Nancy Foote

Ubiquitous Learning with Laptops

Education Professionals and Technological Change

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Initial Concept Map, Summer 2003

In summer 2003, I took the Advanced Topics in Education: Conceptual Frameworks in Education Leadership in which I had to create my first attempt at a concept map for my dissertation research. Since that time, my research topic has become much more defined and focused, although remants of this initial concept map remain.

In creating a conceptual framework for investigating the concept of change capital, it is helpful to approach such a task from different perspectives as embodied within two key questions: "What is the nature of change in the early 21st century and how is it manifested?" and "What is change capital and how might it assist teachers in their classrooms to manage successfully the challenges of 21st century change?" The purpose of the first question is to provide a context for the urgency of developing skills to manage change, particularly for the classroom teacher. The purpose of the second is to gain an understanding of how to develop such skills so that teachers can successfully build connections to the future for their students. A conceptual framework has been constructed that will guide investigating initial answers to these two pivotal questions and will provide a structure that facilitates integrating the two areas into a coherent whole. It is this conceptual framework that will become the foundation of future research.

This framework is designed to look at change from a multi-level perspective, including the nature of 21st century change and how it is manifested at the macro, meso, and micro levels. The final level is from the viewpoint of change capital; a tool that is applicable to any of the levels, but for the purposes of this paper will be examined in terms of the classroom teacher.
A second perspective is how technology impacts all the levels within this framework. While there are many alternations in the world that are not driven by technology, the most influential and far reaching in impact are those driven by new technology and none of these levels are immune from its effects. Teachers in particular must find a means to manage the effects of globalization, technology and educational reform within the classroom setting. It is within this vital crucible that change capital can be most effective.

A third perspective is to examine key ideas and concepts that are imbedded within each level of change. While globalization is a complex process, it has certain consequences that will place pressure on education to formulate new reforms. These reforms in turn have certain elements that will lay demands on teachers to respond and moderate their own teaching pedagogy. But teachers (and their students) are also directly influenced by technology and globalization, both personally and within schools. A key tool for their survival will be change capital. In developing this concept, other capitals, including human and social, will be examined, as well as the ideas embedded within postmodernism. From these perspectives, a more robust definition of change capital can be formulated.


Initial Conceptual Framework Link

 

Dissertation Research Concept Map - Portfolio Review #2

AT THE CROSSROADS: Education Professionals and Technology is a variance model that illustrates different influences on the level of technological skill an education professional may have. Those influences that come from within educators include their experience with, knowledge about, beliefs/attitudes towards, and adult learning skills in technological and educational integration. An education professional such as a teacher with a low level of technological expertise may not know much about how the world is changing, may believe that education is fine just the way it is, may have had poor experiences with using technology in the past and undergoes little adult learning beyond the required pro forma professional development. Conversely, an educator/ teacher who has a high level of technological skill may be very familiar with all the changes going on in the world, believes that technology is crucial in the classroom to improve learning opportunities, has used technology successfully in the past and has personally taken a number of courses and seminars on a variety of topics.

However, education professionals do not conduct their work in a vacuum and their levels of technological expertise are subject to external influences as well such as their school's quantity/quality of technology resources, the state/federal departments of education's educational requirements, students' engagement with technology and the business world's demand for technologically advanced labor. An educator, again a teacher for example, who has a low technological skill level may work in a school that has few technology resources, and whose students have little access to technology of any kind, in a state whose standards leave little room for innovation, and where the opportunities for work currently require few technology skills. On the other hand, an educator/teacher with a high level of technological skill may work in a school where everyone has a laptop, whose students have access to all kinds of technology, in a district/state that values flexibility and innovation to meet standards and whose students will be seeking jobs that will require major technology skills.

The reverse scenarios are also possible where educators with high levels of expertise can be found in schools with no technology and in reverse, educators with low levels of expertise can be found in schools with enormous technological resources. My initial theory is that it is the combination of these internal and external influences that determines an education professional's level of technological expertise.

Below is the latest rendition of the concept map for my dissertation research


 

A document created for the Advanced Applications of Qualitative Research Methods class, Spring 2004

 

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Contact Nancy Foote: footelus@erols.com