There are many articles exploring the issue of technology integration in K-12 education. Don Ely’s work with technological innovations is among the most notable. Ely points out that “Implementation” of technology requires special knowledge to do the job efficiently and thoroughly (Ely, 1990, p.298). Ely’s research directs researchers to variables that can be used as an assessment tool when studying teacher centered technology integration. Ely states “Technology is the answer! But what is the problem?” his comment promotes further research into efficient use of technology in instructional settings. Discussed within Ely’s eight variables to consider when facilitating the adoption, implementation, and institutionalization of educational technology innovations are:
- Dissatisfaction with the status quo: may come from teachers who are not motivated to consider change in their teaching procedures.
- Knowledge and Skills Exist: a teacher must possess the competencies to teach students the use of these tools
- Resources are available: tools and relevant materials are accessible to assist learners to acquire learning objectives.
- Time is available: Paid time. Teachers need time for in-service training; they need time to revise existing teaching plans; they need time to practice with new materials; they need time to try out and evaluate new teaching procedures.
- Rewards or Incentives Exist for Participants: Why should anyone change? If current practice is going reasonably well, why risk new techniques? Whatever the reward, intrinsic or extrinsic, it should be there in some form.
- Participation is Expected and Encouraged: Shared decision making, individuals should be involved in the decisions that will affect them. Participation may occur at many levels: during problem identification. During consideration of alternative solutions, and during decision making when new programs or approaches are adopted.
- Commitment by Those Who are Involved: Administrators should provide clear and visible support that endorses implementation.
- Leadership is Evident: Leaders should ensure that the necessary training is given and the materials to do the job are easily available; they are available for consultation when discouragement or failure occur; and they continually communicate their enthusiasm for the work at hand.
Ely, D. P. (1990). Conditions that facilitate the implementation of educational technology
innovations. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 23(2), 298.