Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Susan Kim MacGregor


This qualitative multiple case study explored factors which contribute to the implementation of technology in elementary schools. This research had a phenomenological focus because there was a concentration on the structure and essence of the experiences of the teachers and leaders in the phenomenon, the implementation of technology in the school. The four schools chosen for the study were judged to have outstanding technology implementation by state technology leaders and a researcher screening process. They were selected because the researcher determined that these cases were the ones from which the most could be learned. These particular schools had ample technology resources and the teachers demonstrated pedagogical expertise in the selection and integration of appropriate technology in the instructional process. Data were collected through descriptive observations, open-ended interviews, a teacher questionnaire and the examination of documents and artifacts. Findings from the data analysis revealed the importance of several factors which contributed to school-wide implementation of technology. These included a community of leadership, in-school programs of professional development, a comprehensive school-based technology plan, and positive teacher attitudes toward the appropriate use of technology. A community of leadership within the school was found to be the cornerstone of successful implementation. Strong administrative support for the acquisition of resources and encouragement of teacher experimentation was present. Additional support was provided by teacher-leaders and/or technology specialists who mentored their colleagues. Strong professional development programs conducted at the schools using equipment and software available to the teachers was found to be a more effective approach to teacher training. Teacher participation in the establishment of goals for the sessions and the clear application of the newly learned knowledge to help them meet curricular goals was evident. All of the schools had detailed technology plans that provided clear goals and time lines for achieving them. Included among the goals were short and long term objectives for the purchase of hardware and software, guidelines for on-going professional development, and the involvement of parents, the community, and business partners. The implications of these factors are discussed in the context of the implementation of technology in elementary schools.