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Even in the world¶s most advanced schools, computers have only been available for
a few decades. During that time, huge advances have been made in the
technologies available for use in schools, their educational applications, and our
understanding of how to use them to promote learning. In the late 1970s and early
1980s, as computers were just beginning to appear in classrooms, prof essional
development focused on operating the computer and running software packages.
This included basic operation and maintenance, programming, using productivity
tools (e.g., word processors, databases, and spreadsheets) and eventually the use
of grade-level appropriate curriculum -specific instructional programs.

By the late 1980s professional development had changed its focus. No longer was
the goal to simply make teachers competent users. Rather, it was to help them
develop strategies to increase the effective student use of technology for learning.
Teachers were exposed to concepts such as the use of collaborative learning in
technology based learning environments. They also began requiring students to use
technology for research, data collection, an d presentation of findings. Teachers¶
roles shifted from using technology to teach, to using technology to facilitate
learning.

The introduction of the Internet and online resources in the late 1990s presented
another change in the use of technology in e ducation. Teachers and students began
to browse this virtual library for information and resources heretofore unavailable to
them. Computers became a tool for searching, retrieving, manipulating, and sharing

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information. Teachers began to see the online en vironment as an information
repository that contributed to student learning and through which students could
contribute to the learning of others. Teaching strategies began to make use of this
rich resource by including online research and reporting activi ties.

By the early 2000s, use of the Internet for communication had evolved beyond mere
text messages to include a full range of media - images, audio, and video. Online
distance education began to gain popularity. All levels of education began to see
online learning as a vehicle for expanding the reach of institutions and by offering
educational services to potential students they could not previously reach. The
concept of online education presented yet another opportunity to change the role of
teachers. The personal relationship between teachers and students, which was so
often a critical component of classroom instruction, took on an entirely different
character. Online distance education courses created instructional environments
where teachers and students interacted in a digital world and where they might never
meet, speak, or even see each other in person.

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It is widely accepted that ICT would lead to significant educational and pedagogical
outcomes in the schools, beneficial for both students and teachers (EC, 2004; ICTL,
2004; OFSTED, 2002). A great amount of research has shown that proper use of
ICT in education can increase students¶ motivation and deepen understanding,
promote active, collaborative and lifelong learning, offer shared working resources
and better access to information, and help students to think and communicate
creatively (Jonassen, 2000; Webb, 2005). Nowadays, ICT is perceived to be inherent
to the educational reform efforts necessary for the 21 st century society, since it has
changed the key aspects of the nature of knowledge and the way we access it.

Moreover, ICT appears to change the very nature of teaching and learning, since the
teaching profession is evolving from an emphasis on teacher -centered instruction to
î   learning environments (Webb & Cox, 2004). There are three main
aspects inherent to the role of ICT and its impact in the schools:

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„ 
     î 

ICT has lead to changes in the way people access and manipulat e information, solve
problems and organize their work. The required skills and competencies are
therefore changing for both students and teachers. Gaining in importance are the
following skills and capabilities:
‡ Critical and analytical thinking
‡ Decision making
‡ Handling dynamic situations
‡ Team working
‡ Effective communication
‡ ICT competencies.

2)
    î

ICT integration in the school practice is not restricted to a simple improvement of the
traditional instruction but rather it is associated to fundamental changes in the
learning process. In other words, ICT is widely perceived as a catalyst for school
change, since it could bring major benefits to the learners and the teachers, such as:
‡ New educational materials
‡ Shared learning resources and environments
‡ Promoting           
‡ Shift towards    îand    .

3)
î   î

Societal pressures have been present since the launch of ICT into schools. Parents,
television advertisements, industry, and commerce aspects, the Internet have all
provided pressure for pushing ICT into education. Possession of a computer and an
Internet connection line at home is a recent form of î    . Several
researchers have found that home computers were mainly used for games playing

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and the Internet as a leisure activity. This is usually not of positive benefit to school
learning.
For example, it can pose a problem if teachers feel threatened by pupils¶ superior
knowledge of ICT (Jimoyiannis & Komis 2004) or if school hardware and software is
far less up-to-date than that being used at homes. In the field surrounding the
design, application and integration of ICT in education, many myths and
misconceptions have been developed and promoted across countries, educational
institutions, policy makers, and educational planners. Attempting to analyze the
critical issues related to ICT in education a nd the low impact in schooling produced
till now, we present an outline of the myths and realities regardin g the current
influence of ICT into the schools. Following we analyze the key factors determining
teachers¶ views and perceptions of ICT in education.


