Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘international school’

How is e-Learning Improving Secondary Schools in Kenya?

Mildred A. Ayere, F. Y. Odera and J. O. Agak (2010) E-learning in secondary Schools in Kenya: A Case of the NEPAD E-schools, Educational Research and Reviews Vol. 5 (5), pp. 218-223, May, 2010

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) schools were set up as centres of excellence in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) integration, so that other schools could copy their model in e-learning. It was for this reason that they were provided with computers, e-materials, internet appliances and trained personnel. But to gauge their levels of success as e-learning centres there was need to compare them to other schools offering ICT education in Kenya. It was for this reason that this study compared the application of the e-learning in NEPAD and non-NEPAD schools in Kenya. Specifically, the study: Identified significant differences in levels of integration of ICT in curriculum subjects; surveyed the differences in use of e-materials in education research; examined availability of e-libraries; identified significant differences in academic performance of NEPAD and non-NEPAD schools attributed to e-learning. Based on these findings, it was recommended that schools involved in ICT education should intensify teacher facilitation and support teacher roles that are required in e-learning.

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What does a Curriculum 2.0 look like for Library/ Information Education?

David Bawden, Lyn Robinson, Theresa Anderson, Jessica Bates, Ugne Rutkauskiene, Polona Vilar (2007) Towards curriculum 2.0: Library/information education for a Web 2.0 world, Library and Information Research Vol 31 No 99 2007

This paper reports an international comparison of changes in library/information curricula, in response to the changing information environment in which graduates of such courses will work. It is based on a thematic analysis of five case-studies from Australia, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Specifically, it describes responses to an increasing proportion of e-content and the impact of the communication and social networking features of Web 2.0, and Library 2.0. It examines both changes in curriculum content, and in methods of teaching and learning. The latter involves pedagogy adapting and changing in the same way as the professional environment, with a greater emphasis on e-learning, and use of Web 2.0 tools. Students therefore learn about the issues by making use of these tools and systems in their studies. Specific issues arising from these case studies include: the best mode of introduction of Web 2.0 facilities, both as topics in the curriculum and as tools for teaching and learning; the set of topics to be covered; the relation between conventional e-learning and Web 2.0, problems and difficulties arising. Examples of particular courses and course units are given.

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Do experienced middle-aged teachers integrate more ICT into their teaching than younger teachers with a more positive attitude toward computers?

Hung, Y.,  and  Hsu, Y., (2007) Examining Teachers’ CBT Use in the Classroom: A Study in Secondary schools in Taiwan, Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 10 Number 3 2007

The purpose of this study was to analyze the current status of computer-based technology (CBT) use in secondary schools in Taiwan. A questionnaire was developed to investigate teachers’ attitudes toward computers and their application of CBT in instruction. We randomly sampled 100 secondary school science teachers and found that in general they did use CBT for accessing the internet and other teaching-related work. The surveyed teachers had a very positive attitude toward computers, yet we found their attitude was significantly correlated with their age and seniority. The older and more senior teachers generally held a less positive attitude toward computers. As for the application of computer-based technology in classroom instruction, most teachers claimed at least a moderate degree of implementation of CBT in the classroom. In gender difference, male teachers in general used more CBT in their instructional strategies than did female teachers. As far as age was concerned, middle-aged and more experienced teachers tended to integrate more CBT into their instruction than younger and novice teachers, even though the latter group held a more positive attitude toward computers. In correlation analysis we discovered that with male but not with female teachers, there was a direct correlation between degree of positive attitude toward computers and degree of application of CBT in classroom instruction.

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Why should we see technology as neither a neutral tool nor a determined outcome but a scene of struggle between social forces?

Warschauer, M. (2007). The paradoxical future of digital learning. Learning Inquiry1(1), 41-49.

What constitutes learning in the 21st century will be contested terrain as our society strives toward post-industrial forms of knowledge acquisition and production without having yet overcome the educational contradictions and failings of the industrial age. Educational reformers suggest that the advent of new technologies will radically transform what people learn, how they learn, and where they learn, yet studies of diverse learners use of new media cast doubt on the speed and extent of change. Drawing on recent empirical and theoretical work, this essay critically examines beliefs about the nature of digital learning and points to the role of social, culture, and economic factors in shaping and constraining educational transformation in the digital era.

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Is there any point in trying to integrate technology in our antiquated school system?

