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Information Communication Technology (ICT) has significantly changed the way people live, work, communicate and learn. Therefore, ICT influences many parts of our works and lives, as well as many of our free time activities. The fact is it includes a various number of tools like computers which help to improve human life. In education to be more specific it has been proven that ICT is a very important part of teaching and learning process. ICT creates new forms of learning that can be customized to students needs. Using ICT tools, such as multimedia, e-mail, interactive presentation, CD-ROM, computer simulations, computer lab and www-based resources, can organize teaching so that the students can control the learning process. Lessons that based on the learners’ skills can be designed in new and more effective ways. Enhancing collaborative activities among students using networked computer labs. Students can discuss topics specified by the instructor using online discussion forums. Scientific studies are becoming easier through computer simulations and visual tools enable students to better understand concepts (Morrison, Lowther and DeMeulle, 1999).
The integration of ICT in the education sector is important to meet the challenges presented by new trends, especially with the global communication of knowledge. It is important that the students become familiar with the concept and use of ICT in order to equip them for future job market. Also, the teachers can achieve better quality in teaching methods.
1.2 Education system in Saudi Arabia
The primary education system began in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. By 1945, King Abdulaziz bin Abdelrahman Al-Saud, the country’s founder, had initiated an extensive program to establish schools in the Kingdom. Six years later, in 1951, the country had 226 schools with 29,887 students. In 1954, the Ministry of Education was established, headed by then Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz as the first Minister of Education. Primary, intermediate and secondary schools are handled by the Ministry of Education, but policies regarding tertiary education are handled by the Ministry of Higher Education, established in 1975 (Ministry of Education, 2010).
The kindergarten in Saudi Arabia is non-mandatory. It starts when children aged 3-6 years. Nurseries and kindergartens are supervised, established and developed by different sectors; the private sector, the Ministry of Education, General Presidency for Girls Education, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health and governmental and private universities.
The official education in Saudi Arabia starts from primary schools and above. A brief description for each stage is as follows:
Primary schools in Saudi Arabia consist of six grades (from age 6 to 12). Starting from this stage the boy and girls are separated in different schools.
Middle schools in Saudi Arabia or intermediate schools consist of three grades (from age 13-15 years old).
In Saudi Arabia there are different kinds of secondary schools like general secondary schools, commercial, technical and vocational secondary schools which are under The General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training. The general secondary schools consists of three grades 10, 11 and 12 (from age 16-18 years old) (Ministry of Education, 2010).
1.3 ICT in Saudi Arabia
Developed and developing countries have responded to the challenge by initiating national programs to introduce computer technology into education. Saudi Arabia made great strides in the areas of computer use in education. With regard to the computer use as teaching material within the curricula of general education or its use in the administration of the educational process. Saudi Arabia takes the advantages of computers and introduced it in education since 1996 as a tool and curriculum to enhance education system. Consequently, Computer labs have been established in secondary schools to teach computer science as a subject. Many projects were implemented beside contribution from private sector to the dissemination of computer culture in line with the Ministry of Education plans (Computer and Information Centre, 2008).
The Ministry of Education ten-year strategic plan was established in 2004. It stated that its Information and communication technology (ICT) goal is to develop the infrastructure of information and communication technology and its employment in education and learning (Computer and Information Centre, 2008). This comprehensive plan for the integration of technology in education, through many projects such as:
King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz project for the development of public education was in 2007. It has a budget of SR 9 billion and aimed to guarantee the availability of a highly skilled and motivated work force in the future. The project will begin with creating a high-tech classroom environment in the Kingdom in six years. More than 400,000 teachers will be trained to handle classes in the high-tech style (Ministry of Education, 2008).
The Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia identified thirty-nine steps to implement this project which includes curriculum development, professional development programmes for teachers, improvement of the educational environment and the extra-curricular activities for students of the more than five million students (Ministry of Education, 2007). The implementation of this project required the preparation of curricula, digital electronic books and educational elements of the curriculum, and building technical standards integration into the curriculum, curriculum development at all stages, starting from primary through to secondary school. In fact, MOE identified nine steps to improve the educational environment including linking all schools through high-speed digital communication and providing networks within schools with the necessary server, and providing portable PC (laptop) devices to each teacher for preparations and lessons.
The Saudi government’s goal is to blend ICT with education (Ministry of Education, 2007). As a result, the Computer Based Labs project has been established in schools across a range of different technologies. One of the Ministry of Education priorities is the development of Learning Resource Centre (LRC) in each school to provide information through ICT. LRC aim to provide appropriate learning environment that allows the learner to take advantage of several different types of sources of learning and create self-learning opportunities and enhance his skills in research and exploration, enabling the teacher to follow the modern methods in the design of the lesson and develop materials, implementation and evaluation. This year is the third phase of the establishment of Learning Resource Centre in the public schools. Therefore, this project contributes to increase students’ technological culture and the effectiveness of lessons. Furthermore, the government encourages the investment in E-learning or “distance education” to provide education and training of national workers.
In short, Saudi MOE gives priority in enhancing teaching and learning process and developing educational environment with all updated technologies.
