Ict Curriculum Integration Performance Education Essay

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In Turkish educational context, the national government initiated a highly ambitious project entitled F@tih Project. The project intends to improve ICT integration in education and bridge the existing gap in technology. What has achieved so far and how efficient the project is raise concern in public. In order to answer these questions and explore the ICT integration performance of Turkish K-12 schools, an explanatory mixed method design was employed with a multiple case strategy. There were five participating case schools selected employing a purposive sampling technique. In order to collect quantitative data, e-capacity scales were administered to 102 teachers from five case schools. Consecutively, the qualitative data were gathered through a follow-up questionnaire with three open-ended questions. The results showed that the highest perception scores about school conditions, teacher conditions and actual use of ICT were found in school five, which is a private school. However; ANOVA results showed that there is no significant difference between the school one, a F@tih project school, and school five, which means F@tih project is effectively being implemented and should be disseminated. In addition, the qualitative findings showed strong parallelism with the quantitative results and mostly concurred with them.

Keywords: ICT curriculum integration, F@tih project, e-capacity framework, mixed methods design.

ICT Curriculum Integration Performance of Turkish K-12 Schools: A Multiple Case Study

Introduction

The rapid growth in knowledge and technology has changed the demand and increased the anticipation from the educational systems in the 21st century. Thus, it has been considered imperative for modern educational organizations to employ Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a mediator for teaching the skills and knowledge that students need for the information age (Buabeng, 2012, p. 136). As a result of this change in demand, for the last two decades, there has been a gradually increasing effort to bring ICTs into classrooms and integrate them into the curriculum (Jamieson-Proctor, Watson, Finger, Grimbeek & Burnett, 2007, p. 168). Since ICT is regarded as a learning tool and the mediator of a nation's educational goals (Gülsoy, 2011, p. 1), national educational organizations and policy makers need to restructure their curricula and integrate ICT into the teaching and learning process in order to bridge the existing technology gap in education (Buabeng, 2012, p. 136).

In Turkish educational context, the integration of computers into curriculum began more than twenty years ago. In 1984, Turkey's Ministry of National Education (MoNE) first introduced computers to secondary schools (Akbaba-Altun, 2006, p. 176). More recently, in 1998, the MoNE received a loan, equivalent to 600 million US dollars from the World Bank to invest in a two-phase National Basic Education Program (BEP) and the program finished in 2007 (Yıldırım, 2007, p. 173). To date, considerable amount of National and Local governmental budgets have been allocated and schools even in rural areas have still been being equipped with the computers, projectors, smartboards, and also ICT classrooms have opened in most of the schools for the last decade (Demiraslan & Usluel, 2008, p. 460). Furthermore, in the late 2011 Turkey initiated an ambitious project, titled the Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology (F@tih), with an estimated budget of 3 billion TL, aimed to enable all students equal education opportunities and improve the technology in public schools (Tezci, 2011, p. 430). The Project is believed to revolutionize the public school system and modernize 570,000 classrooms in 42,000 schools all around Turkey. In the pilot phase of the Project, 52 schools around the country have been equipped with LCD smart boards, and 12,800 tablet PCs have been distributed in 5th and 9th grade students in 17 provinces. The project is to be finalized in 5 years (MEB, 2012).

What lies beneath allocating such huge budgets for these kinds of projects in all around the world? Is it really worth investing? There are some underlying reasons for this highly expensive effort, one of which is the belief that technology use in schools improves the quality and the quantity of teaching and learning process (Buabeng, 2012, Hew & Brush, 2007; Yıldırım, 2007). However, there isn't a satisfying amount of evidence showing strong relations between the use ICT in classroom and the outcomes of the students. Among the limited number of studies on the issue, Gülbahar (2007), argued that "despite the huge educational investment on ICT in schools, there is a little success achieved so far" (p. 943). However; a more recent research study displayed some evidence that there is a link between the academic performance of students and their use of tablet PCs in the classroom (Ferrer, Belvís & Pàmies, 2011). Although these findings are not strong enough to make a generalization; they may put some valuable evidence to illustrate the complex nature and multi-dimensionality of ICT integration into education.

