Teachers' perceptions on educational technologiesDocument 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 waythat 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 aneducational technologist, a professional who embarks on the study of theories and practicesassociated with the use of technology in instruction. According to Seels et al. (2004, in Westergaard, 2008) there are general roles thateducational technologists must take. First is the regulation and reinforcement of selectedmedia to promote learning, second is to educate teachers and stakeholders about the use ofmedia; and, third is to critique and lobby policies that influence media utilization. Among thethree 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 effectiveeducational technologist. The Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicatorsfor All Teachers (ISTE-NETST) listed a set of competencies that can be used to evaluatewhether the teacher is capable of using educational technologies effectively and efficiently(Westergaard, 2008). Among others, teachers must first have a "sound understanding oftechnology operations and concepts" (p. 101) and "use technology to enhance theirproductivity and professional practice" (p. 102), two competencies that refer to knowledgeand skill, respectively. Since the digital society demands the teacher to possess knowledge and skill in usingeducational technologies, a number of studies have been devoted to explore this phenomenon.A significant percentage of these studies focused on the perceptions of teachers towardseducational technology. For instance, Ivers (2001), through a professional developmentprogram on the use of educational technology, has conducted a study among K12 teachersregarding their perceived level proficiency in areas such as "General Computer Knowledgeand 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 teachersoften use nowadays? Is there a relationship between the teachers perceptions and specificperson variables such as age and years of teaching experience? Is there a difference betweenthe teachers perceived proficiency and perceived importance of these educationaltechnologies? These are just a few of these interesting questions which the present study alsoaimed to answer.
MethodParticipants To answer the problems identified at the onset of the study, forty teachers handlingbasic education (elementary and high school) classes were invited in the study. Thirty nine ofthem agreed to join while only thirty six (nine males, 27 females) were able to actuallyparticipate. Their age was ranging from 23 to 35 years old (M=35.47, SD=7.51) and theirteaching experience, from two to 33 years (M=12.17, 6.75). All of the participants wereFilipino citizens but residents of Abu Dhabi at the time of the study.Research Design The present study explored the perceptions of teachers on education technologythrough a survey. In collecting the data, a survey form designed and developed by theresearchers professor for use in a masters class was used. The survey form consisted of sixsections focused on: (1) educational technologies used, (2) feelings toward the use ofeducational technologies, (3) perceived proficiency in common educational technologies, (4)perceived importance of common educational technologies to the learner, (5) perceivedperformance in certain indicators, and (6) demographic data, all of which, except thedemographic data portion, were in Likert format.Procedures The researcher sought permission from a Filipino school situated in the town center ofAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to run a survey among its teachers. The school, whichanchors its instruction to the Philippine curriculum, is the largest Filipino school in thevicinity housing more than a thousand students (Filipinos and non-Filipinos) from preschoolto fourth year high school. Upon submission of a request letter, the school principalsanctioned 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 ofwhich 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 followingfindings were revealed.Table 1Frequency of Teachers Use of Educational TechnologiesTechnologies f %Audiotapes 19 49CD player 24 62CD ROM 13 33Computers 30 77Digital camera 14 36Digital video recorder 6 15Email 9 23LCD projector 19 49Mobile phone 10 26Online discussion board 0 0Overhead projector 14 36Podcast 1 3Presentation slides 16 41Television 18 46Video cassette recorder/player 14 36Video on the Internet 10 26Web pages 11 28 Ranking first among the educational technologies used by the respondents inteaching-learning 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 respondentsTable 2Teachers Perceived Proficiency in the Use of Common Educational Technologies in theTeaching-Learning Situation Somewhat Very Beginner Proficient Proficient Leader f % F % f % f %Word processing 3 8 13 33 18 46 5 13Making spreadsheets 9 25 16 44 8 22 3 8Making slide presentations 16 43 11 30 6 16 4 11Surfing the web 2 5 9 24 16 43 10 27Sending and receiving emails 3 8 4 10 22 56 10 26Using an MP3 player 2 5 10 26 16 42 10 26Texting on a mobile phone 1 3 5 13 19 49 14 36Using a digital camera 5 13 7 18 15 38 12 31Desktop publishing 11 31 17 47 5 14 3 8Capturing video 6 16 20 53 9 24 3 8Making charts and graphs 7 18 17 45 12 32 2 5Making a database 23 62 11 30 2 5 1 3Participating in OL discussions 11 29 21 55 5 13 1 3Chatting on the Net 1 3 7 19 19 51 10 27Developing web pages 23 62 11 30 2 5 1 3Researching using the Net 1 3 8 21 22 58 7 18Creating a digital portfolio 15 42 13 36 6 17 2 6
