Teachers' perceptions and practices on using technology to facilitate literacy instruction in kindergarten classrooms
Love, Mary Susan Wallace
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Technology has become an integral part of society in the United States. Computers are exerting a huge influence on how we live, work, and play. Acceptance and integration of computer technology into our lives has been a social phenomenon. This technology that has dramatically influenced society outside the schools is now affecting changes in the teaching and learning environment within the schools. It is transforming the way we think about education. One of the key responsibilities of educators is to empower students to learn by using the most effective instructional tools that are available to them. Schools are beginning to recognize the need to teach for the children’s futures. However, the potential of new technology for learning is not found in the technology itself, instead in the way the technology is used as a tool for learning. Although the software and hardware available to teachers are important it’s not the technology, it’s the teacher. Teachers play a critical role in the integration of technology into instruction. In many schools teachers have access to an array of instructional technology to use, but there has been little evidence showing that technology is being fully integrated in the curriculum on a regular basis. With technology becoming more readily available in classrooms, it should be considered an integral, effective instructional tool within the school curriculum. Involving a case study methodology, this study investigates how computer technology is being used during literacy instruction in three Kindergarten classrooms in an elementary school where classrooms are equipped with ample computer resources. Specifically, this study focuses on several questions: 1) what are teachers’ perceptions about using computer during literacy instruction; 2) what computer technology do teachers use during literacy instruction; 3) what modes of meaning making are supported through the use of technology in literacy instruction; and 4) what new literacies are being used during literacy instruction? This study uses a multiliteracies theoretical framework and the multiple realities lens to examine the role teacher perception plays in how technology use is enacted in early childhood classrooms.