Overall Study on Reviewing the Progress and Evaluating The Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Projects 1998/2003

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Overall Study on

Reviewing the Progress and Evaluating

The Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Projects 1998/2003

Final Report

February 2005

© Copyright 2005 Education and Manpower Bureau

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The Research Team consists of the following:

Honorary Advisors - Prof. LEUNG Tin-pui

Vice President (Student Development), PolyU - Dr. LUI Sun-wing

Vice President (Partnership Development), PolyU Principal Investigator and Project Leader - Dr. KWAN Kam-por

Head, Educational Development Centre, PolyU Principal Investigators

- Dr. LEUNG Chi-kin [Primary School Sector]

Assistant Professor, Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, PolyU

- Dr. NG To-yee, Vincent [Secondary School Sector]

Associate Professor, Department of Computing, PolyU - Prof. TAM Sing-fai, Alan [Special School Sector]

Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, PolyU Investigators

- Dr. CHAN Chi-fai, Stephen

Associate Professor and Associate Head, Department of Computing, PolyU

- Dr. CHIU Chi-shing

Executive Project Director, Centre for University and School Partnership, Faculty of Education, CUHK - Dr. CSETE, Josephine

Senior Educational Development Officer, Educational Development Centre, PolyU

- Dr. IP Wai-cheung

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics, PolyU

- Mr. LEE Yee-wing, Bobby

Instructor, Department of Computing, PolyU - Dr. MAN Wai-kwong, David

Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, PolyU

- Mr. WONG Sik-yiu, Sidney

Associate Director, Institute for Enterprise, and Head, Management and Executive Development Centre, PolyU Project Manager

- Mrs. YU POON Wai-ping, Sally

Manager, Management and Executive Development Centre, Institute for Enterprise, PolyU

Senior Project Fellow - Dr. TAPLIN, Margaret Other Contributing Members - Dr. CHIU Lai-lin, Marjorie - Mr. KWAN Ying-keung - Mr. KWAN Ying-kit, Patrick - Ms. FUNG Yuk-shan, Imen - Ms. LAI Yuet-fung, Jessie - Ms. LEUNG Suk-kuen, Gloria - Ms. LIN Mei-ling, Grace - Ms. MA Pui-sze, Yetta - Mr. WONG Ka-pang, Cody - Ms. YEUNG Yin-fun, Fanny

Overseas Consultants - Prof. BACSICH, Paul

Director of Special Projects, UK eUniversities Worldwide Limited and Director of Matic Media Ltd.

- Dr. EHRMANN, Stephen

Vice President and Director of the Flashlight Program for the Study and Improvement of Educational Uses of Technology, The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group, Inc. (The TLT Group), USA

Local Consultants - Mr. AU Pak-ching

Principal, Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School

- Mr. LAI Man-yau

GM, St. Paul’s Secondary School - Dr. LO Wai-kwok

Managing Director, Artesyn Technologies Asia-Pacific Ltd.

- Mr. LO Yuk

PSM, Precious Blood Primary School (Wah Fu Estate)

- Dr. NG Chak-man

Senior Lecturer, The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Chai Wan)

- Ms. WONG She-lai, Shirley

Principal, TWGHs Chen Zao Men College Review Panelists

- Prof. LAU Wai-shing

Principal, The Institute of Vocational Education (Chai Wan)

- Prof. NYAW Mee-kau

Vice President, Lingnan University

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful for the contribution and assistance of all school heads, teachers, students, specialists and other people who took part in the Study. Without their support, this Study would never have been possible. We would also like to thank the overseas and local consultants of the Project, the Review Panelists and the colleagues in Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB), particularly members of the Steering Committee on Strategic Development of Information Technology in Education, for their many valuable comments at various stages of the Project.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Project Team 18 February 2005

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary i

Chapter 1 Project Background 1

Chapter 2 Literature Review 9

2.1 Introduction 9

2.2 Pedagogical application of IT 9

2.3 Rationale and potential benefits of ITEd 10

2.4 Impact of ICT on students 11

2.5 The impact of ICT on teachers’ beliefs and practices 12

2.6 The contextual factors mediating the application of ICT to teaching and learning 13

2.7 Hong Kong Studies 17

2.7.1 The SITES-M1 study 17

2.7.2 Case studies of ICT use in Hong Kong schools 19

2.7.3 The Preliminary Study 20

2.8 Methodological review of research in evaluating IT in education initiatives 21 2.8.1 An expanded definition and measurement of student learning outcomes 22

2.8.2 A combination of methodologies and approaches 23

2.8.3 Contextualised evaluation 23

2.8.4 Tying data to standards 24

Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework, Research Questions and Definitions of Key Terms 25

3.1 Description of the conceptual framework 25

3.2 Research questions 28

3.3 Definition of key terms used in this Study 30

3.3.1 Paradigm shift 30

3.3.2 Learning outcomes 31

3.3.3 Pedagogy 31

3.3.4 Curriculum integration 32

3.3.5 IT literacy 32

3.4 Relationship between project objectives and research questions 34

Chapter 4 Methodology 35

4.1 Introduction 35

4.2 Overall approach 35

4.3 Pilot Study 35

4.4 Instrumentation 36

4.4.1 The Initial Survey 36

4.4.2 Development of the core research instruments 39

4.4.3 Questionnaire Survey 40

4.4.4 IT Literacy Assessment (ITLA) 44

4.4.5 Qualitative methods and instruments 45

4.4.6 School Visits 46

4.4.7 Individual Interviews 48

4.4.8 Focus Group Interviews 48

4.4.9 Document analysis – documents from EMB 49

4.5 Special arrangements for special schools 50

4.6 Procedure for conducting the fieldwork 51

4.6.1 Preparation for the fieldwork 51

4.6.2 Contact with the sampled schools 51

4.6.3 Conducting of the fieldwork 51

4.7 Quality assurance procedures and guidelines 52

4.8 Data analysis methods 53

4.8.1 Questionnaire Surveys 53

4.8.2 IT Literacy Assessment 53

4.8.3 School Visits 54

4.8.4 Description of qualitative analysis processes 55

4.9 Limitations of the Study 57

4.10 Notes about reporting of data 58

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5.1 Use of Initial Survey results for sampling stratification 59

