The Identification Of The Needs Of Teachers` Training For ICT

Abstract

It requires major changes in the processes of learning and assessment of pupils’ achievements in order to meet the requirements of contemporary society. In this research study we presented the current approaches of the learning and evaluative issue in its transition from the face-to-face organizing to the utilization of the informatics technology in blended learning activities. We also have in mind: the identification of the teachers’ training needs in secondary education in order to develop their skills to use digital materials, promoting the mobile learning, as well as the individualization of the forming sources, beneficial to the development of the teachers’ skills related to the length of activity. The research was applied to a sample of teachers in urban and rural teaching areas. They answered to the applied questionnaire items in order to study the relationship between variables. The research results have shown teachers’ adherence to participate to various activities of training in order to develop the skills to use the information technology in teaching activities, as well as the identifying of training sources beneficial to the development of these skills.

Keywords: Information technologymobile learningblended learningteachers` forming sources

Introduction

The idea of this study is to analyze the influence of the environmental factor and of the one of

seniority in teaching activity on the training needs of teachers in order to use digital materials in the

educational activity.

In this research study we have proposed to demonstrate that the teachers’ training is very

important in its passing from non - digital to digital learning and adopting new learning methods which

are complementary to the traditional ones, which can improve the aspect quality of the educational

process.

It’s important to regard the teachers’ training as part of European curriculum’s field, having the

purpose of creating a methodological framework of reference, in order to generate quality training

programs, and to eventually generate good educational practices as part of European curriculum’s

activities of planning and implementation (Bunăiașu, 2014).

Problem Statement

Many schools from different countries has adopted communication and technological

computerization implementing various ideas which have determined the intensification of learning

process, while pupils, teachers and parents are agree that ICT has generated a positive impact in learning.

Many research studies has analyzed the learning process in web environment, individualization of

learning (Papanikolaou et al., 2003) improving the educational environment in order to answer the

different needs of learning or collaborative learning (Rosatelli, & Self, 2004).

Proposing various dialogues and actions, facilitating students’ learning, supporting learning in

communication and collaboration activities or assessment (Conejo et al., 2004; Sung et al., 2005) offer

opportunities for pupils to identify what they have already learnt or they will learn and also for the

teachers to manage the assessment process.

Mobile learning refers to using mobile services and wireless to produce learning on the move. As

instruments of mobile learning we can mention: mobile phone, smart phone, palmtops, portable PC, PC

tablets, personal laptops and media players used for this purpose (Kukulska-Hulme, & Traxler, 2005).

With the help of all these instruments a new culture is formed in the educational process.

”One that can offer the possibility of instant access to information regarding almost any topic, that

is connecting the people across the planet, bringing, in the same time, education closer to home. For the

first time in the history of humanity, every act of communication has the potential of developing into an

activity of education” (Strungă, 2015, p. 466).

“Blended learning”- term represents a combination between internet – based learning and face-to-

face learning (Bonk, & Graham, 2006; Kerres, & Witt, 2003; Rooney, 2003). In this learning

environment there are developed some abilities for: messenger, tele-video conferencing, debate rooms,

forums, e-mails, web abilities, which are very necessary in teaching career (Cuhadar, 2008).

Research Questions

General hypothesis

If we analyze the influence of environmental factor on training needs of teachers in school

education and they relate to the length in their activity, then we can identify the training opportunities for

teachers to use appropriate computer technology in teaching.

Special hypothesis:

1.If we analyze the impact of environmental factor on different sources of training, then we can

identify which are the needs for teachers’ training in order to develop their competences of

using ITC in teaching.

2.If we study the relation between different sources of training with the length in activity, we

can emphasize which are the training opportunities in using information technology in

teaching for each segment of the investigated population.

Purpose of The Study

In this research project we have proposed the following objectives:

-Analysis the influence of environmental factors on training opportunities for teachers in order to use computer technology in teaching; -Identifying the needs of teachers’ training in school education in order to use computer technology in accordance with the length in activity.

Research Methods

The Sample

The sampling was stratified, including 328 teachers. The stratify has got as coordinates: the

educational environment and the length in teaching.

The group of subjects is dispersed nationwide in 19 schools from different localities/places:

Craiova, Bucharest, Alexandria, Bistreţ, Filiaşi, Dăbuleni, Bechet and Calafat.

The choice of schools and places/localities was balancing a balance between rural schools and

urban ones.

