University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 4949-4957
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The pilot-project "Psychological aspects of use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in elementary education" is conducted by a research group from the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, Croatia. The main goal was to examine positive and negative aspects of ICT use in two elementary schools that have different levels of ICT integration in the teaching and learning environment. The intention is to continue the systematic tracking of the long-term effects of ICT use on students’ academic achievement, as well as on ICT attitudes of the students, their parents’ and teachers’, and students' motivation.

The project has several phases:
(1) In the focus groups, teachers (N=37) discussed advantages and disadvantages of ICT use in teaching and learning.
(2) The results of the focus group discussions were used to design questionnaires for students, parents, and teachers, assessing the frequency and reasons for use of ICT and attitudes toward ICT. Several scales for assessing different aspects of academic motivation were also adapted (perceived value of school, goal orientation, and self-efficacy).
(3) The questionnaires were administered in two schools.

While in both schools computers are available to teachers, in one school iPads are used in the classrooms (teachers are trained to teach with iPads and 55% of students have their own iPad and use it for every school subject). A total number of 354 students (5th to 8th grade, aged between 10-14; 51% boys), 304 parents (mean age =41,72; 81% female) and 40 teachers (mean age=46; 77,5% female) from both schools participated in the study. Validity and reliability analyses of all used instruments show good psychometric properties.

Some preliminary results show that most of the students, parents and teachers use different kinds of ICT equipment (computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones). Students in the school in which iPads are implemented in classrooms, and who use iPads, have more positive attitues toward ICT and the use of tablet computers in education, compared to those students that do not use iPads. However, when comparing the two schools, students in the school in which iPads are not implemented have a more positive attitude toward the use of tablet computers in education, while teachers have more negative attitudes. There is no difference in parental attitudes toward tablet use in education between those two schools.

(4) A follow-up study is going to be conducted at the end of the school year. In addition to previously applied questionnaires, academic achievement will be recorded.

This pilot-project serves as a preliminary study for the wider research project that is going to explore integration of ICT in education in a number of schools with different levels of digital maturity in Croatia.
ICT in elementary schools, students', parents' and teachers' attitudes toward ICT in learning and teaching.