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Implementing the internet into the ongoing teaching practice of secondary school teachers : a model of… Spence, Jeffrey Donald 2000

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Implementing the Internet into the Ongoing Teaching Practice of Secondary School Teachers: A Model of Professional Development By Jeffrey Donald Spence B. Tech Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, 1991 B. Ed The University of British Columbia, 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN THE FACULTY OF EDUCATION (Department of Curriculum Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA JUNE 2000 © Jeffrey Donald Spence, 2000 UBC Special Collections - Thesis Authorisation Form http://vvww.libraiy.ubc.ca/spcoll/thesauth.html In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univ e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v ailable for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for sch o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or pu b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver, Canada 1 of 1 5/27/00 2:06 PM Abstract The purpose of this study was to develop an effective professional development model for teachers implementing the Internet into their high school classroom teaching and to uncover some of the barriers to implementation and the conditions that supported implementation. A case study was used to follow 14 teachers through their technology professional development. It was found that teacher time and access to the Internet were major barriers to implementation. Personal relevance, valid and useful information, and the teacher-librarians were instrumental conditions in the success of the professional development. A model for local, on-site professional development was created by taking pieces of existing models and combining them for success in this high school environment. Support was provided in-house and training occurred on-site with no release time for the teachers. Success came with teachers learning at their own pace with just-in-time suport in a familiar environment. Table of Contents A B S T R A C T A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S C H A P T E R O N E - I N T R O D U C T I O N A R E A OF STUDY RESEARCH QUESTIONS SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY C H A P T E R T W O - L I T E R A T U R E R E V I E W 1 INTERNET USE 1 T I M E 1 PROFESSIONAL D E V E L O P M E N T 1 R O L E OF THE T E A C H E R LIBRARIAN AND THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY T E A C H E R A G A P IN THE LITERATURE C H A P T E R T H R E E - M E T H O D O L O G Y PARTICIPANTS D A T A SOURCES AND COLLECTION : D A T A ANALYSIS LIMITATIONS C H A P T E R F O U R - C O N D I T I O N S A N D B A R R I E R S CONDITIONS T H A T SUPPORTED INTERNET IMPLEMENTATION • PERSONAL R E L E V A N C E Email Web Browsing Web Page Creation Reporting Marks • V A L I D AND U S E F U L INFORMATION • T H E R O L E OF THE TEACHER-LIBRARIAN: BARRIERS T H A T INHIBITED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNET • T I M E • ACCESS SUMMARY C H A P T E R F I V E - P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T PROFESSIONAL D E V E L O P M E N T MODELS .' DESCRIBING THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT M O D E L '. REFLECTIONS C H A P T E R 6 - C O N C L U S I O N S A N D I M P L I C A T I O N S CONCLUSIONS • IMPLICATIONS FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IMPLICATIONS FOR T H E COMPUTER SITE COORDINATORS R E F E R E N C E S .': A P P E N D I X A i .' A P P E N D I X B - T E A C H E R I N T E R V I E W S : S A M P L E Q U E S T I O N S A P P E N D I X C - I N F O R M E D C O N S E N T F O R M Ill Acknowledgements This thesis would not have been completed without the support several very important people. I thank my parents for instilling in me, a strong sense of value for education. I continue to learn every day. Thank you to all the teachers who participated in the study and let me write about their personal experiences involving computers and the Internet. My advisor, Linda always pushed me to meet deadlines and offered suggestions and support that made this project a better product. Walt and Jolie offered input and second insights that I had not thought about. Thank you all for academically challenging me. My wife, Lara (who started this whole process as my girlfriend) had to listen to me complain and attend all those social functions without me. She had to support, listen, edit and even cajole me to the finish line. I love you. Chapter One - Introduction Area of Study Look it up on the Web. I hear this phrase in my school every day. Students, teachers, support staff and the media are talking about surfing the net. The World Wide Web (WWW, W3, or just the web) is a subsection of the Internet. Web pages are a point-and-click environment of interconnected themes inside one web page, one web site, or the links may connect to pages made by another person. The W W W is described as a "wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents" (http://www.ask.com). It is essentially a large computer network of smaller networks. The concept of the web was started in 1989 at the European Center for Particle Physics (CER.N) in Switzerland for the linking of files among computer networks on the Internet (Hackbarth, 1996). Hypertext linking has provided users on computer networks with a consistent means to access a variety of media in a simplified fashion. This is truly breaking down the walls of the classroom and exposing students to a worldview and access to information that would have previously been unavailable to them. However, access to this huge depository of information is costing schools and school districts in British Columbia large amounts of money in hardware and software. The Vancouver School Board spent three million dollars to connect all schools to the Internet in the 1997/98 school year (VSB Tech Plan, Feb 1998). Why is the computer, and in specific, the Internet, a good thing in our public schools? What advantages does it offer to students and teachers that were not there before? How do we train teachers to use this resource in their classrooms? The Internet has great learning potential in our education system. The Internet offers students access to learn more. Students can learn better through active learning, collaboration 1 and by doing simulations. Students can learn faster since the Internet is self-paced, visual and interactive. Students will acquire the skills of modern technology. Students need to find information, think about it, synthesize it and display it (Shim, 1999). The Internet follows a constructivist methodology in that students browse topics they are interested in and follow the hypertext links to more detailed information on that topic. The information on the web is organized in themes or strands that quite often seem unrelated. Students can make meaning of the ideas and incorporate those ideas into what they already know at their own pace and in any location that is connected to the web. Computers offer a gateway to the outside world. Students not able to go on field trips can experience virtually many different situations. Real time discussions can take place between space shuttle pilots and high school students (www.nasa.gov). Students all over the world are able to participate. They can communicate with each other regardless of their physical location through web based email and chat groups. Students can present their information in a web page to the world audience on a free website (www.aeocities.com. vvww.anRelfire.com). A focus of many libraries is for students to learn to determine the validity and reliability of information on web pages. Yahoo! © offers links to 3912 different libraries and many library sites have tutorials on how to search and verify the information found. Browsing through the journals "School Library Journal" and "School Libraries in Canada" for 1997 to present, I found seven different issues dedicated to technology and 11 individual articles specifically on learning activities with search engines and web directories. For example, "The Ten Cs For Evaluating Internet Resources" (Hamilton, 1999) or "From Surfing to Searching: Learning Activities With Search Engines" (Todd, 1998). It appears that libraries are a focus point for using the Internet and teacher-librarians are making the effort to 2 support their new role in the school (Hamilton, 1999; Mancall, Stafford & Zanger, 1999; Savill, 1998). Web sites like www.blackboard.com offer to connect teachers and students in the virtual world. A teacher could create the course materials, evaluation, discussion groups or email lists and the students from anywhere in the world could signup and be part of the class. Students can learn when they want to learn since the WWW is open 24 hours a day. This style of learning is quite different from the traditional classroom model and it comes as little surprise that teachers find the implementation of the Internet into their everyday teaching a difficult transition (Boe, 1989; Browne & Ritchie, 1991; Shelton & Jones, 1996). However, the cost of implementing technology is prohibitive. This expensive technology is not being used by classroom teachers because teachers do not know how to implement the computer and the Internet into their teaching (Boe, 1989; Browne & Ritchie, 1991; Harvey & Purnell, 1995; Pope, 1996; Shelton & Jones, 1996; Stager, 1995). Students are using computers at home and the business community is crying out for qualified computer users but the public school system is falling behind due, in part to the lack of effective professional development. A value is hard to place on these professional development learning experiences. However, it is easy to count the dollar cost of computer purchase, maintenance, support, software, Internet connection charges and technology implementation. The Vancouver School Board spent $500,000 in 1994/95, $2.5 million in 1995/96, $1.0 million in 1996/97 and $3.0 million in 1997/98 on technology capital, technology funds, and learning resources (VSB Tech Plan, 1998). In a specific example of one high school in Vancouver, Seaside Secondary School (a pseudonym) has spent more than 25% of all 3 discretionary spending for 5 years on hardware alone (School Financial Reports, 1993-98). This hardware includes computers, monitors, mice, keyboards, and consumables such as paper and printer toner. Not only are computers a large line item in the school budget, but additional money must be spent to continue their operation on a daily basis. Computers are expensive to purchase and maintain. While some teachers would prefer to ignore the computer, it is invading the classroom and teachers are having a hard time keeping current (ACOT, 1991; Boyd, 1997; Chiero, 1997; Niederhauser, 1996; Office of Technology Assessment, 1995; Reiser & Butzin, 1998). How are teachers learning about the implementation of the Internet and how can these teachers best use technology in their ongoing instruction? To teach effectively using technology, it is not enough to purchase a new computer, connect it to the Internet and ask the teacher to use it in their teaching. It is time consuming to get a regular classroom teacher to learn and implement technology into their classroom. Despite a few successful projects, the majority of teachers have not incorporated the Internet into their teaching. Teachers need to be taught how to use technology (Boyd, 1997; Chiero, 1997; Dwyer, 1994; Niederhauser, 1996; Office of Technology Assessment, 1995; Reiser & Butzin, 1998). Many studies and programs have been initiated to help teachers incorporate computers and technology into their classrooms. Several examples of large scale attempts to integrate technology into the classroom are: Project CHILD (Computers Helping Instruction and Learning Development, 1987-1992) in Florida; ACOT (Apple Classrooms Of Tomorrow, 1986-1994) across the United States; TC (Technology in the Classroom, 1997-1999) in Iowa; NteQ (iNtegrating Technology for inQuiry, 1995-1998) and project SMART in Memphis; Classrooms of the Future in New Zealand (1992-present); and in Ontario, CATT (Computer Assisted Teacher Talk, 1993). These large programs are focussed attempts with government 4 and industry support but they do not account for the thousands of teachers who learn technology on their own time. Professional development or teacher training for technology implementation has many models for achieving the same intended result: that teachers use technology in the classroom. In many cases, the model falls short of the expectation. In a teacher-staff development study in Texas, Shelton and Jones (1996) outlined four main factors for successful technology integration: time; training; technology; and teacher-type tasks. Boyd (1995) clarifies these four factors further by stating that: "Time refers to the teacher's free time to learn and practice away from the students; training refers to the knowledge that the teacher needs at the time they need it; the technology must be current, accessible, and in good working order; and the whole process of implementation should support what the teacher is doing" (p. 46). Boyd also notes that the literature is filled with references to the power of technology to change the way teachers practice, but cautions that teacher change will not necessarily occur with the addition of a computer to the classroom. ACOT recognized early on that it was not enough to drop off a computer in a classroom and hope for implementation to materialize. Purchasing the equipment was one piece of the puzzle but they soon set up regional training centers and gave key trainers the knowledge they needed to be passed down to classroom teachers through a "Train The Trainer" model (Maddin, 1997). Mackenzie, of the online publication From Now On, writes in an article aptly named "Screen Saver Disease" (1998), that we know what to do in terms of adult education but the model of most school districts does not fit. Teachers care about student needs and teachers learn differently than children. If teachers see where they can use the Internet in their teaching and develop their own projects to pursue, with just-in-time support, they tend to be more successful and the lessons they learn are better implemented into their ongoing teaching practice. Harris summarized the types of training teachers have: 5 independent learning, one-on-one coaching, large group demonstration with independent practice, large group demonstration with assisted practice, hands-on lab with intensive schedule, hands-on lab with paced schedule, hands on lab with paced schedule and structured online activities (1995). She also offers the tips that access to computers, access to the Internet and immediate technical support are integral to successful training. To help teachers with the change, Harris states that providing written instructions on paper will ease the transition to the digital world and using email to communicate with friends will demonstrate the immediacy of using the technology for a purpose that was not possible otherwise. The email activity provides teachers with a known way of communication (writing letters) and a speed of delivery and feedback that is enjoyable to learn. The computer world is changing so fast it is impossible to be an expert in all areas and it is very hard just to keep current with the latest ideas. New computers and software are considered obsolete by the computer industry before they are even delivered to the school. Perhaps, in our rush to be connected to the Internet, we, as teachers, do not allow ourselves the same learning environment we demand for our students. Relevant projects, just-in-time technical assistance and low student to teacher ratios are successful aspects of today's classrooms (Boudah & Mitchell, 1998; Brand, 1998; Showers, Joyce & Bennett, 1987). Teachers would have to spend a large amount of personal time to stay current in the field of technology. Time is repeatedly referred to a major inhibitor to classroom implementation (Boe, 1989; Hawkins & MacMillan, 1993; Kinnaman, 1990). In the Vancouver school district, only four days and forty-six dollars per teacher are available for professional development. In studies in California and Vermont, Firestone and Pennell (1998) found that teacher professional development is traditionally done in a one-time workshop where experts tell teachers how to teach, then leave these teachers to fend for themselves. However, in 6 Windsor, Ontario, a provincially sponsored teacher network, Computer Aided Teacher Talk (CATT) was formed in an effort to shift the model of teacher training away from the one time event and into the realm of continuous development. Armstrong, Davis and Young (1996) state the obvious that "when the teacher is a lifelong learner, students are the beneficiaries" (p. 81). Ann Lieberman (1995) drills home the irony of the system we have created when she notes that everything we want for students-a wide array of activities; hands-on experience; and engaging problem solving-is denied teachers when they are the learners. It makes sense that teachers are learners too. Teachers want to stay current so that they can teach students to the most current standards. Professional development should model the style of education that we give to students. Given time, realistic applications, long term and immediate support, and flexible learning situations, teachers would be in a better position to take advantage of professional development and incorporate it into their classroom teaching (Brand, 1998; Boudah & Mitchell, 1998; Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000). The whole package' could be taught in context so teachers could see how the new information would fit into their existing situation. How can teachers overcome these constraints of time, access, funding, and support to get results so that they can effectively incorporate the Internet into their classroom, not as a toy or games station, but as an educational tool? I will discuss the current models of professional development for technology and the types of support teachers are receiving. I will then examine the traditional style of professional development versus a contextually important project model with ongoing support. Finally, I will discuss one case of a group of teachers in Vancouver working under the constraints of limited time, limited funding and 7 limited support who have found success through a different model for their own professional development. Research Questions This study investigated the professional development of high school teachers implementing the Internet in their classrooms. In particular, I set out to answer these two questions: 1. What are the conditions and barriers for high school teachers that encourages implementation of the Internet into their teaching practice? 2. What are the characteristics of a professional development model for teachers learning technology? These main questions prompt two important extension questions. If a local school model is chosen for professional development, who will be the trainer? What will be the role of the information technology teacher and the role of the library resource center in the professional development model? Significance of the Study This study affects the way I perceive professional development and the expectations I have for the involvement of teachers in their own training. Previously, I conducted workshops for groups of up to 30 teachers on software applications and learning to use the Internet but wondered why they had difficulties implementing new technologies into their classrooms. In addition, the school board offered many courses at their district training center. Now, I prefer to teach teachers individually, or in small groups, to suggest classroom projects they would like to do and I help initiate the project, act as technical support and 8 teacher advisor to the project. These teachers are receptive to classroom implementation, are interested and motivated in their topic areas, and they have ideas that just need some technical help. This does not mean that I hand picked my teaching friends and excluded other teachers from participating but rather; I have found more success in classroom implementation when teachers have been excited about new technologies and are prepared to spend their own time using me as a coach. I feel that by working with teachers who initiate the implementation, the chances of success are higher and the process will not be viewed with as much skepticism as it is now. This is also significant in my school district where I am attempting to implement an alternative to the standard single-shot workshop. Our school district has the hardware and software but the teachers are in need of training. By taking the exciting ideas teachers have, it will be possible to work with them in learning about the technology and how they can best implement it into their teaching practice. 1 will examine literature around the topics of using the Internet in a high school classroom, technology, implementation and professional development models, teacher time, and the roles of the information technology teacher and the teacher-librarian in the development of staff. 