Technophilia or Technophobia: Exploring Teacher  Autonomy in Learning ICT and Web Tools for the       English Language Tea...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThere are a number of individuals that I would like to thank for their advice, guidance andpractical assis...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                             I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learni...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                             I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learni...
ABSTRACTThe learning of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and web tools withinEnglish Language Teaching (ELT) has...
LIST OF FIGURES                    (Q indicates the related question from the survey)1.    Which category below includes y...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                       I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                      I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                    I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                      I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                  I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in L...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                       I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                      I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                        I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonom...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                        I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonom...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                    I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                        I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonom...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                   I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                      I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                       I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                         I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autono...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                                                             ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                                                I/D: 1163612E...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                  I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in L...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                  I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in L...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                    I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                         I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autono...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                   I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                     I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy i...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                             I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learni...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                      I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                       I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                       I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                               I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Lear...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                      I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy ...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                    I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in...
Technophilia or Technophobia:                                                      I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy ...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA disser...
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Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA dissertation

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Technophilia or Technophobia - Exploring Teacher Autonomy In Learning ICT/Web Tools For ELT Classroom - Complete MA dissertation

  1. 1. Technophilia or Technophobia: Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT and Web Tools for the English Language Teaching Classroom Philip Longwell 1163612Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MA in English Language Teaching (with a Specialism in Multimedia) September 2012
  2. 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThere are a number of individuals that I would like to thank for their advice, guidance andpractical assistance in preparing this dissertation. Firstly, I need to acknowledge theincredible amount of inspiration and influence that my personal tutor and dissertationsupervisor, Russell Stannard, had on this work. On many occasions he reassured me that Iwas capable of great things, but he also pushed me constantly to aim high. Throughoutthe dissertation process his suggestions and criticisms were never far from my mind. It,therefore, made the whole process tough at times, but ultimately rewarding. In addition, heallowed me to use his Teacher Training Videos website newsletter to advertise my research.Secondly, I wish to thank Teresa Mackinnon at Warwick Language School for considerablehelp in getting me set up with Blackboard Collaborate and granting me access to a room sothat I could conduct my interviews, even if on five occasions, I had to ‘revert to Skype’.Thirdly, I thank David Dodgson, a fellow MA student and teacher of young learners inTurkey, who was one of the founding members of my Personal Learning Network whichgrew from nothing at the start of 2012. I could name several others people from my PLN,some of whom became my focus group for this research project, but it would be too manyto mention. It was certainly as a result of my newly found PLN that I managed to generate alot of interest in my research and obtain so many responses in such a short space of time.Fourthly, I would like to thank a good friend of mine, Mark Warnes, an experiencedresearcher at Anglia Ruskin University, who gave me guidance on several occasions.Penultimately, I would like to thank Gavin Dudeney for introducing and discussing theresidents-visitors paradigm with me and for sharing his work on ‘digital literacies’ with NickyHockly and Mark Pegrum. Finally, I would like to give general thanks to my fellow MAstudents on the MA ELT Warwick Facebook group and the feedback received in essays fromseveral tutors in the Centre for Applied Linguistics, most notably Steve Mann, Keith Richardsand Richard Smith, whose own definition of teacher-learner autonomy features here. PL - September 2012
  3. 3. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT iLIST OF FIGURES iiCHAPTER ONE – BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 1.1 – Introduction / Purpose of Study 1 1.2 – Professional Development in ICT 1 1.3 – Computer-Assisted Language Learning 3CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 – Previous Studies 7 2.2 – Teacher-Learner Autonomy 10 2.3 – Paradigm 1 – Technophilia-Technophobia 13 2.4 – Paradigm 2 – ‘Digital Natives’ vs ‘Digital Immigrants’ 14 2.5 – Paradigm 3 – ‘Digital Residents’ vs ‘Digital Visitors’ 16CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH DESIGN 3.1 – Research Questions 18 3.2 – Methodology 19 3.3 – Survey Questionnaire Design 20 3.4 – Sampling Procedure 21CHAPTER FOUR – SURVEY FINDINGS 4.1 – Demographics 23 4.2 – Experience and Employment and Training 26 4.3 – Relationship with Technology 29 4.4 – Taxonomy of Current Practice 30 4.5 – Autonomy and Barriers 35 4.6 – Assessing Effectiveness of Tools 38 4.7 – Main Points 39
  4. 4. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.CHAPTER FIVE – INTERVIEWS 5.1 – Methodology 40 5.2 – Interview Findings 42 5.3 – Relationship With Technology 42 5.4 – ICT/Web Tool Usage 44 5.5 – Barriers 46 5.6 – Institutional Support or Training 48 5.7 – Autonomous Behaviour 50 5.8 – Discussion 52CHAPTER SIX – CONCLUSION AND FURTHER RESEARCH 6.1 – Conclusion 54 6.2 – Further Research 55BIBLIOGRAPHY 56APPENDICES Appendix A – Survey Questionnaire with ‘Covering Letter’ Appendix B – Survey Results Appendix C – Email Template – Information re: Interviews Appendix D - Interview Guide Appendix E – Sections of Transcribed Interview Data
  5. 5. ABSTRACTThe learning of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and web tools withinEnglish Language Teaching (ELT) has not been researched as widely as the use oftechnology in general education. In addition, the concept of teacher-learner autonomyhas rarely been used in relation to the extent to which language teachers are self-directedand take responsibility for their own learning in this area. This dissertation uses thistheoretical perspective as well as paradigms which typify an individual’s relationship withtechnology. Taxonomy of current practices was first generated through a widelyadvertised survey questionnaire, for which 106 responses were received. From thisemerged a picture of the kinds of technology and types of web tools that are currentlybeing used and why. Findings suggested that self-directed learning was fairly widespreadand that training was not expected by employees. The amount of autonomous behaviourand responsibility that language teachers take for learning ICT tools was further exploredby a series of 14 interviews with teachers in very different contexts. This included theperspective of teacher-trainers who painted a slightly different picture of the amount oftraining which takes place in institutions. What emerges will be of interest to languageteachers wishing to find out how they compare with others in this area and those possiblyseeking ways to create more autonomy for themselves in the workplace. i