Methods

Using the questionnaire survey method, we proposed to capture which are the teachers’ training

interests in state school education, both in urban and rural schools, in relation to their length in teaching,

to develop the competences of using information technology in teaching.

Instruments

The questionnaire being the main instrument of our research, it determined the statistical analysis

of data processing and interpretation provided during the entire study.

In order to process data from the research, we chose for sample program, IBM.SPS, version 21.

Findings

In order to study the relationship between teachers’ option to participate in various forms of

training for developing their digital competences and also the educational environment, we analyze in a

comparative way the variables which represent training sources with the school environment variable.

The 81% urban and 66% rural teachers consider that training and specialization contribute to

improve the use of information technology practices, allocating important values to the „exchange

experience” variable, 72% urban teachers, 62% rural teachers.

We have also identified a significant relation between the „environment” variable and

„literature” variable.Our intention is to demonstrate which environmental category (urban or rural)

influences the teachers’ option for this source of training. We notice that the respondents in urban areas, 98%, consider that literature can improve training

for effective use of information technology in teaching. They stand in opposition to this part of

respondents in rural areas, who consider that this source of training doesn’t improve at all the activity of

teachers, 50% consider that literature can improve training.

Studying the relationship between teachers’ option to participate in various forms of training to

develop their digital competences and the length in teaching we can notice that trainings, specializations

can improve in a large measure teachers’ competences for: 50% (30-40 years), 52, 3% (15-20 years),

35,3% (6-10 years); largely for: 40% (10-15 years), 43,5% (20-30 years); in a moderate measure for:

53,8% (3-6 years).

Analysing the correspondence relation between literature and the length in teaching, we can notice

that this source of training can improve the teachers’ competences of using computer equipment and

conducting mobile learning activities or communication in web technological environment very much/ in

a large measure for: 65,8% (15-20 years), 58,3% (30- 40 years), 36,5% (20-30 years); largely for: 53,8%

(6-10 years); in a moderate measure for: 71,1% (10-15 years), 47,1%(3-6 years).

Analysing the correspondence relation between exchange experience and the length in teaching,

we can notice that this source of training can improve teachers’ competences to use computer equipments

and to conduct mobile learning or communication in web technological environment in a large measure

for: 59,5% (15-20 years), 58,3% (30-40 years), 35,3% (6-10 years); largely for:100%(3-6 years), 53,3%

(10-15 years), 42,4% (20-30 years).

Through the present study we analyzed in the first place the relationship between the opportunity

to access various sources of training in order to improve the digital skills of teachers and the educational

environment.

We found out that between school environment variable and literature variable, it establishes a

significant correlation, the correlation coefficient „r” (Bravis Pearson) = 0,222 being at a threshold of

significance of 0,000%, but between the same „environment” variable and „training” variable, that the

exchange of experience, it is established an insignificant correlation „r” coefficient being of -0,005 at a

threshold of significance of 0,925%, r= 0.032 at a threshold of 0,569%.

The correlation is significant between the „environment” and „literature” variables, with a

coefficient located at a lower threshold of 0, 01%. We draw the conclusion that teachers’ option to use

literature as a source of information in the field of information technology in teaching is influenced by

school environment where they are doing their activity.

The insignificant correlation which is established between the school environment variable and

training variables, specializations, national and international conferences, exchange experience with

colleagues, it is determined by the correlation threshold value bigger than 0, 01%. This fact shows that

teachers’ option to participate in training and exchange experiences with other colleagues it is not

influenced by the environmental factor.

At this moment we are interested in finding out if our urban and rural respondents from urban and

rural areas need training and exchange experience.

The scores recorded by respondents about the role of trainings and specializations (81% urban and

66% rural) point out that the exchange of experience is an important variable value (72% urban teachers,

rural teachers 62%).

Both respondents in urban and rural areas are agree that the exchange experience contribute very

much to the training and development of teachers.

As a conclusion, we can say that the respondents from urban and rural areas need trainings,

specialization, conferences but also exchange experiences.

We have also analyzed the relationship between the "environment" variable and "literature" in

order to demonstrate the influence of environmental educational class on teachers' training options.

The recorded scores show that 98% of the study respondents in urban areas are interested in the

study of the specialty literature on digital teaching methodology. Unlike them, 50% of teachers in rural

areas believe that literature can improve their training.

We have also identified that some teachers both in urban and rural areas weren’t interested at all in

the role of formative trainings, specializations and conferences. Other teachers weren’t interested at all in

exchange experience and other part of respondents in rural areas weren’t interested in literature.

I considered that the motivation of teachers to participate in different trainings has a decisive role

in the efficient use of information technology. So, I extended our research directing it to identify if

teachers aren’t interested in any form of professional development or they prefer other training sources to

improve their competences in this field.

Therefore we looked at the relationship variable „ literature on training in using ICT in teaching”

and the two variables „trainings, specializations” and „ exchange experience”.

In the relationship between „literature” variable and „trainings” variable it is established a

correlation coefficient „r”=0,584% found on a threshold of significance of 0,000%, which means that

respondents who didn’t prefer training by studying literature, they opted to source training through

specializations, conferences and the respondents who didn’t choose the second presented variable were

the followers of the first variable.

In the relationship between „literature” and „exchange experience” it is established a correlation

coefficient „r”=0,352%, found out on a threshold of significance of 0,000%, which means that

respondents who didn’t prefer training by studying literature, they opted to training through exchange

experience, and the respondents who didn’t choose the second presented variable, they were the followers

of the first variable.

Figure 1: Fig. 1. Corespondent graphic between the training variables and the environmental variable
Fig. 1. Corespondent graphic between the training variables and the environmental variable
See Full Size >

As a conclusion, we can say that both teachers in urban areas and teachers in rural areas need

trainings, specializations and literature but also they need exchange experience to improve using the

practice of information technology in teaching. We appreciate the teachers’ interest from rural areas in all

the three forms of training, but also variation option of those from the urban areas.

Another important analyse of our study is the relationship between teachers’ option to participate

in various forms of training to develop their digital competences and the length in teaching.

We propose to test if the length in teaching had an important role in teachers’ option to participate

in trainings in order to develop their competences of using computer equipments and conducting mobile

learning activities or communication in web technological environment.

We can notice that this form of training is preferred most by those who had a vast experience in

teaching, those with a length in teaching between 3-6 years, as recent graduates, are better informed about

the new technologies in the working field.

We have noticed that this form of training (literature) is preferred by all the categories of age in

teaching. Extreme scores were recorded to those with a length between 30-40 years. These, in a small

percentage of 8,3% were the only ones who considered that literature doesn’t contribute to their training.

Respondents represented teachers who were having a huge experience in teaching. This sample

with a length in teaching of 30-40 years consider that they could better improve practices to use computer

equipment and to conduct mobile learning activities or communication in web technological environment

as a consequence of their participation in trainings, specializations, conferences.

The only respondents who considered that literature contributes in a small extent to training, are

those with a length between 20-30 years.

We notice that all the categories of age consider exchange experience as being an important source

of training in order to develop their digital competences: 59,5% (15-20 years), 58,3% (30-40 years),

35,3% (6-10 years); largely for:100%(3-6 years), 53,3% (10-15 years), 42,4% (20-30 years).

The exchange of experience is a source of training that aims the development and enhancement of

human resources involved in the instructional - educational process to develop skills of teachers to use

digital equipment.

Conclusions

The results of the research have shown the teachers’ adherence to participate in training activities

for the effective use of information technology in teaching.

The study has also initiated teachers to identify sources of training adapted to the needs of the

individual and similar categories determined by the environmental factor and the length in teaching.

This study represents an important mark for the development of training programs to form and

develop teachers’ competences to use digital materials and to promote mobile learning and also

internationalization learning.

The present study can be improved in the context of developing training programs based on

sharing experience. To these we can identify the following needs:

- formation of teachers in order to ensure the transfer of non-digital to digital;

- increasing the efficiency and effectiveness instructive - educational process, following the

development of digital skills;

- increasing of the European dimensions: cooperation, mobility, multilingualism, European

information that restructures the profile of professional skills of teachers. They have in consideration to

develop teaching career by adapting examples of good educational practices, offered by various training

programs, to the level of their own organizational processes.

Also the development of digital skills training programs for teachers is a support for integration of

digital technologies in the instructional - educational process by providing relevant benchmarks. Thus, it

can run some workshops with teachers and students that will provide concrete examples of digital

learning. In this respect, it can perform the following tasks: creating internet profiles, group and

institutional email addresses, both for teachers and students; giving teachers access to international

research platforms as EBSCO, Thomson-Reuters Web of Science, Science Direct; creating virtual

communities as Mendeley for teachers; implementation of some networks to develop the learning

management such as: Schoology, Canvas, Openclass or Edmodo.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2017.05.02.131

Online ISSN

2357-1330