5.2 Sampling scheme for schools to be included in the Main Study 59

5.3 Sampling scheme for target participants for the Overall Study 60

5.4 Definition of sampled schools and non-sampled schools 71

5.5 Response rates by school sector 73

5.5.1 Primary school sector 73

5.5.2 Secondary school sector 75

5.5.3 Special school sector 76

5.5.4 Other stakeholders 78

Chapter 6 General Findings from Primary School Sector 81

6.1 Access, connectivity and usage 81

6.1.1 Access to school IT facilities 81

6.1.2 Access and connectivity at home 85

6.1.3 Usage 86

6.2 Teacher enablement 89

6.2.1 IT competence level of teachers 89

6.2.2 Participation in IT-related development activities and usefulness of this participation 91

6.2.3 Motivation for acquiring IT skills 92

6.2.4 Impact of ITEd on teachers 93

6.2.5 Obstacles and difficulties faced by teachers 95

6.3 Curriculum, pedagogy and resources 98

6.3.1 Teachers’ beliefs about ITEd 98

6.3.2 Actual practices: Curriculum integration 101

6.3.3 Actual pedagogical use by teachers 103

6.3.4 Use of school website/intranet 107

6.3.5 Perceived impact of IT on teaching 107

6.3.6 Resources and support 108

6.3.7 Needs and obstacles 109

6.4 School and wider community culture 111

6.4.1 School leaders’ beliefs and visions 111

6.4.2 Implementation of the school IT plan 113

6.4.3 Leadership roles 114

6.4.4 Activities to promote IT culture 114

6.4.5 Contributing parties to community-wide IT culture 115

6.4.6 Impact on school administration and communication 116

6.4.7 Factors affecting IT culture 117

6.5 Student learning 117

6.5.1 General attitudes towards teachers’ use of IT for teaching 118

6.5.2 Students’ reported use of IT 118

6.5.3 Students’ pedagogical use of IT 120

6.5.4 Students’ self-ratings of IT competence 121

6.5.5 IT literacy assessment outcomes 122

6.5.6 Students’ attitudes towards IT 125

6.5.7 Perceived impacts of IT on students 125

6.5.8 Impediments to use of IT as perceived by the students 129

Chapter 7 General Findings from Secondary School Sector 131

7.1 Access, connectivity and usage 131

7.1.1 Access to school IT facilities 131

7.1.2 Access and connectivity at home 135

7.1.3 Usage 135

7.2 Teacher enablement 139

7.2.1 IT competence level of teachers 139

7.2.2 Participation in IT-related development activities and usefulness of this participation 141

7.2.3 Motivation for acquiring IT skills 142

7.2.4 Impact of ITEd on teachers 143

7.2.5 Obstacles and difficulties faced by teachers 145

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7.3.1 Teachers’ beliefs about ITEd 146

7.3.2 Actual practices: Curriculum integration 148

7.3.3 Actual pedagogical use by teachers 149

7.3.4 Use of school website/intranet 152

7.3.5 Perceived impact of IT on teaching 153

7.3.6 Resources and support 154

7.3.7 Needs and obstacles 155

7.4 School and wider community culture 157

7.4.1 School leaders’ beliefs and visions 158

7.4.2 Implementation of the school IT plan 159

7.4.3 Leadership roles 159

7.4.4 Activities to promote IT culture 160

7.4.5 Contributing parties to community-wide IT culture 161

7.4.6 Impact on school administration and communication 162

7.4.7 Factors affecting IT culture 163

7.5 Student learning 163

7.5.1 General attitudes towards teachers’ use of IT for teaching 163

7.5.2 Students’ reported use of IT 164

7.5.3 Students’ pedagogical use of IT 166

7.5.4 Students’ self-ratings of IT competence 167

7.5.5 IT literacy assessment outcomes 169

7.5.6 Students’ attitudes towards IT 172

7.5.7 Perceived impacts of IT on students 173

7.5.8 Impediments to use of IT as perceived by the students 177

Chapter 8 Further Analyses of the Primary and Secondary School Data 179

8.1 Examples of pedagogical use of IT 179

8.2 Further analyses of the quantitative data 184

8.3 Results for the primary school sector 186

8.4 Results for the secondary school sector 193

8.5 General observations 199

Chapter 9 Findings from Special School Sector 201

9.1 Access, connectivity and usage 201

9.1.1 Access to school IT facilities 201

9.1.2 Access and connectivity at home 205

9.1.3 Usage 206

9.1.4 Findings from the qualitative data 210

9.2 Teacher enablement 213

9.2.1 IT competence level of teachers 213

9.2.2 Participation in IT-related development activities and usefulness of this participation 215

9.2.3 Motivation for acquiring IT skills 216

9.2.4 Impact of ITEd on teachers 218

9.2.5 Obstacles and difficulties faced by teachers 220

9.2.6 Findings from the qualitative data 221

9.3 Curriculum, pedagogy and resources 222

9.3.1 Teacher’s beliefs about ITEd 222

9.3.2 Actual practices: Curriculum integration 226

9.3.3 Actual pedagogical use by teachers 226

9.3.4 Use of school website/intranet 230

9.3.5 Perceived impact of IT on teaching 231

9.3.6 Resources and support 231

9.3.7 Needs and obstacles 233

9.3.8 Findings from the qualitative data 235

9.4 School and wider community culture 250

9.4.1 School leaders’ beliefs and visions 250

9.4.2 Implementation of the school IT plan 251

9.4.3 Leadership roles 252

9.4.4 Activities to promote IT culture 252

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9.4.7 Impact on school administration and communication 254

