The Effectiveness Of Technology Education Essay

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Over the years, technology has played a vital role in educational innovation, providing both teachers and students with more options and flexibility in their teaching and learning practices. With the internet and computer technology availability, technology becomes increasingly indispensable in the field of education. In today's schools, multimedia software, content based CD-ROMs, online resources and many other technologies provide students and teachers with many new research tools, limitless wealth of information, shared professional practices, communication tools, and new modes of learning (keane, 2002) in (Eunjoo & Russell, 2002). Availability of internet in schools enables both the teachers and students to have a variety of opportunities to expand the curriculum.

Today's school continue to be challenged by the increased visibility, roles and cost of instructional technology tools. Considering current trends in education, a modern classroom would not be complete without computers, software, internet connections, projectors and a variety of other high-tech device (Keane, 2002). According to Hasselbring, Barron & Risko, (2000), schools will be equipped with the best hardware and software in the near future, but it is unlikely that teachers and students will use them effectively if teachers are not trained. The success of technology infusion in schools depends on training teachers. In the digital age, schools will require teachers to have competent technology skills and be able to effectively implement the use of instructional technology in classrooms. Therefore, it is logical to require teachers to be trained to handle such technologically equipped classrooms.

Technology integration in the classroom has become an important aspect of successful teaching. It has triggered many researchers to investigate different aspects of such integration (e.g., Kotrlik & Redmann, 2005; Bauer & Kenton, 2005; Judson, 2006; Zhao, 2007; Gulbahar, 2007; Anderson & Maninger, 2007; Abbit & Klett, 2007; and Wood & Ashfield, 2008). This is because it allows students to learn more in less time and allows schools to focus on global learning environments if used appropriately. It could also be an effective teaching tool when used to engage all students in the learning process. During the last few years, technology has been adopted in many areas such as business, entertainment, government and education. The global adoption of technology has been the landmark on the educational scene for the last few years (Albirini, 2006). Harvey (1983) envisages that the effectiveness of the use of computers in education may be an important factor in determining which countries will succeed in the future.

In recent years, educational technology has been to a large extent incorporated into teaching and learning practice in many educational institutions across the globe. This phenomenon has taken place as a response to economic, social and pedagogical pressures (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2001). From the economic rationale, it is believed that knowledge and competence in technology will enhance graduates' opportunity to be professionally employed (Thornburg, 2002). Indeed, it is argued that the measured level of employability will strengthen the economy of a nation (Mutula & Bakel, 2007). The social rationale sees competence in the use of technology as a necessary skill for graduate to participate in community development (OECD, 2001). This can aid students to lead the society to meet the challenges of the global information. As regarding the pedagogical rationale, the integration of technology in education claimed to facilitate a transformation of teaching and learning process from being highly teacher centered to student centered (Trucano, 2005). The student-centered environment is argued to be more favourable than the teacher-centered environment because it gives learners the opportunity to actively participate in knowledge construction (Roblyer, Edward & Havriluv, 2004).

Teachers are managers of learning experience. As managers, they are meant to ensure that the environment is structured in a way that learners are given the opportunity to engage in a deep and meaningful learning process. A way through which this role can be accomplished is for teachers to assume the responsibility of an educational technologist, i.e., a professional who embarks on the study of theories and practices associated with the use of technology in instruction. According to Seels (2004), in Westergaad (2008), there are general roles that educational technologists must take. First is the regulation and reinforcement of selected media to promote learning, second is to educate teachers and stake holders about the use of media and the third is critique and lobby policies that influence media utilization. Among the three roles, the first is expected from teachers in the classroom. The fact that a lot of factors are responsible for students' underachievement is not new to researchers but amongst those factors could be teacher's perception of the effectiveness of technology.

Perception refers the way one think about something and ones' idea of what it is like, also it is an ability to understand the true nature of a subject especially as it affects our environment. However teachers perception of the effectiveness of technology is in different ways hence, learning is a process which produces series of changes in behaviour or it is more or less a change in behaviour that result from activities, training or observation. It is a change in behaviour that confirms learning.

Technology has had a significant impact on teaching and learning in schools (Cuttance, 2001). Reviews of several research projects have substantiated the potential of educational technology to enhance learning environments (Sivin-Kachala & Bialo, 1994) and improve student learning outcomes (Hativa & Becker, 1994) through active student engagement, collaborative learning, frequent and immediate feedback and real-world contexts for learning (Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin & Means, 2000). In addition, ICT enhances higher order thinking (Educational Testing Service, 1989), and impacts on student attitudes, motivation, self esteem, social competencies and enjoyment of learning (Joiner, 1996: Rowe, 1993: Tiernay, 1996; Wellburn, 1996). However, the extent to which ICT facilitates and enhance teaching, learning and the learning environment is dependent in part on the adequacy of teachers' skills and knowledge (Wenglinsky, 1998).