 „ Putting computers into the schools will directly improve learning; more
computers will result in greater improvements in education.
  „Till now, education has been affected by ICT only marginally.


Once teachers learn the basics of using computers and the Internet, they are
ready to effectively use ICT in their instruction.
    Teachers are not convinced of the potential of ICT to improve learning.
Moreover, they are poorly prepared to effectively integrate ICT in their instruction.


  There are agreed -upon goals and ³best practices´ that define how ICT
should be used in the classroom.
    Radical pedagogical reforms are required to take full advantage of the
potentialities that ICT brings in education (e.g., shift from teaching to learning, active
and collaborative learning practices, new roles for the teacher, new classroom
organizations, flexible curriculum, etc.).

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For many teachers the transition from teaching in a classroom, where they have
direct and personal contact with all of their students, to online teaching, where

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interactions are often restricted to a virtual environment, is a significant change. The
process of change often involves exposing teache rs to and integrating them in a
number of technology-based teaching and learning activities. The goal is to increase
their knowledge, skill, and confidence in the use of educational technology over time.
The level of teacher readiness for online distance e ducation training should be
assessed prior to integrating teachers into any formal training experiences.

Loucks-Horsley (1996), while studying teacher acceptance of change in science


curricula, proposed that teacher readiness for change can be determined by the
types of questions or concerns they express about the change or innovation being
considered. This concerns-based approach identifies a seven -level hierarchy of
teacher readiness. Teacher concerns move from the lowest level, Awareness,
upward. At the lowest stages, stages 0 through 2, the teacher is moving through
levels of considering the innovation as a teaching tool. During stages 3 and 4 the
teacher¶s energy is focused on using and refining use of the tool to optimize teaching
and learning experiences. The highest two stages, 5 and 6, show teachers moving
into the creative realm that extends the innovation further into unanticipated or
developed areas.

Naturally, different teachers will move through the hierarchy at different rates and
many may never reach the upper levels. Training should be geared to the level of
readiness being expressed by a teacher. In a recent project in Oman, Sales (2007)
reports seeing teachers express concerns from the lowest levels to the highest.
Some teachers, although asked to participate in a pilot of online teacher training,
simply chose to ignore the opportunity (Stage 0). Others expressed their concerns by
asking questions about the project¶s purpose and the amount of time they would
need to commit to it (Stages 1 and 2).

Even further up the hierarchy, teachers expressed concern about the time it was
taking away from other instructional approaches and possible effects on students
(Stages 3 and 4). Within Oman¶s Ministry of Education some of the trainers
participating in the project began suggesting modifications and adaptation of the
online learning to better reach learners and achieve desired outcomes (Stage 6). In

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some situations the full spectrum of concerns may be represented within the
population to be trained. In these cases a series of training interventions will likely be
required to reach teachers at different levels of concern. Institutions, having limited
resources for the integration of an innovation, may need to make decisions about
their ability to provide training to teachers at every level.

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There are many political, cultural, economic, ethical, and resource issues that impact
teacher ability to prepare for and use online distance education. For example, Sales
and Emesiochl (2004) report on a civil service retireme nt act in the Republic of Palau
which forced technology-trained teachers into retirement and flooded schools with
untrained teachers. Sales (2007) also reports how a number of teachers in the
Sultanate of Oman resisted the adoption of online training because they felt it
required them to participate in training on their own time, rather than being released
from their teaching responsibilities, as they historically have been , to participate in
face-to-face training.

Further, an individual¶s level of readiness as reflected in the concern-based


approach (Loucks-Horsley, 1996) to teacher development discussed above, is
strongly influenced by his or her personal beliefs as well as the environment in which
he or she lives and works. Teachers¶ perceptions of a specific educational
technology and their beliefs about their own ability to use it easily, successfully, and
with better results, strongly influence their willingness to con sider adoption of that
technology. In their chapter on the adoption of learning technologies, Wilson, Sherry,
Dobrovolny, Batty and Ryder (2001), argue in support of the validity of the STORC
approach (Rogers, 1995) when applied to technology interventions in education.
STORC is an acronym for a set of characteristics considered during adoption of
innovations.

