The integration and use of ICT across the secondary school
Many different technologies are available to support teaching and learning in schools and their role is a key topic for debate in contemporary education (Selwyn, 2011b; Lankshear & Knobel, 2006; Collis & Moonen, 2001). Evidence shows that although some technologies are adopted and used successfully within schools, others are not (Straub, 2009). This study was conducted in a technologically-rich secondary school where first-order barriers (Ertmer, 1999) were not expected to affect the use of ICT, and yet there are problems with the adoption of ICT across the curriculum. This study has followed two separate but connected lines of inquiry – how second-order barriers affect the integration and use of ICT and how ICT is used in practice. This includes the roles of the teacher, students and managers in terms of delivery and provision (Moyle, 2006; Eynon, 2010; Wastiau et al, 2013), with a particular focus on the implementation and use of a VLE and e-portfolios for end of Key Stage 3 assessment (Stefani et al, 2007).\ud \ud Following a case study methodology, the research investigated the use of technology within a large secondary school in the South West of England. Data were gathered through the use of VLE logs, questionnaires and group interviews with Year 9 students, questionnaires and interviews with staff, and document analysis of lesson planning and the e-portfolios created by these students. The data shows that, despite good technology provision and access to resources, ICT use is variable within and between departments and despite the SLT vision for student-centred use of ICT, its use is mainly teacher-led. Issues such as how differences in understanding and interpretation of policy between SLT and teaching staff affect ICT use in practice and how teachers’ beliefs affect their practice are identified.\ud \ud By considering the role of second-order barriers on the integration of technology, the research examines the ‘messy realities’ of technology use in education. The key findings show the importance of the SLT and how their practice is central to implementing their vision for ICT use, the importance of the ICT department in supporting development of practice across the curriculum and how teachers’ beliefs about students’ home use of ICT affects their practice.
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