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An Instructional Designer Learns about Technology Integration. Edition No. 1
VDM Publishing House, June 2008, Pages: 124
In the 21st century, many people support computer use in schools so all children can become computer literate. However, while the presence of computers in classrooms is rising, technology integration is not keeping pace. This study pursued the research question: what can an instructional designer learn about technology integration by participating as a volunteer at an urban school? The author spent three years helping in an after school computer club, assisting teachers and students to use computers in classrooms, and using participant observation to collect data. The data showed that teachers, who are often blamed for the slow pace of technology integration, operate under tremendous constraints, and often lack sufficient computers, software, planning time, and technical support. Analysis of the data revealed that technology integration is impacted by three forces: technology, agency, and structure. With increasingly diverse students and mandated testing, teachers' agency is diminished in relation to growing structural constraints. Therefore, the design of educational technology innovations needs to fit the classroom context, and structural constraints need to be lowered.
Dr. Venita Doughty is the Director of Educational Technology at Denver Seminary, where she helps professors design, develop, and implement online classes. Dr. Doughty earned a Ph.D. in Education from CU Denver, an M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.