Overview and Background

My current research interests include technology integration, teacher technology preparation, teacher technology use, and virtual learning environments. My goals are to continue to help pre-service and in-service teachers meaningfully integrate technology, help to develop technology leaders, and to both explore and design different virtual learning environments that can be supportive in educational endeavors. The common thread through all of these interests and goals is technology integration.
To address these interests and work towards these goals I have sought out as many research, publication, presentation, and project opportunities as possible. As a graduate student I was involved with a national study of teacher technology preparation and use and served as an evaluation team member for two programs within the state of Indiana. The first involved visiting elementary schools to examine their implementations of, reactions to, and efforts to sustain the Reading First Program. The second evaluation project was an examination of how Indiana schools had utilized their federal Enhancing Education though Technology (EETT) funds, what lessons they had learned, and how they would be building from the initiatives they had undertaken. My dissertation research study examined the differences in technology experiences and requirements placed on traditional and alternatively certified pre-service teachers.

As a new faculty member I wanted to build from these experiences and continue in this vein of research. When given the opportunity to develop a competitive grant proposal at East Carolina University, I developed a three year study exploring teacher technology use and preparation within North Carolina. By narrowing the focus that had begun with the national study, I’m able to provide more generalizable findings at the state level. This narrower scope has also allowed for me to consider the perspectives of the school administrators who are making the hiring decisions for the same teachers and examine the specific teacher education programs that train the majority of teachers within the same scope.

I also strive to maintain contact with teachers in the field through practitioner focused outlets. This has taken the form of presenting at practitioner conferences and developing manuscripts with responses to practitioner concerns. These venues give me the opportunity to quickly respond to trends that I have observed during my observations and interviews with teachers. While some may ultimately be developed into research studies, they serve well in the meantime to assist current practitioners through more readily accessible channels than our field’s prestigious journals might be for them.

How my Research and Creative Projects Fit Together
Graphical example of how my reasearch and creative projects relate to each other.