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EER 500 Assignment 2 From Research Question to Research Design

This paper will outline how research questions can act as a focus for the design of a small-scale piece of research.  The research question which will be used for this task is:

The integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society, and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment? (Waldron-Lamotte, M. 2014, November 28).

This newly developed question is the result of the iterative process of refinement.  The reviewed statements can be found in Appendix 1.

This paper will describe an appropriate research design, including the discussion of methods, sampling techniques and data gathering instruments.  The ethical issues and limitations of the design will be outlined.  Finally, consideration will be given to where this research sits in relation to paradigms.

Research Design

A research design provides a framework for the collection and analysis of data (Bryman, 2008, p.31).  There are many research designs available, but not all of them are appropriate to explore the research questions above.  Firstly, designs that are not suitable will be discussed.

Experimental design would not be suitable to answer the questions involved in this small-scale piece of research.  Key characteristics of experimental design are the manipulation of variables and the random assignment of participants to control and experimental groups (Bryman, 2008, p.35).  Experimental design also usually begins with a hypothesis to be tested.  In this case, the research questions would be the focus, not a hypothesis.  Also, participants would not be assigned to groups and the researcher would not be attempting to manipulate the variables in any way.

Quasi-experimental and evaluation research are also not applicable, as the researcher would not be studying the effects of intervention on the participants (Bryman, 2008, p.41,42).  Causal-comparative research can also be ruled out, as there would be no attempt to link the reasons, or causes, of differences in the given situation which Gay, Mills and Airasian (2012, p.228) describe as key components of this design. The research would be limited to describing the current situation and perceptions of the 21st century classroom, without attempting to establish a causal connection between the two.  Bryman refers to this as cross-sectional design (2008, p.44), which has some elements, such as the inclusion of more than one case and the research taking place at a single point in time, which would be appropriate to this small-scale research.  However, two other important elements of cross-sectional design; systematic and standardised methods for gauging variation and examining relationships between variables would not be accomplished.  For this small-scale piece of research, longitudinal design (Bryman, 2008, p. 49) would not be appropriate, as the results of data collection would relate to one point in time only.

The most appropriate design for this small-scale piece of research would be a sequential mixed methods design (Creswell, 2009, p.14).  This would involve beginning with quantitative survey research, which is then elaborated on by a qualitative method, such as case study research, involving detailed exploration with a few cases or individuals.  The justification behind this decision is that the design of the study comes from the research questions, and that the research strategy drives the design.

Part of the research question is situated in a quantitative research strategy.  This relates to two parts of the question: what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment?  These questions are best answered via survey research, defined by Creswell as providing a quantitative description of trends, attitudes, or opinions of a population by studying a sample of the population (2009, p.12).  All teaching staff participating in this small-scale research would contribute data which would show their opinions and feelings about ICT support and how equitable ICT access is within their school.  The data would also reveal trends relating to the state of evidence-based practice throughout the profession.

Another part of the research question is situated in a qualitative research strategy, namely the aspect which relates to ensuring that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society.  The best way to explore this would be to employ elements of case study research design.  Case studies are a strategy of inquiry in which the researcher explores in depth a program, event, activity or process with one or more individuals.  The small-scale limitation of this study means that cases would not be developed over a sustained period of time therefore would not be “true” case studies (Creswell, 2009, p.13).

Looking at these two approaches individually, and focussing on the research question, it is evident that the sequential mixed methods design would provide the best understanding of the problem. In this case, the proposed designs connect the research questions to the data needed to answer them, and they do not fit conveniently within one particular strategy.  As suggested by McMillan and Wergin, it is preferable to add a human element to a lifeless quantitative study by including some stories to survey data (2010, p.7).  Punch has discussed that quantitative research sometimes does not go further than descriptive statistics, when it is capable of much more (2009, p.20).

The rationale for using both approaches is that the research question requires more than a simple statistical answer.  Therefore, to successfully collect information for the research question in its entirety, a mixed method design is required.

The combination of these two research designs is discussed by Creswell (2009, p.20), who, when outlining a mixed-methods approach, states that the researcher begins with a broad survey and then focuses on detailed, open-ended interviews to collect more in depth views from participants.  These methods will be explored in the next section.

Research Methods

Sampling

The approach which would be used to obtain participants for this small-scale piece of research would be purposeful sampling (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.248).  This is slightly different from what other authors refer to as convenience sampling (Punch, 2009, p.250; Bryman, 2008, p.183), although some elements are similar.  Both sampling techniques are non-random and rely on the researcher having access to a group of participants with little effort.  The difference with purposeful sampling is that the researcher chooses participants with the research questions in mind and with knowledge that the sample will be able to successfully answer the questions, which Punch refers to as respondents’ knowledgeability (2009, p.314).

Participants for this small-scale research would be recruited by submitting an Expression of Interest in response to an advertisement that would be placed on the site ‘School Biz’.  The initial message would specify the criteria used to select the sample, such as teacher qualifications and years of practice.  As it is an open forum for the profession, it would be necessary for the researcher to follow the advice of Gaye et al. (2012, p.141) and explicitly state the sample they are seeking. Due to the small scale of this research, it would not be necessary to have a large number of respondents.  The exact number would depend entirely on the interest and motivation of the teachers on the site.  Once again, there would be issues with generalizability, which will be discussed further in the limitations section.

Due to the nature of the mixed-method design, a further sample would need to be selected to obtain data relating to the retraining of teachers and equitable ICT access within the school environment.  This sample would be drawn from the original sample and would consist of volunteers, those teachers who indicated that they would be willing to be interviewed regarding their thoughts and experiences.  Depending on the number of participants who volunteered, a purposive sampling strategy would then be used to select interviewees so that as many different scenarios and perceptions as possible would be represented in the sample (Bryman, 2008, p.620).  Once again, due to the small scale of the research, only a small number of respondents would be chosen to undergo the interview process.

