A STUDY ON INTEGRATION OF ICT RESOURCES IN STEM EDUCATION - UTILITY ASSESSMENT
Institute of Information and Communication Technologies - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Nowadays, teaching activities include Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in all of its aspects due to their implementation in everyday life. The integration of diverse digital tools into traditional educational process changes it and enable its transformation. Their better understanding is essential for their effectiveness in all school subjects including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Much research explores technology-enhanced teaching, but there is a need for a contemporary view on its impact at the school level. Therefore, the authors have conducted comprehensive surveys among teachers and students in Bulgarian schools to examine the actual use of ICT resources in teaching and learning processes in the different school subjects. The goal is to explore the views of the teachers and students concerning the impact and importance of technology in education. In the research, the authors assess and formalize the main aspects that refer to the use of new technologies in the educational process. The particular focus in this study is on the various aspects of the application of ICT resources and learning games in STEM subjects. The questionnaires provide information on the frequency of use and usefulness of different technology-supported teaching instruments such as videos and presentations, digital textbooks, specialised software applications and learning games. This information serves as a basis for further statistical and mathematical processing and next for evaluation and analysis of the subjective preferences of teachers for using these resources in classroom practice. The researchers apply a mathematical tool based on the utility and probability theories combined with the stochastic approximation for assessment of individual preferences. This approach allows building a mathematical model, which main task is the evaluation and analytical representation of teachers’ preferences that reflect their pedagogical experience expressed in the survey. The formal description and modelling of the teachers’ objectives concerning effective teaching process allow rational decision-making in this complex problem. The utility functions that represent teachers’ preferences for different technology-supported resources are built. These functions determine the preferred degree of technology integration for effective achievement of teaching objectives. In fact, the approach serves for deriving a suboptimal combination of various ICT resources and learning games, which allow making recommendations for their rational usage in educational activities in STEM subjects. The new knowledge resulting from the research can find practical application in the future development of а methodology for application of ICT in Bulgarian schools. Based on the data gathered and its specific processing it is envisaged that the obtained information will be applicable to the development of future concepts for the use of innovative tools for educational purposes. The authors explore in the comparative analysis the findings concerning the use of ICT resources in STEM subjects from both surveys gathering the opinions of teachers and secondary school students. Additionally, are discussed the recommendations and suggestions for the suboptimal technology integration in teaching practice.
Keywords: ICT-resources, STEM, utility function, preferences, decision-making support.