I came across this article that examines factors surrounding the usage of ICT in the classroom, and it has made me think about the issue in a different light. Previously, I had categorised factors into physical, knowledge and pedagogical/philosophical. This article looks at factors in terms of “non-manipulative and manipulative school and teacher factors” (Afshari, Abu Bakar, Su Luan, Abu Samah & Say Fooi, 2009, p. 79).
Non-manipulative factors are those that can not be influenced by a school and it’s teachers, things like government policy and the age and teaching experience of existing teachers (Afshari et al., 2009, p. 79). Manipulative factors are obviously the opposite: things on which a school and teachers can affect change. As a pre-service teacher, this resonated with me, and has encouraged me to think about this issue from the view of an active participant who can change things, rather than as a distant observer of a problem.
It can be tempting to read much of the research on this issue and think ‘Well, this is someone else’s problem: the principal needs to lead more, the IT staff need to provide more reliable equipment, the school needs to provide more PD’. However, the importance of school culture, and each individual’s role in that culture can not be overlooked. Afshari et al. (p. 97) conclude their article with four main requirements for generating increased use of ICT in schools, two of which I, as an educator can directly act upon. I can share my knowledge with other teachers, and develop and maintain partnerships with other educators and organisers. I can’t do everything, but I can do something to help change the culture of my school.
Afshari, M., Abu Bakar, K., Su Luan, W., Abu Samah, B. & Say Fooi, F. (2009). Factors affecting teachers’ use of information and communication technology. International Journal of Instruction, 2(1), 77-104. Retrieved from http://www.e-iji.net/dosyalar/iji_2009_1_5.pdf