Data Collection Instruments

As the researcher would be taking a mixed-method approach, two distinct methods would be used to collect data.  Referring back to the research questions, the first phase requires data on what ICT experience teachers have previously had and what ICT resources and support they have access to.  The most straightforward way to source this information is through a self-completion questionnaire (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.313; Bryman, 2008, p.217).  There are many advantages to using self-completion questionnaires.  They are cheap to administer, particularly if the researcher utilizes a free online survey tool, such as Survey Monkey.  Volunteers can be provided with a web link to the relevant questionnaire, thus ensuring their anonymity and saving on postage costs (Gay et al., 2012, p.194).  Other advantages of the use of a self-completion questionnaire are the absence of interviewer effects and convenience for respondents (Oxford University Press, 2012).

However, in order to answer the research questions effectively, another tool would need to be employed to carry out the case study research.  This type of research usually uses interviews, structured or unstructured, to obtain data from participants (Gay et al., 2012, p.404).  The advantage of using this technique is to move the research beyond the relatively limited presentation of statistics, thereby adding another dimension to the research questions.  The purpose of the interviews would be to obtain data regarding another part of the research question, which is concerned with how the education system ensures that the educational advancements in ICT are parallel to the ongoing changes in society.  Although some authors assert that perceptions can be examined via survey research (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2011, p.126), other authors believe that interviews explore issues much more deeply and using interviews in conjunction with questionnaires can be very effective (Bryman, 2008, p.611;   Fraenkel & Wallen, 2008, p.637).  If the selected interviewees worked a considerable distance away, and a face-to-face interview would not be feasible, the interview could be conducted by telephone or Skype.

The most important reason for using two different data collection methods is to meet the requirements of the research questions and to add meaning and applicability to the research.  It would not be very worthwhile to just present statistics on what sort of experience teachers have in the area of ICT, without attempting to put this in context of the support and reosucres available in order for the education system to ensure they are meeting the needs of the 21st century learners and are parallel to the ongoing changes in society. Another advantage of using two forms of data collection is to aid validity of results via triangulation.  Each source has different threats to validity; therefore it is possible to reduce the chances of reaching false conclusions by checking the conclusions reached on the basis of questionnaires against those from structured interviews (Hammersley, 2008, p.23).

Ethical Issues

Four main areas have been isolated by Bryman in relation to the ethical issues of research.  These are harm to participants; lack of informed consent; invasion of privacy and whether deception is involved (Bryman, 2008, p.118).  Each of these areas will be discussed in turn, outlining how they apply to the design and methods of this research.

The first ethical principle relates to whether the research involves harm to participants.  Although it is unlikely that harm of any nature would come to participants in this small-scale piece of research, it is possible that respondents may face issues relating to self-esteem, work performance and time stresses.  This risk is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the participants are volunteers.  The researcher would need to clearly state at the beginning of the sampling process that their participation is voluntary, they are free to refuse to answer any questions, they can withdraw from the study at any time and ask for their data not to be included (Bryman, 2008, p.123).  If participants felt that they were unable to cooperate, due to time stresses or feelings evoked about their work performance, they would be free to withdraw without needing to state their reasons.

The second principle refers to informed consent.  Although it is acknowledged that the researcher cannot disclose every conceivable aspect of the research, it is mandatory that potential participants are given as much information as possible so that they can decide whether to take part.  In the case of this research, potential participants would be approached professionally via the School Biz site, with the initial posting containing information about the purpose and context of the research, what would be made of the information, who is conducting the research and for what audience. The use of the internet to conduct research entails its own ethical considerations.  The researcher would need to be well versed in netiquette and the factors affecting the collection of research data using such means.

The privacy of participants in this study would be respected by ensuring confidentiality and anonymity. Anonymity would be sacrificed for respondents chosen for interviews, but their confidentiality could still be ensured. This would be achieved by removing names and places from transcripts of interviews and followed up in the reporting phase by using pseudonyms rather than identifying individuals in the report.  Respondents to the questionnaire would be informed prior to completion that they would be anonymous, even to the researcher.  The use of Survey Monkey would help achieve this, as web surveys have an advantage over email surveys when it comes to confidentiality and anonymity issues (Bryman, 2008, p.653).

The final ethical issue, relating to the presence of deception, has minor implications for this small-scale piece of research.  However, deception can occur in simple ways, for example, by deliberately underestimating the time it will take to complete the questionnaire or participate in the interview (Bryman, 2008, p.121).  This problem also relates to informed consent and can be overcome by being honest and open about the nature of the research and what this involves for participants (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.50).

Limitations of the Design

A major limitation of the design relates to the sampling strategy.  Survey design should ideally aid generalizability; however the sample-to-population inference (Punch, 2009, p.251) in this design is lacking.  As the researcher is using purposeful sampling, due to convenience and access issues, the results would not be able to be generalised to the profession of teaching as a whole.  This is due to the fact that respondents are likely to be biased regarding the issue of ICT experience, support and equitable access which may not represent the myriad of perceptions that may be present in the population.  To overcome this limitation, and achieve representativeness, probability sampling would need to be used, a form of random selection where each member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen (Punch, 2009, p.251).  The scale of this small piece of research would prohibit the use of this method, as considerable resources would need to be utilised in order to determine a valid sample.

Another limitation of this research design is the threat to validity in the data collection instruments.  Questionnaires and interviews can often contain leading questions, and respondents may say or write what they think the researcher wants to hear.  In order to promote internal validity and minimise limitations, the researcher would need to ensure that the questions are unambiguously phrased, with definitions for terms that could be misinterpreted (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.315).  Another way to improve content validity would be to pilot test the questionnaire with colleagues (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.320; McMillan & Wergin, 2010, p.10; Gay et al., 2012, p.189)

Paradigms

This paper has established that the best research design to answer the specific questions is a mixed method design.  It follows, therefore, that this research contains features from more than one paradigm.  The first part of the initial research question sits within a positivist paradigm.  The researcher is attempting to describe the situation objectively, as it is, untainted by subjectivity. The emphasis during this phase of the research is on empirical measurement, a feature of the positivist paradigm.  However, the remaining parts of the research questions, sit more comfortably in constructivism.  These questions imply that the researcher is more likely to see the situation as an emergent reality, in a continuous state of construction and reconstruction (Bryman, 2008, p.20).  In this case, the views of participants are constructing meaning in the situation of their school environment.

