Teachers And Technology: Making The Connection

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Teachers and Technology: Making theConnectionApril 1995OTA-EHR-616GPO stock #052-003-01409-2

Cover Photo Credit: Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT)sm, Stevens CreekElementary School, Cupertino, CARecommended Citation: U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Teachers andTechnology: Making the Connection, OTA-EHR-616 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, April 1995).ii

orewordn the United States, the public school system is designed—ideally—to produce effective, thoughtful citizens who will becomevaluable contributors to society. In the race to make sure our students are well prepared to handle the world they walk into whenthey walk out of schools, the nation has tried to enlist as teaching resources the most relevant technological innovations of our time—whether television or telecommunications, calculators or computers.But in the process of equipping our students to learn with technology, avaluable—perhaps the most valuable—part of the education equationhas been virtually overlooked: the teachers.Despite over a decade of investment in educational hardware and software, relatively few of the nation’s 2.8 million teachers use technologyin their teaching. What are some of the reasons teachers do not usetechnology? What happens when they do use technology? What factorsinfluence technology integration in schools? What roles do schools, districts, states, the private sector, and the federal government play in helping teachers with new technologies? OTA’s in-depth examination ofthese questions was initiated at the request of the Senate Committee onLabor and Human Resources, and endorsed by the House Committee onEducation and Labor (now the House Committee on Economic andEducational Opportunities) and a member of the Senate AppropriationsCommittee. As this report will show, helping schools to make the connection between teachers and technology may be one of the most important steps to making the most of past, present, and future investments ineducational technology and in our children’s future.Throughout this study, the advisory panel, workshop participants, andmany others played key roles in defining major issues, providing information, and contributing a broad range of perspectives that helpedshape this report. OTA thanks them for their substantial commitment oftime and energy. Their participation does not necessarily represent an endorsement of the contents of the report, for which OTA bears soleresponsibility.ROGER C. HERDMANDirectoriii

dvisory PanelAllen Glenn, ChairpersonDean, College of EducationUniversity of WashingtonSeattle, WAKeith HuettigBoard of DirectorsNational School BoardsAssociationHazelton, IDMilton ChenDirector, Center for Educationand Lifelong LearningKQEDSan Francisco, CAYolanda JenkinsEducation SpecialistCompaq Computers, Inc.San Mateo, CAChris CrossPresident, Council forBasic EducationWashington, DCStanley JohnsonScience TeacherJefferson Junior High SchoolWashington, DCMolly DrakeDirector, Alternate TeacherPreparation ProgramUniversity of South FloridaTampa, FLLeslie Lemon HuntSecond Grade TeacherBeauvior Elementary SchoolBiloxi, MSLee EhmanProfessor of EducationIndiana UniversityBloomington, INGeoffrey FletcherInterim Executive DeputyCommissioner for Curriculum,Assessment, and ProfessionalDevelopmentTexas Education AgencyAustin, TXHenry R. MarockieSuperintendent of SchoolsWest Virginia State Departmentof EducationCharlestown, WVArgelio B. PerezEducation ConsultantLansing, MIDwight PrincePrincipal, Robert E. LeeElementary SchoolLong Beach, CATom SnyderPresident, Tom SnyderProductionsCambridge, MAAdam UrbanskiPresident, Rochester TeachersAssociationRochester, NYValerie J. WilfordExecutive DirectorIllinois Valley Library SystemPekin, ILArt WisePresident, National Council forAccreditation of TeacherEducationWashington, DCKristina WoolseyDistinguished ScientistAdvanced Technology GroupApple Computer, Inc.OTA appreciates and is grateful for the valuable assistance and thoughtful critiques provided by the advisory panel members. Thepanel does not, however, necessarily approve, disapprove, or endorse this report. OTA assumes full responsibility for the report andthe accuracy of its contents.iv

