16 SES 07 C, Methodological Considerations
One of the prominent elements of the 21st century can be pointed as digital transformations that take place almost every aspect of our lives. In terms of educational systems, schools are considered one of the most important components to adapt digital world of the 21st century. On the other hand, the recent advances in technology and low costs of technological devices facilitated easy access to the computer and other technologies for adults and children’s regular use (Spatariu, Peach & Bell, 2012). In line with the technological developments, schools have been started to use technologies to provide ultimate technology access for students, support learning outcomes and prepare students for the 21st century. Thus, with the integration of mobile technologies in schools, implementation of 1:1 technology or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs to provide technology access for every student became more widespread. Schools take the advantage of technological tools such as tablets or smart phones to provide rich learning content, connect curriculum with real-life applications, and allow students to learn and apply what they have learned (Pouezevara, Dinçer, Kipp & Sarışık, 2013). In this process learning is re-defined and providing deeper learning opportunities became a current issue for educators and leaders in such an environment. Thus, teachers were expected to develop new forms of professional knowledge to benefit from digital environments beyond using technology to content delivery, learner support, and assessment (Freeman, Adams Becker, Cummins, Davis & Hall Giesinger, 2017). Also, there is a need to think about the role of technology to fulfill the needs of today’s learners. At this point even, the many advantages of using these devices in education; still teachers are the most significant factor in this process. Especially, with the integration of mobile devices in education there is a need to research pedagogical use of mobile devices for learning in and out of school. Even the focus is integrating technological devices into education the management of the change is pointed as a critical factor (Twining et al., 2006).
This research was informed by Fullan’s educational change model and technology integration frameworks. Fullan (2007) investigates educational change in three broad categories. The first phase is initiation which considered the adoption of the change and includes the decision to proceed with the change. The second phase is the implementation which refers putting the change in action. The third phase is continuation that is the decision related to remaining or discontinuing of the implementation of the proposed change. Thus, based on the Fullan’s educational change model this research particularly focused on the perceptions and practices of the stakeholders which support the 1:1 initiative that put into the practice. This study presents findings from a 1:1 technology initiative through the experiences of key stakeholders by using Fullan’s (2007) educational change model as a lens. Thus, the study aims to investigate the following questions; What are the factors related to adopting 1:1 technology initiative? What are the key stakeholders` experiences regarding 1:1 technology initiative? Based on the current of 1:1 technology initiative what can be the design elements to sustain the change?
A qualitative research design was adopted, and a case study approach was chosen to examine the implementation process of 1:1 technology initiative, by the way, the process was described and explored in its unique context. The study was conducted in one of the schools of the private K-12 educational institution which supports “smart education” concept. The institution was collaborated with a tech company and launched 1:1 technology initiative in which every student has tablet PC in the classroom. A connection between the smart board and student tablets was provided by means of special software so that interaction and data exchange can be done by these devices between teachers and students. The 1:1 technology initiative has started in fall 2013 and was monitored for three years. In this time researcher visit the school many times to keep track of the initiative and gather data on multiple times. Interviews and direct observations are the primary sources of data collection. Teachers from various disciplines, project coordinators, school managers, students, and parents were selected to be interviewed. Also, classroom observations were conducted. Content analysis approach was used to analyze the data. As a theoretical proposition, Fullan’s educational change theory guided the analysis. One unique characteristic of qualitative content analysis was considered as a flexibility method that uses inductive or deductive approaches or a combination of both approaches in the analysis (Patton, 2002; Miles & Huberman, 1994). In the data analysis, both theory-driven (deductive) and data-driven(inductive) methods were applied jointly.
Findings were presented according to the categories of Fullan’s model: initiation, implementation, continuation in line with the research questions. In the initiation process of 1:1 technology initiative as an external change agent tech company had a big role. At the same time tendency of the chair to integrate technology and school vision was other important factors. Technical problems were important barriers for the implementation. Most of the teachers’ practices were based on exchange of exemplary materials between student tablets and smart board. Thus, the technologies within the 1:1 technology initiative were used as a logistic support as a first step. But even this kind of usage provides flexibility and time-saving in learning, stakeholders were in search of how to use these technologies effectively. In this point, peer relations among teachers became important to share experiences. Also, individual characteristics of teachers were indicative in terms of openness to experience. As for parents, out of school use was the main question. Parents explicitly want to see how tablets contribute to their child’s learning process and knowledge of parents was an important issue to guide their children, especially in low grades. Teachers did not want to be a part of this new system instead they wanted to integrate it to their pedagogies. Teachers were also the digital content developers. In this regard project coordinators’ role and leadership skills became evident in guiding teachers. Another important issue was the training of teachers. There was a need to exemplary learning situations and learning by design activities for teachers. Through the three years, the initiative progress as a developmental cycle which effects the implementation in a positive way, but constantly changing school structure and management was found as a negative factor.
Freeman, A., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Davis, A., & Hall Giesinger, C. (2017). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K–12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change 4th edition. New York: Teachers College Press. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: A sourcebook. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. Patton M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Pouezevara, S., Dinçer, A., Kipp, S., & Sarışık, Y. (2013). Turkey's FATIH project: A plan to conquer the digital divide or a technological leap of faith. Turkey: RTI International & Education Reform Initiative (ERI). Spatariu, A., Peach, A., & Bell, S. (2012). Enculturation of young children and technology. In Blake, S., Winsor, D. L., & Allen, L. (Eds.), Technology and Young Children: Bridging the Communication Generation Gap. (pp. 24-48). Twining, P., Broadie, R., Cook, D., Ford, K., Morris, D., Twiner, A., et al. (2006). Educational change and ICT: An exploration of priorities 2 and 3 of the DfES strategy in schools and colleges - the current landscape and implementation issues. Coventry: Becta.
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