The pragmatic approach starts with a problem that needs a solution, rather than from what epistemology informs the research, which is the approach taken in the development of this small-scale research.  The growing applicability of this approach has been asserted by Punch (2009, p.20) and Creswell (2009, p. 10).  Hughes (2010) does not include pragmatism as a valid paradigm and authors such as Bergman have denounced the so-called pragmatism paradigm, contending that it is a vague way for researchers to say “anything goes” (2008, p.12).  However, both Punch (2009, p.20) and Creswell (2009, p.12) have explained that pragmatism is a worldview which attempts to give researchers the freedom to choose methods that best suit their needs and purposes.  Rather than trying to bridge the divide between positivism and constructivism, this small-scale research calls on elements of pragmatism, namely the fact that it draws methods from both quantitative and qualitative approaches because that is what is required for these research questions.  A view of pragmatism is that truth is what works at the time, sometimes using a mixture of data because they work to provide the best understanding of the research problem (Creswell, 2009, p.11).  In this case, a mix of data would be required, as quantitative data alone would be shallow and pointless and would not adequately reveal the perceptions of respondents.

This research design is consistent with the knowledge claim position of pragmatism for the following reasons; it is concerned with the consequence of participant actions, is problem-centred, pluralistic and real-world practice oriented (Creswell, p.2009, p.6)

Conclusion

This paper outlined a research design which attempts to adequately answer the research questions presented in the introduction.  The research aims to describe what is occurring in the educational system today and how it ensuring that the needs of the 21st century learner are being met through educational advancements that are parallel to society’s ongoing changes. This is a complex task, with many factors to be considered.  This small-scale piece of research, coming from a pragmatic position, has many limitations, but would be worthwhile in shedding light on an important aspect of teaching in the current climate of accountability and focus on student outcomes.

 

References

Bergman, M.M. (2008). The straw men of the qualitative-quantitative divide and their influence on mixed methods research.  In M.M. Bergman (Ed.), Advances in mixed methods research. (pp. 11-21).  London, UK: Sage.

Best, J.W. & Kahn, J.V. (2006). Research in education (10th ed.).  Boston, USA: Pearson.

Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. (6th ed.). London: Routledge.

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.).  London, UK: Sage .

Fraenkel, J.R. & Wallen, N.E. (2008).  How to design and evaluate research in education (7th ed.).  Boston, USA: McGraw-Hill.

Gay, L.R., Mills, G.E. & Airasian, P. (2012). Educational research: competencies for analysis and applications (10th ed.). Boston, USA: Pearson.

Hammersley, M. (2008). Troubles with triangulation.  In M.M. Bergman (Ed.). Advances in mixed methods research. (pp. 22-36).  London, UK: Sage.

Hughes, P. (2010).  Paradigms, methods and knowledge.  In G. Mac Naughton, S.A. Rolfe & I. Siraj-Blatchford (Eds.),  Doing early childhood research: international perspectives on theory and practice (2nd ed.). (pp.35-61). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

McMillan, J.H. & Wergin, J.F. (2010).  Understanding and evaluating educational research (4th ed.). New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education.

MacKenzie, N., & Knipe, S. (2006). Research dilemmas: Paradigms, methods and methodology. Issues in Educational Research, 16(2), 193-205.

McMillan, J. H., & Wergin, J. F. (2010). Understanding and evaluating educational research (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill.

Punch, K. (2009).  Introduction to research methods in education.  London, UK: Sage.

Oxford University Press online resource centres. (2012). Bryman: Social Research Methods: 3e.  Retrieved from http://www.oup.com/uk/orc/bin/9780199202959/

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014, November 28). Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014 [Online wiki post]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/32b13bf2-4960-471d-0088-f9d7ab27273c

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1 – Wiki Post

Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014

Research Topic or Problem

The focus of my research is Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which has originated from my recent experience and exposure to ICT within schools over the course of my teaching career. To be more specific, my inquisitive proposal is parallel to the implementation of ICT into the classroom and school environment and the implications that accompany it. For many years now, the in-school use of technology has been growing exponentially with many classes forgoing the use of chalkboards for interactive whiteboards and many more, if not most, making use of desktop computers for conducting in-class research, learning vital computer competencies for the twenty-first century, and to enhance student knowledge and understanding across a range of topics. Within this subject, I have also decided to touch base with the many implications that accompany its implementation; such factors include its possible applications, accessibility, the barriers of socioeconomic status, cultural considerations for indigenous students, the age-old conflict of teaching old teachers new tricks, and the advancement of ICT in the future and where it may be heading in an educational context. All of these factors can affect the impact of ICT on students for better or for worse and I aim to bring these considerations into perspective through my research.

Draft Research Question

I have three possible questions that I would like to research:

  1. The twenty-first century’s technological advancements are revolutionising the way that society negotiates everyday life; education included. How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today, and what is the education system doing to ensure that the advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society?
  2. There are a number of current issues and concerns relating to the integration of ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students, as well as in classrooms belonging to schools of low socio-economic areas. What are some of the most pressing issues and how will it affect the students involved?
  3. Education has forever been an evolving entity, always seeking improvement and existing parallel to the norms of society. As such, teachers should be expected to evolve with the education system within which they teach, and thus be included in government budgets and expenditure for the purpose of updated training. What is being done to support the retraining of teachers, and even if teachers are being retrained, how equitable is ICT access within the school environment for its effective integration within the classroom?

