Teachers’ confidence in the use of technologies is a key factor in how and the extent to which digital technologies are used (Wozney, Venkatesh, and Abrami 2006). Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010), felt that ‘personal mastery’ in using the technologies and the recognition and satisfaction of helping students learn are key factors in boosting confidence. This signals the importance of the provision of high quality training and professional development.
Becta (2004), when reviewing the barriers to the effective use of ICT, identified the presence of high-level support as being important in enabling teachers to overcome issues relating to lack of confidence. They suggested teachers and student teachers require support from a range of sources; peers, technicians and networks to gain the ‘personal mastery’ they need. The teachers involved in the DeFT project found networking extremely helpful – as well as time to play with the technology! (Somekh 2008). They all commented on the value of being part of a professional learning community, gaining knowledge and support from each other. In addition, by situating the case studies in the context of current curriculum objectives the learning for them and their pupils was meaningful and gave everyone involved the confidence to develop further projects within their schools and communities.
Observations of trainees’ classroom practice by Szpytma and Bone (2011) provided evidence of trainees’ growing confidence in using new technologies in taught sessions, however, confidence needs to be combined with sound pedagogical practice as always to ensure learning is meaningful and relevant.