The main task of this follow-up study was to describe teachers' expectations, experiences and possible changes in the pedagogical use of ICT. As a part of an ICT development project, three sets of data were gathered from a region in Eastern Finland, by means of questionnaire. A total of 156 teachers of primary and early secondary education returned the questionnaire in 1999, 155 teachers in 2001, and 81 in 2004. The results indicate that teachers have increased their use of various ICT applications (especially data processors, web-browsers, e-mails, and CD-ROMs) both in their private lives and in pedagogical practice. Based on their own self-assessment, the teachers' ICT abilities have improved during the project period. Co-operative activities by means of ICT also increased between colleagues. Although teachers saw ICT as helpful for pupils' learning, some sceptical attitudes emerged as well.
This article gives a general framework for the understanding of the use of ICT in primary, secondary (vocational education excluded) and tertiary education in both Finland and Hong Kong. We describe the quantity and quality of ICT infrastructure and teachers' skills and attitudes towards it. Based on various surveys and scientific research, the pedagogical use of ICT is also studied from the pupils' and teachers' viewpoint. There is also some discussion on developmental challenges.
In this paper, we present an open-source program visualization tool, Jeliot 3. We discuss the design principles and philosophy that gave rise to this successful e-learning tool and to several other related environments. Beside Jeliot 3, we introduce three different environments, BlueJ, EJE, and JeCo that use Jeliot 3 as a plug-in to allow visualization of the program code. Another system, FADA, is a tool that was derived from Jeliot 3 but serves for different pedagogical goals. A community of users and developers of these projects has been created and supported, that allows for global and iterative improvements of the Jeliot 3 tool. This way, both academic research and feedback from the user community contribute to the development. We compare the presented approach of the tool development to some of the current tools and we discuss several instances evidencing a particular success.
According to many recent studies the effect of learning style on academic performance has been found to be significant and mismatch between teaching and learning styles causes learning failure and frustration. Thus balancing the teaching style and the students' learning style is very important. When emphasizing the individual learning processes, web-based learning offers a good opportunity for differentiating ways of learning. So far the aim of this study is to describe different learners (categorized by cognitive learning styles) and their learning processes in relation to their learning outcomes and perceptions of learning experience on a web-based course. The results of the study showed that there were different kinds of learners, who utilized and experienced the learning material differently. The students varied both in their cognitive learning styles and in their learning processes, but not in the learning results, measured by grades. As an implication, some recommendations were presented for developing the web-based learning environment.
Information literacy (IL) has spawned a proliferation of studies in the past two decades. Information literacy is deemed pivotal to the pursuit of both personal empowerment and the economic development of a society. Most of the contemporary interpretations of information literacy are inextricably intertwined with lifelong learning. In this paper, we will (1) examine the commonalities exhibited among a variety of information literacy frameworks developed in different regions; and to deepen our understanding of school principals' and teachers' perceptions on information literacy framework and its role in learning. The research findings indicate that the practitioners share the view that IL should embrace learning outcomes of the four dimensions of learning: cognitive, meta-cognitive, affective and socio-cultural. Results of this study indicate that the traditional notion of information literacy is inadequate to address the learning needs in the 21st century and a spiral approach to developing students' information literacy is deemed necessary.
Weblogs are a popular form of easy-to-use personal publishing that has attracted millions of bloggers to share their personal thoughts, opinions, and knowledge on the web. The versatility of weblogs as a communication medium has attracted interests from educators. Educational applications of weblogs have so far included journals, e-portfolio, learning diaries, and logbooks. As in the case of other educational technologies, the perception of students is a determinant factor of whether weblogs are used in a way that elicits educational values. This paper investigates student perception towards the purposes of blogging. It reports an experience of introducing blogging tasks to third year computing students, and compares their perception with students not participating in the blogging tasks. A student perception model is proposed to explain the difference in the perception due to the experience in blogging. The paper concludes that mandatory use of weblogs in a course can gradually cultivate educationally sound perceptions in students despite of the observed misuse.
We present a collaborative learning tool for programming, Jeliot Collaboratively or JeCo. Jeliot Collaboratively is a combination of a program visualization tool for Java programs, called Jeliot 3, and a collaborative authoring tool, Woven Stories. We introduce these systems and explain how they can be used in learning. Furthermore, we present future directions in order to support a wider range of use cases with JeCo.
With the growing awareness of the scholarship of teaching and the appropriate incorporation of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in higher education, there is a need for university lecturers to reflect upon and share their practice in the use of ICT in teaching and learning. This paper aims to study the way lecturers communicate their ICT teaching experience. Specifically, it tries to identify the key elements that are needed to form a model to make sharing of practice more effective. An action research approach was adopted to explore the issue. Nine teacher educators and nine university lecturers participated in different study stages. This paper provides evidence that the use of an issue-based model together with Benzie's (1999) evaluation dimensions, the sharing process and discussions are focused and cover a wide range of aspects in relation to the teaching context, and support a discussion of pedagogy rather than merely technical issues.
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education is one important competence that student teacher should develop in their academic studies. To be capable of using ICT in education, students should study both pedagogical and technical issues. In order to affect student teachers' willingness to use ICT in education, more attention should be paid to their learning experiences. In this research, student teachers' attitudes toward the use of ICT in education were studied before and after the web-based course. Based on students' learning experiences, attitudes and evaluations of the web-based learning environment, dimensions of a successful web-based learning environment were examined. According to the results, ``motivation and accuracy'', ``learner-interface interaction'' and ``learner control and self-directed learning''are the dimensions of a learning environment that encourages student teachers' to use ICT in education. A well designed learning environment also gave a realistic overview and knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of the use of ICT in education.
This paper deals with the process of expanding the virtual secondary education school network, aiming to provide daily basis, online teaching. The context of this research is the ESR funded Eastern Finland Educational Network Project, which is a network of 36 high schools providing courses via web-based learning environments. The project is a shared activity between teachers and researchers. The aim of the present study is to investigate teachers' technological pedagogical content knowledge by finding out what kind of pedagogical solutions the teachers use while designing and carrying out online teaching. In this study thirteen online courses were analysed and based on the analysis, four different course design patterns were found. The most general approach in course designs seems to be teacher centred, focusing on well guided individual learning processes. There seems to be need for development of teacher technological pedagogical content knowledge, to support approaches of more collaborative course designs.