ICT's In Education: An Evaluation of the Dublin Inner City ...

ICT's In Education: An Evaluation of the Dublin Inner City ...

ICTs in Education: An Evaluation of the Dublin Inner City Schools Computerization (DISC) Project (from a Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) perspective Elizabeth Quinn BA, MA, MSc, MPhil, MBPsS Trinity College Dublin, IRELAND This Thesis completed at Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, IRELAND, 2012 4th Congress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research Inventing the Future Sydney, Australia. 29 September to 3th October 2014 What is DISC?

2 Aims and Objectives of DISC Aim: to integrate use of innovative technology in schools Objectives: To help teachers meet the ICT requirements of the Primary School Curriculum and Secondary School Curriculum provide an added dimension to the use of ICT in secondary schools 3 Purpose of this Research

Evaluate the effectiveness of DISC Were objectives met? Should MLE be rolled out? Suggestions for future? Why evaluate? Varied levels of commitment and use of ICT Was technology used innovatively? Curriculum implemented using ICT? Teacher training/skills - underdeveloped 4 Theoretical Framework Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT)

(Source: Engestrm 1987, p. 78) (Engestrom (1987) 5 Why use Cultural Historical Activity Theory? Theoretical lens and analytical tool(Barab, 2004, p. 30) seeks to analyse development within practical social activities Activity: Central to AT Focuses on practice of group of users rather than individuals Encourages use of variety of research methods

(Sannino, Daniels and Gutierrez 2009, p. 1) (Bodker 1989, p.173) 6 Questions for Researchers to ask 7 Activity Evaluation of: The use of ICT in 38 primary and secondary

schools in the Dublin Inner City Schools Computerization project 8 Subjects DISC staff 38 schools in disadvantaged areas (primary and secondary) Teaching staff

Principals ICT coordinators IT postholders Teachers Primary School pupils aged 4-12 Secondary School pupils aged 12-18 9 Tools ICT AND LNI PROJECTS PCs, Laptops, whiteboards

ICT PROJECTS Lego technology Mp3 players/recorders Animation software Video making/Multimedia (Photostory and Powerpoint) Games Development (Game Maker) Podcasting

3-D (Sketch up) MLE/LNI PROJECT LNI platform 10 Division of Labour 11 Rules and Regulations 12 Community

13 Methods Used: 1. Questionnaires: 152 Questionnaires to 38 schools 72 returned (46.6%) Funder/DISC requirement Compare with interviews 2. Case Study approach 6 schools (varied commitment/3xMLE)

Different views Interviews (20): Semi-structured same questions Focus groups: 3 school classes (age 9, 11, 15) 2 x Primary, 1 x Secondary Get student views Classroom observations :

3 class groups at primary level (age 4/5, age 9, age 11) ICT in action 14 Questionnaires Case Study approach 15 Findings main issues 1.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Teacher motivation/beliefs Teacher Training Influence of Principal and School Policies Technical support/hardware replacement ICT coordinator role Students interaction

Government policy/administration DISC staff support/DISC objectives MLE pilot 16 1. Teacher motivation/beliefs Making a difference Our mission in the school is to equip these kids to go out and make something of their lives (Principal, PP 2) Focus on pupil engagement Little research on outcomes + disadvantage (Blackmore, Hardcastle & Bamblett, 2003)

Some teachers using ICT innovatively BUT Whiteboard as glorified blackboard (Karasavvidis 2009) Teacher age/ICT experience not major factor Traditional/constructivist approach? Policy can influence teacher change (Hermans et al. 2008) (Drent & Meelissen, 2008) 17

2. Teacher Training Key issue (Meisalo 2010) Too focused on skills ( Lack of training -pedagogical use of ICT Hew and Brush , 2007 in Vanderlinde and van Braak, 2010, p. 545) 53% did not receive ICT training pre-service 72% - ICT did not prepare for teaching 81% - some ICT training post (mostly DISC) should be subject specific (OECD - Enocchsson, 2010) They really want to integrate IT into teacher training to be part of the daily life. I think continuous teacher

training like I think in any job... You dont qualify, graduate, and thats it, thats your education cap in. Like that day is gone [Interview, T2, Ps 3] 18 3. Principal/School Policy influence Teachers Principals attitude crucial If the Principal isnt in favour, you can forget it(ICT coord, PS3) School ICT Policy/DES support the Department always expected us to have plans and they didnt have a plan were giving money willy nilly (Principal, PP 1) fractured delivery of digital technologies (Marshall and Anderson, 2008, p. 474)

