Media Technology Integration in California School

Introduction

While the use of web 2.0 technologies is helpful when deployed in classrooms to support classroom instruction, a substantial number of teachers still find it quite daunting to adopt and deploy the technology in classrooms. Therefore, it is quite important to establish the mechanisms of determining the level at which technology can be deployed in a given learning environment and whether it can improve the teaching and learning abilities of the teachers and the students because technology is finding elaborate use in the education sector. This research investigates the factors that play a critical role in shaping the adoption of new media in the learning environment. The research is based on the case study of a school district located in Central Valley, California.

The research uses a case study methodology, which is critical in providing evidence-based outcomes on the modalities of adopting new media technology in a school. A case study research design was chosen based on the observation by Cohen, Manion, and Morrison (2011), who noted that case studies help educational evaluators to make further empirical evaluations based on other visible attributes in research, which expand the range of data collection.

The investigation of new media adoption in the research revolves around three main questions. Other questions, the mini-questions, are deployed in the collection of data are derived from any of the three questions. The first question investigates the perception of the teachers and administrators about new media tools deployment in teaching. The second question investigates the pros and cons of new media adoption in the modern learning environment.

Of greater essence in the second question is the unearthing of the challenges of new media adoption in the modern learning environment. The third question finds out how collaboration and communication in learning among the learners and the instructors can be enhanced through the deployment of new media in high school. This question digs deeper into the different attributes of new media and how they can influence learning from the perspective of instructing and acquiring instructions.

This section of the paper is quite important in the research as it carries out the synthesis of the data collected and presents the outcomes of the research. This part of the research presents a statistical summary and a further analysis of the data based on the research methods and the sampling techniques deployed in the research to derive outcomes that answers to the research questions. In summary, the chapter describes the data collected by categorizing the data into distinct groups for the ease of analysis.

A description of the school environment is done to offer an insight into the diverse aspects of new media adoption in the chosen case. The description is in terms of the real school set up and the tendencies of new media adoption in the school. This is then followed by the exploration of the diverse categories of data, both qualitative and quantitative, to derive the results of the study.

Descriptive Data

This section provides a narrative summary of the population or sample characteristics and demographics of the participants in the study. It establishes the number of subjects, gender, education level, organization, and any other appropriate sample characteristics. The use of graphic organizers, such as tables, charts, graphs to provide further clarification and promote readability is utilized to organize and present coded data.

This research study was conducted based on Rogers’s (2003) diffusion of innovations theory and instructional technology diffusion theories as presented by Surry (1997, 2005), and Ely’s (1999) facilitating conditions for the implementation of technological innovations. The study was conducted in one phase. Participating high school and district administrators were interviewed and observed to investigate their perceptions on adoption and integration of new media technology tools and adoption at four high schools in a school district in Central Valley, California and factors limiting or facilitating this adoption.

Teachers and administrators provided in-depth information on a twofold basis. The first basis on which the teachers provided information is the supportive aspect, where they provided information about the factors that support the adoption of new media in high school teaching. The second perspective was the provision of information that negated the first set of information: factors that hinder the adoption of new media tools in high school teaching. The next section presents a description of the school district to provide a background against which the study was conceived.

Description of the school district in Central Valley California

The school district used in the study was established in the year 1997 in Central Valley County, with a mission to provide K-12 education to all the students. The school district opened its doors to students in the year 1999 with elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

Since its establishment, the school district has been proactive in responding to the learning and teaching needs of the students and teachers by introducing new courses and programs of study that target the felt needs of state and federal standards of education. Associated with this approach has been flexibility in trying out new things, of which computer technologies and tools are employed. This indicates the embrace of technology adoption in education. It is also a pointer to new media deployment in learning in the school.

The school district took a leading role in introducing and adopting new technologies for the teachers during its early stages of operation. Owing to increased support through funds and donations, a substantial number of schools in the Central Valley, California, were provided with more efficient computers and other technological tools to support K-12 teaching and learning. A new laptop or computer was issued to all the teachers, key administrators, as well as the administrative staff in the school district in Central Valley, California.

Before this development, faculty members in the school had to use the services of their departmental secretary for typing assistance and other computer-related tasks. It is also imperative to point out that until the year 2006; teachers and staff of all schools were forced to use the library or office computers and printers for internet access and printing.