These characteristics represent attributes or conditions that must be evaluated


favorably before an innovation has sufficient appeal to reach a giv en level of
adoption. In addition to the original set of characteristics (simplicity, trial ability,


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observability, relative advantage, and compatibility), Wilson, et. al. (2001) proposed
a condition of support be added, thereby changing the acronym to STORCS. The
categories of characteristics in this approach may be independent of each other, or
may have an influence on each other. However, they do not have a hierarchical or
ordinal relationship. Rather, the point Wilson and his co-authors make in their
presentation of this approach is that the more characteristics present, the greater the
likelihood an innovation will be successfully adopted. Professional development
programs must consider teacher responses to each of the question types listed in
the STORCS approach. Training interventions should help teachers understand and
generate thoughtful and positive answers to these questions. Their affirmation of
these questions will significantly influence their approach to, and enthusiasm for,
online teaching.
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It is widely recognized that teachers¶ educational beliefs are strong indicators of their
planning, instructional decisions and classroom practices (Bandura, 1986; Pajares,
1992). Van Driel et al. (2001) argue that reform efforts in the past have often been
unsuccessful because of their top-down approach, which failed to take teachers¶
existing knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions i nto account. Teachers¶ attitudes and
beliefs towards ICT in education have a significant influence on ICT adoption and
their implementation behaviors in the classroom.

Therefore, a thorough analysis of their conceptions towards ICT in education can


provide insights on the prerequisites for teachers¶ successful preparation, in order to
effectively apply ICT in their classroom. Teachers, in general, agree that computers
constitute a valuable tool and are positive about students¶ development in ICT
knowledge and skills (Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2006). In most cases, they perceive ICT
as a new area (subject-matter) in the schools rather than a new way of teaching and
interaction between learners and knowledge (Loveless, 2003;Williams et al., 2000).

It appears that, even though they recognize the importance of introducing ICT in
education, teachers tend to be less positive about their extensive use in the
classroom and far less convinced about their potential to improve instruction (Russel

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et al., 2003; Zhao & Cziko, 2001). Teachers¶ attitudes toward ICT constitute a
multifaced variable. Many instruments have been used to measure teachers¶
attitudes toward computers in education revealing four correlated dimensions (i.e.,
Evans-Jennings & Okwuegbuzie, 2001; Levine & Donitsa-Schmidt, 1998; Ropp,
1999; Rosen & Weil, 1995):
‡ ¬ ,  or    îîîof using computers and ICT tools
‡  and  in the ability to use ICT
‡  î  îand ICT tools
‡ Perceptions about the  îîîof using ICT in education.

It seems that the teachers, in general, have a consistent     î and
perceptions concerning the many aspects of ICT in education (Jimoyiannis & Komis,
2006). Goodwyn, Clarke, and Adams (1997) divided the English teachers
participated in their survey into three groups according to their beliefs and rationales
about ICT in the curriculum: (a) the optimists, (b) the fearful teachers and (c) the
unresolved teachers. Similarly, in a survey administered in Greek schools, three
cohesive groups of teachers have been identified according to their views and beliefs
towards ICT in education: (a) the positive teachers, (b) the negative teachers, and (c)
the neutral (undecided) teachers, which vacillate between positive and negative
beliefs (Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2007).

The findings of the research, examining the factors relating to the uptake of ICT by
schools, suggest that ICT integration in the school practice needs time and
systematic efforts. The adoption of ICT by teachers and schools should not be
considered as a linear and spontaneous outcome of the decisions taken by policy
authorities and the funds invested by the government. Despite the great funding by
national and EU authorities, it seems that the lack of

a. A  î       of using ICT across the curriculum
b. An    îî  for supporting-guiding teachers¶ professional development
does not work in a supportive way, as far as the integration of ICT in everyday
school practice concerns.

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Helping teaches to develop positive attitudes towards ICT in education is a complex
task, determined by many interrelated factors affecting the network of beliefs, ideas,
educational priorities and decisions they held. In this article we propose an
integrated framework of factors, influencing teachers¶ perceptions of ICT in the
schools, which is determined by four interrelated axes, namely î     î 

   î î
   î, and       î. The multidimensional
nature of this framework is influenced by the many factors,   or    to the
teachers, which are analytically discussed in the next section of the chapter.

