Technology and teachers in rural schools : diversity and similarity
Chittleborough, Gail, Campbell, Coral, Hubber, Peter and Tytler, Russell 2007, Technology and teachers in rural schools : diversity and similarity, in SiMERR 2007 : Proceedings of the 'Narrowing the gap: addressing educational disadvantage' conference : SiMERR National Conference University of New England, National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, pp. 29-42.
National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia
Place of publication
University of New England, Armidale, NSW
This paper reports on a project situated in regional areas of Victoria in which 16 primary and secondary teachers participated in an intensive professional development program designed to assist them in embedding Information Communications Technology (ICT) into their classroom practice. The project provides some insight into the availability and use of current technological resources in the rural schools and examines the impact of an intensive professional development program on the implementation of ICT into the curriculum.
The results identified a large diversity of circumstances experienced by the schools in the project, not only in terms of ICT availability and use, and teacher experience, but also in more general issues of cultures of curriculum planning and integration, size, communication, and pedagogical presumptions. The successful integration of ICT into their pedagogical practice was influenced by a complex of factors including the availability of ICT resources, the teachers’ ICT skill level, the teachers’ ability and opportunity to integrate ICT in classroom, the level of support provided, both technical and pedagogical, and the curriculum requirements.
The results of the project have been positive with evidence of increased networking among the teachers, changes in teaching practice and increased teacher proficiency and awareness of ICT resources. The project has highlighted common difficulties that teachers experienced including frustrations with the unreliability of technology and a lack of time for necessary training and preparation. In response to the constraints, teachers have been resourceful and inventive in developing pedagogical strategies to aid the integration of ICT into their classroom practice.
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