Kibboutzim College of Education' Technology & Arts (ISRAEL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6069-6075
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Information technologies challenge the educational field and educators wishing to harness the new opportunities inherent in ICT that make teaching and learning more rewarding.
Relying on evidence that an important part of successfully introducing instructional technology into schools is “user” acceptance, and recognizing the significance of listening to teachers as “change agents” and “learners” in order to discover how they interpret their technology-based classroom experiences, this paper reports on an exploratory, longitudinal study, which examined teachers’ views on the factors that facilitate, constrain or hinder their use of technology in rich technology classrooms in grades 4 to 6. The paper documents teachers’ opinions regarding the factors that supported and hampered their use of technology in three consecutive years of experiencing teaching in a technology-rich environment. It also describes the interrelationship between teachers’ views of the factors affecting their use of technology and the changes in their educational beliefs, their views on the technology they used, and the constituents of their classroom practices.

The case studies selected for exploring these changes reveal the complexity of the relations between teachers’ views concerning the supporters and inhibitors of technology use, and the changes that occur in their educational beliefs and practices. Four data sources were examined: open questionnaires, interviews, classroom observation, and closed questionnaires. The study revealed two developmental patterns of teachers’ views on factors enhancing ICT uses: The first pattern exhibited by the teachers concerning the source of influence on technology use represents a move away from: factors reflecting external (authoritative) influences (legitimacy, reinforcement power and emotional support), through factors emphasizing the benefit of dialogic learning with partners colleagues and students, to factors involving a teacher’s own learning and teaching experiences and their need for ongoing learning and support. The second pattern concerning the nature of influence represents a move away from: technical and organizational aspects related to change, through personal and individual capabilities reflecting readiness to confront change, to re-conceptualizing and transforming educational views.
The study demonstrates that not only computer technology but a complex web of interrelated factors and expectations, a didactic and pedagogical task structure, and an organizational and educational mindset, are required in order to ensure that computer technology is successfully introduced into the classroom with the desired effect and productivity.
The study suggests that when planning professional development for teachers, learning from experts, colleagues and self and experiencing different learning settings should be encouraged, planned, and supported. It further suggests the most successful professional development models engage and empower teachers to have a stronger voice in directing their own learning.
Technology use in classroom, factors enhancing ICT uses, teachers' educational beliefs, teachers as learners, teachers as "change agents".