16 SES 01, Enhancing Learning Processes with ICT
Within the context of the information society, the mastery of a set of ICT competences is considered as a key ability to cope with the rising economic, social and educational challenges (Kozma, 2008). This importance of mastering ICT competences, plea for their recognition as alternative educational outcomes. Recently, some national governments have answered this call by developing ICT curricula for their schools. As such, ICT competences are becoming compulsory educational outcomes and schools are entrusted with the responsibility of providing their pupils with opportunities for developing them (Vanderlinde, van Braak, & Hermans, 2009). However, teachers’ initiatives for developing their pupils’ ICT competences cannot be considered in the isolated context of the school. Almost all students of primary school education nowadays have access to a computer with an internet connection at home. As such, most of them have opportunities to develop ICT competences outside the educational context (Vekiri, 2010). In order to optimize their initiatives for developing pupils’ ICT competences, schools need to take pupils’ prior experiences into account.
The aim of this study was to explore the impact of primary school pupils’ out-of-school characteristics on their ICT competences. Pupils’ characteristics were categorized as demographics (gender and SES), ICT related pupil characteristics (ICT attitude and ICT self-efficacy), pupil cognitive skills, and ICT related home characteristics (parental ICT rules, parental active ICT support, parental ICT attitude). In order to overcome self-report bias, a performance based measure was used for the dependent variable of ICT competences.
Since the mid 1980s, the focus on ICT competences has shifted from mastering technical skills and using applications, to problem solving, information processing, critical thinking and using computers in a creative and innovative way (European Commission, 2007). ICT competences are often described as the integrated and interactive use of 1) general cognitive capabilities, and 2) technical capabilities to successfully complete cognitive information and ICT-based tasks (Markauskaite, 2007). Similarly, in this study an ICT competence refers to a higher-order learning-process oriented competence used in authentic situations and in which technical ICT knowledge and skills are integrated. These technical skills are considered to be instrumental to the higher-order competences. A special focus was placed on digital information processing and digital communication as competences to be measured because these two themes systematically reoccur in national and international ICT frameworks (Voogt & Roblin, 2012).
Many studies have focused on ICT competences from the perspective of gender and socioeconomic status. While some studies indicate that boys have better ICT competences (Li & Kirkup, 2007), others found a significant relationship between sex and Internet communication competences in favor of girls (Tsai & Tsai, 2010). With regard to SES, Claro et al. (2012) found that the higher the economic goods of students at home, the higher their ICT competence performance. However, results from van Braak and Kavadias (2005) indicate that SES does not affect ICT competences strongly enough in order to decide that low SES contributes to lower ICT competences.
Findings of Wu and Tsai (2006) stress the role of ICT attitudes for displaying higher levels of general and communicative internet self-efficacy. Moreover, previous research strongly indicates that computer and internet self-efficacy (Liang & Tsai, 2008) are strongly related to pupils’ ICT competences.
With regard to ICT related home characteristics, we assume that parents’ ICT attitude and the degree in which they support and regulate their child’s ICT use (Vekiri, 2010) has an impact on the child’s ICT competences.
Aptitude seem to have a big affect on pupils’ performance. Therefore, it seems imperative to integrate a measure of cognitive capability in this study.
Carpenter P.A., Just, M.A., & Shell, P. (1990). What One Intelligence Test Measures: A Theoretical Account of the Processing in the Raven Progressive Matrices Test. Psychological Review, 97(3), 404-431 Claro, M., Preiss, D.D., San Martin, E., Jara, I., Hinostroza, J.E., Valenzuela, S., … Nussbaum, M. (2012). Assessment of 21st century skills in Chile: Test design and results from high school level students. Computers & Education, 59, 1042-1053 European Commission (2007). Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. European Reference Framework. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities Kozma, R. (2008). Comparative Analysis of Policies for ICT in Education. In J. Voogt & G. Knezek (Eds.). International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education (pp. 1083-1096). New York: Springer Li, N., & Kirkup, G. (2007). Gender and cultural differences in Internet use: A study of China and the UK. Computers & Education, 48, 301-317 Liang, J.C., & Tsai, C.C. (2008). Internet self-efficacy and preferences toward constructivist Internet-based learning environments: A study of preschool teachers in Taiwan. Educational Technology and society, 11(1), 226-237 Markauskaite, L. (2007). Exploring the structure of trainee teachers’ ICT literacy: the main components of, and relationships between, general cognitive and technical capabilities. Educational Technology Research & Development, 55(6), 547-572 Tsai, M.J., & Tsai, C.C. (2010). Junior high school students’ internet usage and self-efficacy: A re-examination of the gender gap. Computers & Education, 54, 1182-1192 Valcke, M., Bonte, S., De Wever, B., & Rots, I. (2010). Internet parenting styles and the impact on internet use of primary school children. Computers & Education, 55, 454-464 van Braak, J., & Kavadias, D. (2005). The influence of social-demographic determinants on secondary school children’s computer use, experience, beliefs and competence. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 14(1), 43-60 Vanderlinde, R., van Braak, J. & Hermans, R. (2009). Educational technology on a turning point: Curriculum implementation in Flanders and challenges for schools. Educational Technology Research & Development, 57, 573-584 Vekiri, I. (2010). Socioeconomic differences in elementary students’ ICT beliefs and out-of-school experiences. Computers & Education, 54, 941-950 Voogt, J., & Roblin, N.P. (2012). A comparative analysis of international frameworks for 21st century competences: Implications for national curriculum policies. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 44(3), 299-321 Wu, Y.T., & Tsai, C.C. (2006). University Students’ Internet Attitudes and Internet Self-Efficacy: A Study AT Three Universities in Taiwan. Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 9(4), 441-450
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