Date of Award

5-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Instructional Design and Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Joel Billingsley

Abstract

Elementary teachers around the world were recently faced with transitioning to hybrid or virtual teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a situation that teachers had never been in before and one in which they had not been trained. Due to the availability of educational technology, teachers were able to adopt new programs, often having to seek out training on their own, in order to successfully deliver instruction. This study aims to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected teacher use of educational technology, what factors predict the continued use and frequency of use of educational technology once the pandemic has ended, and how teachers feel educational technology affects student motivation, achievement, and behavior. To test these hypotheses, an online survey was distributed to elementary teachers around the United States, with the majority in a large Alabama school district. Participants answered questions regarding their use of educational technology before, during, and intended use after the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon completion of the survey, participants were invited to participate in a follow-up semi-structured interview to collect qualitative data. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, paired t-tests, and linear regression tests. Results showed large effect sizes regarding a decrease in the number of educational technology programs used during the pandemic, and an increase in the frequency of use of educational technology programs during the pandemic. Individual x innovativeness, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness were all found to be statistically significant predictors of nearly all dependent variables, and educational technology use was found to be a statistically significant predictor of teacher beliefs regarding student motivation, behavior, and achievement. These results indicate the importance of educational technology in the classroom and how strongly its use is predicted and affected by perceptions of usefulness, ease of use, and innovativeness. On this basis, the use of educational technology during the COVID-19 pandemic should be taken into account for future school or district technology initiatives.

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