CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Ling Wang

Committee Member

Steven Terrell

Committee Member

Laurie P Dringus


As states adopt the common core state standards and next generation assessments for the 2014 - 2015 school year, the importance of students' technology literacy will increase Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The next generation assessments will require students to complete technology performance tasks. For the first time in mandatory testing, students' technology literacy will directly impact a school's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) rating. Technology literacy is defined as the ability to operate hardware and software (computer literacy), conduct effective research for and then evaluate digital content for accuracy and merit (internet and information literacy), and digitally communicate effectively(digital media literacy).

Research has shown students are not technology literate. Michigan has lacked a consistent implementation of an educational technology integrated curriculum and assessment of 8th grade students' technology literacy skills. The central focus of this descriptive case study was the investigation of whether the consistent implementation of the Using Technology in Career Education (UTCE) curriculum could positively effect students' technology literacy skills.

The study explored the charter school environment, teacher and student technology literacy, and UTCE implementation. Participants were two 8th grade classes at an urban charter school enrolled in the UTCE course and a Creative Writing course. Data tri-angulation was achieved through classroom observations, student surveys, teacher archival documents and student performance tests. First, category construction examined the data for each single case (vignette). Second, the research questions guided the cross-case data analysis to discover patterns and themes. Vignette 1 answered Research Question #1 and addressed the most effective implementation of UTCE using data from classroom observations to determine the level of technology integration. Vignette 2 answered Research Question #2 and investigated the relationship between teacher and student technology literacy, classroom instruction and the effect on UTCE implementation. Vignette 3 answered Research Questions #3 and #4 and focused on measuring student technology performance and the effect the UTCE curriculum had on student technology literacy. An initial impression was the inability to type could potentially negatively impact students' performance on the next generation assessments. Overall data analysis supported the theoretical proposition that consistent delivery of a comprehensive educational technology curriculum improved students' technology literacy skills.

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