Introduction to the Problem
In many ways, a teacher attempting to use technology is like a lion tamer preparing to work. One can sense excitement, but also anxiety. The teacher and the lion tamer want to let the beast out if its cage. But even when prepared, they worry how this capricious beast will react. One wrong move and the beast will roar in triumph while the tamer and teacher cower in defeat. Fortunately for the teacher, defeat will never result in physical harm. However, the teacher’s spirit often becomes damaged and discouraged.
My role as the technology teacher and coordinator in an elementary school has placed me in the center of the technology world within my work site. In working with the teachers, I have observed, first hand, some of the struggles and accomplishments teachers have experienced when working with technology. In many cases I there is an underutilization of technology by teachers in the classroom and for classroom related work. Teachers want to use technology, but fear they will not be successful. I would like to help them tame the technology beast so they can be more confident using technology.
The purpose of this action research study is to better understand how I, as a technology specialist, can better support teachers in their use of technology for school-related work. In this action research project, I worked to explore ways to better support teachers in using technology in an elementary school environment. This project focuses on twenty-four teachers: twenty-two classroom teachers, one science teacher, and one resource teacher.