Term of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Judith Repman

Committee Member 1

Lorrraine Gilpin

Committee Member 2

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3

Melissa Purcell

Committee Member 3 Email



Much research has been done to better understand how we think and learn. While technology offers a world of information at our fingertips and a new way to reach today’s students, there is often a gap between use and integration, between what our learners’ needs are and what is provided. This descriptive research study explored the connection between mindful learning theory and educational technologies in the public elementary school classroom. The purpose of this study was to investigate both how and why instructional technologies are being used, as a possible route to understanding how learning opportunities are being constructed. This study explored a possible connection between mindful learning and instructional technologies and was designed to extend Langer's theory of mindful learning to include the foundation of constructivist theory, paying particular attention to the integration of instructional technologies in grades three through five. More specifically, this study described teacher perceptions and comfort with technology and its use within the classroom context, investigated how mindful learning experiences are purposefully planned and implemented within the elementary school classroom, and examined the existence of a link between instructional technology as an aid in mindful teaching and learning practices.

Survey results were gathered using the Levels of Teaching Innovation (LoTi) Digital-Age Survey for Teachers, including the Current Instructional Practices (CIP) and the Personal Computer Use (PCU) frameworks. Aligned to the International Society for Technology Education’s (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) and Teachers (NETS-T) Frameworks, the LoTi Digital-Age Survey for Teachers was designed to examine classroom teachers’ instructional practices as they related to either a learner-based or subject matter approach, and to pinpoint the impact of teachers’ interest, familiarity, and comfort with digital learning tools and resources within their classrooms. Elementary school teachers in grades three through five in one school district within the Georgia public school system comprised the final sample within the study. The data gathered were analyzed using descriptive statistics and compiled through the Levels of Teaching Innovation (LoTi) Profiler for analysis and data display.

The data indicated that although educational tools, consisting of instructional technology tools and resources, were widely available in the elementary school classrooms of those being surveyed, the integration of such tools was inconsistent. Also, while student learning opportunities were incorporated in some classrooms to include some student-led exploration, the overall emphasis for such learning was more aligned to lower levels of student cognitive processing. Finally, classroom technologies were more often used by teachers for classroom or workplace productivity than for instructional purposes.