About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2702-2710
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

FACTORS THAT EMPOWER AND INHIBIT THE UPTAKE OF ELEARNING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

E. McAteer1, V. McNair2

1C2k (UNITED KINGDOM)
2University of Ulster (UNITED KINGDOM)
This paper examines the issues that may face schools in Northern Ireland when integrating eLearning into their learning and teaching. The Department of Education for Northern Ireland funds Classroom 2000 (C2k) to deliver an ICT Managed service for all of it 1200 state-funded schools. C2k wanted to explore why some schools used eLearning and others didn’t. The aspects that empowered schools to use eLearning included perceptions of the advantages of learning; anywhere anytime; teachers’ beliefs in skilling pupils for their future education and work life; the statutory requirements for Using ICT (UICT) and pupils’ motivation in using eLearning. For those schools where eLearning had not been implemented, inhibiting factors included time constraints, teacher skill levels, change management and lack of strategic guidelines at local and regional level.

These enabling and inhibiting factors were examined at school leadership level, initially through existing literature and then in three schools that had been identified as being at different levels of integration. Key personnel were interviewed to determine their experiences and practices, and to ascertain their views on the implementation of eLearning. The schools were selected on the basis of the extent to which they were implementing eLearning in accordance with the eLearning adoption stages (Rogers, 1995).

All three schools had strong leaders who could see the value of integrating eLearning into their school curriculum. The school which was starting to use eLearning had the most difficulties in terms of making time for training and general support in using the system. The school leader expressed the view that ICT was ‘competing’ with numeracy and literacy and time was a major issue. The school that had partly integrated eLearning had overcome many of the issues identified as inhibiting and were more positive about the issues they still faced. In the third school where eLearning had been embedded there was a more positive mind-set where ICT was not separated but used to teach other elements of the curriculum. That mind-set was demonstrated in the Principal’s and teachers’ approach to overcoming obstacles that the other schools seemed to have difficulty in overcoming.

When successfully implemented, children were motivated by using eLearning, and teachers were positive about their professional development needs. The research highlights the need to ensure that initially the message about the benefits of eLearning is clearly articulated and that attitudinal issues are fully understood at the level of teachers and leaders. Only then can the obvious issues of staff training, infrastructure planning and curricular delivery be more effectively delivered and the statutory UICT have a more positive impact.
keywords: e-learning.
@InProceedings{MCATEER2014FAC,
author = {McAteer, E. and McNair, V.},
title = {FACTORS THAT EMPOWER AND INHIBIT THE UPTAKE OF ELEARNING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NORTHERN IRELAND},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {2702-2710}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. McAteer AU - V. McNair
TI - FACTORS THAT EMPOWER AND INHIBIT THE UPTAKE OF ELEARNING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NORTHERN IRELAND
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 2702
EP - 2710
ER -
E. McAteer, V. McNair (2014) FACTORS THAT EMPOWER AND INHIBIT THE UPTAKE OF ELEARNING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN NORTHERN IRELAND, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 2702-2710.
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