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Teachers' Purposeful Design of Effective Technology Learning Activities /


The goal of this study was to explore how exemplary teachers design learning activities that incorporate the use of technology. Teachers at three schools in a school district in Southern California were solicited for a survey regarding their use of technology in the classroom. Based on the surveys, high and low technology implementers were identified. Seven high technology implementers were interviewed about their technology implementations and teaching practices. Teachers described a technology activity and provided teaching materials for this activity during the interview. The activities were analyzed stepwise using a qualitative Goals, Operators, Methods, and Selection rules (GOMS) user interface method, which provided a framework to analyze the individual parts in the design of the activity, and Activity Theory, which provided a framework to synthesize these parts and analyze the interactions between the multiple components of the activity. The use of these frameworks afforded the analysis of the activity in a similar way to the design process, by looking at the components, parts, of the activity and combining components to create the whole activity. The study found that high technology implementing teachers have a purposeful design of technology activities and only implement technology tools if the technology engages students and increases learning. Teachers participating in this study agreed that technology tools alone do not increase student learning. Teachers felt their design of the shared technology activities lead to learning experiences that enhanced student learning through engagement and in-depth learning. Teachers in this study incorporated technology to balance the type of choice in activities, add to the learning outcomes of the activities, and support students in achieving the learning goal of the activity. Teachers in this study designed technology activities with thought of not only the technology tools, but with purposeful pairings of the tools with an appropriate context to increase the effectiveness of activities as learning experiences. This study used new methods of analyzing technology activities that teachers and administrators can use to evaluate activities for reflection on and alteration of the activity for subsequent activity implementations

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