School of education faculty and their use of technology: Are early adopters and late majority faculty different?
Author(s)Romano, Madalyn L
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AbstractFor more than three decades, technology has been part of the educational landscape in schools in America. There are research studies that address education and technology from the perspective of K–12 students, K–12 teachers, pre-service teachers, and teacher education programs. Not much, however, is known about the technology use of university and college professors who are expected to prepare twenty-first century educators to use technology. This study was conducted to determine the factors that influence the use of technology by school of education faculty, the barriers and challenges they face, and education faculty's perceptions of the best method for their students to learn to use technology in an educational setting. The National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) and the ISTE standards for Teachers (NETS_T) provided input to determine the issues to be addressed and a framework for analysis of the results. Everett Rogers Diffusion of Innovation Theory was the basis for classifying participants into two adopter categories – early adopters and late majority faculty. The study determined that early adopters and late majority faculty differed on two factors – age and number of years at the university. A mixed methods research design was used to determine themes that influenced these groups. Participants completed an online survey to respond to the research questions. The surveys were followed up with in-depth interviews, which provided a deeper understanding of the survey findings. Some of the results indicated that both groups had similar issues – desire to increase student's access to course materials and lack of time. The interviews showed that these issues were from diverse perspectives. For early adopters creating videos and sharing web links provided access. Late majority faculty showed videos and used PowerPoint in class. Lack of time for an early adopter meant lack of time to integrate new Web 2.0 technologies into curriculum. Lack of time for late majority faculty meant lack of time to learn productivity tools: BlackBoard, Excel, etc. The results of this study can be used to help tailor professional development opportunities for school of education faculty and improve the learning experience for preservice teachers. ^