9 Ê 

Personal factors refer to the teachers¶ atomic characteristics, perceptions, or choices


which determine their ICT profile and influence their beliefs towards ICT in
education. A number of studies have investigated teachers¶ attitudes toward
computers in education and revealed correlations to various variables such as
   î!  î    "#     and  
 
(Christensen, 1997; Evans-Jennings & Okwuegbuzie, 2001; Jimoyiannis & Komis,
2006a; Levine & Donitsa-Schmidt, 1998; Ropp, 1999; Rosen & Weil, 1995; Yaghi &
Abu-Saba, 1998; Yildirim 2000 ).

$ î Research has shown that there are gender differences in
teachers¶ beliefs about ICT and their engagement with ICT. Earlier studies reported
that female teachers had a greater degree of computer anxiety (Brandley & Russel,
1997; Rosen & Weil, 1995) and were less confident computer users than males
(Lee, 1997). A recent report (EC, 2003) noted that gender is an issue which
determines the use of ICT by teachers, and the gap between males and females is
even wider as far as the use of t he Internet is concerned. Shapka and Ferrari (2003)
claim that gender differences about computers seem to be diminishing.

Similarly, it has been found that, in general, the males are positive about ICT in
education while the females are neutral or negative (Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2006a).
The findings of the survey indicate that gender is still a critical factor inducing
positive beliefs about ICT in education despite that its importance is falling relative to

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previous studies in Greece (Emvalotis & Jimoyiannis, 1999; Jimoyiannis & Komis,
2004).

¬ î A number of surveys suggested that the age of the teachers is a
factor creating barriers to the use of ICT. A European Commission report (EC, 2003)
found that the percentages of teachers using computers and the Internet fall as their
age increases, while the importance of this factor is falling. Presumably, the younger
teachers have been more exposed to technology than their predecessors. This could
result in higher confidence levels and more p ositive views of ICT in education but it
does not guarantee, by itself, higher levels of ICT use in the classroom (Jimoyiannis
& Komis, 2007).

"#     Teachers¶ competence and confidence with ICT is a principal
determinant of effective classroom use by the students. It seems that providing
opportunities to the teachers to acquire ICT skills is critical in order to strengthen
their beliefs about the value of ICT in teaching and learning (Becta, 2004a; Kumar &
Kumar, 2003). Research also indicates that many teachers have positive attitudes
toward technology but they do not consider themselves qualified to effectively
integrate ICT into their instruction (Ropp, 1999). On the other hand, most findings
suggest that teachers with ICT knowledge have a more positive attitude toward the
potential of ICT in education (Cox, Preston, & Cox, 1999; Luan, Fung, Nawawi, &
Hong, 2005; Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2006b).

Lack of appropriate training and experience is considered one of the main reasons
why teachers have negative attitudes toward computers and do not use technology
in their teaching (Becta, 2004; Yildirim, 2000). The impact of effective teacher
training on ICT could be measured in terms of changes in attitudes on the part of the
teachers (Kumar & Kumar, 2003; Galanouli, Murphy, & Garder, 2004) and of their
students as well (Christensen, 1998).

 
  The effect of teaching experience on teachers¶ attitudes
toward ICT has not been extensively studied. Significant differences have been
recorded in Greek teachers¶ beliefs and ICT skills according to their teaching

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experience (Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2006b). The teachers in the middle of their carrier
(having 10-20 years of teaching experience) are positive to adopt ICT in their
instruction while highly experienced teachers (having teaching experience greater
than 20 years) are negative in general. Low experienced teachers (teaching
experience less than 10 years), though they have higher level of ICT skills, are
skeptical of the role of ICT in education .
Similar results have also been found in a study concerning French teachers (Baron &
Bruillard, 1997). Presumably, ICT adds extra efforts to the young teachers in their
attempt to organize the core elements of their subject content, their instruction and
the practices followed in the classroom.

