Learning to live with a new educational technology: an exploration of tertiary teachers’ experience in the Middle East
Date: 6 April 2020
University of Exeter
Doctor of Education
This thesis aims to tell the story of a group of teachers at one college involved in the iPad implementation. It considers the effect that the implementation had on their professional identities and how they coped with the experience. Underlying the study is a research-based exploratory background that highlights the importance of ...
This thesis aims to tell the story of a group of teachers at one college involved in the iPad implementation. It considers the effect that the implementation had on their professional identities and how they coped with the experience. Underlying the study is a research-based exploratory background that highlights the importance of acknowledging teachers’ perceptions and experiences for the successful integration of a new learning technology into classrooms. The subject of this study is a group of teachers who were required to adopt a new technology to teach English to Foundation students at a university in the Middle East. The Apple iPad was to be the exclusive means of delivery: no books, stationery or writing equipment was to be allowed in the classrooms. The teachers were ‘constructive agents’ (Spivey, 2007, p. 3) who built their knowledge of teaching with the iPad out of interaction with their colleagues, the context and the culture of their reality. Their professional identities impacted on how they coped with the new challenges and at the same time, the new challenges impacted on their identities. Conducting a narrative thematic analysis allows justice to be done to the experiences the teachers referred to in the interviews, observations, reflections and email exchanges. The data revealed a rich lived experience and captured complex, detailed and evolving descriptions from the teachers (Braun, Clarke, Hayfield, & Terry, 2019). I became part of the narrative frame of their storytelling revealed by this narrative thematic analysis. The findings show that the teachers used a variety of strategies to respond to the sudden change, the negative surprises they encountered were turned into learning experiences and they drew on their professional identities and community for support. An interesting paradox is uncovered as it is revealed that positive outcomes can be achieved as a result of experiential learning, despite a perceived lack of appropriate planning, information and preparation.
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