CIES - University Institute of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 1802-1808
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
The new information and communication technologies (ICTs) are permanent tools of everyday lives of adolescents for information, leisure and communication purposes. In education, as in all dimensions of contemporary societies, computers and internet constitute potentially powerful resources to improve not only the teaching, but also the learning and studying processes. They are valuable tools to develop individual and team work, to present and disseminate digital content, to illustrate examples, to develop autonomous digital educational content adapted to different needs and technical skills and, especially, to search for information in order to expand the in-class knowledge obtained.

Within the Technological Plan for Education (TPE), the Portuguese government has been making a considerable technological investment in primary and secondary public schools. Besides providing access to these resources, to teachers and students, one of the main goals is also to foster training the skills needed to meet the demands of the informational society. However, the effective integration of ICTs into the educational system, particularly the in-class performance, is a complex process that involves a reconfiguration of the curricula, the pedagogical method and other less visible aspects.

Based on an ongoing research about learning with ICT, this communication aims to present and discuss the way these tools are being integrated and used in education, particularly in the teaching and learning processes in Portuguese secondary schools. First, it will be presented a statistical overview about the existing resources and effective practices. Secondly, these factors will be discussed in the light of the actors’ discourses about their own experiences, difficulties, successes and barriers in the use of ICT, not only at school, but also in other dimensions of personal life and in the articulation between both.

Are ICTs being integrated as an educational tool and adapted to cross all subjects? To what extent are they being used in-class by both teachers and students and for what kind of activities? What are the levels of skills and confidence of teachers in using these tools? What are their attitudes toward the use of these resources in the classroom? Do students integrate ICTs in their own study methods? What is the relation between these practices and their social background? These are some of the questions that this paper intends to answer.

In order to obtain a wider understanding of this phenomenon, this study used a mixed method approach. It combines quantitative and qualitative data, collected through a total of 3010 questionnaires and 26 interviews performed on all concerned actors, i.e., schools, teachers and students.
ICT, Secondary Schools, Teaching, Learning and Studying, Portugal.