From Literature to Research Question and Practical Importance

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Based on the analysis and critical reflection on this paper, The National Broadband Network’s (NBN) aims and objectives are to provide extensive resources and avenues in the area of ICT in the education sector. As such, the technological advancements that are promoted due to this scheme are greatly enhanced and reiterate that ICT is an inevitable transformation that we as educators will be exposed to. This paper clearly outlines how ICT in the classroom will take shape as a learning tool. As a tool, ICT is inevitably enhancing teaching and learning as it is addressing the demand of evolution in the 21st century and to meet the needs of the students who are being educated in it.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

The critical analysis of this paper has enabled the investigation of the emerging development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education. With supporting evidence through thorough research, Peeraer and Van Petegem have identified steps being taken to effectively integrate ICT into everyday operations of today’s classrooms. This paper will be utilised to address two of my queries. It highlights the many barriers in which teachers are confronted with and need to overcome in order to successfully and effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. This analysis illuminates teacher educators’ access to ICT, their intensity of use, their related skills, and their confidence in using ICT, as well as their conceptions of learning. Peeraer and Van Petegem also question whether or not ICT improves classroom teaching and confronts the pedagogical issues that have evolved as a result of ICT. Finally this paper justly defines and addresses two of my key questions of concern and that is: What is being done to support the retraining of teachers? How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today?

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22.

This paper addresses a number of issues that will impact the education system as well as teaching and learning. It particularly focuses on Indigenous education and how it will be affected by the growth of technology in the classroom. Wallace explicitly explores and investigates the current issues that exist around the use of ICT for students of low socio-economic living standards as well as remote areas. Through case studies and a series of action research projects the research team of Charles Darwin University has answered our questions and have further deepened my own understanding in relation to the concerns of integrating ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students and low socio-economic areas. The team also identifies effective strategies and practices to use ICT and innovative online learning materials to engage remote and very remote Indigenous students with learning to support improved educational outcomes. This report is enriched with information and evidence that will enable my own research to be extensive and supported.

References

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22. http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Documents/FinalICTReport.pdf

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EER 500 Assignment 1b: Construction and Analysis of Research Questions

The implementation and affect that technology integration in schools has had on the education system is the general focus of both draft research questions discussed in this paper, each stemming from practitioners currently working within this unique context.

Both original questions have been revised through an initial analysis of their structure and origins, under the heading “Evaluating the Research Questions”, followed by, under the heading “Evaluating the literature connections and practical importance”, further revisions based on evaluations of the individual statements made by each author in regard to the draft question’s connections to referenced literature. The potential for how each question could be of practical importance is referred to throughout these evaluations, and summarised in the paper’s conclusion.

Evaluating the Research Questions

There are four research questions being examined (due to the indecisive approach I have taken in Assignment 1a; which I hope to resolve by the end of this assignment) are “1. The twenty-first century’s technological advancements are revolutionising the way that society negotiates everyday life; education included. How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today, and what is the education system doing to ensure that the advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society?” “2. There are a number of current issues and concerns relating to the integration of ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students, as well as in classrooms belonging to schools of low socio-economic areas. What are some of the most pressing issues and how will it affect the students involved?” “3. Education has forever been an evolving entity, always seeking improvement and existing parallel to the norms of society. As such, teachers should be expected to evolve with the education system within which they teach, and thus be included in government budgets and expenditure for the purpose of updated training. What is being done to support the retraining of teachers, and even if teachers are being retrained, how equitable is ICT access within the school environment for its effective integration within the classroom?” (Waldron-Lamotte, November 28, 2014). Finally, the research question from my fellow colleague “How has the implementation of technology helped foster critical thinking within the classroom and preparedness for the future?” (Maclure, December 1, 2014).

From Marx’s list of the sources of research questions (as cited in Bryman, 2008, p. 70), all questions share a strong basis. They stem from essentially the same ideologies about how 21st century learners are accessing and enhancing their curriculum through the digital resources available to them. All questions share a second point (as required by EER500 Assignment1a guidelines), in being sourced from recent reports of personal interest (Moriarty, 2014, p. 4), using these to give focus to the research question.

Maclure’s question puts the focus specifically on fostering critical thinking through the implementation of technology, as suggested by the recent article (Simpson, A. 2009, p119-131). Maclure’s question recognises and responds to the concept that the 21st century learning environment is about readers that access multiple literacies. It involves students who create and share information and multimedia projects. Engagement is enhanced through online services and digital literacies where students connect with others. No longer is the teacher teaching students how to find information; but they are teaching their students how to evaluate and use the information they have personally sourced. However, the application of Bryman’s criteria for evaluating research questions, (2008, p.74), along with wider reading in this area, highlights possibilities for improvement of each research question.

McMillan and Wergin’s definition of educational research, encapsulating the idea that it should be about “the analysis of information (data), to answer a question or contribute to knowledge” (2010, p. 1), pin-points an area for improvement in Maclure’s question, which is its lack of clarity in providing clues as to the specific data to be collected to answer his question (Bryman, 2008, p. 74, McMillan & Wergin, 2010, p. 9). Without change, the question implies research of every existing classroom in not only Australia but also other countries.  Whichever sampling methodology was employed, non-random selection, inadequate sampling frame or non-response (Bryman, 2008, p. 169) would surely be only a few of the many problems encountered. To avoid the wording of the question as it stands bordering on the limits of abstraction which Bryman refers to (2008, p. 74), one simple change is to substitute the word “has” for the word “can”: “How can the implementation of technology help foster critical thinking…”. With this wording, the research could focus on one or more of those specific areas of technology implementation and its affect, which Maclure’s references would imply he suspects, or would like to discover, will indeed prove supportive. To further change the wording to specify this exact research area would of course be better yet: “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking within current Australian classrooms….”