However, from the year 2006, internet provision was extended to the teaching area, thus implying that the teachers and the staff did not have to go to the library to access and use internet services. Wireless internet technology installed in the offices, as well as classrooms, had improved the network speed. This meant that internet speed was quite high, thereby increasing the ease with which the teachers and administrators together with other members of the administrative staff conducted online transactions (R. Gill, personal communication, February 2014).

Another development as far as technology adoption in the school is concerned was the establishment of the Information Services & Educational Technology (ISET) Department at the district office, which has taken a leadership role in technology initiatives, including training teachers and administrators in different areas that appertain to new technology adoption for administrative and teaching purposes (R. Gill, personal communication, February 2014). This is how a librarian and a staff member at one of the high schools and the district described the electronic technology’s progress at the district and school:

From the year 1999, they started with a dial-up connection and we didn’t have a complete Local Area Network. Only the library had a Local Area Network and Internet connection was just through dial-up. The school office had one computer in which everyone accessed the Internet. Then from the year 2003, the entire school got a leased line of 64 kbs from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that could only be accessed from the Library since the school did not have a local area network.

Things improved from the year 2004 to 2005 when technology improved and the district extended the local area network to the school administration block; and all the schools got an internet connection, which was then 512 KDBS downlink. In 2006, the district upgraded the downlink bandwidth to one Meg and the network too was extended to wireless in the parts which could not access the local area network.

In the year 2006, most schools received computers for the teachers and some 35-50 computers in the computer labs for student use depending on the number of and the school’s budget. Bigger and more developed high schools could afford more computers and other technology tools. That enabled all teachers, administrators, and administrative staff to have a PC in their office or room. That solved some computer accessibility problems.

Then the main problem was the performance of the machines because in no time all the machines were worn out and could not operate at the same speed at which they were installed. The school staffs were not happy with that because they had to wait long to download and explore the internet (Staff 1).

In 2003, some schools also received 30–35 laptops that could be plugged into a charging port in a cart for charging. They were old and slow laptops and all students could not access the Internet at the same time due to limited bandwidth. Teachers could use the Internet and PowerPoint presentations for teaching in class.

The following is an integrated report of the results of the data collection procedure. The first part is a presentation of the description of the participants, followed by findings related to the research questions that guided the study.

Description of Interviewed Participants

In seeking to draw data that described participants, several questions were asked requiring them to identify themselves as either male or female. They were also asked to indicate their age category, the highest degree they had attained, and their professional rank in the school or school district. Other descriptive information included several years they had taught at school or school district level, several classes they taught in a quarter or semester, the average number of students per class that they taught, the department they were affiliated to, and most importantly the level of experience in using technology. Appendix A to L. provides an overview of the basic descriptive information of the participants.

Gender: About the gender of the participants, an almost equal number of males and female teachers use technology in teaching.

Data Analysis Procedures

Gender of Participants.
Table 1. Gender of Participants.

Age: Fourteen teachers participated in the interview. Most of the participants (64.3%) were in the 36 to 45 age category. The rest of the participants were distributed among the youngest age category of 46 to 55, and 56-65 age category had the least 1 participant.

Age of the participants.
Table 2. Age of the participants.

Highest Degree Held: Forty two participants provided responses to this item. A majority of the participants (50.9%) had a bachelor’s degree. The second largest group was that of master’s degree holders at (34%). Very few of the participants had a doctorate degree.

Educational Qualifications of Respondents.
Table 3. Educational Qualifications of Respondents.

Position: About the position held, teachers accounted for the largest proportion of the participants at (54.7%) followed by school administrators. Only one participant held a district level administrator’s position. Most high schools have higher numbers of teachers than administrators and other staffs because a bachelor’s degree and single subject California teaching credential are considered necessary for teaching at high schools, while administrators also need a master’s degree according to California administration credential for an administration position in schools that lie within the district.

While administrators can advance and apply for a district-level position with certain experience after they have obtained an administrative credential, most of them are not considered. Additionally, very few educators attain doctoral level degrees. Those who aspire for that level of academic achievements have to devote a lot of time, money, and commitment to earn one.

Positions Held by Participants.
Table 4. Positions Held by Participants.

