Gherardi_Stacy.pdf (3.84 MB)
Unfinished Bridges over the Digital Divide: A Case Study in Technology and Inclusive Education
thesisposted on 2016-07-01, 00:00 authored by Stacy A. Gherardi
While advocates for the increased presence of educational technology in schools cite the possibility that technology holds for transforming traditional modes of instruction, assessment, and interaction in schools, there is little research into how such a transformation could impact traditionally marginalized student groups. The ways in which the infusion of technology into schools interacts with attitudes toward Inclusive Education in those settings has not been explored, despite the tendency to promote technology as a means of promoting access to quality educational opportunities for all students. Utilizing survey, interview, and documentary data, this case study sought to understand how a 1:1 laptop program and its resulting environmental changes influenced teacher sensemaking around Inclusive Education in a predominantly Latino, predominantly low-income school district. Additionally, it explored personal and organizational factors which could account for the observed relationship between technology and Inclusive Education. Survey and interview data suggested that pervasive technology appeared to have a positive relationship with redistributive efforts via the improvement of student engagement, student access, and differentiation. However, broader movement toward Inclusive Education as evidenced by increased recognition and representation in response to student and community diversity was not evident. Findings indicated the need for ¬¬new, sociologically-based theories to explore the potential impact of educational technologies.
DepartmentEducational Policy Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Committee MemberMayrowetz, David Sheridan, Kathleen Waitoller, Federico McKay, Cassandra