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Teachers perceptions on educational technologies Document Transcript

Filipino Teachers Perceptions and Attitudes on Common Educational Technologies Nephtaly Joel Botor Teachers are managers of the learning experience. As managers, they are tasked to ensure that the environment is structured in a way that learners are given the opportunity to engage in a deep and meaningful learning process. A way through which this role can be accomplished is for the teacher to take the shoes of an educational technologist, a professional who embarks on the study of theories and practices associated with the use of technology in instruction. According to Seels et al. (2004, in Westergaard, 2008) there are general roles that educational technologists must take. First is the regulation and reinforcement of selected media to promote learning, second is to educate teachers and stakeholders about the use of media; and, third is to critique and lobby policies that influence media utilization. Among the three roles, the first is expected from teachers in the classroom. At the conceptual level, it is easy to comprehend the process of a teacher taking therole of an educational technologist to become a better classroom manager, but in application,it seems not as simple as that. There are factors to consider if a teacher would be an effective educational technologist. The Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers (ISTE-NETST) listed a set of competencies that can be used to evaluate whether the teacher is capable of using educational technologies effectively and efficiently (Westergaard, 2008). Among others, teachers must first have a "sound understanding of technology operations and concepts" (p. 101) and "use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice" (p. 102), two competencies that refer to knowledge and skill, respectively. Since the digital society demands the teacher to possess knowledge and skill in using educational technologies, a number of studies have been devoted to explore this phenomenon. A significant percentage of these studies focused on the perceptions of teachers towards educational technology. For instance, Ivers (2001), through a professional development program on the use of educational technology, has conducted a study among K12 teachers regarding their perceived level proficiency in areas such as "General Computer Knowledge and Skills, Internet, Email, Word Processing, Publishing, Databases, Spreadsheets, Presentation Software, and Instructional Technology (p.1)." Having glanced at the teachers role in using educational technology in the classroom, some questions remain relevant and fascinating. Which educational technologies do teachers often use nowadays? Is there a relationship between the teachers perceptions and specific person variables such as age and years of teaching experience? Is there a difference between the teachers perceived proficiency and perceived importance of these educational technologies? These are just a few of these interesting questions which the present study also aimed to answer. Method Participants To answer the problems identified at the onset of the study, forty teachers handling basic education (elementary and high school) classes were invited in the study. Thirty nine of them agreed to join while only thirty six (nine males, 27 females) were able to actually participate.

Their age was ranging from 23 to 35 years old (M=35.47, SD=7.51) and their teaching experience, from two to 33 years (M=12.17, 6.75). All of the participants were Filipino citizens but residents of Abu Dhabi at the time of the study. Research Design The present study explored the perceptions of teachers on education technology through a survey. In collecting the data, a survey form designed and developed by the researchers professor for use in a masters class was used. The survey form consisted of six sections focused on: (1) educational technologies used, (2) feelings toward the use of educational technologies, (3) perceived proficiency in common educational technologies, (4)perceived importance of common educational technologies to the learner, (5) perceived performance in certain indicators, and (6) demographic data, all of which, except the demographic data portion, were in Likert format. Procedures The researcher sought permission from a Filipino school situated in the town center of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to run a survey among its teachers. The school, which anchors its instruction to the Philippine curriculum, is the largest Filipino school in the vicinity housing more than a thousand students (Filipinos and non-Filipinos) from preschool to fourth year high school. Upon submission of a request letter, the school principal sanctioned the conduct of the survey. Individual survey forms were distributed to 40 teachers, who were given a couple of weeks to respond. Then, survey forms were collected. Four of which were incomplete thus invalidated, yielding 36 valid forms for inclusion. Thereafter, data were organized, analyzed and tested for mean difference (paired t-test) and correlation (Pearson product-moment correlation). Results After organizing and analyzing the data gathered from the survey, the following findings were revealed. Table 1 Frequency of Teachers Use of Educational Technologies Technologies Audiotapes CD player CD ROM Computers Digital camera Digital video recorder f 19 24 13 30 14 6 % 49 62 33 77 36 15

Email

23 49 26 0 36 3 41 46 36

LCD projector 19 Mobile phone 10

Online discussion board 0 Overhead projector Podcast Presentation slides Television 14 1 16 18

Video cassette recorder/player 14 Video on the Internet Web pages 10 11 26 28

Ranking first among the educational technologies used by the respondents inteachinglearning situations is the computer (77%). This is followed by CD player (62%),audiotapes (49%), LCD projector (49%), and television (46%), respectively. Notably, podcast(3%) and online discussion board (0%) seem unpopular among the respondents Table 2 Teachers Perceived Proficiency in the Use of Common Educational Technologies in the Teaching-Learning Situation Beginner f 3 9 16 2 3 % 8 25 43 5 8 Somewhat Proficient F % 13 33 16 11 9 4 44 30 24 10 Very Proficient f % 18 46 8 6 16 22 22 16 43 56 Leader f 5 3 4 10 10 % 13 8 11 27 26

Word processing Making spreadsheets Making slide presentations Surfing the web Sending and receiving emails Using an MP3 player

10

26

16

42

10

26

Texting on a mobile phone Using a digital camera Desktop publishing Capturing video Making charts and graphs Making a database Participating in OL discussions Chatting on the Net Developing web pages Researching using the Net Creating a digital portfolio