Technology integration into teaching and learning process is an effective way to widen educational opportunities, but this is yet to be fully utilized by teachers as an instructional delivery system. Bauer & Kenton (2005) in their research found that some teachers were highly educated and skilled with using technology, but are not integrating technology on a consistent basis in the teaching and learning process. Ertmer, Conklin, Lewandowski, Osika, Selo, and Wignall (2003) indicated that beginning teachers wanted to use technology and have adequate technical skills, but teachers lacked knowledge on how to integrate technology in teaching and learning. Technology integration is not a 'one size fits all' (Wepner, Tao, & Ziomek, 2006) where teachers do the same thing for their students or where teachers possess the same specific skills to be competent technology users. Teachers need to know how and why to use technology in meaningful ways in the learning process for technology integration to work.

Like many educational reform efforts, the introduction of technology in schools has been less than successful. Over the last century there were several waves of massive investment in technology to improve education, but none has had significant lasting impact on education (Cuban, 1986). Implementation of technology is a complex process that depends on characteristics of technology, workers, environment, and subtle interactions among these components (Bayer and Melone 1989; Yetton, Sharma & Southon 1999; Wolfe, 1994).

Questions have been asked in studies about many failed educational innovations. In Fullan (1991) a question was raised that 'Why technology isn't used more in schools? Also in Tyack & Cuban (1995) a question was also raised that 'Why can't innovations that seem to hold great promises be adopted by schools in spite of great efforts? Many researchers have been searching for solutions to this persistent puzzle. In this study, the search continues by the examination of teachers' perception of the effectiveness of technology in enhancing teaching and learning. But it is not intend to simply repeat previous research but to search for new factors that may affect technology uses in schools because it is believed that previous research have identified most, if not all, factors that may have an effect on technology integration in schools. What is needed is an integrating framework that can provide new directions for research and specific suggestions for policy and practice. Thus it is taken as a responsibility to extend existing research by investigating the relationships among the long list of factors that have already been identified to be related to school technology uses. In particular, teachers' perception of the effectiveness of technology to theoretically integrate and organize sets of factors that affect implementation of technology. It is also hoped that this framework will help in better understanding of other educational innovations, since technology, is a special case of innovation.

Statement of Problem

Due to the role of technology in the advancement of society in general and educational sector in particular, effective technology integration into teaching and learning has become the focus of many educators. Over the years, the problem of under achievement has been a general problem. For example, many researchers in Nigeria which include; Adeyemi (2005), Balduf (2009), Chukwu (2009), Patric (2010), Obomanu (2011) and Anakwe (2011) have conducted series of research to investigate what could be responsible for the problem. In their studies, factors such as lack of adequate laboratory equipment, ineffectiveness and lack of teaching proficiency of teachers, lack of qualified teachers and school factors have been identified as major causes of underachievement of students. Despite all these efforts of research and findings, the poor performances of students still exist. However, little emphasis has been laid on the integration of instructional technology into teaching.

Disproportionately very few schools and teachers adopt the use of instructional technology in classroom teaching in Lagos state. As indicated by Byers (2000), Cope (2002), and also Kahveci (2011) the perception of the effectiveness of instructional technology by teachers may play a role in the adoption and integration of these technologies. This henceforth justifies the need for this study to investigate the effect of teachers' perception of their technology integration competencies, barriers obstructing such integration, and incentives to increase it, in addition to other related issues in classroom learning environment.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine teachers' perception of the effectiveness of technology and the rate at which they adopt technology into classroom teaching.

Research Question

The following questions will guide this study;

How do teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of technology affect the rate at which they integrate it in their teaching process?

Does the demographic characteristic of teachers such as gender, age, years of teaching experience, grade level taught, content area, and educational level affect the rate at which they integrate instructional technology?

Statement of Hypothesis

There will be no significant effect of teachers' perception of the effectiveness of technology on the rate at which they integrate it in their teaching process.

Significance of Study

Mode of teaching and instructional tools employed in the teaching process is of a major importance in determining the achievement of students. This study will create in the students, teachers and curriculum builders the awareness of technology, its integration, effect and benefits. These will also help the teachers in knowing there level of technological competency and also factors that might be militating against the integration of these technologies in teaching. It will also highlight the need for teachers to combat deficit thinking. Because only by this will teachers develop positive attitude towards instructional technology utilization in teaching process. This study will also clarify to the teachers the need to use technology as a catalyst for change and improvement in the practice of teaching. Further, it will clarify to the teachers the need to integrate technology into teaching so as to facilitate the constructivist method of teaching which can be used to enhance student learning of specific subject matter.

