Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Although many researchers have examined the ways teachers learn about technology integration along formal pathways, much less is understood about teachers’ informal and incidental technology-related learning. In this study, I examined selected teachers’ technology-related learning, focusing on their informal learning, which is planned learning that happens along unstructured routes, and incidental learning, which is unplanned learning that occurs by happenstance (Marsick & Watkins, 2001). Using a phenomenological research approach (Vagle, 2014), I generated data through observing, surveying, and interviewing seven teachers. I then analyzed the data, coding by discrete idea, memo-writing, reflexive journaling, and, during later stages, charting emerging results. Participants varied in years of teaching experience (4 years to more than 30 years); certifications held (special, elementary, and gifted education; secondary math; world languages; and Career and Technical Education); and grade levels taught (pre-K through 12th). Three taught in schools with active professional learning communities. All were integrating technology in classroom-based teaching and learning, at least to some extent. These teachers’ experiences suggested several tentative conclusions related to the phenomenon of informal and incidental technology-related learning. Namely, it is: frequent and happens both within and across grade levels, content areas, and teaching contexts; sensitive to the pressures of time; fostered by formal organizational supports; influenced by teaching contexts, including physical spaces and professional learning cultures; and driven by teachers’ learning preferences, in that both technology-avoidant and technology-savvy teachers might avoid technology-related learning that does not align with perceived learning needs and preferences. I have also included a series of recommendations for educational leaders at the building and district level and in the field of educational technology, relative to these findings.
© The Author
Theisinger, Diana Lee, "A Phenomenological Investigation of Selected Teachers’ Informal and Incidental Technology-Related Learning" (2017). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1499450010.