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Hype, Hope and Reality, the paradox of ICT in education
University of Borås, School of Education and Behavioural Science.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For 30 years there has been ongoing argument that developments of information and communication technology (ICT) will inevitably change education systems and practices. This innovation of education by using ICT-tools is often described as more or less self-evident with a naïve faith in the promises of new technology to enable teachers to make improvement in the content, the methods and the organisation of teaching and learning, with far-reaching influence on students’ skills and knowledge (Westera 2005; Nivala 2009). One example is ICT literacy defined as an important component in a set of generic skills that all citizens in the neo-liberal market society must possess (Kozma and Voogt 2003; Krumsvik 2009; Robertson 2003; De Castell, Bryson, and Jenson 2002). However, educational practices seem to have failed to live up to these utopian expectations and the process of integration of ICT has often been described as slow. Reasons for this lethargy has by many researchers been identified in various aspects of educational practice ranging from technical factors such as lack of technology and software in schools and the limited personal expertise of teachers in the use of ICT, to other factors, such as for example teachers’ beliefs, and knowledge about how to integrate ICT in teaching (Robertson 2003; UNESCO Launches ICT Standards Effort 2008; De Castell, Bryson, and Jenson 2002; Goktas, Yildirim, and Yildirim 2009; Govender and Govender 2009). The aim with this paper is to discuss how ethnographic methods can be used to make visible what educational technologies might offer for teaching and learning of mathematics. The paper offers critical considerations of the official discourse (described above), stemming from economic interests, exhorting the field of education to adopt and integrate information and communication technology (ICT), in teaching and learning. It calls for an alternative, reflexive and critical approach where questions about technology uses in education are emphasised. But the question is, what educationally, does ICT really offer for education? In the present study a group of student teachers were followed during 20 weeks of a mathematics course as part of a three and a half to four yearlong education. The course was followed in its entirely but the material discussed here represents participants observation together with conversional interviews with students from lab work where student teachers work with computers . One way of understanding the attractiveness of ICT for educational policy makers, is the way new technology is formulated in official discourse, by the society and its selected agents, where digital technology in many way defines society, and the position education has as a driving force of economic competiveness (Ball 2006). The argument for ICT use in education formulated in this discourse is rooted in economistic theorizing rather than in an educational theory (De Castell, Bryson, and Jenson 2002). The present study try to redress this imbalances. It uses Basil Bernstein conceptual framework about the construction of pedagogic discourse as a grammar underlying fields of production, recontextualisation and pedagogical practice. These theoretical concepts could be used to understand the process where dominant groups in society ideologically create unrealistic expectations about the effects of ICT use on teaching and learning. It does this through its concern with the intrinsic feature of pedagogic discourse, with the distinctive form and structure of what actually goes on the process of education (Bernstein 2000).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Keyword [en]
education, ICT, mathematics, teacher education, Education
National Category
Pedagogy Other Mathematics Other Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-6538Local ID: 2320/7511OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-6538DiVA: diva2:887234
Conference
European Educational Research Association, 2010, Helsinki, Finland
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved

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