9.4.8 Factors affecting IT culture 255

9.4.9 Findings from the qualitative data 255

9.5 Student learning 260

9.5.1 General attitudes towards teachers’ use of IT for teaching 260

9.5.2 Students’ reported use of IT 260

9.5.3 Students’ pedagogical use of IT 262

9.5.4 Students’ self-ratings of IT competence 263

9.5.5 IT literacy assessment outcomes 265

9.5.6 Students’ attitudes towards IT 271

9.5.7 Perceived impacts of IT on students 272

9.5.8 Impediments to use of IT as perceived by the students 274

9.5.9 Findings from the qualitative data 274

Chapter 10 Future needs for ITEd in Hong Kong 287

10.1 Obstacles and difficulties in ITEd implementation 287

10.2 Views on future improvement of ITEd 289

Chapter 11 Summary and Discussion 295

11.1 Summary of major findings 295

11.1.1 Access, connectivity and usage 295

11.1.2 Teacher enablement 300

11.1.3 Curriculum, pedagogy and resources 302

11.1.4 School and wider community 305

11.1.5 Student learning 307

11.1.6 Inter-relationships with other factors 309

11.1.7 Future development of ITEd 309

11.2 Links between Hong Kong’s ITEd achievements and those of other countries 311

11.3 Discussion 314

11.3.1 Access, connectivity and usage 314

11.3.2 Teacher enablement 316

11.3.3 Curriculum, pedagogy and resources 318

11.3.4 School and wider community culture 320

11.3.5 Student learning 322

11.4 Conclusion 324

Chapter 12 Issues, Barriers and Recommendations 325

12.1 Issues and barriers 325

12.1.1 Access, connectivity and usage 325

12.1.2 Teacher enablement 325

12.1.3 Curriculum, pedagogy and resources 326

12.1.4 School and wider community culture 326

12.1.5 Student learning 326

12.2 Recommendations and future directions 327

12.2.1 Policy 327

12.2.2 Infrastructure 327

12.2.3 Teacher enablement/support 328

12.2.4 Curriculum and pedagogy 328

12.2.5 Others 329

12.2.6 Specific recommendations for special schools 329

References 331

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Executive Summary

This Executive Summary is drawn from the full report “Whole Final Report of the Overall Study on Reviewing the Progress and Evaluating the Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Projects 1998/2003”. This document provides the main elements of the purposes, methodology, analysis and recommendations from the full report. Detailed data supporting the conclusions and recommendations are reported in the main body of the report but not included here due to the large quantity of data from multiple sources. Readers are invited to read the full report for details.

Background of the Study

The following summarises the main purposes, methodology, as well as the major findings and recommendations of the “Overall Study on Reviewing the Progress and Evaluating the Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Projects 1998/2003”. This project was commissioned by the Hong Kong SAR Government to review the progress of the Information Technology in Education (ITEd) projects in Hong Kong since the inception of the Information Technology for Learning in a New Era:

Five-Year Strategy 1998/99 to 2002/03, (the Five-Year Strategy) in 1998. The main purposes of the project were:

1. to review the progress of the ITEd projects,

2. to evaluate the application and effectiveness of ITEd in the light of the extent to which schools/teachers have adopted and implemented pedagogical practices that use technology and the vision of promoting ITEd has been met as reflected by teachers’ and students’ enablement in their teaching/learning processes,

3. to conclude the overall effectiveness of ITEd projects and recommend strategies and plans for future investment and implementation in ITEd in Hong Kong.

Methodology

The research design for this Study was a cross-sectional exploration at the final stage of the ITEd initiatives. Data were collected by a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative instruments, including Questionnaire Surveys, IT Literacy Assessment and IT Activity Daily Log were used to give a broad picture while the qualitative instruments, including observations, focus group and individual interviews, and document analyses, were used to probe more deeply into the phenomenon, enable triangulation of data and give examples of unique uses. Results were compared with relevant data from the international Second Information Technology in Education Module One Hong Kong Study conducted in 1998 (Law et al., 1999) and the Preliminary Study on Reviewing the Progress and Evaluating the Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Projects (CITE, 2001) and, where appropriate, international data to review the progress and achievements of the ITEd initiatives in Hong Kong.

All government and aided schools in the Primary (n=684), Secondary (n=413) and Special School (n=72) Sectors were surveyed by the School Information Technology Survey Form and the School Heads’ Questionnaire. A total of 616 (90%), 378 (92%) and 66 (92%) completed School Information Technology Survey Forms were returned for the Primary, Secondary and Special School Sectors respectively. The numbers of valid returns for the School Heads’ Questionnaire for the Primary, Secondary and Special School Sectors were 625 (91%), 372 (90%) and 66 (92%) respectively.

Teachers (including therapists/specialists of special schools), IT team members and students from 124 primary, 125 secondary and 25 special schools took part in a questionnaire survey through stratified sampling. The number of valid returns and the corresponding response rates for the Teachers’

Questionnaire were Primary: 3,727 (90%), Secondary: 6,497 (91%), and Special: 641 (97%). A total of

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Executive Summary

60 (97%) Specialists’/Therapists’ Questionnaires from the Special School Sector were also received.

For the IT Team Members’ Questionnaire, the corresponding returns and response rates for the three sectors were: Primary: 603 (90%), Secondary: 668 (91%), and Special: 109 (96%). Furthermore, 4,912 primary students, 5,943 secondary students and 376 special school students responded to the Students’

Questionnaire, with the respective response rates of 98%, 92% and 99% for the three sectors. 20 primary, 21 secondary and 10 special schools involved in the teachers’ and students’ questionnaire surveys were selected for further in-depth study including a school tour, classroom observations, school document analyses, IT Literacy Assessment and IT Activity Daily Log for students, and Parents’ Questionnaire (for primary and secondary schools).

Individual or focus group interviews were also conducted with selected school heads, teachers, students, parents (in the case of special schools) and representatives from community stakeholder groups including trade associations, education and IT-related associations, teachers’ associations, school heads’ associations, school sponsoring bodies, tertiary education institutions, NGOs with parent education services, ITEd project officers and policy makers/directorates. An analysis of documents submitted by EMB to the Project Team was carried out.

Summary of Findings

Overall, the study found that significant progress has been made in the infrastructure, teacher professional training, and curriculum and resource support for ITEd in the five-year period 1998/2003.

Access, connectivity and usage

1. As far as infrastructure is concerned, the numbers of computers and other hardware in schools have continued to improve and have far exceeded targets. The average numbers of computers per school are 89.8, 237 and 71 for the Primary, Secondary and Special School Sectors respectively, placing Hong Kong well internationally in terms of infrastructure. Connectivity in school has improved greatly. All schools reported having Internet connections. Among them 95.8% (primary schools), 97.6% (secondary schools) and 93.9% (special schools) reported that the Internet connection was broadband. However, not every individual classroom has network connection. Student to computer ratios have also improved, with gross ratios of 7.4, 4.6 and 2 students per computer in the Primary, Secondary and Special School Sectors respectively. These figures are comparable to those in most developed countries. Nevertheless, some concerns have been expressed that existing network and hardware infrastructures are already getting old and that there is a need to make provision for ongoing maintenance/replacement of these.

2. One of the impressive findings of the study is that home access and connectivity for school heads, teachers and students have improved greatly and there is now a high level of home ownership of computers, even for students. There has been increasing use of IT by school heads, teachers and students, both in school and at home. Over 96% of school heads make at least some daily use of IT at school and 94% or more at home. For teachers, over 96% make some daily use of IT at school and over 97% at home. For primary school students, 22.2% of P3 and 22.8% of P6 reported using computers for more than one hour per day at school and 45.9% and 71.9%

respectively for more than one hour per day at home. In the Secondary School Sector, 17.7% of S2 students, 12.1% of S4 students and 11.1% of S6 students reported more than one hour’s use per day at school and 83.2%, 87.1% and 82.1% respectively for more than one hour daily at home. 30.4% of special school students reported daily use of more than one hour at school and 45.1% at home.

