Employment Expectation: Urban High School Students Discuss the Possible Outcomes Associated with Learning Classroom Technology

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Today’s schools overwhelmingly welcome technological solutions, often without reservation, buying into the idea that technology offers solutions to problem areas. More specifically, technology is integrated as a solution to raise standardized test scores, the current measure of a schools’ academic performance (MacGillis, 2004). Under-resourced, urban-schools lack the financial ability and opportunities to acquire, and implement the latest technology (Bass & Rosenzweig, 2001). They incorporate affordable, but outdated technology into the curriculum because it is underprivileged schools that perceive any technology as an opportunity to improve - foster skills, academics, and most importantly, employment opportunities (Trend, 2001, Gooden & Silverman, 1996). This paper presents students’ perspective of classroom technology; a collection of urban high school student narratives that answered the following question: “Tell me how learning technology now will affect your future?” are addressed. The data for this paper was collected over an eight-month period of time at an north-eastern urban high school; Twenty-two students and nine school faculty were interviewed regarding how learning technology in high school effects a students’ future. In addition to student and faculty interviews, student focus groups were conducted along with field notes and classroom observation, which were also collected and analyzed.


Keywords: Employment Expectation, Urban High School Students, Learning Classroom Technology
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Employment Expectations


Dr. Ramona R. Santa Maria

Instructor, Department of Computer Information Syatems, Buffalo State College (State University of NY College at Buffalo)
Buffalo, NY, USA

Before coming to Buffalo State in 1999, Ramona SantaMaria worked at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. She holds a master's degree in educational computing from Buffalo State and is working on a PhD, concentrating in the area of Critical and Cultural Studies of Information Technology, within the discipline Sociology of Education at the University at Buffalo. Her dissertation topic looks at how high school students who attend under-resourced schools narrate their experiences with and observations of computer technology after intensive exposure in a computer classroom. Her other research interests surround the cultural influences that young women face when acquiring technology skills in school, as well as the limits and possibilities that Web 2.0 technology bring to the K-16 classroom. SantaMaria has won several awards for excellence in teaching, presents research regionally and nationally; she is a New York State certified teacher in the areas of Business Education and as a School to Work Coordinator.

Ref: T08P0331