Number of Years Teaching at High School or Working as Administrator: This item asked participating teachers and an administrator to provide information regarding the number of years they had taught at present High school or worked at an administrative level. All the 15 participants answered this question. Participants were spread evenly amongst the different years of teaching at High School level. Those who had taught for two to five years were less represented by the participants accounting for 24.5%, followed by most highly representing those who reported teaching or held administrative positions for six to ten years. Participants who had taught or held administrative positions for eleven to fifteen years were the least represented amongst the participants.

Years of Teaching at High School or Administrative Position.
Table 5. Years of Teaching at High School or Administrative Position.

Number Teaching Hours per Week: Participants were asked to indicate the number of classes or work hours they were teaching or working in a week. Fifteen participants provided information for this item. All participants were generally teaching except one who works as an administrator for thirty five to forty hours or more every week. Due to financial constraints, some teachers had secondary duties once or twice every week (coaching, testing, attended meetings and various other duties).

Hours of Teaching in a Week.
Table 6. Hours of Teaching in a Week.

Students per Class: Participants were asked to indicate the average number of students they were teaching per class. A total of 15 participants responded to this item. The largest proportion of the participants had an average of 27-32 students in their classes followed by participating teachers who taught 20 to 26 students in their classes followed by an administrator who did not teach but was involved in other duties.

Students per Class.
Table 7. Students per Class.

Department: Participants were asked to indicate the department to which they belonged. All forty-two participants gave answers to this question. The largest proportion of respondents indicated belonging to the Mathematics and Science departments followed by those belonging to the English and English Language Development department. Coming after them were by those belonging to the Social Studies department. The least represented departments were Art and Physical Education.

Description of Interviewees

A total of 15 teachers were interviewed. Of these, 15 were teachers and one was an administrator. The number of years these teachers had spent teaching ranged from two to 15 years. The longest-serving teacher had served for fifteen years. One of the teachers had served for only two years. This variation helped get a range of perspectives concerning the adoption of technology in the schools over a wider range of time. Seven teachers had served for as long as their schools had been in operation. Teachers came from different departments from four different high schools, and one administrator was from the district technology department.

This section presents the findings of the study as they relate to the three research questions. A research question was described first, followed by a presentation of the findings that were in line with that particular research question for the sake of clarity and order in the presentation of the findings. One methodology, a case study, was employed in this study. As such, the presentation of results from the interviews, discussions, and observations will be done. Data were collected through observation, interviews, and discussions with the respondents from the sample schools.

Based on the findings of the research by Kohlbacher (2006), the analysis of the data in this qualitative research is based more on the content of the responses, rather than the quantity of the data. In a similar sense, the model of analysis in this paper is based on the works of Zucker (2009) on qualitative research, which reiterates research questions in the study as the reference point for the synthesis of the data that is collected. As such, meaning from the vast amount of qualitative data can only be derived through the sampling of responses according to the questions that guide the research. Therefore, the data in the research is analyzed by the virtue of linking the content of the responses to the specific research questions.

  • R1. What are the educators’ views about new media tools used in teaching?

Research question 1 (R1).

The first research question sought to determine the educator’s perception of new media tools used in teaching. It was noted, through observation during interviews and from discussions with the teachers in all the four sample high schools, that they had some computers or laptops connected to a wireless internet network. Technology is a major contributing factor in modern education. For this reason, all fourteen teachers and the technology director had at least one computer or laptop in their classroom connected to the Internet. The administrator had this to say concerning some old computers with Windows XP or those computers that did not have enough hard drive and memory to work with Windows 10 new media software and wireless printers:

  1. Most outdated computers have been either updated or e-wasted.
  2. California has adopted Common Core Standards so state and federal governments have allotted money to all the school districts, starting the 2012 school year.
  3. Hence, this school district has set aside some money for technology upgrades and new machines for teachers and students.
  4. New and more powerful laptops and tablets have been purchased for all the teachers and staff.
  5. New laptops have also been purchased for students so that they can learn and practice web-based learning.
  6. All schools are all getting some major updates and several new machines for the computer labs.
  7. Computer labs in all the schools are being updated and made functional for student use.

Eight participating teachers said they use one or more new media technologies in teaching from time to time, four teachers said they have tried some technology tools sometimes in their teaching, and two teachers said that they are not very interested in trying new technology in teaching because they are comfortable with their existing lesson plans using power-point and whiteboard and they do not want to add more work than they already have.

Group discussions and the answer to research question one (R1) will enable teachers to learn and understand the importance and effective uses of new media tools. The discussion and data will also motivate administrators to help teachers align the current curriculum to Common Core Standards, which is a shift from teacher-centered learning to real life and student-centered learning.

