The Knowledge Barrier – fact or fiction?

My previous post discussed the categories into which factors preventing the use of ICT in the classroom can fall. Lack of knowledge and skills is cited by many as a barrier to teachers using ICT resources in their teaching and learning activities (Bingimlas, 2009; Churchill et al., 2011, p. 314). However, if one of the main problems in integrating ICT into the classroom is merely a lack of ICT literacy, especially amongst older teachers, then surely it is a problem that is easy to fix. If so, how come it hasn’t been fixed by now?

I then read this article by Hammond et al. (2009, p.61) that cited research that, with student teachers at least, functional ICT literacy is not as important as initially thought when determining if teachers will use ICT in their lessons. Instead, it is more likely to be a pedagogical belief that ICT can make a difference in the classroom that leads student teachers to adopt ICT (Hammond,  2009, p. 71).

I was particularly interested in this study, because by studying student teachers (generally a younger demographic than practicing teachers), the ‘generational divide’ is if not removed, it is at least lessened. As a soon-to-be teacher of music, a subject that has a long tradition of apprentice-style training, and an historical educational divide between practice and theory, I sometimes fear I will not capitalise on my familiarity with ICT and incorporate it into the classroom. There is sometimes a rationale from teachers that if ICT-free was ok for Mozart and Brahms, it’s ok for my students too. However, I believe that today’s student is growing up in a radically different society where information is the greatest commodity, and that students need to be taught skills process this information, including using it in creative and musical contexts. Being more clear about my own pedagogical understandings and beliefs, and how they can be applied in the music classroom will help me in this.

Bingimlas, K. A. (2009). Barriers to the Successful Integration of ICT in Teaching and Learning Environments: A Review of the Literature. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education. 5(3), 235-245. Retrieved from http://www.ejmste.com/v5n3/EURASIA_v5n3_Bingimlas.pdf

Churchill et al., (2011). Teaching: making a difference. Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd.

Hammond, M., Crosson, S., Fragkouli, E., Ingram, J., Johnston-Wilder, P., Johnston-Wilder, S., Kingston, Y., Pope, M. & Wray, D. (2009). Why do some student teachers make very good use of ICT? An exploratory case study, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 18(1), 59 — 73.
DOI: 10.1080/14759390802704097. Retreived from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14759390802704097

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