roject StaffClyde BehneyAssistant DirectorPRINCIPAL STAFFKathleen FultonADMINISTRATIVE STAFFCecile ParkerProject DirectorTechnical EditorDenise DoughertyProgram Director1Education and Human ResourcesPatricia MorisonSenior AnalystLinda RayfordPC SpecialistJohn AndelinAssistant Director2Isabelle Bruder SmithAnalystJene LewisAdministrative SecretaryNancy CarsonProgram Director3Education and Human ResourcesEthan T. LeonardResearch AnalystMarsha FennOffice Administrator4OTHER CONTRIBUTING STAFFPaula BrueningGay JacksonPC Specialist4Senior AnalystSam SeidelResearch AssistantTamara KowalskiAdministrative Secretary51Since July 1994.Through August 1993.3 Through June 1994.4 Through June 1994. Now in OTA’s Energy,Transportation, and Infrastructure program.5 Through July 1994.2v

ontractorsRonald E. AndersonUniversity of MinnesotaHenry Jay BeckerUniversity of California at IrvineJames BoscoWestern Michigan UniversityLarry CubanStanford UniversityGulden Fox-GurcayNational Film InstituteMadeline GrossWashington, DCMelinda GriffithAlexandria, VAviBeverly Hunter andBruce GoldbergBolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc.Nancy KoberCharlottesville, VARobert Kozma and Wayne GrantCenter for Technologyin LearningSRI InternationalJohn R. MergendollerBeryl Buck Institute for EducationSaul Rockman, Rockman, et al.Jerome Johnston, University ofMichiganJerry Willis, University ofHoustonMargaret RielInterLearnTERCVanessa DiMauroAlan H. FeldmanShahaf GalDaniel LiebermanJack LochheadRichard R. RouppBarbara SampsonWilliam SpitzerRobert TinkerJerry WillisUniversity of HoustonDee Anna WillisLinda Austin

ontents1 Summary and Policy Options 1Summary of Key Findings 1Introduction 3Teaching and Technology: The Potential 8Teachers and Technology: The Barriers 18Promising Approaches to TechnologyImplementation 28Current Federal Support for Teacher Training andTechnology 29Federal Policy Issues and Options 29Conclusion 462 The Promise of Technologyfor Teachers 49Summary of Key Findings 49Introduction 50Technology and the Job of the Teacher 54Using Technology to Enhance Instruction 57Assisting Teachers with the Daily Tasks ofTeaching 71Fostering Teacher Professional Growth 79Conclusion 883 Technology Access and Instructional Usein Schools Today 89Summary of Key Findings 89Introduction 90What Technologies Do Schools Own and How AreThey Used? 91State Policies on Access and Use 119Conclusion: Issues with Policy and ResearchImplications 121vii

4 Helping Teachers Learn About and UseTechnology Resources 129Summary of Key Findings 129Introduction 130Factors That Influence Technology Use byTeachers 130Approaches To Enhance TechnologyImplementation 144Lessons About Technology Implementation 1555 Technology and the Preparationof New Teachers 165Summary of Key Findings 165Introduction 166History and Current Challenges of PreparingTeachers 167Reform in Teacher Education 169Technology in Teacher Education 181Models of Change: Lessons for the Field 191Conclusions 2056 Technology and Teacher Development:The Federal Role 207Summary of Key Findings 207Introduction 208Background on the Federal Role 209Current Federal Support and Commitment 212New Opportunities for Federal Leadership 220Major Technology-Related Training Programs 224Summary of Federal Emphasis in Technology-RelatedTraining Services and Activities 234Historical Precedents for Technology-RelatedProfessional Development 239Lessons from Past and Present Federal Efforts 246Key Issues for Future Federal Policies forTechnology-Related Teacher Development 250Conclusion 254viii

APPENDICESABoxes, Figures, and Tables 255BSources of Survey Data forThis Report 258CGlossary 264DWorkshop Participants, and Reviewersand Contributors 272E Contributing Sites 279F Contractor Reports Prepared forThis Assessment 281Index 283ix

SummaryandPolicyOptionsSUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS Projections suggest that by spring 1995, schools in the UnitedStates will have 5.8 million computers for use in instruction—about one for every nine students. Almost every school in thecountry has at least one television and videocassette recorder,and 41 percent of teachers have a TV in their classrooms. Onlyone teacher in eight has a telephone in class and less than 1 percent have access to voice mail. Classroom access to newertechnologies like CD-ROM and networking capabilities arealso limited. While 75 percent of public schools have accessto some kind of computer network, and 35 percent of publicschools have access to the Internet, only 3 percent of instructional rooms (classrooms, labs, and media centers) are connected to the Internet. Despite technologies available in schools, a substantial number of teachers report little or no use of computers for instruction. Their use of other technologies also varies considerably. While technology is not a panacea for all educational ills,today’s technologies are essential tools of the teaching trade.To use these tools well, teachers need visions of the technologies’ potential, opportunities to apply them, training andjust-in-time support, and time to experiment. Only then canteachers be informed and fearless in their use of newtechnologies. Using technology can change the way teachers teach. Someteachers use technology in traditional “teacher-centered”ways, such as drill and practice for mastery of basic skills, orto supplement teacher-controlled activities. On the other hand,some teachers use technology to support more student-centered approaches to instruction, so that students can conduct 1

