Scholarly article on topic 'Technology integration and assesment in educational settings'

Technology integration and assesment in educational settings Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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{Technology / "Technology Integration" / "Assessment of Technology Integration" / LoTi / OPTIC / PETI / TAGLIT}

Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — M. Semih Summak, Mustafa Samancioğlu, Murat Bağlibel

Abstract Evaluation of current use and integration level of technology in schools is important for polic-makers, school administrators and educators to make decision about butget allocation, staff development and personnel development. The aim of this study is to examine and compare tools used for assessing the technology integration level of schools. In the paper, literature researched for determining tools. LoTI, OPTIC, PETI and TAGLIT assessment tools are chosen due to widespread use. Tool are examined separately and compared in a table that shows characteristics of each tool. The study can help decision-makers, educators, researchers and educators for determining right technology integration assessment tool.

Academic research paper on topic "Technology integration and assesment in educational settings"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2010) 1725-1729

WCES-2010

Technology integration and assesment in educational settings

a b b M. Semih Summaka, Mustafa Samancioglu0 *, Murat Bagliber

aAssoc.Prof.Dr. G aziantep Education Faculty, Gaziantep Universiy,Gaziantep,27100, Turkey bPhd.Student, G aziantep Education Faculty, Gaziantep Universiy,Gaziantep,27100, Turkey

Received October 14, 2009; revised December 23, 2009; accepted January 7, 2010

Abstract

Evaluation of current use and integration level of technology in schools is important for polic-makers, school administrators and educators to make decision about butget allocation, staff development and personnel development. The aim of this study is to examine and compare tools used for assessing the technology integration level of schools. In the paper, literature researched for determining tools. LoTI, OPTIC, PETI and TAGLIT assessment tools are chosen due to widespread use. Tool are examined separately and compared in a table that shows characteristics of each tool. The study can help decision-makers, educators, researchers and educators for determining right technology integration assessment tool. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Technology; Technology Integration; Assessment of Technology Integration , LoTi, OPTIC, PETI, TAGLIT

1. Introduction

Rapid developments and advancements in technology, like computers and Internet, creates new opportunities for teaching and learning. As we move through the Information Age, technological advances are changing the institutions organization and operation. Education also affected by this change. In an effort to prepare students to be productive citizens in society, it is imperative that educators rise to meet the challenges that these changes bring. Technological and educational advances are likely to change the way that many schools look and operate(Griffin, 2003). Students must be able to use technology if they are going to live and work successfully in and increasingly complex and information-rich society(Miller, 2007).

Some of commonly used technologies in education are desktop computers, laptops, handheld computers, software or Internet(Hew & Brush, 2007). Technology involves the tools with which we deliver content and implement practices in better ways(Holznogel, 2005).

People feel that effective technology can make a difference in classrooms. Technology can also make a difference in the lives of students. Students must be technology literate in order to excel in future jobs and to be productive citizens(Griffin, 2003). Researchs indicate that technology (under the right conditions) accelerates, enriches, and deepens basic skills; motivates and engages students in learning; helps relate academics to the practices of todays workforce; strengthens teaching; increases the economic viability of tomorrows workers;

* Mustafa Samancioglu. Tel.:+90-505-475-9144 E-mail address: msamancioglu@hotmail.com

1877-0428 © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.973

contributes tio school change; and connects schools to the real world(Schacter, 1999). Public opinion and research supports the view that people feel technology can have a positive impact on learning. According to Milken's (1999) Survey of Technology in the Schools, 62% of the teachers surveyed felt that technology is a powerful tool for helping to improve learning. These teachers also felt that curriculum is enhanced by integrating technology based software into the teaching and learning process.(Griffin, 2003). Idio (2000) found that teachers felt that computers increase student motivation to learn and are extremely important as instructional tools in the classroom.

Otto and Albion (2004) reported that although new technologies are now widely available in schools, it does not integrate fully into teaching and learning. In order to take advantage of technologys full potential, it must be integrated in education properly. Technology in itself does not support learning.Only when it is well integrated into a learning environment does the full potential(Voogt & Knezek, 2008).

The way in which technology is used in a classroom is a critical measure of its success. As stated by the Office of Technology Assessment(1995, p. 57), ''...it is becoming increasingly clear that technology, in and of itself, does not directly change teaching or learning. Rather, the critical element is how technology is incorporated into instruction (Maurer & Davidson, 1998). Technology in itself can not change the education. It could make a difference when integrated with the curriculum(Muir-Herzig, 2004).

If the technology is effectively integrated, technology can provide students with engaging opportunities to find and utilize current information and apply academic skills for solving real-world problems. Traditional educational practices do not provide students with all the necessary skills for success in todays world(ISTE, 2005; Miller, 2007).

