Using collaborative apprenticeship to examine factors and reciprocal interactions that affect a community of teachers' integration of technology
Glazer, Evan Michael
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This study examined the factors and interactions that support teachers’ technology integration efforts using a Collaborative Apprenticeship framework. Teachers with experienced technology use served as mentors of technology applications aimed at improving instruction. Technology was gradually infused through the curriculum as teachers learned to design technology-rich lessons from their technology-savvy peers through modeling, collaboration, and coaching. Results suggest that shared planning time, shared curriculum, connection to an individual, expertise, physical proximity, and comfort level influenced interactions across the community of practice. Posing and responding to task-based questions, giving and seeking advice, and sharing ideas comprised more than 70 percent of the observed interactions between teachers. However, the nature of interactions changed as teachers gradually assumed more responsibility in designing technology-enhanced lessons. Teacher-leaders initially modeled exemplar applications of technology-enhanced lessons and gave advice on using them in classrooms; then, the community of teachers brainstormed new ideas in collaborative efforts, and teacher-leaders motivated peers to develop original lessons independently. Implications for collaborative apprenticeships and learning in professional environments are provided. This study also examined the factors and interactions that support teachers’ mentoring and development as teacher-leaders supported peer efforts to integrate technology. Results indicate that teachers who were more successful in designing technology-enhanced lessons tended to interact differently from their peers. Rapidly developing teachers assumed more ownership in their learning and consequently interacted more frequently to obtain support and advance their development. Further, when their primary motivation was to develop strategies to improve student learning, successful teachers overcame learning obstacles. Peer mentoring techniques also influenced the interactions and quality of teacher growth in the community. In general, mentors resisted interactions perceived as potentially jeopardizing collegial and interpersonal relationships, even when peers did not demonstrate growth in their learning.