Appendix G - October 2001
Questionnaire and Eight Responses
TECHNOLOGY USE IN YOUR SCHOOL: FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES
This questionnaire seeks to elicit your thoughts, your feelings, your experiences as well as your hopes for and trepidations regarding technology integration into your curricular practice.
If any question does not seem pertinent to you, please feel free to interpret the question or ignore it altogether. If you have more to say than the space allows, please feel free to add additional sheets. You may append any additional material you feel is relevant to the discussion.
The responses to this questionnaire will be used by myself in a study that is part of my doctoral program at UT Austin. My study will be written as a narrative/analysis. I am hoping to benefit general awareness/understanding regarding staff and teacher responses to the changes they are experiencing in their professional practice because of the introduction of computers into classrooms.
Sincerely, temi rose
Q1 Supporting Factors(including but not limited to - systems, persons, training, information, and experiences) to the integration of technology into the curriculum
How would you characterize the technology support system that exists in your school and in your out-of-school environment? Do you feel supported? In what ways do you feel supported? Please also describe ways that you need more support.
Answer 1.1 - Principal Lightyear
The technology support system at Captain Dewey High is very weak. Although we have literally hundreds of computers coming our way, the school district is so fiscally challenged that adequate system support is more often than not unavailable. From my perspective, there needs to be more district alignment between district technical support and campus level support, ideally with a tech support person assigned to each campus basic table of organization. Our fiscal management has not caught up with the increasing demands of technology support. Most teachers still teach with the paradigm of the textbook being the prime source of information and instructional focus whereas most students surf the world wide web. Yes, I feel supported but the support exists in a vacuum of limited vision.
Answer 1.2 - Fine Arts Administrator Sable
At Captain Dewey High there is no on-campus tech support. One can call [the district's] tech support help desk and be on hold for over an hour to then submit a work order for someone from [the district] to come to campus and provide support. Classroom teachers can't hold for an hour, so one can imagine the problems this system presents. After receiving a work order number, school personnel can expect the [district] techie to help within one day to two weeks from the time they are reached. But often it takes several days to reach the help desk. This, of course, does not give us the feeling that we are supported adequately.
And, in my case, when the technical support person tried to load memory on my old computer which needed to run a heavy new [district required] software and my computer crashed as a result, that left me feeling less than confident about the techie. What I later learned was that this person was new to this type of work.
After my system crashed, no one as [the district] could take that computer and retrieve the data, so I completely lost my system and all information input after my save of data on the last day of school the prior year.
Answer 1.3 - Head Fine Arts Department Tower
There is a technology "Help Line," which I suppose is the closest thing to a technology support system available. This Help Line addresses problems with hardware and software. In terms of a support system in a broader sense, one that would help in multiple areas to acquire and integrate technology into the classroom, I do not feel "supported" at all.
Answer 1.4 - English Teacher Wiser
The technology support system is better than it was last year; however, there is only one on site person who is qualified and given time to assist teachers. Although the teacher is very willing to help, she is also a full time teacher. The help line for [the district] is almost always busy, but when I finally get someone on the phone they are very helpful. The waiting time for a service call after they are contacted is much shorter than in the past.
Answer 1.5 - Head Librarian Genesis
The support system on campus is poor to non-existent. We are one of the only campuses at the high school level that does not have a technology person on campus (not even part-time). For support, we must rely on teachers who are already overburdened - or on [the district's] "Help Desk." One teacher who has "volunteered" to help others has missed a whole week of instruction with her students. The "Help Desk" is often busy and most teachers don't have the time to sit on hold for half an hour at a time - only to be told to do a work order. Very little training on computers or new software [even the software the district requires us to use for grading] is available on campus, and information regarding computers and software is seldom distributed. In most cases, learning about something newly available is spread only through word of mouth; either you hear about it or you know nothing about it. In short, there is a great need for someone on campus whose sole job is computer support. With over 400 computers on campus - and many, many problems - the district should be supplying a full-time 'techie" for every high school, rather than making the schools use a teaching position to fill a tech position.
