Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Ardeth Deay.


The "digital natives" that are sitting in today's classrooms live their lives surrounded by technology. "The current crop of learners differs in significant ways from previous generations because, unlike their predecessors, they have literally grown up 'digital'" (Simpson & Clem, 2008, p. 2). Teachers and administrators often struggle to keep up with the technological world that students are used to. This mixed-methods study included West Virginia teachers and administrators from two middle schools. Teachers and administrators at the two schools were given surveys that addressed the following: frequency of technology use for personal and professional use, confidence level with various technology programs/tools, perceived engagement of students when technology is used by either the teacher or the students, technology professional development attended, and other technology learning experiences that has helped them learn the available technologies. Following the surveys, all teacher and administrator participants were asked to voluntarily participate in a follow up interview regarding their perceived technology skills, available technologies in their school/classroom, ideas on past and future educational technology staff development, and perceived student engagement and learning with the use of technology.;The purpose of this study was to determine how middle school teachers and administrators perceive how students are engaged when technology is used in their classrooms. Additionally, teachers' perceptions of their own technology skills were studied to see if there was a relationship between their perceived technology skills and their attitude toward its effectiveness to engage middle school students. Teachers and administrators learning experiences regarding technology were also addressed including how they learned to use available technologies, through professional development, university courses, or personal informal training.;The study showed that the vast majority of teachers and all administrators at both schools feel that students are more engaged when technology is used in the classroom. Although a few participants addressed concerns with technology use leading to distraction or lack of content retention was addressed, overall most still believed technology was engaging and had a positive impact on instruction. The study also showed that both schools had an equal range of what was deemed for this study to be "tech confidence," showing their confidence in technology use for personal and professional use. A relationship between "tech confidence" and perceived student engagement could not be seen within the study. Lastly, age, availability of usable and current technology, and choice were given as barriers to confidence in technology use by teachers in the classroom. Age and choice were also facilitators to confidence in using technology.