In his book, The Anti-Education Era, James Paul Gee (2013) refers to “frozen solutions” as solutions that were once good but are not anymore (p.89). These solutions have become frozen in time (p.89). Gee says, “We humans should often think about, reflect on, and make new decisions about institutionally frozen solutions, but mostly we do not” (2013, p.89). In one of my most recent assignments for my MAET courses, I was able to gain perspective on my colleagues take toward technology integration. I was curious to see how many were “frozen” or flexible when it came to technology in education.
I began by creating my technology integration survey using Google forms. I then distributed it to the twenty teachers at the elementary school at which I work. This Catholic school serves approximately 290 children in grades Kindergarten through six, in a small town in Michigan. Out of these twenty teachers, sixteen of them responded. Therefore, this survey represents 80% of the educators who work in this building.
The purpose of this survey was to answer three driving questions:
- How my colleagues are currently using technologies in their professional practice?
- How would my colleagues like to change or improve their technology integration practices?
- What type of technology-focused professional develop would my colleagues find most useful?
In addition, I wanted to determine my colleagues level of comfort in using technologies in the classroom and attempt to uncover any roadblocks they face when doing so.
The data I collected was very close to what I expected to see based on my observations at school. There are definitely trends that were evident in my data, but also various questions that arose while analyzing the results. I found that overall, most teachers felt they were average when asked how comfortable they feel integrating technology into their teaching. I believe that this number is not higher partially due to the lack of training with the technology. Fifty percent of teachers said one of the biggest barriers they face is that there just isn’t enough training time.
The educators in my building are indeed using a variety of technologies in their practice such as iPads, Microsoft Office, SMART Boards, and Elmos just to name a few. However, one hundred percent of teachers rated their desire to increase their technology integration at a 3 or above on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “absolutely”. What teachers would like most is to learn more about educational apps to use in the classroom!
Can’t wait to check out the full results?! Take a look at my complete analysis. You can also find the full set of data here. For a quick, simple, run down of the results, check out my infographic I created to the right.
Gee, J. (2013). The Anti-Education ERA: Creating Smarter Students Through Digital Learning (First Ed.). New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.