Correlates with Use of Telecomputing Tools: K-12 Teachers' Beliefs and Demographics

Judi Harris, College of William and Mary
Neal Grandgenett, University of Nebraska at Omaha


What can be determined about the demographic characteristics, beliefs about teaching, degrees of innovativeness, and world views of classroom teachers and specialists who use internet-based telecomputing tools? This study correlated data representing a year of online use with responses to questionnaire items about teacher beliefs and demographics for 558 respondents from a sample of 1,000 randomly selected internet account holders on TENET, the statewide K-12 educational telecomputing network in Texas. Results show significant correlations among beliefs about teaching, personal perceptions of innovativeness, and world views. Respondents who were more student centered in their beliefs about teaching perceived themselves to be more innovative and viewed the world in a more social constructivist way than respondents with more traditional beliefs about teaching. Yet no strong significant correlations between telecomputing activity and beliefs or demographic information were found. In the case of this study, the absence of significant relationships was even more informative than the correlation detected, and it leads us to recommend further study to see if these patterns can be confirmed, so that they can be acted upon.