As ICT integration is a complex and multi-dimensional process, for a successful ICT integration, there is a need for a shared vision and planning, which some researchers called ICT policy planning (Vanderlinde, van Braak & Dexter, 2012). This is the main responsibility of ICT policy makers and partly school principals. In planning for ICT integration in education, "policymakers need to begin by clarifying overall national education policy, objectives and approaches, as this should serve as the rationale and road map for technology integration in their education systems" (Hooker, Mwiyeria & Verma, 2011, p.16). Similarly, integrating ICT into a centralized educational system such as Turkey's depends on its successful design and application (Akbaba-Altun, 2006). However, the Turkish government launched the project without any empirical evidence and research on the implementation and integration of ICT into curriculum and its effects on students' outcomes. The pilot phase of the project has just ended and the ICT integration performance of the pilot schools raise concern and needs to be investigated thoroughly in order to shed light the policy makers, school principals, teachers and stakeholders on the issue, which brings about the significance and purpose of this research.

Literature Review

In the search for factors affecting the use of ICT in educational context, several researchers have conducted significant number of research (Vanderlinde & van Braak, 2010). By reviewing the literature one can see that research investigating the factors effecting the integration of ICT into the curriculum mainly focuses on teacher characteristics including gender (Tezci, 2011) or other conditions at the teacher level (Almadhour, 2010; Yücel, Acun, Tarman, & Mete, 2010) along with teachers' pedagogical beliefs (Gülsoy, 2007, Mumtaz, 2000) and ICT training (HiÅŸmanoÄŸlu, 2012; Tondeur, van Keer, van Braak, & Valcke, 2008). However, other research studies, with a broader perspective, have demonstrated that there are some other factors influencing ICT integration at school level such as, school principals' attitudes towards ICT (Flanagan & Jacobsen, 2003; Yuen, Law, & Wong, 2003), ICT policy planning (Gülbahar, 2007; Hooker, et al., 2011; Tondeur et al., 2008; Vanderlinde et al., 2012), ICT infrastructure (Akbaba-Altun, 2006), other institutional and technological factors (Akbulut, 2010; Buabeng, 2012; Demiraslan & Usluel, 2008; Yıldırım, 2007).

Although the research studies in the past decade have put a significant role on computer technology as a means of effective educational change and equal educational opportunities, Afshari, Bakar, Luan, Samah, & Fooi (2009) argued that "most teachers neither use technology as an instructional delivery system nor integrate technology into their curriculum" (p. 77). Furthermore, Tezci (2011) found that "teachers' perceptions regarding school culture in both motivational and technical aspects were not positive". The participating teachers' characteristics including "gender, having a PC, Internet access, professional experience, and weekly computer use" have an important effect on ICT integration (p. 429). By contrast, Yıldırım (2007) conducted research investigating teacher's ICT use and the research findings showed that "most teachers did not use ICT to promote pupils attainment in areas across the curriculum, but they use computers fre­quently for preparing handouts and tests" (p. 171).

Valuing the ICT skills of the teachers, Almadhour (2010) stated that the teachers' role is central to effective integration of ICT into curriculum, and further suggested that the teachers' ICT skills should be improved for an effective ICT integration. This suggestion is evidently supported by a recent empirical study conducted by HiÅŸmanoÄŸlu (2012), revealing that "the prospective teachers having five ICT-related courses displayed better attitudes in comparison to those not completing this training period" (p. 183). Furthermore, Yücel, Acun, Tarman and Mete (2010), grouped teachers into three stages in ICT integration process according to the findings of the research. The first group displays feelings of inadequacy in using ICT, and ICT knowledge is the most important variable for those who are at the highest (third) stage.

In order to find what factors influence teachers' decisions to use ICT in classroom, Mumtaz (2000) conducted a research study and described some factors, such as; access to resources, quality of software and hardware, ease of use, incentives to change, support and collegiality in their school, school and national policies, commitment to professional learning and background in formal computer training (p. 319). Likewise, Akbulut (2010) found that there are eleven indicators of ICT integration, namely, teaching-learning methods, e-learning, e-interaction, learning communities, infrastructure, access, ease of use, technical assistance, policy, special education and health.

Appreciating the central role of the teachers' beliefs about ICT, Mumtaz (2000) put an emphasis on the role of pedagogy, and also highlighted three key elements of a successful ICT integration; the teachers, the school and policy makers. Likewise, Gülsoy (2007) stated that of all the different variables effecting ICT integration, teachers' pedagogical beliefs is the most important.

