Correlating technology surveys and third- and fifth-grade proficiency levels in math and reading throughout Tennessee
Gary L. Lilly, East Tennessee State University, United States
East Tennessee State University . Awarded
This study used two different sets of data collected through two distinct means during the 2002–2003 school year. To fulfill the federal accountability requirements related to the distribution of monies known as EdTech (2002), the Tennessee State Department of Education required every school within districts that accepted the formula EdTech funds to complete an online survey called the EdTech Tennessee Online Technology Evaluation or E-TOTE. The E-TOTE survey collected information on a variety of topics related to educational technology including questions about teaching and learning, educators' preparation and development, infrastructure, and equipment counts. The other set of data came from a new criterion-referenced portion of the otherwise norm-referenced state-mandated standardized TCAP test given to third and fifth graders to also meet No Child Left Behind accountability requirements for the subjects of math and reading.
Evaluations of E-TOTE survey responses revealed that most faculty members at the 1,066 schools examined in this study reported they did not feel comfortable integrating technology to the extent necessary to create fundamental changes to traditional teacher-centered pedagogies. Related to this realization could be that few schools or districts have implemented high-quality communities of learning designed to elevate teachers' levels of understanding to a sufficiently high degree as to help them feel qualified to integrate technology. Furthermore, even though the majority of the networking infrastructure within schools examined in this study seemed to be relatively robust, many reported high student-to-computer ratios often combined with long replacement cycles.
Multistep hierarchical regression models were used to account for the variance in the percentage of students in third and fifth grades attaining the advanced proficiency levels in math and reading. The models accounted for a number of nontechnological school characteristics such as school population, number of minority students, number of economically disadvantaged students, and per-pupil expenditure before examining the role of the aforementioned E-TOTE topics in the final step of the regression model. No strong relationships were found to exist between the technological characteristics and the advanced proficiency levels of third or fifth graders in math or reading.
Lilly, G.L. Correlating technology surveys and third- and fifth-grade proficiency levels in math and reading throughout Tennessee. Ph.D. thesis, East Tennessee State University.
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