 
 î!  Although a fair amount of literature on teachers¶ perceptions of
ICT in education is available, there is little evidence of the barriers which exist in
specific subject areas (Becta, 2004a). Our findings indicate a close relationship
between subject matter and teachers¶ attitudes about ICT in education (Jimoyiannis
& Komis, 2006b, 2007). Generally, the business, technology and science teachers
are positive while mathematics, Greek language, history, and social studies teachers
are negative about ICT in education. Overall, our results confirm previous findings in
the USA that the functionality of computers in the class has been quite different for
the teachers of different subjects (Becker, 2001). It has been found in Becker¶s study
that business education and elementary teachers reported that computer use
occurred frequently during their classes, while mathematics and arts teachers did not
use computers that often.

$  Previous research findings indicate that teachers¶ grade level is a factor
of importance. It appears that teachers teaching at the secondary level had higher
self-efficacy than elementary teachers and were less likely to predict that they would
give up or avoid a challenging ICT -based task (Rosen & Weil, 1995; Shapka &
Ferrari, 2003). Primary school teachers tend to have higher levels of computer
phobia and were more likely to avoid ICT than high school teachers. In contrast,
secondary teachers were more likely to use computers in the classroom, but were
also more likely to exhibit gender-stereotypical attitudes (Whitley, 1997).

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Contradicting to the results discussed earlier, it has been found that Greek primary
teachers were particularly positive about ICT in education (Jimoyiannis & Komis
2006a, 2007), especially in comparison with some of the secondary core specialties,
for example, mathematics, Greek language, history, and social studies teachers.

%  î 
      "#  Cox et al. (1999) have analyzed the role of
 îîî and perceived ease of using ICT in teachers¶ views about ICT
in education. Recent studies (Hu, Clark, & Ma, 2003; Ma, Andersoon, & Streith,
2005) have found that teachers¶ perceived usefulness of ICT is a significant factor in
determining intention to use ICT in their instruction. Teachers seem to ignore the
    
  î îand the potential of ICT to engage students with learning
in ways that otherwise were not possible. Moreover, they need more convincing
reasons about the usefulness and the effectiveness of ICT in learning and instruction
(Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2007). It is striking that 92% of the teachers participated in
this survey considered ICT as a necessity in our modern society, exhibiting a
consumer-like approach about its contribution in education.

 
î& îî   
 Fullan (2001) stated that the most fundamental
problem in education reform is that people do not have a clear and coherent sense
of the reasons for educational change, what it is and how to proceed. Previous
research (Munby, Cunningham, & Lock, 2000; van Driel et al., 2001) has shown that
teachers, in general, resist to fundamental changes in their everyday classroom
choices or teaching activities (the model of knowledge transfer to the students
minds, the conventional problem solving approaches, the accurate coverage of the
content according to the curriculum or the textbooks, etc.). Veen (1993) describes
this situation as the îî   î, for example, teachers hold views which
persist and induce obstacles during the infusion of educational innovations.

This justifies why the educational uptake of ICT by the schools is a slow process,
with teachers needing time and support to gain experience and redirect their
instructional practices by taking advantage of ICT as an efficient tool for learning
(Mumtaz, 2001).


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  % 

Into this category are classified technical and other external factors, related to the
school and social environment, which inhibit teachers to get involved in ICT
integration efforts. Following are presented the most important technical barriers
teachers faced with.

  î îLack of sufficient numbers of computers and appropriate software
can seriously limit what teachers can do in the classroom (Pelgrum, 2001). The
quality of the hardware available constitutes also a problem for the teachers. Mumtaz
(2001) has pointed out that evidence of good practice in the use of ICT is invariably
found in those schools that have high quality ICT resources. Cuban (2001), on the
other hand, claimed that resources available in the schools are, in most cases,
underused. In some cases, poor organization will also cause barriers to the teachers
interested to use ICT in their instruction. In Greek secondary schools, for example,
computer labs are predominantly used by the computer science teachers providing
thus limited opportunities for the other subjects.

Similarly, data logging systems, available in science la boratories, constitute a


characteristic paradigm of underused equipment (Siorenta, 2005). Possession of a
personal computer at home does not guarantee, by itself, enhanced willingness from
the part of the teachers to use ICT in their instruction. A survey concerning Greek
teachers has shown that only a small percentage (11.1%) used routinely ICT to
support their conventional instruction, despite that 6 out of 10 teachers reported
ownership of personal computer at home (Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2006a). On the
other hand, only 1.7% of the teachers in the sample used ICT tools so often, mainly,
as short episodes incorporated into the existing curricula and teaching practices.

