Integrating computer technology with teaching and learning in a small rural school

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Backhouse, Bruce H.
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This study describes the process and experience of designing a new school, both figuratively and literally that established integrated applications of technology as a focus. The study began in a small rural school constructed in 1930 and evolved to a newly constructed school built in 1996 designed to facilitate the integration of technology for students, staff, community and business stakeholders. Although much has been written about the potential of computers to enhance teaching and learning the educational community has experienced little significant change relative to integrating computers with learning. The study offers descriptions of experience related to initiatives that created change in our school. This thesis is organised in themes that emerged throughout the study as significant in creating change within our school. The themes include: (1) Creating staff appreciation of technology; (2) Writing grants; (3) Professional development; (4) Developing community and corporate support; (5) Computer use in classrooms: Software applications and Technology continuum. These stories and the conclusions outlined from the experience serve as one model for other educators and communities to draw upon in creating an appreciation and acceptance of technology. The fact that this occurred without access to traditional resources provides inspiration to others who refuse to accept "no" as an answer.