Evaluating ICT in mathematics teaching
The challenge for educators is to prepare students for life in a technological advanced society that will continue to change exponentially. Work requirements have changed and computer skills have become a basic requirement for a majority of jobs. As computers have become more prevalent in everyday life and in the work place, their use has gained in importance around the world. Kuwait, like other countries, has recognised the need to increase the technological background of its students to compete better in world markets. This research recognises the importance of ICT in Education and realises the difficulties involved in its effective adoption. For that reason, it presents an empirical study of the ICT adoption process by examining perceived innovation attributes, and the relationship of individual characteristics in this process. The theory that supports the research effort is Rogers' theory of Diffusion of Innovation, which was used as the theoretical framework to hypothesise a model of ICT adoption. This model is called the ICT ARABIA Model (ICT Adoption using Rogers' model, and Bringing In Addition), and was designed to elicit the relative importance of the perceived innovation attributes in influencing ICT adoption in Mathematics education. The empirical context of the research is 259 participants in mathematics departments, which are analysed using quantitative and qualitative research approaches. Results indicated that the ICT ARABIA Model was most useful in explaining ICT adoption by mathematics departments. The relative importance of each factor of the ICT ARABIA Model was determined by rank ordering the mean importance scores for each factor. However, an additional factor emerged, and this was leadership. Also, demographic characteristics were found non-significant predictors of ICT adoption. These findings highlighted many issues for further study. The main concern was regarding the importance of the perceptions of innovation attributes in influencing the ICT adoption in mathematics education; however, leadership was also an influential factor, which resulted from interviews. Those interested in programme innovation and change in educational departments may need to focus on finding a strong leader to help in the process.