  6. 6. LIST OF FIGURES (Q indicates the related question from the survey)1. Which category below includes your age? (Q2) 232. Country of teaching (Q3) 243. First (or native) language (Q4) 254. How many years have you been teaching English as a Foreign Language (Q5) 265. How often do you receive support in your professional development in the area of technology and ICT? – Detail (Q16) 276. How often do you receive support in your professional development in the area of technology and ICT? – Full (Q16) 277. Who should provide training in relation to ICT and web tools? (Q17) 288. Would you describe yourself as either a ‘Technophile’ or a ‘Technophobe’ or are you somewhere in between? (Q7) 299. What are you currently doing in respect of professional development in ICT and technology? (Q8) 3010. How often does the following technology get used in your teaching (Q9) 3111. How often do you use or have you used the following kinds of ICT/Web Tools? (Q10) 3212. (as above) continued13. How do you learn about (discover) new ICT/Web Tools? (Q11) 3314. Cross-tabulation of ‘self-discovery’ (Q11) with current professional development activities (Q8) 3415. How important are or would be the following when selecting an ICT/Web Tool? (Q12) 3516. How autonomous are you? How frequently do you the following (Q14) 3617. What are the barriers to learning about and then implementing ICT/Web Tools in respect of your teaching practice (Q15) 3618. Correlation between ‘reliability’ (Q15) and ‘technophobia’ (Q7) 37 ii
  7. 7. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. CHAPTER ONE - BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE1.1 INTRODUCTION / PURPOSE OF STUDYIn the field of English Language Teaching (ELT) there are many professionals who are activelylearning about new ICT (Information Communication Technology) and online web tools.There are numerous ways that they are discovering, learning about and integrating thesetechnologies and tools into their teaching practice. Conversely there are otherprofessionals who are not as pro-active, but would be very interested to learn of thebenefits and the practical ways of developing in this area. This paper examines currentteachers’ attitudes and practices, therefore, with the purpose of being helpful to thosecurrently being left behind and those who feel the pressure of needing to incorporate ICTknowledge and skills into their teaching. What kind of support or training is received? Whatdo they know about the latest online tools and to what extent are those tools used? Howdo teachers learn how to use them? Do teachers have an instinctive, positive relationshipwith technology or are they sceptical at first? These are some of the questions this studywill investigate, seeking answers which could be of benefit to others. It begins with adiscussion of the wider issue of professional development and a brief account of computertechnology in language learning. The paper discusses previous research, three paradigmswhich typify people’s relationship with technology and uses definitions of teacher-learnerautonomy to underpin the research questions.1.2 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN ICTThe learning of new technologies can be seen as just one area of an English as a foreignlanguage (EFL) teachers’ professional development (PD) and any existing teachers’continuous (or continuing) professional development (CPD). While these terms seeminterchangeable and there is some ambiguity in what the definition of each is, there aredistinctions. The term ‘Professional Development’ suggests acquiring new knowledge andskills, or to change role or position. It can also mean ‘staying abreast of [the] evolving field’(Bailey, Curtis and Nunan, 2007: 7). Although an EFL teacher’s physical teachingenvironment may not change, the outside world does. It is ‘career orientated and has anarrower, more instrumental and utilitarian remit’ (Mann, 2005: 104). Pre-service teachers 1
  8. 8. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.entering the ELT arena may have skills and knowledge lacking amongst in-service teachers.This is where continuous professional development comes in, at the institutional level (ibid),which for many professionals means ‘training in order to keep them[selves] up-to-date’(Friedman and Phillips, 2004). This allows those professionals already established toincrease their income, accept roles with greater prestige or to provide greater employmentsecurity: ‘CPD promises to deliver strategies of learning that will be of benefit to individuals, foster personal development, and produce professionals who are flexible, self- reflective and empowered to take control of their own learning.’ (ibid: 362-3)The personal benefits, often promoted under the banner of ‘lifelong learning’, however,may conflict somewhat with an institutional requirement to train professionals to fulfilspecific work roles (ibid: 363).One of the core themes of teacher development is the comparison between bottom-up,individual or group lead process and top-down professional development programmes(Mann, 2005: 105). There is an important difference here, as I have begun to suggest above,in terms of the kind of professional development which begins with the individual, in thispaper, the English language teacher, and the kind which emanates from above. The lattercan be seen in research carried out where top-down enforcement has taken place. Forexample, a government identified and defined a framework of ICT competencies forexpected outcomes in primary school students in Belgium (Tondeur, van Braak and Valcke,2007: 962), a joint European Commission/Greek ministry of education launched a project toenable teacher communities to integrate new ICT practices (Jimoyiannis and Komis, 2007:153) and a ministry of education introduced national reform to bring in ICT use into tertiaryeducation in southern China (Hu and McGrath, 2011). Quite often, government regulationsor policies change to reflect growing ICT use in wider society. Similarly, educationalinstitutions often bring in policies or strategies which require implementation of greater useof Information Communication Technology among its practicing teachers or lecturers (ibid).These are not limited, of course, to English language teaching and are often strategies whichcan affect the whole of an institution or level of schooling. 2
  9. 9. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.Information Communication Technology (ICT) is far more than just a secondary schoolsubject. It is something that can be integrated into most subjects at any level, depending onhow it is used. One relevant framework for this study is to what extent teachers havefound themselves increasing their knowledge of ICT from more autonomous self-directedlearning or to what extent have they waited for, possibly because they expect it from,externally driven training, either by the institution they work for or by an external trainingagency. Institutions reacting to government policy or initiatives may well be a key top-down motivational force for teachers taking up new technologies in their practice, whichbegs the question of ‘what expectations are there by institutions for their teachers to adoptthese?’ Does CPD in the area of ICT awareness, knowledge and implementation come fromexternal pushes, as and when the need arises? Do language teaching professionals activelyseek to empower themselves separately from top-down pressure or do these happen ‘inconcert’? Many more established ‘professionals’, it must be clearly stated, do not seek totake steps in this area and according to a recent snapshot selection of current practicing EFLteachers’ opinionsi, they stubbornly refuse to take part until they know what are theygetting out of it, are they getting paid for it and checking whether they are contractuallyobliged (Wade, 2012). There is also the issue, therefore, that some professionals simply donot or will not use technology and/or ICT tools in their practice, commonly for soundreasons.1.3 COMPUTER-ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNINGThe use of computer technology within language learning has, like the use of ICT in generaleducation, been in existence for decades. The Internet has, more recently, played apervasive role in institutionalised and non-institutionalised language learning (Benson, 2007:26) and a vast literature exists which emphasizes opportunities for learner autonomy withinCALL and how technologies have been developed with self-study in mind (ibid).CALL can be broken down into several periods: ‘behaviourist CALL’ (1960s-1970s),‘communicative CALL’ (1980s), ‘integrative CALL’ (1990s-). Beatty (2010) outlines someexamples of Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and so on. These began in the late1950s, with machine translations (ibid: 18-21), through linear simulations (ibid: 21-25), the 3
  10. 10. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.introduction of microcomputers, videodisc and CD-ROM formats in the 1970s, initiativessuch as ‘Macario’, a videodisc program for learning Spanish (sic, ibid: 27), ‘InteractiveDigame’ and the Athena Language-Learning Project, ‘ALLP’ in the 1980s (ibid: 29). Oneparticular software program called Eliza was an example of a computer being used tosimulate human intelligence (Beatty, 2010: 32).Another way to look at the development of CALL is how technology has influenced themethod used. The ‘grammar-translation’ method relied on blackboard and chalk, still usedtoday in many ELT contexts. The blackboard was replaced by the overhead projector, whichis still commonly used, requiring the teacher to skilfully position the device in the classroomfor maximum readability. Early computer software drew on ‘drill and practice’ grammarexercises and ‘linear simulations’, as we saw above. The audio-tape was the perfectmedium for the audio-lingual method, most popular in the 1970s and 1980s, and stillavailable – now as CDs or downloadable mp3s. Self-study aids, such as offered by Berlitzii,remain widely available for the individual learners wishing to ‘pick up’ a language, often in ashort space of time.Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) is another term used for the delivery of lessons.Skill requirements in CMC are greater than for the typical classroom-bound instructor. Thishas been examined, amongst others, by Hampel and Sticker (2005) who presented a‘pyramid of skills’ needed for online tutors. The challenges of delivering online courses aredifferent from face-to-face settings. ‘Listing the skills required would not do justice to thecomplexity of the training and development needed [although] a pyramid, from the mostgeneral skills forming a fairly broad based to an apex of individual and personal styles’ canbe generated (ibid).The delivery of online language courses has received much interest (ibid: 313). The initialfocus was on asynchronous text-based mediated interaction, (Warschauer, 1997; Kelm, inibid) but more recently the focus has been on online conferencing systems (Kern, in ibid;Sykes, in Levy 2009; Mullen, Appel and Shanklin, 2009), which enables synchronous tuitionand distance learning to take place. An example would be Voice-over Internet Protocol(VOIP) technologies, such as Skype. 4
