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The degree to which the reliability of educational technology affects its use in the classroom

Brent Williams, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to determine whether a lack of reliability in educational technology contributes to its nonuse by teachers. ^ Little attention has been paid by school systems and educational researchers to the role unreliable technology plays in frustrating teachers and making them fearful of committing to technology use in the classroom. Further, school systems commonly provide inadequate response when technology fails, compounding the problem. Teachers often wait days or more for repairs to be completed. Few public school teachers participating in this study indicated that they are completely satisfied by the support they receive. In the fast-paced classroom of today, technology failures must be dealt with quickly and competently if teachers are to invest time in new ways of teaching that depend on technology. ^ In this study, over 1000 Georgia K-12 public school teachers completed a Web-based survey form. The survey included an open-ended comment field in which teachers could describe their issues with classroom technology. In addition, seven teachers were interviewed to discover their attitudes about educational technology reliability and support and their experiences with classroom technology. ^ Analysis of the collected data makes several points clear: (1) A lack of reliability of classroom technology affects teacher attitudes about using it in the classroom. (2) If classroom technology were more reliable, teachers would use it more. (3) Many teachers reported inadequate technical support when failures do occur. Repairs can take days or weeks. Such delays affect their attitudes about using technology in the classroom. (4) If technology problems could be resolved quickly, teachers would use classroom technology more. (5) A lack of available technology or old and non-functional technology is a problem in many public K-12 classrooms. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Williams, Brent, "The degree to which the reliability of educational technology affects its use in the classroom" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3350260.