The issue of clarity arises again with Maclure’s question. Rather than giving a clear direction for research on processes which successfully allow students to be “prepared for the future”. It stipulates the question, what is meant by this statement? Maybe I am being over critical of the question being asked, but how measureable is “future preparedness”? It questions what Maclure’s idea of this concept means, as every view is certainly different. What I believe a student should be prepared for may be completely different to that of another reader. Therefore, Maclure needs to state exactly what he expects students to achieve in order to be prepared for their future. Perhaps the questions should state “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking within current Australian classrooms in order to be successful citizens in our increasingly changing society?” While this is still broad, it is up to the author to stipulate what data he would like to evaluate and measure further.

The imperative recognition of how technology can be utilised effectively to enhance student’s learning outcomes has occupied this author’s thoughts for quite some time. Through further readings and exploring new perspectives, a modified question has emerged from the thinking around this paper. Based in an open-ended theoretical concern, as suggested by Matthews (as cited in Bryman, 2008, p. 74), also providing a broad framework which could be reformulated as data was collected (McMillan & Wergin, 2010, p. 10), has all resulted in the revised question for Waldron-Lamotte being: The integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society, and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment?”

 

Evaluating the literature connections and the practical importance

This author’s choice of Budde, P. (2011) paper has made clear links to the question and provides evidence to support the research.  For many years now, the in-school use of technology has been growing exponentially with many classes forgoing the use of chalkboards for interactive whiteboards and many more, if not most, making use of desktop computers for conducting in-class research, learning vital computer competencies for the twenty-first century, and to enhance student knowledge and understanding across a range of topics. There are also implications that accompany its implementation; such factors include accessibility, the age-old conflict of teaching old teachers new tricks, and the advancement of ICT in the future and where it may be heading in an educational context. All of these factors can affect the impact of ICT on students for better or for worse and therefore the retraining of teachers in the area of ICT is vital for effective teaching and learning in the 21st century classrooms. As Budde, P. (2011) suggests in his paper is that each student can, within the context of the education system, gain individualised education. The pace and the subjects studied will be set by the students, once again all within the context of the education system. It will be project-based and both students and teachers will greatly benefit from the new interactive, personalised educational material. Students can tap into knowledge and expertise from all over the world. We only have to look at developments such as Google and Wikipedia to see what this might lead to in an educational framework (pg.3). This supports the following section of my draft question: The integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society….” By exploring this notion of technology and individualised, digital education, it is moving away from the norms of teaching. Teachers now need to retrain in order to support this new aged style of teaching. What used to be blackboards and blackline masters is now a world of digital communication and information in today’s society.

This author’s choice of Peeraer, J. and Van Petegem, P. (2011) paper proves relevance to the the following section of the draft question, “…the retraining of teachers….” Peeraer and Van Petegem have identified steps being taken to effectively integrate ICT into the everyday operation of today’s classrooms. This paper highlights the many barriers that teachers are confronted with and need to overcome in order to successfully and effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. This analysis illuminates teacher educators’ access to ICT, their intensity of use, their related skills, and their confidence in using ICT, as well as their conceptions of learning (p.976). However, Peeraer and Van Petegem fail to support any other part of the research question.

Wallace, R. (2008) was utilised in order to address, and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment?”  This paper addresses a number of issues that will impact the education system as well as teaching and learning. It particularly focuses on Indigenous education and how it will be affected by the growth of technology in the classroom. Whilst my research question does not identify Indigenous Australians, it does make reference to equitable ICT access. For this to be a possibility in the education system, we need to address Australia as a whole. It is well-known that remote areas of Australia have limited resources due to their location. However, now with the implementation of ICT into the curriculum, Indigenous students can access a wide variety of resources and teachers can source new and engaging information and tools to help engage and promote education in these remote areas. Therefore this paper proves how equitable ICT access within the school environment really is. Wallace, R. (2008) further states that, “high quality ICT learning experiences require learners to be creative in using technology to develop and share their ideas. ICT is best used to connect to and to produce a range of knowledge and solve real life problems” (pg.4) which supports the question, the integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society….” Where this statement fails to make connections is exploring “how and what” the education system is doing and their responsibility in ensuring educational advancements.

Maclure’s statement (December 1, 2014) in regard to Simpson’s (2009) paper does make some clear connections, Simpson’s research analyses the affects of technology in critical literacy rather than critical thinking alone. The revised question therefore refrains from McMillan and Wergin’s suggested use of explicit “language that suggests the collection and analyses of data” (2010, p. 3), like “An investigation of the implementation of technology that fosters critical thinking skills in literacy…………”

Maclure’s statement in relation to Simpson’s 2009 paper is to be commended as it does make relevant links to identifying how effectively integrating ICT into everyday operations of today’s classrooms has been in the area of literacy development. Simpson can be said to have adequately and reliably investigated the case by analysing and conducting an experiment that produced relevant data to support Simpson’s research question. The paper therefore gives rise to and “validates”, to use Bryman’s terminology (2008, p. 32), the presumption inherent in both versions of this author’s research question, that technology integration merit is a given, and perhaps even an “independent variable” which does not need further verification (p. 32).

What is not clear from Maclure’s statement is the lack of connection between Simpson’s 2008 paper and the revised research question, “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking within current Australian classrooms in order to be successful citizens in our increasingly changing society?” Not once does Simpson address how this report analyses the affects and growth that students formulate in order to prepare themselves for the future. Therefore Maclure has no evidence based research from this article to support his research question. Further readings will be needed in order for him to address this section of his research.