Answer 1.6 - Technology Teacher Bryght
We really need a technology person here at Captain Dewey High. We need someone who is trained to work with networking, troubleshooting, as well as software. Right now, we are learning to operate the technology and use software on our own. We have a teacher that went to get the training on [the new required grading and attendance software] this summer. She helps/assists the teachers with their grades, progress reports, and attendance on the computer. She really can't help us when we need it because she has classes to teach too. We call downtown for support and we only get run arounds. We call our supervisor and she doesnt know much either.
Technology support is a Band-Aid situation. Of course a complete technology program, including support comes from commitment. That commitment is budgetary as well as technological. Support is far and few between and we must do patchwork to make the system work.
Answer 1.7 - Technology Teacher Miller
I find it difficult to integrate technology into my curriculum because of the lack of properly functioning computers. When the computers will not perform the required activities of the classroom curriculum, it becomes frustrating to both the teacher and the students. I have had numerous problems with the aging computers we have here at Captain Dewey High. [A detailed list of problems follows] I do not feel that we have received much technical support [more details follow] I am embarrassed that the students must see inoperative computers frustrating the teacher as well as themselves The students become angry at me because the computers do not function properly.
Answer 1.8 - Latin Teacher
The district sees fit to spend thousands of dollars on equipment and only a fraction of that on tech support. These machines are useless without them. Whenever support does arrive, they have been known to do shabby (at best) work.
Q2. Imagining the Future of the integration of technology into the curriculum
In your opinion, what role would technology play in your classroom to be most appropriate and effective? Please feel free to describe your ideal. If your ideal is a classroom without technology, please feel free to say so. If your ideal is to participate in a teaching environment that is completely integrated with distance learners and video and computer technology, feel free to say so. If you have a completely different vision from the ones you have read here, please feel free to share it.
Answer 2.1 - Principal Lightyear
My ideal is to participate in a teaching environment that is completely integrated with distance learners and video and computer technology. As dynamic as this environment may be, it is no substitute for the presence of an effective, caring and challenging teacher who has the ability to nurture and sustain relationships with his or her students. The best of all possible worlds is to have both the technology integration and the teacher-student relational dynamic. Technology is a wonderful tool that is changing the way that we access information but in and of itself there is no bonding.
Answer 2.2 - Fine Arts Administrator Sable
In the Fine Arts classrooms and studios, there are varying needs for technology. A) For our Theater Arts students, we would like for their Technical Theater course to rely heavily on technology instruction for both lighting design and set design. At this point, we have not integrated technology into that curriculum to any extent. B) For Music students studying music theory, we would like to have a learning lab that would allow students to practice ear-training and sight-singing using theory software. We have a piano keyboard lab that we would like to become a Midi-lab. C) The Band director needs a new computer in order to run half-time marching band charting software. She knows how to use the software and wants our drum majors and other interested students to learn how to do charting. Any students who want to become band directors need to learn to use charting software. Band directors pay as much as $3,000- $5,000 per chart, so it is a lucrative skill to acquire. D) Because we are interested in Career Preparation for our Visual Arts students, we want to have a graphics lab. Our students could be working as interns with graphic artists their senior year if they were skilled in the use of PhotoShop and Illustrator. We have prototyped workshops using Illustrator and PhotoShop and animation software and have now purchased some of that software, but need more training and support to integrate this into our curriculum.
Answer 2.3 - Head Fine Arts Department Tower
In my own classroom I suppose I'd like to have electronic media and knowledge of how to use it as readily available to students as other media. I'd like our art department to have an electronic media course taught by an art teacher whose primary medium is electronic media. I'd like to see technology used in student portfolio creation. I'd also like to have a better understanding of technology research tools available and have whatever technology is available, such as projectors, that would allow dissemination of that information to a class.
Answer 2.4 - English Teacher Wiser
My ideal classroom would have a permanent section for computers, scanners, etc. My average class size is 30, and I would need at least 15 computers. Truly utilizing the computers on a daily basis would require extra planning, but the rewards would be great in terms of research, organization, graphics, photography and writing skills. I also feel that a teaching assistant would be necessary for maximum productivity.
Answer 2.5 - Head Librarian Genesis
As a librarian, I definitely see the value of technology. In fact, many print sources are being replaced by online versions or databases, so I have no choice but to embrace it. I try to encourage classes to combine print and online research - this is the ideal to me. One fills in and supplements the other, making learning and research more complete. We've slowly moved beyond print and online research to projects which integrate images, videos, and audio (e.g., PowerPoint presentations) with text (though few teachers are yet willing to go this route because they themselves aren't comfortable with it or because they don't feel they know enough to embark on such an endeavor). But I definitely dont' want to see the 25,000 volumes of books fall to the wayside; technology is not the only solution!