Albirini, A. (2007). The Crisis of Educational Technology, and the Prospect of Reinventing Education. Educational Technology & Society10(1), 227-236.

With the fading monopoly of the industrial mode of production and the emergence of the “information revolution, ” modern technology has pervaded almost every aspect of human life. In education, however, information technology has yet to find a place, despite the unceasing attempts to “fit ” it into the existing educational system. The paper argues that the industrial mode of production was successful in inventing “education ” as a new paradigm, institutionalizing it in schools, and implementing it through a number of tools, such as “certified ” teachers, curricula, and textbooks. By contrast, the information mode of production has created the tools, namely “educational technology, ” before developing a corresponding paradigm or institution. This crisis of educational technology is therefore a corollary of its misplacement, and subsequent malfunction, in the still-in-use industrial paradigm and institution (education and school). The paper suggests that, in order to ensure a proper functionality of modern technology, we need to resolve this theoretical inadequacy. A possible solution would be to thoroughly restructure “education ” and schools, as remnants of the industrial age, into a new paradigm and institution.

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How do university students spend their time on Facebook?

Aghazamani, A. (2010). How Do University Students Spend Their Time On Facebook ? An Exploratory Study. Journal of American Science6(12), 730-735.

Despite major productive uses of Internet technology in today’s digital world, users prefer to spend much more time on social networking sites (SNSs) like Facebook. The objective of this study is to determine student motives for using Facebook. A close-ended questionnaire was administered to 595 University students who were recognized as users of the site at Karlstad University in Sweden. Male users spend more time on the site than female users during both weekdays (p-value=0.9238) and weekends (p-value=0.9953). The survey showed that undergraduate students login more times per day than graduate students (p-value=0.2138). In addition, friendship was named the most favorite activity among male users (p-value=0.8883) and also among undergraduate students comparing with graduate students (p-value=0.2045). If users were asked to pay a membership fee to use the site, the results showed that male users (p-value=0.9991) and undergraduate students (p-value=0.9884) were more likely to pay the charge than other groups (females and graduate students). It is apparent that using Facebook can be seen as an  important  part of daily life among University students and its phenomenon spread out inevitably.

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Why do students (not) blog?

Andergassen, M., Behringer, R., Finlay, J., & Gorra, A. (2009). Weblogs in Higher Education – why do Students ( not ) Blog ? Higher Education7(3), 203-214.

Positive impacts on learning through blogging, such as active knowledge construction and reflective writing, have been reported. However, not many students use weblogs in informal contexts, even when appropriate facilities are offered by their universities. While motivations for blogging have been subject to empirical studies, little research has addressed the issue of why students choose not to blog. This paper presents an empirical study undertaken to gain insights into the decision making process of students when deciding whether to keep a blog or not. A better understanding of students’ motivations for (not) blogging may help decision makers at universities in the process of selecting, introducing, and maintaining similar services. As informal learning gains increased recognition, results of this study can help to advance appropriate designs of informal learning contexts in Higher Education. The method of ethnographic decision tree modelling was applied in an empirical study conducted at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Since 2004, the university has been offering free weblog accounts for all students and staff members upon entering school, not bound to any course or exam. Qualitative, open interviews were held with 3 active bloggers, 3 former bloggers, and 3 non-bloggers to elicit their decision criteria. Decision tree models were developed out of the interviews. It turned out that the modelling worked best when splitting the decision process into two parts: one model representing decisions on whether to start a weblog at all, and a second model representing criteria on whether to continue with a weblog once it was set up. The models were tested for their validity through questionnaires developed out of the decision tree models. 30 questionnaires have been distributed to bloggers, former bloggers and non-bloggers. Results show that the main reasons for students not to keep a weblog include a preference for direct (online) communication, and concerns about the loss of privacy through blogging. Furthermore, the results indicate that intrinsic motivation factors keep students blogging, whereas stopping a weblog is mostly attributable to external factors.

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Why do TELE need effective assessments to be viable pedagogic reengineering options?

