Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1997


The purpose of this study was to examine the variables that are apparently affecting the incorporation of computer technology in Northeast Tennessee rural K-12 public schools. Therefore, the present study investigated the relationship between the independent variables--gender, age, and prior experience, and the dependent variables--knowledge about, attitude toward, and use of computer technology among Northeast Tennessee teachers and principals. This study utilized a survey methodology seeking responses from teachers and administrators in Sullivan, Hawkins, Johnson, Washington, Carter, and Unicoi counties. The findings were based on the return of 208 completed surveys which represented a 52% return rate. Based on the findings of the study the following conclusions were reached: First, the overall level of access to computer hardware and software in individual schools is not adequate if computer technology is to become part of the students' learning. Second, schools are providing little or no teacher training in using computer technology for lesson planning, delivery of instruction, research, or to promote hands-on student learning. Third, teachers and administrators believe that computer technology would be extremely helpful in their work now, and in the near future (5 years from now). Fourth, teachers and administrators believe that computer technology will be almost indispensable in the schools of the near future. Fifth, male and female educators report similar attitudes toward, knowledge about, and use of computer technology. Sixth, educators of different ages report similar attitudes toward and use of computer technology. Educators of different ages, however, do not report similar knowledge of computer technology. Seventh, teachers and principals with different levels of prior education experiences report similar attitudes toward, knowledge about, and use of computer technology. Eighth, in planning future training computer training programs, it is probably not necessary to differentiate groups according to personal attributes such as gender, age, and prior experience. Ninth, the potential for the instructional use of computer technology has not yet been realized. The following recommendations were suggested: (1) there should be enough computer technology for teachers and principals to have unrestricted access, (2) there should be sufficient and adequate computer technology training for teachers and principals offered at the local level, (3) there should be adequate support and time for teachers and principals to learn how to use technology and plan for its use in the school setting, (4) this study should be expanded and replicated to include a larger sample size of educators from all across the state of Tennessee, (5) the relationship between age and knowledge of computer technology should be further investigated, (6) teachers and principals who are proficient in computer technology should serve as role models and peer tutors for those who want to learn how to use computer technology, and (7) district and building administrators should provide computer technology training and planning during the school day.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted