Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Younger Teachers Report Having More Time to Plan Lessons With Technology Than Older Teachers

In a recent survey to a sample of South Dakota teachers, I asked several questions about barriers that were present and that might keep teachers from implementing technology in the classroom. Here's a list of the barriers to technology use that are common in the literature on this issue:

  • Access to technology tools and resources
  • Technology training and support
  • Administrative support
  • Time
  • Beliefs about the importance and usefulness of technology tools and resources
Overall responses from all survey participants
To explain these items briefly, teachers need to first have access to technology tools and resources if they are going to implement them in their classroom teaching and learning. They also need adequate technology training and support or they won't know how to use technology tools and resources appropriately in the classroom. Administrative leaders in districts must also support the use of technology for teaching and learning. Teachers who wish to implement technology enhanced lessons must have the time they need to plan and prepare such lessons. Finally, teachers and administrators must have beliefs consistent with a technology enhanced approach, including that technology tools and resources are useful and important and that teachers can be successful when integrating technology into learning experiences. 

For the matter of time, some significant findings came out of my survey. It turns out that if you come from a bigger school district, you are statistically significantly more likely to report that you have more time to plan and prepare lessons that integrate technology, however the effect size for this calculation was very small (partial eta squared = .006). The more significant finding in this area was age. Respondents who were in their younger ages (20s) were less likely to report that they had little time to plan and prepare lessons that used technology. The effect size for these questions was still small (partial eta squared = .026), but certainly statistically significant (p < .001).  

Overall responses from all survey participants
Whatever the reasons for these findings, it seems to make sense to find ways to provide older teachers with more time so that they can develop lessons with technology integration. Take a look at some previous findings about technologies available in classrooms from this survey for more information. 

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