1.4 Statement of problem
The future of the computer technology as an educational tool which allows the interaction between the learners and lesson, distinguishes computer technology than the rest of the educational tools that came before it. Moreover, Banathy (1996) asserts that the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning is an educational innovation that touches all aspects of a school system such as curriculum, instructional practices, teaching strategies and techniques, classroom settings, materials, resources, teachers’ training and professional development, assessment, etc.
Teachers are an important factor in the implementation of computer technology integration in education. Without the involvement of teachers, most students may not take advantage of all the available potential benefits of computer technology on their own. The educational system in Saudi Arabia keeps increasing the attention in recent years on developing teachers and curriculum. Encouraging the use of modern teaching aids such as computers and develop teachers’ skills. The Saudi Ministry of Education has launched ambitious plans to integrate technology in education, and care was given to both teachers’ and students’ computer skills, like establishing the Learning Resource Centres which heavily depending on computer technology to provide information for learners, computer labs and computerized science labs to explores its various applications in the fields of education (Computer and Information Centre, 2008).
Teachers’ stages of concern about this innovation are an important element to encourage teacher to integrate computer technology in their teaching. Without the knowledge of teachers’ stage of concern in this innovation it will be difficult how to proceed in the implementation of computer technology integration in teaching and learning among teachers in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, because teachers play key role in the diffusion of educational innovation it is essential to know their stage of concern about this innovation while most of the studies investigate teachers’ attitudes and level of use of computer technology in teaching and learning. Also, teacher readiness is a key to assessing a teacher’s ability to initiate, develop or adopt a given innovation; it is useful for administrators and educators to understand teachers’ concerns, both before and during the implementation phase of an innovation (Fullan, 1999). According to Hord, Rutherford, Huling-Austin, and Hall (1987), change is best carried out by individual teachers, and, thus, identifying teacher concerns about an innovation is essential in facilitating the adoption process and also they recommended the use of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) to guide innovation implementation to a successful point of adoption. A few studies about teachers’ stages of concern in The Arabic context like Al Shammari (2000) in his study in teachers’ concern about computer technology implementation in the intermediate schools in Kuwait. He indicates that teachers with many years of experience expressed higher impact concerns, while teachers with few years of experience reported lower self concerns.
On the other hand most of the studies focus on one teaching area like science teachers (Dass,1997), English teachers (Aziz,2008), computer teachers(Al Shammari,2000) and social studies teachers (Al-Aghbari,2007) . ……
Thus, the problem of this study is because of the lack of information regarding Saudi secondary schools teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning.
1.5 Research objectives
The aim of this research is to investigate Saudi secondary school teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning. The research objectives are:
To identify Saudi secondary school teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning.
To identify the differences between Saudi secondary school teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning in terms of teaching experience.
To identify the differences between Saudi secondary school teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning in terms of area of teaching area.
1.6 Research questions
The data of this study will be analyzed to answer the following questions:
What is Saudi secondary school teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning?
Is there a significant difference between Saudi secondary school teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning in terms of teaching experience?
Is there a significant difference between Saudi secondary school teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning in terms of teaching area?
1.7 Significance of the study
Gaining an appreciation of the teachers’ stages of concern about the integration of computer technology for teaching and learning may provide useful insights into technology integration and usage of technology in teaching and learning. It is expected that the results of the research will guide future research and development in the country and outline the importance of the use of information and communication technology in education for teachers, students, and decision-makers.
Also, this research will contribute to the research on teachers’ concerns about the adoption of an innovation. The findings of this study can help the facilitators of change to make appropriate decisions on when and how to provide support to individual teachers during the implementation of ICT integration in Saudi education.
1.8 Limitations of the study
This study is conducted with the following limitations: it is applied in Saudi general secondary schools in Al-Hassa province. The private general secondary schools, the technical and vocational institutions and the schools in rural area are not included in this study. Another limitation of this study that the sample is from the boys’ Secondary schools teachers only because the educational system in Saudi Arabia is gender-based.
Data will be collected from Secondary schools teachers in Al-Hassa province in Saudi Arabia by using only Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) as a survey instrument of this study. Therefore, the results from this study cannot be generalized to all the Saudi secondary schools.
1.9 Operational definitions
Saudi Secondary school teachers: this refers to teachers who teach in the third stage of general education system in Saudi Arabia. This stage consists of grades (10-11-12) where the students are in the age from age 16-18 years old. Teachers in this study are in different teaching areas.
Computer technology: This term refers to the full range of digital hardware and software used to support teaching and learning across the curriculum, ranging from desktops, laptops, handheld computers and applications, local network and the internet to digital peripherals such as cameras, scanners and adaptive devices. It does not include older analog media such as films (Centre for Applied Research in Technology Education, 2005).
The integration of Computer technology: The incorporation of technology resource (computers and specialized software, network-based communication system and other equipment and infrastructure) and technology-based practice into daily routines, work and management of schools (Christensen,1997; US Department of Education,2002). It refers to the use of computer technology to enhance teaching and improve the students learning (Baker, 2003).
Stages of concern: It refers to the stages of concern in CBAM which includes Awareness, Informational, Personal, Management, Consequences, Collaboration and Refocusing.
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