INTENTIONAL IMPLEMENTATION: A SELF-STUDY EXAMINING AND EVALUATING INSTRUCTIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL TOOLS TO FOSTER ACADEMIC WRITING IN THE ENGLISH SECONDARY CLASSROOM
Alcoser, Michelle Elaine
McCaleb, Joseph L
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This self-study examines the planning, practices, policies, and procedures present in a blended learning classroom environment to develop academic writing with tenth and eleventh grade public high school students. Digital technology is a prevalent and powerful force intertwined with most aspects of the human experience in the twenty-first century. As school systems, educators, and teacher educators try to respond to and within this rapidly evolving climate, they are confronted with challenges on many fronts, including infrastructure, professional development, teaching practice, policy, and further compounded by fiscal limitations. This effort is additionally challenged by a high-stakes testing climate in which state exam scores are used to evaluate the performance of the student, teacher, school, district, and state levels. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is the frame predominantly used in academic literature to articulate, explore, and understand the aspects in play in the 21st-century classroom. Two practices implemented with digital tools to support academic writing development, discussion boards and digital document submissions/revisions were studied. Digital document submission/revision was found to have a positive relationship with fostering improved attitudes towards revision and about students’ own writing efficacy. This practice was most successful when classroom policies were modified to account for the shift in the nature of the task and its role in student learning. This self-study suggests a fourth dimension of knowledge is necessary to understand and implement digital technology in the classroom. Organizational knowledge (OK) includes: classroom policies, the arrangement of physical and virtual spaces, and classroom management in physical and virtual spaces. Technological Organizational Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TOPACK) would integrate OK into the framework, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of what teachers need to know when implementing instructional technology in their classrooms. While some have included classroom management under the pedagogical knowledge branch of TPACK, I suggest that this fails to acknowledge the larger OK needed beyond the knowledge of how best to teach and is a limited perception of the purpose of classroom management. Navigating institutional and procedural considerations also impact classroom operations. Additional research is needed in the area of OK and how its components are impacted by the inclusion of digital technologies in the 21st-century classroom and to confirm the findings.