For the school administrators and curriculum builders this study will assist in their planning by suggesting specific strategies and procedures that can make technology integration easy and achievable. It will also give empirical support for a need to upgrade and increase the level of instructional technology integration in the classroom in a manner that will enhances student learning. It will also show them the need to orientate teachers on the need for technology integration in their teaching practices.

If the findings of this study are adequately applied, the learning facilities available to the students will be enriched in technology by school administrators and this will in turn enhance the students' performance and better their achievement.

Scope of Study and Delimitation

This is a study into the effect of teachers' perception of the effectiveness of instructional technology integration in enhancing teaching in selected tertiary institution in Lagos state.

CHAPTER 2

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

In this literature, teachers' perception of technology integration and factors affecting their level of technology integration will be discussed. This chapter therefore reviews related literature based on the purpose of the study. The literature of this study is derived from researches from 1999 to 2012.

Outline of Literature Review

Introduction

Difference between Technology Integration and Technology Use

Impact of Technology Integration on Teachers and students

Factors Affecting Teachers' Level of Technology Integration

Teachers' Perceptions of Technology Integration and Gender Differences

Barriers Technology Integration

2.1 Introduction

The use of technology in education has emerged to become an increasingly indispensible part of higher and professional education (Almekhlafi, 2006a). Technology, in addition to giving learners the opportunity to control their own learning process, also makes available for them ready access to a large amount of information over which the teacher has no control (Lam & Lawrence, 2002).

Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write, but currently, the definition of literacy has gone beyond this. A new type of literacy is developing as our society makes new technological developments. Teachers are now faced in addition to their preparing students to read and write with the task of educating students to be technologically literate. Definition of literacy according to Mullen and Wedwick (2008) in Catherine (2011) is no longer the traditional definition which is being able to read and write, the definition is now expanding to computer and technology literacy. The literate of the twenty-first century must be able to download, upload, rip, burn, chat, save, blog, Skype, IM, and share. The main goal of literacy, no matter what type, is to be able to communicate effectively. Digital literacy, computer literacy or technological literacy all enhance a person's ability to communicate by adding another dimension to the arsenal of skills a literate person already possesses (Jones-Kavalier & Flannigan, 2008) in (Catherine, 2011).

The each day growing complexity of education, the rise of the information to learn, the need for qualified and modern education require the use of computers as a tool in education. The use of technology in education will provide that the education will be carried out in accordance with the needs of the era as well as that the highest appropriate yield will be received from education (Kayri, Gençoglu and Kayri , 2012). The computer which is one of the technological capabilities and a basic element of culture in our century, has become a tool which its use is rapidly spreading (Arslan, 2003 &Odabasi, 2006) in (Kayri, Gençoglu and Kayri, 2012).

2.2 Difference between Technology Integration and Technology Use

When using technology in the classroom, it is important to distinguish between technology use and technology integration. Technology use is just the use of technology; it means much more to integrate technology (Catherine, 2011). The difference between technology use and technology integration for learning is that integration implies full-time, daily operation within lessons. Integration involves daily use of technology in reforming the everyday classroom routines (Gorder, 2008). Technology integration is not about the availability of technology, but more about the teachers' effective use of technology that makes a difference in reforming the classroom. The teacher is the most important ingredient for success when using and integrating technology (Mandell, Sorge, & Russell, 2002). Beckett, Wetzel, Chishlom, Zambo, Buss, Padgett, Williams and Odom (2003) in Gorder, (2008) said teachers are central to the creation of a technology-integrated environment that is learner-centered and motivating. Therefore, without teachers who can integrate technology, students' exposure to technology remains limited and inequitable.

Ozel, Yetkiner and Capraro (2008) in (Catherin, 2011) claim that there are five phases for properly integrating technology. These five phases employ the following questions: Why should I use a technology-based method? How will I know students have learned? What teaching strategies and activities will work best? Are adequate hardware, software and technical support available? What worked well and what could be improved? By examining each of these questions, a teacher is not just using technology, the teacher is thoughtfully planning how technology can be used in the lesson in order to best suit the needs of the students which is integration.