  11. 11. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.Other developments, from a cognitive perspective, include text-reconstruction software,featuring scrambled texts, and concordancing software, where users look at collocationsand the behaviour of particular words (Warschauer and Meskill, 2000: 2). In addition, thereis multimedia simulation software, allowing learners to explore simulated environments,such as those created in Second Life. Collaborative learning and constructivist ‘negotiationof meaning’ is a more recent trend. Technologies which support a cognitive approach tolanguage learning are those which allow maximum exposure to language in meaningfulcontext (ibid, 2000). Here it is ‘assumed that knowledge is an objective interpretation ofideas and that such interpretations are best developed through the learner discovering andstruggling with ideas’ (Beatty, 2010: 105). One inquiry-based tool which has been used bylanguage teachers is the WebQuest. This initiative took a constructivist approach to learningand an integrative approach to CALL. One empirical study found that WebQuests were aneffective way to use technology with students and ‘an excellent educational innovationwhen used correctly’ (Perkins and McKnight, 2005).More recent innovations include wikis and ‘walled gardens’ (Pegrum, 2009: 20) in the formof password-protected, collaborative, virtual learning environments (VLE). The formerrepresents forums suited to honing communicative and intercultural literacies (Pegrum,2009: 42), which most obviously turns collective intelligence into a structural principle (ibid:30) and are inherently incomplete: A wiki is a social constructivism in motion: collaboratively constructed, constantly added to and modified, and always provisional. The collective intelligence which emerges from contributors’ cooperative efforts is never fixed but constantly evolving. (ibid: 33)The unrestricted authorship has meant a shift from expert-generated taxonomies toindividually-created folksonomies (Beatty, 2010: 41), which are underpinned by organicindexing processes (Pegrum, 2009: 29).An Internet-enhanced object-oriented multiple-user domain (MOO), meanwhile, serves as atool to select and enhance Internet resources (Schwienhorst, 1999), while at the same time,expanding the possibilities of the traditional classroom. One such popular innovation in thisarea is Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE), which is a free 5
  12. 12. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.source e-learning software platform. The implementation of MOODLE superseded thesuccessful use of language management systems (LMS) such as WebCT, a VLE system sold toinstitutions and now owned by Blackboard, who recently developed the video conferencingsoftware, ‘Collaborate’, which can be used by language teachers for sharing and trainingpurposes, or for facilitating interviews, as this paper will show later.The brief examples shown above are used to illustrate that there is nothing particularly newin the existence of computer-assisted language learning, or the more appropriatedescription of technology-assisted language learning (TALL). What might be newer is therequirement on language teachers operating in certain contexts to learn how to useinstitutionally bought technologies. Do language teachers feel pressure to learn these and,consequently, what expectations do they have of their institutions? Or are teachers,themselves, now leading the institutions, discovering and learning new tools forthemselves? This needs investigating, as autonomous behaviour in this area may well begreater than believed. 6
  13. 13. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. CHAPTER TWO - LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 PREVIOUS STUDIESBefore investigating the area of ICT integration into ELT, I will discuss some of the previousempirical research in the field, followed by a discussion of the theoretical construct ofteacher-learner autonomy, which underpins this new investigation.There is not much literature on the uptake of ICT or web tools by English language teachersor how they go about learning them, which is a gap needing investigation. There is,however, a lot of research into the uptake of ICT in more general education (Mumtaz, 2000),while this adoption can be traced back to the early 1970s (Levy in Hu and McGrath, 2011:42). Romeo and Walker (2002) summarised two perspectives. The first, influenced bybehaviourist learning theories, focuses on the computer as a mechanism by which to deliverinformation. In this ‘instructionist pedagogy’ the main focus is on the delivery of materialsin which information can be more effectively transmitted by teachers and understood bylearners. The second, influenced by constructivism, focuses on the use of computers as asystem to enhance teaching and learning. (Hu and McGrath, 2011: 43).Mumtaz’ (2000) provided an extensive, international overview of the literature at that pointwhich highlighted a number of factors involved in the take up of ICT in schools. It separatedfactors which discouraged the uptake of technology from those that encouraged itsintegration. A lack of experience, specialist staff support and training, computer availabilityand a lack of time to successfully integrate technology into the curriculum were highlighted(ibid: 320). In addition, many teachers saw technology as a challenging force and onlyrelevant for teachers of computer science or ICT (ibid). Robertson et al (1996, in ibid),particularly, dwelt on resistance to organisation change, outside intervention and issues oftime management (ibid: 320-321). Several articles, however, highlighted factors whichencouraged teachers to use technology. Examples included ‘making the lessons moreinteresting, more motivating for the pupils’ (Cox, Preston and Cox, 1999 in ibid: 323), ‘gainsin learning and using computers for their own teacher development’ (Sheingold & Hadley1990 in ibid: 324) and ‘if the software matched the teacher’s pedagogy, they used it’ (Veen,1993 in ibid: 323). Constructivist pedagogy, in which learners make sense of new concepts 7
  14. 14. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.through use of their own knowledge experiences, was also highlighted. Becker & Riel (2000,in ibid: 324) found that teachers regularly involved in ‘professional interactions and activitiesbeyond their classroom’ were more likely to have ‘teaching philosophies compatible withconstructivist learning theory.’The benefits of ICT use in language education have been discussed previously, in onequalitative study (Chambers & Bax, 2006), in terms of its potential to involve learners in avariety of activities and support learners’ autonomous learning. In addition, a central aim forCALL practitioners has been to strive for ‘normalisation’, where teachers and learners reapits full benefits: When computers … are used every day by language students and teachers as an integral part of every lesson … they will be completely integrated into all other aspects of classroom life, alongside coursebooks, teachers and notepads. They will go almost unnoticed. (Bax, in Chambers and Bax, 2006: 465-466)A sense of ‘normalisation’ is thus when technology is not used to amaze or engage studentsand is not treated with ‘exaggerated respect’, but becomes a ‘normal’ part of everydayteaching. This is the difference, probably, between ‘computer-assisted language learning’and fully integrated teaching with technology.ICT use is not without problems as it requires certain skill levels for both students andteachers to operate technology and integrate materials successfully (McGrath in McGrathand Hu, 2011: 43). A key study is one which questioned EFL teachers’ attitudes towards theadoption of ICT in the wider context of a college English reform programme, in SouthernChina. Hu and McGrath (2011) examined whether teachers were ‘ready’ to integrate ICT inlight of their CPD training or lack thereof. Despite the perception that the researchersalready suspected the teachers involved were ‘not ready’ to integrate ICT fully, the findingsdid indicate that limited ICT skills and pedagogic reasons for using ICT were obstacles.Despite having generally positive views, enthusiasm ‘waned in the light of inadequatesupport and CPD opportunities’ (ibid: 47). A strong connection is made in this researchtowards the autonomy shown by the teachers in learning about ICT tools for themselves.The article makes many references to ‘deep rooted’, traditional teacher-centred pedagogy.The apparent failure at the institutional level to respond to top-down demands to integrate 8
