Computers are exerting a huge influence on how we live, work, and play. This technology that has dramatically influenced society outside the schools is now affecting changes in the teaching and learning environment within schools and transforming the way we think about education. One of the key responsibilities of educators is to empower students to learn by using the most effective instructional tools available to them. Schools are beginning to recognize the need to teach for the children’s futures. The potential of new technology for learning is not found in the technology itself, but instead in the way the technology is used as a tool for learning. Although the software and hardware available to teachers are important, it’s not the technology, it’s the teacher. Teachers play a critical role in the integration of technology into instruction. In many schools, teachers have access to an array of instructional technology to use, but there has been little evidence showing that technology is being fully integrated in the curriculum on a regular basis. With technology becoming more readily available, it should be considered an integral, effective instructional tool within the school curriculum.
This study investigates how computer technology is being used during literacy instruction in three classrooms equipped with ample computer resources. Specifically, this study focuses on several questions: What are teachers’ perceptions about using computers during literacy instruction? What computer technology do teachers use during literacy instruction? What modes of meaning making are supported through the use of technology in literacy instruction? What new literacies are being used during literacy instruction? This study uses a multiliteracies theoretical framework and a multiple realities lens to examine the role teacher perception plays in how technology use is enacted in classrooms.
|Keywords:||Teacher Perceptions, Technology, Teacher Practices, Multiliteracies, New Literacies, Multimodality|
Assistant Professor of Reading and Literacy, Department of Educational Studies, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, USA