An Investigation Into Saudi Teachers' Knowledge And Attitudes Towards Computer Technology

1706 words - 7 pages

Literature review
In a manner similar to most parts of the world today, Saudi Arabia embraces and continues to broaden the use of information and communications technology significantly (Alshumaimeri 2008). Moreover, Saudi Arabia first used computers in the education ministry serving as information and storage tools in relations to teacher duties, administrative tasks and for maintenance of students’ records according to Alshumaimeri (2008). According to Al-Aqeely (2001), the Saudi education ministry set up computer labs in each secondary school, from where teachers conducted training. While such progress is laudable, other researchers raise concerns in relation to teacher attitude and their knowledge in computer technology (Gulbahar 2008; Gobbo and Girardi 2001).
On the other hand, Gilakjani and Leong (2012) observed that teachers play a paramount role in the successful implementation of computer use in any educational system especially due to their ability to transmit values and beliefs to students. Consequently, Gilakjani and Leong (2012) state that there is need to comprehend the stereotypes and biases that teachers uphold concerning computer use in classrooms along with the factors that facilitate positive attitude in teachers towards computer use. In line with this, Zhao, Tan and Mishra (2001) evidenced their suggestion that teacher attitudes directly correlate with computer use in class. On the other hand, Teo (2006) contends that the response teachers give to technology in turn influences the perceptions students have concerning the significance of computer use in schools. Moreover, Huang and Liaw (2005) argue that it does not matter how powerful and sophisticated technology might be its effective use depends on whether teachers have a positive attitude towards such technology.
Nonetheless, the knowledge factor highly counts when it comes to the attitudes teachers have on computer technology. According to McAlister, Dunn and Quinn (2005), there is need for teachers to acquire extensive IT support and training while placing additional value on teachers as role models. On the other hand, insufficient technological infrastructure and the deficiency of in-service training were vital factors with considerable influence on effective technology use among instructors (Gulbahar 2008). Nonetheless, knowledge in computers is also a variable that influences attitudes towards computer technology (Mukti 2000). In the next subsection this research will present a review on definition of attitude, teacher attitude and an overview of computer knowledge and teacher attitudes.
Teacher attitude definitions
Hogg and Vaughan (2005) define attitude as a comparatively consistent organisation of feelings, behavioural tendencies and beliefs towards socially important symbols, objects, groups or events. Nevertheless, Olson and Maio (2003) simply define attitude as affinity to assess objects unfavourably or unfavourably. On the other hand, Gilakjani and Leong...

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