ERIC Number: ED396737
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Factors Affecting the Integration of Computers in Western Sydney Secondary Schools.
Integration is based on the assumption that computers should be an integral part of the learning process, both for servicing curriculum needs and as an object for study. The integration of computers into everyday classroom activity has proved to be more slow and difficult than expected, creating the notion that there are incentives enhancing the adoption of technology in some schools and barriers or organizational constraints blocking wider acceptance in others. A study of six schools was conducted to explore the integration of computers across the curriculum in Western Sydney (Australia) secondary schools. The study used a survey drawn from existing literature on teachers' intentions to use information technologies as teaching strategies. Teacher computer skill was tabulated and examined for its influence on each of seven categories: anxiety, self confidence, perceived relevance, pedagogical practices, staff development, access to resources, and policy formation. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare groups of teachers. Results showed significant differences between groups on the anxiety, self confidence, perceived relevance, and pedagogical practices scales. Post hoc analysis using the Newman-Keuls technique was used to determine how the groups differed. Analysis of the data shows fluctuation in the way teachers feel about computers. These feelings manifest themselves within the skill base of teachers and in turn influence teacher intentions to use computers as tools for learning and discovery. The analysis found a pool of highly skilled computer-using teachers, most from the mathematics and technology faculties, who could act as catalysts for the creation of a computer culture. A computer culture could serve to promote motivation, cooperation, and collaboration among faculty as a means of altering the ways teachers feel about computers. For this group to succeed, it must be aware that the appropriate culture is based on the use of computers for learning rather than learning about computers and computing. The fact that there is diversity in teachers' computing skills highlights the multiplicity of the problems faced by advocates of integrating computers across the curriculum. For any long term solution, sufficient time must be provided for teachers to learn how to use technology in their teaching and to plan for its use. (Contains 36 references and 8 tables.) (Author/SWC)
Descriptors: Computer Anxiety, Computer Attitudes, Computer Literacy, Computer Science Education, Computer Uses in Education, Educational Technology, Foreign Countries, Integrated Activities, Learning, School Culture, School Surveys, Secondary Education, Skill Development, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Technological Advancement
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia (Sydney); Barriers to Implementation; Newman Keuls Analyses
Note: In: Learning Technologies: Prospects and Pathways. Selected papers from EdTech '96 Biennial Conference of the Australian Society for Educational Technology (Melbourne, Australia, July 7-10, 1996); see IR 017 931.