3. The majority of computers in primary and secondary schools are located in special rooms. The number of computers located in general classrooms has steadily increased but is still relatively low (with average numbers of permanent computers in general classrooms of 11.8 per primary school, 10.5 per secondary school and 8 per special school). This may create a barrier to more integrated use of IT across subject curricula.

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4. Some special schools expressed a concern that resources are insufficient for meeting the unique needs of their students. For some special school students, home access is a problem because of the need for assistive devices that they do not have available for home use or which parents or other supporters at home are not trained to use.

5. Most of the schools have school websites (97.2%, 99.7% and 95.5% of primary, secondary and special schools respectively). The proportions of schools having subject/teaching websites are relatively lower (52.1%, 88.4% and 45.5% respectively).

Teacher enablement

1. As far as teacher training is concerned, most teachers have received training in ITEd, with all of those who responded to this item reporting to have completed at least basic (BIT) level and 89.2% of primary, 89.3% of secondary and 92.2% of special school teachers having reached intermediate (IIT) level or above. In spite of the high percentage having completed training, however, only 54.1%-68.7% rated themselves proficient in applying/integrating IT in their subject curricula and there were still 15.7%-28.2% of teachers who considered themselves non-users/novices/beginners in adopting IT in teaching.

2. It was reported in the teachers’ focus group interviews that teachers feel they need less training with regard to technical expertise and more focus in their professional development on effective pedagogical use of IT and sharing of experiences with subject-based colleagues. Special school teachers and specialists/therapists suggested that there is insufficient training provision to meet their unique needs. Special schools are concerned with development of social skills, self-care and communication as well as cognitive learning, and the role of IT may be different for each of these purposes. Therefore, there is a need to redefine the role of IT in serving different functions rather than just the perception of using IT as a tool for cognitive learning in special schools.

3. From 76.8% to 87.3% of teachers reported that they had experienced restrictions imposed by insufficient time and excessive workload. In the focus group interviews with teachers it was also revealed that the pressures of the public examination-driven system were another common reason for not incorporating IT into their teaching.

4. Ongoing technical support as well as support in locating and evaluating suitable teaching software is considered by school heads and teachers to be of utmost importance.

Curriculum, pedagogy and resources

1. There is clear evidence of increasing use of IT by teachers, particularly for searching for information and preparing notes/course materials for teaching purposes. There is also evidence of increasing use of IT in teaching and learning across KLAs since the Preliminary Study. In the Primary School Sector, with the exception of Physical Education, from 82.4% (on Art) to 97.6%

(on English) of school heads reported using IT in KLAs occasionally or always. Similarly, in the Secondary School Sector the range reported by school heads, again with the exception of Physical Education, was from 91.8% (on Chinese) to 98.7% (on Science). Where IT was reportedly used in classrooms, most of the reported use was by teachers. There was, however, evidence of some degree of encouragement or request from teachers for students to perform a variety of learning-related tasks with IT.

2. Teachers’ pedagogical use of IT has been found to be related to a number of factors including school IT resources and support, their own IT beliefs and competence and, to a lesser extent, school heads’ beliefs and school IT culture. Since teachers’ pedagogical use has been shown to have a relationship to students’ learning outcomes, what the teacher does with respect to developing activities that require students to make effective use of IT in meaningful learning

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Executive Summary

tasks beyond the school context is of paramount importance.

3. Actual classroom use of IT is still more related to teacher-centred rather than student-centred learning, involving predominantly didactic expository teaching such as explanation and demonstration. There was relatively less opportunity for individual interaction with computers and even less for collaborative interaction focusing on facilitating learning and assessment or for tasks requiring higher-order thinking skills. There appears to be very little paradigm shift having occurred since the Preliminary Study. Use of IT for assessment and evaluation is still not a common practice. However, some effective use of IT for supporting student-centred learning in class was observed during Classroom Visits. It is also pleasing to note that a significant proportion of teachers reported having encouraged or requested their students to use IT for self-learning and engaging in collaborative projects outside classes.

4. While large percentages of schools are using school websites for purposes such as communication of information within the school and storing teaching, training and learning materials, there were fewer incidents of school websites being used widely in the teaching and learning process for promoting interaction or engaging students in learning-related tasks.

5. School heads and teachers generally have high perceptions about the impact of IT on teaching, although school heads tended to have more positive views of IT in education than the teachers.

6. Around 80% or more of the school heads suggested that the greatest support needed is for increasing/upgrading computers, peripherals and software, thus implying that resource is still perceived by heads as one of the main concerns. Relatively lower, but still a large percentage of school heads (more than 60%) recorded the need for supporting teaching-related issues such as integrating IT into the school curriculum, using IT in teaching/assisting teaching, enhancing the IT skills of teachers and students or using IT to support students with individual needs.

School and wider community culture

1. There seems to be a growing culture of use of IT by school heads, teachers, specialists/therapists and students both in school and outside school, and parents in general are supportive of ITEd.

2. Most school heads reported a positive impact of IT on school administration and management, with 94% or more agreeing that ITEd has had an impact on school administration or management with respect to improved communication within and outside the school, improved management of student and teacher records and improved management of teaching and learning resources.

3. As well as the above mentioned increased IT culture within schools, there is also an increased culture for sharing among schools. 97% or more of the schools surveyed reported having organized at least some activities to promote IT culture within and among schools. However, to date there is less evidence of a wider community sharing beyond schools. For example, there were not many indications of parent and other community involvement in developing school IT plans.

Student learning

1. Student use of IT at home is much higher than their use in school. Students reported that they used IT mainly for entertainment and searching information outside school; but also for learning-related work. There has been an increasing use of IT, by students, for learning – mainly for information searching – although some teachers and community stakeholders have suggested that students’ information processing skills are not being fully developed. It is interesting but not surprising that there is a pattern of decreasing use of IT in school for upper-level secondary students.

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2. The majority of students have developed confidence in using IT, with fewer than 20% of respondents indicating that they feel not quite confident or not confident at all. The majority of students demonstrated a basic understanding of computer knowledge and skills relevant to the stage-specific IT Learning Targets (with 83.3%, 85.7%, 88.6%, 88.1% and 93.9% of students scoring 50% or more in ITLA Section 1 for P3, P6, S2, S4 and S6 respectively ), and rated themselves as at least basically competent in common hardware and software skills. From the classroom observations there is evidence to suggest that use of IT alone is not a guarantee of student interest. Real motivation and interest come from carefully designed interaction with teachers, peers and materials, supported appropriately by IT.