  15. 15. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.ICT usage, because of, for example, a lack of funding or inadequate training may not applyeverywhere. The findings showed that teachers had ‘little knowledge of autonomy’ (ibid:52). Without teachers being autonomous in their own learning of new technology; theycouldn’t possibly expect students to become autonomous learners themselves. To whatextent teacher autonomy plays a role in ICT learning and their own training is worthy ofinvestigation. In addition, how does CPD in ICT actually happen – is it institution-leadthrough compulsory CPD programmes or does it come down to autonomous teacherslearning ICT for themselves – or a combination?One area which has been investigated by many previous researchers are the beliefs andattitudes of both pre-service (Teo, Chai, Hung and Lee, 2008, Hismanoglu, 2012) and in-service language teachers (Mumtaz, 2000; Albrini 2004; Tondeur et al, 2007; Li and Walsh,2010; Hismanoglu; 2012, Sağlam and Sert, 2012) of ICT adoption or implementation.Personal factors, such as gender, teaching experience and the perception of English as aforeign language compared with other subjects affected some studies (Mumtaz, 2000;Jimoyiannis and Komis, 2007) as is the extent to whether the teachers studied receivesufficient training and support to make this increased deployment of technology come tofruition (for example, Mumtaz, 2000; Granger, Morbey, Lotherington, Owston andWideman, 2002; Hampel and Stickler, 2005; Jimoyiannis and Komis, 2007; Hu and McGrath,2011; Hismanoglu, 2012). Others (for example, Zhong and Shen, 2002) have looked at thechanges that have taken place in technologically integrated classroom practice.Most of the selected studies selected above focus on a particular language-learning context.Albrini (2004), for example, examined high school EFL teachers’ attitudes in Syrian educationand explored the relationship between their attitudes and factors thought to be influencingthem. This included a perception of their computer competence and the cultural relevanceof going against traditional styles of instruction. Personal characteristics (gender, age,income, experience etc) were built into the design. A strong correlation between teachers’attitudes towards ICT in education and their perceptions of their computer attributes werefound. A strong reference is made to Rogers’ ‘Innovation Decision Process’ (1995), whichstates that ‘people’s attitudes toward a new technology are a key element in its diffusion …An innovation’s diffusion is a process that occurs over time through five stages: Knowledge, 9
  16. 16. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.Persuasion, Decision, Implementation and Confirmation’ (Rogers in Albrini, 2004: 375). Theconscious learner, therefore, goes through a process which either rejects the innovation(stage 3) or continues to adapt it, use it and re-use for its own purpose (stages 4 and 5). Thishas a direct relevance to how teachers might choose a piece of technology or an ICT tool,which I will return to when I discuss a teachers’ relationship with technology.For now, I wish to move onto the concept of teacher-learner autonomy, which has beenalready mentioned. This is relevant to this new research in light of the proliferation of weband ICT tools and how teachers go about learning them.2.2 TEACHER-LEARNER AUTONOMYTeacher autonomy or more correctly, teacher-learner autonomy, has been be defined as‘the ability to develop appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes for oneself as a teacher, inco-operation with others’ (Smith, 2003:1). In an analogous relationship to learnerautonomy, it has also been defined as ‘the capacity, freedom, and/or responsibility to makechoices concerning one’s own teaching’ (Aoki, in Benson, 2007: 31). Little (1995) rightlyasserts that learner autonomy is nothing new. Genuinely successful learners have alwaysbeen autonomous but it is important to pursue ‘learner autonomy as an explicit goal, tohelp more learners to succeed’ (ibid: 175). Little (1991) establishes ‘a capacity fordetachment, critical reflection, decision making and independent action’ (ibid: 4) on the partof the learner. This capacity is displayed in the way that the learner ‘transfers what hasbeen learned to wider contexts’ (ibid).There is a strong link between definitions of learner autonomy and the expectations tofoster this amongst students and a teacher’s own willingness to be autonomous themselves.Much of the literature treats teacher autonomy as a professional attribute, involving acapacity for self-directed professional development (Benson, 2007: 30). More recently, theemphasis has been on ‘freedom from constraint’ and the teachers’ efforts to promoteautonomy amongst their learners in constraining settings, often outside of their control(ibid: 30). In their extended, working definition of teacher autonomy, Barfield at al (2001),emphasised the contextually based relationship between teaching, learners and institutions.Teacher autonomy is closely linked to confronting constraints, being collaborative with 10
  17. 17. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.other teachers and negotiating with the institution. This development and characteristics ofthe individual teacher: ‘…is driven by a need for personal and professional improvement, so that an autonomous teacher may seek out opportunities … to develop further. Teacher autonomy is a socially constructed process, where teacher support and development groups can act as teacher-learner pools of diverse knowledge, experience, equal power and autonomous learning.’ (Barfield et al, The ‘Shizuoka’ Definition, 2001)Smith (2003) outlines some theoretical dimensions of teacher autonomy. Prior definitions,he argues, have ‘tended to advocate one aspect to the exclusion of others, from teacherautonomy as a generalised ‘right to freedom from control’ to teachers’ capacity to engage inself-directed teaching to teachers’ autonomy as learners’ (Smith, 2003: 1, emphasis inoriginal). McGrath’s (2000) attempt to identify different dimensions proves a noteworthyexception, as does the Shizuoka definition already mentioned. McGrath’s separation ofteacher autonomy as (1) self-directed action or development and (2) as freedom fromcontrol by others influenced Smith who extracted a further meaning. ‘Action’ and‘development’ is not necessarily the same thing. In addition, a further similar distinction isrequired between capacity for and/or willingness to engage in self-direction and actual self-directed behaviour (Smith, 2003: 4). In this definition involving distinctive parts, there arethree dimensions in relation to ‘professional action’ and three in relation to professionaldevelopment: In relation to professional action: A: Self-directed profession action (= ‘Self-directed teaching’) B: Capacity for self-directed professional action. (= ‘Teacher autonomy (I)’) C: Freedom from control over professional action. (=’Teacher autonomy (II)’) In relation to professional development: D: Self-directed professional development. (= ‘Self-directed teacher-learning’) E: Capacity for self-directed professional development. (=’Teacher-learner autonomy (I)’) F: Freedom from control over professional development. (= ‘Teacher-learner autonomy (II)’) (Smith, ‘Dimensions of teacher autonomy’, 2003: 4)While some (e.g. Aoki, 2000; McGrath 2000 in Smith, 2003) have emphasised theimportance of a capacity for the self-directed teacher (B, above) others (e.g. Benson, 2000;Lamb, 2000 in Smith, 2003) have stressed the importance of freedom from control overtheir teaching (C, above). In respect of A-C the autonomous behaviour shown is not limited 11
  18. 18. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.to one aspect of practice. Smith is critical of a limitation in using ‘teacher autonomy’ as aloose synonym for the ‘capacity to promote learner autonomy’. This kind of capacity, hesays, is ‘not exactly the same thing as any, or all of the dimensions identified’ (2008: 85). Helater states, however, that it ‘does seem possible to propose certain general precepts’ forthis promotion (ibid: 86). Direct lecturing over the benefits of learner autonomy might beinsufficient, but actual practical experiences can be particularly powerful. Preparingteachers for the development of their own autonomy can be difficult. It might beappropriate for educators, including institutions, to focus directly on developing awillingness and capacity for self-directed teacher-learning. How to do this is, according toSmith (ibid: 87) not something frequently discussed in the literature. Nor, would I argue, isan account of self-employed, freelance ELT professionals’ necessity to be autonomouslearners, which I will account for in my own research.These different dimensions of teacher autonomy were useful for this new investigation, inrespect of separating the potential for action and actuality of something happening inpractice. It can also be the separation of the capacity of teachers, based on their perceived‘relationship’ with technology, to learn about new tools, and their willingness to do so, giventhat relationship and other contextual factors.In this paper, the autonomous behaviour shown by teachers to learn about using ICT toolscan be seen as that which is carried out for the purpose of actual teaching practice(professional action) and for future employment, training and other opportunities(professional development). Definitions of teacher autonomy and teacher learner-autonomy have not previously been used to frame discussions of teachers learning abouttechnology or web tools. There are a number of studies which evaluate more specific tools,such as screen casting (e.g Gromik, 2007; Wales and Roberton, 2008; Grandon Gill, 2007)but this rarely focuses on English language teaching. Often the research is conducted inother areas, most notably by or for librarians (Jill Markgraf, 2006; Price, 2010).Teacher autonomy covers a wide range of potential characteristics, as we have seen; morethan just a set of skills, technical or otherwise. Although it has been closely linked to theidea of fostering learner autonomy, no explicit connection has been made between the 12
  19. 19. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.teacher’s own capacity, on the one hand, and behaviour, on the other, in respect of learningabout ICT tools. I am investigating how autonomous teachers are as learners of these toolsand to what extent these are self-directed professional actions.By ‘using’ the tools, this covers both the ability to effectively use the tool in lessonpreparation, the deliverance of the lesson or to facilitate its operation by the studentlearners. It can also extend to using a tool reflectively or, for example, managing feedback.It is worth pointing out that the general distinction of ‘freedom from control’ in practice canbe evidenced in more than two ways. That is, in terms of the opportunity to use technologyand ICT tools in professional practice and the necessary use of technology as imposed by aninstitution which has spent resources installing such technology.I will now proceed to explore the dimension of teacher-learner autonomy that focuses onfirstly, the capacity and secondly, the willingness to be autonomous when it comes tolearning about technology and ICT tools. In doing so, I will look at three different paradigms,‘typologies’, that have been proposed. It is worth bearing in mind that a teacher’s ability tobe autonomous when it comes to learning new technologies or tools can be affected by therelative freedoms they have in choosing to use it. One assumption on my part is that wherethere is freedom from constraint, the teacher will show more autonomy but where there isan imposed requirement, the teacher may feel less inclined to research the tool themselvesand, instead, wait for institutional training or support.2.3 PARADIGM 1: TECHNOPHILIA-TECHNOPHOBIAOne particular dimension on the attitudes of EFL and prospective EFL teachers is theirperception of a relationship with technology. A person who is considered a ‘technophobe’dislikes, is wary of or has some fear of using technology. Conversely, a ‘technophile’ issomeone with a love, passion or enjoyment of discovering and/or using new technology.These contrasting perceptions are not limited to simply a ‘fear’ or ‘love’ and are usually farmore complex than these extremes. Furthermore, a person’s own attitudes might bedifferent from their personal belief in the benefits of technology rather than a simpleresistance to it. The research question of whether language teachers were perceived to be 13