Together with defining ICT enabling factors, some researchers have defined a number of barriers to effective ICT integration. Among them are "resources, institution, subject culture, attitudes and beliefs, knowledge and skills, and assessment" (Hew & Brush, 2007), lack of guidelines that would lead teachers to successful integration (Gülbahar, 2007), overcrowded classes, inade­quate in-service training, lack of timely technical and pedagogical support, inflexible school curricula, lack of incentives, lack of strong leadership, and lack of collaboration among teachers (Yıldırım, 2007), lack of technology and access, the organizational culture, the changing roles of teachers and students regarding to ICT, inflexible timetable curriculum (Demiraslan & Usluel, 2008). However, Gülbahar (2007) mentioned that ICT planning is a process and product, holding a number of promises to overcome those problems. Hew & Brush, (2006) also suggested some strategies to overcome these barriers: having a shared vision and technology integration plan, overcoming the scarcity of resources, changing attitudes and beliefs, conducting professional development, and reconsidering assessments.

Although a number of researchers put more emphasis on ICT policy and planning rather than variables at teacher level, research indicates that school policies are often underdeveloped and underutilized, marking the significant effect of an ICT plan, ICT support and ICT training on class use of ICT (Tondeur et al., 2008). In addition, Vanderlinde et al., (2012) suggested that "ICT policy planning in schools should be considered as a multifaceted phenomenon grounded in school culture". According to the researchers, ICT policy consists of different policy domains: vision development, financial policy, infrastructural policy, continuing professional development policy, and curriculum policy.

In order to map ICT integration, several researchers developed various theoretical models. One of the widely applied models is activity systems based on Vygotsky (1978) (Lim & Hang, 2003). In order to study technology-based learning, several researchers have used activity system as a framework for mapping ICT integration (Demiraslan & Usluel, 2008; Lim, 2006; Lim & Hang, 2003). Furthermore, Rodrigez et al (2012), proposed the Evolutionary Development Model (EDM), which aims to produce a cost-effective and sustainable ICT for education in three steps: efficacy, effectiveness, and efficiency. In addition, Olakulehin (2007) developed adoption model, depicting an approach continuum. In this model, the skills of teachers start with first step emerging; and go on second step; applying, third; infusing and the last step; transforming. However, Vanderlinde & van Braak (2010, p. 541) argued that these theories are valuable but they are not useful for quantitative research since they present few scales. As a result, there are few research studies, especially in Turkey, investigating ICT integration into schools and little is known about its effects on students' outcomes. Most of the research studies are descriptive studies focusing on quantitative methodology. The present research investigates ICT integration performance in five K-12 schools including a F@tih project pilot school (in Ä°stanbul European part) utilizing an explanatory mixed-method research design employing open-ended questions and a questionnaire. The research is believed to extend the literature and provide some significant evidence for policy makers and F@tih project directorate as contributing to the implementation and realization of educational transformation in Turkish K-12 schools.

In this research, the e-capacity framework (Vanderlinde & van Braak, 2010) was used as the theoretical framework of ICT integration in Turkish K-12 schools. The e-capacity framework consists of two layers, investigating ICT integration at school level and teacher level. The first layer includes conditions such as ICT school support and coordination, schools' ICT vision and policy, ICT infrastructure. The second layer includes two factors, ICT teachers' professional development, and teachers' ICT competencies.

Method

In order to measure ICT integration performance of K12-schools, a mixed-methods design ('QUAN → qual' in the typology of Creswell, 2012, p. 538) was employed utilizing a multiple case study strategy (Cassell & Symon, 2004; Yin, 2002) with five K-12 schools in İstanbul Bağcılar district, Turkey. The mixed-method design was chosen in order to blend the strengths of one type of method and neutralize the weaknesses of the other and enhance the data triangulation (Creswell, 2012, p. 542). The quantitative and qualitative data collected from the five participating schools were analyzed and interpreted to measure ICT curriculum integration. More concretely, an explanatory sequential mixed methods design was chosen because the quantitative and qualitative data were gathered sequentially in order to help explain or elaborate on the quantitative results (Creswell, 2012).

