Academic journal article Education Research International

South Korean Teachers' Perceptions of Integrating Information and Communication Technologies into Literacy Instruction

Academic journal article Education Research International

South Korean Teachers' Perceptions of Integrating Information and Communication Technologies into Literacy Instruction

Article excerpt

Sangho Pang 1 and David Reinking 1 and Amy Hutchison 2 and Deanna Ramey 1

Academic Editor:Eduardo Montero

1, Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA 2, School of Education, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA

Received 5 August 2014; Revised 4 January 2015; Accepted 7 January 2015; 2 February 2015

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Introduction

The integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) into the curriculum and instruction of formal schooling has global implications and dimensions [1-3]. As ICTs continue to evolve rapidly and to become more prevalent in daily life, including the workplace, there is an increasingly strong imperative for educators worldwide to seek ways to promote that integration [4] and to understand the dynamics of how it does or does not occur and why [5]. It is also clear that understanding the extent of integration and how it is better achieved depends as much on sociocultural factors (e.g., [6]), including teachers' beliefs [7], as it does on the availability of relevant technologies and expertise.

In the study we report here, our goal was to further such understanding by conducting a national survey of literacy and language arts teachers in elementary, middle, and secondary schools in South Korea. The survey was designed to determine their reported integration of ICTs into literacy and language arts instruction, to characterize their beliefs about the importance of doing so, and to identify the obstacles they perceived as hindering increased integration. Our main purpose was to generate data that would identify broad conditions, trends, issues, and perspectives that reflect the broad contextual landscape of South Korean teachers' efforts to integrate ICTs into instruction. Such data are a useful, and perhaps necessary, first step laying the ground work for more focused work probing deeper explanation through interviews and observations in classrooms. Another purpose was to generate data that may be useful to policy makers and others, such as those involved in professional development, who wish to systematically increase the integration of ICTs into instruction in South Korea.

Replicating in South Korea our related work in the USA also helps clarify issues of technology integration across national and cultural borders. Specifically we investigated the following questions. (a) What technologies and technical support related to integrating ICTs do literacy teachers in South Korea report are available to them? (b) How frequently do they report using various ICTs and applications in their instruction and how important do they perceive them to be? (c) What obstacles to integrating ICTs do they report? (d) What do respondents identify as most representative of integrating ICTs into instruction? (e) What noteworthy patterns or relations might be suggested when comparing factors such as levels of integration, perceived obstacles to integration, and beliefs about the importance of integrating ICTs? (f) How do South Korean teachers' reported use and perceptions compare to those of US teachers in our previous work?

We focused on literacy and language arts teachers for several reasons. First, to an extent greater than teachers in other school subjects, literacy and language arts teachers face a more fundamental transformation of perspectives, content, and approaches if ICTs are to be assimilated into instruction [8]. Shifting their teaching away from conventional print-based materials toward digital forms of textual information and communication suggests deep substantive changes in content and orientation and perhaps some resistance, given the cultural capital frequently associated with printed materials, particularly books in many cultures, and thus moving into what has been called a posttypographic era [9, 10]. …

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