ERIC Number: ED295615
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Ethnographic Methods for Studying Microcomputer Implementation in Schools.
Martin, C. Dianne
This study examined the mobilization and implementation stages of introducing microcomputers into elementary and middle schools in a majority adopter (i.e., schools which began implementing microcomputers for instruction in 1983-84) school district. Data collection included structured interviews with school district staff and principals; unstructured interviews with principals, school librarians, and teachers; naturalistic observations in regular classrooms and computer laboratories; numerous informal interviews and observations with the teacher designated as a key informant for each school; content analysis of historical documents; compilation of computer usage statistics; and use of a questionnaire to measure levels of concern felt by administrators and teachers toward microcomputers. Several conflicting major themes emerged from the data: resistance to innovation; strong grassroots support for microcomputers; fear of microcomputers; high motivation to use microcomputers; the influence of early adopter school districts; and the importance of the individual in the implementation process. The data also revealed characteristics of the implementation process that contributed to and detracted from institutionalization of microcomputers by the district. It was concluded that, due to their technical nature, the potential of microcomputers to enhance the educational delivery system has not always been realized, and several factors facilitating and hindering implementation were identified. (42 references) (Author/MES)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).