      î    In general, there is a lack of appropriate educational
software in the schools. Although various educational software titles may be
available for both teachers and students, most of those titles are not appropriate or
cannot actually help in enhancing learning. Apart from poorly designed software,
which disengages students from the intended learning process, there is one more

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factor; educational software, in general, is poorly related to the curriculum, its goals
and philosophy, and the content to be covered. On the other hand, teachers need
time and knowledge to evaluate the software and the learning activities to be used,
to prepare new ICT-based activities and worksheets for their students etc. The
software available in the schools should be accompanied by a complete teacher
guide and a plethora of appropriate examples to be used in the classroom.

    Lack of time produces negative attitudes to the teachers and does not
help them to get involved in ICT-based activities. Integrating ICT into classrooms
requires much more effort and time than regular teaching. Teachers need mo re time
to plan their instructional choices and behaviors in the classroom, to design learning
activities based on ICT, to locate information in the Internet, to prepare accurate ICT
materials for their students, to explore and practice the resources needed etc.
(Becta, 2004a).

In general, they have little time left after school to experiment with technology, share
experiences with colleagues, and attend in-service training programs. As Cuban,
Kirkpatrick, and Peck (2001) found, the lack of time problem did not only apply to
those teachers who made little use of ICT in their lessons. Similar complaints were
made by those teachers who were attempting to make full use of ICT in their
lessons, as they had to work longer hours in order to achieve successful use of ICT.

   
  î   Preparing efficient learning activities based on ICT tools
demands that teachers¶ have the proper level of technical skills and knowledge. In
most cases, technical problems are time-consuming and have a direct impact on
teachers¶ confidence of using ICT in their instruction. Many teachers¶ certainly agree
that technical support is needed in the schools (Becta, 2004), especially when things
go wrong during their lessons. Lack of continuous tec hnical support and fear about
the breakdown of equipment inhibits teachers¶ of using ICT in their instruction
(Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2004).

+ Ê 

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Most teachers agree that computers constitute a valuable tool and are positive about
students¶ achievement on ICT skills. On the other hand, although they recognize the
importance of introducing ICT in education, they tend to be less positive about
extensive use of ICT in their classroom and far less convinced about its potential to
improve instruction (Russel et al., 2003; Waite, 2004). Stetson and Bagwell (1999)
have analyzed the resistance of many schools, colleges, and departments of
education to embrace technological applications into their methods of coursework.

Based on the results of their study, Sugar, Crawley, and Fine (2004) have outlined
ICT adoption as a personal decision uninfluenced by other people and the presence
of resources or impediments in the local school/district. Secondary education
teachers considered   î
 and      with specialty colleagues and the
other teachers in their school as a factor influencing their professional development
towards integrating ICT in their instruction (Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2004). Granger,
Morbey, Lotherington, Owston, and Wideman (2002) suggested structured
collaboration and continuous communication among teachers as a factor contributing
to the successful implementation of ICT in the schools.

Cuban et al. (2001) claimed the school itself, as an institute, is resistant to the
changes needed for successful ICT integration and re -organisation in order to
facilitate innovative practices involving ICT. It seems that the î
  and the
general framework of schooling do not support teachers to integrate ICT in their
teaching. Teachers¶ beliefs and perceptions are influenced by the many aspects of
school practice and culture, which constitute a strong reason to reserve their
traditional teaching practices (Munby et al., 2000; van Driel et al., 2001).

Research has shown that teachers with interest and motivation to learn about ICT
use computers in a narrow range of applications, mainly, for personal purposes.
Most of them continue to use ICT for low-level supplemental tasks, such as word
processing (lesson plans, worksheets, assessment tests, registration of grades, etc.)
or getting information from the Internet (Becker, 2000; OFSTED, 2004; Jimoyiannis
& Komis, 2006a; Russel et al., 2003; Waite, 2004; Williams et al., 2000). Relatively
few teachers use ICT routinely for instructional purposes and even fewer are

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integrating ICT into subject teaching in a way that motivates pupils, enriches learning
and stimulates higher-order thinking and reasoning (Becta, 2004a).