  • R2. What subjective norms and behavioral control factors may be affecting the adoption of new media tools in high school teaching?

Research findings and participating teachers’ answers to research question two (R2) will suggest possible examples and solutions to the subjective norms and behavioral control factors that may be affecting the adoption of new media tools in modern teaching (Taylor & Todd, 1995). The answer will also suggest ideas on how teachers can plan a curriculum based on Common Core Standards and incorporate new media into the teaching process.

The answer may also show a way to help teachers learn not to struggle with the integration of new media, but to embrace the opportunities and use technology tools provided. The theory of planned behavior assumes that a person’s intention when combined with perceived behavioral control will help predict the behavior pattern with greater accuracy (Ajzen, 1991). Therefore, interview answers will suggest how teachers’ intentions, behaviors under their control, and volitional control support or limit the adoption of new media technologies.

  • R3. To what extent can high schools utilize new media tools to support collaboration and communication among educators and students?

The third research question investigated to what extent can high schools utilize new media tools to support collaboration and communication among educators and students? The interview protocol for the teachers, questions — through —specifically addressed this research question. An overview of results from the interviews indicated that most teachers had adopted new media technology at all four high schools, but some teachers were using it more than the others.

In soliciting data that responded to the third research question, participating teachers were asked to indicate their experience with any new media technologies using the descriptive range of non-user, novice, average, and expert. Ten participating teachers described themselves as having high average proficiency, followed by those who described themselves as average as far as the new media technology use was concerned. Three participants described themselves as novice as far as new media technology proficiency was concerned.

The least category of participants (the non-users) comprised two teachers. Interview results shared similarities with those obtained from the observation. Of the eight faculty members interviewed, five reported having low to average proficiency in using the computer. Three of the respondents indicated that they had high proficiency. Mostly the less proficient interviewed teachers had basic computer skills, like exploring the Internet and some Microsoft Office applications.

Research findings and the answer to research question three (R3) suggest ideas concerning the means for teachers and administrators to support and improve collaboration and communication among each other and with the students in limited time. The researcher found some effective ideas through structured open-ended face to face individual and group interviews and by observing the participants. The collected data also provided ideas on the means for administrators to guide teachers to adopt new media and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to the teaching process. The three questions were appropriately framed to narrow the gap in the literature and learn about the factors that may be affecting the adoption of new media tools in high schools.

Teachers’ Views

The literature on high school teachers has explored their beliefs about teaching and learning, their attitudes toward computers, and the obstacles they perceive in integrating technology. Some teachers claimed that their educational beliefs about teaching and learning, about students, about pedagogy, and the role of technology strongly influenced their decision to integrate technology. Some teachers perceived that using Web resources made students’ learning more dynamic and active. This approach motivated students to be more active in the learning process. Some teachers also said that the Web-enhanced environment forced them to change their role from knowledge dispensers to facilitators.

Although most participating teachers emphasized the benefits of technology, the attitudes of math and science teacher were different because initially, they feared that using technology would make their students more dependent on technology and limit basic math concepts. Mr. A also said that students were more enthusiastic to use technology probably for quick results.

Technical and resource limitations

All participating teachers complained many old machines had insufficient memory and they did not have permission to use some software like GooleDocs and Skype in class. Teachers needed special permission to use any new media tools; this added another step in planning. With limited new machines, some teachers found it difficult to integrate technology into the regular curriculum and instruction. All high schools had only one supervisory and technical staff who were available only on certain days and therefore many teachers were techno-phobic and anxious about dealing with technical errors.

Increased Efficiency

Teacher A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H perceived that using new media technology tools made students’ learning more self-motivated and active. The participating teachers also observed that new media tools motivated students and promoted interaction and communication among students and between students and teachers. The teachers flipped classes and found their role changed from knowledge dispensers to facilitators. Teachers gave more one on one attention to English learners and students with other learning needs. All participating teachers said that the use of technology had a significant effect on their intentions to integrate new media technology tools in teaching.

The teachers who reported high levels of personal use more likely used technology in teaching. More teachers were inclined to think technology is useful, therefore integrated technology in the curriculum after training and when technological tools were perceived as easy to use. Participating teachers also said that although educators appreciated the rich resources and the increased accessibility of information provided by the new media tools, some teachers used technology only for administrative purposes like attendance and email.

