  While the foundations for technology use are in place, it is impossible to overestimate the influence of teachers’ beliefs.  An introduction to several technologies must take place before change is expected.  The benefits technology brings to students relies heavily on the skill of the teacher facilitating technology use.  This article points out the need for more research.  It also provides some valuable information that can be used to support the idea that pedagogical beliefs can be changed with starting simple and building confidence and competence.

Keengwe, J., Onchwari, G., & Wachira, P. (2008). Computer technology integration and student learning: Barriers and promise. Journal of Science Education & Technology, 17(6), 560-565. doi:10.1007/s10956-008-9123-5

Keengwe & Onchwari are with the Department of Teaching and Learning at Delaware University.  Wachira is with Cleveland State University.  They provide research on the barriers of technology integration.  Even though school access to technology has improved, there is still a concern about the integration of computer technology to support student learning.  Technology is available for students to help them work more productively, but it makes the teacher take on a more demanding role to facilitate.  Teachers need to have a strong comfort level with consistent implementation to effectively use technology in the classroom.   There are external and internal barriers that exist for teachers.  External barriers include lack of equipment, unreliable equipment, no technical support and other issues that are resource related.  Internal barriers include school factors and teacher factors. An example of a school factor is organizational culture.  Teacher factors are beliefs about teaching, technology and the openness to change.  A teacher’s attitude and skills may determine how successful and effective technology integration is.  Effective integration requires commitment and support from administrators.  Technology needs to be viewed not just as a tool, but to improve learning.  This article provided a solid explanation of some of the barriers that are a contributing factor to the minimal integration
of technology in education.  

Khodabandelou, R., Ei Mon That, J., Anne A/P S.Selvaraju, M., Yan Ken, T., Kewen, Z., Yan, Z., & Yan Ning, T. (2016). Exploring the main barriers of technology integration in the English language teaching classroom: A qualitative study. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 4(1), 53-58. Retrieved from http://www.journals.aiac.org.au/index.php/IJELS/article/view/2238

In today’s society, electronic gadgets are providing a way for people to connect using technology.  Technology benefits many different fields and occupations.  Informational technology is changing the behavior of education in several different developed and developing countries.  This article identifies the barriers of technology integration in the English language teaching classes.  There seems to be a lack of visual communication between the teacher and the students when using multimedia technology.  The students are viewed as more of an audience than a participant.  When there is an over-reliance on the internet, there is a lack of communication between the teacher and peers.  English language learning requires students’ thinking skills and may not serve the purpose of triggering those skills.  Just as the authors stated in their article, numerous studies show both internal and external factors of the teacher can also contribute to a hindrance in technology integration.  Multimedia technology’s role is to assist in student learning, but not replace, or take over.  This strengthens the research that teachers are facilitators and are still an integral part of technology use.  Lack of funding and no administrator support are additional barriers.  Qualitative research used a focus group and gathered data.  Based on the information gathered, there are four main factors that hinder technology integration.  They are students, teachers, environmental issues, and the education system/policy makers.  This article suggests that the government needs to promote and support technology use in education.  Teachers should be able to change their mindset to adapt technology.  Although there were many valid points in the barriers pointed out, the approach to change teachers’ beliefs is different from other research.  Instead of taking a slow and steady pace, the authors of this article state that teachers will accept the use of technology if it helps them in some way and if they start seeing it as an advantage instead of a disadvantage.  This article provides a lot of information about barriers which is information that can be used to support my research.       

Lowther, D. L., Inan, F. A., Daniel Strahl, J., & Ross, S. M. (2008). Does technology integration “work” when key barriers are removed? Educational Media International, 45(3), 195-213. doi:10.1080/09523980802284317

Lowther is a professor of Instructional Design and Technology for the University of Memphis, Inana is a professor of Educational Instructional Technology for Texas Tech University, and Strahl & Ross are with the Center for Research in Educational Policy at the University of Memphis.  Research has proven that the barriers of technology integration include access to computers, availability of curriculum materials, teachers’ beliefs, teachers’ technological competencies, and administrative, peer, and technical support.  These issues were addressed by the federal government by proposing the Enhancing Teaching Through Technology (ETTT) initiative.  State-level grants were made available.  The purpose of this article is to report the findings of the overall effectiveness of Tennessee EdTech Launch (TnETL) which is an (ETTT) funded initiative.  The goal of the TnETL was to integrate technology use as a tool that is used to prepare students for meeting academic standards.  In order for this to be successful, a highly trained, full-time, technology coach needed to be at each school to provide comprehensive professional development interventions for teachers.  The idea was to prepare teachers to create engaging, student-centered environments using computers as tools.  The TnETL came up with a list of barriers along with viable solutions.  The results were formed by direct classroom observations, the school observation measure, observation of computer use, reliability, teacher surveys, a teacher technology questionnaire, technology skills assessment, and student achievement.  The results of the student achievement findings showed that the program students either performed as well or outperformed the control students.  Teachers who participated in the program had more positive attitudes toward technology integration and were also more confident when completing computer tasks than the control teachers.  It remains significant that in the context of schools where technology usage was minimal, within just three years of changing school culture by having student-centered teaching methods and integrating technology, significant strides were made.  These authors state the same barriers that other authors have stated, which makes it clear that similar barriers are a large part of the reason that technology integration is minimal.  It also provides successful solutions to those barriers.

