CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Martha Snyder

Committee Member

Jack O'Mara

Committee Member

Ling Wang

Abstract

As one-to-one laptop environments are becoming more commonplace in the educational system, teachers are often expected to provide a student-centered environment that incorporates 21st century skills in effort to better prepare students for the future. Teaching in this type of environment is a difficult pedagogical shift for classroom educators. The assumption is often made that teachers can make this pedagogical shift just because laptops are provided for all students.

The goal was to capture the essence of the lived experiences of fifth grade teachers who will be immersed in the phenomenon of teaching in a student-centered, twenty-first century, one-to-one laptop environment. The overarching research question was: What is the essence of the lived experiences of teachers who are implementing a student-centered, 21st century, one-to-one laptop pilot?

Guided by phenomenology using a transcendental approach, data were collected through multiple, in-depth teacher interviews. The research process included identification of the phenomenon; epoché; data collection through 18 interviews with nine fifth-grade teachers; and transcendental phenomenological analysis through reduction, imaginative variation, and syntheses. Reduction involved horizonalization of the data and the development of textural and structural descriptions of the teachers' experiences. In addition, thirty-four codes were identified and reduced to six overarching themes including: looking back, engaged and excited, building a solid foundation, roles have shifted, consider this, and learning the 21st century way.

The results will help in the development of effective academic and technology support structures that strengthen a student-centered, 21st century, one-to-one laptop program. The investigation exposed themes of difficulties, strategies, and best practices that teachers experience during the implementation.

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