The implementation of information and communications technology for teaching and learning in secondary education in the United Kingdom.
ICT has impacted on all aspects of society over recent years, and its potential to
transform education continues to be widely acclaimed. The high expectation of the role
ICT can play in schools places both opportunities and challenges for those involved in
its implementation and application for teaching and learning.
This study researched the issues surrounding ICT implementation in UK secondary
schools from a school based ICT perspective. It considered the matter as a specific case
of change management. It adopted a case study approach, identified a school where ICT
use was used to support subject teaching in most areas of the curriculum, and researched
the way the school had reached this position. It examined the process adopted,
identifying features which may have been influential in achieving widespread use of
ICT by staff in most subject areas. Similarly the study sought to uncover any particular
whole school characteristics which may have been supportive in the process of
achieving whole school ICT permeation. The outcomes of the study were then put to a
number of ICT active teachers in different secondary schools in the UK, in order to
assess their responses to each of the emerging key factors.
The findings of the work highlight the importance of recognising ICT implementation
as a special case of change management. Whole school characteristics and the school's
`track record' proved to be influential as did the leadership and prevailing ethos. The
study also makes specific points about some key features of the implementation process,
which it is suggested made a significant contribution to its success. Two particularly
influential ones were to `start small and grow', and the need to recognise that people
and organisations require time to adjust to change; the process must be monitored and
moved forward, but cannot be rushed.
The researchh ighlightedm anyi ssuesf or further study;o ne of which wast o consider
differenti nterpretationso f the meaningo f ICT implementationa, ndt he aspirationsfo r
its use. In this study ICT was seen as, and used as, a tool for learning within existing
structuresa nd expectationsI.t is unclearw hethert his is simply a necessarys tagei n a
processw hich might leadt o establishingd ifferent approachetso teachinga nd learning
setw ithin a systemw ith different structuresb, oundariesa nd expectationsF. urther
researchis neededin to what is requiredt o openu p this thinking into useo f ICT as a
catalyst for social change.