As van Driel et al. (2001) pointed out teachers do not tend to risk changing their own
practice which is rooted in       built up over their teaching career.
The concept of practical knowledge refers to the integrated set of knowledge,
conceptions, beliefs and values teachers develop in the context of their teaching. It is
influenced by various parameters, such as the profile of the teachers, the disciplinary
background, the students, the school environment, and so forth. Consequently,
practical knowledge constitutes the core of teachers¶ professionalism, guides their
actions in the classroom and, reasonably, acts as a negative factor to adopt ICT in
their school practice. Teachers, in general, feel confident by using their practical
knowledge which works in their everyday instruction very well, and are unwilling to
change practices, teaching methods, habits or roles. Snoeyink & Ertmer (2001) have
presented a teacher, not skilled on ICT, explaining her negative views of ICT on the
basis that she wished to remain comfortable with her teaching. Similar results have
also found in Greece where physics teachers seem to be unwilling to leave their
³comfort context´ of conventional subject practice activities (Siorenta, 2005).

Most of the teachers using ICT in their instruction are tentative to adapt new tools to
their traditional teaching philosophies in such a way that makes them feel secure and
confident. For example, they prefer demonstra ting of computer simulations to
support their lecture instead of engaging their students to pertinent ICT-based
activities. Demetriadis et al. (2003) have found that teachers are interested in using
ICT to take advantage of any possible learning benefits offered by ICT, but they
appeared to cautiously adapt ICT usage to the traditional teacher-centered mode of
teaching.

There is also a perceived tension between using ICT and the need to conform
teaching to the external requirements of traditional examinations (Henessy et al.,
2005). As far as the case of Greek schools concerns, there is another intervening
factor which strongly influences teachers¶ attitudes towards ICT in education; the
pressure from the national university entrance exams and the need to cover the set


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content of the core subjects (language and literature, history, mathematics, physics,
chemistry, biology) prevail in teachers¶ instruction culture as well as in the students¶
learning culture. The following factors shape the negative impact that school culture
induces on science teachers¶ perceptions about ICT in their instruction (Jimoyiannis
& Siorenta, 2007):

‡ The traditional view of teaching as a process of knowledge transfer


‡ The need to cover the content set by the curriculum
‡ The restrictions posed by the science textbooks
‡ The need to practice their students on conventional (paper and pencil) problem
solving tasks
‡ The requirement to prepare students for the final exams.

$ 

Professional development to prepare teachers for online distance education must


accommodate the unique needs of each individual teacher. Teacher concerns,
readiness to adopt new technologies, and an institution¶s specific policies, systems,
and support services all contribute to the need for individualized or custom tailored
training experiences. Institutions and trainers must recognize that development of
online teachers requires an on-going process, not a single event. Professional
development programs need to offer a series of graduated experiences that move
teachers along a continuum. Taking them from an entry point based on each
teacher¶s unique needs to an exit point based on institutional competency standards.

Professional development programs should engage teachers in activities that move


them from their current level of understanding in each of the follow domains.

‡   ' $  ( Teacher readiness for change can be determined by the
types of questions or concerns they express about the change or innovation being
considered.

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‡ $'   ,    ( Teachers¶ beliefs about their own ability to
use it easily, successfully, and with better results stro ngly influence their willingness
to consider adoption of that technology
‡ - ( Analysis, instructional design, creative design, and in some cases
interface design. This domain encompasses the skills and processes necessary to
take a course from the concept stage to the point where it is ready for production.
‡ -    ( Creation of the media assets that support the content (produced
during the design phase), production of the software product (through programming
or the use of a tool), and quality assurance testing. The development domain begins
with the design and ends with a fully functional, error free, course.
‡ Ê ( Instructor skills and behaviors, and strategies and techniques for
course delivery. Facilitation involves taking the com pleted course and creating a
dynamic learning experience for students. This domain involves teachers in
presenting content, engaging students, providing feedback, and otherwise creating a
positive learning environment online in support of the ³automated´ portion of the
course.
‡ .   &   " ( Laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and
associated consequences. This domain, as shown in the Competency Model,
overlaps the other three domains. Legal and ethical competencies influence
teachers¶ execution of competencies in each of the other domains.












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