Date of Award

8-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Education

Major Professor

Dr. Edward L. Counts, Jr

Committee Members

Dr. John R. Ray, Dr. Mary Jane Connelly, Dr. Vickie J. Stout

Abstract

The purposes of this study were (a) to determine the Tennessee protocol and standards for the initial certification of teachers and re-certification of experienced teachers, (b) to determine the technology skills necessary and competency level of these skills needed to meet and/or exceed the levels that are mandated by the individual curriculum frameworks and standards of Tennessee, and (c) how this technology use is evaluated in the classroom.

This was based on published information on the State of Tennessee Department of Education website. Additionally, information was secured from other reliable sources with pertinent data required to fully examine and answer the questions of this research regarding course and/or technology curriculum standards for all grade levels and the use of technology to enhance learning. Interviews with county school district personnel in a representative group of the twelve counties in an extended East Tennessee area were used in this study to establish the details of “what is really being done” in the local school districts. Analyzation of the personal interviews and a review of County Technology Plans and other significant information from the county websites provided interesting and pertinent information. This information could be considered a reliable representative sampling of what is being done across all of Tennessee since the counties selected for this study were chosen for their significance of the array of variables that might influence technology use and their demographic representation of all areas of the state.

While findings of this study did indicate positive results in the use of technology to enhance instruction techniques or for the enhancement of student learning in the classroom, there is still one area that must receive considerable attention before meaningful results can ever become a reality. Infrastructure and the computer to student ratio (less than 5:1) in most school districts investigated in this study are in place, indicating, at the very least, the ability for significant inroads into the use of technology to enhance learning, but with one monumental holdup… the inability of a large percentage of teachers to use the available equipment.

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