Examining Teachers’ Mindset and Responsibilities in Using ICT
Gisli THORSTEINSSON1, Andrei NICULESCU2,3
1 University of Iceland, v/Stakkahlid,
101, Reykjavik, Iceland
2 Spiru Haret University
13 Ion Ghica Street, Bucharest 3, Romania
3 I C I Bucharest
(National Institute for R & D in Informatics)
8-10 Averescu Blvd.
011455 Bucharest 1, Romania
Abstract: In a digital world, more and more academic disciplines taught in schools at all levels make use of Managed Learning Environments (MLEs) which have been assigned a high priority status in many educational institutions. In this rapidly changing environment, technology plays an essential role as it offers opportunities for online education and support for conventional education. However, acquiring and deploying a MLE is a difficult task that concerns teachers’ responsibilities and their mindset. This paper seeks to explore the pedagogical issues involved in applying a managed learning environment to support educational activities in school education. The approach was based on the following research questions: (i) Which issues influence the teachers’ role in using ICT to support school education? (ii) How do these issues affect his mindset and responsibilities when classes are conducted in a computerized space? (iii) How can a teacher effectively manage these issues? These questions were viewed using a range of qualitative research methods while running a series of case study lessons. The research indicates that teachers are not always able to make full use of ICT because they lack self-confidence, time for preparation and the technological skills needed to successfully manage the teaching-learning process inside and outside the classroom. Findings also suggest that there are other problems associated with new roles, role conflict and the perception of increased workload.
Keywords: ICT, Managed Learning Environment, teachers’ role, mindset, responsibilities, pedagogy.
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Gisli THORSTEINSSON, Andrei NICULESCU, Examining Teachers’ Mindset and Responsibilities in Using ICT, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 22 (3), pp. 315-322, 2013.
The background of this research project is the application of ICT in the context of teachers’ work. The role of ‘teacher’ in using ICT in a class can be complex depending on the pedagogical strategies and methods adopted. Typically, he will, at some time, carry out different roles affecting his mindset. He will have to organise and create the course content, set the pace, monitor learners’ reactions, adjust the delivery accordingly and, at times, conduct computer-based testing.
The Oxford English Dictionary Online (2011) defines the term mindset as: ‘an established set of attitudes, especially regarded as typical of a particular group’s social or cultural values; the philosophy or values of a person; frame of mind, attitude and disposition’. The term mindset indicates ‘set’ or ‘fixed’; however, it is readily apparent that an individual’s mindset can develop, but this may be a slow process and thus may cause stress.
In this research, the teacher’s background, including his education, his social status, attributed social value, his life experience in general and his role as an educator, was the basis of his mindset and his reflection on the development of his roles, in terms of the MLE, enabled him to interpret the activities he was undertaking in a manner acceptable to him.
When learning activities are more self-directed, the teacher often becomes a facilitator, assisting individuals or groups with progress, ‘enforcing’ the ‘rules of engagement’, helping with time and task management, and guiding students through the available resources. In most forms of delivery, there will be interruptions for clarifications and questions. The teacher as tutor must understand such interventions and respond to them. In group situations, the tutor must strike a balance between the needs of individuals and the group-all these well-aligned with the aims of the particular school.
Though in many, but not all schools, there are professional administrators responsible for much of the administrative work, all teachers find themselves responsible for key components of a number of administrative processes. Some tasks are ‘teaching administration’ such as ensuring that hand-outs are processed on time. Many teachers are also involved in the simple management of facilities and resources.
This paper firstly explains the background of the research and looks at the literature. Secondly, it explains the research methodology and the outcomes. Finally, the authors discuss the results and draw their conclusions from the research.
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