2 I Teachers and Technology: Making the ConnectionHelping teachers become “fearless"with technology could bethe best way to assure that they use these tools effectively intheir classrooms.their own scientific inquiries and engage in collaborative activities while the teacher assumesthe role of facilitator or coach. Teachers whofall into the latter group are among the most enthusiastic technology users, because technology is particularly suited to support this kind ofinstruction. Increased communications is one of the biggestchanges technology offers classroom teachers.Telecommunications, from simple telephonesto advanced networks, can transcend the wallsof isolation that shape the teaching professionand allow teachers to converse and share experiences with colleagues, school administrators,parents, and experts in the field. Helping teachers use technology effectivelymay be the most important step to assuring thatcurrent and future investments in technologyare realized. Most teachers have not had adequate training toprepare them to use technology effectively inteaching. Currently, most funds for technologyare spent on hardware and software, but experienced technology-using sites advocate largerallocations for training and support. On average, districts devote no more than 15 percent oftechnology budgets to teacher training. Somestates have suggested this figure should bemore like 30 percent. A majority of teachers report feeling inadequately trained to use technology resources,particularly computer-based technologies. Although many teachers see the value of studentslearning about computers and other technologies, some are not aware of the resourcestechnology can offer them as professionals incarrying out the many aspects of their jobs.Although schools have made significant progress in helping teachers to use basic technological tools such as word processing anddatabases, they still struggle with integratingtechnology into the curriculum. Curriculum integration is central if technology is to becomea truly effective educational resource, yet integration is a difficult, time-consuming, and resource-intensive endeavor.Technology can be a valuable resource for improving teacher education overall. It can bringmodels of the best teaching live from the classroom into the colleges of education, or providevideo case studies of teaching styles and approaches. It can forge stronger connectionsamong student teachers, mentor teachers in thefield, and university faculty.Despite the importance of technology in teacher education, it is not central to the teacherpreparation experience in most colleges ofeducation in the United States today. Most newteachers graduate from teacher preparationinstitutions with limited knowledge of theways technology can be used in their professional practice.The federal government has played a limitedrole in technology-related teacher developmentcompared with states, universities, and schooldistricts. Even so, past federal programs havepiloted innovative educational applications oftechnology for teachers by providing significant support for professional development,specifically among mathematics, science, andspecial education teachers, and by providingfunding for technology-related professional

Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 3Technology is a fact of life in today's society and students will need to be facile with these powerful tools. This young studentmakes sure his thinking cap is on as he ponders a computer screen in the classroom.development in school districts that could nothave supported it on their own. The federal government has tended to focusmore on inservice than preservice education,channeling more support to K-12 schools thanto colleges of education—an approach that mayaddress current needs but does not greatly influence teacher preparation or quality over thelong term. The federal government has a unique opportunity to encourage greater links between technology and professional development, throughrecent legislation such as Goals 2000 and theImproving American’s Schools Act. The waythe laws are currently written, however, funding for technology and teacher training, andsupport for effective use, may not be high priorities. National leadership for educationaltechnology can create enthusiasm and supportfor state and local technology initiatives. Focusing attention, as well as funding, on howtechnologies can support professional development, and on how teachers are essential to theimplementation of technologies, can send important signals to schools around the country.INTRODUCTION“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tellwhere his influence stops. ”Henry Adams, from The Education ofHenryAdamsTechnology is a fact of American life. Computers,video, television, telephones, radio, and telecommunications networks exert an incalculable influence on how we live, work, and play—aninfluence likely to expand as hardware and software become more powerful, affordable, and per-

