About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1518-1527
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL WITH MAGALHÃES COMPUTER. A NEW REALITY FOR PORTUGUESE FAMILIES?

S. Batista, J. Freitas

Universdade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (PORTUGAL)
We report on the early findings of a study conducted in a Portuguese primary school looking at the changes in educational practice by the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) through the use of the “Magalhães” computer (a portuguese branded Intel Classmate), recently distributed widely to primary students.
In Portugal over the last two decades, there has been a number of governmental initiatives – mostly coming from the Ministry of Education (ME) – promoting and supporting the use of ICT in education, the latest being the Technological Plan for Education (PTE) starting in 2007. One of its main objectives is to promote equal opportunities in access to computers and the Internet.
The “e-escolinhas” (literally “e-little schools”) project became a part of the PTE aiming to widespread the use of computers and the Internet in primary schools by supplying students (and their families) access to a notebook computer.
Despite this effort, some studies (Balanksat et al. 2006; BECTA, 2006) alert that the increase number of computers in schools does not mean there’s been a proper use in order to promote effective learning, let alone when computers are given to students and not to the schools.
The results presented in this report are from a case study conducted at a primary school in the greater Lisbon area involving 14 teachers, 189 students and their respective families. Qualitative and quantitative methods, namely questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, classes’ observation and statistics, have been used is order to help answer our main research question: "What is the impact of the Magalhães computer in teaching and learning?”
Preliminary findings from the questionnaires applied to the teachers and to the students’ families indicate that although more than half of the teachers often use the computer at home to prepare their lessons the use of Magalhães computer in class decreases significantly with only 9% of the teachers using it regularly despite their positive opinion that the use of ICT is relevant for the education process. This is consistent with other studies, particularly with a teacher survey promoted by the Office of Education Statistics and Planning (GEPE) of the ME in 2010.
Results obtained in the questionnaires to the families indicate that the majority (96%) of the families already owned a computer at home before acquiring the Magalhães computer. Nevertheless more than half of students needed help from their parents to learn how to use it suggesting that only now they started to use a computer regularly.
Results also support the notion that most of the activities with the Magalhães are of a playful nature and mostly out of school grounds, reinforcing the fact that there has been some difficulty to integrate computers effectively in learning activities by the teachers.

References:
Balanksat, A., Blamire, R. & Kefala, S. (2006). The ICT Impact Report. A review of studies of ICT impact on schools in Europe: European Commission. European Schoolnet.

BECTA (2006). The Becta 2006: Evidence on the progress of ICT in education. UK: Becta.

GEPE. (2008). Modernização tecnológica do ensino em Portugal. Estudo de Diagnóstico. Vol. I. Lisboa: Editorial do Ministério da Educação.
@InProceedings{BATISTA2011INF,
author = {Batista, S. and Freitas, J.},
title = {INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL WITH MAGALH{\~{A}}ES COMPUTER. A NEW REALITY FOR PORTUGUESE FAMILIES?},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {1518-1527}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Batista AU - J. Freitas
TI - INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL WITH MAGALHÃES COMPUTER. A NEW REALITY FOR PORTUGUESE FAMILIES?
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 1518
EP - 1527
ER -
S. Batista, J. Freitas (2011) INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL WITH MAGALHÃES COMPUTER. A NEW REALITY FOR PORTUGUESE FAMILIES?, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 1518-1527.
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