Educational technology training centers in three selected New Jersey counties: Impressions of educators in the operationalization of a national policy initiative

James J Howard, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The United States Government has consistently played a critical role in influencing educational goals that impact how children learn in accordance with conventions deemed beneficial to the nation's rapidly growing society. Given fluctuations in education policy over the decades, critics and educational stakeholders continue to debate the efficacy of federal policy reforms in affecting needed societal changes. This is clearly evidenced by the controversy on educational technology integration initiatives. This thesis is focused on three selected New Jersey counties and impressions of educators in the operationalization of a national policy initiative for advancing technology literacy among inservice K–12 school teachers. While attention has been directed to many aspects of integrating classroom technology, relatively little regard is given to technology training for teachers. The thesis underscores this gap in the literature. Educational Technology Training Centers (ETTCs) are rarely found in the literature. However, considering the spiraling technology costs, ETTCs offer an intriguing model for training teachers. This thesis followed a case study approach, using such methods as triangulation of location and socio-economic demographics, organizational history and leadership in identifying points of difference and likeness between these centers. Official documents were examined, and interviews conducted with key administrators at New Jersey's Department of Education, at ETTCs and respective school districts. Ultimately, research findings illuminated weaknesses within the federal Technology Literacy Challenge Fund (TLCF) grants, leading to unintended, yet inequitable, outcomes from federal and State actions. These outcomes are attributed largely to strategic shortfalls at federal and state governmental levels in failing to recognize the critical significance of longer term ETTC funding, as well as the power politics of educational stakeholders in the planning, implementation and sustainability of such efforts. Lessons learned clearly provide the basis for future research on funding and administering ETTCs in an equitable manner for all teachers who must employ technology in classrooms. ^

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Secondary|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

James J Howard, "Educational technology training centers in three selected New Jersey counties: Impressions of educators in the operationalization of a national policy initiative" (January 1, 2004). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI3152053.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3152053

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