Term of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

John A. Weaver

Committee Member 1

Karen A. Ferneding

Committee Member 2

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3

William M. Reynolds

Abstract

The use of educational technology has become a focus of reform efforts designed to enrich student learning. Proponents of technology view it as the panacea of education while others ask us to question this myth-information. Throughout America, school districts are designating millions of dollars for technology. Nevertheless, while there are schools with desirable infrastructures, too many schools are ill equipped for enhancing learning through technology. In addition, many classrooms house computers used to merely advance traditional teaching modes, e.g., drill and practice, rather than teach the importance of social responsibility for humankind and the environment through our use of technology. This study is designed to analyze the reasons for the continued existence of challenges to the integration of educational technologies through the lens of science fiction literature and film. Metaphorically, participants link science fiction plots and characters to their orientations to technology, to present experiences with technology in the field of education, to their future expectations of technological advancements, and to the need to reconceptualize our understanding of technology as a mere tool. It is this association with the worlds of science fiction that provides educators and policy makers with an understanding of ourselves in relation to others and technology. Research into teachers' attitude towards technology integration can provide relevant information regarding solutions to the persistent challenges facing the adoption of technology in education. Participants' personal stories and their metaphorical analysis of science fiction indicate that educators' orientation to technology, self-efficacy, perceptions of technology, technology resources, and training and support are predictors of technology integration. In addition, educators' involvement in the planning stages of technology programs and their accountability for high-stakes testing are also significant factors. Conclusions derived from the findings suggest that those involved in technology reform efforts in education need to address educators' concerns for inclusion in the design, development, and implementation of plans for the integration of technology in classroom instruction.

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