Teachers' Attitudes toward Using Interactive White Boards in the Teaching and Learning Process in Jordan

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INTRODUCTION

Globalization and technological change have created a new global economy "powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge" Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been touted as potentially powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICTs are said to help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others, helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life (Castells, 1999).

However, the experience of introducing different ICTs in the classroom and other educational settings all over the world over the past several decades suggests that the full realization of the potential educational benefits of ICTs is not automatic. The effective integration of ICTs into the educational system is a complex, multifaceted process that involves not just technology--indeed, given enough initial capital, getting the technology is the easiest part!--but also curriculum and pedagogy, institutional readiness, teacher competencies, and long-term financing, among others (Anderson & Weert, 2002).

ICT has very strong effect on education and it provides enormous tools for enhancing teaching and learning. Many studies highlighted the various ways that ICT may support teaching and learning processes in various disciplinary fields such as the construction of new opportunities for interaction between students and knowledge, and accessing information. ICT can have a useful effect on teaching and learning if it is used under the right conditions including suitable sources, training and support. ICT also offers the potential to meet the learning needs of individual students, promote equal opportunity, offer learning materials, and interdependence of learning among learners (Cavas, Cavas, Karaoglan & Kisla, 2009)

Furthermore, Smith (2002) indicated that ICT can enhance the positive features of the whole teaching process particularly for young children, however it appears that there is a conflict with the general focus of ICT resources on the development of ICT skills and of greater autonomy in learning.

In order to keep up with the technological trends in education, and the increasing and pressing needs for integrating ICT across the system, Jordan has joined other countries in their race to adopt ICT for preparing their societies for the knowledge economy affected by the increasing awareness of ICT as a catalyst for any economic prosperity and development, taking into consideration that the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (2005) indicated that ICT was the most growing sector since the year 2000 in Jordan. Thus, the most recent responses to improve its performance, the Jordanian education system have been engaged in two major initiatives: 1--Education Reform for the Knowledge Economy (ERfKE): the Ministry of Education (MoE) in 2003, launched an ambitious large--scale educational reform project under the name of ERfKE, that was funded by the World Bank (Cisco learning institute, 2004). The aim of the project was to create a comprehensive transformation of the educational system with knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competences required for the knowledge-based economy (National Center for Human Resources Development, 2005). And 2--Jordan Education Initiative (JEI) that was launched to provide ERfKE with a rapid prototype model for discovering the best practices and lessons learned in the implementation of ERfKE (Mc Kinsey & Company, 2005). The objectives of the JEI were organized in three main tracks: a--New approaches to learning and teaching, b--Lifelong learning, and ICT Industry Development. The objectives of the two initiatives are to empower both the education system and students with skills and knowledge in order to participate effectively in using ICT properly in the teaching learning process. …