Contrasting Instructional Technology Adoption in K-12 Education to Promote Digital Equity

Contrasting Instructional Technology Adoption in K-12 Education to Promote Digital Equity

Erik Kormos (Ashland University, USA) and Liliana Julio (Universidad Simon Bolivar, Colombia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJWLTT.2020070102
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This quantitative study examined the frequency of usage and teacher perception of educational technology by K - 12 public school teachers in three geographic settings: urban, rural, and suburban. The objective aimed to uncover any significant relationship between variables in an effort to better understand trends in the professional environment. A survey of 2,200 educators in a Mid-Atlantic state revealed significant differences of perception and usage. The inquiry discovered teachers from urban schools trailed suburban and rural schools in nearly all objectives. Suburban schools reported the highest perception levels of technology effectiveness, trailed consistently by their rural peers. Current teachers, administrators, and teacher educators may utilize this research to personalize technologies for their student population and develop strategies to increase teacher perception of technology, particularly in the urban setting.
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Literature Review

American K-12 Education and Technology

Educational technology has become a staple of day-to-day operations in all levels of education, including K-12 public schools. Over the past 25 years, teacher and student access to educational technologies has increased at a rapid pace. In 1994, only one computer was available for every 20 students. In 2016, that ratio has dropped to one computer for every two students in U.S. public schools (Herold, 2016). Now many schools allocate tablets for kindergarten students and offer a wide variety of virtual online secondary school courses. As student access to computers increased, so did finances dedicated to technology. In 2015, American K-12 schools spent $8.3 billion dollars on technology, with $3 billion used on digital content alone. These figures are a 12% increase from 2014 and projected to expand each of the next five years (Chen, 2015). Overall spending on educational technology has surpassed $630 billion, roughly $12,608 per student (Herold, 2016). The United States Department of Education has recognized the importance of educational technology within public schools. The department declared “technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives in work, and we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences and content” (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). Grade-level technology standards have been adapted at the local level as well, with each state having incorporated technology benchmarks into their curriculum. For the purpose of this research, technology hardware, or the physical parts of a computer such as the monitor, keyboard, and mouse were not examined. Technology software such as word processing programs, Internet browsers, and operating systems were also excluded. Rather, the research focused on online-based educational technology designed to enrich the learning process.

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