3. Students’ learning outcomes have been found to be related to a wide range of community, school, teacher and student factors. It is particularly interesting to note that students’ time spent on using IT for learning-related tasks outside school is related to 4 and 5 out of the six student learning outcome variables at primary and secondary school levels respectively1. However, the students’

time spent on using IT for learning at school has no significant relationship with student learning outcome variables at primary school level and relates to only two [of which one is a negative relationship] at secondary school level2. In both Primary and Secondary School Sectors, 5 of the 6 variables of students’ learning outcomes are positively related to home ownership of computers by students3.

4. There are little data from the present study to show if students have become more inquisitive or creative, developed capabilities for processing information effectively and efficiently or developed skills for independent lifelong learning, because of the lack of valid and reliable measures of the above and the paucity of baseline data.

Recommendations

It must be remembered that the ITEd initiatives have been in place for only five years and within those five years it has, of necessity, taken time for things to build up. So, depending on the stage of development of the school, we are really talking about what has occurred in less than five years. From the findings reported above, it is undeniable that there has been huge progress in ITEd in Hong Kong schools, as reflected by the significantly improved infrastructure, the high proportion of staff trained, the emergence of a culture of using computers by school heads and teachers in their daily work, the widespread use of computers by students for learning as well as for other purposes, and the general perceptions of school heads, teachers, students, parents and other community stakeholders about the

1 Regarding the six students’ learning outcome variables [students’ IT competence, students’ perception of positive impact of IT on them, students’ confidence in IT use, students’ IT literacy (generic competence for learning), students’ IT literacy (generic competence for solving daily problems) and students’ IT literacy (technical knowledge and skills)], significant correlations have been found between –

(a) students’ time spent on using IT for learning-related tasks outside school and 4 of the six variables [students’ IT competence, students’ perception of positive impact of IT on them, students’ confidence in IT use and students’ IT literacy (generic competence for solving daily problems)] at primary school level; and

(b) students’ time spent on using IT for learning-related tasks outside school and 5 of the six variables [students’ IT competence, students’ perception of positive impact of IT on them, students’ confidence in IT use, students’ IT literacy (generic competence for learning) and students’ IT literacy (generic competence for solving daily problems)] at secondary school level.

2 Students’ time spent on using IT for learning at school has been found to correlate positively to students’

perception of positive impact of IT on them but negatively to students’ IT literacy (technical knowledge and skills) at secondary school level.

3 Home ownership of computers by students is found to correlate to 5 of the six learning outcome variables [students’ IT competence, students’ confidence in IT use, students’ IT literacy (generic competence for learning), students’ IT literacy (generic competence for solving daily problems) and students’ IT literacy (technical knowledge and skills)] in both Primary and Secondary School Sectors.

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Executive Summary

value and importance of ITEd. Credit should be given to all those concerned for having achieved all of this.

Policy

In the new ITEd plan, there is a need for a stronger emphasis to be placed on pedagogy rather than technology. The starting point must be the desirable curriculum goals to be achieved and the most appropriate IT-supported pedagogies for achieving these. Professional development activities should focus on how to make the best use of IT to support the pedagogy and curriculum goals, and infrastructure should be determined by what is needed to support the pedagogies. In addition, there is a need to move from “one-size-fits-all” ITEd initiatives uniform across schools to more flexible initiatives that allow school-based development according to context, stage of development and needs within a broad framework which defines and maintains a minimum standard with shared understanding of goals and objectives of ITEd.

Infrastructure

There is a need to continue financing for ongoing upgrading and maintenance of the infrastructure. The Government probably still needs to be committed to giving this support. There is also a need to make IT more accessible to general classrooms and to explore other innovative setups and arrangements in order to make it more conducive for teachers to apply IT in their teaching.

There is a need to explore ways to solicit community resources and support for ITEd initiatives, and to take full advantage of the phenomenon that most students have computers at home. In particular, there is a need to look seriously and actively at ways to facilitate more access for students to computers outside school hours, to invest resources in this respect if necessary, and to encourage teachers to plan specifically for home use of computers.

We suggest that there should continue to be some level of pro-rata distribution of funding to schools to support ITEd, but in addition to this it may also be desirable to make available different allocations for different schools. For example, there is still a need to have some positive discrimination with respect to financial support, that is to support a few seed schools that have already shown they are capable of high levels of achievement so that they can be models for others as well as some provision to enable the ‘weaker’ schools to upgrade their development.

Teacher enablement/support

There is definitely a need for ongoing professional development for teachers, not on the technical side of hardware and software use but more in terms of pedagogical use of IT in specific subject areas, as well as its use for supporting the development of students’ generic competencies in information and other higher-order cognitive skills. This can most effectively take the form of sharing of resources and best practices within and between schools according to KLAs. Models of teacher professional development in South Korea and Singapore are good examples. Technical support and curriculum support in the preparation of teaching material is still much needed. Partnerships between tertiary institutions and schools need to be more systematic and structured rather than on an ad hoc basis.

Development and support involves more than the idea of everybody sharing their learning objects (e.g.

through HKedCity). Teachers need some insights and experiences in terms of the whole ITEd strategy for teaching their particular subjects. There is a need to help teachers to understand the distinction between the different ways of using IT in teaching and learning: teaching with IT, learning from IT and learning the subject matter with IT.

It is also important to emphasise that the objective of ITEd is to help students to make effective use of IT as a tool in their own learning, not just to help teachers to prepare suitable materials. Hence there is a need to develop ways to help teachers to acquire the skills to promote this kind of learning.

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Curriculum and pedagogy

Pedagogical use is a result of a combination of many factors, therefore, any attempt to change the pedagogical paradigm has to be seen in relationship to the whole examination system, curriculum etc.

Hence the ITEd strategy should be fully integrated with the current processes of curriculum review/development. In particular there is a need to look at alternative forms of assessment that are more conducive to student-centred IT use. There is a need for greater understanding of how IT can best support various curriculum areas and for clearer guidelines for providing students with information skills as opposed to information technology skills.

Resource support

There is a need for more IT resources and materials for teaching and learning and there is little sense in this being done on a school-based level where teachers are duplicating efforts, but rather at a central level where materials are collected that can be accessed by teachers. However, it is important to note that the provision of suitable resources and materials is only one step, and it is the whole pedagogical design that is important. It is important to focus on the quality rather than the quantity of use: not whether a teacher uses or does not use IT for a particular percentage of the time, but whether they use it in a quality way that enhances student learning.

Further research and evaluation

Finally, there is a need for further research and evaluation – but it is important for this to be more focused on a particular strand of use of IT in different curriculum areas and its impact on student learning rather than general surveys. This research would most profitably take the form of coordinated school-based action research led by evaluation expert.

