Computer integration in K-12 schools: Conditions related to adoption and implementation
Author(s)Bauder, Deborah Young
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AbstractThe purpose of the present study was to determine which of Ely's (1990) eight conditions best predict implementation of computers into elementary and secondary curricula and diffusion of software use within schools. The conditions include: Dissatisfaction with the Status quo, Knowledge and Skills, Resources, Time, Rewards and Incentives, Participation, Commitment, and Leadership. The primary vehicle for data collection was a survey designed to assess teachers' instructional use of computers, use of software associated with a computer inservice project, and perceptions of Ely's (1990) conditions in their schools. Use of computers was examined along dimensions of intensity (percent of faculty using computers), amount of time computers are used, type of software, and instructional purpose. Perceptions of Ely's conditions were computed from responses to forty statements, five for each condition, coded along a six point Likert-type scale. Three hundred twenty-five teachers from twenty-five schools varying in setting, grade level, and governance type, responded to the survey. Respondents included both computer using teachers and those who do not use computers for instruction. Analysis methods included Stepwise Multiple Regression to determine the best predictors of instructional computer use. T-tests and Oneway Analyses of Variance were used to identify differences in computer use and perceptions of the conditions among demographic groups. A Factor Analysis was employed to verify usefulness of the statements as indicators of the eight conditions and to identify sources of interrelationships among the conditions. The results supported the implications of Ely's (1990) conditions for the implementation of educational technology innovations and suggested refinements for operational definitions of the conditions. The results further suggested that those interested in implementing computer usage should not only provide teachers with knowledge about and skills with computers, but should afford the opportunity to participate actively in the decision-making process regarding acquisitions and patterns of usage. The role of the principal also emerged as a factor to consider in guiding implementation. Interrelationships among conditions should be explored further to refine operational definitions of the conditions. The findings also suggested that extrinsic incentives such as salary increments are insufficient as motivators and that further research should explore motivation for learning about and using computers in instruction.