The impact of educational technology on learner interactions: a multiple case study of elementary classrooms

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Miller, Russell K.

Miller, Russell K. (2007). The impact of educational technology on learner interactions: a multiple case study of elementary classrooms. In Proceedings : 3rd Annual Symposium : Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS : Wichita State University, p.57-58


The purpose of this research was to study a selection of elementary school classrooms in order to observe, analyze, and describe the impact of educational technology on learner interactions. As a qualitative research project, the methods employed included observations, personal interviews of teachers, focus group interviews of students, and document review. Findings from three descriptive case studies indicated that educational technology, when incorporated into traditional teaching practice, resulted in little change in learner interactions but a discernable increase in student interest and motivation. When integrated into lessons that were more constructivist in nature, technology was observed to facilitate higher levels of communication and collaboration between students and teachers. Particularly of interest was a “students as teachers” model that occurred as students shared their knowledge with others, often coupled with teachers allowing students to have more control of the learning process. The study concluded that integrating technology can positively impact the interactions of learners in elementary classrooms when used as a tool to support constructivist pedagogy. The conclusions also definitively speak to the powerful role of the individual teacher and how their daily instructional decisions are impacted by their personal philosophies, background, pedagogical preferences, and comfort with the technological tools at their disposal.

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Paper presented to the 3rd Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, April 27, 2007.
Research completed at the Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education