13

19

49

14

36

13

18

15

38

12

31

11 6 7

31 16 18

17 20 17

47 53 45

5 9 12

14 24 32

3 3 2

8 8 5

23 11

62 29

11 21

30 55

2 5

5 13

1 1

3 3

1 23 1

3 62 3

7 11 8

19 30 21

19 2 22

51 5 58

10 1 7

27 3 18

15

42

13

36

17

Most of the teachers perceived themselves to be very proficient in researching usingthe net (58%), sending and receiving emails (56%), chatting on the net (51%), texting on amobile phone (49%), and word processing (46%). On the other hand, majority of them foundthemselves to be beginners in developing web pages (62%), making a database (62%),making slide presentations (43%) and creating a digital portfolio (42%). However, it isnotable that in most cases, only a few (ranging from 3% to 36%) viewed themselves asleaders in the use of educational technologies. Table 3 Pearson Correlation Matrix on Age, Years of Teaching Experience and Perceptions on Educational Technologies Perceived Proficiency -.519** -.490** Perceived Importance -.400** -.300* .430**

Age Teaching Experience (yrs) Perceived Proficiency

** p<0.01(1-tailed), * p<0.05 (1-tailed) When perceptions on educational technologies were tested for relationship with person variables such as age and years of teaching experience, small to moderate correlation were found. Perceived proficiency in the use of educational technologies had a moderate inverse relationship to both age, r(34)= -.519, p<0.01, and years of teaching experience, r(34)= -.490, p<0.01. Similarly, perceived importance of these technologies to students had a moderate inverse relationship to both age, r(34)= -.400, p<0.01, and years of teaching experience, r(34)= -.300, p<0.05. Perceived proficiency and perceived importance had adirect and moderate relationship.

Paired t-test on the Perceptions of Teachers on Educational Technologies 95% Confidence Mean SD SE Interval for Mean df t Lower Upper Perceived Proficiency- -.254 .586 .098 .452 -.056 35 -2.604*Perceived Importance*p=0.013 There was a statistical difference between the teachers mean ratings on the perceived proficiency in using common educational technologies and the perceived importance of these technologies to students, t(35)=-2, 604, p=0.013, with the perceived proficiency relatively smaller than the perceived importance. Discussion After having the aforementioned analysis, it is apt to dig deeper in this surveys findings implication in the classroom. Perceptual Dissonance If there is a notable phenomenon that this simple survey reveals; it would be the perceptual dissonance in the use of educational technology. There are two forms of dissonance revealed: first is related to the teachers evaluation of educational technology relative to themselves, second is the teachers evaluation of educational technology relative to their students. First, there is a dissonance between teachers evaluation of education technology as an essential tool for learning and their evaluation of themselves as a proficient user of educational technologies. This is an important finding since such perceptual incongruence may imply something about how teachers actually use technology in their classrooms. A teacher who believes that educational technology is useful but views herself not fully capable of maximizing such technology may end up dissatisfied and frustrated. The persistent demand to becoming technologically-intelligent in the digital world may create a

considerable amount of stress and pressure that also sprouts from social and professional expectations from students, colleagues or administrators. More desolating is when because of such poor view of ones propensity in the use of technology a teacher just resigns to the situation and loses motivation to learn further. Another form of perceptual dissonance is when teachers tend to view the use educational technologies as an important skill that learners must possess, but they tend not view these skills as essential enough for their own use. This might be seen in how teachers make use of technologies in their classrooms. Although teachers might use educational technologies to assist them in presenting the content by using tools as LCD projectors or slide presentations, they do not readily use them to communicate with learners. The use of collaborative online tools is not apparent in the present survey. In this case, since valuing the affordances of technologies may not be intrinsic to the teachers, they may tend not to maximize a wide range of educational technologies. Consequently, this may also be associated with the teachers lack of confidence with their technological proficiency. Age and Experience Factor Another revealing finding in this survey focuses on the relationship between age and the perceived importance of and perceived proficiency in the use of educational technology. Apparently, as age increases, the perceived importance and proficiency in the use of technology in the classroom decrease. Perhaps, since all the teachers surveyed are old hands in traditional education, they tend to trust time-tested methods rather than exploring other techniques in delivering their lessons. Conclusion By and large, this survey is just a simple exploration describing how Filipino teachers utilize educational technology and how they view themselves as users of these technologies. Age and length of teaching experience are just a few factors that may relate to teachers perception of their confidence and to the value that they cast upon the use of technology intheir classrooms. As more technologies come about, it may be worthwhile to further evaluateother correlates that may affect the meaningful utilization of technological tools to promotedeep and meaningful learning. References Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.)Ivers, K. (2001). Educational Technology Professional Development Program. National Educational Computing Conference, Building on the Future. Chicago, Illinois.Kay, R., Knaack, L. and Petrarca , D. (2009). Exploring Teachers Perceptions of Web-based Learning Tools. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, Vol. 5. Retrieved December 1, 2010 from http://ijklo.org/Volume5/IJELLOv5p027- 050Kay649.pdf.

Westergaard, M. L. S. (2008). Technology in Distance Education. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Open University.