  20. 20. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.technophobic was explored by a Canadian study (Lam, 2000) and appears to be the onlystudy which proposes this contention from the outset. This study aimed to test whetherfear was an underlying factor behind decisions regarding the use of technology.Furthermore, it posed the related question of what other factors lead some L2 teachers tochoose not to use technology in their teaching practice. This relatively small-scale study,featuring ten participants, indicated that the reasons for not using technology lay more inthe lack of pedagogical benefits they saw rather than an outright fear. One implication wasthat it felt it necessary to convince them of the benefits of using it in the classroom (ibid,411). It concluded that there was negativity attached to teachers considered to be‘technophobic’, quite possibly by an overly ‘technophilic’ institution. As long as teachersfeel alienated from technology they will not see the benefits. Furthermore, …understanding what factors influence teachers’ decisions on using technology is an important step in ensuring that institutions are not wasting already limited funds on equipment that no one uses. (ibid, 412)The idea of a creating a typology of people’s relationship with technology is not new,although as technology develops, the actual devices or tools used as part of research intothat relationship changes too. It also appears common in literature on this topic to create atypology (e.g. Tondeur et al, 2007), where there are two polar extremes or ‘dichotomy’,such as above. Alternative terminology on this particular continuum could be describingusers as ‘tech-comfy’ or ‘tech-savvy’ (Dudeney, 2011). The latter ‘relationship’ is ofteninappropriately attributed to younger users of technology, which will now be discussed.2.4 PARADIGM 2: ‘DIGITAL NATIVES’ vs ‘DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS’Another widely held distinction is that there is a whole generation of ‘digital natives’(Prensky, 2001), often called the ‘net generation’ (Tapscott, 1998; Oblinger and Oblinger inBennett, Maton and Kervin, 2008), ‘millenials’ or ‘gen Y’ (Pegrum, 2009: 55). Learners of acertain age are portrayed as having spent their whole lives immersed in technology(Prensky, 2001: 1). By the sheer volume of their interaction in this ‘ubiquitous environment’(ibid), they possess sophisticated knowledge of and skills with information technologieswhich, in turn, informs their learning preferences. A clear distinction is made between thisgeneration born, for example, between 1977 and 1997 (Tapscott, 1998) and those who are 14
  21. 21. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.older, not born in the ‘digital age’, the so-called ‘digital immigrants’. Despite this, the lattergeneration, have become fascinated by and adopted many of the newer technologies. Theirforeign ‘accent’, which translates as having ‘one foot in the past’ (Prensky, 2001: 2),however, never disappears entirely.Whilst the existence of an ‘accent’ might be argued to feature in a whole generation of‘immigrants’, it is often characterised by anecdotal evidence and appeals to commonly heldbeliefs (Bennett et al, 2008: 777). It is argued that there is little empirical evidence to theclaims that this arbitrary divide exists. By not empirically backing up this contention,Prensky’s words only sought to create an academic version of a moral panic. The analogy toCohen’s (1972) notion of ‘moral panic’ is helpful, because of the similarity to ‘a youthsubculture, portrayed as embodying a threat to societal values and norms,’ (Bennett et al,2008: 782). Prensky (2001) tried to expose this generational gap, warning of students whohad changed radically, no longer the people [the US] education system was designed toteach and that digital immigrants instructors spoke an outdated language (ibid: 1-2).While newer technologies may still be frequently portrayed as playgrounds for youngergenerations, it does not necessarily follow that children are the authorities. It is true thatmany young people are ‘driven to connect with their peers online as a result of increasinglyheavily scheduled and protected lives’ (Dudeney, Hockly and Pegrum, 2012: 8). It does notfollow, however, that the emergent technologies, including the newer generation ofdynamic web tools, which focus on communication, sharing and collaboration, thus turningordinary web users from passive consumers of information into active contributors to ashared culture, have only been taken up by a younger generation. Empirical studies showthat the notion of a homogenous, digitally able generation is a myth (ibid), while simpleterms like ‘net generation’ can blind us to a more complex reality (Pegrum, 2009: 56).In educational settings, teachers might find themselves having to be pro-active whenlearning new technologies for the classroom, as a top-down requirement. Similarly, theymight take the lead on investigating web tools because they are part of a wider network ofprofessionals, which students are not. Finally, many language teachers currently practicing 15
  22. 22. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.are very open to creative possibilities of technology. They do not have a pre-digital mindset,often knowing as much as, if not more than, their students.2.5 PARADIGM 3: ‘DIGITAL RESIDENTS’ vs ‘DIGITAL VISITORS’A more recent paradigm, or continuum, has been proposed (White, 2008; White and LeCornu, 2011) which seems to more accurately define two contrasting but not polar oppositeusers of online technology, who differ in the approach they take.A ‘visitor’ goes online, presented metaphorically as a garden shed, and selects a particular‘tool’ to carry out a task. It might not be ideal but it ‘does the job’. As long as progress ismade, the ‘visitor’ is content, with the tool ‘being replaced’ in the shed. Visitors are goal-orientated and unlikely to have a social persona online as they might be wary of their digitalidentity being known. They try to leave without creating a trace.A ‘resident’, on the other hand, pictures the Web as a meeting place for exchanges of allmanner of ideas, opinions and activities. A significant proportion of their actual lives areconducted online. For residents, the Web is a place to express opinions, a place in whichrelationships can be formed and extended. They are nebulous, visible and communal, butnot necessarily collaborative. The web is a ‘social space’, where a resident ‘enjoys that senseof ambient social presence … of other people in social media platforms’ but still retains astrong sense of autonomy (White, 2008iii).The construction of a web ‘tool’ as something which is purposefully selected is very useful,in the same way that a piece of technology can be consciously chosen to do a job.Incidentally, none of the numerous Web 2.0 tools, which will feature in the taxonomy oftools described later in this paper, did not exist when Prensky offered his original,dichotomous typology.Many ‘visitors’ will limit their online activity for good reason. It can be a fairly consciousdecision not to engage for ‘fear’ of wasting time, being ‘exposed’ or being sucked intosomething which causes anxiety and frustration. Being a cautious and selective ‘visitor’means a person is no less technically adept at using a tool effectively than the ‘resident’. Infact, they may be better skilled at selection, based on pedagogic principles. 16
  23. 23. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.Whilst the Visitors-Residents paradigm initially appears to represent a more fluid andengaging way to frame this new research, it focuses more on online behaviour and still maynot accurately reflect the complexities of users engaging with technology today. It is alsonot yet established in the minds of potential respondents. The technophile-technophobeparadigm is, I would argue, more familiar and was, therefore, chosen as a starting point forthis investigation. Despite reservations over how accurately it can describe a person’srelationship with technology, it benefits from not being age-based or dependent on onlineactivity. It also allows respondents to self-describe their relationship, based on theircomparative perception, which can be explored during the interviews. 17
  24. 24. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH DESIGN3.1 RESEARCH QUESTIONSI have so far discussed Continuous Professional Development, Computer-assisted LanguageLearning, some previous research into ICT use in education and by language teachers inparticular, dimensions of teacher autonomy and paradigms used to describe a person’srelationship with technology. The research questions below were formulated ahead of thisnew exploratory investigation into this area, with an attempt to connect the differentdimensions of teacher autonomy with the behaviour of currently practicing EFL teachers.The perception of an EFL teacher’s view of technology was an interesting starting point and Iwanted to discover whether this affected autonomous behaviour and whether this changedover time. This led to some initial research questions shown here:  How do teachers discover ICT/web tools, what are they using and why?  How frequent is teachers’ use of ICT/web tools in practice?  Are they getting enough support to integrate these tools?  What are the expectations of institutions in training teachers in this area?  How autonomous are teachers in learning these tools for themselves and is this based on their relationship with technology?  What are the barriers to implementing ICT/web tools into teaching?These are explored in the research, as taxonomy of what EFL teachers are doing wasdeveloped. One presupposition was that they are either not getting enough support or thatthere is a mismatch between institutional demand to increase ICT skills and a lack oftraining. I also ventured that there were many self-employed and freelance teachers andteacher trainers who, by their circumstances, are, by necessity, more likely to beautonomous when it comes to their development in this area. It was important, however,to see what came out of the data. 18
