College of Natural and Health Sciences; Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Dietetics Sport and Exercise Science: Physical Education and Physical Activity Leadership
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
The purpose of this study was to understand the current practice of technology use for physical activity promotion in K-12 schools in the United States by conducting two studies. Using a quantitative research design, study one aimed to identify the current practice of technology use in school-based physical activity promotion. Study two investigated what attributes contribute to the use of technology in schools for physical activity facilitation and promotion. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods study design was used for study two, and Rogers’ (2003) diffusion of innovations theory served this study as a theoretical framework. A total of 367 registered Active Schools Champions completed the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program Technology Practice Questionnaire (CSPAP-TPQ) and the Diffusion of Innovations Questionnaire for studies one and two, respectively. Semi-structured interviews were additionally conducted with ten purposefully selected participants for study two. For study one, the data were analyzed using several statistical analyses, including descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation analysis with χ2 test, and multiple regression. For study two, quantitative data (i.e., survey data) were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis, while qualitative data (i.e., results from semi-structured interviews) were analyzed inductively using open and axial coding. The results of study one showed that various technologies are currently used in schoolbased physical activity, and physical education is the timeslot where technology is most used by school staff for physical activity facilitation and promotion in K-12 schools. Among various personal characteristics, race and certified/licensed teacher status were significant predictors of technology use among various school staff for physical activity promotion in schools, while school characteristics did not predict the school use of technology for school-based physical activity promotion. Study two found that school staff are more likely to use technology when they see the ease and simplicity of new technology and after testing out new technology before committing to using it. Furthermore, personal experiences with technology greatly affect their perceptions of using technology in school-based physical activity facilitation and promotion. However, there are multiple barriers to using technology in school-based physical activity, and school staff, especially physical education teachers, believe that the barriers occur due to the marginalization of physical education in school communities. Although school staff see the benefits of technology use for school-based physical activity promotion in general, they also see some risk factors and concerns. This dissertation generated findings that could contribute to the field of physical education teacher education (PETE) and public health in multiple ways. The generated data on the current practice of technology use in school-based physical activity facilitation and promotion can be used by schools, school districts, professional organizations for teachers (e.g., Society of Health and Physical Educators [SHAPE] America), and government agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Education) to enhance resources, equipment, and facilities for the use of technology in schools. Furthermore, this dissertation fills an existing knowledge gap by investigating and determining what characteristics of schools and their staff predict the use of technology for school-based physical activity promotion and what attributes and experiences contribute to the same. This information can be used to inform professional development efforts and better support student physical activity in school communities. PETE and public health researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers will be able to use the results of this dissertation to better understand technology use in school-based physical activity promotion.
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