9 Chapter Two - Literature Review To address the question of effective implementation of the Internet through professional development, I will examine literature surrounding using the Internet in a high school classroom; technology implementation and professional development models; teacher time; and the roles of the information technology teacher and the teacher-librarian in the development of staff. A high school today shares many features of the high schools of the past. Standard classrooms with doors that close, an art room, science laboratories and a cafeteria are among the standard features. However, the computer lab is a relatively new feature, and this tool, called a computer, may be found in a lab with 30 networked stations and access to the Internet or perhaps by itself in the back of a classroom. Debate continues between using labs of 30 computers where every student has their own machine versus distributing the hardware throughout the school in an attempt to integrate the technology into the curriculum as specified in the most recent British Columbia government Integrated Resource Packages (IRP) for Information Technology K-7, 8-10, and 11-12 (BC Ministry of Education, 1996). For many subjects, the students do not need their own computer to complete the assigned tasks set by their teachers. The computer is seen as a tool to be used in specific instances and one or two in the classroom is adequate. There are numerous studies citing the use of computers in the classroom with the majority of computers used for word processing (Becker, 1990; Chiero, 1997; Hadley & Sheingold, 1990; Ungerleider, 1997; Willis, 1993). However, the use of the Internet is rising. 10 Internet Use The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the United States reports that in the fall of 1998, 89% of public schools were connected to the Internet, which is an increase from 1994 when 35% were connected. Although this information primarily reflects the situation in the United States, Canadian students have similar classrooms and similar experiences. In the United States, where education is funded at the federal level, a commitment was made by President Clinton that "every classroom in America must be connected to the information superhighway, with computers and good software, and well-trained teachers" (State of the Union Address, 1997). Canada does not have the same support from the federal government since education is wholly funded on a provincial level, but private industry is attempting to collaborate with individual schools or school districts to provide computers and support. Currently, in 2000, Vancouver schools are ALL connected to the school district wide area network (WAN) and most of the 18 high schools have all classrooms connected (author survey). Since the implementation of the WAN, teachers have been asking for more professional development to help them implement the Internet into their teaching practice. Teachers see the Internet and computers as a good thing in our schools. Becker and Ravitz (1999) write that there is "a strong correlation between constructivist-oriented practice and teachers who have most thoroughly employed computers in their teaching and who have taken advantage of new opportunities to incorporate the Internet into their instruction" (p. 381). They also report that teacher change occurs in certain ways. These teachers are not afraid to have students teach them new ideas, their classrooms may have multiple simultaneous activities, their students engage in long, complex projects and they offer greater student choice in terms of project content and evaluation (Becker & Ravitz, 1999). Teachers 11 who adopt computers and the Internet are taking a constructivist approach to education when the teacher gives up some of the control and lets go of the classroom power. The students take initiative outside of classroom hours (Becker & Ravitz, 1999) and "authentic activities are valued and students are given responsibility and autonomy for their own learning" (Nicaise & Barnes, 1996, p. 80). Pugalee and Robinson (1998) report that use of the Internet in the classroom improves student motivation, and is more compatible with the way students learn. Owston (1997) found that instruction in this style of classroom was less teacher directed and had greater student autonomy. These changes in the structure of the classroom and the current pedagogy will take time to implement. At the current time, many teachers are not using computers or the Internet as an integrated part of their lessons. Based on a national public opinion poll commissioned by Sun Microsystems of classroom teachers in the United States, teachers graded themselves on their Internet knowledge. DD Teachers grade themselves on Internet knowledge. A or B C or D Figure i. (Reading Today, 1997). One-third gave themselves an A or B, one-half gave themselves a C or D and the remaining teachers gave themselves an F. While two thirds of the classrooms had a computer, only one in ten had Internet access. Internet use is not as widespread in the classroom as one may 12 think. Chiero (1997) reported that only 58% of high school age students and 49% of teachers use the computer at school. These data are from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) and the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and is dated 1997. In the poll by Sun, teachers stated reasons for using the Internet in their classrooms: to access hard-to-find information (65%); to increase students' familiarity with information technology (57%); to obtain current information (54%); to develop lesson plans (48%); to network with other teachers (40%); and to download activities for students (32%). It is becoming clear that teachers want to use the Internet in their daily instruction, and the technology is available. One of the obstacles to implementation is that "teachers need more preparation to teach with computers" (Logan & Scheffler, 1999). To prepare teachers for technology implementation the trainers need time and the teachers need time to learn and practice. Time The availability of time for a teacher to engage in the many teaching activities is limited. "There's not enough time to do that! If only we had more time. When I find the time." These are just some of the most common phrases I'hear at meetings. Teachers have a fixed amount of time in front of students, but their preparation time, lunch time, before school and after school are time periods where individual teachers can choose how to spend their time. Research has found that there are several key elements to training teachers using technology and the most important item is always that more time is needed (Boe, 1989; Brand, 1998; Hawkins & MacMillan, 1993; Kinnaman, 1990). Schrum (1999) states that there are two conditions for promoting technology professional development with teachers. First, it will take a long time. More than 30 hours of training is not uncommon before adoption takes place. Secondly, teachers need access at home and school for extended. 13 practice. In 1988, it was reported by Roberts, Carter, Friel and Miller that a novice computer using teacher needs about 1000 hours of training and practice to implement computers into their teaching practice (Logan & Scheffler, 1999). This is an incredible amount of time and is reflected in the slow progress that has been made in the classroom since the Internet was introduced in 1992. For a teacher to practice and use computers outside of the current classroom environment would mean 20 hours a week all year long (including the summer) or even five hours per week for four years. Schrum (1999) summarizes "in general, K-12 teachers do not receive enough time, access, support or encouragement" (p. 86) to implement computers or the Internet into their classrooms. What exactly do teachers need the time to do? To implement a new technology like the Internet into the classroom requires more than just the learning of a new piece of software or making the switch from Macintosh to PC. Teachers need time to plan and discuss changes with their peers and time to restructure their curriculum around technology (Pugalee & Robinson, 1998). After learning a new concept, teachers will have to practice the new skills and ask for some technical assistance. The time to discuss with their teaching friends is important to have a cross-curricular emphasis using technology and provides time to learn from each other. Attitudes and anxiety towards computers have been a slowly changing process. Many computers were unreliable and teachers are now starting to trust that their important data will not be erased when they go back to retrieve it. Teachers are gaining the self-confidence to teach with technology and are reporting a higher degree of self-efficacy in technology (Ropp, 1999). Parr (1999) gives a positive example of a working model that occurred in New Zealand, beginning in 1992 and continuing today. A private school gave each teacher in the project (most participated) a laptop for their own use, unlimited support and hardware at 14 school, and eventually, technology coaches in the curriculum areas. Each teacher had "considerable funding for outside courses and release time" (p. 287). The project is now a success but the payback on their investment was up to five years with some teachers. This con-elates with Logan and Scheffler's statement that training and implementation is a long-term investment. . Another example is the Regional Educational Technology Assistance Initiative (RETA) in New Mexico (1998). This statewide professional development initiative invited hundreds of teachers to participate in learning to integrate the Internet into their teaching. They determined that "teachers must have ample opportunity to discuss and collaborate with their peers and instructors" (Gonzalez & Norton, 1998, p. 29). They offered four, eight-hour workshops with the entire group in attendance and many hours of in-school support and coaching (p. 31). One item of feedback from the participants was that the workshop was not enough. The teachers wanted more learning, more practicing and more time to plan how they would use the Internet in their curriculum. Any mandated change seems hard to implement with the time restrictions and any extra things to do in the day are hard to fit in. It is not hard to see that professional development is viewed by the profession as "unproductive and meaningless" (Johnson & Johnson, 1998, p. 27). Couple this sense of wasted time felt by teachers with the research pointing to change efforts that require three to five years to be fully implemented (Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000) and the challenge of technology implementation seems overwhelming. By the time five years has rolled by the technology has gone through several generations of hardware and major software revisions. To enable teachers to learn new technologies and implement it into their teaching will require new approaches to professional development. Currently, teachers may apply their new technology by adding it on to what they do in the 15 classroom but integration is when the technology is blended, or evenly distributed into the curriculum so that students use the technology seamlessly (Vojtek & Vojtek, 1999). How are other schools finding the time for staff development? One school in California has negotiated with parents to release students two hours earlier one day a week. These two hours are to be spent by teachers in collaborative planning or learning sessions (Murphy, 1997). In the same report, another school combined classes into large study halls with teacher supervision. This freed time for some staff to meet as a group for training while the remaining staff supervised the students. Later, the two groups would switch positions from supervisors of study hall to professional development sessions. These are just two specific cases of schools developing their own response to the lack of training time set aside by their school districts. There are many other staff training models that are finding different degrees of success across Canada and the United States. Professional Development Teachers often go to a training center (a contrived experience), learn about the Internet on computers (not the ones they will actually use), then return to their school and are unable (except on rare occasions) to implement and sustain change in their classroom. To make a change that will last takes sustained effort and support that is not provided in a short workshop (Fullan, 1992; Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000). Schrum (1999) suggests there are four items to consider for effective technology professional development. Extensive practice, comfortable atmosphere, individualized attention and voluntary participation. To foster an atmosphere of positive change with a staff requires ongoing support and time for teachers to incorporate the change. Professional development needs to be seen as integral to the act of teaching (Darling-Hammond, 1999). Darling-Hammond also points to education in other countries. In Europe and Asia, teachers are in front of students only 600 to 800 hours instead 16 of the North American standard of more than 1000. Other countries spend on weekly average, seven hours meeting with parents or collaboratively planning their curriculum with other teachers. One recent study in California found that math teachers who "participated in sustained curriculum-based professional development reported changes in practice that, in turn, were associated with higher student achievement" (Darling-Hammond, 1999, p. 34) There is no one best way to have effective staff development but it is worth reviewing some of the barriers summarized by Fullan, as found by Pink in 1989: 1. An inadequate theory of implementation, resulting in too little time for teachers and school leaders to plan for and learn new skills and practices. 2. District tendencies toward faddism and quick-fix solutions. 3. Lack of sustained central office support and follow-through. 4. Underfunding the project, or trying to do too much with too little support. 5. Attempting to manage the projects from the central office instead of developing school leadership and capacity. 6. Lack of technical assistance and other forms of intensive staff development. 7. Lack of awareness of the limitations of teacher and school administrator knowledge about how.to implement the project. t 8. The turnover of teachers in each school. 9. Too many competing demands or overload. 17, 10. Failure to address the incompatibility between project requirements and existing organizational policies and structure. 11. Failure to understand and take into account site-specific differences among schools. 12. Failure to clarify and negotiate the role relationships and partnerships involving the district and the local university. (Fullan, 1993, p. 316) Effective staff development needs to have ongoing support in many ways. Pink summarizes that time, funding, group commitment, real-life practice, group planning and on-site support of all parties involved are some of the most important factors of success. Brand (1998) writes that research is pointing to four key elements in the successful training of teachers using technology: time, varying needs, flexibility and provisional support. Teachers need substantial time in order to acquire and transfer their learning to the classroom (Boe, 1989; Hawkins & MacMillan, 1993; Kinnaman, 1990). Individual differences must be taken into account when designing staff development sessions due to varying abilities, technology anxiety, and different rates of learning (Boe, 1989; Browne & Ritchie, 1991; Shelton & Jones, 1996). Flexibility of training opportunities, scheduling, pace size of group and teaching variety are important to the success of the session (Browne & Ritchie, 1991; Harvey & Purnell, 1995; Kinnaman, 1990; Pope, 1996; Stager, 1995). Technology needs to have a support person available for immediate and long-term support through the entire change process (Guhlin, 1996; Kinnaman, 1990; Pearson, 1994; Shelton & Jones, 1996; Stager, 1995). 18 Another model brought forward by Boudah and Mitchell (1998) is called Authentic Professional Development (APD). It is based upon good instructional practices for adult learners like setting out clear objectives, explicit instruction on theory, observation of correct usage, time to learn the skills and feedback. APD also states that teacher empowerment through active participation is vital to have teachers take ownership in the learning process. The activities must be applicable to the classroom and to have a sustained change, feedback and personal follow-up are needed to complete the learning process. If classroom change through professional development is to be implemented, then learning theorists teach us that teachers need opportunities to discuss, think about, and try out new practices (Lieberman, 1995). This does not happen in a 3-hour workshop at the school board training center. The training center concept does little more than present information and perhaps let teachers explore the Internet for a short time in a superficial manner. All teachers can reflect on the excitement of the first few years of teaching where every experience was new and challenging. At some point in their teaching careers, the excitement wears off and the job becomes routine. This is not necessarily a negative change. It shows that teaching competence has been achieved and classroom management is no longer the horror it was at the beginning of their career. However, once a teacher has created plans and taught a course several times it takes effort to change. The cost of the change must be weighed against the benefits (Fullan, 1991). The RAND report on teacher training, a group of highly respected educators in the United States, set up a working committee of stakeholders and those already implementing new technologies in their schools (RAND, 1995). This working committee found that teachers feel professional development offered is not meeting their needs. There is a large 19 amount of cynicism around the use of Pro-D days. The Rand Report (1995) has a summary comment: "one-shot seminars, an afternoon with an expert, or 200 teachers in a gymnasium -will not bring the profession up to speed with emerging school reforms. Something more serious and sustained is needed" (On-Line). Adult learning theory can be extended to teacher professional development. There are several important points to consider: "Adults learn best when the topic is immediate and relevant. Adults learn best in their own school with their own tools. Adults implement change when a support group is available" (Kirpatrick, 1998, On-Line). The amount of money being spent on training teachers to use technology in their classrooms is much less than the amount of money being spent on putting hardware into the schools. However, in a survey by Bozeman (1999) regarding the factors of successful technology programs in the United States, 72% mentioned training and staff development as one of the most important components. The high school budget process in Vancouver, for example, does not account for the amount of training and diverse levels of training that are needed to support the wide range of skills of teachers. The Vancouver School Board goes so far as to specify the way certain budgets can be spent. For example, the technology budget may only be spent on hardware items costing more than five hundred dollars, and does not allow for spending on software and training. Training time and money must be looked for in other places and other budgets. One alternative to the traditional form of professional development is to develop teams of teachers with skills who help one another (Fullan, 1991; Pennel & Firestone, 1998). This network of teachers have a common interest, and work together to make their school a better place to teach and learn. Networking in a school has the advantage of immediate support, makes the teachers more self-reliant, and builds on a community of teacher-learners working 20 ' together. Support can occur in the hallways, at breaks or during lunchtime where many questions can be answered quickly. There are several programs using the network principle in existence today. In Ralls, Texas "Training on Demand" began in 1995 and follows these steps: 1. whole group instruction. 2. written procedures. 3. one-on-one or small group sessions (Boyd, 1997, p. 46). The group of participants began with introductions, general information and delivery of content appropriate for a large group. This larger group was broken into smaller group sessions or one-on-one as the need arose. The content was supported by written instructions that could be reviewed later. There was a large amount of interaction within groups and between groups. This facilitated sharing of knowledge and created a positive learning environment. Teachers collaborated with each other in an environment where support was on-site and immediate. The long running United States national program, Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT), began as an initiative to get computers into the schools but it was quickly realized that teacher support was necessary (Maddin, 1997). Apple Computers knew that the first step was to get computers into the schools but the initiative was not enough. Many computers sat idle in classrooms because the teachers did not have the knowledge and training to use them effectively in the classroom. Some teachers with the technical background integrated the computers effortlessly while others just did not know what to do with the machine. Apple 21 realized what was happening and support groups sprung up with the full support of the company. They donated technicians, computers, software and time to enable the computers to be used in the classrooms. In Windsor, Ontario a program to encourage teachers to use computers in their classrooms and learn about computers was implemented in 1993. Computer Assisted Teacher Talk (CATT) provided the hardware, software and the learning program to support a network of teachers through the change into technological literacy (Armstrong, Davis & Young, 1996). The networking consisted of Friday group meetings to debrief what had gone on for the week, what troubles had arisen, how the problems were solved and how the teachers wanted to be supported. Just meeting and talking about the troubles was enough to make some teachers feel that they were not being left unsupported by their schools and that they had somewhere to turn for help if they needed it. This safety blanket was enough to allow teachers to take bigger risks and see greater returns on the use of computers and their own confidence in using technology. To foster connections across different subjects at the high school, teachers in British Columbia are being encouraged to work together and cooperatively plan projects for students. Collaborative culture, as outlined by Hargreaves and Dawe (1990), "comprises 9 evolutionary relationships of openness, trust, and support among teachers where they define and develop their own purposes as a community" (p. 227). This is a huge step from showing up at a training session for three hours, learning about web searching, then leaving and rarely using the skills you have learned. They envisioned groups of teachers working together to leam new things, support each other and decide their own pathway. This would be a supportive, yet personally challenging atmosphere for teachers to move out of their safe and isolating classrooms. 