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An evaluation of the quality of ICT teaching within an ICT-rich environment: the case of two primary schools
Zakopoulos V. Education and Information Technologies10 (4):323-340,2005.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Jun 22 2006

To paraphrase its title in a simpler way, this paper explores the results of introducing computers into primary schools. During the preparation of his PhD thesis, the author did a study in two rural primary schools in the UK. The idea was to obtain a view of the way teachers used computers in their teaching.

The study lasted two-and-a-half school years; one would expect, therefore, quantitative results, dealing with a lot of specific examples. Thus, it is disappointing to find only the loose description of two cases, followed by the transcription of a few interviews with teachers. This is preceded by a rather long preamble, with an introduction, a description of the research framework, an enumeration of the quality indicators used during the study, and a review of the preceding studies.

The paper ends with a long conclusion, which in my opinion develops mainly obvious considerations: simply putting one or several computers in the classroom does not improve anything by itself; teachers must be trained in at least basic use of the computer; pupils cannot be left in front in the computer without attendance; and so on.

The final sentence is worth quoting: “Getting the chance to teach and learn in a technologically rich environment is not a matter of merely using the technology, but rather is about maximizing and optimizing teachers’ and learners’ opportunities, discovering their abilities and exploiting and expanding their potential.”

A long bibliography (36 references) shows that many similar studies have been done, and many reports have been written. One may wonder, however, whether they had any practical outcome.

Reviewer:  O. Lecarme Review #: CR132950 (0704-0413)
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