Research Sample and Setting

The multiple case study was conducted in five schools selected by employing purposive sampling technique (Cozby, 2001; Creswell, 2012). The participants included 102 teachers (N=102) from these five schools in İstanbul Bağcılar district. The participants were 44% female, 25% under the age of 30, 40% graduated from Faculties of Education, 41% less than 10 years of teaching experience, nearly 60% attended at least five in-service training, nearly 75% working at schools with less than 1000 students. The return rate for the questionnaires was 68%. The rationale for choosing the sample was that school one is a state school and the only school in Bağcılar district which participated in the pilot phase of the F@tih project, school two is also a state school but it has newly been included in F@tih project, school three is a vocational state school which is a very big school with more than two thousand students, school four is also a vocational state school which has an ICT department in its curriculum, and school five is a private school having its own ICT policy independent from the national government. All the schools use ICT in teaching and learning processes actively and they are, except for the school three, thought to be the "good practices" of ICT integration, which present excellent research opportunities. The researcher intended to measure ICT integration performance of these schools and explore whether there is a significant difference among teachers' perception scores by school type. In addition, the performance of ICT integration especially in F@tih project schools also raises concern. Background information of the case study schools was presented in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Background Information of the Case Study Schools

School 1

School 2

School 3

School 4

School 5

School Type

Public (Anatolian)

Public (Anatolian)

Public (Vocational)

Public (Vocational)

Private (Anatolian)

ICT Background

F@tih Project pilot school

F@tih Project newly entered school

Locally ICT supported school

Having an ICT department

Having own non-governmental ICT policy

District type

Urban

Urban

Urban

Urban

Urban

Number of students

870

940

2752

728

130

Number of teachers

43

51

178

46

18

Number of smartboards

35

41

2

-

8

Number of computers in IT classroom

24

15

48

120

24

Research Questions

What are the teachers' perceptions about ICT related school conditions (ICT School Support and Coordination, Schools' ICT Vision and Policy, ICT Infrastructure)?

What are the teachers' perceptions about ICT related teacher conditions (ICT Teachers' Professional Development, Teachers' ICT Competencies)?

What are the teachers' perceptions about actual use of ICT in the classroom (ICT as an information tool, ICT as a learning tool, Basic ICT skills)?

Is there a significant difference among the teachers' perceptions by school type?

What are the teachers' views on the ICT integration (school level conditions, teacher level conditions and use of ICT in education) ?

Data Collection Instruments and Analysis

In the first phase of the study, the quantitative data were collected via e-capacity Measurement Scales (Vanderlinde & van Braak, 2010) with five point Likert-type (1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree) 43 items in total. As framed by the e-capacity framework, school-related conditions, teacher-related conditions and teachers' actual use of ICT were assessed in the five participating schools according to the teachers' perceptions. The Cronbach's Alpha internal consistency coefficient was measured as  = .95 for the scale in total, which provided a high level of reliability standard. The quantitative data were statistically analyzed via SPSS 17.0 at a significance level of .05. The mean score and standard deviation of each item in the scales were calculated to determine the perception levels of the teachers in the participating schools. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and Levene's test were administered to the sample to understand whether the assumption of normality and equality of variance were violated or not prior to employing variance analyses. After seeing that the test distribution is normal, parametric analyses such as ANOVA were administered in order to explore whether there is a statistically significant difference among the teachers' perceptions of ICT integration among the five participating schools. As a post-hoc test Scheffe was administered in order to compare mean scores which significantly differed for each case school.

In the second phase of the data collection process, the participating 102 teachers from five case schools were asked whether they could accept a follow-up questionnaire. A participant group of 72 voluntary teachers accepted the follow-up questionnaire. They were asked three open-ended questions. The first one is about ICT related school conditions, the second one is about ICT related teacher conditions and the last one is about ICT integration in education. The text data on the questionnaires were transcribed, coded and analyzed through categorizing and identifying overlapping themes. Then the qualitative data were synthesized with the results of the quantitative study in order to refine the results elaborately.

Results

Findings on the Teachers' Perceptions about ICT Related School Conditions

The descriptive analysis results illustrating the teachers' perceptions of ICT related school conditions in five case schools were presented in table 2 below.

