When I was looking at the literature that I have accessed over the past 10 months, I had to focus in on ones that actually addressed issues that I am focusing in on with my “Appy Hour” idea. Although there is an abundance of research on 1:1 implementation and blended learning, I wanted to look at the research that focused on my three areas of measurement.
The research was by no means abundant in terms of teacher comfort, or of their use in technology for their own learning. Most of the research addressed different professional development models and teacher perceptions of their abilities. I had to read through many articles and find the small section where my issues were addressed specifically. There were multiple articles that I have been assigned or read over the last few months that just did not apply, such as the ones on mobile learning worldwide. Some of those did have a small discussion on professional development, but not really addressing what I am interested in measuring.
When looking at the literature, as it relates to measuring “Appy Hour”, I began to see some trends that helped me formulate what I wanted to focus on. Because “Appy Hour” is more focused on the teacher’s than the students, the measurements that I want to look at are:
- The teacher’s level of comfort with technology.
- Teacher’s use of technology for their own learning.
- Is “Appy Hour” changing behaviors in the classroom?
The literature overwhelmingly states that if teachers are not comfortable with technology, they will be more hesitant to use it in their classrooms. In a study by the University of Washington, Giacomini, Lyle, and Wynn (2012) find that teacher proficiencies may impact the choices that teachers are making of their use of technology in the class (p. 5). When teacher’s do not feel comfortable using technology, whether it be a computer, iPad, or other existing technologies, they are less likely to use them in instruction. Stansbury (2011) states that as teachers use technology for personal purposes, their comfort level will increase in the workplace. This seems like common sense, but so many administrators overlook the ideas that teachers who are hesitant to have new technology at home, such as a smart phone, are going to be the ones who struggle with implementing technology at school. Venskey states that teacher’s pedagogy and beliefs must be addressed for successful ICT innovation to take place (p. 15). If teachers did not have sufficient ICT skills themselves, they were not likely to change the pedagogy to include ICT skills or change their beliefs about the usefulness of ICT in the classroom. Mundy, Kupczynski, and Lee report that teachers need to use technology at a basic level before they are comfortable using it in the classroom (p. 3).
Looking at the teacher’s use of technology in their own lives and learning is another factor that we need to measure when looking at “Appy Hour” and its success or failure at Moore Elementary. The Horizon Report for 2015 shows that a trend in pre service professional development is that it is more of a teacher’s responsibility to go out and see what they need in regards to technology (p. 25 ). Teachers who use technology outside the classroom to further their own learning, whether about technology or just teaching in general, are more likely to transition to having their student’s use technology for their own learning. Zogheib states that once teachers can use technology for general purposes, the transition is easier to the educational setting (p. 14). So it makes sense that teachers that are out there using, for example, Twitter to expand their own personal learning networks, are more apt to have students using tools such as Twitter to expand their own learning. It is also important to look at how much teachers are using technology, specifically computers, to teach in relation to how much they use it in their everyday lives. Kumar, Rose, and D’Silva state that a teacher’s usage of computers is determined by how often they use computers for teaching, learning, and personal needs (p. 154). A teacher who uses technology in their daily lives, to learn and to grow, is a teacher that is more apt to use it in the classroom.
The final factor that we need to look at when measuring “Appy Hour” is the change in behaviors brought about by attending. ” We cannot expect students to change what they do if we are content for teachers to continue doing what they have always done” (Harwell, 2003). If teachers are not in their classroom trying new technology and exposing their students to it, are we preparing our learners for the future? Harwell states that when teachers take time to “interact, study together, discuss teaching, and help one another put into practice new skills and strategies, they grow” (Harwell, 2003). And the entire idea of “Appy Hour” is for teachers to grow so their students can also grow. By measuring the change in behaviors, we can show that the “Appy Hour” idea is a format that has teachers learning from each other in a non-threatening environment about new technology and apps that can be used in everyday life and hopefully transferred to the classroom. A whitepaper by Common Sense Media states that peer-directed, collaborative learning with an emphasis on hands-on learning is the key to professional development that shows student success (p. 13). I cannot think of a better way to describe our “Appy Hour” experience.
When looking for surveys to model my own measurement after, I found two of particular interest to my first two measurements. The TPACK survey, found in the research project by Schmidt et al., addresses some of the comfort questions, but also gathers information on teachers use of technology both for their learning, and for use in their classrooms. The second survey, by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology addresses the teacher use of technology for their own learning. Some information can be ascertained about the level of comfort from some parts of that survey also.
In the future, I have more research to do on the mentoring model that I am going to chose to add to my “Appy Hour” plan next school year. I have read many articles about mentoring and how teacher’s really prefer that method, but I need to explore if there are different kinds of mentoring out there to play around with.
Giacomini, C., Lyle, H., III, & Wynn, W. (2012, October). Developing a Context-Specific Measure of Technological Expertise: The University of Washington. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2012/10/sei1204-pdf.pdf
Harwell, S. H. (n.d.). Teacher Professional Development: It’s Not an Event, It’s a Process. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://www.cord.org/uploadedfiles/HarwellPaper.pdf
Horizon Report 2015 K-12 Edition. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf
Innovative Professional Development Helps Teachers Use Technology to Tackle CCSS. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://www.techlearning.com/portals/0/Graphite_WhitePaper_ProfessionalDevelopment_040214.pdf
Kumar, N., Rose, R. C., & D’Silva, J. L. (n.d.). A Review on Factors Impinges Computer Usage in Education. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://thescipub.com/PDF/jssp.2008.146.157.pdf
Mundy, M., Kupczynski, L., & Kee, R. (2012, March 13). Teacher Perceptions of Technology Use in the Schools. Retrieved from http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/03/05/2158244012440813
Stansbury, M. (2011). 10 ways to change the minds of tech-reluctant staff. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/11/18/10-ways-to-change-the-minds-of-tech-reluctant-staff/
Venezky, R. (n.d.). ICT in Innovative Schools: Case Studies of Change and Impact. Retrieved May 01, 2016, from http://www.oecd.org/site/schoolingfortomorrowknowledgebase/themes/ict/41187025.pdf
Zogheib, S. (n.d.). Factors Affecting Preservice Teachers’ Computer Use For General Purposes: Implications For Computer Training Courses. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://ets.sagepub.com/content/43/1/35.full.pdf