University of Limerick
Bargary_ONeill_2021_Use.pdf (2.93 MB)

The use of ICT for learning in Irish primary education: children, parent and teacher perspectives

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posted on 2022-10-13, 09:02 authored by Caraolann Bargary-O'Neill
In recent years, the emergence of new digital technologies provides for new learning opportunities and there has been significant adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in home and school environments. The rapid expansion of digital technologies has led to an amplified focus on the role and potential of ICT in education; its importance has been articulated in several key Irish education policy documents and discussion papers (DES 1997, 1999, 2015). Technology adoption in schools, and the role of the school and teachers in that adoption, is well-researched (Hammond 2013; Judge 2013; McGarr 2008; Tondeur et al. 2009). Yet, despite the levels of Internet access (CSO 2019), the availability of digital devices in Irish homes, and the acknowledgement that parents play an important role in the education and development of the child (Daly 2009; DES 2011; Goodall 2008), little attention has been given to how children and parents view digital technologies for learning. Furthermore, the relationship between the home and school in the engagement of ICT for learning has been generally unexplored. Framed within Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner 1979), and in line with an interpretative research paradigm, this study adopted a qualitative approach to gain insight and understanding into the perspectives of children, parents and teachers on the use of ICT for school learning. Participants were sourced from a diverse number of primary schools across both urban and rural locations in the Republic of Ireland, and in-depth semi-structured interviews with parents and teachers, and focus groups with children, were used. Analysis of the findings reveal that children, parents and teachers had mixed opinions about the usefulness of technology for learning. The study identified many obstacles at microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem levels in using digital technologies for learning. The research further demonstrated that there is limited interaction between the home and school environments regarding the use of digital technologies for learning.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Goos, Merrilyn

Second supervisor

Parker-Jenkins, Marie





Department or School

  • School of Education

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