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THE INTEGRATION OF COMPUTER USE IN EDUCATION pdf
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THE INTEGRATION OF COMPUTER USE IN EDUCATION


.pdf   THE INTEGRATION.pdf (Size: 950.73 KB / Downloads: 71)

Abstract

There is an increasing awareness that disappointing experiences with the introduction of
computers in education are a consequence of insufficiently taking into account factors that
are crucial when introducing change in educational settings. Many of the problems in the
literature show great similarity with the kind of problems often experienced in curriculum
implementation. In this context the endeavors to make computer use an integrated part of
classroom activities are analyzed. Emphasis will be laid on the interaction between teachers
and courseware; elements for a more effective strategy for the integration of computer use
in educational practice will be presented

INTRODUCTION

Despite many national and local initiatives, examples of successful computer use in
classroom practice are still relatively rare. In many countries the number of computers
in schools has considerably increased in recent years. However, little progress has been
made: still few teachers are actual users; software use is often restricted to drill and
practice type; the alignment with the curriculum pattern is poor. Research results (of
both surveys and case studies) from many countries point to the conclusion that there
is still a long way ahead before computer use will be effectively integrated in most
classrooms (see e.g. Becker, 1986; Office of Technology Assessment [OTA], 1988, for
the USA;, Chomienne, 1988; Olson & Eaton, 1986, for Canada; Cox, 1987, for the U.K.;
Inspectorate, 1986; Plomp & Van den Akker, 1988, for the Netherlands).

An Overview of Factors Affecting Implementation

_ Drawing upon the work of Fullan (1982) and of Van Velzen, Miles, Ekholm,
Hameyer, and Robin (1985), we propose a framework for discussing factors influencing
the implementation of innovations in the educational practice by distinguishing four
categories of variables:
- national (and/or state and/or district) context;
- characteristics of the school (organization);
- external support;
- characteristics of the innovation itself.

National Context

Still little empirical research is done about the impact of variables in the national
(state/district) context on the actual use of computers in the school practice. Descriptions
of national policies on information technology in many countries are available (e.g.
Beishuizen, Tobin & Weston, 1988), but focused research efforts in this area are hard
to find. Broad attention for policy variables is given by Fullan et al. (1987) in their
study on the implementation of the new information technology in Ontario schools.
Apart from obvious tasks as investing in hardware, software development, research,
teacher training and the like, policy makers should also play a stimulating role in the
planning and co-ordination of implementation activities. Proclamation of new aims for
the educational system and encouragement “from above” for initiatives and activities
in the field can be helpful for the many participants in the innovation.

School Organization

The influence of the school organization on the implementation of computer use has
been studied more frequently. The results usually confirm the findings from the more
general innovation literature.
Encouragement and support from school administrators and principals are of vital
importance (Carmichael, Burnett, Higginson, Moore, & Pollard, 198.5; Cox, Rhodes, &
Hall, 1988; Fullan et al., 1987). Help from principals is especially necessary in providing
for facilities for training, the purchase of hardware and software, the rearrangement of
timetables and other organizational measures.
Also conducive to the implementation process is a positive school climate where
teachers give mutual support by exchanging ideas and experiences and by providing
feedback (Carmichael et al., 1985; Cox, 1987; Inspectorate, 1986).
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#2
There is a growing awareness that the disappointing experiences with the introduction of computers into education are a consequence of insufficient account being taken of factors that are crucial when change is introduced in educational settings. Many of the problems in the literature show a great similarity with the type of problems frequently experienced in the implementation of the curriculum. In this context, the efforts to integrate the use of the computer in classroom activities are analyzed. Emphasis will be placed on interaction between teachers and teaching materials; elements will be presented for a more effective strategy for integrating the use of computers in educational practice, with special attention to the design of support materials as an essential part of the teaching material.

Technological integration is the use of technology tools in areas of general content in education to enable students to apply computer and technology skills to learning and problem solving. In general terms, the curriculum promotes the use of technology and not vice versa. Technological integration is defined as the use of technology to improve and support the educational environment. Technological integration in the classroom can also support classroom instruction by creating opportunities for students to complete assignments on the computer instead of regular pencil and paper. Technological integration in class would help students explore more.
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Marked Categories : use of computer in education, contact inspectorate co in loc es, info inspectorate co in loc es,

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