Maclure’s statement in relation to Budde, P. (2011) makes clear connections on how technology in the classroom will take shape as a learning tool. It also addresses how technology will meet the needs to the 21st century learner and as a result, how it will help them to prepare for the future and become successful citizens in our increasingly changing society (p.2). Budde, P. (2011) also suggests that as with any revolutionary development, one of the most critical issues will be to ensure that the education system is actually capable of leading this change. This will necessitate very significant professional development. Often a great deal of attention and money goes into the technology but very small resources, if any, are available to ensure that those who will have to make it work are equipped to implement and guide that process. Teachers and other educational staff will need significant support – without this, despite the enormous investment the government is making, the project could still fail (pg.2). This proves relevant to Maclure’s research as it engages with “How can the implementations of technology help foster critical thinking….” Without the necessary tools to support teachers, teachers cannot effectively promote and enhance critical thinking in student’s education through the use of technology. We first need to address how teachers will be supported and then focus on how students will gain further educational outcomes and become critical thinkers. It may be that Maclure assumes that within his research, teachers are already equipped with these tools.

Furthermore, by allowing the research question to stay broad, it allows further research and inquiry rather than narrowing the research. It might assist the research and give greater depth if the training and how teachers will be supported was addressed.

An evaluation of Maclure’s statement (December 1, 2014) in relation to all references would have to conclude he has opted for currency (2009) over relevancy to the topic. His draft research question specifies an interest in how the implementation of technology helps foster critical thinking within the classroom and prepares students for the future, and yet the limited research only targets one portion of the question. It is only when research is broadened (i.e. utilising the Budde, P. 2011 paper that I have sourced) does this research begin to take shape and address the whole question.

 

Conclusion

Throughout this process I have been critical (maybe too critical and over analytical) but I have also learnt a great deal about the way in which research questions are formulated. I have made the comparison often to my experiences as a primary classroom teacher when teaching my students how to write a procedure. I often preach to them throughout the process, ‘If it is not written, it is not known or explained’. Therefore when analysing and critiquing my colleagues work, I was quick to judge because I have only seen the start of his research and can only assume what will be written based on what his has shown so far.

In sum, educational research is a “systematic investigation, involving the analysis of information (data), to answer a question or contribute to our knowledge about an educational theory or practice. As systematic, disciplined inquiry, educational research relies on methods and principles that will produce credible and verifiable results” (McMillan, J. H., & Wergin, J. F. 2010, p. 1). This statement will help guide my research further as it will help shape and keep my research on track.

 

REFERENCES

Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Maclure, I. (2014, December 1). Ian Maclure, December 1st 2014, Master of International Education (School Leadership)[Online wiki post]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/32b13bf2-4960-471d-0088-f9d7ab27273c

McMillan, J. H., & Wergin, J. F. (2010). Understanding and evaluating educational research (4th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Moriarty, B. (2014). EER500 – Introduction to Educational Research [EER500 201230 Subject Outline]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/ca5b4a32-050e-472e-001f-478a4cb93f8c

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

Simpson, A. (2009). Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking. Research in Learning Technology , 18(2), 119-131.

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014, November 28). Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014 [Online wiki post]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/32b13bf2-4960-471d-0088-f9d7ab27273c

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22. Retrieved from http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Documents/FinalICTReport.pdf

 

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1 – Wiki Post

Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014

Research Topic or Problem

The focus of my research is Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which has originated from my recent experience and exposure to ICT within schools over the course of my teaching career. To be more specific, my inquisitive proposal is parallel to the implementation of ICT into the classroom and school environment and the implications that accompany it. For many years now, the in-school use of technology has been growing exponentially with many classes forgoing the use of chalkboards for interactive whiteboards and many more, if not most, making use of desktop computers for conducting in-class research, learning vital computer competencies for the twenty-first century, and to enhance student knowledge and understanding across a range of topics. Within this subject, I have also decided to touch base with the many implications that accompany its implementation; such factors include its possible applications, accessibility, the barriers of socioeconomic status, cultural considerations for indigenous students, the age-old conflict of teaching old teachers new tricks, and the advancement of ICT in the future and where it may be heading in an educational context. All of these factors can affect the impact of ICT on students for better or for worse and I aim to bring these considerations into perspective through my research.

Draft Research Question

I have three possible questions that I would like to research:

  1. The twenty-first century’s technological advancements are revolutionising the way that society negotiates everyday life; education included. How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today, and what is the education system doing to ensure that the advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society?
  2. There are a number of current issues and concerns relating to the integration of ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students, as well as in classrooms belonging to schools of low socio-economic areas. What are some of the most pressing issues and how will it affect the students involved?
  3. Education has forever been an evolving entity, always seeking improvement and existing parallel to the norms of society. As such, teachers should be expected to evolve with the education system within which they teach, and thus be included in government budgets and expenditure for the purpose of updated training. What is being done to support the retraining of teachers, and even if teachers are being retrained, how equitable is ICT access within the school environment for its effective integration within the classroom?

From Literature to Research Question and Practical Importance

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Based on the analysis and critical reflection on this paper, The National Broadband Network’s (NBN) aims and objectives are to provide extensive resources and avenues in the area of ICT in the education sector. As such, the technological advancements that are promoted due to this scheme are greatly enhanced and reiterate that ICT is an inevitable transformation that we as educators will be exposed to. This paper clearly outlines how ICT in the classroom will take shape as a learning tool. As a tool, ICT is inevitably enhancing teaching and learning as it is addressing the demand of evolution in the 21st century and to meet the needs of the students who are being educated in it.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

The critical analysis of this paper has enabled the investigation of the emerging development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education. With supporting evidence through thorough research, Peeraer and Van Petegem have identified steps being taken to effectively integrate ICT into everyday operations of today’s classrooms. This paper will be utilised to address two of my queries. It highlights the many barriers in which teachers are confronted with and need to overcome in order to successfully and effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. This analysis illuminates teacher educators’ access to ICT, their intensity of use, their related skills, and their confidence in using ICT, as well as their conceptions of learning. Peeraer and Van Petegem also question whether or not ICT improves classroom teaching and confronts the pedagogical issues that have evolved as a result of ICT. Finally this paper justly defines and addresses two of my key questions of concern and that is: What is being done to support the retraining of teachers? How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today?

