Background and Objectives: Integrating technology in the classroom is one of the essential competencies of teachers in the age of information and communication technology. Achieving new learning standards and meeting the learners’ needs in the present century depends on this competence. One of the most important issues and challenges in this field is the low knowledge, skills and attitudes of teachers in achieving the desired level of technology integration in the classroom. This prevents the use of technological capabilities in order to increase the quality of the teaching-learning process and also to meet the needs of the global community. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the methods and strategies for empowering teachers in this field and improving their level of technology integration in the classroom. Accordingly, the present study aimed to investigate the impact of the learning community as a learning strategy on improving the competence of high school teachers in integrating technology in their classroom.
Methods: The research method was mixed with an explanatory plan. In the quantitative part, the quasi-experimental method and the use of pre-test/ post-test with experimental and control groups, and in the qualitative part, the content analysis method were used. In conducting the research, knowledge and skills related to technology integration were discussed and shared in the classroom in the experimental group through the learning community, and the control group received the knowledge and skills related to technology integration separately. The statistical population of the study included all male teachers working in the first secondary school of District 2 of Kermanshah in the academic year of 1997-98, accounting for 310, of whom 30 teachers were selected from the statistical population via random sampling procedures and 15 via random placement in the experimental group and 15 others were included in the control group. In the qualitative section, all 15 teachers in the experimental group were considered as participants. The data collection tool was a semi-structured interview in the qualitative part and a researcher-made questionnaire in the quantitative part, compiled of 50 items. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by experts and its reliability was 0.97 using Cronbach's alpha. In the research, Momeni Rad’s (2020) learning community design model was used. Data analysis was performed using analysis of covariance using SPSS software and open coding was performed using MAXQDA software.
Findings: The results showed that teachers' learning community had a positive effect on their integrated technology knowledge (p= 0.002 <0.01 and F= 3.465), teachers' attitude towards technology integration (p = 0.0166 and F = 6.698) and also, the application of technology in the classroom by teachers (p=0.012 <0.05 and F=7.358) leading to increased teachers' knowledge, attitude, and skills in integrating technology in the classroom. Also, the analysis of qualitative data through open coding led to the extraction of six main categories, including search, support, self-assessment, cognition development, daring to learn, and synergy identified as an influential factor in the learning community on the integration of technology from teachers` view.
Conclusion: The learning community can be a supportive and effective factor in increasing the knowledge, attitude, and skills of teachers' technology integration in the classroom. Therefore, by forming and supporting teacher learning communities, the growth and development of teachers' professional competencies is increased in technology integration in the curriculum.
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