The relationship between technology skills performance and academic achievement among 8th grade students: a canonical analysis
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The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that academic achievement is correlated to technology performance skills of 8th grade students. The study took place in a rural school district in South Texas and was delimited to 8th graders. The study was correlational in nature. Constructivist learning theory guided the inquiry. There were six technology skills scale scores, namely, 1) creativity and innovation, 2) communication and collaboration, 3) research and information fluency, 4) critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making, 5) digital citizenship, and 6) technology operations and concepts. Academic achievement was measured by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), using scores from the reading (3), mathematics (5), science (4), and social studies (4) components. On the basis of availability of the data, the number of subjects varied. There were 259, 305, 290, and 306 8th graders who were included in the mathematics, reading, science, and social studies samples, respectively. Univariate and multivariate statistical techniques were used to analyze the data. In examining the bivariate associations between technology skills and each STAAR tested subject, all correlation coefficients were statistically significant at the .01 level. At the multivariate level, technology skill 6 was correlated with two mathematics, two science, one social studies, and one reading scores; technology skill 3 was correlated with two science, one social studies, and one reading scores; and technology skill 4 correlated with two mathematics scores. Canonical analysis of the data showed that academic achievement in all tested areas was a better predictor of technology skills than vice versa. There are a large number of teachers who integrate technology into their classrooms through a constructivist approach. Academic achievement tests, which are predominantly multiple-choice and measure the core, may not be suitable for assessing 21st century skills. Thus, appropriate assessments which focus on such skills for college and career readiness must be developed and implemented.
A dissertation Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.