22 Collaboration offers two outcomes according to Hargreaves and Dawe. On one hand, "it is a tool of teacher empowerment and professional enhancement, bringing colleagues and their expertise together to generate critical yet also practically grounded reflection on what they do as a basis for wiser, more skilled action" (p. 227). On the other hand, "the breakdown of teacher isolation is a mechanism designed to facilitate the smooth and uncritical adoption of preferred forms of action (new teaching style) introduced and imposed by experts from elsewhere, in which teachers become technicians rather than professional exercising discretionary judgement" (p. 227). The first case offers teachers control over their professional development while the second assumes that collaboration is a way for the administration to change the way some teachers teach. Teachers must be careful not to impose their style of teaching onto other teachers and to value the input of all of the members of the collaborative community. Technology Enhanced Secondary Science Instruction (TESSI) is one example of teacher sponsored collaboration. Janice Woodrow, at the University of British Columbia began this project as a classroom teacher and university researcher collaborative technology initiative in 1991 (Woodrow, Mayer-Smith, & Pedretti, 1996). The group of teachers and researchers wanted to set up a program to take advantage of the emerging computer simulation technology and apply it to the Science curriculum. Two different high school sites were developed and equipped with computers. The teachers were very keen to implement the technology and simulations for many parts of the Physics curriculum were tested and used. Students worked at self-paced stations while moving through the labs. The discovery based learning in partnership with technology put the ownership of learning back onto the students. Throughout the process, the two teachers met and shared their experiences with facilitation by faculty researchers. Through sharing their experiences at workshops and conferences, a 23 base of TESSI users and ultimately a TESSI support group has grown. Many science classrooms in British Columbia are using technology to get the benefit of lab work without the cost or the danger. Teachers are networking more and more in the area of technology since they are aware of groups like the TESSI project that have had success (Shim, 1999). The result of this collaborative effort is TESSI-an operational model for the classroom implementation of emerging technology (Woodrow, 1997). In fact, the outcome of the project is spreading throughout British Columbia. Classrooms across the province are being equipped with computers and software sponsored by teachers that have seen the effectiveness of the TESSI project and want to join the community of professionals using TESSI. Through the literature, we see that schools are keeping some professional development in-house and a wide range of models are appearing. One of the important issues in professional development is the motivation of the teachers. Vojtek and Vojtek (2000) point to three important motivators for teachers. The first is that teachers want to know, what is in it for me. The second is that when teachers realize their colleagues are taking the innovation seriously, they are motivated to participate as well. Thirdly, teachers are motivated when the change works. By motivating teachers to actively participate in professional development and by supporting them through the change with time, tech support, energy and resources, change is possible. When "schools rely instead on a more comprehensive, in-house approach to professional development, in which faculty and staff at the school assume responsibility for designing and delivering professional development opportunities to their colleagues" (Johnson & Johnson, 1999, p. 27), the staff will be less likely to find the activities "unproductive and meaningless" (p. 27). 24 In Mesa, Arizona, an ongoing professional development project has successfully spanned 13 years of implementing an instructional specialist on staff. At a secondary school, an instructional specialist acts as a staff trainer, teacher, on site support and curriculum leader (Long, 1996). This person teaches two periods and the rest of the day is spent upgrading their technology skill, teaching other teachers or demonstrating good teaching practice for observation by other teachers. The program benefits are that there is time to build trusting relationships between trainer and teaching staff, the instructional specialist can spend time on the realities of the specific school, there is long term and immediate support, and there is a teacher leader in place where they will have the greatest influence. Role of the Teacher Librarian and the Information Technology Teacher In British Columbia, the information technology teacher or the teacher librarian often act as an in-house resource person. The Information Technology teacher is often the person on staff who is most comfortable with computers and has been dealing with student-computer interactions for many years. It is only natural for other staff members to ask for help from the resident expert. Workshops are offered and advice is given about all manner of technology. Teachers inquire about personal computer purchases, the network needs to be repaired, software or hardware needs to be installed and configured and teachers need to be taught the skills to implement technology into their curriculum. Recently, teacher-librarians have also fallen into this role of teacher technology leader. Many physical changes have occurred in schools, but notably the library has become a hub of technology. Computers are seen as research tools and teacher librarians'have been keeping pace with the changes. A school library is no longer just a converted classroom with shelves of books. Modern libraries also offer web site services to help students with searching, online courses, family connection pages, kid areas and contests (Mandell, Stafford 25 & Zanger, 1999). Teacher-librarians have to keep up with the rapid changes in technology. It is seen in the library literature that students and teachers want to know how to find the best information on the web (Caldwell & Carefoot, 1999;.Hamilton, 1999; Savill, 1998; Todd, 1998). Students are being taught how to use a web directory, like "Yahoo!" to search for relevant information using a boolean search engine like "Altavista," and how to use meta-search engines like "Mother." The role the teacher-librarian plays for a student is very similar to the role asked for by the classroom teacher. Teachers are new to web searching and need the guidance of an expert to be able to pass along the skills to their students. A Gap in the Literature There is a lack of research in Canada that demonstrates effective professional development to help teachers to incorporate the Internet into their teaching practice. There is little evidence of the role that the information technology teacher and the teacher-librarian play in the professional development of a high school staff. Research has been conducted about the use of computers in the classroom and how to teach teachers about them. However, the Internet is not a piece of hardware or even a piece of software. Teachers are familiar with teaching and learning about static objects and static information. The Internet is not static. Teachers do not like to look incompetent when they stand to give a presentation with a computer and the computer does not work. Technology is revered and feared at the same time but through professional development it is possible to take away some of the mystique of the Internet and have teachers feel comfortable in using the technology. These are the issues to be addressed in my research about teachers using the Internet in their classroom: teacher in-service; teacher change; and developing ongoing professional learning. Teacher in-service seems to be one of the main topics of conversation in the staffroom today. The computers are now available, but what do teachers do with them? How 26 are they to learn how to setup the software, diagnose hardware and software problems, use the software, and evaluate student learning? In short, how are teachers to implement technology into their teaching? How, specifically, do computers link to the curriculum of the classroom? To whom can teachers turn to for help? How can a support group in the school be built and sustained? Outside help from a support line or from the school board office is slow and unresponsive to answer the immediate questions of the teachers. Questions need to be answered immediately for the technology to be viable in a classroom setting. Teacher change involves supporting teachers through the change. What do teachers want and need? Do teachers even know what they want? In what ways can teachers be helped through the different stages of change and be left at the end with confidence in the technology, confident in themselves, and confident that the implementation of technology is enhancing the learning of their students? What needs to be in place to encourage and sustain changes in the classroom? Do teachers see a need to change and incorporate technology in their teaching beyond the Ministry dictating the idea? Developing ongoing collaborative technological learning within a school setting is the focus of this thesis. The study explores the question of how can a teacher take their new learning about technology to the next level by incorporating the Internet into their everyday classroom teaching? This thesis presents a case of teachers within a school, working together to implement the Internet into their curriculum. In this study the information technology teacher (the author) and the teacher-librarians play a key role in the school-wide transformation of technological literacy. 27 Chapter Three - Methodology In this chapter, details of the research design are presented. Specifically, this chapter describes the participants, data sources, data collection procedures, and data analysis. To answer the two research questions, the study employs an inductive, qualitative research procedure utilizing semi-structured interviews with the participants as the primary data collection technique. Additional interviews with the school administration, the school professional development committee members, the technology committee members, the school board professional development division, field notes made during meetings, hallway conversations, email conversations with the participants, and a reflexive journal were used to supplement the primary source of data. A constant comparison analysis for emerging progressions or themes was applied to the primary data (Merriam, 1991; Stake, 1994; Yin, 1994) while the supplementary data were used primarily to triangulate and guide the research process. This type of study "involved description, explanation, and judgement" (Merriam, 1998, p. 30), and provided a rich, thick description of events and the process surrounding the events. The interactions between the teachers, the technology, their personal and professional lives, and the school environment were communicated through everyday language. "Case study is appropriate when the objective of an evaluation is to develop a better understanding of the dynamics of a program" (Merriam, 1998, p. 33). Professional development is a complex environment for researchers. The environment includes, but is not limited to, the history around professional development at the school, the different goals of the individual teachers, and the level of technology in the school. 28 A case study was chosen for this study for two reasons. The complex interactions that occurred between teachers, their families, administration, the school district, and the researcher needed to be viewed from a holistic perspective (Merriam, 1988). To show the relationships and the timing of events required a qualitative case that would provide the framework for a discussion. A case study also captured the perspectives of the participants as they underwent the training process on site. Feedback was constantly elicited from all the involved parties and a journal of researcher thoughts complimented the description of events provided by the teachers. Merriam (1988) summarizes four characteristics that define a case study: it must be particularistic, descriptive, heuristic, and inductive. This research is a particular case of teachers in an inner city high school in Vancouver, Canada. The teachers are a mix of volunteers from the staff, a mix of gender, of age, of years of service and of computer experience. This group could not be exactly duplicated anywhere else in the world. The components of the study included: a researcher who was an information technology teacher in the school, a computer network that was unreliable since installation and a small budget for staff training. Through interviews, conversations, school documents, journals, emails and staffroom conversations, a'rich description of events was recorded. Many different types of data were used and the indirect method of drawing conclusions fulfilled the heuristic property of helping the researcher to discover connections. Inductive reasoning was used to establish the relationships between teachers and events. Triangulation of data provided the basis for connecting all of the vignettes that occurred over the course of the study. The source of the study lay in my using the Internet in my classroom and wanting other teachers to have the same opportunity. By helping to train teachers on site and by facilitating discussion of curriculum implementation, my hope was to have a more 29 knowledgeable and empowered teaching staff with the self confidence to try technology in the classroom and continue learning the emerging technologies. I was also the technology teacher in the school, and this role included: maintenance of the school network, supporting teachers in the integration of technology and teaching courses to students about information technology. Participants A group of teachers was chosen based on these requirements: 1. They had access to a computer capable of supporting the Internet in their teaching. 2. They had an Internet connection in their room (computer not required). 3. They were interested in participating in the study and implementing Internet technology into their teaching. 4. They were willing to share their knowledge with others in the school. 5. The were willing to commit 3 hours per week to learning and developing technology related curricula, or to personally using the Internet to familiarize themselves with common stumbling blocks. 6. They were willing to meet as a group once per week to share their experiences and together, develop a direction for their learning. The group of 16 teachers in the study group came with various levels of computer knowledge, from novice to expert user, (pseudonyms are used for all participants) 30 Dave was an automotive technology teacher who was new to the Internet. He wanted to learn more about computers and the Internet to make informed decisions personally, and to use the information and skills in his classroom. Specifically, his material suppliers conducted pricing and ordering on the Web exclusively and many companies offered detailed information on their web sites. Dave also wanted to learn about how his computer connects to the main school network and how to create a web page to display to his students. Dorothy was the full-time school librarian. She claimed to have little computer experience but lots of motivation to learn technology, as information is her realm and she felt that she was being left behind in the technological revolution. Dorothy wanted to create an information center in the library but wanted to know several things: what services should the library provide, how could she create a library web page, what skills did she need to learn and what were the students looking for in the library of the next century? She also enrolled in professional development courses for web page design. Phyllis was a special education teacher who was raised on Macintosh computers. She was skeptical of all things IBM. This was not a unique feeling among teachers at this school. Phyllis had little experience with email and Internet so wanted to learn and practice general computer skills, be able to connect with other classrooms, and give her students the same opportunities as regular students. She felt that if her skills were in place that she would be in a better position to offer computer related opportunities to her students. 31 Robert was a science and skills center teacher. He maintained a web page outside of school but wanted to gain confidence and set aside time to practice using computers in a classroom teaching situation. Robert had used computers in one-on-one teaching situations in a classroom at another school but wanted to offer his computer skills to an entire class. He needed to learn the school lab procedures, what each lab situation had to offer in terms of access and software, and wanted ideas of how to manage a class of grade eight science students around computers. Tory taught the modern languages of Spanish and French. Due to enrolment in the school, she was assigned a grade eleven modified science class in which she wanted to use some Web activities. Tory wanted the personal growth of practicing with email and web search engines but also wanted to discuss activities for, and management of, students in a computer lab. Lucy was a humanities and social studies teacher with lots of web searching experience through her Masters' degree. She was a risk taker and wanted to use the Internet and other technologies in the classroom. Lucy felt that before using anything in the classroom, she needed to gain confidence in the network reliability and needed support in trouble shooting when the inevitable problems did arise. Lisa was a life skills teacher who was holding off using email until a really good reason to learn about the Web presented itself. One of her students had some computer experience and questioned whether they could have it at school. In her room, Lisa wanted to access pop culture and student driven topics on the Internet. She wanted to know the process of hooking up to the Net at our school site. She also 32 wanted to see what other teachers are doing with technology so that her program can reflect the larger school community. Bob was the site computer support teacher. Bob provided technical support and intended to extend this professional development project to other teachers next year. He also wished to collaborate with teachers in other departments to encourage his information technology students to make connections to other areas. Bill taught Information Management and other Business Education courses. He was writing a Masters' thesis on computer software use in high schools in British Columbia. Bill taught Internet based courses and wanted to integrate his curriculum with other subject area teachers. Amelia taught English and wanted to publish online poetry and have her classes connect to other classes in the world. Kay was a part time librarian who was very excited about technology. She knew that she would play an important role in a school as the librarian and was willing to fight, alongside her partner Dorothy, for more computers and access for the library. Kay wanted to make a web site that students and teachers could use as a resource to begin their searches. Paul was a science teacher with 2 years before retirement. He was excited about learning about technology, but skeptical whether his time commitment versus the payback to his teaching would be worth the effort. He wanted to use email, become comfortable with the computer marks program, and learn how to surf the web. 33 • Penny was a teacher working with ESL students who would be quickly entering the workforce. Her program was called Pre-Employment and focused on job related skills. She knew students could use computer knowledge to increase their chances for a job and wanted them to create their own web pages. Penny was already connected in her classroom and needed the help to learn web design and the technical side of posting pages to our web server. • Alexandra was the Career Center Supervisor. She wanted to attach a web page to the school site so that students can get the information about jobs and scholarships from home. • Suzie was a physical education department head and career and personal planning teacher. She was new to the world of computers but had just purchased one at home. She felt that being involved in the group would provide the necessary incentive to spend time learning