Teacher Perceptions of the Integration of Laptop Computers in Their High School Biology Classrooms

Title: Teacher Perceptions of the Integration of Laptop Computers in Their High School Biology Classrooms
Authors: Gundy, Morag S
Date: 2011
Abstract: Studies indicate that teachers, and in particular science teachers in the senior high school grades, do not integrate laptop computers into their instruction to the extent anticipated by researchers. This technology has not spread easily to other teachers even with improved access to hardware and software, increased support, and a paradigm shift from teacher-centred to student-centred education. Although a number of studies have focused on the issues and problems related to the integration of laptops in classroom instruction, these studies, largely quantitative in nature, have tended to bypass the role teachers play in integrating laptop computers into their instruction. This thesis documents and describes the role of Ontario high school science teachers in the integration of laptop computers in the classroom. Ten teachers who have successfully integrated laptop computers into their biology courses participated in this descriptive study. Their perceptions of implementing laptops into their biology courses, key factors about the implementation process, and how the implementation was accomplished are examined. The study also identifies the conditions which they feel would allow this innovation to be implemented by other teachers. Key findings of the study indicate that teachers must initiate, implement and sustain an emergent and still evolving innovation; teacher perceptions change and continue to change with increased experience using laptops in the science classroom; changes in teaching approaches are significant as a result of the introduction of laptop technology; and, the teachers considered the acquisition and use of new teaching materials to be an important aspect of integrating laptop computers into instruction. Ongoing challenges for appropriate professional development, sharing of knowledge, skills and teaching materials are identified. The study provides a body of practical knowledge for biology teachers who are considering the integration of laptops into their instruction. The results are of interest to science teachers, those whose decisions affect the meaningful integration of technology in science education, those researching the teaching of science in secondary schools and those who prepare science graduates to teach at this level. Key Words: innovation, laptop, computer, biology, science, secondary, implementation, perceptions, instruction, professional development, qualitative, descriptive.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/30146
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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