Problems and Solutions Associated with Integrating Telecommunications Into Public Schools as Identified by Telecommunications Experts : A Delphi Approach

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education, Curriculum and Intruction

Major Advisor

Carolyn Thorsen


Constance Pollard


J. Pat Bieter


The two-fold purpose of this study was to identify and prioritize problems classroom teachers face as they integrate telecommunications technology into the curricula/classroom, and to identify and prioritize the most effective solutions available to meet those problems. A two-part Delphi study consisting of three rounds for each part was used to achieve consensus among 30 educators; these educators had an average teaching career of 18.7 years and were identified by state technology leaders as teachers who were telecommunications experts. Except for a single postal letter from one participant, all communications occurred via electronic mail; 100% participation was achieved in each of the six rounds of this study.

Problems identified fell into four categories; in order of importance, these categories were Time, Training and Technical Support, Access to Hardware/Software and Connectivity, and Pedagogy.

The study identified 11 significant problems; the most significant problem for each category was:

  • Time- Lack of time required for teachers to learn the new technologies.
  • Training- Lack of appropriate and ongoing training for teachers.
  • Access- Lack of funds/money to appropriately upgrade hardware/software on a timely basis.
  • Pedagogy- Lack of teacher knowledge of classroom management techniques appropriate to the new technologies.

This study also identified 47 significant solutions. Setting up an appropriate and ongoing budget was the most significant solution identified for various problems. Explicit district support for telecommunications, thereby creating an environment that provides the freedom for teachers to move from textbook driven curriculum towards project and constructivist curriculum, was another significant solution; this was coupled with the need for understanding that mistakes will be made and teachers must be supported throughout the process. Educating administrators, school boards, community leaders, and legislators to appreciate the importance of telecommunications in the educational process was a systemic solution to inadequate budgets, narrow pedagogy, and resistance to change.

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