and that she would pick up a few ideas for teaching from the other group members. • Betty was a home economics teacher who taught Internet related courses. She was responsible for one of the labs and wanted to be involved to standardize some of the rules for students and teachers using the labs. These teachers chose to join the study and participated at various levels of commitment. It should be noted that the only department not involved was mathematics, in which all the teachers were confident with technology, but not prepared to commit time to the project. This inner city high school has one hundred teachers and 1300 students with 72 distinct cultural groups represented in the population. It is located on the lower income side of Vancouver 34 with many new families and new immigrants choosing to live in the affordable housing nearby. A purposeful sampling method was used to uncover the possible themes and patterns which emerged during the study. Before the interviews, informed consent forms (Appendix A and C), information packages and a questionnaire (Appendix B) were sent to each of the participants. An introduction to the study was held and questions were answered at an information meeting. Data Sources and Collection The study's findings emerged from meetings and scheduled learning sessions; informal tutorials; conversations held between teachers and between the researcher and teachers; and comments drawn from the researchers' own journal. Scheduled learning sessions for the group were held after student classes had ended on Fridays in a school computer lab. The classroom had 30 computers in various states of student enhanced disrepair. All of these sessions began as researcher-led with a set agenda, followed by time for the participants to work on individual projects or have specific questions answered. The topics were drawn from the interests of the teachers to meet the learning needs of the majority of the group. Topics included email with attachments, web searching, making web pages, networking computers and how to get the school to install a computer in an individual classroom. There was also time during the sessions for one-on-one coaching from the researcher and from other knowledgeable teachers. The overall organization of the project began with an announcement to create a study group posted in the school staff bulletin. Respondents who were interested in implementing the Internet into their teaching left notes in the researcher's mailbox to acknowledge their 35 interest. A general information meeting was held during a lunch period to describe the study, gain consent for research and answer questions about the weeks to follow. A group consensus was reached to meet on Friday afternoons each week and each participant agreed to practice at least one hour every week. I held interviews with guiding questions that lasted from as little as 15 minutes to as long as one hour. I listened as the teachers talked during the meetings and wrote down their statements. Many conversations were held in the staffroom and in the hallway. I recorded anecdotes from these chance meetings. At the end of the 10 weeks the participants were interviewed again and asked questions about how their attitudes had changed and about their general level of satisfaction in professional development. Although the study was officially over, many teachers still were finishing their projects and were developing ongoing units to use in their classrooms. I spent time confirming the data with the participants through group and individual sharing sessions in the two weeks following the study. Formal sessions occurred through booking a session with the researcher during spare periods, lunches, or other non-instructional times. I met with each participant at least once, and several individuals, more than seven times. These sessions had specific outcomes for the individuals. For example, I helped Lisa install a network card and configure her classroom computer for LAN, WAN and Internet access. In addition, one session included a brief web design lesson and uploading to our web server. The needs of the group were varied and usually directed by the teachers. I acted as support for the technical problems and catalyst for new ways to use technology. Less formal sessions included conversations with participants in the hallway, staffroom, by telephone and email. It was difficult to document each of these during the day, 36 and so the researcher recorded the episodes in a journal and added in more detail from memory at the end of the day. The questions were sometimes simple: "How can I create a [hyper] link?" (Lucy, Mar. 12) and could be answered in a short step by step instruction; or sometimes required more thought and coaching: "My computer doesn't connect to the Net!" (Dave, May 3). Responses to the many questions were documented into a help booklet distributed throughout the project to teachers who may have had similar questions. This style of documentation is frequently used on the Internet and is called a frequently asked question document (FAQ). Later in the project, teachers were shown that the help files I wrote for them were a subset of what the larger computer-using-community was doing. They felt very in harmony with the Internet that day. Through the conversations, many ideas were discussed and the teachers were introduced to the world of technology. Their level of competency with computers, solving computer problems and their self confidence with technology greatly increased. The primary source of data was intensive, semi-structured interviews. Each subject was interviewed.in-depth two times, once at the beginning of the study and once at the end of the study 12 weeks later (Appendix B). Secondary data sources included one interview with the two school administrators; one interview with the school professional development committee chairperson; three interviews with the.seven technology committee members; one interview with the school board professional development consultant; field notes made during meetings, hallway conversations, and email conversations with the participants; and the researcher's own journal. The district technology plan, British Columbia integrated resource packages (curriculum documents), school accounting records, personal emails between the participants and minutes of the meetings for the technology committee and the finance committee were also consulted. 37 Data collection was conducted at the convenience of the participants. It was agreed that general group sessions would happen after school on nine Fridays from April to June, 1999. Teachers were free to come and go as their time allowed and I made myself available from 1:35 until 4:00. However, depending of the energy of the individuals, the time frame expanded and contracted to meet their needs. One week was as short as one hour and another, week stretched until 6:00. These structured sessions provided time for a presentation, discussion and sharing of Internet successes and hardships through the week. In addition, it provided time to practice new skills and explore the Internet. The presentation topics were setup for teachers to get the skills they would need to incorporate Internet into their lives and classrooms. The topics were: logging in and network basics, search engines, web page design, the school email client (NetVista) and publishing to the web server. These five topics were covered in detail on five of seven Friday sessions. The other Friday meetings, individuals spent time on their own interests or projects. The meeting location rotated each week to one of the three computer labs in the school so those teachers would be familiar with the hardware, software and general problems of each location. Notes were taken at each of these sessions and participants sent a summary email with individual questions to the researcher. To encourage the use of email, questions were sent to each participant and prizes were given for the speed of response. The questions were centered around the use of the Internet as a teaching tool and the implementation of the Internet into their classroom. As part of my second commitment to the project, I was available to meet with teachers individually during my preparation period, before school, at lunch, or after school. Teachers approached me with individual items with which they wanted extra help. The majority of their sessions included hardware and software networking issues. Installing network cards and setting up the software to connect to the IBM-Novell server occurred 38 repeatedly as the group became more aware of the power of being connected to the Internet in their rooms. Field notes were recorded at the end of each day in the researcher's journal. These notes were based on the daily experiences of the researcher and the participants, the problems that were resolved, and the frequency and type of questions. Each week, participants reviewed data pertinent to them to confirm the researcher's understanding of the situations faced by the participants and to guide questioning of the participants for the next week of the study. The two structured interviews at the beginning and the end of the study were guided initially by the questions in Appendix B but the interviews were each unique and the participants focussed on what was important to them. Informal interviews occurred throughout the study and were as short as one question over two minutes with one individual and as long as a two hour discussion among six participants. Data Analysis Primary data were transformed on two levels after confirmation of the data was reviewed by the participants. On the first level, data were coded by hand into categories proposed by the researcher. These categories changed and evolved throughout the study as new themes emerged and concerns of the participants prompted questioning into new areas. The second level involved analysis of the data by reorganizing similarly coded phrases into thematic groupings. These categories shaped the research questions for the subsequent weeks and are recorded through chapters four and five. Member checking occurred throughout the study in the form of emailed reviews of the state of the research and the emerging themes. Participants were invited to comment on the validity of the research and to propose new directions for the study. This ensured a reasonable and accurate representation of each participant's view of the reported events. 39 At all levels of this study, triangulation was applied by reviewing and analyzing the primary and secondary sources of evidence together so that the findings were based on convergence of information from different sources to enhance the scope and clarity of the study. In analyzing the data, I looked for consensus or discrepancy in the comments of participants, changes in their attitudes towards technology and their use of the Internet, and changes in the type and frequency of questions that participants asked. Limitations This study did not investigate student use of computers. Nor did this study investigate the funding, purchase or [political] distribution of hardware and software. This study was not intended to focus on the acquisition of technology, but rather, on the collaboration and professional development of the participants around the use of Internet in their classrooms. 40 Chapter Four - Conditions and Barriers The first purpose of this study was to explore the conditions and barriers for high school teachers to implement the Internet effectively into their teaching practice. This chapter describes the three conditions and two barriers that were identified. The conditions I found that supported the implementation of the Internet were personal relevance, valid and useful information, and the role of the teacher-librarians in the use of technology. Conditions That Supported Internet Implementation The professional development efforts in this study focussed on facilitating the use of the Internet for teaching and learning. Through the study, the condition emerged that teachers would be more interested in projects that had personal relevance for them. It follows that a classroom teacher wants to use their new skills in the classroom with their students. The third condition emerged during the study when the teacher-librarians took a leadership role in helping teachers implement the Internet into their lesson plans. An in depth description of each of these conditions of implementation follows. • Personal Relevance Teachers value time spent developing practical skills that are applicable to their individual classroom settings (Pugalee & Robinson, 1998). Teachers enjoy learning and enjoy sharing their new knowledge with others. The teachers were drawn to the Internet as widely publicized new technology that they did not know about. Each teacher had her or his own reasons for joining the study. Dave wanted to learn for personal reasons (email and stock market quotes) while Dorothy wanted students to be able to search information in the library successfully. Phyllis wanted to give her special education students the same options as regular stream students. Amelia wanted to publish poems of her students on the web. For 41 each teacher, there was an individual reason for wanting to learn but an important point is that they shared a common interest in learning about the Internet. My intent was to explore an alternative method of professional development that places more responsibility on the participants. In reading literature on adult learning theory and training, I found that others had already attempted forming groups outside of class hours. Apple Computers of Tomorrow (ACOT) (Maddin, 1997) in the United States and Computer Aided Teacher Talk (CATT) (Armstrong, Davis & Young, 1996) in Canada are just two examples of successful programs that brought teachers together with technology. Both of these programs had funding from Apple Computers Inc. and involved voluntary teacher participation. Although the study described here involved volunteers from a high school staff, there was no funding provided. Teachers in this study used what was currently available in their school and explored how to incorporate it into their repertoire of teaching skills. The quote below illustrates how the teacher-librarians see the great need for on site support. ...it is great to have on-site, on-demand help. It is almost a necessity of computer success. There are so many things to go wrong [with computers] and just having someone to turn to...teachers would never try things without it [assistance]. (Dorothy and Kay, initial interview, April 3, 1999) Adult learning relies on individual pacing and a topic that is immediate and relevant. Adults implement change when a support group is available (Kirpatrick, 1998). During the study I attempted to connect people together to share their resources. Through email, phone and hallway conversation, the group supported each other and the community grew. I believe this was due in part to the support provided and the topic of the Internet being so important to the group members. 42 Specifically, Dorothy made huge leaps forward in understanding concepts of the Internet and in putting these concepts into everyday language for teachers to understand. She was encouraging to the staff and always willing to spend a minute and help a teacher fit the Internet into the curriculum. She helped create a Social Studies web page for a teacher's city history project and took on the role of teacher advisor to the school web site. Every community needs leaders and Dorothy was stepping into that role. The need of the participants to change from a teacher centered classroom to a technology-model-student-centered classroom was a decision they made. It was not a mandate from the provincial government or the school board that teachers must use the Internet in their classrooms. The curriculum documents are vague in their wording. They state that teachers should ".. .incorporate technology where appropriate" (BC Ministry of Education, 1996, On-Line). These teachers had reasons such as wanting to keep current in technology, wanting to learn themselves, wanting to be able to integrate computers and the Internet into their teaching, and just personal interest. Writing about educational change, Fullan stated that "you can't mandate what matters" (1993, p. 23). He was implying that a complex change that includes teachers learning new skills was not something that could be enacted immediately like raising the provincial sales tax. That could be mandated, monitored and enforced. Requiring teachers to use the Internet in their classrooms requires learning new skills and believing that the new way will be better. Participants came to this study with a positive change attitude and the capacity to change. Throughout the project, the teachers participated on their own time because they felt it would be worthwhile to them. Motivation to learn was high. Vojtek and Vojtek (2000) discuss three types of teacher motivation. First, what is in it for me? Every teacher wants to get back some benefit for the time invested. Second, teachers realizing that their colleagues 43 are taking the change seriously will give more pause for the new innovation. Third, teachers love a change that works. If they see first hand that what they do is making a positive impact in the classroom, they will be motivated to participate in the change. This is a much better learning environment than a prescribed professional development day at a training center reserved by the school district or the provincial government. Teachers needed to learn about the technology available at the school and become competent with it. The computers were new and the network was recently installed. The Internet was a new feature at the school and had not been introduced into most classrooms except as a footnote for students to go home and look up referenced web sites given in class. Next, teachers needed time to discuss ways to implement the technology and try some small pilot projects in a safe setting with lots of support. My hope was that after spending time experimenting and learning, the teachers would use technology with their students in the classroom. It became apparent that to engage teachers in the project on a voluntary basis it was necessary to explore topics that were personally relevant. I put forth many ideas such as collaborative projects using multiple classrooms and partners in other countries, but the teachers were not at a comfortable level with the Internet and the computers. In order to integrate computers into their teaching practice it was necessary to have teachers personally comfortable with the technology first. The next sections summarize what the teachers in the study felt were the most important skills that they learned during the study. Teachers found these topics interesting from a personal perspective and felt that by mastering these topics, it would give them a base to build on. They also felt the skills would be easily implemented into their teaching as they tried new ideas. These topics were email, web browsing, and web page creation. 44 Email The most appealing and useful function of the Internet in the eyes of the group was definitely email. It was easy to use, reliable and they could immediately engage friends and family in far away places through this fast communication method. The first session included a brief overview of the email client (NetVista) which is the same client the students in the school use. In minutes, the entire group was able to email each other and email friends outside the school. This was the first step in the process. Everyone in the group was feeling confident. The quotes below show the personal use of email that I felt was critical to the success of the exercise. By incorporating email into their personal lives, the teachers would feel more comfortable in the upcoming sessions with their students. I set up a meeting with the library staff and another teacher by email and it was much more convenient than having to track each person down face to face. (Phyllis, after the first meeting, April 12, 1999) I can get my email from home and respond to it at my leisure. It takes away the time pressure. (Robert, during the first meeting, April 9, 1999) Phyllis was emailing Dorothy behind my back! They used it to setup and confirm a meeting. Robert has been emailing Phyllis, too! What's going on? With only one brief introduction, email had caught on and was being used. I inadvertently overheard that they were emailing links, information, and just general greetings. Robert was interested in a variation on the email theme. He wanted to have universal access to his messages. This is available on the school web server by way of a web-based email account. That account can be configured to access the school mail server and retrieve mail without deleting it. 45 It is great to be able to get your messages at home and tie everything together. The Internet and email work together quite well. (Robert, during the second meeting, April 16, 1999) This quote shows that Robert is impressed that email systems work well together. His experience was that different computers are not compatible and not able to do things that make sense, like accessing email from any location. We sent email back and forth, attached Microsoft word files, created signatures and nicknames while generally becoming familiar with the software. The teachers spent some time emailing friends since I had asked them to bring at least one email address of a friend. We also added their friends' email addresses into the address book. The following quotes show the range of abilities in the group which reflects a typical information technology classroom of students. This situation presents unique challenges for the teachers. This isn 't so hard. (Phyllis, during the first session, April 9, 1999) We've had this for months and it works great. All my students have email and I send them messages and they email me their assignments for Information Management 12. You should get your students to do the same. (Bill, during the first session, April 9, 1999) We opened Netscape and spent a brief moment in the Altavista search engine but the group quickly lost themselves in the tangled mess of the web. There were shouts of excitement when they found information personally relevant and they called their friends over to see. There's a web site about my church! (Robert, during the third session, April 23, 1999) 46 / didn't know there were so many places. Who made all this? (Suzie, third session, April 23, 1999) Why can't I go to the Whitehouse? [www.whitehouse.com] They should have a web site. (Lucy, third session, April 23, 1999) I quickly asked them to send the link by email to their friends. We discussed the grouping of students in the same situation and the appropriateness of pairing students and allowing them to discuss their findings in the excitement of the moment. Lucy was unable to access the whitehouse.com because the blocking software prevented the web browser from displaying the information. I explained, that whitehouse.gov is the United States government website while dot com [.com] is a pornographic website. It is common for porn sites to take the misspelling or close name of popular sites. W e b B r o w s i n g The group had diverse interests and once shown the concept of hyperlinking they headed off on their own. Everyone experienced the disorientation of being lost in cyberspace somewhat. Phyllis had to stand up and walk around away from the computer. Others wanted to go back to a previous site but were unable to find their way back. Bookmarking and emailing links back to oneself were introduced to offer some order to the chaos. All group members lost track of the time and found that web browsing would waste your time if you were not focussed. They asked how could they focus student browsing and how do you know if the information is reliable? Evaluating web sites is a skill that is developed over time and a skill that we wish to teach our students. We spent time looking at good and bad sites, discussed the reliability of information, and read the latest information on evaluation of web sites. 