2. Technology Integration

The term technology integration has been used by somany people to mean somany different things(Bebell, Russell, & O'Dwyer, 2004; Hew & Brush, 2007; Miller, 2007; Redish & Chan, 2007). For some scholars, technology integration is understood and examined in terms of types of teachers' computer use in the classrooms, for other s, how teachers used technology to carry out familiar activities more reliably and productively, and how such use may be re-shaping these activities. Others define technology integration in terms of teachers using technology to develop students' thinking skills(Hew & Brush, 2007).

Griffin(2003) defines technology integration as, purposeful use of instructional technology in the development and methodology of curriculum delivery. Technology integration is the incorporation of technology and technology-based practices (collaborative work and communication, Internet-based research etc. ) into daily routines, work and management of schools(Ogle et al., 2002).

According to Protheroe(2005), effective technology integration does not mean using technologies to teach the same content in the same way; instead to use technology for providing opportunities to support new models of learning, including opportunities for students to collaborate and construct knowledge(Protheroe, 2005). In addition, in order to integration to be successful, it must be routine, seamless, and both efficient and effective in supportig school goals and purposes(NFES, 2002; Ogle et al., 2002).

Integrating technology is not about technology-it is primarily about content and effective instructional practices. Its focus must be on curriculum and learning. Integration is defined not by the amount or type of technology used, but by how and why it is used(Holznogel, 2005).

Term Technology integration means, the use of technology to achieve learning goals and to empower students learning throughout the instructional program(Cartwright & Hammond, 2003; Kogak-Usluel, Ku§kaya-Mumcu, & Demiraslan, 2007).

Despite the lack of a clear standard definition, certain prevailing elements appear to cut across the many different current discussions about technology integration(Hew & Brush, 2007). It could be said that technology integration is occurring if: teachers are trained in a full range of technology uses and in the determination of their appropriate roles and applications; teachers and students routinely use technology when needed; teachers and students are empowered and supported in carrying out those choices.

3. Assessment of Technology Integration

One of the challenges educational decision makers and school administrators face is accurately assessing the integration of technology in the classrooms(Miller, 2007). School boards are asking school leaders to prove the

effectiveness of the districtis investment in technology integration as an instructional strategy. While they do not doubt that technology integration is a good thing, they want to know to what degree it is happening and whether it is effective in teaching both technical skills and subject content(Holznogel, 2005)

Evaluation of current level of the technology integration must be known to help decision makers to shape future decision making around professional development options, budgeting priorities to satisfy federal grant requirements or state mandates; to plan staff development and professional development(Moersch, 2002)

Some institutions and researchers studied to assess and evaluate the technology integration levels of educational environments. Frameworks and tools based on these studies are developed to meet educational stakeholders assessment requirements. Some technology integration level assessment tools are examined below. The tools selected are well known, institutionalized, comprehensive, valid and reliable with regard to content and structure, and reachable.

4. Tools for Assesing Technology Integration

4.1 The Level of Technology Implementation

The Level of Technology Implementation (LoTi) Framework and Questionnaire is created in 1995 to measure levels of technology implementation to asist educator in restructuring their staff's curricula to include concept/process-based instruction, authentic uses of technology, and qualitative assessment(Griffin, 2003; Moersch, 1995, 2002). Primary focus is on behaviors and attitudes affecting teaching and learn ing practices in the classroom; less on computer skills.

The idea behind the LoTi framework is that teachers will progress from low levels of technology integration, which are teacher-centered, to higher levels of use, which are learner centered(Moses, 2006). Based partially on the Concerns-Based Adoption Model(CBAM) and findings from Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow(ACOT) research the LoTi instrument measures eight specific stages of technology implementation: Awareness, Exploration, Infusion, Mechanical Integration, Routine Integration, Expansion, and Refinement.

In the LoTi framework, seven discrete implementation levels teachers can demonstrate are proposed, ranging from Nonuse (Level 0) to Refinement (Level 6). As a teacher progresses from one level to the next, a series of changes to the instructional curriculum is observed(Moersch, 2002).

The LoTi instrument measures three dimensions which affects technology use in the classroom: Level of Technology Implementation (LoTi)(40 items), Current Instructional Practices (CIP) (5 items), Personal Computer Use (CIP) (5 items)(Moersch, 1995). The PCU profile determines the respondent's comfort and competence level with using computers, CIP profile determines preferences with regard to instructional practices for a particular subject-matter or learner-based curriculum design (Moses, 2006).

The LoTi Questionnaire consists of 50 questions. The answer choices are presented in a Likert-type scale where 0 is "no answer," 1-2 is "not true of me now," 3-4 is "somewhat true of me now," and 5-6 is "very true of me now." The respondents answer is transferred to a response table that has arranged each question according to its particular level of integration from 0 to 6, as well as a PCU and CIP column. Each LoTi level represents a different level of implementation along a continuum from non-use to refinement. (Moses, 2006).

