Classroom thoughtfulness and technology
Crouse, Stephen Thomas
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Technology in the classroom has been the called the “silver bullet” that will enhance education reform and produce or increase learning. However, some researchers argue that computers in the classroom are not producing increased levels of learning. There is active debate in the academic community that the cost of providing technology to the classroom exceeds the perceived, potential, or actual benefit. This project explored the impact of technology on classroom thoughtfulness using a case study methodology. The primary focus was to determine to what extent and in what ways do teachers use technology to plan, implement, and assess the results of “thoughtful” lessons? Examining the efforts of in-service educators to promote classroom thoughtfulness using technology has benefit because there are not many research projects on this topic. This is not research focused on a specific technology or program, but focused on teacher efforts and ideas about technology. Using a descriptive case study method, this research provided in-depth descriptions of teacher attitudes toward thoughtfulness and teacher application of technology to promote thoughtfulness. Two sets of teacher interviews and a classroom observation for each of the five participants at a rural high school generated the material to produce the case study reports. Findings indicated that in general these teachers are eager to increase technology application in the classroom; however, access to technology, not only in the school but outside of the school environment, hindered this desire. These teachers also recognized that instruction designed to promote classroom thoughtfulness can be accomplished with or without technology. They believed that quality teaching is the key to promoting thoughtfulness and technology is a tool that can be used to achieve that goal. This study is significant because it provided an understanding of the actual classroom environment where technology was applied. A great deal of research focuses on specific technologies or the impact of technology on testing outcomes. However, this research expands our awareness of actual classroom practice connecting technology with classroom thoughtfulness.