The implementation of ICT in primary schools in Hong Kong : perspectives from school heads and teachers
In recent years, the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education has become a widely discussed issue. This paper starts with a brief examination of the relationship of political changes to the rapid educational reforms in recent years, including the school-level implementation of ICT. Specifically, the implementation of ICT in Hong Kong primary schools is investigated. Primary data are collected from school heads and teachers while secondary data are collected from the scholarly literature. In addition, supplementary data were collected for comparison from several areas in the UK. A number of research questions are proposed for the study, including the potential benefits and shortcomings of ICT in education, the difficulties of ICT implementation, and the relative cost effectiveness of ICT. Quantitative and qualitative methods emerged from the different research paradigms of positivism and interpretivism. Both are discussed in the research design chapter. A mixed-method approach was selected for the entire research project. Under this approach, quantitative data were collected through survey techniques and qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviewing. These two data collection processes were undertaken independently. The design and application of data collection for both categories of data are discussed at length. Eventually, 681 questionnaires and 17 interviews were analysed. The findings were consolidated and triangulated when possible, and are discussed in the concluding chapter. Throughout the study, responses to several important issues, including workload, time, professional development and school organisation, have been elicited from the participants. Finally, some recommendations are made that attempt to optimise the use of ICT in education. Further research areas are also proposed. In sum, the research suggests that ICT is a 2-sided tool. On one hand, ICT can provide numerous benefits to teaching and learning. On the other hand, stakeholders must be aware of its potential negative side effects. Moreover, ICT should be treated as only one of many instructional media, and it should be used carefully. Over-reliance on ICT should be avoided.