There are six separate surveys for the following personnel: (a) higher education faculty; (b) school administrators; (c) media specialists; (d) instructional specialists; (e) inservice teachers; and (f) preservice teachers.

4.2 NETC OPTIC

The Northwest Educational Technology Consortium(NETC) developed Observation Protocol for Technology Integration in the Classroom (OPTIC) for assesing the degree of technology integration in classroom and whole school(Holznogel, 2005; NETC, 2009).

The protocol provides a framework for classroom observation to collect some of the information contributing to that assessment. OPTIC was not designed for or validated in teacher evaluation(NETC, 2009). This protocol is designed to support the observation of classrooms or technology laboratories to gather data on the ways curricular integration of technology is occurring.

A rubric format is used in part of the protocol. Rubric has two part and two other versions(continuum and scale versions).In the first part, named as Setting and Circumstances, general or descriptive information about the observation like Grade Level of Students observed, Activity type, Curricular area addressed, Primary nature of student activity, Technologies in use, Software in use by class during the observation, objectives and goals of student addressed for that time period are gathered. In the second part, observer grades the involvement level of the students in classroom activies and use of technology for instructional purposes. Observer can choose one of different versions(rubric, continuum and scale) of OPTIC tool. The protocol, rubric and other supplementary documents are available on the NETC's web site.

4.3 SETDA PETI

American State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) commissioned the Metiri Group in 2002 to develop Profiling Educational Technology Integration(PETI). PETI consists of a framework and suite of tools designed to assist educational stakholders in profiling their progress with technology over time(SETDA, 2009).

The PETI includes, tree different survey (for teacher, school administrator and disctrict administrator), site visitation protocols (for classroom observations, focus groups with students and teachers etc.), a report structure, and sampling methodologies for reducing the data collection burden on schools(Lemke, 2005; Miller, 2007).

The tools are interdependent, meant to work in concert with one another. Using them any other way negates confidence in the validity and reliability of the tools(SETDA, 2009). The instruments, protocols and other tools are available at no cost with some rules and can be accessed via SETDA's web site.

4.4 TAGLIT

Taking A Good Look at Instructional Technology (TAGLIT) is a suite of online assessment tools designed to provide educational institutions effective data to evaluate technology use and integration in the teaching and learning environment(TAGLIT, 2009). TAGLIT helps principals and other school leaders gather,analyze, and report information about how technology is used for teaching and learning in their schools. (Moersch, 2002).

TAGLIT includes six different questionnaire version (elementary teacher, student, administrator, middle and high school teacher, student, and administrator) and one summative report.

The suite includes assessments for School Leaders, Teachers, and Students(TAGLIT, 2009). School Leader questionnaire collects information about technology planning, policies, budget, resources, technical and instructional support, professional development, and community involvement. Teacher questionnaire gathers information about technology skills, classroom integration, student involvement, resources, technical and instructional support, professional development, and school technology plan. Student questionnaire collects information about student technology literacy regarding resources, skills, knowledge, use, and application in the classroom.

System provides advanced data analysis tools and a detailed summative report. (Moersch, 2002). All test are provided online in TAGLIT's web site for schools and disctricts.

5. Results and Conclusions

While implementation, diffusion and use of technology in every fields of education increases, assessment of use level of technology in education gains importance gradually. Decision makers (School administrators, educational leader, governments, local authorities) need to know this to make better butgeting decisions, determine professional develepment needs of educator, ensure efectively and efficiently use of the technology in schools.

There are lots of assessment tools for evaluating the technology integration level of schools. In this study, some of these tools are selected and examined to help researchers and educators for selection procedures. While some tools include different measurement procedure for each professional group, some others evaluate schools totally. Tools has different data collection method and instrument. In the table below, some characteristics of tools examined are depicted for summaryzing and comparing.

Table 1. Characteristics of Technology Integration Assessment Tools

Tool Method and Assessment Availibility

Name Assessment availible for Instrument Framework Reportation Option

Higher education faculty, school administrators,

media specialists, instructional specialists, Availible as

LOTI inservice teachers and preservice teachers Survey/Questionnaire Loti N/A survey.

Observation/Rubric, Available online

OPTIC School wide Continuum orScale N/A N/A at no cost.

Teacher, school administrator and Includes report Available online

PETI disctrict administrator Survey/Questionnaire SETDA format. at no cost.

Generates

TAGLIT Teacher, student, administrator Survey/Questionnaire N/A Summative Report Availible online.

To make better decisions in the future, use technology in the school eficiently and increase use and integration level of technology, these tools can be used. In order to get the results expected, proper tool and procedure which are suitable to schools needs and aims, must be employ.

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