2.3 Impact of Technology Integration on Teachers and students

Technology is appealing to teachers because it addresses the need of learners with visual styles as well as of learners with special needs. Moreover, technology exposes learners to a world of information. It has also enabled some teachers to implement new teaching techniques learned through computer (U.S congress of Technology Assessment, 1995) in (Almekhafi, 2004). There are numerous researchers who have explored the area of technology integration worldwide and have came up with reports indicating its positive impact on teaching and learning for teachers using technology. These studies include; Guha, 2000; Manzo, 2001; Shelly, Bilig, Jesse & Acosta (2001); Zorfass and Rivero, 2005; & Almekhlafi, 2006.

Guha (2000) conducted a study to investigate the personal experience of elementary school teachers using computers in the classroom. He investigated their present use of computers in the classroom, and their views on current computer use as compared to their preferred use in classroom instruction. He came up with findings which reported positive correlations and significant differences between the previous training, computer usage in the classroom and comfort level of teachers and their present computer training, level of comfort, and computer usage in the classroom.

Manzo (2001) also carried out a study on technology integration in an Art class. He found out that most of the students, who are enrolled in the Electronic Arts Class prior to enrolment, were not able to compete effectively in most of their other classes. But after experiencing the effect of technology utilization, they began to appreciate the importance of doing well in all subjects. Also, Shelly et al. (2001) in their study examine a project titled the WEB Project. The findings of their survey suggest that teachers should as they integrate technology into different areas in the academic content, emphasize the use of meta-cognitive skills, application of skills, and inquiry of learning.

Almekhlafi, A.G. (2006a) in his study investigated the effect of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) on elementary-prep school students' improvement in English as a foreign language (EFL). Results from the study show evidence of the effect of CALL on learning English as a foreign language. It was discovered that a positive attitude was experienced toward CALL, it was also perceived its utility for helping them learn EFL, and the students had a strong intention to use it in the future.

The literatures, both in theory and practice, supports the idea that students learning in a community of learners environment using technology as a tool for learning, are able to build on prior knowledge, feel success and grow to their fullest potential. It seems evident that a constructivist-learning environment allows students to experience success with the integration of technology. However, researchers caution us to recognize that technology alone cannot bring about all the needed changes in today's classrooms.

2.4 Factors Affecting Teachers' Level of Technology Integration

Numerous studies have been carried out as a result of the attention of many researchers drawn to the integration of technology at schools and factors influencing such integration. In a study on teachers who used computer technology in their instruction conducted by Bauer & Kenton (2005), to investigate how much they used technology, the obstacles they had to overcome to succeed in its use, and their general issues and concerns regarding technology. It was observed that the teachers were who are highly educated and skilled with technology, were innovative and adept at overcoming obstacles, but that they did not integrate technology on a consistent basis as both a teaching and learning tool. Two key issues that were noted are; their students did not have enough time at computers, and that teachers needed extra planning time for technology lessons. Other concerns were outdated hardware, lack of appropriate software, technical difficulties, and student skill levels.

Kotrlik & Redmann (2005) examined the extent of technology integration in instruction by adult basic education teachers. The teachers used for this study are in the early stage of technology integration thereby more active in the area of exploration. The findings from the study reveals that that teachers feel some anxiety when it comes to technology integration, they perceived that they are effective in using technology regardless of whether they have integrated technology, and they are encountering barriers. As teachers perceive an increase in barriers, their integration of technology decreases; also, as the availability and increase of ICT tools, such as computers with Internet connection in the classroom and/or lab increases their level of technology integration.

In a study conducted by Gulbahar (2007), investigating both student and teachers' perception to illustrate how technology planning process was carried out in a private school in Turkey. Findings from the study indicated that even teachers and administrator staff felt themselves competent in using ICT available at the school; still, they reported a lack of guidelines that would lead them to successful integration. On the other hand, students reported that ICT is not utilized sufficiently in their classes.

Zhao (2007) conducted a qualitative research to investigate the perspectives and experiences of teachers following technology integration training. The findings of his study indicated that teachers view towards technology integration is diverse, and this has an influence on their use of technology in the classroom. It further reveals that; willingness to use technology and positive experiences were related to teachers' increased use of technology and to more creative use of technology, because most teachers who are willing to use technology, expressed positive experiences with technology integration training, increased their use of technology in the classroom, and used technology more creatively. But this did not ensure that teachers would replace their teaching with technology.

2.5 Teachers' Perceptions of Technology Integration and Gender Differences

The perspective of teachers of their understanding of technology, their utilization of instructional technology, and feelings about the support structure associated with this equipment have been examined with the findings suggesting that teachers believe technology is an integral part of the process of educating their students Almekhlafi & Almeqdadi 2010. There are different literatures relating to gender differences in the technology integration. Of these studies include; Hong & Koh, 2002; Kian & Chee, 2002; Zhou & Xu, 2007; Aremu & Fasan, 2011; & Hon & Alison, 2012).

