Integrating technology in Primary Teaching

Lauren Knussen recently presented an overview of her current PhD studies investigating how teachers design for technology integration at the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales annual research awards presentation night.  The abstract of her presentation is below.DGoFisRV0AAYlum.jpg

There is often much commentary in the media on whether our efforts to integrate technology in school education are working (Phillips, 2015). Research about teachers’ integration of technology into teaching and learning has focused extensively on teachers’ skills and knowledge (Bate, 2010), teachers’ practices in the classroom (Pegrum et al., 2013; Orlando, 2013), and barriers to technology integration (Ertmer, 2005). Research participants in these studies on technology integration have predominantly been identified as either pre-service teachers or in-service teachers, with little focus on teachers at the beginning or in the early years of their careers.

What is missing is an understanding of how teachers design technology-integrated units of work and how this design work is influenced and impacted by the teachers’ context. The study presented here addresses this gap while focusing on an under-researched group of teachers. Early career teachers are an important group to focus on because they are dealing with the stress and complexities of their first years in the classroom, as well as dealing with the steep learning curve of integrating technology in a pedagogically sound way (AITSL Teacher Standards).

This study is currently underway with seven early career primary teacher participants from government, catholic and independent sectors. An in-depth longitudinal case study design is used to follow each participant as they design, teach and reflect on a technology-integrated unit of work in their classrooms. By incorporating a mix of observation and interview methods, the study aims to increase our understanding of key influences on the participants’ design practice before, during and after teaching a unit. It is anticipated that findings from this study will inform our understanding of how to better support teachers’ integration of technology, both prior to qualification and in the early stages of their careers.

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