Lack of integrating technology in elementary schools
It has been the goal of educators to integrate technology in all levels of learning. Educators believe that if this goal is properly implemented and supported, it may bring about a positive experience for both teachers and students (Ertmer & Leftwich, 2009; Simon, 2002). In their research, Cradler and Bridgforth (2005) concluded that technology applications can support higher-order thinking by engaging students in authentic, complex tasks within collaborative learning contexts. On average, students who used computer-based instruction scored at 64th percentile on tests of achievement compared to students in the control conditions without computers who scored in the 50th percentile (Motamedi, 2010). Beside the classroom benefits, it is also clear that as the society moves further to 21st century, human beings are increasingly becoming more dependent on technology. Despite these realities, research shows that it is only relatively few teachers who feel well prepared to integrate education technology into classroom instruction (Ertmer & Leftwich, 2009; Franklin, 2011; NCES 2010,). According to NCES (2010), despite teachers having access to computers and internet, the teachers used technology only in 40 percent or sometimes 29 percent of their instruction time. The NCES further reports that only less than half of the U.S. elementary teachers felt comfortable to use technology for classroom instruction.
The Background of the Instruction Problem
Several literatures have explored the reason why integrating technology in the elementary schools is still a problem for the teachers. Earle (2003) first of all explores what the concept of instruction technology means. Some of the problems in integrating computers in school is due to lack of understanding of what it means to integrate technology in classroom instruction. Due to the central role played by computers, some teachers think that instructional technology is a synonym for computers. However, as Earle (2003) notes, integrating technology in classroom goes beyond the hardware and software to include both physical and intellectual facets in its domain. Ertmer, Leftwich and York (2010) explain the factors that could impede technology integration in elementary schools and those factors that can facilitate the integration. According to the authors, barriers can be classified into two categories: extrinsic and intrinsic barriers. Extrinsic barriers include lack of resources, adequate training, technical support, and time. Intrinsic barriers include teacher’s beliefs, visions of technology integration and views about teaching, learning, and knowledge (Ertmer, Leftwich, & York, 2010).
Since most of the teachers have access to technology, according to NCES (2010), the problem of integration must be with the intrinsic barriers. According to NCES, in 2009, 97 percent of teachers had one or more computers located in the classroom every day, while 54...