Table 2

The Descriptive Analysis Results about Teachers' Perceptions of ICT Related School Conditions

Factors

Case Schools

n

M

SD

1

ICT School Support and Coordination

School 1

16

3.58

0.81

School 2

20

2.92

0.93

School 3

18

3.07

0.90

School 4

30

3.36

0.57

School 5

18

4.09

0.50

2

Schools' ICT Vision and Policy

School 1

16

3.34

1.18

School 2

20

2.92

0.83

School 3

18

2.55

0.98

School 4

30

3.29

0.93

School 5

18

4.26

0.60

3

ICT Infrastructure

School 1

16

4.18

0.75

School 2

20

3.43

1.06

School 3

18

2.62

1.29

School 4

30

3.43

1.02

School 5

18

3.97

0.82

ICT Related School Conditions Overall Perception

All five schools

102

3.39

0.83

As presented in Table 2, according to the teachers' perceptions in case schools, school five, a private school, has the highest mean scores in all ICT related school conditions [Factor 1 (M = 4.09), Factor 2 (M = 4.26)] except for ICT infrastructure, which demonstrates that in public schools ICT support and coordination as well as ICT vision and policy are relatively at insufficient levels compared with a private school. However, school one, a F@tih project pilot school, has the highest mean score on ICT infrastructure [Factor 3 (M = 4.18)], which indicates that F@tih project is efficiently being employed especially providing ICT infrastructure for state schools and even more efficiently than in private schools. Furthermore, one of the salient findings is that ICT related school conditions in school four are perceived slightly over moderate level [Factor 1 (M = 3.36), Factor 2 (M = 3.29), Factor 3 (M = 3.43)] although it is a vocational ICT school. Finally, the teachers' overall perception towards ICT related school level conditions was found at a moderate level (M = 3.39), which shows that ICT related school conditions need improving especially in state schools.

Findings on the Teachers' Perceptions about ICT Related Teacher Conditions

The descriptive analysis results examining the teachers' perceptions of ICT related teacher conditions in five case schools were presented in Table 3 below.

Table 3

The Descriptive Analysis Results about Teachers' Perceptions of ICT Related Teacher Conditions

Factors

Case Schools

n

M

SD

1

ICT Teachers' Professional Development

School 1

16

3.28

0.96

School 2

20

2.50

0.86

School 3

18

2.43

0.81

School 4

30

3.10

0.76

School 5

18

3.56

0.87

2

Teachers' ICT competencies

School 1

16

3.60

0.83

School 2

20

3.19

0.79

School 3

18

2.82

0.90

School 4

30

3.51

0.75

School 5

18

3.88

0.78

ICT Related Teacher Conditions Overall Perception

All five schools

102

3.19

0.80

According to the teachers' perception scores given in Table 3 above, in school five, a private school, teachers have the highest mean scores [Factor 1 (M = 3.56), Factor 2 (M = 3.88)] in ICT related teacher conditions, which indicates that private school teachers' professional development and ICT competency level were the highest of all the five cases. However, of all the public schools, school one, a F@tih project pilot school, has the highest score on ICT related teachers conditions [Factor 1 (M = 3.28), Factor 2 (M = 3.60)]. This can be resulted from the initiation of F@tih project in their schools and ICT in-service training provided accordingly with the project. Moreover, one of the salient results is that in school four ICT related teacher conditions are slightly over moderate level [Factor 1 (M = 3.10), Factor 2 (M = 3.51)] although it is a vocational ICT school. In addition, within the cases the lowest perception mean scores were found in school three [Factor 1 (M = 2.43), Factor 2 (M = 2.82)], which is the most disadvantaged in terms of ICT policy. Finally, the teachers' overall perception towards ICT related teacher level conditions was found at moderate level (M = 3.19), which shows that ICT related teacher conditions need improving especially in state schools.

Findings on the Teachers' Perceptions about Actual Use of ICT in their Classes

In order to investigate the teachers' perceptions on actual use of ICT in their classes, the descriptive analysis results were presented in Table 4 below.

Table 4

The Descriptive Analysis Results about Teachers' Perceptions on Actual Use of ICT in Their Classes

