Changing the educational system through the introduction of technology in schools

Patricia Pisano Cyganovich, Fordham University


As the new millennium approaches, work in what is now considered the Information Age is and will continue to be rooted in the use of telecommunications and technology. Schools, modeled traditionally in the Industrial Age model, must engage in fundamental and systematic change in order to prepare students for the demands of the Information Age. The introduction of technology in school is a force that can serve as a catalyst for this change. Its introduction in teaching and learning is essential to the successful preparation of children. The purpose of this study was to add to the understanding of the change process necessary for the successful management of a change initiative by focusing on one district's attempt to change its educational system through the introduction of technology into its secondary school. Within the context of change theory, this study sought to identify driving and restraining forces and their effect on the initiative and implementation stages of a technology based change process. A qualitative case study was used as the research design; interviewing, observation, and document review were utilized for data collection and to triangulate the findings of the research. Based on the findings of this study, it was concluded that (a) provision of technology directly to teachers serves as a driving and restraining force in the initiation stage, (b) provision of and perception about support for learning for teachers serves as a driving and restraining force in the initiation stage, (c) interventions that personally affect participants serve as a driving force during the implementation stage, and (d) failure to provide support for learning services act as a restraining force in the implementation stage. Implications for practice included the importance of creating a shared meaning of the change, developing structure for sharing power, providing teachers with direct access to technology including the Internet to maximize the personal effect of technology, addressing the concerns of participants, developing varying and long-range staff development programs prior to requiring technology use, creating opportunities for collegial support, planning for the required financial support, and preparing for subsequent changes resulting from the introduction of technology. Quantitative research as well as further research on technology-based change and the institutionalization stage, its effects on teachers, students, and administrators, its relationship to teacher leadership, and its effect in an elementary school were also recommended.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Educational software|School administration

Recommended Citation

Cyganovich, Patricia Pisano, "Changing the educational system through the introduction of technology in schools" (1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9938901.