Driving change -teacher co-operation (Vanderlinde et al 2009; Vanderlinde and van Braak 2010) We are expecting everybody to try and engage with some kind of project once in the year (Principal, PP2) a lot of it depends on teachers own personal interests (Principal, PS2) 19 4. Technical support/hardware

Lack of Technical Support the major issue Resources dont include it Other jurisdictions provide it NI (C2K) Flemish schools (DOE 2002) Contradictory adequate/not enough Department certainly has never really supported IT (Principal, P1) Inequality between disadvantaged schools funding/resources access differed - PRINCIPAL 20 5. ICT co-ordinator role

Reduced to technicians not qualified I was never trained for thatwe dont know what we are doing (ICT coord, P4) Pedagogical role/teacher support more appropriate (Vanderlinde et al 2009; Lai and Pratt 2004) ICT role takes too much time Curriculum requirements overwhelming the curriculum is so overloaded already that you dont want any more (Teacher, P4) 21 6. Students interaction - DISC/ICT

Enjoyment of technology social aspect? Graham Nuthall (Brophy, 2006, p.529) interaction/aimless discourse cognitive learning experiences Students dont identify with DISC programme Absenteeism NOT improved (43% teachers) stated DISC objective! Fuchs & Woesmann, 2004 mere availability of ICT a distraction from learning Hepp et al 2004 ;Merrienboer and Brand-Gruwel, 2005 ICT may motivate 22 7. Government Policy Perceived lack of interest/support/planning-DES get the DES and NCTE to really see that IT is

hugely, massively in schools at the moment. Like everything goes through ICT (ICT coord, P4) Curriculum Relevant Material? Policy-other countries? (Ottestad, 2010) - heavy investment not translating into practice 23 8. DISC support

ICT Projects Coordinator widely praised DISC programme saving school money (ICT coord) Schools concerned about DISC terminating Timing of projects limited by school year Schools - admit they have not engaged enough Schools engaged with other projects/orgs DISC emphasis on Primary sector perceived 24 Interface

9. MLE main issues difficult to navigate (DB*), Passwords issue Confusing terminology DB, NewsDesk, Forum Content NewsDesk very useful + enjoyed Not Curriculum-relevant - stated objective Social and collaborative aspect THE TRIP Research enjoyable all ages Technical difficulties broadband/access Teachers - lack of collaboration/motivation 25

Were objectives met? DISC, Teachers, students different objectives Original objectives not readily identifiable DISC staff unclear Curriculum implementation no clear targets ICT use for its own sake? Why not? DISC staff lack of engagement by teachers Teachers - curriculum/time/resources Major issues outside DISC control DES 26 Research findings - Overall

1. Lack of Co-ordination all levels Infrastructure Equipment Training Plans 2. Lack of Vision and Planning Haphazard provision of equipment and money No plan

27 Reflection on Research Process Terms of Reference extensive (influenced design) Business emphasis (versus academic) Influenced Methods used Writing style Integrating Activity Theory

Timeline Being embedded boundary difficulties HP + DISC termination deskspace 28 Reflections on Research Process (2) Parents views Student usability Policymakers/teacher training colleges Teachers or student focus Activity Theory more central 29 30

Recommendations for future 1. DISC staff full-time 2. ICT Policy - all schools 3. Teacher training small groups/subject specific 4. Technical support services 5. Reduce number of schools 6. Primary emphasis only 7. Redesign LNI format/interface 8. Facilitate school groups for support 9. Forum for ICT Co-ordinators 10. MLE for Teachers 31 Thank you for your attention

Any Questions? Elizabeth Quinn DIT [email protected] 32 Abbreviations AT Activity Theory CHATCultural Historical Activity Theory CLiC Computers in Learning Communities DES Department of Education and Skills (Republic of Ireland) DISC Dublin Inner-City Schools Computerization DIT Dublin Institute of Technology DOE Department of Education (Finland)

HP Hewlett Packard ICT Information and Communication Technology ISO International Standards Organization LNI LearningNI (Learning Northern Ireland) MLE Managed Learning Environment NI Northern Ireland OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ROI Republic of Ireland SDT Special Duties Teacher VLE Virtual Learning Environment AT frameworks applied to ICT research designing learning environments (Jonassen & Rahrer-Murphy, 1999) e-learning content (Mwanza & Engestrom, 2005)

Evaluating impact of digital technologies in an Australian Primary School (Romeo & Walker, 2002) Evaluating ICT in Singapore Schools (Lim&Hang, 2003) UK Higher Education (Issrof &Scanlon, 2002) ICT-based research projects (Bottino, Chiappini, Forcheri, & Molfino, 1999) use of PDAs (Scanlon, Jones, & Waycott, 2005) interpretation of graphs by scientists (Roth & Lee, 2004). Source: Stevenson, 2008 34 References Bannon, L. J. (2011). 20 years a-growing: Revisiting from human factors to human actors. In H. Isomki, & S. Pekkola (Eds.), Reframing humans in information systems development (pp. 181188). London: Springer.

