University of Limerick
Browse
McGarr and McDonagh INTED2015 paper.pdf (63.92 kB)

Clouding computers? The reporting of ICT use within a discourse of inevitability

Download (63.92 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2015-11-04, 09:53 authored by Oliver McGarrOliver McGarr, ADRIAN MC DONAGHADRIAN MC DONAGH
The debate about the use and justification of ICT in schools has been replaced by a discourse of inevitability where schools of the future are presented as technology rich sites of learning. Yet despite this faith in the technology there appears to be a vagueness about what role ICT will actually play and more specifically what way its inclusion will enhance the learning experience. A possible reason for such vagueness could be as a result of the pace of technological change where a lack of specificity future-proofs policy statements, prolonging their shelf-life while enabling them to embrace not yet developed technologies (and future pedagogies that may come into vogue). Alternatively, it could also be argued that another reason for such vagueness lies in the unquestioned belief in all technology. The 'space' created within this inevitable discourse enables schools to construct their own vision free from any guiding pedagogical or philosophical framework. In this context it is worth exploring how schools respond to the ICT agenda and how such responses are viewed by the school inspectorate. This paper reports on a study which examined school inspection reports from a sample of post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland (n = 75) from September 2013 to June 2014. The research aimed to identify the references made to ICT, and where present, examine what was reported and how its use was evaluated. In the absence of explicit policy and within an environment where all use is perceived as positive, such evaluations are arguably the articulation of vision of expected use. These evaluations also reflect the values and assumptions about the technology that are often masked by the rhetoric of policy statements and the 'regime of truth' presented within the media. The research found that, where mentioned, reference to ICT was characterised by a vagueness which gave little indication of how the technology was actually used. Where descriptions of use were provided, they tended to reflect the use of the technology as a presentation aid for the teacher and limited reference to student-centred use was found. The paper discusses the possible reasons for this type of reporting (and the nature of use reported) and examines the implications for future ICT developments in the post-primary sector.

History

Publication

INTED2015 Proceedings;pp. 5369-5374

Publisher

INTED2015

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

External identifier

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC