Exploring teachers’ perceptions on the use of digital devices and the digital technologies curriculum content in diverse decile 1 schools
Khor, Sarah-Jane Gaiksim
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Citation:Khor, S-J.G. (2019). Exploring teachers’ perceptions on the use of digital devices and the digital technologies curriculum content in diverse decile 1 schools (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4651
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4651
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. How do teachers perceive the value of digital devices in the context of teaching in a diverse decile 1 school? 2. What are the current strategies that teachers in diverse decile 1 schools use to manage the complexities of digital device use in diverse decile 1 environments? 3. What do teachers in diverse decile 1 schools perceive as the advantages and challenges they face in terms of integrating the new digital technologies curriculum content in the technology learning area of The New Zealand Curriculum into their practice? 4. What are some recommendations for schools in diverse decile 1 communities when supporting The New Zealand Curriculum with digital devices and implementing the digital technologies curriculum content? ABSTRACT: Digital devices are rapidly changing our world and consequently, our primary school classrooms. Learners in decile 1 schools deserve the best quality education possible; thus, this research has investigated teacher perceptions of digital devices. Strategies teachers use to manage the complexities of their use in the context of decile 1 schools were also identified. This study explores the advantages and challenges of the recently introduced digital technologies curriculum content (Ministry of Education, 2018b) and gives recommendations for schools utilising digital devices in their programmes. Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews and online questionnaires have revealed that although today’s students are Digital Natives who have only lived in a digital world (Prensky, 2001, p. 2), learners in decile 1 primary schools do not necessarily have basic digital skills nor are they digitally literate. This is due to the unequal access to digital devices and/or the internet in students’ homes or the use of devices for entertainment. Thus, teachers employ deliberate, purposeful decisions when utilising digital devices. An absence of strategies that address the lack of access has been identified. The findings address the digital technologies curriculum content (Ministry of Education, 2018d) and support schools to make informed decisions when designing their plans for implementing curriculum content. They revealed that teachers positively perceive the new curriculum content as relevant to students’ futures but currently lack knowledge of this content. They also hold misconceptions between this content and eLearning. Components of successful digital device programmes for use within The New Zealand Curriculum are also discussed (Ministry of Education, 2007a). Recommendations for schools seeking to successfully implement the digital technologies curriculum content (Ministry of Education, 2018b) include professional development to build teachers’ content knowledge and address misconceptions. Involving teachers in this process will develop ownership, thus giving teachers a reason to change their practice, leading to the effective implementation of this curriculum content (Ministry of Education, 2018b). The findings encourage schools to develop a realistic understanding of the factors impacting on their students. Following this, schools should respond to these factors in ways that will make a difference for students.