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Title: An analysis of the educational technology strategy for primary schools in Northern Ireland
Author: Mulholland, Daire
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 2963
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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Over the last fifty years there has been a shift concerning the way in which many developed and developing nations operate in a working and economic context, from a reliance on physical resources and manual labour, towards working conditions characterised by knowledge and information handling. The explosion of ICT as a social and economic tool has created the necessity for a workforce that is capable, confident, and competent with technology and the associated skills, which are often cited as the ability to access, compile, synthesis and exchange knowledge or information (Summak and Samancioglu, 2011: 2). Many jobs in modern economies are defined, at a base level, by the necessity for people to be able to engage with these information age skills. Many authors, on the topic of ICT, state that the ability to use technology has become pivotal to economic success, and they stress "the increasing importance of knowledge as the principle source of wealth creation in society" (Solvell and Birkinshaw, 2000: 83). With this assertion as a starting point, it seems prudent that any country or region that aspires to increase its economic power needs to devise an educational strategy that promotes ICT use and which encourages the development of the associated skills, which are now often viewed as prerequisite to engage in knowledge economy interactions. This thesis is an account of research into the effectiveness of the Educational Technology Strategy in Northern Ireland; specifically it examines teachers' and principals' perceptions of the current lCT strategy and the professional development provided for primary teachers. This study is based on the analysis of policy documents, a questionnaire survey with ninety responses from a total of three hundred teachers surveyed and interviews with nine active primary school teachers and four school principals. The research provides valuable insights into the provision of professional development for teachers aimed at supporting the appropriate use of ICT. It discusses the value attached to ICT skills development throughout education and also in an economic context. It critiques the current educational provision in Northern Ireland and it explores alternative models, which may be more effective in maximising the potential of ICT as a cross-curricular tool, and the development of subsequent and associated ICT skills and competences for pupils.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available