Factors

Case Schools

n

M

SD

1

ICT as an Information Tool

School 1

16

3.02

0.81

School 2

20

2.76

0.54

School 3

18

2.83

0.77

School 4

30

3.36

0.72

School 5

18

3.76

0.77

2

ICT as a Learning Tool

School 1

16

3.00

0.97

School 2

20

2.89

0.80

School 3

18

2.67

0.67

School 4

30

3.53

0.99

School 5

18

3.96

0.71

3

Basic ICT Skills

School 1

16

3.53

0.93

School 2

20

3.10

0.74

School 3

18

2.80

0.82

School 4

30

3.50

0.95

School 5

18

4.04

0.77

Actual Use of ICT in Teachers' Classes Overall Perception

All five schools

102

3.26

0.82

As shown in Table 4, according to the teachers' perceptions, in school five, a private school, teachers use ICT more frequently compared with the other four public schools [Factor 1 (M = 3.76), Factor 2 (M = 3.96), Factor 3 (M = 4.04)]. However, teachers in school four, since it is a vocational ICT school, use ICT in their classroom most frequently of all the other public schools [Factor 1 (M = 3.36), Factor 2 (M = 3.53), Factor 3 (M = 3.50)]. Furthermore, teachers in school one, although it is a F@tih project school, do not use ICT in their classes as frequently as in school five and school four. This can be caused by the e-content development process which is still underway and teachers may still need more ICT training. In addition, the lowest perception scores within the cases were found in school three [Factor 2 (M = 2.67), Factor 3 (M = 2.80)]. Finally, the teachers' overall perception towards actual use of ICT is at a moderate level (M = 3.26), which can be an indicator of that teachers especially in state schools do not use ICT as frequently as they are expected to do.

ANOVA Results Showing the Statistical Differences within/between the Teachers' Perceptions by School Type

In order to test whether there is a statistically significant difference within the case school teachers' perception scores by school type, ANOVA was employed. Prior to ANOVA, the normality of test distribution and homogeneity of the variance within the cases were tested employing Kolmogorov-Smirnow test and Levene's test. According to the K-S test results (F= .78; p > .05) and Levene's test results (F= .77; p > .05), the test distrubition is parametric and the equality of the variance is provided. The test results indicated that the assumption of normality is not violated; thus, the ANOVA analysis was administered to understand whether there is a statistical significance within the cases' mean scores. As a post-hoc test, Scheffe was administered and Eta squared effect size was also calculated.

The ANOVA results below in Table 5 illustrate whether there is a significant difference within case school teachers' perception scores.

Table 5

The ANOVA Results Showing the Significant Difference of Perception Scores by School Type

Scales

Case Schools

n

M

SD

MS

F(4-97)

p

2

Scheffe

1

ICT Related School Conditions

5.024

9.719

.00*

.28

1>3, 2<5, 3<1<5, 4<5, 5>4>2>3

School 1

16

3.70

.72

School 2

20

3.09

.77

School 3

18

2.75

.91

School 4

30

3.36

.61

School 5

18

4.11

.56

2

ICT Related Teacher Conditions

3.686

7.079

.00*

.22

1>3, 2<5, 3<4<1<5, 4>3, 5>2>3

School 1

16

3.44

.83

School 2

20

2.84

.73

School 3

18

2.62

.80

School 4

30

3.30

.56

School 5

18

3.72

.74

3

Teachers' Actual Use of ICT

4.020

7.378

.00*

.23

2<5, 3<4<5, 4>3, 5>2>3

School 1

16

3.12

.82

School 2

20

2.91

.61

School 3

18

2.77

.66

School 4

30

3.46

.82

School 5

18

3.92

.69

MS= Mean Squares, SD= Standard Deviation, 2= Eta squared effect size, *p < .05

The ANOVA results depicted in Table 5 above revealed that there is a significant difference between teachers' perception of ICT related school conditions [F(4-97)=9.719 ; p < .05], ICT related teacher conditions [F(4-97)=7.079 ; p < .05] and teachers' actual use of ICT [F(4-97)=7.378 ; p < .05]. In order to see where the differences lie within the cases, Scheffe test was employed. According to Scheffe test results, in school five, which is a private school, teachers' perception toward ICT integration at all three levels were significantly higher than in public schools except for school one, which is a F@tih project school. This finding may be an indicator of efficiency F@tih project in terms of providing competitive advantage of public schools against private schools and also filling the gap in ICT integration. In addition, it can also provide evidence for that there is an existing gap between public and private schools in terms of ICT integration.

Table 5 also demonstrates the Eta squared effect sizes of the factors [Factor 1(2=.28), Factor 2 (2=.22), Factor 3 (2=.23)], which were found above .20, indicating that the differences among teachers' perceptions have a modest effect size (Muijs, 2004, p. 195).

Qualitative Results on Teachers' Views toward ICT Related School Conditions

As a first open-ended question, the teachers were asked whether they think ICT related school conditions (ICT support and coordination, ICT vision and policy, ICT infrastructure) are sufficient in their schools and why. The teachers' answers were descriptively analyzed and the percentages of their answers were illustrated in Figure 1 below (N=72)..