Answer 2.6 - Technology Teacher Bryght
Since my classes are Business Computer classes, we do business-like applications. We cover software such as Microsoft Office PageMaker, Quicken, PhotoShop, FrontPage, internet usage, and keyboarding tutorial. We use Dell computers. The students use at least one or more of the programs in other classes such as English, Social Studies, Science, Foreign Language, and Math.
Technology can be integrated into the curriculum. It will take co-ordinating between the department and [a] technology [that presently] does not have to bend or compromise to the core curriculum. Ideally, a student having an assignment or a project that coincides with the core curriculum is the ideal situation.
Answer 2.7 - Technology Teacher Miller
The role of technology in my classroom is a must. I cannot "imagine" continuing on in the future with the state of condition of the present computers. If I had reliable computers I could spend more time showing the students how the systems works instead of telling them how it's supposed to work. I would like very much to have a video system assigned to the classroom. I have acquired several videos for student viewing, but it is difficult to get a system on short notice, when I have time to show the videos.
Answer 2.8 - Latin Teacher
My ideal is to have tech available in some classes while not in others, depending upon the content of the class itself. In my area (Latin), I am incredibly reticent to use tech. For one simple reason: nothing is of quality out there. All that is available is a glorified flash-card.
Q3 Limitations to the integration of technology into the curriculum
As far as you are concerned, what limits the use of technology in the curriculum? How do you feel about these limitations?
Answer 3.1 - Principal Lightyear
Answer 3.2 - Fine Arts Administrator Sable
I have been very irritated that our campus technology person (who controls who will get computers in their classrooms) allocates computers to classrooms based on whether or not teachers have passed a computer competency. There are 4 kinds of [tests]. Our Fine Arts teachers struggle with finding time to complete these competencies. These are teachers who teach every period and have students in their classrooms before and after school doing sectional rehearsals, play rehearsals, marching band, choir practice etc. etc.
Also, when the district first put computers in classrooms, Fine Arts classrooms were not considered classrooms. The theater still does not have an internet drop. And, on average, academic classrooms have probably twice as many computers in their classrooms as Fine Arts teachers have in theirs. Yet, Fine Arts curricula has just as many, or more, technology applications as academic curricula.
So, I think Fine Arts teachers are limited by the person(s0 on our campus who "control" the allocation of computers. And how do Fine Arts teachers feel about these limitations to the integration of technology into the curriculum? They feel discriminated against.
Answer 3.3 - Head Fine Arts Department Tower
Availability, dependability, and expertise. Overcoming the limitations is a full-time job in and of itself.
Answer 3.4 - English Teacher Wiser
The limits of the use of technology in the curriculum are the limits of the imagination and expertise of the designer of the curriculum and the teacher in the classroom.
Answer 3.5 - Head Librarian Genesis
There are several things that limit technology's use. One is access - most classrooms have at most 5 computers, and even the library -which serves as a computer lab since the school does not have a lab that teachers can bring their classes to - has only 18 computers, far less than the average class size at Captain Dewey High. Another limitation, as mentioned earlier, is that only a handful of teachers have the skills necessary to attempt a technology-heavy project. If a teacher does not know, for example, anything about PowerPoint, she will not normally try to assign a PowerPoint presentation (or use of a scanner or a digital camera, etc.). Without the opportunities to learn how to use technology and software, teachers are going to be reluctant to use it or assign projects where they are going to be required to assist students, to be the "experts." Another limitation is that some technology assignments seem to be the equivalent of "busy work," just something to use technology rather than putting the technology to use. There needs to be a legitimate need for the use of technology - it needs to truly be integral to the assignment, and often, it's not.
Answer 3.6 - Technology Teacher Bryght
The lack of collegiality between the departments is what drives the limitation. The more compromising that can be accomplished the greater the result. Also, the limit of software that can be loaded to the computers due to RAM/memory. For example: The Social Studies department has different software on their computers than the Science department has. All computers do have Appleworks (that came loaded with the computers). We need Money, Money, Money for technology to run effectively. Lack of money - technology outdated.
