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Recognizing and Enhancing Teachers’ Use of Technology for Higher Purposes of Learning to Increase Classroom Digital Literacy Integration
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In this study, I hypothesize that various factors impact teachers’ digital learning identity (DLI). Such factors include; (1) instruction, (2) experience, and/or (3) application. As learning identity relates to perception of confidence and ability, a possible link exists between teachers’ DLI (i.e., how they use technology for higher purposes of learning) and the low percentage of teachers using digital literacy (DL) successfully for instruction. To test this hypothesis, I created the Digital Learning Identity Survey (DLIS) to determine how teachers’ affect toward digital learning changes with direct instruction in DL and what causes these changes. The DLIS results serve as a baseline for a coaching model of professional development aimed at assisting teachers in better recognizing their DLI and the influence the coaching model has on such recognition as well as which aspects of coaching were most influential. Using a mixed-methods approach, 11 K-12 teachers in the southwestern United States completed artifacts (e.g., weekly check-ins, goal setting, reflections, and emails) to determine the influence of the coaching model. Additionally, five of the 11 teachers participated in three rounds of semi-structured interviews to determine teachers’ motivation to shift their DLI. Using artifact analysis and DLIS results, I drew three major conclusions: (1) these studies demonstrate that by helping teachers recognize their own DLI, we can increase their DL use, moving teachers from solely focusing on their students’ DL use to their use; (2) supporting teachers’ ability to recognize the ways they can use DL for learning instead of learning to use DL tools may help further develop their DLI, and such recognition is best suited for coaching-based PD; and (3) the literacy research field requires both measures and methods for integrating DL in classrooms, and the DLIS measures aspects of DL, motivation to learn, and self-regulated learning, producing reasonably reliable and valid scores for DLI. Teachers’ interviews indicated various motivations influence a shift in DLI. Overall, linked to Expectancy-Value Theory, teachers showed evidence of motivation linked to individualized coaching based on opportunities to reflect on the influence of their background and experiences on the value they associate with DL and expectancy of success. Reflection enhances realization of background influences, elements of support, and opportunity to learn.
Zimmer, Wendi Kamman (2019). Recognizing and Enhancing Teachers’ Use of Technology for Higher Purposes of Learning to Increase Classroom Digital Literacy Integration. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from