Andrade, D., & Ferreira, S. (2011). Models and instruments for assessing Technology Enhanced Learning Environments in higher education. Quality,24(April), 1-10. eLearning Papers

Technology Enhanced Learning Environments (TELE) are seen as a fundamental support in teaching reengineering, and may support a more effective approach to constructive educational philosophies. The evaluation of TELE, as a means of certifying its quality, is giving rise to several initiatives and European experiences. However, the mechanisms for defining quality parameters vary according to different contexts. If assessment aims to function as a management tool, it should seek specific criteria and indicators that would allow it to respond to questions of well-defined contexts. In this study, which stems from a literature review, we present basic guidelines for TELE continuous assessment (as a management tool). Throughout this article the importance of ongoing, in-context evaluation is emphasized. Models, methods and tools to collect data that permit institutions to develop a properly contextualized assessment process are presented.

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Can blogs help ESL students develop their language skills?

De Almeida Soares, D. (2008). Understanding class blogs as a tool for language development. Language Teaching Research12(4), 517-533

Web 2.0 has allowed for the development of cyber spaces where any computer user can create their own public pages to share knowledge, feelings and thoughts inviting linguistic interactions with people around the globe. This innovation has caught the attention of language practitioners who wish to experiment with blogging to enhance the teaching and learning experience. In 2007 I set up a class blog with my nine pre-intermediate EFL students in a language school in Brazil. This experience gave rise to two central questions: a) did my students see our blog as a learning tool? and b) what was blogging like in other language teaching contexts? To answer the first question I carried out some Exploratory Practice for three months. As for the second question, I designed an online survey which was answered by 16 members of a community of practice called the Webheads. Ultimately I learned that my students saw our blog as a learning tool and that blogs are being used in different ways around the world. This article presents the rationale behind using blogs in language classes, describes my research process and discusses the understanding my students and I have gained from exploring our own practices.

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Is there evidence that using an IT curriculum based on the NETS makes a significant difference in student learning?

Ching, G. S. (2009). Implications of an experimental information technology curriculum for elementary students. Computers & Education53(2), 419-428.

The information technology (IT) of today forms an integral part of everyday living, thus the nurture of children’s IT awareness early in life is crucial. Young children have an innate curiosity for IT which suggests that in the school environment it can easily be integrated with other subjects in thematic and interdisciplinary curriculum. This quasi-experimental study used the Technology Foundation Standards for Students of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) project on National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) as the basis to design a thematic and interdisciplinary IT curriculum for elementary students. A total of 1273 elementary students and 12 computer teachers were separated into either a control or experimental group. After one academic year, students’ final scores in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and art were gathered and compared. Statistical analysis indicated that there were significant differences in the experimental group’s academic scores. Findings also suggested that an interdisciplinary curriculum design opened opportunity for collaborative work and cohesiveness among faculty. Further longitudinal studies are recommended to examine the long-term implications of a thematic and interdisciplinary IT curriculum design.

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Is technology leadership about teaching technology or reorganizing teaching?

Davies, P. M. (2010). On school educational technology leadership. Management in Education, 24(2), 55-61.
This analysis of the literatures on school educational technology leadership addresses definitions of school technology leaders and leadership, their role in educational change, and why schools are now changing as a result of 21st century advancements in technology. The literatures disagree over the definition of educational technology leadership. Further examination revealed that technology leadership is about the reorganization of teaching rather than the process of teaching itself. Several gaps relating to who is doing research on technology leadership are identified, and an attempt is made to assemble a model showing how schools can organize technology leadership so that teaching and learning remain the central focus.

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Can blogs support students’ complex thinking?

Ramos, Maria Altina Silva. Blog and Complex Thinking: A Case Study
Online Submission, US-China Education Review v7 n8 p11-21 Aug 2010. 2010 11 pp. (ED514801)

The Internet does not promote learning by itself as children and young people often use it passively. The teachers’ role is to help them interpret and analyze available information critically. The blog, as a means to deploy the concept of “on-line interaction” is, according to Granieri, “The most accessible and natural tool for sharing and publishing, in addition to text, images movies and also sound, will be increasingly disseminated, because of increasing speed of data transmission” (2006, p. 31). It is therefore natural that the use of the blog is more and more frequent as a resource, pedagogical strategy or other capacities at all levels of teaching (Gomes, 2005). In this paper, a case study is presented based on some blogs, focusing on: the methodology for collection of text and multimedia materials; treatment and analysis of data with the NVivo software; findings and further evolution perspectives. Read Full Text.

What is really expected of a technology coordinator?

Sugar, William; Holloman, Harold. Technology Leaders Wanted: Acknowledging the Leadership Role of a Technology Coordinator
TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning
, v53 n6 p66-75 Nov 2009.

