Evaluating IT use in Saudi Secondary schools, to suggest appropriate strategies for improving IT use in education

Author: Sami Alshmrany

Alshmrany, Sami, 2012 Evaluating IT use in Saudi Secondary schools, to suggest appropriate strategies for improving IT use in education, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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In recent decades, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been widely utilized across countries in educational institutions at all levels as an effective tool to facilitate high quality teaching. Unfortunately, developing countries like Saudi Arabia have not yet been able to address teaching and learning challenges effectively through the use of ICT; therefore the role of ICT in the education system in Saudi Arabia is still limited. This is largely because of the complexity involved in integrating ICT into the education system. While the inadequacy of technological infrastructure is one of the major impediments of integrating ICT in education, the absence of strategic direction is also a significant barrier. Secondary education is an important stage for students as it has the potential to enable the acquisition of preliminary but crucial knowledge about future careers. Considering the importance of secondary education, the principal concern of this study is to evaluate IT use in Saudi secondary schools and to suggest appropriate strategies for improving IT use in education.

This study has identified that both students and teachers face various types of challenges in using ICT in the educational arena. Some challenges faced by students include lack of skills, lack of English language proficiency; lack of availability of technology; poor Internet infrastructure; and cultural, religious and attitude related barriers. While some of the major challenges faced by teachers include inadequacy of IT resources; lack of motivation; old IT infrastructure.

Some of the major findings of this study include private schools have better ICT infrastructure; students at private schools are well informed about computer technologies; private schools make higher IT investments; students in private schools are taught using ICT aids; teachers at private schools are given training on latest IT updates; students in private schools are encouraged to use IT tools in projects and assignments.

Finally, the study has concluded that some measures and steps are required to improve the quality of ICT usage in secondary education, such as the development of online training modules; online publication and availability of lectures for students; online publication of assignments; online submission of assignments and online grades/results submission.

Keywords: ICT, Information and Communication Technology, Secondary education, Saudi secondary schools

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2012
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Brett Wilkinson