The Purpose of the Study
The purposes of this study are to 1) describe and analyze current uses of computer technology in schools; 2) analyze teachers’ perceptions about barriers to the effective integration of technology; 3) shed light on the Palestinian MoEHE vision for computer integration; 4) analyze the possible gap between MoEHE’s vision and current practice; and 5) offer strategies to Palestinian MoEHE teachers for integrating computer technology effectively into schools.
The research posted the following specific research questions:
1. What are teachers’ experiences in computer integration?
1.1. Do teachers have access to computer technology?
1.2. How do teachers talk about computer use in classrooms and what are the reasons for this use?
1.3. What are teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and attitudes about integrating computers into their teaching?
1.4. How well do teachers feel they are prepared to integrate computers into their instruction?
1.5. What factors influence how Palestinian public school secondary teachers in integrating computer technology into their teaching?
1.6. What are the barriers that prevent teachers from using computers into their instruction?
2. How does the Palestinian MoEHE view the use of computer technology in the classroom?
2.1. How well does the MoEHE policy match teachers’ teaching practices?
2.2. What kind of support does the MoEHE provide to teachers to integrate computers effectively into education?
2.3. What strategies does the MoEHE use to integrate computers into education?
3. What are possible strategies to help integrate computer technology effectively into schools?
3.1 What is the gap between the PEI goals and the current situation in schools
3.2 What is known in the literature about effective computer technology integration?
The significance of the Study
This study is important in the context Palestinian education for several reasons:
It presents a clear picture of how computers are being integrated into Palestinian schools especially since little research has been done on that topic.
Because the lack of research on the topic of technology integration in Palestinian schools, this research contributes to the literature on technology integration into Palestinian schools. It is also important for policymakers to take into account teachers’ perceptions and the level of computer use among teachers during planning.
What is Computer Integration?
Computer technology integration in this paper is viewed as the use of computing devices (such as desktop computers, laptops, software applications, Internet) and peripheral devices (including printers, scanners, digital cameras, and overhead projectors, and so on) in K-12 schools for instructional purposes. Integration does not mean having students go to a computer lab to learn technical skills while the classroom teacher stays behind to plan or grade papers. Integration is not using specialty software for drills and practice day after day. And integration does not replace a teacher with a computer. Integration is when computer technology is available and accessible at any time and its tools support the curricular goals, ultimately helping students achieve these goals effectively.
Framework for Effective Computer Integration
UNESCO Institute for Statistics, (2009) has created a framework for effective computer integration that is considered a guideline for any policy that attempts to integrate computers into education. The framework looks at policies and strategies to gain insight into how to effectively integrate computers into education. According to them, effective computer integration into the national education system should have “clear goals and policy environment enabled by national authorities that support the use of ICT in education” (p. 23).
The study relies on a Mixed Methods Design, which according to Creswell (2013) is an approach inquiry that involves collecting both qualitative and quantitative data. The table below summarizes questions and research tools that have been used to answer the questions.
Access is one of the well-presented themes the findings and it refers to resources that teachers have that relates to computer technology. Pedagogy is another theme that was covered the chapter which refers to teachers’ description of some of their teaching practices in the times they use computer technology. Policy and leadership is another emerging theme that came from supervisors and teachers’ interviews. It refers to having a policy for computer-integration, support that teachers get from the ministry, supervisors, and colleagues