47 I 'd like to check out some tourism Canada web sites & I hope to have a list of some " child friendly " sites from Cori. (Lisa, third session, April'23, 1999) Some sites that I think would be a benefit to my students are: Supplies of Materials eg wood, auto parts; Trouble shooting the auto; Technology info to my related subjects Mitchell on demand and/or All-data (Dave, fourth session, May 7, 1999) I would like to know if there is a web site where students can go to get a basic lesson on the internet as terminology, the set up, basic requirements, etc. In otherwords an introduction in graphic form to the workings. (Betty, third session, April 23, 1999) These quotes show that each member of the group had a specific agenda of web related activities. Most of these activities related to either their classroom teaching or to personal interest. It is interesting to note the comment from Betty that she was looking for a graphic representation of the Internet. There was a general feeling among the group members that the Internet was some undefined 'blob' out there. They often asked questions about what exactly is the Internet. I likened the larger network of the Internet to the smaller network of resources we had in that room. Tory, a language teacher who was assigned to teach science and technology 11, taught a unit, involving technology of the web, in a computer lab in the school. Everyone told her the computers would not be reliable but she prevailed, weathering the problems that, of course, arose, and her students had the opportunity to explore the web. Tory's success gave her a sense of satisfaction that is apparent from the quote below. I must have spent ten times the normal amount of planning time but it was worth it since the kids were motivated and now I can do it myself next year. (Tory, exit interview, June 10, 1999) 48 By the end of her unit, Tory's technology confidence was high and her knowledge could be shared with other staff members. Tory started the web project with a specific purpose in mind: to teach a science and technology course, but from her comment below, it is obvious that she is extending her interest in the Internet to her personal interest in languages. Could you send me the name of a few websites for Science/Science & Tech, French and Spanish please? Thank you, gracias, merci. (Tory, hallway conversation, May 4, 1999) Robert explored the web search engines in preparation to integrate the web into the grade 8-science classroom next fall. Our group meetings were his time to explore the school computer labs and gain personal confidence in using the computers at school. Robert was not just using the web but was interested in talking about how the web works. Fd like to know how these search engines work. How come when I type a certain word in one it works differently from the next...and why does it find things totally unrelated? (Robert, third session, April 23, 1999) Robert is posing questions to me that I would like to pose to students and we discussed this. How does the Internet really work? Who is controlling the search engines to have the hits placed highly on the list? How do we get students to question the content of web pages? These are the types of questions we discussed. The library and teacher-librarians took on a particularly important role during this period. They created a lesson on how to search the web, how to use search engines, how to evaluate information on the web and when to use the web versus conventional research of books in the library. Dorothy and Kay worked with a group of other teacher-librarians in Vancouver to create a series of lessons in information searching. They were meeting as a group already and the topic arose as one to be addressed by every school. 49 We were meeting once a month and one of the other librarians said she started teaching students about searching the Internet and it was quite successful. There were many types of skills involved like searching, putting information into order, writing reports, and evaluating the quality of the web site. Kay and I were not very experienced at Internet but knew we wanted to offer the same lessons to our students. (Dorothy, first interview, April 7, 1999) This quote illustrates that by taking the initiative, Dorothy and Kay had the energy and the interest to help teachers get started with Internet based lessons and allowed the teachers to learn along with their classes. The library became a place for the students to hang out and use Internet. It was becoming a social place for students, not a scary, dark, musty, research facility, but an information center, alive with students using technology for their classes. The teacher-librarian's goal of making the library the place to hang out, instead of the smoking area, was working. Web Page Creation Web page design was surprisingly easy to teach and everyone experienced success and thought that it would be a very useful teaching tool. The teacher-librarians thought a use for web pages would be for students to summarize the days' events for absent students, or the web page could display a list of links to focus a student's search during a class project. Dorothy was already doing this on poster paper by the computers in the library in the same way that other resources were brought to the attention of students. She thought it would be easy to transfer this to a web page. Dorothy was also happy to take on a leadership role in the management of the school web site and the coordination of the information on the site for the upcoming school year. 50 We [Dorothy, Kay] are going to a web page class but could you give us some of the stuff ahead of time so we at least know the vocabulary? (Dorothy, before the course, March 1999) • Thanks for the info before. We were the stars of the class and knew what was going on. It was totally worth it. (Kay, after the course, March 1999) The above quotes show the need for support in our school and the initiative of the teacher-librarians. Dorothy and Kay have attended a web page making workshop and have created a page that we displayed for the school. Dorothy had committed her time in the following year to sponsor the web server and the school web site. This means being assigned a technical student who will take care of the server but the information being posted and the passwords will reside with Dorothy. Dorothy is also taking a leadership role as librarian in which she is encouraging teachers to create a links page for students, before the start of a project involving research. Dave wants a web page for his automotive class. He has sketched it out on paper and vows not to leave before uploading. After struggling with Corel WP8 he gets a page to publish, we upload it and he shows it off to his family that weekend. He also uploaded a links page for his technology classes for the prices of wood and other assorted parts. Reporting Marks It is worth noting that discussions in the staffroom about technology varied in content and direction. One specific instance was very interesting for me and for the teachers. The discussions about use of computers constantly drifted back to the topic of using the digital-marking program called ReMark! For Windows. This program is used throughout British Columbia high schools for the record keeping of student marks and the submission of these 51 marks to the office at the end of the term. Teachers in the group felt that one of the stepping stones to computer literacy in the school is to force all teachers to use the electronic marking system. This is a shift from the style of professional development I was offering in that teachers were not giving themselves the choice to use technology or not. Throughout the study they were excited to explore the topics they felt interested in but they concurred that technology has a place and one place is in the reporting of marks. Reporting the evaluation of students is a hot topic in our school. At its highest point in November 1998, only 50% of teachers submitted their marks electronically (Technology Committee Minutes). This year only 10% of staff second term submitted on disk (Records Clerk). Electronic submission reduces office staff time immensely but this method is not standardized, nor required in the school. There was an animated discussion among Dave, Phyllis, and Robert around the electronic submission of marks. Currently, marks submitted by a coded scan sheet must be fed through a scanner by hand. For a staff of 90, this time adds up. This is only minor compared to the software glitch that only allows an edit printout of all information to occur after all scan sheets are scanned. This means that any late teachers hold up the entire process. If marks are submitted by disk, it is faster for office staff, more accurate since teachers preview the information on the computer screen, and the edit information can be printed immediately. Dave and Phyllis thought that the administration should force the entire staff to submit by disk. The quotes below illustrate the heated debate around the issue of reporting marks and the apparent confusion around the decision making process. 52 Why don 't they just make the decision? ...force us to go by disk...then the whole staff will learn the program at the same time and can be taught at the same time. (Phyllis, casual staffroom meeting, May 28, 1999) That's the way it is at other schools that I've taught at and it works fine. Someone just has to make the decision.(Robert, casual staffroom meeting, May 28, 1999) There's a time to ask for input and a time to make the decisions...that's their [admin] job, isn't it? (Dave, casual staffroom meeting, May 28, 1999) This conversation reflected the entire staff feeling about the level of decision making. The administration was reluctant to mandate a change to electronic marks due to the lack of access to computers at school and the training required to support the change. Perhaps the feeling of administration would change in the future as computer access became widely available to the staff. • Valid and Useful Information The second condition of Internet implementation was that the information was valid and useful to all the teachers. Teachers chose what facet of technology they were interested in and they chose whether to attend the weekly meetings or not. They experimented in low risk situations with support on hand. By experiencing success, the teachers were able to take bigger steps and were encouraged with the positive results they were seeing. Practicality was in the mind of each of the teachers. The teachers each made a choice to join the community. They asked themselves, is it worth my time? Boudah and Mitchell (1998), Fullan (1991), and Hargreaves (1996) all agree that teacher time is in such short supply and so valuable that teachers must prioritize all the things they want to do depending on the amount of time they have available. Other programs in the United States were able to 53 offer incentives like pay upgrades or time off (Long, 1996; Murphy, 1997) but British Columbia did not have the type of money to make these incentives available. Teachers joined the study because they felt that the time they invested into learning would pay off in personal satisfaction or in helping their students to learn more effectively. Joining the group was low risk, in that any teacher could leave at any time and rejoin at any time. The commitment was only to themselves to take advantage of the learning situation. Tory wanted to attempt a unit in the curriculum on space science and current technology with her class of grade eleven modified science students. She was optimistic that her students could learn the technology and learn the science, too. Tory carefully set out a six classes long unit where students had to: • email an expert. • search for information on space programs. • synthesize their own conclusions about the state of the world space program. First, she showed them the basics of the school email client and simple web searches using Altavlsta and YaHoo! and then turned them loose to complete the project. She claimed that she had not ever worked so hard in preparing the unit and worried so much about its outcome. She spent much more time than preparing for a regular class since her uncertainty about computers made her attend to details closely. When I asked her if she would do it again, she said "...of course! Next time will be easier, having done it once already ...and it was worth it because it motivated a group of students who had motivational problems. " (Tory, after the study, late June 1999). 54 Once teachers were confident of their skills, I encouraged them to try out their new skills with the students. There were successes and failures but almost everyone had fun trying, since we set expectations low to avoid disappointment and stress. This would also facilitate success to maintain motivation and facilitate risk taking as outlined by Kirpatrick (1998). Dave wanted to create a web page that his students could access to get information about pricing of materials. He created the page using Corel Word Perfect 8.0, saved it into a web format and published it to the school web server. It contained the web sites of his wood supplier's prices and he had students access the page to do a cost analysis of their projects. He felt success at having created the page and his students were definitely impressed with his new web page which made him feel even better. He said that next year he would extend his attempts to integrate the web into his classroom. Phyllis and Penny were very impressed with Dave's successful implementation and asked him to help them next year. This was a clear indication of a shift in the group. They no longer saw me as the sole holder of knowledge in the group. They were beginning to rely on each other and see each other as technical help. The group was showing the capacity for change in that their motivation and excitement level was still high after weeks of learning and their students were talking about the new Internet projects. The teachers had a need to learn about the Internet, no one was mandating them to learn and implement it into their classroom, and they were working together to solve the problems. • The Role of the Teacher-Librarian The third condition for the successful implementation of the Internet was the important role of the teacher-librarian at the high school. The essential support role of the library at the school provided a central focus for information technology. The teacher-55 librarians, Dorothy and Kay, were positive energy in promoting the use of the Internet. They offered teachers the location to experiment with their classes, gave a reason (research skills) and created lesson plans that teachers could implement directly. Lucy, Amelia, Paul Betty, Robert, and Tory all brought their classes to the library information center to have their students go through the training for searching the Internet. Dorothy and Kay worked with another teacher librarian to develop the lesson where students learned about key words, hits, and evaluating information on the web. By providing this service to the school, the library took on a central focus of a technology friendly place to be and a safe place to ask questions (for the teachers and the students). In the literature, I found numerous references to the role of the library in promoting Internet use among teachers. All high schools have a resource in their library and when money is tight, the library is a choice often made for the location of a school's limited computers. In the School Library Journal, there is an ongoing column titled "Surfs Up" (Mancall, Stafford & Zanger, 1999). This column is for librarians to share websites of interest as well as tips and tricks used in school libraries. Libraries were formerly buildings that housed books and now their purpose is expanding. With the Internet being such a huge source on information, it is a natural progression that libraries take on the role of helping teachers and students to access, organize and analyze information from the Internet (Caldwell & Carefoot, 1999). The school library during the study became a meeting place for teachers in the study due to the easy access online and the comfortable surroundings. The librarians were excited to learn about the Internet and to help other teachers integrate technology in small steps into their existing lessons. They had seen what other libraries were doing with web sites and they had a specific goal to have their own web site tailored to the needs of the school and its students. 