Teacher use of microcomputers in the schools

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Virginia Tech


Currently school districts, using a variety of approaches, are in various stages of implementing the microcomputer for classroom task use. While research exists about change (Goodlad, 1992), implementation (Bond, 1988), inservice training (Ellis & Kuerbis, 1992), and student classroom accomplishment using the microcomputer (Bailey, 1990), studies have not examined teacher expectations and implementations while using microcomputers, following an inservice course, and the accompanying obstacles and resulting problem solving strategies.

This study explored the expectations teachers have for using the microcomputer, the tasks for which they implement use, the obstacles encountered, and the strategies created to overcome those obstacles. Further, the study showed how implementation was effected by the school system as a whole and by the teachers who had taken a microcomputer inservice course. Two hundred and ninety-four teachers and seventeen administrators were surveyed in 1985 and sixty-seven teachers - and nine administrators were surveyed in 1992.

This study found that administrators changed inservice programs and purchased additional hardware and software between the two survey years. Teacher expectations were high in both years, with the 1985 sample implementing fewer tasks than the 1992 sample. In 1992, the difference between expectation and implementation was smaller than in 1985. Other findings include information about demographic characteristics, obstacles and strategies. Some demographic characteristics of the teachers studied differed over time. For example, teachers in the 1985 sample were less experienced in microcomputer use than teachers in the 1992 sample, but in both years math teachers composed the largest inservice group. Obstacles existed in both years with physical obstacles ranking highest in 1985 and support obstacles ranking highest in 1992. Teachers studied employed strategies in both years. While the 1985 sample used home strategies about as often as school strategies, school strategies predominated among those sampled in 1992.



computer education