4 Teachers and Technology: Making the Connectionvasive.1 New technologies are already essentialtools for doing business and are quickly becominga primary means for people to acquire information. For example, in 1993 an estimated 12 million-plus Americans regularly used electronicmail and related online information services.2 ByOctober 1994, the number of e-mail users was estimated to be more than 27 million.3For students, the ability to use technology hascome to be recognized as an indispensable skill.The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) stated this in the starkestterms, “Those unable to use . . . [technology] facea lifetime of menial work.”4Recognizing their responsibility to prepare students to work and live in a technological society,states and school districts have adopted standardsfor teaching students with and about technology.5For example, in a 1994 survey conducted for theOffice of Technology Assessment (OTA), all butseven states reported that they require or recommend integrating computers or informationtechnology into the curriculum, and 19 states require seniors to demonstrate computer competency before graduating.6 The question now is, howcan schools use technology more effectively?Most policy discussions and technology initiatives have tended to focus on hardware andsoftware acquisition, and student access to technology. However, in the enthusiasm to get tech-nology to students, and in the context of limitedresources, teacher issues have been shortchanged.When teacher needs are discussed, the emphasis isoften on providing short-term training to familiarize teachers with a specific application or encourage general computer literacy. Seldom havepolicy discussions or initiatives centered on therelationship between technology and the teacher’srole. Seldom have they articulated a vision of howtechnology can empower teachers to carry out allparts of their jobs.In response to these concerns, noted as issues inearlier OTA reports,7 OTA was asked to do thisstudy by congressional committees and membersof Congress with interests in the application ofemerging technologies to education (see box 1-1).In addition to the usual OTA process of convening an advisory panel, conducting extensive staffwork, and obtaining broad peer review of drafts,OTA used a variety of methods to conduct this assessment (see box 1-2). The technologies OTA focused on and their current availability in thenation’s elementary and secondary schools are described in box 1-3.OTA finds the lack of attention to teachers andtechnologies ironic, for at the center of effectiveuse of instructional technologies are those whooversee the daily activities of the classroom—theteachers. To use new technologies well, teachers1 See, e.g., U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Electronic Enterprises: Looking to the Future, OTA-TCT-600 (Washington,DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, May 1994).2J. Eckhouse, “Internet: Millions of Users Plug in to Hug Computer Network,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 1, 1993, pp. C-1, C-7.3 MatrixInformation and Directory Services, Austin, TX, October 1994.4 What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000, Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (WashingtonDC: U.S. Department of Labor, June 1991), p. 15.5 For this study, when the term technology is used, it refers to all forms of computers and their peripherals including hard disk drives, printers,CD-ROM, projection devices, and networks offering telecommunications linkages. It also refers to a range of other new or more traditionaltechnologies: telephones, video cameras, televisions and VCRs, fax machines, videodiscs, cable and other one- or two-way links, small deviceslike electronic calculators, personal digital assistants or other hand-held devices, or combinations of these and other new technologies.6 Ronald E. Anderson, “State Technology Activities Related to Teachers,” contractor report prepared for the Office of Technology Assess-ment, U.S. Congress, Washington, DC, Nov. 15, 1994.7 U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Power On! New Tools for Teaching and Learning, OTA-SET-379 (Washington, DC:U.S. Government Printing Office, September 1988); and Linking for Learning: A New Course for Education, OTA-SET-430 (Washington, DC:U.S. Government Printing Office, November 1989).

Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 5In 1986, Congress asked the Office of Technology Assessment to study the use of computers in1schools, In 1988, OTA reported its findings in Power On! New Tools for Teaching and Learning, whichdescribed the promise of and barriers to using technology in K-12 education. At that time, there wereabout two million personal computers in American schools, a ratio of roughly one computer for every 30students. Most educational software was limited to drill-and-practice applications. A handful of small, special-purpose educational software publishers were scrambling to create a market for their products.Schools were focusing attention on teaching students “computer literacy” skills. Teacher training consistedof general computer awareness courses, and a few adventurous souls were learning to program in BASICor LOGO, so they could design

Teaching and Technology: The Potential 8 Teachers and Technology: The Barriers 18 Promising Approaches to Technology Implementation 28 Current Federal Support for Teacher Training and Technology 29 Federal Policy Issues and Options 29 Conclusion 46 2 The Promise of Technology for Teachers 49