Technology currently plays a crucial role in impacting teaching practices within schools. Similarly, a technology coordinator performs several tasks within a school environment and plays multiple roles that influence teaching and learning each day. Described as a “position with a protocol,” Frazier and Bailey (2004) noted that effective technology coordinators “need to be comfortable wearing many hats” (p. 2). A technology coordinator exhibits an assortment of activities in interactions with teachers, including: instructing teachers on a particular set of skills in learning about a new technology; solving teachers’ technical problems; providing access to existingtechnology resources; and collaborating with teachers to develop curricular materials for their classrooms; and other similar activities (Sugar, 2005). If well-prepared and fully comprehending their role within a particular school or school district, “multi-hat”technology coordinators also play a crucial role in leading teachers in developing effective K-12 school environments. This article analyzes this crucial role by proposing four main responsibilities of a technology coordinator and concentrates on examining possible leadership characteristics of a technology coordinator within a particular school. The four responsibilities of a technology coordinator, namely: (1) Instruction; (2) Technical; (3) Analysis; and (4) Leadership, are discussed.

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How can technology help students acquire 21st Century skills?

Dede, C., & Hall, L. (2010). Technological Supports for Acquiring 21 st Century Skills International Encyclopedia of Education. Education.

The 21st century seems quite different than the 20th in the capabilities people need for work, citizenship, and self-actualization.  In response, society’s educational systems must transform their objectives, curricula, pedagogies, and assessments to help all students attain the sophisticated outcomes requisite for a prosperous, attractive lifestyle based on effective contributions in work and citizenship. This article describes an innovative strategy by which new pedagogies based on emerging immersive media can aid all students in attaining sophisticated 21st century skills and knowledge.

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Can blogs improve differentiated instruction?

Colombo, M. W., & Colombo, P. D. (2007). Using Blogs to Improve Differentiated Instruction. Education Digest73(4), 10-14

The article discusses the use of blogging to improve differentiated instruction in science classes. It provides a hypothetical model of differentiated instruction in a seventh grade science classroom containing English language learners (ELLs), students with individualized education programs, and gifted and talented students. It discusses the use of material posted in class blogs to extend instructional time by providing a way to reinforce learning strategies, introduce topics and concepts, review material, and provide enrichment. Materials can be presented in text format, as podcasts, or as video files to reach students at different levels and with different learning styles. A list of free and commercial software for class blogs is included.

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What works best in upper elementary classrooms: shared carts or 1: 1 laptops?

Russell, M., Bebell, D., & Higgins, J. (2004). Laptop learning: A comparison of teaching and learning in upper elementary classrooms equipped with shared carts of laptops and permanent 1: 1 laptops. Journal of Educational Computing Research30(4), 313-330. Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative, Boston College.

This study compares teaching and learning activities in 4th and 5th grade classrooms that were permanently equipped with one laptop for each student and classrooms that share a cart of laptops that create a 1:1 laptop environment on a temporary basis. The study originated from a question posed to us by Andover Public Schools (MA): “How does teaching and learning differ when upper elementary students (4th and 5th graders) are provided with their own laptop computers?” In response to this question, we undertook an intensive two month study that employed a mixed methodology that included student surveys, student drawings, teacher interviews, and 56 structured classroom observations. The findings summarized in this article provide evidence of several differences in teaching and learning activities between the two settings. Classrooms that were fully equipped with 1:1 laptops showed more technology use across the curriculum, more use of technology at home for academic purposes, less large group instruction, and nearly universal use of technology for writing.

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How can Technology Leaders help their faculty implement appropriate ICT tools?

Keengwe, J., Kidd, T., & Kyei-Blankson, L. (2008). Faculty and Technology: Implications for Faculty Training and Technology Leadership. Journal of Science Education and Technology18(1), 23-28.

The purpose of this study was to explore the factors affecting ICT adoption process and the implications for faculty training and technology leadership. Respondents represented a wide range of academic and professional positions. They identi ed themselves as Assistant, Associate, and Professor as well as Instructional Designer, Director of Technology, Information Manager, eLearning Manager, Assistant Department Chair, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Consultant. The respondents identi ed Organizational Support, Leadership, Training and Development, and Resources as the predominate themes affecting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) adoption process in higher education. Evidence from this study offers insights on how higher education administrators and technology leaders could help their faculty and staff to implement appropriate ICT tools and practices to improve student learning

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