  25. 25. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.3.2 METHODOLOGYHaving set up my research questions, I will describe the process of research, includingreasons for this area of investigation and methodological approach.I chose a ‘mixed methods’ approach to collect the data. On the one hand, I wanted tocollect taxonomy of what language teachers are currently doing, and where they are doing it- a snapshot of the extent to which ICT and web tools were being engaged with. On theother hand, I wanted to dig beneath the surface to find the reasons behind using thesetools, and especially of their relationship with technology. How do teachers learn thesetools for themselves and to what extent do they rely on others, more experienced in thefield? When finding out attitudes towards the use of technology, I suspected that manyteachers perceived their relationship with technology in a certain way. This second partconnects with the paradigms which I covered earlier.The particular variant of mixed methods approach I used can be abbreviated to ‘QUAN ->qual’ (Dörnyei, 2007: 170). This typology is reserved for a questionnaire survey which isfollowed by an interview or retrospection, with dominance on the former method (ibid 169).Research begins with a reasonably large amount of data collection in a short space of time,using a questionnaire survey. The answers received are substantially dependent on thequestions asked. This is followed up with a hand-picked selection of qualitative interviewswith semi-structured questions, based on the responses to the open questions from thesurvey. Those interviewed have already taken part in the survey. Hence, the capitalisationof ‘QUAN’ and the lower-case, ‘qual’, because the subsequent qualitative component isthere to ‘remedy the potential weakness’ of the respondents’ engagement with thequestions as being shallow and unable to show the exact nature of the any observedrelationship (ibid: 170-171). An alternative to this method would be ‘QUAN+QUAL’‘concurrent design’ method, in which equally weighted pieces of quantitative andqualitative data are carried out, albeit separately from each other. As my interviewees alsoparticipated in the questionnaire survey, they form a sequential secondary component ofthe overall data collection. I felt it was important to do this because, in isolation,questionnaires: 19
  26. 26. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. inherently involve a somewhat superficial and relatively brief engagement with the topic on the part of the respondent. Therefore, no matter how creatively we formulate the items, they are unlikely to yield the kind of rich and sensitive description of events and participant perspectives that qualitative interpretations are grounded in. (Dörnyei, 2007: 105)3.3 SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGNFor the survey questionnaire design, a combination of closed, demographic, ‘Likert scale’,multi-item (matrix) scale and open-ended questions were used. In trying to establishcurrent practice, it was important to provide some suggestions for each question, but toalso allow respondents to state, in their own words, what they are doing, as supplementaryor additional information. Examples of this were questions 8 and 9, which account for someoptions, but allowed for an open response to cover additional or alternative answers.The survey underwent a process of several stages of piloting. Firstly, the survey wasadvertised on an ICT in ELT blog, which already existediv, amongst current practicingprofessionals, with a request to take part, It was circulated amongst members of the IATEFLand #ELTchat Facebook groups and via followers on Twitter. A webinar was set up using theWiZIQ platformv, providing a link to the class on the blog post. The aim was to ask some ofthe preliminary research questions and to explore some definitions, including those of‘technophobia’ and ‘technophilia’, with an aim to construct a questionnaire. Seventeachers participated, including two who responded directly with comments on the blog.Five others came via the aforementioned social networking sites and already formed part ofa growing Personal Learning Network (PLN), which had been building since the start of theyear. These seven willing participants, each one a currently practicing language teacher,formed the ‘focus group’, of which two members complete their feedback by email.The question wording was designed following that first webinar. The design underwent anumber of changes. Initially, ten questions were thought to be sufficient. I consulted afriend, an experienced researcher, who noted a complete absence of demographicquestions, such as those on age and gender. It was also suggested that ten questions mightnot be enough, a crucial point which was affirmed by my supervisor later. By this time, 20
  27. 27. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.however, a second webinar had taken place, thirteen days after the first. This webinar wasspecifically to discuss the wording of the questionnaire, which at that point had only ninequestions. There were four participants, which included one new teacher who had foundthe blog entry and wanted to take part. The four others, who were originally involved in thefocus group but couldn’t make the second session, submitted their feedback by email. Aworking link to the draft survey was provided, so that they could go through each questionof the nine questions and suggest a possible 10th. All of this feed into a radically revised,twenty question survey, which now included demographics and an option to take part infollow-up interviews. This was subsequently ‘road-tested’ by two of the group, one of whomsuggested what subsequently became an optional question on measuring effectiveness ofan ICT tool. The final version, with ‘covering letter’ is included in Appendix A.3.4 SAMPLING PROCEDUREAt this point, I will discuss the sampling procedure. From the outset, this study did not aimto focus on one teaching context or location. The aim was to collect broad opinions fromEFL teachers around the world, without necessarily making generalised claims. Non-probability sampling was used, as this consists of ‘a number of strategies that try to achievea trade-off, that is, a reasonably representative sample using resources that are within themeans of the ordinary researcher (Dörnyei, 2007: 97). In addition, a form of convenience(with purposive) sampling was used. An important criterion here is the convenience of theresearcher, who is able to easily access members of the target population, using socialnetworks. In addition, it is somewhat purposive, because the request for participantsincluded a requirement that the person be working in the field of ELT as a teacher, teacher-trainer, recently engaged as a teacher or about to start as one. Although the qualificationwas narrowed at first, it was kept wide enough to catch potential candidates who had somevalid opinions on this.Two ‘collector points’ were set up in Survey Monkey. The first consisted of accessing myown Personal Learning Network (PLN), mentioned earlier, via the same sources used toestablish the focus group. They were given one uniform resource locator (URL) to completethe survey. The second consisted of people signed up to the Teacher Training Videos (TTV) 21
  28. 28. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.websitevi newsletter. This group were given a different locator to complete the survey. Itis likely that some received both requests, but there can be confidence that nobodycompleted the survey more than once, as was requested, due to identifiable InternetProtocol addresses. A minimum of 50 and ideally 100 responses were sought, which waseasily achieved.It is important to stipulate the manner of the sampling technique employed here. Anysurvey about people’s behaviour with technology and experience of ICT tools would ideallytriangulate data collected by an online survey against that taken from a physicalquestionnaire followed by face-to-face interviews from a contrasting source. A moreaccurate current picture might be obtained by surveying people who otherwise do notreadily engage with online activities. So despite taking a ‘mixed’ approach, there is notriangulation in the strictest sense (ibid: 165). An acknowledgement of the somewhatinevitable problem of ‘self-selection’ (ibid: 100-101) is also required. By giving participantsfreedom to choose, the resulting sample can be dissimilar to the ideal target population. Areasonably representative sample was, nonetheless, obtained, given that the majority ofparticipants would have, at least, the basic skills of IT competence to complete the survey.In addition, there was no deliberate attempt to target ‘technophobes’ or those less engagedin the topic. A question which bluntly asks how ‘technophobic’ someone feels could betaken as a somewhat irrelevant question given an online survey. It remained a startingpoint, nonetheless, for investigating attitudes towards the issue, which could be tested laterduring interviews. As stated earlier, this is more familiar terminology. A relationship withtechnology can be more fluid than that, with the use of some technologies managed betterthan others. The relationship can also change over time. 22
