Surveying and implementing instructional technology in modern Orthodox Yeshiva high schools
Greene, Avi B.
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This study examines the use of educational technology in Modern Orthodox Yeshiva high schools. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Quantitative analyses were conducted for the results gleaned from information that schools provided regarding student use of technology. Case studies were then created, using /qualitative methodologies, depicting three schools as they implemented technology development. Three schools were selected that fit the following criteria: Modern Orthodox Yeshiva high schools in North America featuring college preparatory courses, with the ratio of general studies instructional time to that of Judaic studies that was less than 40% of the total curriculum. Research questions included: 1) What student-engaged educational technology provided by the school is used to enhance the school curriculum in Modern Orthodox Yeshiva high schools? 2) What best practices make Modern Orthodox Yeshiva high schools progress more rapidly on the spectrum from "early tech" to "developing tech" to "target tech"?;Findings indicated that schools varied in regards to the variety of hardware and software products used. Factors that positively affected the pace of technological development on the spectrum from "early tech" to "developing tech" to "advanced tech" to "target tech" included the following: 1) As schools develop technologically there is a common pattern found in the technological progression from "early tech" to "target tech;" 2) Schools that have a technology plan and follow it develop technologically faster than those which do not; 3) Staff at the most technologically advanced schools described their administrators as being the driving force behind the push toward more advanced technology for students and teachers; 4) The developmental process is also affected by the decision making process used for the purchase of hardware and software. Schools in which technologists were trusted to make technical decisions by the staff and administration advanced more quickly than those decisions made by committee. 5) Schools invested in hardware that was familiar to teachers and ignored software that develops critical thinking skills; 6) Schools with continuity of staff and administration progressed more quickly from "early tech" to "advanced tech;" 7) Many schools began the transition to "developing tech" stage by training smaller, more technologically savvy groups; and 8) The most effective professional development for teachers and students was found to be the model of guided instruction followed by discovery learning. Future Studies may focus on the makeup of Technology committees and the role of technology in changing classroom practices.
- Theses and Dissertations