THE USE OF TECHNOLOGIES IN EDUCATION: INITIAL PERCEPTIONS OF TEACHERS INVOLVED IN THE EDULAB PROJECT
, L. Pombo
Research Centre “Didactics and Technology in Education of Trainers” (CIDTFF) (PORTUGAL)
The EduLab project is an innovative pilot project that integrates technologies in educational contexts involving full equipped classrooms with attractive and easy-to-use technological resources. The main goal is to promote a dynamic and effective teaching and learning process, boosting the digital inclusion of all individuals involved. For this purpose, the project provides teacher training and monitoring in order to encourage advanced pedagogical and acting formats, such as collaborative work, flipped classroom and research-based learning (Pombo, Carlos, & Loureiro, 2015).
During 2014/15 academic year, the EduLabs project was implemented in ten Portuguese school groupings, one of them was the case studied - Gafanha da Nazaré School Grouping (Aveiro, Portugal) (AEGN). It involved thirteen teachers and five classes, totalizing around 100 students. A partnership between the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and the E-Xample Consortium, which gathers 26 companies in the education and/or technology fields, was created in order to support and monitor the use of digital technologies by students and teachers involved and to encourage the adoption of innovative pedagogical practices using technologies. This work is integrated in a doctoral research of this university, which the main goal is to assess the impact of the use of technology on teaching practices, in the context of the AEGN EduLabs project.
This paper intends to present the initial perceptions of the teachers involved in this project concerning the use of technologies in educational contexts. To achieve this goal, these teachers filled in a questionnaire before the implementation of the project.
The questionnaire had four main focus:
i) to characterise the teachers involved;
ii) to identify the familiarity degree of teachers with the accomplishment of diverse digital tasks;
iii) to know the frequency of activities using technologies in lessons and in their preparation; and
iv) to know the initial perceptions of teachers on the contribution of the technology use in the educational process.
The statistical analysis of the data allows us to conclude that the thirteen teachers involved master a great part of digital functionalities, highlighting greater difficulties in the production of podcasts and videocasts and in the creation and implementation of wikis, ebooks and blogs. Digital technologies were mostly used in the preparation of lessons, to search information on the Internet, to prepare worksheets, presentations and the students’ assessment. In the classroom, digital technologies were mostly used to search the Internet and access digital educational resources. Teachers are unanimous in stating that the use of technologies in the educational process interests, motivates and stimulates learners, allowing the development of "learn to learn" skills. However, some teachers disagree that the use of technologies encourages collaborative work and promotes more student-centred learning.
 Pombo, L., Carlos, V., & Loureiro, M. J. (2015). Edulabs for the integration of technologies in Basic Education – monitoring the AGIRE project. International Journal of Research in Education and Science – IJRES, 2 (1), 16-29. Retrieved from http://www.ijres.net/article/view/5000121574