Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Since the introduction of Internet technology in public schools, teachers who are enthusiastic about computer and Internet training have responded to school districts’ offers of off-site training and take part in grant-based programs to promote the use of technology. The first phase of promotion by attraction has been completed. The remaining teachers are not as enthusiastic and look to the school district to provide them with the type of training they require in order to incorporate Internet technology. Access to the Internet is just one of many elements involved in the overall problems that public high school teachers face using Internet technology in the classroom. Differences in the definition of access between teachers, schools, and districts, as well as teachers’ perception of students, of school district support, and of self-ability can create barriers to actual use even with Internet access. Using the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) theory to guide this qualitative research, forty-six interviews allow the perceptions of English teachers to be categorized under a descriptive framework that permits the identification of three different groups of Internet users, or relevant social groups: Refusers, Trained Non-users, and Internet Users. Several key findings emerge from this study: (1) Virtually all teachers feel it is the school districts’ responsibility to teach them to use Internet and computer technology; (2) Teachers do not consider it appropriate to bother on-campus support staff with questions about implementing the Internet into classroom activities; (3) The presence of a printer in the classroom provides an important link to Internet use; (4) Teachers who report frequent use in the classroom are less impressed with the Internet as a research tool than teachers who have received training, but do not use the Internet; and (5) More experienced teachers are not as apt to claim expertise even though their use of the Internet would indicate this to be so, a fact that implies probable underreporting of expertise on previous surveys.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wesley M. Shrum, Jr.



Included in

Sociology Commons