Gender discrepancy was studied in both classroom access and use by Hong and Koh (2002), it was found that male teachers were less anxious when compared with the female teachers toward hardware. They also found that there is no significant difference in the overall level of computer anxiety of male teachers was not significantly different from the anxiety levels of female teachers. Only for the hardware anxiety domain was significant differences detected between male and female teachers.

Zhou & Xu (2007) conducted a study which was aimed at exploring how gender affects the process of technology adoption in post-secondary teaching. Findings from this study suggest that females had lower confidence and less experience in the use of computers in teaching. Also, they tended to learn how to use technology from others, unlike the males who were more likely to learn from their own experience. Also, in a study by Aremu & Fasan (2011) which was aimed at investigating factors that could affect technology use and by teachers analysis from the study showed that the computer self efficacy was average for most of the teachers though female teachers have higher Computer self efficacy than male teachers.

Hon & Alison (2012) conducted a study which was used to examining the effect of gender difference regarding confidence toward using technology for learning in higher educational institutions. The findings of this study confirmed that male have more confidence in using technology for learning than do females because gender imbalances in computing are socially constructed and not related to a learner's innate ability.

2.6 Barriers Technology Integration

There are numerous researches that have documented a number of barriers which hinder the integration of technology. Out of these include ; Earle, 2002; Flores, 2002, Brinkerhof, 2006 and Almekhlafi & Almeqdadi, 2010. In the study by Robert & Ferries (1994) cited by Almekhlafi & Almeqdadi, (2010), it was stated that barriers to technology integration included lack of knowledge of the available technological resources, time commitment, the risk associated with the use of technology and also the view of technology as an ever changing thing. According to Earle (2002), in her study, she classified the factors that affect technology integration in the classroom into two. These are extrinsic and intrinsic. These factors are defined as restraining force to the teachers. The extrinsic factors are identified as access, available resources, support, time, and training of teachers while the restraining factors that are intrinsic are identified as teachers' attitudes, beliefs, practices, and resistance.

In the study of Flores (2002), it was identified that in the attempt of teachers to integrate technology in their teaching activity, they were faced by many obstacle. In addition to administrative support and time scheduling for the use of technology, equity is another important issue. The introduction of technology is particularly hard when there are few resources. This is supported by Almekhlafi & Almeqdadi, (2010) where he cited Brinkerhof (2006) who grouped the restraining into four (4) main categories: administrative and institutional resources and support, attitudinal or personality factors, and experience and training.

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Introduction

This chapter highlights how the field work will be carried out. It describes the design, nature of population, sample, instruments used and how the instrument will be administered as well as analyzed.

Research Design

This study is a descriptive study which will be conducted to investigate the effect of teachers' perception of instructional technology and the level at which they integrate these technologies in the process of teaching and learning.

Area of Study

The study was carried out in Lagos state.

Population of Study

The population for this study will consists of all lecturers in the tertiary institution in Lagos state with special reference to the lecturers of selected tertiary institutions in Lagos state.

Sample and Sampling Technique

The tertiary institution in comprises of Colleges of Education, Poly-techniques, and Universities. In Lagos state, there are ____ Colleges of Education, ____ Poly Techniques, and ____ Universities out of which one will be randomly selected from each as a representative sample. In each of the selected schools, 60 lecturers will be selected using a purposeful random selection The sample of this study will be lecturers who will be selected using a purposefully random sampling technique. This will be the sample the questionnaire will be administered to.

Instrumentation

The instrument that will be used in this study is; The Mills & Tincher Technology Integration Standards Configuration Matrix (TISCM). This is a model for determining technology integration by teachers (Mills & Tincher, 2003). This instrument will consist of two sections as follows;

Section A: Demographic data

Section B: 18 Survey questions

Validation of Instrument

The instruments will be critically examined, scrutinized and amended by my supervisor and experts who are experienced in area of research to ensure the validity its of.

Data Collection

To answer the research questions in this study, a research tool (Technology Integration Standards Configuration Matrix (TISCM)) which was developed by Dr. Steven Mills, will be used to investigate teachers' perception of technology and how they integrated technology on a daily basis. This tool will consist of a number of subthemes that will investigated teachers' perceptions of their technology competencies and usage, determined how teachers integrate and use technology.

Data Analysis

Data gathered from questionnaire items will be analyzed using SPSS 17.0. Descriptive statistics, a multivariate analysis, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be used. In addition, items will be analysed using "Item Analysis" method in order to get a deep understanding of the results from the questionnaire.

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.