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Implementation of the National Education Technology Standards for Students in Rhode Island public high schools

Denise Mancieri, Johnson & Wales University


The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) adopted the National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) in 2004. One year prior RIDE mandated a new Rhode Island High School Diploma System (2005a). Although technology is one of the six core subjects included in the new High School Diploma System (2005a), there is no required state assessment of student proficiency on the NETS-S or formal documentation of how or if high schools in Rhode Island are using the NETS-S (Education Week, 2007). When technology is integrated and used as a tool to help educators in the classroom, studies have shown it aids instruction and improves student learning (Becker, 2000; Park, Ertmer, & Simons, 2006). The purpose of this study was to investigate the degree of implementation of the NETS-S in Rhode Island's public high schools based on the perceptions of Rhode Island high school principals, N=38, and, teachers, N=185, from an "urban ring" high school and a "suburban" high school. A sequential mixed-method research design also examined how high schools are assessing student performance on the NETS-S. Further, this study identified teacher perceptions of the importance of integrating the NETS-S and their perceived difficulties in implementing the NETS-S in curriculum and instruction. The quantitative numeric data were collected using a questionnaire administered to both Rhode Island public high school principals, N=38, and teachers, N=185. The teachers were from two public high schools; one high school located in the "urban ring" and one in a "suburban area of the state." Qualitative data were gathered through interviews with, N=10, teachers to inform the questionnaire. The teacher interviews were followed by, N=4, technology expert interviews. The experts informed the research by providing examples of what ideal integration of the NETS-S should look like. Qualitative data were analyzed and coded for themes and patterns (Creswell, 2003; Patton, 1990). The five themes that emerged out of the data were superficial technology integration, time, teacher capacity, teacher support, and effective technology user. The results of this study indicate the NETS-S are not being implemented in curriculum and instruction. However, when students use technology in the classroom the majority of the time (80%), they use it as a tool to increase productivity, but not to develop strategies to solve real world problems. Recommendations include a detailed model for schools that would like to integrate the NETS-S into curriculum and instruction as it relates to time, professional development, and support. Further, the role of principals, teachers, students, and community in that model are also discussed.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Mancieri, Denise, "Implementation of the National Education Technology Standards for Students in Rhode Island public high schools" (2008). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3315745.