Recent research suggests that teachers pass through several stages as they integrate technologies into the educational environment (Dwyer, Ringstaff, & Sandholtz, 1991). Consequently, teacher inservice programs should be designed to complement the changes that occur in teacher practice and should be responsive to a teacher population consisting of members at varying stages (Jordon, 1993). A number of models of teacher development in the use of educational technology have been proposed and described in the literature (Beasley & Sutton, 1992; Bowman, 1983; Carrier et al. 1985; Carrier & Lambrecht, 1984; Gray, 1986; Wedman & Strathe, 1985). One of the most commonly cited models in the literature is The Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT) model (Dwyer et al. 1991). The ACOT model is based upon research findings concerning the experience of 32 teachers and 650 students who have been cooperating in the ACOT research project since 1985. The model contains five stages--Entry, Adoption, Adaptation, Appropriation, and Invention.
The first stage of the ACOT model is the entry stage. During this stage, teachers become accustomed to a transformed classroom--in a physical sense--as computers and other technologies are placed in the classroom. Teachers find themselves dealing with first-year teacher problems-- discipline, resource management, organization, and personal frustration. They still rely heavily on familiar tools such as the chalkboard, textbooks, workbooks, and hand-outs.
The adoption stage is the second stage in the ACOT model. During this stage, teachers become less concerned about how to connect the computers and more concerned about how to use them in the instructional curriculum. At this point, technology is used to support traditional teaching methods--drill and practice, text orientation, whole-group lectures, and seatwork.
Stage three is the adaptation stage. During this stage, the technology becomes seamlessly integrated into traditional classroom practice. Traditional pedagogy still dominates but is supplemented 30-40% of the time with the use of word processors, databases, graphics, and computer- assisted instruction. The increased productivity resulting from the use of software tools allows time for the curriculum to be enhanced by additional exploratory activities using the technology.
The appropriation stage is the fourth stage in the ACOT model. During this stage teachers achieve greater personal mastery and confidence with the technology. Teachers' roles begin to shift and new, innovative instructional strategies begin to emerge. Team teaching, interdisciplinary project-based instruction, and individually-paced instruction become common practice. Teachers begin to reflect on their teaching practices, to question old patterns, and to speculate about the causes behind the changes they are witnessing in their students. Students are engaged in collaborative learning activities involving interdisciplinary projects.
The final stage of the ACOT model is the invention stage. Teachers demonstrate a willingness to experiment with a variety of instructional approaches. Teachers view learning as a more active, creative, and socially interactive process than before. A constructivist perspective develops and teachers assume new roles in the classroom. In addition, alternative methods of assessment, such as portfolios of student work, are combined with traditional methods of evaluation.
While the ACOT model described the developmental evolution of teachers in the use of educational technology, other models focus more specifically on the levels of technology implementation that teachers demonstrate as they integrate educational technology into the curriculum. Several models have been developed that describe this evolution. The Levels of Technology Implementation (LoTi) model, developed by Christopher Moersch (1995), is a framework for measuring classroom technology use and will be used in this study by participating teachers to assess their level of technology implementation. The LoTi model was developed to assist school districts in restructuring their staff's curricula to include concept/process-based instruction, authentic uses of technology, and qualitative assessment. LoTi is aligned conceptually with the research of Dwyer et al. (1991); Hall, Loucks, Rutherford, and Newlove (1975); Thomas and Knezek (1991).
In the LoTi model, Moersch (1995) proposed seven discrete implementation levels teachers can demonstrate, ranging from Nonuse (Level 0) to Refinement (Level 6). Changes occur in the instructional curriculum as the teacher progresses through each level. Instructional practices change from being teacher-centered to learner-centered. Computer technology is used as a tool that supports and extends students' understanding of instructional material through the use of technologies such as databases, telecommunications, multimedia, spreadsheets, and graphing applications. Hands-on inquiry related to problems, issues, or themes gradually replace traditional verbal activities. Technology inservice training should be designed to complement the changes that occur in teacher practice as one evolves through the stages (Moersch, 1995).
The LoTi framework is based partly on the research of Hall et al. (1975) who articulated the Levels of Use of the Innovation, a concept described in the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) of Hall and Hord (1987). Eight discrete levels of use of an innovation that an individual may demonstrate were proposed. The levels range from nonuse and orienting, to mechanical use, and finally to integrating and refining the use of the innovation. However, this model described, in general, the levels of use for any type of innovation and did not address the specific concerns of technology. The LoTi framework is specific to the levels of implementation for technology innovations and describes the specific uses of technology that teachers will demonstrate as they evolve from one level to the next.