Niederhauser, D. S., & Perkmen, S. (2008). Validation of the intrapersonal technology integration scale: Assessing the influence of intrapersonal factors that influence technology integration. Computers In The Schools, 25(1/2), 98-111. doi:10.1080/07380560802157956

Niederhauser is an Associate Professor at the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, Curriculum and Instruction at Iowa State University.  Permen is also with Iowa State University at the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, Curriculum and Instruction.  They suggest that teachers’ self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and their interest in using technology to support student learning plays a role in their intentions to incorporate technology into their instructional practices.  The Intrapersonal Technology Integration Scale (ITIS) is used to measure and understand cognitive variables that affect predispositions toward technology integration.  While the authors state external factors have an impact, the internal factors, or teachers’ beliefs, is where it is the most difficult to make a change.  Even if all external barriers were removed, teachers would still not automatically use technology in a meaningful and effective way.  In this study, there were 389 teachers who were trained to use the internet as a classroom resource.  Those teachers experienced a significant increase in their self-efficacy as a direct result of the training.  The authors state that examining teachers’ intrapersonal beliefs is central to understand predispositions to technology integration.  “The ITIS serves as a valuable tool to maximize effectiveness and efficiency” (109).  This article provides an actual tool that has been used to gather meaningful data.  It also provides more research that supports the theory that teachers’ beliefs are the most difficult to change.   

Teo, Timothy (2009). Examining the relationship between student teachers’ efficacy beliefs and their intended uses of technology for teaching: A structural equation modelling approach. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 8, no. 4, 7–15.

Teo suggests that many factors influence teachers’ use of technology.  These factors arise from external environments including where the teachers work, teachers’ attitude toward computer use, and teachers’ beliefs.  Self-efficacy has proven to be a significant indicator of teachers’ technology usage and intentions to use technology in the classroom.  The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and their intended use of technology for teaching.  The “study contributes to theory by highlighting the relationship between teachers’ beliefs about their ability to use technology and how they would use technology in teaching” (13).  There were limitations to this study.  Self-reports to collect data have benefits, but may stretch the truth.  The use of student teachers may not represent the true picture.  Using practicing teachers may provide more realistic results.  Overall, Teo found that there should be an emphasis placed on building student teachers’ perception of their ability to use technology in the classroom.  There needs to be opportunities provided to acquire basic technology skills.  Courses should be organized on the strategies to integrate technology for pedagogical purposes.  It is believed that in order for teachers to be able to facilitate and adjust their own instructional strategies tied to student learning, they need to be provided with successful experiences at the student teacher stage.  Teachers are more likely to be motivated to use technology as an effective classroom tool when they have a solid foundation and they continue to build upon it.  Even though this article focuses on student teachers, the author provides data that shows the importance and need for technology skills to be taught at the student teacher stage.  This may help teachers to integrate technology from the start and will hopefully become part of their everyday teaching practice.            

Wilson, B. G. (1997). Thoughts on theory in educational technology. Educational Technology, 37, no.1, 22–26.

Wilson states that theories are a reflection of ourselves.  Theory has three important roles.  Theory helps us envision new worlds, helps us make things, and helps keep us honest.  Theory is contrasted with practice.  Theorists reflect, study, research, and share knowledge learned.  Practitioners use that learned knowledge and apply it to solve everyday problems.  Both roles are more similar than they are different and neither is superior to the other.  Wilson also included his pet peeves when it comes to uses of theory.  They are superficiality, elitism, Ivory Tower syndrome, provincialism, muddled thinking, and anti-intellectualism.  When it comes to educational technology, too much of the structure is built on relativism instead of science.  The structure of educational technology needs to continue to be built on science.  For educational technology to survive, caring about the effectiveness and the different components that it encompasses is more important than understanding it.  This article supports the research that teachers play a huge role in the facilitation of technology.  It also provides information to help show that theories are a key factor when it comes to educational technology.     

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