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Executive Summary

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Chapter 1 Project Background

In 1998/99, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government started the Information Technology in Education (ITEd) initiatives. The visions of the ITEd initiatives as stated in the document entitled Information Technology for Learning in a New Era: Five-Year Strategy 1998/99 to 2002/03, (the Five-Year Strategy), which was issued in November 1998 after public consultation by the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB), include the following:

(1) To turn our [Hong Kong] schools into dynamic and innovative learning institutions where students can become more motivated, inquisitive and creative;

(2) To link our students up with the vast network world of knowledge and information to enable them to acquire a broad knowledge base and a global outlook;

(3) To develop in our students capabilities to process information effectively and efficiently; and (4) To develop in our students the attitude and capability for independent life-long learning.

In the Education Reform Proposal (2000, Chapter 8: Reform Proposals for the Education System), it is mentioned that one of the four key tasks in the Curriculum Reform is about the use of information technology (IT). In this key task, it is proposed that “the proper use of IT can greatly enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching.” The ultimate aim is to “enable students to learn on their own and throughout their lives.” Schools were urged to “strengthen the use of IT to help teachers and students improve the effectiveness in learning and teaching.”

In his Policy Address delivered to the Legislative Council in 1998, the then Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr. W.P. Wong, mentioned that some indicators would be used to measure progress in IT in education. These are (1) percentage of students who achieve the attainment targets for their respective learning stages; (2) percentage of school curriculum delivered with assistance of IT; and (3) percentage of teachers achieving competence at various levels. Mr. Wong also indicated that the EMB would “conduct an interim review of the Five-Year Strategy in 2001, and a final review in 2003”.

After the interim review was conducted, the Hong Kong SAR Government issued an invitation for tender for the conducting of an Overall Study on Reviewing the Progress and Evaluating the Information Technology in Education (ITEd) Projects 1998/2003 (the Overall Study) in November 2001. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (the PolyU) was awarded the Contract in September 2002.

Based on the Project Specifications of the Tender Documents, the objectives of the current Study are:

(1) To review the progress of the ITEd projects and to recommend necessary adjustments to future implementation of ITEd projects, with specific focus on each type of school (i.e. Primary, Secondary and Special) as well as the community as a whole. The difference and diversity in each type of school will be addressed.

(2) To establish a theoretical framework to support the design of an overall evaluation (core methodology) with specific measures for each type of school (i.e. Primary, Secondary and Special) as well as the community as a whole.

(3) To develop specific evaluative model(s)/tools and conduct a pilot study to test the research methodology and instruments designed.

(4) To evaluate the application and effectiveness of ITEd in the light of the extent (i) to which schools/teachers have adopted and implemented pedagogical practices that use technology and (ii) to which the vision of promoting ITEd has been met as reflected by teachers’ and students’

enablement in their teaching/learning processes. The effectiveness of ITEd projects in the four

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Chapter 1: Project Background

components or domains, as specified in the “Information Technology for Learning in a New Era:

Five-Year Strategy 1998/99 to 2002/03” will also be addressed.

(5) To conclude the overall effectiveness (including the resources management perspective regarding manpower and budgeting; the student learning outcomes; the pedagogical and cultural impacts) of ITEd projects and to recommend strategies and plans for future investment and implementation in ITEd. Based on the information gathered and analysed, a range of options and broad directions as to where ITEd should go forward, and in which direction, will be presented.

The following gives an example of some of the EMB ITEd projects and initiatives, as mentioned in the Project Specifications. They have been included here to help to set the context of this Study. Further details of EMB ITEd initiatives will be discussed in subsequent chapters of this Report.

The ITEd projects mentioned in the Project Specifications include the following:

Access

(1) Provide hardware and equipment

a) 15 computers for each primary school

b) 40/82 computers to primary and secondary schools respectively (2) Multimedia Learning Centre (MMLC) in some 100 secondary schools

(3) Information Technology Learning Centre (ITLC) in 46 prevocational schools and secondary technical schools

(4) Computer Laboratory (CL) in 27 prevocational schools

(5) Provide incentive grant to schools to open up computer facilities after normal school hours (6) Provide 1000 computers in community facilities

Connectivity

(1) IT in Ed: Site Preparation Works (2) Hong Kong Education City

(3) Consider the feasibility of providing Internet access and individual e-mail accounts to teachers and students above certain level

Teacher Enablement

(1) Provide 85 000 IT training places to teachers (2) Develop self-learning packages for teachers

(3) Study on IT levels of competency and the feasibility of introducing a ‘Graded Certificate’

System Curriculum

(1) Develop students’ IT learning targets

(2) 25% of curriculum delivery with support of IT

(3) Full integration of IT in the new curriculum after the holistic review of CDC Resource Support

(1) Information Technology Education Resource Centre (ITERC) and Regional Support Section (RSS)

(2) Provide 250 IT coordinators for public sector schools (3) Provide contract technical support services to schools

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Others

(1) IT plans prepared by schools

(2) Publicity (e.g. the planned IT exhibition)

(3) Disseminate good practices under the IT Pilot Scheme (4) Summer IT Programmes for Students

Community-wide Culture

Any related issues of the above projects

The PolyU Project Team is required to cover the following scope of study:

(a) chart the progress of ITEd projects and gather information on the situation of IT provisions and applications of IT in each type of schools (i.e. primary, secondary and special) as well as in the community by early 2003/2004 school year; and compare it with the situation in November 1998 so as to review the overall progress of ITEd initiatives from 1998 to 2003 and to recommend improvement measures when implementing future ITEd projects/the IT strategy in the light of its key components:

(i) Access and Connectivity (ii) Teacher Enablement

(iii) Curriculum and Resource Support (iv) Community-wide Culture

(b) formulate a conceptual framework and to design the core methodology for reviewing the progress and evaluating the overall effectiveness of ITEd initiatives with specific measures for each type of schools (i.e. primary, secondary and special) as well as the community as a whole.

(c) devise the instruments such as indicators/descriptors with reference to evaluative models/tools developed for/from other IT-related studies and to produce implementation schedules for evaluating the impacts (including but not limited to operational, pedagogical and cultural aspects) of IT on each type of schools/teachers/students as well as on the community as a whole. Some of the areas of concerns are listed below:

(i) Teachers’ IT competence

(ii) Integration of IT into the curriculum (iii) Usage patterns of IT facilities (iv) Innovative pedagogical practices (v) Student learning

(vi) Changes in approach in school education and management

(vii) Sharing of effective use of IT in teaching among schools and other learning organisations (viii) Community collaboration

(ix) Cultivation of community-wide culture

(x) Comparison with ITEd initiatives in other places

(d) select representative stratified samples of each type of schools (i.e. primary, secondary and special) as well as other community groups/organisations and to conduct:

(i) a pilot study within 2003 in order to testify and refine (b) and (c)

(ii) an overall study by early 2003/04 school year in accordance with (b), (c) and any other necessary refinements

(e) determine the extent to which the vision of promoting ITEd as stated in the Information Technology for Learning in a New Era: Five-Year Strategy 1998/99 to 2002/03 document has been achieved. Details of the vision are:

(i) to turn our schools into dynamic and innovative learning institutions where students can become more motivated, inquisitive and creative;

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Chapter 1: Project Background

(ii) to link our students up with the vast network world of knowledge and information to enable them to acquire a broad knowledge base and a global outlook;

(iii) to develop in our students capabilities to process information effectively and efficiently;

and

(iv) to develop in our students the attitude and capability for independent life-long learning.