  29. 29. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. CHAPTER FOUR - SURVEY FINDINGS4.1 DEMOGRAPHICS107 responses were received in a 14 day period, with 68 from the general collector and 39from the TTV collector. One response from the latter was discounted due to incompleteinformation from a duplicated IP address. Effectively this resulted in 106 full responses,who all completed the main 18 questions to reach the final page, while 23 added furthercomments (question 19) and 46 left their contact address (question 20) to be informed ofthe results of the survey and/or for a follow-up interview. The full findings are shown inAppendix B, minus the contact details.Of the first two demographic questions, 72 (67.9%) were female, 34 (32.1%) were male,with a broad range of ages being represented. 40 (37.7%) of the respondents came from the30-39 age bracket – see figure 3. One respondent was 60 or over and no-one was under 21. Figure 1Of the second two demographic questions, a total of 54 different countries and 26 differentfirst (or native) languages were represented. For this survey, ‘country’ was defined aswhere the respondent ‘currently teaches or has recently taught’, while ‘first (or native)language’ could include two answers if that person considered themselves bilingual. Both ofthese open questions required a self-defined answer, rather than ticking from severaloptions. 23
  30. 30. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. 1 Country of teaching 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 1 1 1 1 1 7 1 1 1 1 1 7 2 2 2 4 2 2 4 2 4 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 UK (10) Turkey (8) Greece (7) Spain (7) Argentina (4) China (4) Japan (4) Australia (3) England (3) Germany (3) Mexico (3) none/yet to teach (3) Portugal (3) Canada (2) France (2) Indonesia (2) Ireland (2) Italy (2) Oman (2) Qatar (2) Romania (2) South Korea (2) Thailand (2) Ukraine (2) Venezuela (2) Vietnam (2) Armenia Belgium Cameroon Channel Islands Chile Croatia Ethiopia India Iran Latvia Libya Middle East Mynamar Nepal Netherlands Poland Republic of Macedonia Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland Slovakia Sweden Switzerland Syria Tanzania Uruguay USA Virtual/Online with LEWWP Figure 2 24
  31. 31. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. First (or native) language 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 49 2 2 4 6 6 12 English (49) Spanish (12) Greek (6) Turkish (6) Russian (4) Arabic (2) German (2) Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) (2) Italian (2) Polish (2) Portuguese (2) Slovak (2) Amharic Burmese Croatian Greek/English (bilingual) Lamnso Macedonian Mandarin Chinese Nepali Persian Pogoro Romanian Spanish/Catalan (bilingual) Swiss German Telugu Ukranian Figure 3 25
  32. 32. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.The most represented countries were the United Kingdom, Turkey and Greece – see figure2. Five respondents stated that they taught in more than country and these are counted asseparate entries (total 116). Some appeared to associate themselves with teaching in onecountry (for example, eight years in Iran) but are currently teaching in another (Sweden).One respondent, based in the USA, stated that she has set up a virtual ‘Ning’-built websiteand, subsequently, teaches people from around the world. English was, perhaps notsurprisingly, the most common native language stated, with 49 stating this, followed bySpanish (12) – see figure 3. Figure 44.2 EXPERIENCE, EMPLOYMENT AND TRAININGOn the question of experience, 98 responded, with 35 stating they had 11-20 years in thearea of ELT. 23 claimed more than 20 years’ experience – see figure 4. Eight skipped thequestion, which, must be assumed, included three who had previously stated (in Q3) theywere yet to teach. The vast majority of respondents (70) stated they were employed, withtwo part-time and two more employed as ‘volunteers’. This left 32 as ‘not employed’ - 11self-employed, 9 as ‘freelance’, 8 as ‘student/not employed’ and 4 ‘other’. The latter 26
  33. 33. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.questions (Q16, Q17) on support and training are directly related to this. The survey foundlittle support by employers or institutions. 50% of those who responded said theiremployer/institution has never or on just one occasion provided support and/or training,while 62.6% responded similarly on the issue of the employer or institution paying fortraining – figure 5. Figure 5 Figure 6 27
  34. 34. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.The full data – figure 6 – suggests a reasonable amount of teachers not receiving much PDtraining in this area, whereas a higher proportion seem to say they are frequently (36%) oralways (28.1%) self-taught in this area. On the face of it, those kinds of results wouldappear to correlate, but this required some cross-tabulation with ‘employment status’. Anexpected high proportion of the ‘not employed’ group (32), outlined above, selected N/A forthose questions relating to what their employer does. Some of those, however, answered‘never’, possibly referring to a time when they have been employed. Although answersfrom the ‘not employed’ group have generally fallen into these two responses, differentinterpretations of the question have arisen. So what initially appears to be a reasonablefinding reveals possible misunderstanding about the question and, therefore, requiredfurther clarification during the interview stage.Q17 asked opinion on three statements relating to where training should come. It revealedboth a strong desire for employer or institutions to provide and responsibility being taken bythe teacher. Of those that answered the question (92) opinion seems that training shouldbe a joint responsibility – see figure 7. The remainder (14), possibly containing many fromthe ‘not employed’ group, may have decided the question was not relevant, although somemay still have selected the second option, given the lack of alternatives for them. By cross-tabulating, we found half of those described as ‘self-employed’ or ‘freelance’ chose N/Ahere. Again this needs further unpacking during interviews, as it may not have been entirelyclear how to answer the question. Figure 7 28
  35. 35. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.4.3 RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGYBefore I discuss the taxonomy section of the survey, I will briefly show the results of Q7 –figure 8 - which asked respondents to place themselves on the dichotomous technophobic-technophilic paradigm. I have already mentioned that ticking a single box does notaccurately describe someone’s relationship with technology. Furthermore, asking thisquestion during an online survey can misrepresent the reality. Nonetheless, eight teachersplaced themselves at the technophobic end. Not surprisingly, a high proportion (73) placedthemselves at the technophilic end, suggesting a positive experience towards the questionswhich followed. More interesting is how teachers describe themselves in relation totechnology. Feedback during the pilot study had already suggested terms like ‘tech-aware’and ‘tech-user’ at the lower end, with ‘tech-aficionado’ and ‘tech-savvy’ at the higher end.The term ‘enthusiastic amateur’ was additionally suggested, along with a sense of usingtechnology when needed, appropriate for activities. For others, it is less about ‘fear’, moreabout the benefits of using the technology, which we return to in Q12. The interviewswould provide an opportunity to uncover a more fluid relationship and whether this hadchanged over time. Figure 8 29
  36. 36. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.4.4 TAXONOMY OF CURRENT PRACTICENow I will discuss the critical section (Q8-Q12) of the survey, which is essentially thetaxonomy of what English language teachers are currently doing in the area of ICT. Each ofthese questions offered some likely options, but also the opportunity to comment furtherwith specific, individual responses.Q8 was concerned with the original broader area of (continuous) professional development.In the introduction, I wondered about the extent to which teachers have found themselvesincreasing their knowledge through autonomous self-directed learning. A starting point is toask teachers what they currently do in the area of PD. Here, respondents were invited totick all that applied. ‘Following/reading blogs’ (76.8%) was the most popular response,followed by ‘engaging with an online community’ (69.5%) – figure 9. Actually ‘writing a blog’(41.1%) was lower down the list. More ambiguous general reading (68.4%) and voluntaryself-study (63.2%) were more popular, as is the more specific activity of attendingconferences (61.1%). A wide variety of additional methods were employed. These includedtaking an MA, delivering peer training in e-learning, using Edudemic on iPad, watchingYouTube tutorials and taking part in webinars. A small number declared they currently didnothing or that they were just starting out, while 11 skipped the question entirely, whichsuggests they did none of those listed. Figure 9 30
  37. 37. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.Q9 focused on the frequency of technology, the ‘hardware’, used in teaching. It wasdeliberately worded in the passive so that use by students could be included. In addition, itincluded use outside of the classroom. Results indicated a stronger use of moreconventional networked computers and laptops over tablets – figure 10. An overheadprojector, or beamer, was mentioned by some in the comments section, as was some kindof audio or voice recording equipment, such as a Dictaphone. Some stated that none ofthese applied, while 8 skipped the question entirely. Figure 10Q10 focused on the use of web tools, or ‘software’, broadly grouped by type. Respondentswere asked to select the frequency they used 15 types of tool, for which some exampleswere given. The results – figures 11/12 – provide a snapshot of how frequent these toolswere currently being used. Some of these, such as materials creation tools, are moreobviously geared towards ELT, while others are not specifically designed for that purpose.Unfortunately, the question did not stipulate the use in teaching, as did Q9, but this wasnoted and later clarified during the interview stage. 31
  38. 38. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. Figure 11 Figure 12 32
