Running head: Use of Classroom Management Software 1

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Run
ning head:
Use of

Classroom Management Software


1








How
is

Classroom
M
anagement Software Being Used


A
t Dade County High School?


Lori Moore


University of West Georgia


Use of Classroom Management Software


2


Introduction


At Dade County High School, many teachers use technology, but some are more
progressive with their technology use

than others
. Teachers that f
eel comfortable with
technology

know how to fight for lab time, and
have a level of skills that enable them to not have
to rely on technical assistance.

Most teachers at Dade County High School have received
technology training and been incorporating some form of technology in

the classroom, however,
keeping up with new advancements in technology, such as classroom management systems is
more difficult in the present high school culture.

Some of the
classroom management
features in
use by
more

technology savvy

teachers
include
the

following:



Students to collaborate with the teacher and with each other through secure chat and
email



Students can read and respond to discussions as a group



Students to obtain class materials (documents, videos, web links, etc.) that are posted by
the

teacher for download or to print



Assignment boxes can be set up for students to turn in their work



Individual classes are set up with secure codes



Teachers can post grades anonymously


Many teachers are not familiar with this software, and the teachers th
at are could be using
more of the features. This study is designed to help determine barriers that exist that keep
teachers from using this software and/or using it effectively.


Teachers will be surveyed for interest and usage of
classroom management s
ystems
, then
given the opportunity to learn more about
classroom management system

software through a

Use of Classroom Management Software


3


professional learning session and can see how their peers are using this technology to make
classroom management tasks more efficient and time saving. Af
ter the session,
another survey
and a few interviews will be given to look at opinions and efficiency. The findings for barriers
that still might exist will be reported.

The final goal is to report conclusions to administration and
technicians in order to

inform them of current barriers in order to find solutions.


The purpose of this study will be to examine the how classroom management systems can
be used more effectively at a Dade County High School, Georgia. The study will utilize survey
data and
interviews to determine if 1) teachers currently use a classroom management system, 2)
if there is teacher interest and perceived benefit from using a classroom management system, 3)
what features of classroom management systems are currently being used wi
th students and 4)
what barriers exist that keep teachers from using classroom management software or using it
effectively.

The research questions in this study are:



How are teachers using classroom management systems at DCHS?



What barriers exist that kee
p classroom management systems from being used and/or
used effectively?

Literature Review

The literature being examined looks at the importance of schools keeping up with
technology, the role technology should play in the classroom, barriers to technology
usage, and a
classroom management system which incorporates many new technology elements.

Importance of Schools Keeping Up With T
echnology

Use of Classroom Management Software


4


With new advancements in technology, schools

are under pressure to incorporate
t
echnology into classroom instruction

as demonstrated in the Georgia Class Keys Teacher
Assessment tool (2009)
.

In this assessment, teachers strive and work toward “Exemplary”
teaching practices.
A few of the

exemplary

standards

from Georgia Class Keys

in which
teachers are assessed related

to technology

are:



Engages student in active learning through exploration and hands
-
on learning through
projects, inquiry processes, and the use of technology.



Creatively uses available technology resources to support research
-
based practices that
motivat
e students to higher levels of learning.



Use technology tools and resources to access their knowledge, make comparisons,
classify, analyze and engaging in higher
-
order thinking skills.



Models and reinforces
higher order

thinking skills through the use of a
ccessible
technology tools and resources.


Billions of dollars have been spent to equip schools with the latest technology and
research on the effects of the different instructional technologies, and student achievement has
been slow and lacking (Cuban & H
urgadon, 2009).

Thomas Friedman, in The World is Flat
(20
05
), states that students don’t obtain a new skillset, they will not be able to compete in the
workforce and jobs will be outsourced. He also states that teachers
need to prepare

students for
jobs
that don’t even exist yet, and warns that educational reform is critical.

The Role Technology Should Play in the Classroom



Many questions still exist

regarding the role technology should play in the classroom

such as how much of a difference do computers, Internet, and online tools make; what types of
technology are the most effective; how much should be used and what strategies are most
Use of Classroom Management Software


5


effective; what types
of training are needed
;

and whether and to what exte
nt do teachers believe
technology is effective.
For these answers, r
esearch studies are reporting mixed conclusions
,
m
aking these issues more complex and administrative decisions difficult
.
The
Georgia
Department of Education (
GADOE
)

mandates technology
usage in schools

as part of curriculum
standards

as stated on its website:

W
e are pleased to announce the release of over 400 new GPS aligned
performance tasks showcasing the integration of the National Educational
Technology Standards for Students (NETS
-
S
) for K
-
8 mathematics
, social
studies, science, and E
nglish language arts that will assist teachers in providing
students with performance based tasks designed to improve their college and
career readiness and 21st century skills.


The website also states

that d
evelopment is underway to also provide these and other
digital resources aligned to
the
G
eorgia
P
rofessional
S
tandards (GPS)
,

the

C
ommon
C
ore
GPS,
and asse
ssment results through the Georgia’s Longitudinal Data S
ystem

(LDS)
.