Teacher A, Teacher B, teacher C, and teacher D commented that they most often use new tools like Edmodo, Dropbox, Share slide, Khan Academy, Evernote and… to share ideas, strategies, and a wide variety of information, labs, technical skills and strategies with other teachers from other schools, school districts, colleges, and states. Some teachers do not have the patience to work through the technical glitches, slow internet, password, sometimes limited access, and other technology-related problems. These tools also help teachers in cross-curriculum reference to help the student understand new topics.

In a group discussion, these teachers said their focus was to integrate technology into a new curriculum based on Common Core Standards. Teachers also shared that all the schools in the school district and the state have received special grants from the state, especially for new laptops for the students, teachers, and staff because technology is an integral part of Common Core standards. All new machines are lightweight, with required memory, latest software, required ports for new media so that teachers and students can use wireless access in class.

All teachers declared that changes were necessary to change traditional ways of teaching and learning. They called for more frequent use of new media technology tools and more advanced technology in all K-12 grades to enable students to master required tech skills. They feel more teachers would use technology, but some old machines, limited training and limited time minimize their chances. Teachers need training in online testing and how to access online resources and integrate technology into teaching. The technology used at home is invaluable, but all the students do not have internet access at home for this reason library or class machines should be available for use after school hours.

Physics teacher Mr. C said that technology was very useful in his physics class, especially when he wanted his students to understand different fields, forces, current, listen to sound waves, etc., that were initially hard to visualize. Seeing these things demonstrated on Web sites was very helpful and effective. New media tools help teachers and students to visualize with models and simulations.

Human Physiology and Biology teachers said they use virtual dissection, animations, and new media tools to help students learn the craft to hold and use dissection tools and other skills they need to master before going to college. Science, Math, and Engineering teachers were excited to share that the world has become technologically oriented; hence, new media tools enable and expose them to master current technology to meet related current and future demands of the workplace.

Math teachers had the opportunity to pilot new courses and help students try new tools that provided learning opportunities to enhance knowledge construction beyond regular schoolwork. Technology enables students to expand their thinking and learning. Participating teachers’ echoed technology is imperative for education because it is an integral part of the growing world and new media technology tools are designed to prepare, test, and challenge the students with right grade-level standards and advanced thought-provoking and challenging problems.

Teachers – said technology has made the class more interesting. Some suggested that technology provided the flexibility to enhance student learning because students can learn at their own pace. Many teachers iterated that they integrated hands-on group assignments, projects, and presentations that increase student confidence and collaboration. Students share knowledge and ideas with their group members and with the class. Teachers indicated that using technology allowed students to go beyond basic tasks, such as advanced writing, complicated number operations, advanced algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and other advanced math courses. This, in turn, has enabled teachers to focus time on English learners and students who need one on one time and a little push on how they can do it.

Teachers also iterated that the integration of technology has improved student efficiency, exploring and collecting data, analyzing different data, enhanced pedagogical approaches, better prepared them for the future, and increased motivation and confidence in class. Teachers were asked to comment on their ideas about using new technology in teaching and learning, focusing on the labs and presentation tools.

Teachers indicated that they have a lot of curriculum to cover, thus they integrate technology in teaching when necessary and not just for entertainment. Science and social studies teachers said technology was useful when it helped students visualize abstract ideas. For instance, when students input variables and see the map, graph or output of their speed, angles, energy, velocity, and other values.

English teachers said they used new tools to import articles, types of writing, assignments, and worksheets. English teachers also use Edmodo to share ideas, resources and lesson plans with teachers from other schools. They exchanged ideas that worked well or not so well and what changes gave them better results. Some teachers also shared their class demographics. Collaboration among teachers is an important component that is helping teachers across different grades, schools, and subjects. Teachers said technology often overwhelmed students, as well as them.

Teachers believed that the use of technology demanded time and certain skills that all the students needed were different from textbook-based learning where students had to use pen and paper to solve and derive problems. Some students more than others needed to focus on the practice of basic skills before they could try new media tools. Several teachers said that they needed more time to practice technical skills in some math, engineering, and science classes. Due to the initial hiccups, some teachers and students were apprehensive about using new media technology tools in learning and, sometimes, went back to traditional pen and paper-based learning.