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 3Pearson Correlation Matrix on Age, Years of Teaching Experience and Perceptions onEducational Technologies Perceived Perceived Proficiency Importance ** **Age -.519 -.400Teaching Experience (yrs) -.490** -.300 *Perceived Proficiency .430**** p<0.01 (1-tailed), * p<0.05 (1-tailed) When perceptions on educational technologies were tested for relationship withperson variables such as age and years of teaching experience, small to moderate correlationwere found. Perceived proficiency in the use of educational technologies had a moderateinverse 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 amoderate inverse relationship to both age, r(34)= -.400, p<0.01, and years of teachingexperience, r(34)= -.300, p<0.05. Perceived proficiency and perceived importance had adirect and moderate relationship.Table 3Paired t-test on the Perceptions of Teachers on Educational Technologies 95% Confidence Mean SD SE Interval for Mean df t Lower UpperPerceived 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 perceivedproficiency in using common educational technologies and the perceived importance of thesetechnologies to students, t(35)=-2, 604, p=0.013, with the perceived proficiency relativelysmaller than the perceived importance. Discussion After having the aforementioned analysis, it is apt to dig deeper in this survey’sfindings’ implication in the classroom.Perceptual Dissonance If there is a notable phenomenon that this simple survey reveals, it would be theperceptual dissonance in the use of educational technology. There are two forms ofdissonance revealed: first is related to the teachers’ evaluation of educational technology
relative to themselves, second is the teacher’s evaluation of educational technology relative totheir students. First, there is a dissonance between teachers’ evaluation of education technology asan essential tool for learning and their evaluation of themselves as a proficient user ofeducational technologies. This is an important finding since such perceptual incongruencemay imply something about how teachers actually use technology in their classrooms. A teacher who believes that educational technology is useful but views herself notfully capable of maximizing such technology may end up dissatisfied and frustrated. Thepersistent demand to becoming technologically-intelligent in the digital world may create aconsiderable amount of stress and pressure that also sprouts from social and professionalexpectations from students, colleagues or administrators. More desolating is when because ofsuch poor view of one’s propensity in the use of technology a teacher just resigns to thesituation and loses motivation to learn further. Another form of perceptual dissonance is when teachers tend to view the useeducational technologies as an important skill that learners must possess, but they tend notview these skills as essential enough for their own use. This might be seen in how teachersmake use of technologies in their classrooms. Although teachers might use educational technologies to assist them in presenting thecontent by using tools as LCD projectors or slide presentations, they do not readily use themto communicate with learners. The use of collaborative online tools is not apparent in thepresent survey. In this case, since valuing the affordances of technologies may not be intrinsicto 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 theirtechnological proficiency.Age and Experience Factor Another revealing finding in this survey focuses on the relationship between age andthe perceived importance of and perceived proficiency in the use of educational technology.Apparently, as age increases, the perceived importance and proficiency in the use oftechnology in the classroom decrease. Perhaps, since all the teachers surveyed are old handsin traditional education, they tend to trust time-tested methods rather than exploring othertechniques in delivering their lessons. Conclusion By and large, this survey is just a simple exploration describing how Filipino teachersutilize 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.
ReferencesCohen, 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.