(f) provide forward-looking suggestions for formulating IT policies and strategies for better education. The Contractor is required:

(i) to propose specific effectiveness evaluative models/tools for charting the progress and denoting results of ITEd projects;

(ii) to suggest ways of allocating funds and the should-be roles and responsibilities of the Government, schools and the community in order to bring our school education into the new IT world;

(iii) to suggest both short- and long-term implementation strategies with proposed plans and related ITEd projects. The strategies should cover areas including but not limited to IT provisions, curriculum development, professional and technical management of IT resources for enhancing teaching/learning processes as well as cultivation of community-wide culture; and

(iv) to address the issues arising from the management and further development of IT in school education.

According to the Contract documents, there are altogether seven deliverables. The following is a summary of the key contents as stipulated in the approved Project Plan.

(1) Detailed Project Plan [Detailed Project Plan as stipulated in the Tender Documents]

This is a master plan of the whole project, which will include a brief description of the following:

Ÿ Background of the project Ÿ Conceptual framework Ÿ Methodologies

Ÿ Deliverables

Ÿ Master implementation schedule (including the two implementation schedules for Pilot Study and Overall Study)

(2) Report on Study Instruments [Interim Report of the Pilot Study as stipulated in the Tender Documents]

This report covers mainly tools and instruments for use in the Pilot Study and Overall Study. Details of the report are listed as follows:

Ÿ Evaluative models/tools

Ÿ Instruments to be validated in the Pilot Study (with descriptions such as objectives, related research questions and target groups)

Ÿ Identified variables (with regard to Research Questions/Instruments) Ÿ Raw data (non-school-based data and any school-based data as available)

Ÿ Implementation plan (with regard to work schedule and related key tasks such as sampling) (3) Report on Pilot Study [Final Report of the Pilot Study as stipulated in the Tender

Documents]

This report on the Pilot Study covers the following:

Ÿ Evaluative models/tools to be adopted for the Overall Study (including the sampling strategy derived from the Initial Survey)

Ÿ Complete set of raw data

Ÿ Data analyses (focusing on review of methods of data analyses) Ÿ Summary report of Pilot Study

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Ÿ Refined work plan (with regard to Instruments)

(4) Report on Conceptual Framework and Methodologies [Report I of the Overall Study as stipulated in the Tender Documents]

This report includes the following:

Ÿ Conceptual framework

Ÿ Research methodology for overall review and evaluation with specific measures for each type of schools as well as the community as a whole

Ÿ Refined evaluative tools/instruments

Ÿ Detailed work plan (with regard to implementation of Overall Study; in particular data collection) (5) Preliminary Findings of the Overall Study [Report II of the Overall Study as stipulated in

the Tender Documents]

This report covers the following:

Ÿ Raw data collected Ÿ Methods of data analyses Ÿ Preliminary data analyses

Ÿ Refined work plan (key event log tracking progress of related tasks)

(6) First Report of the Overall Study [Final Report (Part I) of the Overall Study, English and Chinese versions, as stipulated in the Tender Documents]

This First Report of the Overall Study includes the following:

Ÿ Links with the Preliminary Study [Para. 3.1 Objectives & 4.1 Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Teams involved Ÿ Lists of references

Ÿ Overall conceptual framework [Para. 3.1 (b) & (c) Objectives & 4.1 (b) & (c) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Research methodology [Para. 3.1 (b) & (c) Objectives & 4.1 (b) & (c) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Sampling strategy [Para. 4.1 (d) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Summary findings for overall review and evaluation (with initial data analyses results)

- progress of ITEd projects [Para. 3.1 (a) Objectives & 4.1 (a) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

- impacts of ITEd on teaching and learning on each type of schools as well as community-wide culture with reference to areas of concerns as listed in Para. 4.1 (c) Scope of Study of Project Specifications [Para. 3.1 (d) Objectives of Project Specifications]

- views on achievement of "visions" as stated in Para. 4.1 (e) Scope of Study of Project Specifications [Para. 3.1 (e) Objectives of Project Specifications]

- overall effectiveness of ITEd projects with respect to stratified samples (including resources management perspective, student learning outcomes, pedagogical and cultural impacts) [Para. 3.1 (e) Objectives of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Initial Recommendations

- improvement measures when implementing future ITEd projects/Strategy [Para. 3.1 (a) Objectives & 4.1 (a) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

- strategies and plans for future investment and implementation of ITEd [Para. 3.1 (e) Objectives of Project Specifications]

- forward-looking suggestions for formulating IT policies and strategies for better education [Para. 4.1 (f) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

- way forward of IT in Education

Ÿ Summary of views of local and overseas consultants such as on conceptual framework, methodology and instruments

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Chapter 1: Project Background

Ÿ Executive Summary (including the approach of the Study, key findings and recommendations) (7) Final Report of the Overall Study [Whole Final Report, English and Chinese versions, as

stipulated in the Tender Documents]

This will be an updated version of Deliverable 6, which will consist of the following:

Ÿ Links with the Preliminary Study [Para. 3.1 Objectives & 4.1 Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Overall conceptual framework [Para. 3.1 (b) & (c) Objectives & 4.1 (b) & (c) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Evaluative models/tools [Para. 3.1 (c) Objectives & 4.1 (c) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Research methodology [Para. 3.1 (b) & (c) Objectives & 4.1 (b) & (c) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Sampling strategy [Para. 4.1 (d) Scope of Study of Project Specifications]

Ÿ Data collected for overall progress review and evaluation Ÿ Data analyses

Ÿ Consolidation of the findings and recommendations of the previous reports Ÿ Concluding recommendations

Ÿ Executive Summary (including the approach of the Study, key findings and recommendations) Ÿ Consolidated views from each of the Local Consultant Team, the Overseas Consultant Team and

the Review Team in separate chapters/appendices

The PolyU Project Team was awarded the Contract in September 2002 and the progress of the Study since that date is summarized as follows:

The Project Team received the notification of the offer of this Project from the then Education Department (ED), now EMB of The HKSAR Government on 18 September 2002. Shortly after the commencement of the Project, the Project Team conducted an Initial Survey in November 2002 for collecting information on IT progress in each school for subsequent stratification in the Overall Study.