One factor that contributed to the teachers’ willingness to integrate technology was their comfort level with the subjects they were teaching. Teachers said that they felt comfortable teaching familiar subjects and topics using technology and, therefore, integrated technology. Math teachers used more technology than any other subject in class. The physics and chemistry teachers were practicing and mastering new media technological tools for teaching because formulae, signs, and equations made teaching difficult than math classes.

Science and social science teachers were comfortable teaching the comprehensive knowledge part more onboard than using new media tools. New standards, curriculum, and incorporating technology were delaying teachers to get it right sooner and teach. Several teachers said they wanted to plan, try, edit, and polish what worked well and change or tweak what needed changing [math and science teachers].

Few new science and English teachers indicated that their task was to survive and struggle through the process. They used technology, but they wanted to make sure that their students could learn some technical skills while they passed quizzes and tests. Teachers felt it was more important for the students to know all this material, and teachers tried to teach the old comprehensive way from the textbook, did a couple of demos, labs, just to survive the initial changes and get used to teaching high school classes with 30-34 students.

Although, new teachers were more conversant with technology, were trained in the latest tools, and could gain root, their problem was learning to teach, complete, and clear their teaching credentials, plan lessons, labs and so many other secondary duties that they felt overwhelmed just teaching. New teachers had to juggle between their classes, lesson planning, teaching and understanding student needs, helping students while they were still learning to teach the new curriculum.

New teachers and the experienced teachers were also busy in the new CCSS based curriculum; technology and new operating systems change from windows 7 to windows 8. Few social studies and English teachers were still learning new skills and were afraid to use technology more often. These teachers said they needed help regularly and were not comfortable planning, teaching, and incorporating the technology component in teaching. One administrator said “Oversold and underused” as described in Cuban’s work (2001), is fading away with adoption of Common Core Standards in California. Relatively more teachers had started integrating and trying new media technology tools in high school teaching.

The administrator also described that the web links were accessible on the district Instructional Media Services (IMC) website and they had scheduled special technology training sessions, common core adoption sessions, and district steering committees for all core subjects. This training had helped teachers better understand, prepare, and design curriculum with the integration of technology.

Professional development

One senior teacher said that most teachers did not have a problem with technology. The problem that they had was a philosophical thing, a pedagogical thing [Mr.]. Reaching the teachers and professional training helped teachers understand that technology is not and will not replace teachers, but with the adoption of CCSS, integration of new media technologies was essential to provide tools that enable and prepare students for the modern colleges and the global market. Administrators should encourage and design a technology-enhanced environment so that it serves the goals of educators. Future research is necessary on how to design such technology-enhanced educational systems that enable harmony and, “the realization of a vision of the future society using systems design” (Banathy & Jenlink, 2004, p. 50).

New curriculum and busy workdays push teachers to the limit and, in some cases, beyond. That caused delays in the adoption of new media technologies in high school teaching. All teachers indicated that professional development was a key factor in integrating modern technology into teaching. They also explained how their time committed to teaching, the amount of technical training and curriculum changes, and designing based on CCSSs were reliable factors of technology use in modern teaching. Teachers insisted that it was important to develop teachers’ subject matter competences in technology use because of training influences teachers’ attitudes towards technology.

All teachers said they needed a consistent training and ideas on how new media technologies play a significant role in transforming teaching. This supports Levin and Wadmany’s (2008) findings that training programs for teachers that embrace educational practices and strategies to address beliefs, skills, and knowledge, improve teachers’ awareness and insights in advance, about transformations in modern teaching.

Limitations of new media technology tools

Teachers teaching at title one schools discussed that some students did not have an internet connection at home, thus they have to give those students more time and let them use the computers before and after school hours so that they can complete the assignments. Initially, most teachers were planning limited technology related assignments and projects so that students could use new media technologies during or after school hours.

Teachers and students also had a difficult time using some technology tools in math, English, social sciences, science, and other subjects, e.g. to fill maps, design figures, use spreadsheets, plot graphs, and take online tests because the tests were timed and users were still learning testing skills using new technologies, to use online resources, access a new chapter or standard only after the student had mastered the previous one.

Teachers discussed that they had received mixed responses from their students about using accessible new media technologies and a new curriculum for similar reasons and preferred paper and pen because they felt they were more reliable and easier to use. All teachers reported that infrastructure support and technical support was imperative because the lack of technical support discouraged teachers from adopting and integrating technology in classrooms. These findings align with the Sugar, Crawley, and Fine (2004) study. In response to what role leadership played in technology adoption, teachers responded that when school and district administrators encouraged and dedicated collaboration and training time for teachers to plan student-centered learning, it influenced effective technology transformation.