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22.

This paper addresses a number of issues that will impact the education system as well as teaching and learning. It particularly focuses on Indigenous education and how it will be affected by the growth of technology in the classroom. Wallace explicitly explores and investigates the current issues that exist around the use of ICT for students of low socio-economic living standards as well as remote areas. Through case studies and a series of action research projects the research team of Charles Darwin University has answered our questions and have further deepened my own understanding in relation to the concerns of integrating ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students and low socio-economic areas. The team also identifies effective strategies and practices to use ICT and innovative online learning materials to engage remote and very remote Indigenous students with learning to support improved educational outcomes. This report is enriched with information and evidence that will enable my own research to be extensive and supported.

References

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22. http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Documents/FinalICTReport.pdf

 

APPENDIX 2 – Wiki Post

Ian Maclure, December 1st 2014, Master of International Education (School Leadership)

Research Topic or Problem: ​The world has become very digitally advanced and we are currently in the midst of technological growth and innovation. As educators, we must ensure that we are providing our future generation with appropriate critical thinking skills, integrated with technology, in order for them to become competitive in the global market.

Draft Research Question: How has the implementation of technology helped foster critical thinking within the classroom and preparedness for the future? From Literature to Research Question and Practical Importance: A Vision for Learning & Teaching in a Digital Age, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Leading Education’s Advocates.

This paper provides information on learning and teaching in a digital age. This paper discusses both student, and teacher use of technology within the classroom. The information provided in the paper pertains to my draft research question, as it discusses the usage of technology and its relative importance for students. Since my draft research question begs the notion as to how technology has helped foster critical thinking within the classroom, this paper discusses that notion in detail and provides evidence of technology on authentic and meaningful student engagement.

The integration of critical thinking, with the implementation of technology examines ways in which the teacher will provide varied learning opportunities which will help the students to become more “reflective and collaborative learners.” This is where the critical thinking component comes into play. The paper discusses the various ways in which technology helps students to think critically. The paper also provides information on skills required for a digital age. The paper makes direct reference to critical thinking, communication and collaboration, all factors that are necessary when implementing technology.

This paper will be of practical importance since it is written by the Ontario Public School Board Association, therefore, when assessing the implementation of technology within the classroom, this source is important to consider due to its relevance. There has been a recent shift in many District School Boards to employ the use of technology within the classroom with a critical thinking focus.

Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking.

This research article fits directly with the draft research question as it provides information on how literacy can be improved with the implementation of technology. This article examines in detail, a study undertaken in an Australian primary school. The author of the article has stated that the premise of the article is entwined with “research and good practice.” In regards to the integration of technology and critical thinking, this article provides details based on how students have become critically aware due to ICT (information and communication technology). This article provides information on COLC’s (Collaborative Online Learning Communities). COLC’s, according to the article provide appropriate and meaningful integration of technology, with literacy. This paper provides small scale research that fits into the draft research question. It examines how effective students are when they participated in COLC’s when learning. In order to evaluate how technology has improved critical thinking, this paper delves deeper by explaining the data which was collected over a six week period. The writer wanted to assess how students’ critical responses had improved due to journals, completed rap sheets and emails. The article helps to answer the draft research question in detail by providing the reader with authentic data assessment.

This article is essential for teachers when researching the draft research question in finding the direct correlation between the use of technology with critical thinking. It provides teachers with different approaches to implement within their classroom in order to build a COLC. This is of vital importance as the draft research question asks educators how they will prepare students with the appropriate skills for the future.

References: Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (no date provided). A Vision for Learning & Teaching in a Digital Age. Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Ontario, Canada. http://www.opsba.org/files/OPSBA_AVisionForLearning.pdf

Simpson, A. (2009). Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking. Research in Learning Technology , 18(2), 119-131.

0

EER 500 – Creswell, J. W. (2012) Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research

Identifying a research problem (specifying, justifying, suggestiong audience)

  • Reviewing the literature (add to what is knowledge)
  • Specifying a purpose ( focused restatement of the problem – major intent/purpose)
  • Collecting data (numbers or words)
  • Analysing and interpreting the data
  • Reporting and evaluating research
  • The problem, questions, and literature determine method (quantitative or qualitative)

Quantitative research characteristics

  • Described through considering trends or need for an explanation of variable (attribute) relationships
  • Literature major role through suggesting research questions and justifying and creating a directional need for the study
  • Specific and observable/measurable purpose statements, research questions, hypotheses
  • Numerical data from large numbers using pre-designed instruments
  • Analysing trends, comparing groups, relating variables using statistical analysis and comparing results with considering prior predictions and past research
  • Report using standard, fixed structures and evaluative criteria. Objective/unbiased
  • Assessing whether certain factors predict an outcome domain of quantitative research
  • Intent is to generalise from the small to the large
  • Predictable reporting and evaluating pattern: review of literature, methods, results, discussion

Qualitative research characteristics

  • Exploring a problem to develop detailed understanding when you don’t know the variables
  • Literature review minor but justifies the problem. Relies more on participants’ views. approach is learning from participants
  • General statement purpose and questions – will develop from participants’ experiences
  • Purpose statement and research questions stated so you can learn best from participants
  •  Protocols (eg. interview, observation) – notes, words and images
  • Small number collection of words as data to reflect participant’ views
  • Typically extensive data collection to convey complexity
  • Data analysis for description and themes using text analysis and larger meaning interpretation
  • Flexibly reported using emerging structures and evaluative criteria – includes researchers’ subjective reflexivity and bias
  • Describe individuals and themes – rich and complex picture
  • “We”

Similarities and differences

  • 6 steps research process
  • Quant. problem section used to direct types of questions vs Qual. establishing importance of the central idea
  • Quant. more closed-ended approaches. Qual. participant shapes response possibilities
  • Data analysis quant. numerical/statistical  data vs Qual. analysis of words and images
  • Less detail in reporting format quant.

