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Conditions for Classroom Technology Innovations


by Yong Zhao, Kevin Pugh, Steve Sheldon & Joe Byers — 2002

This article reports on a study of the complex and messy process of classroom technology integration. The main purpose of the study was to empirically address the large question of "why don’t teachers innovate when they are given computers?" rather than whether computers can improve student learning. Specifically, we were interested in understanding the conditions under which technology innovation can take place in classrooms. For a year, we followed a group of K?2 teachers who attempted to carry out technology-rich projects in their classrooms. These teachers were selected from more than 100 recipients of a technology grant program for teachers. The study found 11 salient factors that significantly impact the degree of success of classroom technology innovations. Some of these factors have been commonly mentioned in the literature, but our study found new dimensions to them. Others have not been identified in the literature. Each factor can be placed in one of three interactive domains, the teacher, the innovation, and the context. The article discusses the 11 factors in detail and proposes a model of the relationship among the different factors and their domains.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 3, 2002, p. 482-515
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10850, Date Accessed: 5/29/2017 3:42:24 AM

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About the Author
  • Yong Zhao
    Michigan State University
    E-mail Author
    YONG ZHAO is associate professor of Technology in Education and Educational Psychology at the College of Education, Michigan State University. His research interests include technology infusion in educational settings and the social political implications of the Internet.
  • Kevin Pugh
    University of Toledo
    E-mail Author
    KEVIN PUGH is an assistant professor at the University of Toledo. In addition to technology, his research interests include motivation, science education, and Dewey's philosophy of education (particularly his aesthetics). Recent publications include "Learning Science: A Deweyan Perspective" in The Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Volume 38, with coauthors K. J. Pugh and the Deweyan Ideas Group at Michigan State University.
  • Steve Sheldon
    Johns Hopkins University
    E-mail Author
    STEPHEN SHELDON is currently working as a research scientist at The Center for School, Family, and Community Partnerships, located at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include understanding why parents choose to become involved in their children's education, particularly how parents' social networks function as a resource related to their involvement. In addition, he is studying the development of school programs for school, family, and community partnerships and their impact on student outcomes.
  • Joe Byers
    Michigan State University
    E-mail Author
    JOE L. BYERS is professor emeritus at Michigan State University. His research interests include the quantitative analysis of data relating the impact of technology on students, teachers, the curriculum, and schools.
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