Monday, September 28, 2015

Factors Impacting Effective Technology Use: Years Teaching

The LoTi (formerly Levelsof Technology Implementation) Framework has been used worldwide to collect survey data on current uses of and support for digital tools and resources from classroom teachers and building level administrators. The 2015-16 school year marks the 20th Anniversary of the LoTi Digital Age Survey. The 20th Year Anniversary Edition to be released in late Fall 2015 will include a series of comparative analyses addressing effective technology use in U.S. schools. One of these variables is Years Teaching.

Why Years Teaching? A plethora of research has been devoted to this topic about whether experienced teachers are more or less likely to tap into the potential of digital tools and resources to accomplish school outcomes than beginning teachers. In her article, Are Teachers of Tomorrow Prepared to Use Innovative Technology, Schwartz (2013) reports that "... only half of current working teachers believe they can use technology to motivate students to learn, compared to 75 percent of incoming teachers." More telling is the fact that Schwartz's article points out that only 26% of experienced teachers believe that students can use technology for problem-solving activities relating to the content.

What implications then does the variable, Years Teaching, have for us when planning professional development or, as important, preparing students for rigorous high stakes testing? Is Years Teaching the sole indicator that separates the proverbial digital divide? Wetzel, Zambo, and Ryan (2007) caution us to consider additional factors impacting technology integration practices including a teacher's philosophy, adequate technology access, and commitment to professional development. These factors will be topics for future blog posts leading up to the release of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey.

This blog post is the first in a series of fourteen online entries highlighting factors that impact the effective use of technology in today's classrooms. This series focuses on each of the research variables used to conduct comparative analyses as part of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the LoTi Digital Age Survey.