Which?

  • Approach to match problem. Quant. trends or explanations vs Qual. problems need to be explored to gain depth
  • Fit the audience
  • Relate to your personal experience/training

Research designs (see p.20 Fig. 1.4)

  • Are the specific procedures involved in the process: data collection, data analysis, report writing
  • Quant. (experimental research, correlation research, survey research)
  • Qual. (grounded theory research, ethnographic research, narrative research)
  • Combined (mixed method research, action research)

References

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

0

EER 500 Formulating Research Questions – Bryman

What is it you want to know in your area of interest

  • Question must clearly have a social scientific angle
  • Questions more specific in quantitative research than qualitative
  • Research area – Select aspect of research area – Research questions – Select research questions

Marx’s (1997)  sources of research questions:

  • Intellectual puzzles and contradictions
  • Existing literature (spotting gaps is the chief way of identifying research questions)
  • Replication
  • Structures and functions
  • Opposition
  • A social problem
  • Gaps between official reality and facts at ground level
  • The counter-intuitive
  • Startling empirical examples
  • New methods and theories
  • New social and technical developments and social trends
  • Person experience
  • Sponsors and teachersGuiding principle that questions should relate to each other

Evaluative Criteria

  • Clear, intelligible
  • Connect to theory/research
  • Linked to each other
  • Prospect of making an original contribution
  • Not too broad or narrow
  • Need to be justified
  • Demonstrate link between questions and sources (question connects and is demonstrated)
  • Rationale and justification
  • Usually no more than 3 key research questions

Considerations in writing a research proposal

  • Topic/objectives
  • Importance
  • Question(s)
  • Literature
  • Research method
  • Why this method
  • Resources
  • Timetable
  • Problems
  • Ethical considerations
  • Method of analysis

Preparing, doing and analysing research

  • Pilot study to determine effectiveness of research instruments
  • Accessing and sampling issues
  • Keep records of process
  • Hardware familiarity
  • Begin coding straight up
  • Transcriptions remember, time-consuming
  • Data analysis package familiarity
  • Personal safety

References

Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.

0

EER 500 Assignment 1a

Research Topic or Problem

The focus of my research is Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which has originated from my recent experience and exposure to ICT within schools over the course of my teaching career. To be more specific, my inquisitive proposal is parallel to the implementation of ICT into the classroom and school environment and the implications that accompany it. For many years now, the in-school use of technology has been growing exponentially with many classes

Image retrieved from: http://img.scoop.it/asPL1FxhbUddcmOvPgOR9Tl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9

forgoing the use of chalkboards for interactive whiteboards and many more, if not most, making use of desktop computers for conducting in-class research, learning vital computer competencies for the twenty-first century, and to enhance student knowledge and understanding across a range of topics. Within this subject, I have also decided to touch base with the many implications that accompany its implementation; such factors include its possible applications, accessibility, the barriers of socioeconomic status, cultural considerations for indigenous students, the age-old conflict of teaching old teachers new tricks, and the advancement of ICT in the future and where it may be heading in an educational context. All of these factors can affect the impact of ICT on students for better or for worse and I aim to bring these considerations into perspective through my research.

Draft Research Question

I have three possible questions that I would like to research:

  1. The twenty-first century’s technological advancements are revolutionising the way that society negotiates everyday life; education included. How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today, and what is the education system doing to ensure that the advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society?
  2. There are a number of current issues and concerns relating to the integration of ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students, as well as in classrooms belonging to schools of low socio-economic areas. What are some of the most pressing issues and how will it affect the students involved?
  3. Education has forever been an evolving entity, always seeking improvement and existing parallel to the norms of society. As such, teachers should be expected to evolve with the education system within which they teach, and thus be included in government budgets and expenditure for the purpose of updated training. What is being done to support the retraining of teachers, and even if teachers are being retrained, how equitable is ICT access within the school environment for its effective integration within the classroom?

From Literature to Research Question and Practical Importance

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Based on the analysis and critical reflection on this paper, The National Broadband Network’s (NBN) aims and objectives are to provide extensive resources and avenues in the area of ICT in the education sector. As such, the technological advancements that are promoted due to this scheme are greatly enhanced and reiterate that ICT is an inevitable transformation that we as educators will be exposed to. This paper clearly outlines how ICT in the classroom will take shape as a learning tool. As a tool, ICT is inevitably enhancing teaching and learning as it is addressing the demand of evolution in the 21st century and to meet the needs of the students who are being educated in it.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

The critical analysis of this paper has enabled the investigation of the emerging development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education. With supporting evidence through thorough research, Peeraer and Van Petegem have identified steps being taken to effectively integrate ICT into everyday operations of today’s classrooms. This paper will be utilised to address two of my queries. It highlights the many barriers in which teachers are confronted with and need to overcome in order to successfully and effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. This analysis illuminates teacher educators’ access to ICT, their intensity of use, their related skills, and their confidence in using ICT, as well as their conceptions of learning. Peeraer and Van Petegem also question whether or not ICT improves classroom teaching and confronts the pedagogical issues that have evolved as a result of ICT. Finally this paper justly defines and addresses two of my key questions of concern and that is: What is being done to support the retraining of teachers? How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today?

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22.

This paper addresses a number of issues that will impact the education system as well as teaching and learning. It particularly focuses on Indigenous education and how it will be affected by the growth of technology in the classroom. Wallace explicitly explores and investigates the current issues that exist around the use of ICT for students of low socio-economic living standards as well as remote areas. Through case studies and a series of action research projects the research team of Charles Darwin University has answered our questions and have further deepened my own understanding in relation to the concerns of integrating ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students and low socio-economic areas. The team also identifies effective strategies and practices to use ICT and innovative online learning materials to engage remote and very remote Indigenous students with learning to support improved educational outcomes. This report is enriched with information and evidence that will enable my own research to be extensive and supported.

References

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22.