Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Factors Enabling the Use of Technology in Subject Teaching

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Factors Enabling the Use of Technology in Subject Teaching

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The importance of information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning process has been proven by many research studies to be an effective way of supporting teaching and learning. Although many teachers do not use new technologies as instructional tools, some are integrating information and communication technologies innovatively into their teaching. There are a number of factors which encourage these teachers to use information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning environment.

This article discusses the factors that encourage Turkish Cypriot teachers to integrate technology into the classroom. The data were gathered from seven volunteer subject teachers teaching Mathematics, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, and Science. Qualitative research methods including semi-structured interviews were employed in the study. The findings indicate that in order to create an environment where technology is used frequently and effectively, it is important to support the needs of teachers in using technology in teaching and learning. In other words, it is important to attempt to remove the possible barriers that hinder frequent technology use and to identify the enablers that promote it. The enabling factors would help teachers to be motivated and enthusiastic users of ICT in education.

Keywords: Teachers ICT use; ICT in subject teaching; enablers in ICT integration; secondary education; improving classroom teaching

INTRODUCTION

Education and technology have become increasingly fundamental elements for the standard of living in the twenty-first century. Great importance is thus given to their development globally. It might be argued that innovations in technology have an effect on education and pedagogy, that is to say, on how information, knowledge, and culture are transferred (Tawalbeh, 2001). Over the last three decades, many developed and developing countries have been encouraging the use of new technologies in different subjects as teaching tools.

The main reasons for this intensive effort and attempt to integrate new technologies into teaching and learning probably is the rapid development in information and communication technologies (ICT) and their influence on people's, especially on students' life. Nowadays, many students are competent in using a number of ICT tools, like sophisticated mobile phones and Web 2.0 practices, in their everyday life (Davies and Merchant, 2009; Hutchby and Moran-Ellis, 2001). Thus, in order to take advantage of the intensive interaction between students and technology, it is important to successfully integrate ICT into education.

With the help of ICT, teachers may continue to pursue the aim of education beyond the classroom walls. Students and teachers can interact outside the classroom and outside specific classroom hours (Loveless and Ellis, 2001). The use of ICT could be helpful for teachers in reaching many goals of education and support teaching and learning in and outside the classroom. However, many teachers who are used to traditional teaching methods and do not want to change their teaching strategies may not believe in the benefits of ICT in education.

Moreover, as a result of many other factors, new technologies may not be integrated into the teaching environment by specific subject teachers. On the other hand, teachers in many countries attempt to make innovative use of these technologies since they believe in their benefits and positive effect on student learning or for other reasons. There appears to be numerous factors that influence teachers' use of ICT tools. The encouraging factors that influence teachers' innovative use of technology are discussed below. Although the process of integrating technology is moving slowly by Turkish Cypriot teachers, there are attempts to use different ICT resources in subject teaching. In the following section, the current situation regarding technology developments in Turkish Cypriot schools is discussed briefly. …

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