Once established in schools teachers’ continuing professional development is dependent on a range of circumstantial and personal factors. David Buckingham argues that we must move beyond giving teachers technical skills with ICT and inserting ICT into the formal curriculum to helping teachers and students come to terms with the implications of digital literacy(Buckingham 2001).
- 1. Introduction to this Resource
Digital Literacy for Teachers
2. About Digital Literacy
- 2.1 Literacy and Literacies
- 2.2 Defining Digital Literacy
- 2.3 Current Digital Literacy Frameworks
- 2.4 Mapping Digital Literacies in the DeFT Project
- 2.5 Digital Practices in Education: Key Issues
- 2.6 Digital Literacy and Openness
3: Practice with Digital Literacy in Schools
- 3.1 Digital Literacy in School Settings
- 3.2 Creativity
- 3.3 Assessment
- 3.4 Barriers and Enablers
- 3.5 Relationships and Digital Literacy
- 3.6 Communication and Interactivity
- 3.7 Knowledge and Learning
4. Teacher Education and Digital Literacy
- 4.1 Professional Development and Digital Literacy
- 4.2 Digital Literacy in Teacher Education
- 4.3 Digital Literacy in Higher Education
- 4.4 Implications of Digital Literacy for Practice
5. Examples of Practice
5.1 Case Studies in School Settings
- 5.1.1 Case Study 1. Developing Digital Literacies through Movie Making
- 5.1.2 Case Study 2. Using Hand-held Devices to Develop Digital Literacy Skills
- 5.1.3 Case Study 3. 21st Century Show and Tell: Making Instructional Videos
- 5.1.4 Case Study 4. QR codes and OERs across Educational Settings
- 5.1.5 Case Study 5. Developing Digital Literacies in the Early Years
- 5.1.6 Case Study 6. Using Digital Tools to Create Digital Monsters
- 5.1.7 Case Study 7. Digital Reporters at ‘Camp Cardboard’
- 5.1.8 Case Study 8. ‘Bigger Bloom’; Digital Literacy and Creativity
5.2 Case Studies of Professional Development
- 5.2.1 Case Study 9. Exploring Issues in the Uptake of Digital Literacy Tools
- 5.2.2 Case Study 10. OERs to Promote Good Practice in Schools
- 5.2.3 Case Study 11. Student Reflections on Digital Literacies and Openness within Professional Practice
- 5.2.4 Case Study 12. Supporting digital technologies in initial teacher education for Primary Teachers
- 5.2.5 Case Study 13. ‘Teaching Sheffield’: Exploring Professional Development through Digital Video
- 5.1 Case Studies in School Settings
6. The Story of DEFT
- 6.1 DeFT Project Methodology
- 6.2 Project Dissemination
6.3 Insights Gained
- 6.4 What Next?
4.4.2: Teachers school based engagement with digital literacy
18.104.22.168 Teachers Engagement with Digital Literacy
Research on teachers’ attitudes towards the use of digital literacy is patchy and tends to focus on pre-service rather than experienced teachers. Most studies use teachers engaged in teacher training (e.g. Kafai and Nixon 2007; Guo, Dobson et al. 2008; Burnett 2011). Studies that do exist of the latter group tend to be very small scale and often come from different countries. Caution must be used considering how these studies relate to an English context. Student teachers are easier to access as research subjects; however their age (assuming direct progress from school to university) puts them in the same category as their students in terms of growing up with technology. Very few studies take into account age differences in teacher attitudes which is curious given the age emphasis on the ‘digital natives’ debate.
A small scale study of teacher perceptions for the Canadian Centre for Digital and Media Literacy (MediaSmarts 2012) found a general caution amongst teachers in using technology because of the disruption in causes. It also challenges digital native/immigrant assumptions in suggesting that older teachers have an advantage over younger teachers because their stronger classroom management skills enable them to use technology with less disruption than younger teachers are able to do. O’Brien and Scharber note that those in senior roles may resist some technologies on the basis of an ethic of conserving resources based on an outdated view of digital scarcity (O’Brien and Scharber 2010). A Spanish study found general support amongst secondary school teachers for the use of the internet in the classroom with no reported differences between men and women. (Ramírez-Orellana, Cañedo-Hernández et al. 2012). However they did find some differences in support according to years of experience with teachers with fewer years of experience reporting more positive attitudes than those with over fifteen years of experience. The study also found subject differences with a sceptical attitude reported in science and technology subjects.
Student teachers constitute the largest group studied with regard to their attitudes towards technology. Studies show a positive attitudes towards the use of technology which increases when technology is covered in their training that relates to their subject (Friedman and Kajdar 2006). Research indicates that a single course on technology is not enough successfully effect the practice of student teachers (Vannatta and Reinhart 2000).
22.214.171.124 Use of technology by teachers
As has been stated, a difficulty of literature reviews on technology is that conclusions may be outdated very quickly; a study published in 2006 may draw on research carried out a year or so earlier when many of the technologies common today were non-existent or at very early stages. For example Underwood and Dillon cite research into involvement with video games that suggested that the it is not age or sex, but membership of the teaching profession, that is the defining characteristic of low involvement with video games (Sandford, Ulicsak et al. 2006). However, just because teachers may not be enthusiastic games players does not mean that they are ‘inherently low technology users’ (Underwood and Dillon 2011). Teachers may not be devoted games players but social networking and technologies of relevance to their particular professional interests may indicate high levels of technology use. There is evidence that personal use of computers outside of school is a significant indicator of teacher use of technology in the classroom (Wozney, Venkatest et al. 2006)
Before its closure BECTA produced a report (Rudd, Teeman et al. 2009) that provided a positive assessment of the state of technology in schools. The Report argues that there has been good progress in the provision of infrastructure and that teachers, school leaders and ICT co-ordinators are broadly happy with the ICT resources that they have (ibid: 26).
However, as Underwood and Dillon (2011) comment, introducing new technologies into the classroom does not automatically bring about new forms of teaching and learning. They type of technology is important. According to Merchant, popular classroom technologies such as the interactive whiteboard and PowerPoint tend to extend didactic pedagogies, rather than transform classroom practice (Merchant 2005).