Answer 3.7 - Technology Teacher Miller
The only limitations to integration of technology into the curriculum are funding. I have been advised numerous times that the school district cannot support us with the funding for computer repair or replacement.
How do I feel? Uncomfortable at best. I value Business Education and its part of the child development process for the business world. By showing the students that we do not receive the same support as other important basic courses, it tells them something negative about the introduction to the business environment.
Answer 3.8 - Latin Teacher
This question poses a serious problem in today's environment. To even mention limitations in some circles is, quite simply, anathema. We must realize that if, as individuals, we bewail children watching too much T.V. and playing too many video games, an hypocrisy arises when we plop them down in front of a computer monitor.
In the end, the computer is an extremely passive form of learning that truly engages and interacts with the students barely at all.
Specifically in regards to the internet, the lack of true editors is most problematic that the students see little or no problems with that tells me that teachers are not doing their job. Simply because something shows up on your monitor does not make it true.
Q4 Technology and Classroom Practice: the appropriate role for technology
Every teacher has their own approach to the enactment of the curriculum, in what ways does (or might) technology support your particular approach to teaching?
Answer 4.1 - Principal Lightyear
I feel these limitations cannot be resolved until more money is allocated to ensure a proper technology support system.
Answer 4.2 - Fine Arts Administrator Sable
The appropriate role for technology in a Technical Theater curriculum is to provide the students with exposure to state-of-the-art technology used for lighting design, set design, and costume design. Technical Theater should not be limited to stage construction. Students should learn elements of stage design, lighting design, and be able to research period costuming having access to computers.
In an art classroom, students should be able to go to a classroom computer and pull up examples of art. At our school, we teach a course in Art History. Art History students should have access to computers in their classrooms. Also, we want to put our own Captain Dewey High student artwork up on a website, and teach students how to update the website, etc.
The Fine Arts Academy office needs computers, printers, and software to generate marketing materials, programs, build databases, and use [district] software.
To prepare Music students, the Music theory classroom should have a computer for each students. Distance learning could connect these students to university classrooms that have teacher resources we do not have.
Distance learning, in general, for Music, Theater Arts and Dance could give our students access to master classes, workshops, concerts, etc. [The district] has put a Distance Learning lab on our campus with no one funded to train the teachers or administrators to use it and no plans to do so.
Answer 4.3 - Head Fine Arts Department Tower
At present technology is mainly used to organize and present information to the class in a written format and to help with administrative functions. As stated in #2, I'd like to have electronic media available to students as readily as any other media. I'd like to use technology to better present information to students and be used by students for research.
Answer 4.4 - English Teacher Wiser
There is no doubt that the English classroom has endless possibilities for the use of technology. The computer offers the internet for research on any topic: genres of literature and music, playwrights, poets and authors with time lines from the distant past to today and beyond. The ability to create wonderful graphics and put together a beautiful magazine of student work is also challenging. Incorporating sound is another area of technology that I would like to explore. PowerPoint presentations are interesting and a good beginning to effective class presentations. This list is only a small portion of the many ways I use and plan to use the computers I have in my room. The curriculum and my particular classes evolve and expand as I experiment and expand the use of computers in [my classroom].
Answer 4.5 - Head Librarian Genesis
I use technology when it's needed, but otherwise try to push students toward the appropriate sources for information. I hate seeing students searching the internet, site after site, for information more easily and more readily found in an encyclopedia, almanac, or other reference source. Students need to be more discriminating and not see computers as always holding the answers to their needs. I readily encourage use of computers, the internet, and technology when it's appropriate. But why use a scanner to print out a copy of a picture to a printer when a copier is so much simpler?
Answer 4.6 - Technology Teacher Bryght
Coming up with more projects that pertain to the business world and technology as it is today. And having a room with all the computers working properly 100% -- heh-ha!!!
Answer 4.7 - Technology Teacher Miller
The tools that I have in the classroom have been incorporated totally into my daily teaching. I am new to teaching and have learned from more experienced teachers the value of the various viewing projection systems and computer enhancement tools. An improvement to the computers will be the greatest benefit to technology integration.
Answer 4.8 - Latin Teacher
I occasionally provide a website to use. Frankly, that's it.