ICT mediated study and teachers: Do they have access to the infrastructure?

Lindsay Burnip

Abstract


Course delivery mediated by information and communication technology (ICT) is increasingly seen as a desirable and cost effective means of providing study opportunities to large numbers of teachers. However, it is unclear to what extent teachers have access to the ICT infrastructure that is required for participation in such study. This paper reports on a survey of teachers' access to ICT infrastructure and offers some insights into the nature and adequacy of that access. A sample of 203 trained teachers was surveyed regarding their access to hardware, software, and the Internet both at work and outside work. Data regarding access to technical support were collected also. Access to adequate levels of ICT infrastructure was not universal among teachers in this sample and access levels varied with teacher characteristics such as age and school type. Teachers in Government schools had slightly poorer levels of access, both at home and at school, when compared with teachers in independent schools. The most problematic area of access overall was in technical support which, when coupled with the reportedly low and variable levels of ICT skills among teachers, would represent a major impediment to successful and satisfactory participation in ICT mediated study for many teachers. These findings have important implications for developers of ICT mediated courses for teachers and for those who seek to encourage teachers' participation in such study.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1291

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