Problems with integrating computer technology into the K-12 educational curriculum: a study of the use of the Internet and video-conferencing in a fifth grade classroom

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Virginia Tech


Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Virginia Tech was given funding to connect local schools to the Internet and provide teachers with computers and related technology in their classrooms. In the process of introducing this technology into the schools, we encountered many common problems that school districts face when placing computers in the classrooms.

This paper begins by discussing the effects that computer technology has on teaching methods and the learning process. It shows how teachers slowly move toward a more constructivist approach to teaching as they become more comfortable using and applying the technology in their classrooms. It also shows how children begin to individualize their learning with the use of technology. Instead of each student learning the same lesson, computer technology allows children to spend more time in areas that interest them and freely explore and learn on their own. The first half of this paper concludes by reviewing the many problems faced by school districts and teachers when computer technology is introduced into the classrooms.

The second half of the paper is devoted to a video-conferencing project in which many of these problems were encountered in a real classroom situation. The current state of video-conferencing technology is discussed along with problems encountered while using it in the classroom and its potential for the future.



computers, education