56 Barriers That Inhibited Implementation of the Internet At home, many teachers and students have access to the Internet. Public access is provided at libraries in Canada, Internet cafes are abundant and business has integrated the Internet into its daily business model. Schools and teachers have not yet embraced the Internet and this study revealed two barriers to this adoption. The two barriers I found that inhibited or prevented teachers from using the Internet were the time available for teachers to learn and practice new skills, and access to the Internet. • Time There are many different types of teacher time and different ways in which teachers use their time such as, time in front of students; time for marking and planning; time for meetings; personal time or down time; and time to learn and implement new ideas. In Vancouver, teachers are encouraged to use their five professional development days to learn about innovations in their field of expertise and how to implement these new ideas into their teaching practice. Research shows that the format of five discreet days that are not flexible in scheduling from an individual point of view is not enough time, and in fact that learning is an ongoing process (Darling-Hammond, 1999; Murphy, 1997; Pink, 1989; Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000). This study attempted to model a style of professional development that catered to the needs of the individual teachers by allowing teachers to choose the time and the place for their learning. This model had built-in flexibility for the teachers that allowed them to organize their time and participate in their own ideal learning conditions. This reflects studies in which teachers were given choices and flexibility in their professional development (Browne & Ritchie, 1991; Harvey & Purnell, 1995; Kinnaman, 1990; Pope, 1996; Stager, 1995). Even with the flexibility in scheduling offered, teachers remarked that they just did not have the time to do what they wanted. The quotes below show the trend that teachers 57 want support on site and are willing to invest their time if the chance of success seems high with the addition of support. The teachers seem willing to make the commitment since they see that I am willing to help them whenever they have the time. (Field Notes, April 7, 1999) You mean you '11 help during your preparation period? We have the same one, that's great! (Dave, first meeting, April 3, 1999) In general, teachers in the study gave up one to two hours each Friday for 10 weeks and one other hour of time through the week. This time came from their preparation periods, lunch hour, before school or after school. Teachers were more willing to give up this time when they saw immediate benefits for themselves or for their students. Boudah and Mitchell (1998) illustrate this in their authentic professional development (APD) model, in which teachers are learning realistic, useful classroom applicable tools. They claim that when teachers find the information they are learning directly and immediately applicable to their teaching situation, they are interested and motivated to learn. Time management is also a management of priorities. Lisa found being connected in her classroom a priority for her and her students so she was willing to come in early and learn about the school network and stay late after school to wait for the school board technician to configure her Macintosh computer for the school network. Dorothy and Kay wanted to create a web presence for the library but they needed to be able to create and update their own web pages for convenience. With some initial guidance and a course on web building, they were using the school web server and helping other teachers display information for their classroom projects. The time it took each of these individuals to learn was, in their minds, offset by the benefits (Boe, 1989; Hawkins & MacMillan, 1993; Kinnaman, 1990). Fullan (1991) discusses that change will occur more readily when teachers see the need for the change. This is reiterated by Vojtek and Vojtek 58 (2000) in the area of technology: change effort takes three to five years but technology evolves faster than that. How are teachers supposed to maintain the pace of emerging technologies when the adoption of the change is not completed before the technology is obsolete? The answer is that teachers must learn a base set of skills to be able to cope with the changes that appear to be coming even faster in the future. Regardless of the need to change, personal demands on the teachers' time from home, meetings, end of term marking, testing and just being tired were some of the reasons participation was low at times. Some of the participants had children in elementary school that needed to be picked up, doctor appointments that were booked outside of working hours and other family commitments. I was adamant about not making the teachers feel uncomfortable about attending. This whole project was for them to learn about technology and use it in their classrooms, not about feeling that they had another commitment that they would have to make an excuse for not attending. Veteran teachers remarked that the time to sit around and discuss in the staffroom had all but disappeared (Paul, Dorothy, Phyllis). They reflected on the changing flavour of the teaching job. Over the course of the last 20 years many items have been given over to teachers that were not initially part of the job. Teachers now track down absentee students by phoning parents, and the process of accreditation involves teachers for an entire year every six years. Although class size has dropped to a maximum of 30, each class has students that require individual learning plans that need to be reviewed and written. Schools are now run as a democracy so there are more planning meetings with decisions to be made. Coaching of athletics takes a great deal of time during the sports season and sponsoring of student clubs is done outside of classroom hours. All of this time on top of teaching duties amounts to a full 59 workday that often did not allow teachers to take the time to learn new technologies and plan the implementation of them into their curriculum. During the study, the participants made a time commitment, hoping that what they learned would be worth the time invested. This is the root of change theory according to Fullan (1991). He stated that if there are perceptions that the new model is better than the old model, and that the change will be better for the students, then teachers are willing to invest time in learning and implementing the innovation. This idea was reiterated by almost all of the teachers. Phyllis knew that she had a lot to learn to catch up to even her eight year old daughter but felt that if she could learn about computers and how they would be a benefit to her students, then eventually her students would benefit. Dave wanted to use technology the same way that businesses were using the web. He wanted to publish costs of materials and have students search his website and do a cost analysis of their projects. He felt this was a step towards real-world applicability and this would validate what he was teaching in the eyes of his students and give them a real edge when they entered the work force. Lack of time is such a huge factor in the life of a teacher. Participants stressed that finding the time to meet, to practice, and to think about integrating the Internet into their classroom was the largest issue. The variety of quotes below illustrate that the issue of time remains in the front of every teachers mind. I'll try to join the group any time I'm here if that's OK with you. (Kay, first meeting, April 7, 1999) ...is there a time that would be good for them to find you? (Lisa, first meeting, April 7, 1999) 60 ...yes i would like to go over our web site with you but... after school today I am teaching exam prep with Lucy—after 2:45 would be ok but I don't know if that fits with you schedule (Dorothy, hallway conversation, May 11, 1999) PS. Phyllis just walked by and said that she will not be able to make it to today's session. (Lisa, email, April 9, 1999) thanks for the email, Vm sorry that I cant attend because we 're doing the after school test prep sessions (Dorothy, email, May 14, 1999) Attending professional development workshops with teachers of differing levels is troublesome. I have experienced it and I teach different levels of students. Some teachers will enter a workshop with years of background in web searching and hands-on experience, while others have problems saving their work to a disk. The core group, the teachers that attended most of the Friday meetings and became a cohesive group, came together because there was no teacher far ahead or far behind. They had different experiences with the Internet but were at the same general level. They worked together to solve problems and helped each other without intimidating each other. The fringe group, the group that attended sporadically, contained experienced Internet-using teachers who felt the meetings were not a good use of their time because they already knew the information. Kirpatrick (1998) confirmed in adult learning theory that adults who did not find the material personally relevant would not attend. Adults must find the information personally relevant for the class to be interesting and worth attending. Another side to this time concept is that the meeting groups in the study were small and comprised of individuals of about the same computer experience. This enabled the groups to work approximately at the same pace. There were no large group lectures, like the 61 workshop format, but rather, each teacher-initiated project was going at its own speed with the direction determined by the teachers involved, not the technologist. This would alleviate the workshop congestion where several people monopolize the instructor's time and the rest of the group grows bored waiting to go to the next step. The self-pacing of individual projects and the commitment to which teachers give their personal time were ways to have teachers gain success. While teachers were working on their project, they knew that they would be using it. in their classrooms. They could see the use, in fact, they came up with the use and have planned for it throughout the entire project. Fullan (1991) agrees that time is the number one issue in the professional life of a teacher. The issue of time restriction is apparent from the participation rates of the teachers involved in the study. The numbers constantly shifted with most teachers only attending about one half of the sessions, and only one participant making every one of the meetings. The teachers came with excuses, but I was not looking for apologies, rather, I was interested in the other activities that were competing for their time. The time demands ranged from personal to professional. Tory just had too many new preparations to handle structured learning for her own pleasure. Lucy and Dorothy were involved in an after school student study group that taught students the skills of studying. Suzie said she just did not have the available brain space on Fridays due to the other stresses in her life. She would rather go and exercise on Friday afternoons. Phyllis and Amelia had to pick up their kids some days. The week that report card marks were due was a disaster for attendance. Everyone, including me,' was scrambling to find the time to finish marking and evaluating students for the term. However, when all the participants did attend, they made efficient use of their time and interacted with the other teachers, especially the teachers they did not often meet in their daily routines. 62 • Access The other barrier that emerged from the study was the issue of access to the Internet. Ideally, teachers can find a computer conveniently, sit down and use that computer as a resource. Also, the availability of a computer lab and a computer in every classroom for the use of the students would benefit the students and the teachers. The school is not yet at that point. We have pockets of computers, some connected, some not and the full utilization of those existing resources is in question. The United States has a federal program in place to encourage the updating of computers in schools but Canada has no comparable program. The cost of computers and Internet access is prohibitive to many schools although there are many different models in place. Some schools lease computers, BCTelus (the BC/Alberta telephone utility) is heading a donation and refurbishing program for needy schools, and there is a drive towards corporate sponsorship for technology. An extension of the barrier caused by lack of access to the Internet is lack of access to appropriate technology professional development. As a group, we discussed the arrangement of the school timetable to facilitate professional development. Suzie did not like the fact that many conferences were out of her price range compounded by the cost of an employee-on-call. The school district mandates six days for teachers to learn but professional development does not need to fall on six specific days throughout the year. The logistics of the school day and school calendar are prohibitive for a school district to offer many choices to the teachers for professional development. Members of the study group wanted more flexibility in selecting when they attended professional development activities, but could not offer a better model to deal with the logistics for release time. High schools have many experts on their staff. For example, most high schools have information technology (IT) teachers who would be willing to facilitate staff learning for professional development. In many schools, this is 63 already the case. The current problem with this model is that these teachers are not given time to prepare for these teaching situations and this absorbs the time they would be using for their own learning. Some IT teachers continue but risk burnout and others just refuse to organize and maintain workshops for the staff without resources or compensation. In a school district with limited funding (what school district is not in this situation?), it is important to use all of the resources at one's disposal. There are many teachers who can contribute to the community of learning but are reluctant to participate due to time limitations. In our school, we have teachers with many years of computer experience in the form of using computers and of teaching with them. This knowledge was shared during the study and the generosity of the experts brought the community together. Protecting the computers from the students and protecting the students from the Internet were two heated topics. Some teachers wanted unlimited and unregulated access to the Internet, while others were thankful for the restrictions even though useful information was not accessible. Vancouver School Board, as a public institution has a responsibility to the parents and the students to provide reasonable care. This includes site blocking on every school gateway computer through CyberPatrol, a company that rates sites and maintains its clients with the latest banned list of web sites. The quotes below illustrate the balance that school boards must keep between giving students full access to the Internet and providing a safe environment for an educational setting. How does the computer know what sites are allowed? (Kay, third session, April 23, 1999) What's stopping the students from getting around the software blocking? You hear about it all the time! (Dorothy, third session, April 23, 1999) 64 I hate it when I can't go to a site that is OK but the block is on it for some unconnected reason. Like the Disney site yesterday. (Dave, hallway conversation, May 18, 1999) There is bound to be some frustration with the site blocking software that is used, and these teacher experienced some of the common 'protection' for students. The second biggest issue was where a computer could be found in the school, without students present, to check email, create a test, or just explore the Web. Teachers in the study most often reported that access was the major limiting factor. Other problems included non-functioning computers, computers already in use, computers not connected to the Internet, and computers that did not have the required software. Teachers experienced access blockage in terms of physical and software. It's fine to say that the computers are connected and we are all on line but just try to find a computer to use in this school. It's nearly impossible. The one in the staff room is being used all the time. (Phyllis, staffroom conversation, May 20, 1999) When will my end of the school be on the LAN? (Dave, numerous times, April-June, 1999) I will try to find out if and how Net Vista can be down loaded to the Mac. With luck I will soon be able to send you a final update from my room! (Lisa, email from the library, May 14, 1999) Success at last! Patrick [the technician] left at 3:15, so the problem was clearly not trivial, an easy fix or do-able by us. He had to upgrade the system and switch to Open Transport not MAC TCP. He left a copy of the Netvista installer on my hard drive and told me what would have to be done to share it with another MAC on the system. It is, of course, a very friendly process. (Lisa, email from her room, May 17, 1999) 65 What do I need to be connected in my classroom? (Tory, second session, April 16, 1999) Finally, the east wing is connected. Dave already has a computer, he just needs the software to install...andLisa needs a network card and call the technician since it's a Mac and I don't know the setup. (Field Notes, April 30) These quotes illustrate that teachers were constantly fighting the access battle to find a computer they could use to practice, create, email, or just surf the web. The ideal scenario is a working, networked computer at your disposal when you need it, and used by someone else when you do not need it. Student computers tend to be abused, often have hardware problems and very often have software errors. This issue is being resolved in the school by imaging the hard drives and copying an image from the server when the computer is not working correctly. Imaging a hard drive is taking a perfect copy of the drive before anyone uses it and saving this copy on the server. At any time the perfect copy can be simply copied back onto a poorly performing machine without any time spent finding the problems. This method saves technicians and teachers hours in finding software problems. The quotes below show how non-functioning computers are routinely dealt with. Showed the group how easy it was to "rebuild" a hard drive when one computer didn 't work. They thought I would fiddle with it for hours but instead Ijust copied the image back onto it from the server in about 10 minutes. (Field Notes, May 28) Imaging computers was the best decision we made this year. We don't look for software problems anymore. We find a computer that doesn't work and just copy a clean hard drive image onto it. I don't spend nearly the same amount of time fixing software problems anymore. (Bob, fifth session, May 14, 1999) 66 However, through the school day, students are using student computers. Either teachers must share the lab with students, which makes both groups uncomfortable, or teachers need their own computers away from students. There is currently one IBM and one Macintosh with a shared printer in the staffroom for general teacher use. A second part of access is the use of a multi-purpose computer lab. A teacher must get the key from the office (on loan) turn on all the computers, figure out how to log in, refresh themselves about how to run the applications and know how to fix any problems that may arise during the class. Teachers in the study noted that taking a class to a lab was plagued with many problems. In specific, they complained about having classes booked into labs on a regular basis, having to get a key for the room, not having the correct passwords, and students forgetting their passwords. The student password is out of the teachers' control but it is still a very real problem for novice network administrators knowing that there is no immediate support to solve their problem. I want to teach a class in a lab. How do I book it? What do I need to know? Can you help me with the room stuff and make sure I'm all set up? (Tory, before her first classroom experience, May 7, 1999) Two concrete examples showed different responses to the problem of not having access to the Internet in their own room. How hard can it be? Just because I don't use email doesn't mean I'm stupid. I'll be careful. What's your room number in case I have questions? (Lisa, prior to installation, May 12, 1999) Lisa had a not-yet-connected to the network Macintosh. She boldly ripped out the modem, purchased a network card and had the VSB tech support come out to install and 67 reconfigure the machine. She used the information she learned to make informed decisions and to push her into action. Now her special needs students have web access, too. I can't work without access in my room. There is no money but you [author] talked about funding through the technology committee... how do I get money from them? (Phyllis, fifth session, May 14, 1999) The above quote shows a change in the type of questions being asked by Phyllis. Prior to this, her questions were about using the computer, and later her questions were about the school system and integrating computers into her teaching. Phyllis, after struggling without a connected computer in her room, asked me to help in writing a proposal to the technology committee to support her with some money. She has found that having access nearby would be the best way to learn for her and for her students. Several computers had configurations that students had adjusted and would not connect to the Internet once logged in. This is the reality of computers in a high school setting and focuses on the reality of what teachers have to contend with daily. Long (1996) felt that professional development on-site was essential for teachers to succeed and implement technology since they would be learning how to troubleshoot on the computers in house. This presented an excellent opportunity to show that problems constantly arise in the computer lab. This caused great concern for Paul and Dave since they had been on staff for many years and had experienced the growing pains of a high school network that had expanded each year but was not funded enough to be bulletproof. The quotes below lament about past experiences with the computers and network at school. How can we bring students into a lab that cannot be used by even the network guy? These computers are constantly broken! (Paul, first session, April 7, 1999) 68 Well it just goes to show you that the computers don't work for everyone. I thought it was always just me. (Dave, first session, April 7, 1999) In the past, our site has had constant server downtime causing a general air of mistrust around computers, the network, and Internet in the school. Many times, I have walked past the general use lab and it is empty. At first, teachers tried bringing groups of students into the general use lab but they had high expectations and no training to troubleshoot the problems. They were disappointed with the speed of the Internet connection and the reliability of the network. What do you do with a group of teenagers expecting to surf the net when the Internet connection is not available? Expectations for the lab were unreasonable given the amount of support time and money available. Today the computers are more reliable and the teachers have a better understanding of what they want their students to accomplish while at the lab. If problems arise, there are students, as well as teachers in the school, who can help in person or over the telephone. Instead of spending time reconfiguring the computers, I switched the teachers to stations that worked and noted the problems on the whiteboard in the room for future repair. This is what they should do if they encounter these situations with a class of students. This leads to the topic of the network reliability or the perception of the reliability from the view point of the teachers who had been on staff for several years. Networking was a very individual issue that arose during the installation of connections or as each participant had problems with their Internet connection. Installing and configuring the hardware and software is the responsibility of the computer technicians but there are not enough technicians to support the large user base in the school district, so teachers on site often do the installation. There are eight technicians to support the offices 69 and student computers of 18 high schools and approximately 90 