A study of the use of computers in Family and Consumer Sciences classrooms in the state of Utah
Cynthia B. Wright, Utah State University, United States
Doctor of Philosophy, Utah State University . Awarded
Facts regarding the increasing use of computers in public schools are stunning. In the last decade alone, the number of computers in schools has increased tenfold. Experts attribute this tremendous surge in technology in schools to sweeping changes in the workplace. Lawmakers and parents have pressed educators to prepare students to compete in a high-tech workplace.
In Utah millions of dollars have been spent installing computer technology in public schools. Although computers are generally available in every school in the state, many teachers do not use them because of inadequate or out-of-date training. Many teachers simply do not know how to utilize computers in their role as teachers. Teachers who are not computer literate cannot be expected to model and/or teach appropriate use of technology in their classrooms.
The purpose of this study was (1) to investigate the extent and effect of computer training of secondary Family and Consumer Sciences teachers in the state of Utah, and (2) to determine whether there is a relationship between teacher computer training and teachers' utilization in their role as FACS teachers. Specifically, this study examined three aspects of computer training: type of training, length of computer training, and source of computer training.
During the 1995–96 school year a random sampling of FACS teachers in the state of Utah were asked to participate in this research. The response rate was 80%, which represented 61.7% of the population.
The design of the study was survey research. A three-part questionnaire was sent to participants to gather data on personal demographics, school characteristics and computer attitudes. The emphasis of the questions was on personal demographics and school characteristics was on computer experience and use.
The data was coded and entered into SPSS 7.5 for analysis. Inferential statistics, including t-tests, ANOVA, Pearson Product-Moment correlation and chi-square, were used to analyze the data.
Analysis of the data revealed that there was a significant relationship between computer training and many of the personal demographic variables. Age, income and date of last degree were all related to computer use.
There were also significant relationships between computer training and several of the school characteristics. School enrollment, grades taught and number of preparations were all related to computer use.
As expected, computer anxiety decreased as computer training increased. Computer confidence and computer liking were both increased with computer training.
Wright, C.B. A study of the use of computers in Family and Consumer Sciences classrooms in the state of Utah. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Utah State University.
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