A Study of the Diffusion of Innovation
Today, there are many educational institution are implementing different types of technology in order to enhance instruction of the teacher as well the learning efficiency of the students. It is believe that application of technology will definitely enhance instruction because these types of materials and apparatus are especially designed for education and instruction.
The most visible form of technology today is the computer (Gallas, 1994).
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Unlike in the previous decades where teachers use the traditional blackboard and chalk to teach their middle school students, now most teachers are using computers to aid them in teaching their students. This is just one example of interventions of technology in a middle school classroom.
For this paper, the main objective is to determine the different types of technologies being implemented in a middle school classroom in order to enhance instruction. Moreover, the paper will try to define the factors that affect the diffusion process of technology integration within middle school classrooms.
TYPES OF TECHNOLOGY
For the past few decades in teaching methodology, the mode of teaching in almost every classroom is done by one-to-many interaction (Cooper & Robinson, 1998). This means that there is one who takes the responsibility in giving the right amount of knowledge to its student. The said interaction is mostly known as the teacher to student relationship.
This mode of teaching had produced many intellects in the world. Many professors and scholars relied on this technique to teach their students effectively. They thought that this technique will make their students absorb the teaching they inculcate. This condition is whether the class is big or small.
Science and mathematics subjects are one of the most important subjects that must be taught effectively to a student especially in the elementary level. The curriculum of a school must be of good quality because this will serve as a good foundation on the learning process of the students (Fink, 2004). It is believed that good foundation on science ad math subjects will be a tool on the success of the students.
Thus, there is a need in the upgrading of the current teaching methods of the said subjects for the students who wants to learn fully the basic or fundamental principles of the said subject.
Today, computers aid teachers in instructing their students. But how teachers utilize computer in teaching their students? Some lessons are shown through the use of computers. Unlike in a blackboard and chalk setting where the teacher can only write and draw figures but with the use of computers, the teacher can do more (Their & Daviss, 2002).
A good example of this is when a science instructor teaches human anatomy. For a middle school student, he or she will find it hard to imagine human parts especially the internal organs. Thus, the science instructor will use a computer to better visualize the human anatomy. Basically, computers are being implemented today because there are some discussion when used by a blackboard and chalk, the student cannot understand the given lesson.
Most educational institutions believe that there is a need to include in their academic curriculum the subject information technology and one example of this is the usage of computers. The above discussion shows why teachers use computer while this part of the paper will analyze why is there a need to include computer related subjects in the curriculum of middle school classrooms (Technology Education Association, 2000).
Computers that are being used by math teachers, uses software that has connection is teaching math subjects (Harlen, 2001). This software is designed to teach math lesson and techniques in such a way that it will not create confusion on students. In solving math problems, the first thing to do is read the problem and determine what are the given. After this, the solver must find out what is being asked from the problem.
Some math problems have obvious statement where the solver can detect it with ease while there are also other math problems that do require and analysis first before knowing what is being asked. The next part will be the most difficult one because the solver will determine what equation or group or equations will be use to answer the math problem. This part does require some analysis (AutoSkill, 2003).
The very reason why students are advised to take computer subjects is that, computers are now considered basic necessity in our society (Education Development Center, Inc.,2000). Almost every person in the country has computers. Moreover, all business transactions use computers. Thus, to prepare them in their chosen career, they will not be left behind due to their illiterateness in computer hardware and software.
Internet is being introduced today in most middle schools. The use of internet for education purposes is called electronic education or simply e-learning. The teacher may teach his or her students wherever and whenever.
This is also applicable when the teacher wants also to give exercise and examination. The good thing with the use of internet is that, it does not need the student to go in the classroom just to learn the lesson. What is needed is a set of computer that has an internet connection (Technology Alliance’s Technology in Education Task Force, 1998).
FACTORS OF TECHNOLOGY DIFUSSION
There are factors why technology is implemented in teaching method in a middle school classroom. One is that it is more efficient compared to the traditional setting of a classroom.
We know that a typical classroom consists of tables where the students will sit for the rest of time of discussion and a blackboard and chalk where all the writings will be done, but when technology is implemented, the classroom will transform into more convenient environment that will aid students to appreciate what the teacher is discussing.
Computers will create an excitement among students because they will not feel bored in the discussion. Audio-visual equipment will also facilitate in the efficient learning of the students. They will understand more some complicated lessons like in science and math subjects.
AutoSkill, (2003). Developing Mathematical Proficiency with the AutoSkill® Academy of MATH®
Cooper, J., & Robinson, P. (1998). Small-group Instruction in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) Disciplines: A Status Report and an Agenda for the Future. Journal of College Science Teaching.
Education Development Center, Inc. (2000). Findings from Phase I and Phase II (1989‹91) of the Middle School Technology Integration Project. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from http://www.edc.org/FSC/MIH/
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Technology Education Association. (2000). Press Release 2000. Technology Education Association. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from http://www.tae.edu
Technology Alliance’s Technology in Education Task Force. (1998). UPDATE OF TECHNOLOGY ALLIANCE. Technology Alliance’s Technology in Education Task Force