Elementary School Teachers and Teaching with Technology
The radical changes that affect the roles of teachers are shifting towards the learner-centered constructivist approaches and developing new tools for the purposes of education. The radical changes necessitate teachers to be careful with regard to their learning objectives, the content to be covered in class, the strategies to be adopted, the technology, as well as other related tools that can be utilized to enhance the instruction process. Another factor to be taken into consideration is that teachers need to be in a position to utilize the information and technology tools to enrich the learning process and enable their students to integrate theory and practice in the modern society.
The ICT knowledge and capacity of teachers can influence their decisions regarding the classroom practices and the instruction media that they adopt to enhance learning. Teachers will often consider factors such as the content and technological pedagogical knowledge. For a successful integration of technology, teachers ought to possess the basic skills of employing technology in the process of instruction and delivery. Furthermore, they should be in a position to fuse together both hardware and software into the learning and teaching process.
Literature indicates that in order for successful integration of technology into the teaching process to occur, the instructors should have the capacity to choose the specific technological tools or media that can effectively support the curricular goals to be addressed. It is necessary to establish a specific strategy that addresses how technology can be useful to students and help them meet their learning goals. Moreover, technology use ought to be applied in different phases of learning which may include exploration, analysis, and production, in order to make it a proficient tool that can be utilized in solving practical problems within the context of the classroom. Finally, the selected technology ought to be able to address all arising issues and solve problems that are pertinent to their professional practice and growth.
The beliefs and attitudes of teachers towards the adoption and use of ICT is an important element that determines whether they will integrate it in teaching the process or not. Individual beliefs are shaped by prior experience and similarly, the teachers who believe in the need for and effectiveness of ICT integration in the teaching process, are influenced by their experiences in their initial learning process as pupils. These beliefs can also influenced by the professional experiences of teachers, which may result in their becoming stable and resistant to change as they settle into their teaching practice.
Literature indicates that adopting information and technology in teaching can have a profound positive effect on the performance of students and enhance their problem solving abilities. Despite its potential advantages and enhancement of better learning abilities, research indicates that teachers are yet to integrate technology as part of their teaching process. Other studies also reveal that utilization of information and technology does not steer the learning process. Currently, research is underway to unearth the factors that affect the ability of teachers in elementary school to integrate information and technology tools in their classroom practice. Such studies aim to establish the link between good teaching practices and the improved problem solving ability in students.
A sample size of 157 elementary school teachers were chosen through the random sampling technique from the eastern part of Turkey for this study. Fifteen teachers were unable to participate in the research owing to heavy workload, while 17 teachers could not fill in the questionnaire hence were unable to participate in the study.
The study’s main aim was to identify the relationship between the engagement of information and technology by elementary school teachers and their attitudes towards technology. The study sample was one hundred students who were requested to fill in questionnaires that addressed concerns regarding their information and technology knowledge, usage and attitude towards the integration of technology in the teaching process. The study revealed that information and technology attitude is not outright positive and software knowledge and usage is also quite low. In addition, the engagement of teachers on information and technology reveal that the attitude towards technology and self-confidence are a crucial aspect of the teaching process. For the integration of technology into the learning process to be a success, teachers ought to be given an upper hand in the instruction process, and the main focus should be on their attitude towards information and technology and their willingness to integrate them in the teaching process as this is of ultimate importance.
The objectives of the study is to find out the level at which teachers possess the knowledge of Information and Technology as well as the information and technology tools of their preference and choice in their teaching strategies. The attitude of teachers towards computers and the use of internet in their research and ability to offer help to colleagues and students also affects their confidence and their choices regarding whether or not to employ technology in the teaching process. The self confidence of teachers influences on their effectiveness of using technology in teaching and as a source of teaching materials hence determining whether or not they will refer their students and encourage them to use information and technology in their academic work. The study result are deduced from assessing variables and ascertaining that their relationship comes up with a conclusive result with regard to the attitudes of teachers and their knowledge hence making sure there is increased probability to adopt the utilization of technology in the process of providing instructions to the learners.
The data in the research was collected using primary sources and questionnaires that were administered to the sample population as the main source of information. In particular, two questionnaires were developed and translated into Turkish in order to be used to collect data that was mainly considered to be conclusive for the study. The first part of the questionnaires were designed to collect demographic information while the other part was made to analyze the knowledge of teachers regarding ICT. In addition, the questionnaire will assess how teachers use ICT as an instrument of instruction, their attitude towards computer use, and their self-confidence for the utilization of technology in teaching in an efficient manner. The second questionnaire was developed by Tezci with the aim of assessing internet attitude scale for teachers and it looked at varied factors including opportunities of internet, change in education, and effects of technology use in people’s daily lives.
The study participants were chosen through random sampling and even though a total sample of 125 teachers was chosen, only 100 of the sampled population filled the questionnaires completely and submitted them back for analysis. Some of the reasons for failure to complete the questionnaires included too much workload, personal reasons and some teachers failed to return the forms for unknown reasons.
The paper used a total of forty-five references.
The study revealed that the use of ICT among teachers with traditional beliefs was lower in comparison to usage amongst the teachers with constructivist beliefs. Teachers have more knowledge in hardware applications as compared to software applications and they often look for information that they can use in tutorials from the internet yet they are very reluctant to utilize computers in the teaching process. Although teachers with traditional beliefs felt confident when searching for information through the internet, they did not master enough confidence to assist students and colleagues to design website applications. On the contrary, for their constructivist counterparts, computer courses taken, frequent computer usage and owning a computer had positive impacts on the teachers’ attitudes towards the use of computers and the need to adapt technology in the teaching process.