At the end of the school year 1999 to 2000 all teachers in the seven schools who had access to the Networked Rooms were surveyed. This survey addressed the following issues:
The following is the full text of our Survey Report
on the Impact of Using
This survey was carried out to ascertain the level at which teachers were using computer networks and how effective I.C.T's were as a learning tool in the laboratory environment. All these schools were participants in the Ennis Sip project.
Six schools with computer networks were issued with surveys in January 2000. The level of response to the survey was very high. Only teachers who used the computer laboratory (49) are included in this report.
Body of Report
The initial problem for schools was to get the teachers skilled in basic I.C.T's and familiar with lab. use. This has been achieved, facilitated in the larger schools by the resource teacher (with responsibility for I.C.T's).
Level of integration with class work was at 40% - 50%.
Benefits of Laboratory
Teachers are using the laboratory effectively and in a variety of innovative ways both with their classes and as a professional resource. What is apparent, however, 40% of teachers report that Internet use requires no extra preparation.
Use of Internet and Email More than half the teachers surveyed regularly use Email and WWW. Again, the vast majority of teachers felt that they would benefit from further training (89.9%). With regard to unsuitable material on the WWW the percentage who experienced it was low however, it is felt that as children become the authors of their own learning that percentage will rise considerably.
Report on Results
How do you integrate ICT?
In schools with resource teachers:
40% - 50% integrate I.CT's with other subjects.
Benefits of Laboratories:
Use of Internet:
50% of teachers use Internet
with their classes.
51% of teachers use Internet as a professional resource.
Teachers' usage of E-mail and Internet
Internet and Unsavoury Material: 14.3% of teachers had experience of unsavoury material being accessed. While vigilance and advanced downloading of sites was recommended in some cases, most felt that access to unsavoury is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Training: All teachers felt that they gained from training and 89.8% would get involved in further training.
Difficulties in Using Lab
Difficulties Experienced in the Lab
Where there was a resource teacher 60% of teachers reported no difficulties. A number of teachers who reported no difficulties did however indicate that any difficulties, which arose, were the responsibility of the resource teacher and of no concern to them. In schools without a resource teacher more than 70% of teachers reported difficulties experienced in the lab. Some of those who replied 'yes' to "difficulties", listed pupil teacher ratio, time and suitable software as their main difficulties. Some of the reported difficulties were inbuilt in the initial setup and were outside the schools' control. Most of these inbuilt difficulties have now been rectified.
All report that students enjoy
using the lab., which is time - tabled in all cases. 80% of teachers also
enjoyed lab. use. 60% of teachers are aware of possibility of hardware
sharing, while 70% are aware of possibility of work sharing in the lab.
Frequency of Class to the Lab
Supports which would facilitate lab. use
Teaching Strategies in lab.
Teachers employ a variety of strategies in the lab. ranging from whole class teaching, group work to individual tuition. Using the laboratory as a reward was also mentioned.
Strategies when Network is "Down".
51% don't use the lab when the network is down and 14% call on school IT teacher. Of the remainder, half resolve the problem while the remaining half use the machines as stand-alone.
Vision of Computers.
While all teachers view computers as an educational tool, 50% would consider that it also had entertainment value.
55.1% of teachers found a combination of lab and classroom computers most beneficial. Most of the remainder (34.7%) favoured a networked computer room with no classroom PC.
39% of teachers rated computers as a teaching aid as 'very useful'. 8.2% considered them 'not useful'.
Integrating I.C.T's with normal
classroom work proved to be the biggest conceptual problem for teachers.
Where schools had an I.C.T resource teacher individual teachers' attention
to integration was less than in the schools where there was no resource
teacher. It is envisaged that in phase two Lab. work will not be isolated
from classroom work. In order that teachers will become successful advocates
of integration their level of skill, and understanding of the value of
technology must continue to be upgraded.