Even though
technology i
s mandated, it is left to the

individual schools to decide how to implement that
technology.
David Thorburn (2004), in his research on technology integration and educational
change, found barriers, such as:


(a) lack of time;

(b) lack of access;

(c) lack
of resources;

(
d)
lack
of expertise;

(
e) lack of support as key factors for technology developme
nt in schools.
In a
study by Hew and Brush
(2006
), these barriers were echoed again, along with the fact that
teacher’s attitudes and perceptions can affect willingness to use technology in inventive ways.
In
the article

“Why do teachers not practice what they believe regarding technology i
nteg
ration?

,

Chao
-
Hsiu Chen (2008)

categorizes the reasons for inconsistency between teacher’s use of
Use of Classroom Management Software


6


technology as:

(
a) th
e influence of external factors;

(
b) teachers’ limited or imp
roper theoretical
understanding;

(
c) teachers’ other conflicting beliefs.

Barriers

to Technology Usage

In Rosen’s Rewired (2011)
, he dedicates
C
hapter

8

to

concerns, worries, and barriers of
technology use.
The author writes of t
wo educators’ with various views

in which
but both
encounter barriers to technology with conflicting
beliefs. One

teacher is concerned with students
not being able to use a card catalog because they only know how to research on the Internet

and
another

would love to “tap into the students’ love of social networks and set up some learning
options, but the

administrators, parents and even other teachers keep screaming that it is not
safe
.


Rosen acknowledges that the most serious threat is bullying, but directs the reader to a
comprehensive report by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force from Harvard Un
iversity

(2008)

t
hat states that other Internet t
hreats

are minimal
,

such as sexual solicitation of children.
Giving merit to
teachers


worry about Internet threats to students,
the report state
d

that
no single
technology c
ould totally keep students safe
even with site blockers.


In a dissertation by Cavucci (2009) and other articles, the barrier of lack of teacher
training and knowledge is a common issue. Cavucci
(2009)
states that through teacher
conversations, it was apparent that the instructors using

the labs were those who received
training in technology and education. The study showed that teachers would engage in
additional computer technology training if the opportunity was offered to them.
Rein
hart,
Thomas, and Toriskie (2010
) take it one step
further, stating that not only d
o teachers need
training, but the training

needs to be more specific to age and subject versus general use of
t
echnology. Hugh and Brush (2006
) state that not knowing basic compu
ter terminology and
language

contributes to the lack of technology usage and contribution of technology integration.
Use of Classroom Management Software


7


They stated that “teachers need to have a technology
-
supported
-
pedagogy knowledge and skills
base, which they can draw upon when planning to integrate technology into

their teaching.”

Another major barrier related to professional learning is time. Again, in
multiple studies
,

such as Hew and Brush (20
06
), state that an institutional limitation of time for professional
learning hampers teaching technology to teachers.
In small high schools, common planning is
hard to schedule, and teachers are not able to share technology knowledge as freely.

Hew and
Brush (2006)

stated

that
, “without access to adequate hardware and software, there is little
opportunity for teachers to

integrate technology into the curriculum.


Cavucci’s

(2009)

study
found that lack of computers in the school buildings was the largest barrier and that upda
ting
technology equip
ment should be a priority.”

Even though there are differences in which barri
er
is most difficult to get across, barriers to teacher’s use of technology in the classroom exist.

New Technologies and Classroom Management Systems

New Web tools are available to help teachers get beyond those barriers that exist.
Using
technology in the classroom for research, typing papers, and creating presentations has become
common practice, but
t
eachers

now

have the opportunity now to incorporate many types of
newer technologies

in the classroom, including advanced technologies, such as classroom
management software, Web 3.0 (interactive
-
type) programs, and programs that allow group
participa
tion (flexible grouping) online.

According to the SearchCIO website, a

c
lassroom
managem
ent system, also known as a course management system or learning management
system,
is defined as a way to
allow a teacher to
create and deliver content, monitor student
participation, and assess student performance. The classroom management system may al
so
provide students with the ability to use interactive features such as threaded discussions, video
conferencing, and discussion forums.

Use of Classroom Management Software


8


At this point in public education, few dispute that technology helps communication with
parents, effectiveness of plan
ning and grading, lesson preparation, etc.
C
lassroom

management
systems, such as Edmodo

(2012)
,

offer secure, cost
-
free social network options for students and
class management tools for teachers.


I
n late 2008, Nic

Borg and Jeff O'Hara,
creators of Ed
modo,
believed there was a

need to
evolve school environment
s

to reflect the connected world in which we live,

and

set
out to create
a tool that closed

the gap between how students live their lives and how they learn in school.