The School Information Technology (IT) Form was used for this purpose. The Initial Survey Report was submitted to EMB on 28 February 2003.

The 1st deliverable of the Project was a detailed Project Plan. The first draft was submitted on 30 September 2002 and the final version was approved formally by EMB on 16 May 2003.

After the conducting of the Initial Survey, and subsequent to the approval of the Project Plan by EMB on 16 May 2003, a Pilot Study was conducted between 30 May and 2 July 2003. The purpose of the Pilot Study was to test the research methodology and instruments designed, as well as to rehearse the logistics and to trial the instruments to uncover any possible areas for improvement. An Interim Report of the Pilot Study, which is the 2nd deliverable of the Project, was submitted to EMB on 30 May 2003.

The “Final Report of the Pilot Study” (2nd and 3rd deliverables) was submitted to EMB on 11 November 2003.

Subsequent to the approval of the Final Report of the Pilot Study, the Project Team refined some aspects of the research methodology and instruments, and submitted the “Report I of the Overall Study:

Conceptual Framework and Methodologies” (the 4th deliverable) to EMB on 25 November 2003. The revised “Report I of the Overall Study: Conceptual Framework and Methodologies” was submitted on 9 February 2004.

Concurrently, the fieldwork of the Main Study took place from 3 November 2003 to 7 May 2004. The full-scale Study aimed to gather data and to perform analyses to address all issues and requirements as stipulated in the Project Specifications in the Tender Documents. “Report II of the Overall Study:

Preliminary Findings of the Overall Study”, which is the 5th deliverable of the Project, was submitted to EMB on 30 April 2004.

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The present document is the “Draft Whole Final Report” (7th deliverable).

Implementation Schedule for Overall Study

The major events for the Overall Study are shown in Table 1.1 Table 1.1: Implementation Schedule of the Overall Study

Events Period/Date

Awarded the Contract September 2002

Data Collection of Initial Survey for Stratification November 2002 to January 2003 Submission of Initial Survey Report 28 February 2003

Meetings with Local Consultants April 2003

Approval of the Project Plan 16 May 2003

Data collection for the Pilot Study 30 May 2003 to 2 July 2003 Submission of Report of the Pilot Study 11 November, 2003 Refinements of Methodology and Instruments for Main

Study June 2003 to October 2003

Meetings with Overseas Consultants September to October 2003 Recruitment and training of fieldwork staff members for

the Main Study September to October 2003

Preparations for the Main Study September to October 2003 Data collection for the Main Study (including follow up of

non-responses) 3 November 2003 to 7 May 2004

Submission of Report I of the Overall Study: Conceptual

Framework and Methodologies (Version 1) 25 November 2003

Data analysis for the Overall Study December 2003 to June 2004 Submission of Draft of the Report II of the Overall Study:

Preliminary Findings of the Overall Study 30 April 2004 Meetings with Overseas Consultants, Local Consultants,

and Review Panelists May to July 2004

Submission of Draft of the “First Report of the Overall

Study [Final Report (Part I) of the Overall Study] 30 June 2004 Submission of First Report of the Overall Study [Final

Report (Part I) of the Overall Study] 13 August 2004 Submission of Draft Whole Final Report 30 October 2004

Submission of Whole Final Report 30 November 2004

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Chapter 1: Project Background

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Chapter 2 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

The HKSAR Government is not alone in promoting the use of information and communication technology (ICT, used interchangeably with IT throughout this report) in education. Educators and policy-makers worldwide have become increasingly intrigued by the rapid development of information and communication technologies, and their possibilities for teaching and learning (Plomp, 2000). In many countries (e.g., Denmark, USA, UK and Singapore, to name just a few), action plans have been launched to improve the ICT infrastructure and encourage teachers to make more widespread and appropriate use of ICT in facilitating teaching and learning (Pelgrum and Anderson, 2001).

The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of recent literature that relates to the objectives of this Study outlined in Chapter 1. This review of literature has been used as a basis for the development of the Conceptual Framework (Chapter 3) and design of methodologies and instrumentation (Chapter 4) for this Study.

The sections below attempt to provide a brief review of the literature in terms of:

Ÿ Pedagogical application of IT,

Ÿ The rationale and potential benefits of applying ICT to teaching and learning, Ÿ The impact of ICT on students’ learning,

Ÿ The impact of ICT on teachers’ beliefs and practices,

Ÿ The contextual factors mediating the application of ICT to teaching and learning.

There has been a huge amount of research on the effectiveness of educational technology, so a comprehensive review of the literature is beyond the scope of this chapter. While many studies show that the use of ICT in education can have a positive impact on teaching and learning, the results are far from conclusive for the more pedagogically complex uses of the technology and for promoting students’ higher-order thinking skills.

2.2 Pedagogical application of IT

The literature of the past decade describes several ways in which information technology is used in schools. The first of these is learning about IT (Cuttance & Stokes, 2000). This is concerned with the acquisition of basic technological knowledge and skills about IT. The next is teaching with IT (Barnett, 2003a), which is the use of IT as a means of presenting information, for example PowerPoint presentations, perhaps using animation and sound effects to add a novel way to attract the students’

attention. This method has its place if used in instruction when it is appropriate, and not as the sole tool.

The next type of IT use in teaching and learning is learning from IT (Barnett, 2003a, Ringstaff & Kelly, 2002), which involves the computer as a tutor, such as in the use of drill and practice or integrated computer-based learning software. Another way is learning with IT, which involves using technology to access resources through searching for information on the Internet, communication, using simulations, using graphical calculators to teach calculus, etc. (Cuttance & Stokes, 2000). Learning with IT involves IT in mediating learning, that is using computers and other technologies as tools to carry out tasks such as writing, analyzing data, solving problems and doing research (Barnett, 2003a, Cuttance & Stokes, 2000, Ringstaff & Kelly, 2002). This kind of use of IT is often considered as being closely aligned to the constructivist philosophy of learning (Ringstaff & Kelly, 2002). In this type of use, it is the teachers and students, not the computers, who are controlling the curriculum and instruction (Ringstaff & Kelly, 2002). It has been suggested quite clearly in the literature that good IT pedagogy is not about using just one of these methods to the exclusion of the others, but rather about achieving a balance of appropriate use based on the objectives of the lesson (Barnett, 2003a). It is also

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References

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