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The Importance of Information Technology Attitudes and Competencies in Primary and Secondary Education

  • Gerald Knezek
  • Rhonda Christensen
Part of the Springer International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education book series (SIHE, volume 20)
Since the early days of Information Technology (IT) in education, attitudes and competencies of students (and later teachers) have been in the domain of interest of researchers, because they appeared to be an important factor in the decision to use IT in educational practice. In 1995 the US Office of Technology Assessment (US Congress, 1995) reported that helping teachers “effectively incorporate technology into the teaching and learning process is one of the most important steps the nation can take to make the most of past and continuing investments in educational technology” (p. 8). Although during the 1970s the study of effective incorporation into teaching and learning often focused on the specific impact an IT intervention might have on student learning (Marshall and Cox, 2008), by the mid-1980s the emphasis had shifted toward the study of intervening variables such as attitudes and competencies. This was in part due to the low recorded level of IT usage by teachers and students in spite of large increases in IT resources in schools and informal educational settings (Marshall and Cox, 2008). Some specific examples serve to add emphasis to this point:
  • Although the Second Information Technology in Education Study confirmed a rapid improvement in the student-computer ratios at all levels of education during the late 1990s worldwide, the study also showed that the actual integration of computers in classrooms remained limited (Pelgrum and Anderson, 1999).

  • Only about one-third of US teachers used computers on a regular basis at the end of the twentieth century, although the majority had computers in their classrooms (Becker et al., 1999).

  • Even as of 2006, in only 10 of 32 countries studied by the Program of International Student Assessment did students report using computers frequently (a few times per week or more) in spite of the fact that more than 90% had access to computers in school (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2005, as reported by Voogt, 2008).

Simply placing technology in schools has not been sufficient to ensure educationally relevant use.

Keywords

Secondary Education Technology Integration International Handbook Classroom Technology Computer Assist Learn 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Knezek
    • 1
  • Rhonda Christensen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North TexasDentonUSA

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