Administrators should understand teachers’ needs, technical needs, and be innovative in adopting new strategies, technologies, and standards to enable and prepare students for college and future jobs.

Results

The results, according to the three research questions, are as follows.

R1: What is the educators’ perception of new media tools used in teaching?

The findings of this study reveal that the educators are not satisfied with the current media tools that they use. The responses denote a high level of dissatisfaction with the infrastructure that supports new media tools adoption and usage in the schools. The findings further point to certain developments overtime when it comes to the development of an environment in the schools that supports new media adoption.

R2: What challenges and advantages to modern teaching do new media tools present?

The findings of the study reveal that there are numerous challenges in schools in Central Valley, California, as far as the adoption and deployment of new media tools in learning is concerned. To begin with, the internet and computer hardware are not insufficient supply. The infrastructure needed to support IT is also inadequate. It is clear that teachers hardly get time to acquire novel IT skills. Moreover, they use outdated IT equipment. Teachers also manage large classes, with a limited number of computers available for student use. There is also a lack of technical and pedagogical support and collaboration among teachers. Also, the findings reveal that new media supports the ease with which the teachers access information.

R3: To what extent can high schools utilize new media tools to support collaboration and communication among educators and students?

The findings of the study show that the availing of the Internet and computers and other computer peripherals is an important step towards the full adoption and utilization of new medial tools for communication and collaboration between the teachers and the students. The findings of the study reveal that several schools from the sample have made progress in teachers’ embrace of technology use. The responses in the paper show that teachers can use the new media tools to communicate with the students and get feedback from the students.

A look at the findings reveals that new media technology adoption in the schools is a thoughtful idea, although an effective policy has not been established to support the development of the grounds that support new media technology adoption and deployment in learning in schools. Similar to the Buabeng-Andoh (2012) study, which pointed to the limitations in terms of ICT adoption in education improvement, the results of the study show that these limitations are inherent in most schools in Central Valley California.

Summary

The study finds that there have been progressive efforts to deploy technology in the schools in Central Valley California. The findings of the study further point to the fact that technology adoption in the schools has not reached a satisfying level because there are still a lot of hitches when it comes to new media technology adoption in the schools and its full deployment in learning.

Based on research question one (r1), most of the respondents in the research, according to the data presented, reveal the desire to adopt and use new media. However, the level of optimism about new media technology adoption in schools is reduced by what can be termed as the prevalence of a lot of challenges, some of which are technical, while others are based on the limited level of support for new media technology adoption in schools.

These findings concur with the findings by Sugar, Crawley and Fine (2004), who sought to examine the decisions of the teachers appertaining to technology adoption in learning. Just like in the present study, the results of the study by Sugar, Crawley and Fine (2004) pointed to the mixed feelings of teachers about the best way to deploy technology in schools. This leads to research question 2 (r2).

The results of the study point to the fact that there are numerous challenges when it comes to new media technology deployment in teaching in schools. The challenges can be classified into technical, financial, and others. Technical challenges point to the nature of technology. Based on the data collected from the respondents in the sample schools, it is evident that an efficient internet connection has been a problem for a long time.

Even in the present times, the Internet supply is not too efficient to support the full deployment of new media technology in learning. Financial challenges can be linked to the aspects of funding and the inability of the schools to acquire enough modern and highly effective computers for the students, the administrators, and the teachers. According to the responses given by the respondents, the information technology infrastructure in the schools is not highly advanced to effectively support new media deployment in teaching.

The data that relates to research question 3 (r3) denotes the potential of high schools to adopt and use new media technology in the schools, provided that the technology environment in the schools is crafted so that it can be fully receptive to new media technology deployment in learning. The data shows that there is a considerable level, though minimal, at which information technology has been developed in schools in Central Valley, California.

However, there is a pointer to the full adoption and development of the infrastructure that fully supports new media adoption, especially the deployment of new media in interactive learning. This implies a moderate level of precision when it comes to using new media for enhancing aspects of collaboration and communication between the instructors, or teachers and the students. A plan had been developed at the state level, which would see the release of funds for the development of the infrastructure that supports new media adoption in learning in all the public schools.

References

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