Figure 1. Teacher's attitude toward ICT related school conditions.

As given in Figure 1, the qualitative analysis of the open-ended questions showed strong parallelism with the quantitative results. In school five, most of the teachers (86%) think ICT related school conditions are sufficient in their school. Moreover, in school two, the most of the teachers (75%) think that ICT related school conditions are not sufficient in their school. These findings provide data triangulation and they can be thought to be an illustration of the reliability and validity of our research.

In the analysis of the first open-ended question, two themes emerged: 'ICT infrastructure' and 'no or unknown ICT policy and vision'. In order to better illustrate the teachers' views about ICT related school conditions, some of the samples of their comments were given below.

'The school administrators are not willing to provide sufficient resources. They probably think that providing with computers in IT labs is enough for ICT integration'

'We use smart boards and our students use tablet PCs actively in our classes.'

'I don't know anything about the school's ICT policy, of course if there is one!'

'Thanks to F@tih project, our school has sufficient ICT infrastructure.'

'Although our school is a vocational ICT school, the ICT infrastructure is not sufficient especially in classrooms excluding the IT labs. The ICT infrastructure should urgently be improved.'

As illustrated above, the teachers assert that 'ICT infrastructure' and 'no or unknown ICT policy and vision' are policy areas that need to be addressed under school level conditions and should be improved for a successful ICT integration.

Qualitative Results on Teachers' Views toward ICT Related Teacher Conditions

As a second open-ended question, the teachers were asked whether they think ICT related teacher conditions (ICT teachers' professional development, ICT teachers' competencies) are sufficient in their schools and why. The teachers' answers were descriptively analyzed and the percentages of their answers were demonstrated in Figure 2 below (N=72).

Figure 2. Teacher's attitude toward ICT related teacher conditions.

According to the teachers' views illustrated in Figure 2 above, in school five, a private school, in school four, a vocational ICT school, and in school one, a F@tih project school, most of the teachers (about 75%) think ICT teacher related conditions are sufficient in their schools, which mostly supported the quantitative results.

In the analysis of second open-ended question, two themes emerged: 'the need for more ICT training' and 'insufficient opportunities'. Some of the teachers' comments about ICT related teacher conditions in their schools were presented below.

'We as the teachers do have minimum requirements in terms of ICT competency, but technology is developing continually and this means we do need more training in order to update ourselves accordingly with the changing technology.'

'We need more in-service training because it is hard to give up old habits.'

'Teachers are already familiar with new technologies in their daily lives… however; they do not have enough opportunities to use ICT in their classes.'

As it is implicitly pointed out in the teachers' comments, teachers think that the existing ICT training opportunities are not sufficient so they mentioned they 'need more ICT training' for a successful ICT integration even in school one and school five, with relatively significant higher perception scores. In addition, the teachers herald that they have 'insufficient opportunities' to use ICT in the classroom and they are also lack of enough ICT peripherals, software or hardware etc., which are some of the impediments to teachers' integrating ICT in teaching and learning processes.

Qualitative Results on Teachers' Views toward ICT Integration in Education

As a last open-ended question, the teachers were asked what they think about ICT integration in education. The teachers' answers were descriptively analyzed and the percentages of their answers were demonstrated in Figure 3 below (N=72)..

Figure 3. Teacher's attitude toward ICT integration in education.

According to the teachers' views illustrated in Figure 2 above, in school five, a private school, and in school one, a F@tih project school, all of the teachers (about 100%) think positively about ICT integration in education although they mention that some policy issues need improving especially the training opportunities. One salient result is that, although it is a vocational ICT school, 27% of teachers in school four think negatively about ICT integration; however, this difference is not significant compared with other case schools.

In the analysis of third open-ended question, three themes emerged: 'fast and effective learning', 'practical and useful' and 'pedagogical purpose'. In order to better illustrate the teachers' views toward ICT integration, some of the teachers' comments were given below.

'[ICT] is very useful and practical for both teachers and students. I believe it boosts students' learning and promotes effective learning.'

'ICT should be integrated into education as it is a must in our era; however, it shouldn't be put into the centre of education…'

'I believe that ICT makes learning more permanent and efficient as it enriches the learning environment.'

'Thanks to ICT, I believe our educational system will improve faster.'

'If ICT is used at moderate extents and according to the purpose, I believe it will be very useful. However, I don't think a completely ICT-based educational system will guarantee the quality of education.'

