Date of Award

12-20-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Cathy Kaufman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

George Bieger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Piper, Ed.D.

Abstract

In 2006, Governor Edward Rendell announced a three-year, $200 million Classrooms for the Future program to provide technology and technology support to schools across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, beginning in the 2006-2007 school year. The purpose of this research study is to examine the change process of the diffusion of technology within five schools through the implementation of the Classrooms for the Future initiative. This study will specifically examine the diffusion of the Classrooms for the Future initiative into schools and the perceptions of teachers, principals, superintendents, and Classrooms for the Future coaches with regards to the initiative and the impact the program is having on instruction. The research will focus on schools that have successfully or creatively implemented the CFF initiative, analyzing how and why the diffusion process was successful. Using a qualitative method, this study analyzed three sources of data: interviews with teachers, principals, superintendents/ technology directors, and Classrooms for the Future coaches; analysis of school district-specific archival documents relating to the implementation of the Classrooms for the Future initiative; and Classrooms for the Future archival survey data specific to the five selected schools and data provided through the Pennsylvania Technology Inventory Report from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State University. Various levels and stages of Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory were applied to the data, providing a filter and a framework to evaluate organizational change over time. The results of this study suggested that the innovation-decision process, perceived attributes of the innovation, change agents, and communication channels were extremely significant in determining the rate of adoption of instructional technology and the sustainability of the innovation (Rogers, 2003). The role of authority figures in determining the vision of implementation was determined to be extremely significant in affecting teacher adoption of the Classrooms for the Future initiative. Additionally, the role of the Classrooms for the Future coach was imperative not only to increase adoption, but also for sustainability of the change.

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