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THE ‘DIGITAL SCHOOL’ PROGRAMME: TEACHERS’ ATTITUDES AND ICT USAGE PATTERNS

J. Fila, P. Penszko

Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych (POLAND)
It is widely recognized that teachers’ attitudes are crucial in determining success or failure of programmes aiming at introducing ICT in schools. This is why much attention was devoted to teachers’ opinions and their ICT usage patterns in our study evaluating the ‘Digital School’ programme in Poland. This paper summarises our research in this field.

‘Digital School’ was a pilot programme involving 399 primary schools. Schools were financed for the purchase of ICT equipment, including laptops or tablets for teachers and students (on a one-to-one basis), interactive whiteboards, projectors, visualisers, printers, LAN infrastructure etc. Financial support was part of a comprehensive public intervention, also including teacher training, establishing cooperation networks for teachers and developing educational e-resources, such as e-textbooks.

The Educational Research Institute (Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych – IBE) was responsible for evaluating the ‘Digital School’ programme. A web-based survey of all compulsory subject teachers, principals and programme coordinators was one research method used. Drawing on this quantitative research, teachers’ attitudes to ICT and their ICT usage patterns were analysed.

Although teachers’ declared attitudes towards ICT were usually positive and open, significant differences were observed in ICT usage between different groups of teachers (for instance, teachers from bigger schools and those in major urban locations were more likely to use the equipment in classes, while music and art teachers were less inclined to create digital resources). This paper briefly presents results on what teachers think about ICT in education, what technologies they use, how often and for what purposes. Then follows an investigation of relationship between teachers’ opinions and their ICT usage patterns.