As it can be inferred from the teachers' comments above, most of the teachers think positively toward ICT integration in education and they stated that ICT integration promotes fast and effective learning and also it is practical and useful for both teachers and students; however, they added that ICT should be used appropriately to the purpose, that is, as a mediator of teaching and learning.

Discussion and Conclusion

In Turkish educational system, the integration of ICTs started in 1984. There has been an increasing investment and allocation of resources since then. In 2010, the Turkish government initiated a highly ambitious project entitled F@tih Project, with a selected 52 schools from 17 provinces across Turkey. The project intends to improve ICT integration in education and bridge the existing gap in technology. What has achieved so far and how efficient the project is raise concern in public. In order to fill the gap in the research literature and shed light to policy makers, F@tih project Directorate, researchers, school principals and teachers, the present research was carried out employing a mixed method design with five case schools.

Quantitative results on ICT related school and teacher conditions indicated that school five, a private school, has the highest mean scores in all factors (ICT support and coordination, ICT vision and policy, teachers' professional development, and teachers' ICT competency except for ICT infrastructure). This finding displays that in the private school ICT related school and teacher conditions are relatively better put into practice compared with four state schools. However, school one, a F@tih project pilot school, has the highest mean scores on ICT infrastructure, which draws an inference that F@tih project is efficiently providing with ICT infrastructure for state schools and even more efficiently than in private schools. Furthermore, the findings also demonstated that ICT related school and teacher conditions in other state schools lagged behind the school one and five and although school four is vocational ICT school.

The ANOVA and Scheffe results displayed that school five's mean perception scores significantly differed from all other cases except for school one, a F@tih project school. This finding can be an indicator of that F@tih project is successfully being implemented at schools especially improving schools ICT infrastructure and providing teachers ICT training, however, ICT coordination and support, ICT vision and policy are domains that policy makers need to take into consideration and improve.

Findings on the teachers' perceptions of actual use of ICT in their classes displayed that teachers in school five, a private school, use ICT more frequently compared with the other four case schools. However, teachers in school four, since it is a vocational ICT school, use ICT in their classroom most frequently of all the other public schools, which is a denotation for the validity of present research. Furthermore, teachers in school one, although it is a F@tih project school, do not use ICT in their classes as frequently as in school five and school four. This can be resulted from the e-content development process which is still underway and teachers may still need more ICT training. Finally, the teachers' overall perception towards actual use of ICT is at a moderate level, which can be a signal of that teachers especially in state schools do not use ICT as frequently as they are expected to do.

Qualitative results showed strong parallelism with the quantitative results, which is another indicator of the validity of the current research. According to the teachers' answers to the open-ended questions, some overlapping themes emerged: 'ICT infrastructure', 'no or unknown ICT policy and vision', 'the need for more ICT training', 'insufficient opportunities', 'fast and effective learning', 'practical and useful' and 'to the purpose'. Teachers in school five, one and two think that ICT infrastructure in their schools is sufficient, however; teachers in school three and four asserted that ICT infrastructure in their schools need urgently improving. Teachers in school two, three and four mentioned that there is no ICT policy in their schools or they do not know about it if there is one. Teachers in all five schools stated that they need more ICT training for a successful ICT integration. Teachers from school two, three and four suffered that they have insufficient opportunities to integrate ICT in their classes and they are lack of ICT peripherals, software and hardware. Nearly all of the teachers who answered the last open-ended question mentioned that they think positively about the ICT integration into curriculum and most of them heralded that using ICT in class is very practical and useful for teachers and students. However, some of the teachers asserted that ICT should be only used for pedagogical purpose, as meadiator of teaching and learning.

Limitations and Implications

Although the study is limited by five case schools in İstanbul Bağcılar district in 2012-2013 academic year, its results are robust as the quantitative and qualitative findings showed strong parallelism, which provide data enhancement and triangulation. However, the research results cannot be generalized because in the selection of case schools a purposive sampling technique was employed with a multiple case. In addition, another limitation of the study is that the reliability of the research results depends on the participating teachers' answers to both quantitative and qualitative instruments.

Future research may include focus group interviews or observation techniques in order to enhance qualitative data collection. Besides that, the future research should also employ a longitudinal survey design, or a quasi-experimental design in order to understand the effects of ICT integration on students' outcomes of leaning in F@tih project schools.

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