As it connects 7,800,000
students and teachers,
Edmodo promotes learning to take place
anytime and from anywhere with Internet access. According to the Edmodo website, the
software allows teachers to post messages, discuss classroom topics, assign and grade classwork,
share content and materials, and ne
twork and exchange ideas with peers.
The software design
allows
users to check grades, assignments, and to write posts to classmates, teachers and parents.
The web technology also allows teachers to post grades, materials, and assign homework to
students
. Students can then submit the assignments to a dropbox and view their grades for those
individual assignments. Teachers can create polls, quizzes, and post topics for discussion.
In an
attempt to prevent outsiders from joining school networks, Edmodo p
rovides special codes to
schools and
allows the teacher to give a class password to students in order for them to join a
particular class.

In a research study by Laura M. O’Dwyer (2005), University of Massachusetts, teacher
technology uses are examined, su
ch as:
(
a) teacher use of t
echnology for class preparation;

(
b)
teacher use of
email for professional purposes;

(
c) teacher
-
directe
d student use during class time;

(
d) teacher use of technology

for delivering instruction;

(
e) teacher
-
directed student use

of
technology to create products

such as Web pages, Web sites, Web
-
based publications, pictures,
Use of Classroom Management Software


9


artwork, graphs, charts, videos, or movies
. Research in th
ese

area
s

might bring to the forefront
specific types of professional development that is needed t
o introduce new technologies and how
they can be used most effectively.


In a study by Valerie Lopes (2008) on course management systems, several interesting
discoveries were made. Lopes concluded that participants in her study felt that only part of the

tools or features were used consistently. Those tools were access to course documents, the grade
book, and announcements. Items not used as much were email and discussion boards. Knowing
what items teachers and students use the most would help
administ
ration

with
future p
rofessional
development planning.

Learning more about classroom m
anage
ment s
ystems can help aid teachers in
incorporating many different types of technology into their classrooms and to help meet
expectations of “best practices” as it

relates to technology usage expectations. Teachers still
have the flexibility to choose what components to incorporate and use with students

to maximize
curriculum instruction
. Knowing what barriers may exist from other teachers may help with
constructi
on of future strategies for minimizing
, overcoming,

or eliminating future barriers.

Methodology

A mixed methods approach will be taken in order to examine current usage, barriers, and
interest
related to classroom management systems. The process will ini
tially involve
approximately 40 teacher participants who will be given a
n online

needs assessment survey to
determine knowledge and interest in classroom management systems.


Based on these survey
results, teachers showing interest will become the remainin
g participants for the duration of the
study and invited to attend a mini
-
workshop to learn about classroom management systems
including advanced features for current users. At the end of the semester, a

second

online

survey

Use of Classroom Management Software


10


and possible interviews

will b
e given to those participants to determine
if 1) teachers currently
use a classroom management system, 2) if there is teacher interest and perceived benefit from
using a classroom management system, 3) what features of classroom management systems are
curr
ently being used with students and 4) what barriers exist that keep teachers from using
classroom management software or using it effectively.

The purpose of the interviews will be
to further investigate issues that may emerge as the study progresses.

The study will use
descriptive statistics with qualitative results to add richness to the analysis of the research.

The online surveys and interviews will be secure from the public, but not anonymous.
Individual survey data and interview audio recordings a
nd data will be secure and not published
with participants’ identity. Interviews will be short, no more than 10 to 20 minutes and will be
audio recorded and transcribed.

All online survey results or audio recordings will remain on the primary investigat
ors
personal laptop that is password protected or on a secured virtual server to be accessed via
password by the principal investigator. Any data and/or results that are printed will be locked in
the office filing cabinet of the principal investigator at
Dade County High School.
Transcriptions will be completed by the principal investigator. No individual will be named as
having contributed any certain piece of information.

Data will be kept on the password protected personal laptop computer of the
principal
investigator

or in a locked filing cabinet in the office of the PI at Dade County High School.
Data and results from the study (digital and print copies) will be destroyed after a three year
period. All conversations will be kept confidential b
etween the principal investigator and
participants.


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Use of Classroom Management Software


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References

Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
. (2008
). E
nhancing child safety
and online technologies: Final report of the internet safety technical task force to the
multi
-
state working group on social networking of the state attorneys general of the
united states

(Research Report). Retrieved from
http://cyber.law.harv
ard.edu/sites/cyber.law.harvard.edu/files/ISTTF_Final_Report.pdf

Cavucci, L. J. (2009).
An analysis of barriers and possible solutions in integrating computer
technology into middle school curriculum: Findings from a mixed
-
method approach.

(Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database
.
Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305156994?accountid=15017

Georgia Department

of Education. (2009).
Georgia

Class Keys Teacher Assessment
. Retrieved
from
http://www.lauragoe.com/LauraGoe/GeorgiaKeys.pdf

Cuban, L. &

Hurgadon, S. (2006). Oversold and underused: Computers in the classroom?
Edtech
Live.
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http://www.edtechlive.com

Edmodo.

(2012). Edmodo features. Retrieved from https://www.edmodo.com

Friedma
n, T. L. (2005).
The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty
-
first century
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Georgia Department of Education. (2011). Nets
-
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-
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-
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Lopes
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Washington, DC: National Science
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Retrieved from:
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-
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