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Middle School Teachers' Descriptions of Their Level of Competency in the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers

Daisy Sam, Johnson & Wales University


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to investigate urban middle school teachers’ descriptions of their competency in the current National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). The study also investigated how urban middle school teachers currently use technology to support their teaching and student learning. Research identifies the need to continuously support the development of 21st century skills, which requires students to appropriately access, evaluate, use, and mange the increased amount of information that continues to increase around them (Jacob, 2010; Trilling & Fadel 2009; Wagner, 2008). The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has created the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for students, teachers, and administrators. The mission of many organizations like ISTE is to continue to close the digital gap in education and the skills needed to be productive in the 21st century. Although technology has drastically changed how students learn, the change in teachers’ capacities for using and understanding technology has not seen significant gains (NETP, 2010; Hayes-Jacob, 2010). Research findings suggest that teachers in the United States have yet to achieve levels of effective technology use (Russel, O’Dywer, & O’Connor, 2003; Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010; Ross & Specht, 2008; Smeets, 2005; Van Braak & Valcke, 2007). This study used a mixed methods research design. An online survey questionnaire was administered to collect quantitative data from urban middle school teachers (N = 71) in three Southern New England urban middle schools including: one charter, one public, and one private school. Descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized to analyze the questionnaire data. Qualitative data were collected from three focus groups. The researcher conducted one focus group in each of the three schools with a total of N = 18 participants. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (PAWS/SPSS, 2010) was used to analyze quantitative data, using two-way analyses of variance. A one-way ANOVA was used to target the relationship between the level of implementation and other dependent variables in this research. For the qualitative data analysis the researcher organized and reviewed notes and transcriptions of the focus groups and identified categories for coding (Creswell, 2009). Themes were then developed by combing responses from the N = 3 focus group sites. A major finding of this study was that 72% of the N = 18 focus group participants reported to have no knowledge of the NETS-T. The results of this study may play an important role in helping school leaders recognize needs within their building to create a shared vision and action plan for the integration and understanding of the NETS-T for teaching and learning.

Subject Area

Middle School education|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Sam, Daisy, "Middle School Teachers' Descriptions of Their Level of Competency in the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers" (2011). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3450428.