elementary schools. This works out to a ratio of about one technician to more, than one thousand computers (Vancouver School Board Technology Survey, 1998). The main school server crashed almost every day from installation in June, 1995 until more RAM and upgraded cabling were added in May, 1998. Today, most of the main school server software and hardware issues have been resolved but the staff has a long memory. During the fourth week of the study the web server hard drive failed, which is a rare occurrence, and the staff shrugged and acted as if it was expected. This was the first hardware failure experienced in the district and took two days to rebuild the server software and restore the mailboxes. Dorothy and Kay were the closest to the server room and kept a vigil waiting for the technicians to bring the machine back. Every high school has limited resources and maintaining labs is expected of the teacher who owns the room. This is understandable if that teacher is in the room all the time, but a lab that is not attached to a teaching load is often neglected. ...at my wit's end...how can I be expected to teach a class not knowing if the previous class has messed up the configuration... at least in my own room I can keep control of things. (Phyllis, first session, April 7, 1999) This quote illustrates that Phyllis was experiencing the down side of a shared computer lab with no support. Phyllis had some experience in a teaching-lab situation and knew the limitations of sharing a lab that no one took ownership of. Other teachers who heard her were skeptical of their own abilities. Why would I go to a lab when someone like Phyllis can't even get things working. I'd be dead in the water. (Lucy, first session, April 7, 1999) 70 Lucy used PowerPoint in her classroom, hooking a laptop to a TV monitor and the students found images and information about BC tourism on the web. Unfortunately, during her presentation week there was a break in at night and her laptop, the converter and the TV/VCR were stolen. She was upset but using other technology: a borrowed laptop, a replacement overhead flat screen display panel and a powerful overhead projector. The presentations went ahead and the class showed her amazing projects. The students were highly motivated and participated in setting up the replacement equipment to show the projects they had worked so hard on. Summary In summary, the three conditions I identified that supported implementation of the Internet were personal relevance for the teachers, valid and useful information, and the role of the teacher-librarian. The two barriers that inhibited implementation of the Internet were time and access. The core teachers, ones that showed up most of the time and participated in a committed way, enthusiastically joined the study from the beginning with the intention of-learning about the Internet. They asked the most questions, participated in the discussions and had the most to gain since they were starting with a very low level of computer and Internet literacy. The fringe teachers tended to be more advanced users who would pick their days to attend based on the proposed topics for that day. The core group offered more back to the study in terms of discussion and sharing of teaching ideas whereas the fringe group attended to grab new knowledge and leave. During the study I was unsure of how to draw the fringe group into the deeper pedagogical discussions along with the core group. These two different groups took what they needed from the experience to feel comfortable with technology, but to raise the prevalence of technology in instruction for the school, more than 71 sixteen teachers out of a staff of 1 0 0 would need to be involved in using the Internet in the classroom. The combined group started out asking questions about where to find information, what button to press and how to change their passwords. Over the course of ten weeks, the questions took on a different flavor. Teachers asked me how to get money from the school to purchase a computer or a network drop for their room. They asked how to manage a classroom of students in a computer lab situation. What were the rules and punishments around Internet usage for our school? Who decided what is displayed on the school web site? These questions showed a definite change from wanting to know the facts to wanting to understand the process. I saw this as a positive change and my role in the group shifted from knowledge-giver to co-researcher when I did not know the answer and we had to research together. Through the learning of personally relevant technology, this group of teachers began to feel more comfortable with technology and even attempted limited integration into their teaching. Given more time and support their further adoption of technology would follow. I feel certain about this based on their level of enthusiasm for new learning and the excitement about technology that they conveyed to their students. 72 Chapter Five - Professional Development The second purpose of this study was to examine professional development models for implementation of the Internet in teaching practice and to develop an appropriate model for this setting. Before the study, teachers were asking me questions about technology and wanted to learn about the Internet on a regular basis. I had offered one-shot style workshops but was skeptical about the effectiveness of this standard workshop model. The teachers were excited about the prospects of learning but they later did not seem to be implementing any of their new ideas into their classrooms. After some workshops there were complaints about the level of instruction being too high or too low and about "needy" teachers monopolizing the time of the instructor. Trying to meet the needs of all the different levels of teachers was not working. The school did not have additional money to spend on release time, and so, like many other schools, we were forced to use the technology on-hand with the existing schedule. Professional Development Models Teachers often go to a training center (a contrived experience), learn about the Internet on computers (not the ones they will actually use), then return to their school and are unable (except on rare occasions) to implement and sustain change in their classroom. To make a change that will last takes sustained effort and support that is not provided in a short workshop (Fullan, 1992; Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000). Schrum (1999) indicates four items to consider for effective technology professional development. Extensive practice, comfortable atmosphere, individualized attention and voluntary participation. To foster an atmosphere of positive change with a staff requires ongoing support and time for teachers to incorporate the 73 change. Professional development needs to be seen as integral to the act of teaching (Darling-Hammond, 1999). Brand (1998) found research pointing to four factors for successful implementation of technology training with a staff: time, varying needs, flexibility and provisional support. The Authentic Professional Development model (APD) had participants set out applicable classroom activities with feedback and personal follow-up (Boudah & Mitchell, 1998). Training on Demand, in Texas, used a combination of whole group instruction, written procedures and one-on-one sessions (Boyd, 1997). In Windsor, Ontario, teachers participated in Computer Assisted Teacher Talk (CATT) where teachers met once a week to network, support each other and debrief their learning for the week (Armstrong, Davis & Young, 1996). By taking the successes of these projects and fitting them into a model that is workable at my school, I was able to provide the opportunity for teachers to interact with each other, share the experience, learn as a group and as individuals, and implement technology into their specific situations. The model I developed consisted of a group of teachers, under the guidance of an onsite mentor, to use technology on a personal level with full technical support, in a familiar environment so that they would feel comfortable using this technology in their teaching practice. This model incorporates parts of many professional development models in use throughout North America. There are many models of teacher training currently in practice. The most common is the traditional one day seminar or workshop where an instructor or expert leads a large group through a series of activities to attain a goal of the acquisition of a skill. It is hoped that the teacher will be able to transfer their learning to their individual classroom setting. Although this method is the most cost effective and can reach the most educators in a day there is much literature refuting the validity and usefulness of this type of learning (Boyd, 1997; Darling-74 Hammond, 1997; Hargreaves & Dawe, 1990; Kirpatrick, 1998; Lieberman, 1995; Maddin, 1997; RAND Report, 1995). There is too large a contrast between the learning environment of a workshop and the classroom; there is not enough time for teachers to practice, discuss and try out new ideas; and this style of learning has no follow through except for the highly motivated and technically competent teachers. Alternatives to this one-shot model are using teachers as trainers; having an on-site support person to provide leadership and answer questions; creating a network of teachers who can support each other; having the teachers in the school create their own professional development model, specific to their school; and having small groups of teachers collaborate' with post secondary (or even industry) experts. Of the network-style models, one uses teams of teachers to help each other on-site at one school and the other creates a wider community of support in the school district or the city that meets to provide support and discuss problems. This alternative to the traditional workshop form of professional development depends upon developing teams of teachers in the same school with skills who help one another (Fullan, 1991; Pennel & Firestone, 1998). Depending on the number of teachers in the group and the geographical location, each of these models has advantages. In-house professional development is convenient for all the parties and gives greater confidence to the participants that they will be able to solve problems on the computers they will use with their students. Teachers in the same school already are familiar with one another and may find this a more comfortable situation to ask questions. In some schools there may not be the technical trainers in-place, so outside assistance is essential. By gathering the technology teaching resources from a larger area, all the parties will grow from the experience and expertise of the more advanced teachers. Also, by going off-site, it avoids the daily distractions of the teachers' school day such as phone calls and other interruptions (Brand, 1998). 75 None of the professional development models seemed to be an exact match for the situation I was faced with in this high school setting with a wide variety of abilities in the participants. To begin the process, I took elements from existing models such as the Friday meetings from Computer Assisted Teacher Talk (CATT), active participation and personal relevance from Authentic Professional Development (APD), and just-in-time instruction from the Training-On-Demand model. An entire staff of 100 teachers was being encouraged to take advantage of the technology on hand and use it in their teaching. The province was mandating, through the curriculum documents, an immediate adoption of technology across the subject areas. Yet, literature stated that adoption takes several years for teachers already using technology comfortably (Bennett, Joyce & Showers, 1987; Boudah & Mitchell, 1998; Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000). Teachers need more preparation to teach with computers (Bosch & Cardinale, 1993; Jordan & Tollman, 1993; Tupp, Mortenson & Grandgenett, 1995). "A novice computer-using teacher needs about 1000 hours of training and practice to implement technology" (Roberts, Carter, Friel & Miller, 1988). While these last statements should not be taken literally, as if every teacher and learner are the same and would need a specific amount of time, these statements taken together do show the belief that teachers need to have a great deal more time to fully implement technology. How, then, could I take an existing model, apply it to my school situation and sustain it over the duration of several years? Describing the Professional Development Model Workshops were being offered at the school board training center but the topics were rudimentary and the class sizes were often greater than thirty. Everyone had to follow at the same pace and it was hard to get specific and personal questions answered due to the time limitations and the single expert. Teachers returned from these workshops slightly more 76 knowledgeable but still not at a level of technology preparedness that would encourage them to try out new Internet projects in their classrooms. After reviewing literature, I developed a model that seemed to fit for our school and for the schedules of the teacher-participants. There were parts of each of the different models of professional development that seemed to fit but there were also parts that would not work in our school. We met once a week formally, on Fridays after class for one to two hours and I set an agenda: a short lesson and then they asked questions and had me available to troubleshoot any problems. In addition, throughout the week, the teachers committed to one more hour of self-study and called on me to answer questions. The teachers involved in the study were pleased with the personal attention and the level of technology use they attained in such a short time. Also, there were clear benefits to the students through the use of current technology and the Internet in the classroom. The students were more interested and focussed on the topics and were keen to explore the topics in conjunction with the Internet. This research grew out of a school-based initiative to encourage teachers to use the existing technology to explore more current teaching situations involving students in hands-on computer projects. In the school, there was an established group, the technology committee, who were overseeing the hardware and software coordination for the school but the committee felt that more emphasis was needed in the area of teacher training. This case study was designed to bring more teachers into the decision making of the technology committee, since input was previously restricted to a small group of the technologically literate. This group of technologically literate was expanded due to the training and confidence teachers received through the study. Before the study, other stakeholders in the school like the administration, the counselors or the teacher librarian were invited into the decision making process, but they deferred to the technology experts, feeling that they did not 77 have the information to make any decision. After the study teachers talked more openly about the technology in the school and there was a noticeable increase of use of the staffroom computers. Teachers who had learned skills on the Internet were keen to show their teacher friends what they had learned. I found that there were four important features to the professional development program. Weekly meetings gave a chance for teachers to structure their learning and know that there was a time set aside to ask questions. The second feature of the model was just-in-time-support. It was offered to all the teachers to allow them the security to attempt new Internet teaching units without the fear that they would be left without a lesson if the computers or the Internet were not functioning. The third feature was that the projects were chosen by the teachers, allowing them to have personal relevance in their professional development. The fourth feature of the model was to host the meetings in a familiar environment. This allowed teachers convenience and the ability to learn to troubleshoot the computers they would actually be using. However, for me, the time spent on the project, in addition to a regular teaching load was overwhelming. I committed every preparation period, many mornings, after school and lunches to ensure success for the staff. This time input was necessary due to the negative publicity and lack of confidence in the network. Even though I believe my time commitment would have lessened as the teachers gained confidence and independence, there were always more teachers in the wings ready to take their place. I believe that adoption and implementation of the Internet will take place over the course of years with a great deal of support. With more support and time for teachers to learn that time could be reduced. 78 Reflections During the study, Dave, Robert, Tory, Betty and Lisa had negative comments about professional development days. They lamented that going to a training course was not directly applicable to what they were doing in the classroom. They felt that their time could be better spent at the school working collaboratively on projects with other teachers. They knew the intent of professional development was good, it was just the execution that was not working for them. By introducing them to some research on the topic, it validated their own beliefs and as a team, we developed a program to fit each of the members of the group. The off-site training center model was not appropriate for the teachers in the study. Although some research points to the minimal distractions associated with off-campus training (Brand, 1998; Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000), the teachers felt it would be better to learn in their own classroom and school, with their friends and the other teachers in their departments. This would facilitate the sharing of ideas with colleagues and the recognition of where these new skills fit into their specific curriculum objectives. Also, it would give them the chance to learn how to cope with the site-specific problems and gain confidence in dealing with computer problems in their own school. This reflects summary research by Brand (1998) stating that teachers need time to discuss and collaborate with colleagues. Being in their own school, they were surrounded by the technology they would be using with students and they discovered the quirks of the computers they would have to deal with on a daily basis. Schrum and Fitzgerald (1996) and Zammit (1992) agree that one of the most important adult technology learning conditions is a comfortable atmosphere with low risk projects. By allowing teachers to choose what they wanted to learn and by exposing them to new ideas, the teachers in the study were excited to work on the Internet and later, to share it with their students. Teachers feel they are playing technology catch-up with their students and this 79 insecurity extends to professional development where they require individual attention and lots of support (Hurst, 1994; Siegel, 1995). In the next few years teachers will be constantly playing catch-up with their students. Kids seem to have more time to learn and play on their computers at home. Teachers do not view computers as play but view them as a tool to work with. It may be that students will always be ahead of some teachers in their technological literacy and instead of trying to catch up, teachers will shift their role in the classroom from the bearer of all knowledge to a leader who uses the resources of the students in the class. Some professional development models had teachers meeting and discussing the uses of technology in the classroom and how students were to use the computer. In my case, teachers needed the computer and the Internet skills for themselves before they were willing to take the step of introducing it to their classes. Although several teachers attempted limited integration, they did not seem ready to discuss pedagogical issues of classroom management and evaluation or even about why the technology would enhance as opposed to replace their current styles of teaching. I felt that in future years, these questions and others would emerge, as teachers felt more comfortable with the technology. Our school had limited access to individual computers in classrooms and so the model incorporated the use of the computer labs in the school. This style of computer use with one student per computer was modeled throughout the project. This model will shift as computers become more widely available. For now, the project showed success since most teachers in the study attempted lessons with a class of students. The lab model was also a major factor in the prevalence of the library and the teacher-librarians. One of the computer labs is attached to the library and is under the guidance and supervision of the teacher librarians. Fortunately for the school, the teacher-librarians were very interested in technology and encouraged students to explore. They were trying to make the library the cool place for students to hang out. 80 At the time of writing, business partnerships and corporate sponsorship in the school district are discouraged. This had a major impact on the study compared to other studies like ACOT where hardware was plentiful and involved teachers were motivated with the latest technology. Teachers in the study were involved and motivated intrinsically or with thoughts of offering better service to their students. With these restrictions, we used the technology on-hand and made an-effort to exploit the technology we did have to its fullest potential. The school administration invested heavily in the network infrastructure of fiber optic cable and LAN cabling with the intent of more students having access to the Internet and classroom teachers taking advantage of this wealth of information. Teachers supported this investment and some were eager to test the possibilities with teaching ideas they had heard about. I found that by having the teachers initiate the project, it had more relevance for them. The teachers who participated, were at a point in their teaching where they were ready to learn some new techniques and put their new knowledge to the test in a classroom situation. Voluntary participation in the project and self-initiation are two conditions of technology implementation set out by Schrum and Fitzgerald (1996). Fullan's (1991) requirements for change: need, clarity, complexity and practicality were exhibited throughout the project. The teachers felt they needed to update their skills in the context of their own school. The teachers were clear on the outcomes of the project, even if they were skeptical about meeting the goals. They wanted to be closely supported, at first, to feel safe in the learning, but then wanted to explore how to use the Internet in their own context. They thought that forming a group of interested teachers would bring together different skills that could be shared amongst the members. The complexity of the program was largely intimidating due to technical problems and the history of the school network. By supporting the group, I was able to take away some of the technical barriers such as the 81 Internet to computer connections, network setup and security, and finding and installing the learning resources for web creation. The teachers all found the skills highly practical. They knew even before the study started that they would learn skills they could use personally and professionally. Motivation was high for this reason alone. 