Use of information communication technology by early career science teachers in Western Australia
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Education and Arts
Australia wide, all school systems are in the process of providing teachers with computers and there is an expectation that new teachers will possess the expertise to use them in their teaching. In addition to using computers for basic word processing and data manipulation, early-career science teachers need to be able to use a range of Information Communication Technology (ICT)-related resources effectively in the science classroom. The purpose of this research study was to examine the extent to which early-career (less than 3 years of experience) science teachers perceived that their preservice education prepared them to use ICT in their teaching role, to clarify the nature of their ICT use, and to identify factors that enhance or inhibit their use of ICT. Through questionnaire and interview, it was found that the most frequent uses of ICT were word processing, Internet research, email, and PowerPoint while the least frequent uses were palm top computers, web page design, online discussion groups, and virtual excursions. The factors that most enhanced ICT use were access to the Internet and computers, teacher confidence, and skills and workload. The factors that most inhibited ICT use were workload, behaviour management issues, and access to computers and the Internet. The findings of this study will inform preservice science education and professional development workshops.