TEACHERS' PERCEPTION CONCERNING USE OF WEB 2.0 APPLICATIONS FOLLOWING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Anyanwu, Kele 1953-
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Web 2.0 technologies have recently gained prominence as having the potential to bring about transformative effects in education. Many school districts have embraced innovative technology applications by increasing accessibility of Web 2.0 applications from district networks. Web 2.0 applications have become a favorite workshop selection for professional development among in-service teachers who want to enhance their knowledge about these innovative tools for effective classroom integration. Many research efforts using self-report instruments have examined in-service teachers’ perceptions and attitudes about Web 2.0 tools. However, little research reports details of in-service teachers’ lived experiences of these professional development sessions. As a result, there is a gap in understanding of the meaning in-service teachers place on Web 2.0 professional development workshops. Understanding first-hand accounts from in-service teachers, who attend these workshops, their experiences, and what meaning they take away from them, might help contribute to teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom. Findings from this study suggest educational policy and practice changes in Web 2.0 professional development strategies that will enable teachers to perform more as curriculum makers rather than curriculum implementers. A qualitative research approach was used to explore teachers’ perception of Web 2.0 instruction and integration in the classroom. Five participants were interviewed using semi-structured, open ended, in-depth face-to-face interviews that were digitally recorded. The recorded interviews were transcribed into textual data and analyzed using NVivo9.0 Qualitative Analysis Software. Five themes that were established to understand participants’ Web 2.0 workshop experiences included workshop experience, integration in classroom, hands-on experience, knowledge of Web 2.0 applications, and problems and benefits of Web 2.0 tools. The research findings are aligned with supporting literature on the importance of integration of technology within the realm of Web 2.0 technologies instruction. Recommendations are made for restructuring Web 2.0 professional development workshops to make the face-to-face sessions focus more on modeling Web 2.0 integration in the classroom, with hands-on collaboration among teachers, while the basics are delivered online.