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Research into Transforming Education

Research into Transforming Education

By: Caterina Zampa

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Moving past the mere enhancement of traditional educational methods using technology

Extracted from the Journal of Research on Technology in Education

A research conducted by Blundell, Lee and Nykvist (2020) has added insight into the world of technology in the classroom.

Their main goal was to understand what promotes or blocks the integration of digital technology in schools.

First, something we should keep in mind is that « [digital technologies] are more commonly used to enhance pedagogy rather than transform it ». Therefore, « authors such as Fullan (2013) [...] claim that digital technologies allow for innovative reformation of outdated educational systems ».

Lecturely’s goal? To bring innovation to those outdated educational systems.

Next, the paper has spotted two main so-called barriers to the integration of technology in theclassroom: extrinsic barriers and intrinsic barriers.

Extrinsic factors (“first-order” barriers) « include access to resources, institutional factors, and subject curriculum and assessment ». On the other hand, intrinsic factors (“second-order barriers”) « include teacher’s knowledge and skill, attitudes and beliefs, established routines, and vision ». In other words, extrinsic factors depend on the availability of electronic devices in schools and other logistical factors, while intrinsic factors include teacher’s familiarity with technology and their willingness to adopt it in the field of education, and their ability to make a transformation switching to integrated digital technologies.

This last front is the one our team is mostly focused on: we are constantly working with teachers to understand their specific needs and we are incorporating, at best, their requests.In fact, as supported by research, teachers surveyed by us often reported a lack of a platform that is fully integrated with the educational system. The problem with today’s technological platforms working with education is that they mainly focus only on small parts of the bigger image.

The research concludes that «the findings indicate three interacting factors contributed to the degrees of transformation: teachers’ frames of reference (beliefs and attitudes), habits of mind(prior experience), and modes of transformative learning».