The end of the last millennium was marked by rapid technological advances and deep changes in many aspects of human activity, often taken together as indicative of a shift into a “knowledge era”. Such changes have stimulated much discussion about the role and processes of education, and about the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in teaching and learning in this new era. Many policy documents relating to these themes have been published by international and regional organizations such as the European Commission, the European Roundtable of Industrialists, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), UNESCO and the World Bank. Numerous blueprints on education reform and on ICT in education have also been set out by various governments since the mid-1990s. These policy initiatives brought with them a variety of strategic implementation priorities that differ from country to country, depending on the socio-economic and political context. Such educational strategies may involve, amongst others, changes in curriculum and/or assessment at the system level, provision for ICT infrastructure, teacher professional development, and/or technical and pedagogical support for teachers. Given the deep technological, economic and policy changes that have taken place over the last decade, are there indications that pedagogical practices are changing as well? What impact is the pedagogical use of ICT making in schools around the world? What is the impact of the implementation of these policies on pedagogy and ICT use in classrooms? These are the questions that this book addresses through an analysis of the findings from SITES 2006, an international comparative study of pedagogy and ICT use conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).
Nancy Law is Professor and Director of the Centre for Information Technology in Education, and Head of the Division of Information and Technology Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. She has served on the International Steering Committee of the Second International Information Technology in Education Study (SITES) and the Steering Committee of the APEC Cyber Education Consortium. She has recently been elected to the Board of the International Society of the learning Sciences and is currently a member of the Steering Committee on Strategic Development of Information Technology in Education of the HKSAR government. She has conducted numerous evaluative studies as well as research and development projects related to Information Technology in schools.
Willem J. Pelgrum is affiliated with the University of Twente, director of a private consultancy firm (Educational Assessment and Monitoring) and adjunct professor at the Danish University of Education (Comparative education and ICT in education). His main professional background is in international comparative educational assessments. He was Coordinator of the IEA Computers in Education studies, SITES Module 1 and SITES2006. He has authored and edited several books on ICT in education.
Tjeerd Plomp is Emeritus Professor of Education of the University of Twente, where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Educational Science and Technology from 1982 till 1985, and as Chair of the Department of Curriculum from 1990 to 1998. He was Chair of the IEA from 1989 to 1999. In the IEA he served as Chair of the Computers in Education studies, the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the IEA Second International Technology in Education Study (SITES). He is the Study Director of the IEA SITES 2006 study, a survey of schools and (Mathematics and Science) teachers on pedagogical approaches and the use of ICT in schools.