Blackmore, J., Hardcastle, L. and Bamblett, E. (2003), Effective Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Enhance Learning for Disadvantaged School Students, Deakin Centre for Education and Change; Institute of Koorie Education, Deakin University; Institute of Disability Studies. Brophy, J. (2006). Graham Nuthall and social constructivist teaching: Research-based cautions and qualifications. Teaching and Teacher Education 22, 22(529), 537. Bdker, S. (1989). A human activity approach to user interfaces. Human-Computer Interaction, 4(3), 171. Department of Education (DOE) (2002). Vision Paper ICT in Education. Brussels: Ministry of the Flemish Community. Available from: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/ict/english/archives/Vision_text_ICT_in_education.pdf [Accessed November 11, 2011]. Drent, M., and Meelissen, M. (2008), Which factors obstruct or stimulate teacher educators to use ICT innovatively? Computers and Education, 51, 187-199. Enochsson, A. (2010), ICT in Initial Teacher Training: Sweden: Country report, OECD, Available at:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/43/45214586.pdf. [Accessed November 3, 2011]. Hermans, R., Tondeur, J., van Braak, J., & Valcke, M. (2008). The impact of primary school teachers educational beliefs on the classroom use of computers. Computers & Education, 51(4), 1499-1509. Lai, K. W., Trewern, A., & Pratt, K. (2002). Computer coordinator as change agents: Some New Zealand observations. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 10(4), 539-551. Lim, C. P., & Hang, D. (2003). An activity theory approach to research of ICT integration in Singapore schools. Computers & Education, 41(1), 49-63. 35 References (continued) Marshall, K., & Anderson, J. (2008). The Emperors new clothes? A meta-study of education technology policies in Ireland, north and south (19962006). Computers & Education, 50(2), 463-474. Meisalo, V., Lavonen, J., Sormunen, K., & and Vesisenaho, M. (2010). ICT in initial teacher

training: Finland country report., November 1, 2011. Mwanza, D. (2001). Where theory meets practice: A case for an activity theory based methodology to guide computer system design. Proceedings of INTERACT 2001: Eighth IFIP TC 13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 9-13 July 2001, Tokyo, Japan. (Retrieved on March 5, 2011) Nardi, B. (Ed.). (1996). Context and consciousness: Activity theory and human-computer interaction. Massachusetts, USA: MIT Press. Ottestad, G. (2010). Innovative pedagogical practice with ICT in three nordic countries ? differences and similarities. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(6), 478-491. Stevenson, I. (2008). Tool, tutor, environment or resource: Exploring metaphors for digital technology and pedagogy using activity theory. Computers & Education, 51, 836-853. Vanderlinde, R., van Braak, J. and Hermans, R. (2009), Educational Technology on a Turning Point: Curriculum Implementation in Flanders and Challenges for Schools, Educational Technology Research and Development, 57, 4, 573-584. Vanderlinde, R. and van Braak, J. (2010), The E-capacity of Primary Schools: Development of a

Conceptual Model and Scale Construction from a School Improvement Perspective, Computers and Education, 55, 541-553. 36 Additional References ENGESTRM, Y. and SANNINO, A., 2010. Studies of expansive learning: Foundations, findings and future challenges. Educational Research Review, 5, 1-24. HASU, M. and ENGESTRM, Y., 2000. Measurement in action: an activity-theoretical perspective on producer user interaction. International Journal Human-Computer Studies, 53, 61-89. KAPTELININ, V. and NARDI, B., 2009. Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design. The MIT Press. LEONT'EV, A.N., 1981a. The Problem of Activity in Psychology. In: J.V. WERTSCH, The concept of activity in Soviet psychology. Ed. & Trans. Armond, NY: M. E. Sharpe, . LEONT'EV, A.N., 1981b. Problems of the development of the mind. Moscow: Progress.

LEONT'EV, A.N., 1978. Activity, consciousness, and personality. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. MWANZA, D., & ENGESTROM, Y. (2003, 711 November). Pedagogical adeptness in the design of e-learning environments: Experiences from [email protected] project. Paper presented at the E-Learn 2003 International Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education, Phoenix, AR. 37 Questions for Researchers to ask 38

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