  39. 39. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.Given the vast amount of web tools now in existence, it was unsurprising that manyrespondents wanted to share specific names of tools, offering links and recommendations.Glogster, Screen Chomp (for iPad), VoiceThread, Voki, Headmagnet, FlashcardsDb,Fotobabble, Mailvu, Dropbox, Evernote and Lyrics Trainer were just some of thosementioned. See Appendix B for the full list.Q11 asked how teachers discovered ICT or web tools. This straightforward, optionalquestion revealed the highest proportion of respondents (79) stating this was through ‘self-discovery’ – figure 13. This suggests complete independence, but I would suggest anoverlap exists with other methods, such as searching for certain terms on the internet,following a blog, or discovering a tool at a conference. Certainly the crossover with Q8,about professional development activities, exists. Indeed, a brief cross-tabulation betweenthese two questions – figure 14 - shows very high response rates between those engaged innumerous activities for PD and those who claim to ‘self-discover’. Figure 13 33
  40. 40. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. Figure 14The factors behind choosing a tool were asked in Q12 and later explored during theinterviews. Does the web ‘visitor’ purposefully have a pedagogical aim and looks for a toolthat does the job or do they ‘discover’ the tool and then adapt the lesson accordingly? It is,perhaps, not surprising that most teachers consider the importance of a tool to be easy toaccess, easy to use and ideally free – figure 15. In addition, it needs to be relevant,engaging, motivating and justified. Opinion is strong across all of these and it can be difficultto argue against that. It was far less important for the institution to have a subscription.Although many tools are basically free, there are often paid-for versions which do more,such as increased integration. One respondent commented that it was important forstudents to be able to embed content on other sites. Another, who was subsequentlyinterviewed, proposed that it should be ‘andragogically justified’, an previously unfamiliarterm to describe a theory of adult learning, coined by Knowles (cited in Hartree, 1984: 204)in contrast to a more child-based pedagogy, ‘the art or science of teaching children’(emphasis in ibid).Many of the above questions shown required further unpacking to remedy the potentialweaknesses shown in the significant, but often misleading data obtained. That is wherefollow-up interviews can be more explicit in their meaning towards, for example, factorsbehind choosing and using a web tool. I will move onto the interview data shortly, but notbefore summarising the responses to two key questions set out earlier. How autonomousare teachers in learning about tools, as opposed to merely discovering them, and what arethe barriers to implementation? 34
  41. 41. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom. Figure 154.5 AUTONOMY AND BARRIERSEarlier I discussed overlapping definitions of teacher autonomy, which highlighted thedevelopment of appropriate skills and attitudes, the capacity to make choices and thesupport offered by teacher-learner pools of diverse knowledge. I also detailed thetheoretical dimensions which separated ‘action’ from ‘development’. I would like to usethese constructs to frame my discussion of the responses to Q14 and Q15. These questionsmove the respondents on from their autonomous behaviour in respect of generalprofessional development, such as going to conferences, to the more specific learningrequired to effectively use an ICT or Web tool. A person’s capacity and/or willingness toengage in self-directed behaviour might be based on their ‘relationship’ with technology, orhow they perceive their ability to learn the tool. But this capacity can also be seen in termsof an ability to put theory (learning of the tools) into action (integration). This, in turn, canbe compromised by barriers which limit this. Just as McGrath and Smith (ibid) separatedthose factors which an autonomous teacher has control of from those which are outside of 35
  42. 42. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.their control, so too can we separate out factors which show good intention to learn andimplement these tools, from those which prevent it happening in reality. Figure 16 Figure 17 36
  43. 43. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.Q14 asked how frequently teachers engage in autonomous behaviour, such as learning atool on their own. What is their reliance on others? This effectively begins to explore theircapacity and/or willingness to learn the tool. The results – figure 16 – suggest a high level ofautonomous behaviour. Most striking is that 80 (86.9%) teachers of those who answeredsaid that they learn by using and practicing, suggesting that confidence comes with beingself-taught. Almost as likely, 72 (78.3%) said they would try a tool out and only resort tohelp if needed. 40 (43.5%) respondents claimed they frequently teach themselveseverything they need to know. Occasionally they would rely on others to show them whatto do but overall, according to the data, this appears to be a fairly resourceful andautonomous set of teachers. One teacher highlighted their attitude: Most often I have a go and if its not intuitive and easy to work out, or I want ideas on how to use then I Google it and will usually find a YouTube video or blog with loads of great advice. (Appendix B)Q15 effectively asked what kinds of barriers exist in moving the teacher from learning aboutthe tool (professional development) to using the tool in reality (professional action) – figure17. ‘Financial costs’ - 60 (65.2%) – was the biggest barrier, with 54 of those stating it wasimportant or very important for tools to be free (cross-tabulation with Q12). ‘Reliability’also featured highly – 55 (59.8%), and there is some expected correlation with the questionon ‘technophobia’ – figure 18 – although not completely conclusive. Figure 18 37
  44. 44. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.‘Lack of training’ – 37 (40.2%) and ‘time consumption’ – 44 (47.8%) appeared lower downthan expected initially, but we have already established this group as fairly resourceful.Institutional resistance - 40 (43.5%) could encompass all situations where stricter controlson how things are taught apply, or difficulties in getting permission to install software oninstitutional machines, as some commented. While 14 skipped the question and/or wrote‘none at all’ in the comments, others took the opportunity to highlight their personalbarriers. One stated that while it is not time consuming, per se, to learn these tools, theydon’t have enough time to devote ‘to fully discovering, assessing and incorporating the techinto the lessons.’ Another described physical discomfort associated with constant use of thecomputer, with ergonomic issues being ‘an elephant in the living room’. Health issues areoften overlooked, and one respondent wanted to rectify this omission. In addition: Another elephant in the living room with ICT is the problem of deteriorating quality of concentration that many of us have been experiencing as we become more adept and frequent ICT users in every aspect of our lives. (Appendix B: 36)4.6 ASSESSING EFFECTIVENESS OF TOOLSBefore concluding this section, I will briefly deal with the main points from the open Q13 onhow teachers would assess the success or effectiveness of a particular tool. This questionimmediately followed one about what factors are involved when selecting a tool to use.This was referred to as many teachers responded with examples of why they used certaintools. Simple, manual coding of the answers revealed a significant judgement lay instudents’ engagement, interest, their opinions and feedback. If they responded well, then itis effective. However, many of these went on to state that learning outcomes, proficiency inperformance and demonstrated use of the target language were equally markers forsuccess. For some, ease of use and the ability to integrate the tool into lessons, rather thanto become the focus of it, were additional important, as shown in the extracted comment: Whether it serves the purpose ... it needs to be relatively easy to integrate into my lesson, and at the moment I am not completely changing the way I teach to incorporate technology - for instance, I am not "flipping" classrooms. (Appendix B: 33) 38
  45. 45. Technophilia or Technophobia: I/D: 1163612Exploring Teacher Autonomy in Learning ICT Tools for the ELT classroom.The amount of time and effort involved were lesser but notable remarks, while some merelycommented that as long as the tool got used, inside and outside of the classroom, this was apositive measure. Provided some pedagogical value can be proven or an actual increase instudent engagement or learning takes place, then teachers appear to make contextualdecisions regarding their use and choice of tool.4.7 MAIN POINTSI will now identify the main points from the survey which formed the basis for theremainder of the investigation. To what extent have teachers found themselves increasingtheir knowledge of ICT and web tools through autonomous self-directed learning? Thefindings suggest this is happening quite a lot. To what extent do they wait for externally-driven training to be given when needed? The suggestion is that this does not happenmuch. Not only did the findings point to there being little support by institutions but anoverwhelming majority, (82.2%) of those who expressed an opinion, felt they should takeresponsibility for their own training in this area. Although a high proportion (75.2%) also feltthat while the institution should provide training, this does not mean they expect it. Theamount of responsibility that teachers take for actually learning these tools, therefore,became a focal point for the interviews.The most common constraining factors from the survey were reliability (59.8%) and thefinancial cost involved (65.2%). A high number of respondents ticked several factors as wellas adding their own reasons. The barriers which impact upon the teacher learning andimplementing these tools for themselves, therefore, also needed further investigation.Finally, respondents’ ‘relationship with technology’ and ‘autonomous behaviour’ neededfurther exploration. Finding out how both of these more personal factors have changedover time could provide some benefit to others and offer practical ways of developing in thisarea. 39

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