82 Chapter 6 - Conclusions and Implications The purpose of this study was to explore the conditions and barriers for high school teachers to implement the Internet effectively into their teaching practice and to examine professional development models for implementation of the Internet in teaching practice and to develop an appropriate model for this setting. This chapter is organized into conclusions, implications for the computer site coordinator and implications for the school district. Conclusions This study showed that there were specific barriers and conditions for the successful implementation of the Internet in a high school classroom. The barriers to implementation were time and access. The teachers in the study were constantly juggling their time to fit in what they deemed to be the most important thing to do at the time. Access to the Internet was restricted through physically not being able to find a computer that was connected, to not being able to get to a web site due to site blocking software. Some teachers learned how to fund computers in their classrooms, how to install network cards and software, and how to ask for tech support from the school board. Other teachers learned how to use the search engines of the web so that they were able to find the information they wanted. Conditions that supported successful implementation of the Internet were personal relevance, valid and useful information and the role of the teacher-librarian. The teachers in the study joined out of personal interest and although some came to the study with specific learning objectives, others just wanted to learn new skills that they could use in their classrooms. The teachers chose their own projects and their own timelines. Long-term success depended on the teacher-librarians as being the center of the project and the center of the school. They supported the library computer lab that teachers could bring their classes to 83 and have immediate support. The teacher-librarians agreed to develop the school web site and explore technology with classroom teachers. Every project needs a champion, someone who is passionate and will not give up easily, and the teacher-librarians had boundless enthusiasm for the Internet. In addition to barriers and conditions for implementation, I developed a model based on a composite of existing models. By meeting on Fridays for 10 weeks, providing just-in-time support and having teachers choose the projects they wanted to work on with the goal of implementing it into their classroom within the 10 weeks, I found that the teachers participated enthusiastically. The subjects for this case study were educators using Internet in their classrooms. Teachers first had to learn and be comfortable with the technology to be able to give these opportunities to their students. This took more time than the duration of this study. Some teachers accomplished their goals, whereas others will not try out their new skills until the following year. Teachers learned basic Internet skills including web browsing, web searching, email and web page design. They started as a group of individuals not sure of what they wanted to learn, but knew that they wanted to update their skills. Over the course of the first three weeks, the teachers got used to the web and began to send each other email. This was the first significant step in communicating together. They arranged meetings and shared ideas about lesson plans'. Based on data from email, interviews and informal discussions with the participants, I believe that professional development can be more personally relevant and just-in-time, and that quality learning can be accomplished locally in the school. Through a model of professional development that involves teachers learning the Internet for personal growth and then exploring topics to be used in their 84 classrooms, the students will be the ultimate winners. Support of the teachers through this technology change process is very important and on-site, on-demand help is critical to the adoption of the Internet in classrooms. Immediate support came in many forms. Some teachers used the telephone to ask questions, some teachers discussed what was happening in the weekly meetings, and others would stop me in the hallway between classes. The common thread was that they were encouraged to ask questions, not because they knew they would get the answer, but because they knew someone would listen and together they could learn. There is nothing worse than having an immediate question and knowing that if you telephone technical support, you will be put on hold or have to leave a message. The benefit of the community was the immediacy of feedback. By sharing the experience, teachers worked together and learned as a team. Teaching is a solitary profession where we spend many hours a day isolated in a classroom with no other adults around. Intelligent and purposeful discourse came out of the weekly meetings and the group fed off the energy created by the successes of the different members. Every time we started on a new topic there were barriers. Sometimes it was software, sometimes it was hardware and sometimes it was as simple as not having the key to the room. Every problem was solved and the group participated in, or at least observed, the solution. By being a part of the solution and seeing how to solve computer related problems, the participants gained confidence and skills to help them solve computer problems in their classrooms. At the beginning of the project, several teachers remarked that they did not have a clue about what to do when the computer would not start. They left with a set of tools or a set of things to try when confronted by similar situations. For example, step one is always 85 shut off the computer and restart. However simple or complex, it was the feeling of empowerment over computers that gave these teachers confidence to attempt new teaching methods. In the latter weeks of the study teachers began using the Internet for teaching. A variety of techniques involved the students in the Internet. The teachers used the computers to facilitate web page design, browsing and analyzing information, and using the teacher's homepage as a beginning for their searches. At this point many questions arose and I was not able to provide all of the answers; they began to turn to each other for support and for ideas. They even used the Internet to answer many questions that other teachers had already asked. By sharing their information in the weekly meetings and through email the group was learning to communicate in new ways. This study was based on technology that was new to the school and a great amount of support was required. Once high school teachers reach a level of proficiency, I believe that time restrictions will force them to spend their time on other pursuits. The barriers of time, professional development days and the cost of access to computers and the Internet are still prohibitive to full implementation of the Internet in high school classrooms. The group learned about the mechanics of searching the Internet and creating web pages, but did not reach the level of discussing how the technology fits into their specific curriculum. Specifically, the group did not discuss how the computer and the Internet fit into the education of the students. They all agreed, and this was supported through their presence in the group, that the Internet is a significant tool in education and that students unfamiliar with the tool would be at a disadvantage upon graduation. But, the finer points of integration of the Internet into classroom practice were attempted and only discussed by few teachers. 86 Even when prompted by questions, the teachers were more concerned with learning the skills themselves than exposing the students to the tools. It will take more time for them to become familiar with the technology before they are able to move to the next level of discussion. Their goals were skills-oriented, and they still need more time to learn about the Internet and to design activities for students. Teachers looked forward to having the kind of access to computers that they now have to video, and felt that they would then be able to move to the next level. Computers are still a novelty; as this perception changes among students and teachers, the classroom use will also shift away from learning the technology to learning with technology. The teachers all agreed that learning in their home school was better than going to a training center. It was a better use of time and it helped them to understand the technology they have at their disposal. They thought a mix of large group sessions and the one-on-one support was great. It did not make them feel stupid by slowing the group if they were stuck on a concept. They knew they could get individual help at any time. They also felt that learning as a group was valuable because they could turn to another in the group to discuss ideas. They formed new friends and had a chance to see how other teachers were using the Internet in their teaching areas and what skills students required. Implications For the School District From my study, I have found that teachers need more time and on site support to learn and explore with technology. Through teaching computer courses and being directly involved with staff training, I have a unique, inside perspective regarding adult learning for teachers. The staff wants support around computers but they also want time to communicate with their comrades. Teachers need more time to connect with other teachers (Boe, 1989; 87 Hawkins & MacMillan, 1993; Kinnaman, 1990; Murphy, 1997; Vojtek & Vojtek, 2000). As teachers, we demand that students work together but we need to practice what we are preaching. The school district needs to recognize that to start this change process, teachers will need time to work together. There are models in existence where the students are released one or two hours early, classes are combined to free teachers to meet or teachers form study groups during extended preparation periods to facilitate communication (Murphy, 1997). Other countries offer teachers much more time to prepare for their lessons, meet with parents, or to meet with each other in joint planning sessions (Darling-Hammond, 1999). By being open to alternate ways of organizing school time, the school board holds a great amount of power in determining the effectiveness of technology implementation. This study demonstrates that teachers will put time into a learning experience that they feel is worthwhile to the students and to themselves. The school board should recognize this positive energy that teachers have and capitalize on it. Programs at the school level could be supported through release time and trainers at the school level could be fully supported with time and funds to pass along their expertise. Implications for the Computer Site Coordinators Through the study, I found that the amount of time I contributed to supporting teachers was never enough. Computer coordinators must be careful not to face burnout by constantly running to the aide of other teachers. I found it manageable for the 10 weeks of the study, but quickly had to set boundaries after this period. I established clear times when I was available for support. This did not include times when I was teaching a class. I was willing to support others before school and after school. Even this time commitment was overwhelming as times. It is important for other computer teachers to share their knowledge but at the same time, it is important for school districts to recognize the valuable resource they have in these 88 teachers and to provide release time in order for computer coordinators to support other teaching staff. I want to learn the Internet and how it will help my students. (Dave, day one) Dave was not sure of the benefits of using the technology in his classroom, nor was he sure of what the Internet was really all about. Dave wanted to learn about the Internet in general, so that he could choose professionally which parts to incorporate into his curriculum. As a site coordinator, I have to be sensitive that many teachers are very new to the Internet. They need the technical shrewdness to use the Internet in their classrooms and they need to have open discussions with other teachers about how to use the Internet in teaching. As a teacher and computer site-coordinator, it is my professional responsibility to share my knowledge with other staff members. However, I am looking for a better way to create a continuing group of support. I can work with a small group, and hope that their new knowledge spreads throughout the staff. I have seen questions answered in the staffroom at lunch, in the hallway and in the main office. The staff is able to rely on each other and build on the knowledge that is being shared. The position of computer specialist in education is only ten years old and the requirements of the job are still under formation. Some school districts use a system of teaching half time and supporting half time to maintain classrooms that model effective technology use (Long, 1996). Other districts have a separate training center that teachers go to for training and discussion and the specialists make visits to the site (Parr, 1999). The site coordinator is able to facilitate technology community growth by nurturing and supporting some of the essential individuals who are keen to learn. These teachers can then become trainers themselves. The idea of teacher coaches is not new and is being implemented in New 89 Zealand (Parr, 1999). Teachers who learn from the community owe a debt that can be repaid with their expertise and energy. I see the role of the information technology teacher (or computer support teacher, or computer site coordinator) as changing in the near future. The knowledge these people have is valuable to the students and to the staff. However, there is not enough time for a full time teacher to train an entire staff and maintain a network of computers. Presently, most of the formal training in my school district is done through workshops off-site. Informal training occurs at home, in the staffroom and through brief encounters when a specific problem arises. 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Pugalee, D., & Robinson, R. (1998). A study of the impact of teacher training in using internet resources for math and science instruction. Journal of Research in Computing Education. 31(1), 78-95. 94 Reading Today. (1997). Teachers favor internet use in classrooms. Reading Today. 14(4). 29-33. Richmond, B. (1999). The 10 best Cs for evaluating internet resources. School Libraries in Canada. 18(2). 20. Ropp, M., (1999). Exploring individual characteristics associated with learning to use computers in preservice teacher preparation. Journal of Research in Computing Education. 31(4). 402-424. Sandholtz, J. H., & Ringstaff, C , (1996) Teacher change in technology-rich classrooms. In C. Fisher, D. Dwyer, & K. Yocam (Eds.), Education & Technology: Reflections on Computing in Classrooms. SF: Apple Press Jossey-Bass. Saville, W. (1999). Tips for a more interesting internet. School Libraries in Canada. 18(1), 9. Schrum, L. (1999). Technology professional development for teachers. 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Computers in the Schools. 9(4). 13-32. Woodrow, J. (1998) Technology Enhanced Instruction: A perspective from experience. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. 6(1), 3-9. Woodrow, J., Mayer-Smith, J., & Pedretti, E. (1996). The impact of technology enhanced science instruction on pedagogical beliefs and practices. Journal of Science Education and Technology. 5(3). 241-252. Woodrow, J. (1997). TESSI Web Site. [On-Line] Available: http://www.cust.educ.ubc.ca/wproiects/TESSl/. Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Zammit, R. (1992) in again, no. just schrum or zammit Schrum, L. (1999). Technology professional development for teachers. Educational Technology Research and Development. 47(4), 86. 96 Appendix A January, 1999 Subject: Masters Research at Seaside Secondary School Dear Colleague, I would like to request your permission to include you as a subject of my Masters' research at Seaside Secondary School. As you know, the school has recently been upgraded in wiring to include Internet access in your room. With the existing computer you have available, it is possible for you to include the Internet in your teaching. I am a teaching partner of yours at Seaside but also, I am a graduate student at the University of British Columbia studying the in-service training of teachers with regards to technology and specifically, the Internet. I would like to make myself available to assist you in developing your computer skills, developing lesson plans and implementing the Internet into your teaching. I plan to investigate several focus questions regarding the use of computer technology in education and. your professional development. Thus, Seaside would become a case study for my Masters thesis. It is my hope that the research will help everyone to develop a more critical understanding of the potential that the Internet holds for better teaching and learning. The goal is to develop informed practices that are beneficial both to the teachers and the students. I have included two copies of the informed consent form. One is to be signed and returned to me. The other copy is for your own information and records. The consent form includes more details concerning the purpose, methods and procedures of the proposed study. It also explains how issues of confidentiality will be handled. It is an exciting time at Seaside and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge of the Internet with you and developing a strong technology wise staff and student body. If there are any further questions or issues that need clarification at any time either now or throughout the study, please feel free to contact me. I will be more than willing to discuss the research. Respectfully, Jeff Spence Masters' student Department of Curriculum Studies, UBC 97 Appendix B - Teacher Interviews: Sample Questions. These are a sample of questions used to initiate conversation around various issues of the Internet implementation. Before Implementation 1. How do you envision using Internet in your teaching? 2. What support do you need to accomplish your teaching goals? 3. What is your background of computer use? For example, how many hours a week do you use your home computer and for what purpose? 4. Describe your previous experiences with technology in-service training. What changes in your teaching practice occurred due to that training? 5. How do you feel you learn the best? 6. How can teacher in-service reflect your learning needs? 7. How could I best support your learning goals? 8. What, do you feel, is needed to make you a life long technology enabled teacher? During Implementation 1. How has your computer confidence level changed through this process? 2. How do you solve the problems (technological and educational) you encounter around using the Internet in your classroom? 3. How has your vision of using the Internet in your classroom changed during this study? 4. What support do you now require? How can this best be achieved? 5. How can your 'expertise' be shared with the rest of the staff? 6. How are your professional development needs changing? 98 Consent: I understand that my participation in this study is entirely voluntary and that I may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without repercussions of any kind. I have received a copy of this consent form for my own records. Please check the appropriate boxes: 1 consent to full participation in this study. D I consent to participation but not videotaping. I consent to participation but not audiotaping. I consent to participation but not photography. I DO NOT consent to participation. • Additional Comments: Please include any other stipulations on participation if necessary. Name (please print)_ Signature Date 101 

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