Perceived consequences of adopting the internet into adult literacy and basic education classrooms
Berger, James Ivan Mauldin
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The purpose of this study is to use Rogers's theory of diffusion of innovations to understand adult literacy instructors' perceptions of the consequences of adopting the Internet into their classrooms. This study provides information about the types of consequences as perceived by adult literacy instructors and their perceptions about the desirability, predictability, and directness of those consequences. Adult literacy instructors were used as informants because they were able to observe first-hand the impact the Internet has on their teaching, students and classroom environments. The results show that perceptions of consequences instructors experienced when they adopted the Internet were overwhelmingly positive. Most notable in the findings are that consequences are desirable and often unanticipated. Of the 60 consequences experienced by instructors, 56 were classified as desirable, three were undesirable and one was mixed. Yet, of those same 60 consequences, instructors indicated 36 were unanticipated and 40 were directly related to adopting the Internet. Instructors that participated in the study felt the Internet helped empower students, improve their engagement with the material, and improve their literacy, thinking, and research skills. Participants reported that the Internet energized the classroom and made it more collaborative. In addition, instructors reported that the Internet enabled them to become more facilitative in their approach and include projects geared more towards higher-level thinking.