The pilot implementation of an educational computer resource network: A naturalistic study.
Bichelmeyer, Barbara Anne, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1991.
A naturalistic study of the pilot implementation of a computer resource and electronic mail network into 16 schools in six districts. Interviews of thirty-one educators were conducted during a three month period, including teachers, student teachers, administrators and librarians. Results of the inquiry are presented in case study format, with inquirer interpretations and lessons to be learned. Conclusions indicate teachers are more likely to embrace technologies that meet their criteria of simplicity, versatility, reliability, durability and practicality. Hardware, software, training format, and support personnel are identified as four key factors that may affect computer integration, specific issues in each area are discussed. The five major findings are: (1) Teachers differ from instructional technologists in that they are primarily interested in teaching and they view technology as a tool, not for technology's sake, but for education's sake. (2) Teachers should be involved in planning and design phases of technology development so that results applications software will have practical value in their professional activities because if an application does not meet teachers' perceived needs then the program simply will not be used. (3) Word processing is the most sought-after computer application by teachers. Teaching is about the sophisticated processes of thinking, creating and communicating; because word processing facilitates these processes, teachers believe that word processing is a sophisticated and valuable tool for their professional use. (4) There is a hierarchy of needs based on Maslow's hierarchy which must be addressed which will provide greater assurance for the success of integration efforts. (5) Teacher training is less likely to be successful if it does not adhere to adult learning principles.