16 SES 02 B, Current and Emergent Theoretical and Ethical Perspectives in Research on ICT in K-12 Education and Teacher Education
Given the importance, and considerable investment of time, resources and money, of educational technology innovations, it is critical that these programs have lasting impact beyond initial implementation and across contexts. However, this has often proven not be the case. Internationally, adoption and quality integration of technologies in teaching and learning have been inconsistent and difficult to transfer across teaching and learning contexts (Perrotta, 2013). Yet, it is essential that all students are afforded quality experiences working with digital technologies, to promote digital inclusion and ensure young people’s capacity to fully participate in future work and learning. Research has identified that many of the factors limiting the impact of technological innovation are challenges of scalability and sustainability. Sustainability can be understood as the regular and long-lasting renewal and efficient use of available ICT resources; while, scalability is the capacity to reach all and disseminate ideas (Albion et al., 2015; Voogt et al., 2015).
A key question is how to support and promote sustainability and scalability of digital technology integration in education. In this conceptual paper, we explore the role of research in view of supporting scalable and sustainable technology integration in teaching and learning contexts. We specifically address the issue of context, because educational innovations such as technology integration become richer, more nuanced, and complex as they are embedded in a context over time. In parallel, as innovations spread into other contexts, they mutate and change to meet unique needs and contextual demands. There is a significant tension between adaptation and fidelity of innovation implementation across contexts, which significantly impacts sustainability and scalability (Penuel et. al., 2011). We argue that well-designed and evidence-based research approaches can begin to identify and unpack some of the contextual elements and aspects of innovation to better support adaptation and implementation.
However, the reason for the strong influence of context is the high level of variability between educational systems and structures (Fullan, 2015), specifically concerning stakeholders and actors participating in technology integration (Howard & Rennie, 2013). Innovation and research programs that aim at sustainable change involve all stakeholders in determining what should be learned and make use of learning opportunities that are school-based (Kafyulilo et.al., 2016; Penuel et al., 2011). Stakeholders may include local actors (e.g. principals, teachers, students, parents, superintendents). At the government level, it would be policymakers (e.g. legislators, advisors). Industry partners are also part of technology innovation, particularly when considering the long-term benefits and effects of technology integration. The situated knowledge of all stakeholders should be honored when moving forward with designing, implementing and researching technology integration efforts. We further argue that strong partnerships between researchers and stakeholders are a necessary component in understanding educational context, and therefore supporting sustainability and scalability. European and international case studies will be analyzed and triangulated with existing research to explore these issues of context and the potential of partnerships to support sustainability and scalability of educational technology innovations.
The intent of this conceptual paper is to guide policy and practice by providing insights into the issue of context and its effect on scalability and sustainability, in relation to integration of digital technologies in education. We argue that well-designed research can identify core elements of an innovation while respecting adaptation inherent in implementation over time and across contexts. This paper has been developed based on discussions among experts during EDUsummIT 2017 (see http://unesco.unibit.bg/sites/default/files/EDUSummIT%202017%20eBook%20final%2012.2017.pdf. In 2017, Thematic Working Group 9 (TWG9) at EDUsummIT highlighted the necessity of aligning research approaches as a method of addressing issues of scalability and sustainability. TWG9 is an international group of educational technology academics and industry leaders from Europe, the United Kingdom, Oceania, Africa and the United States. Drawing on their collective research projects and a review of sustainability and scalability literature, three Challenges have been identified: i. develop evidence-driven research approaches that ii. support scalable and sustainable innovation within and across contexts, and iii. incorporate stakeholder and researcher partnerships within innovations.
The three Challenges have been used as a framework to examine European and international case studies, to identify research approaches that can/have effectively support scalability and sustainability. The collective investigation and analysis by this group will be presented during the paper presentation, through the illustrative case studies of educational technology innovations. Presentation of results will provide insights into the types of research approaches that lend themselves to scalability and sustainability across contexts. Based on comparisons across cases, it has been possible to identify some common characteristics of research approaches that appear to contribute to scalable and sustainable technology integration in education. Findings revealed particular affordances and limitations of research methods, which approaches are or are not easily scalable or do not promote sustainability, and the affordances and limitations of this kind of work. For example, findings from one case study suggest that repeated measure designs promote sustainability when used in close partnership with stakeholders, as these can support reflection and refinement of implementation. Based on these findings, short and long-term recommendations from TWG9 are presented for each of the three challenges.
Albion, P. R., Tondeur, J., Forkosh-Baruch, A., & Peeraer, J. (2015). Teachers’ professional development for ICT integration: Towards a reciprocal relationship between research and practice. Education and Information Technologies, 20(4), 655–673. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-015-9401-9 Dede, C., & Honan, J.P. (2005). Scaling up success: A synthesis of themes and insights. In: C. Dede, J. P. Honan, & L. Peters (Eds.), Scaling up success: Lessons learned from technology-based educational improvement (pp. 227-239). New York: Jossey-Bass. Fullan, M. (2015). The new meaning of educational change (5th ed.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Howard, S. K., & Rennie, E. (2013). Free for all: A case study examining implementation factors of one-to-one device programs. Computers in the Schools, 30(4), 359–377. https://doi.org/10.1080/07380569.2013.847316 Kafyulilo, A., Fisser, P., & Voogt, J. (2016). Teacher design in teams as a professional development arrangement for developing technology integration knowledge and skills of science teachers in Tanzania. Education and Information Technologies, 21(2), 301–318. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-014-9321-0 Penuel, W. R., Fishman, B. J., Cheng, B. H., & Sabelli, N. (2011). Organizing research and development at the intersection of learning, implementation, and design. Educational Researcher, 40(7), 331–337. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X11421826 Perrotta, C. (2013). Do school-level factors influence the educational benefits of digital technology? A critical analysis of teachers’ perceptions. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(2), 314–327. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01304.x Voogt, J., Knezek, G. Pareja Roblin, N. (2015). Research-informed strategies to address educational challenges in a digitally networked world. Education and Information Technologies, 20(4), 619–623. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-015-9430-4
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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