Sources of Ambiguity in Teaching Technology
University of Kansas
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
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The public school system is charged with the endeavor of preparing students for college and/or careers. Currently there is a shortage of qualified individuals to fill jobs in the technology field. These job opportunities will continue to grow while the amount of potential employees dwindles. There is an issue with supply and demand, what are public schools doing to fill this need? They invest millions of dollars to put technology in the hands of students but what is being taught about technology and how is it being taught? The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe the current situation in public schools and the universities that supply teachers to those public schools with regard to teaching technology in a Midwestern area. Three groups of individuals were interviewed: teachers, directors of curriculum, and university professors that teach education technology to preservice teachers. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed then coded for specific words and phrases. Findings showed that a majority of participants were focused on technology integration and student engagement rather than teaching technology concepts. Teachers and university professors had the freedom to choose what they taught about technology yet had very little training on teaching technology. Most were self-taught and located resources on their own time. With this freedom to create lessons on their own, ambiguity arises concerning the content, coherence, consistency, and reliability of the resources used in the development of the lessons. The educational professionals in this study are the gatekeepers of technology, which could affect equity, academic achievement, cultural capital, and future career choices of students.
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