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Sivukartta

Part III. IT Teachers' Interviews

ABOUT THE INTERVIEW

The questions of the interview were supposed to cover two main issues: use of learning management systems and use of smartphones in learning purposes at high schools in Norway, Finland and Estonia.

The original idea was to carry out a quantitative study (a mass IT teachers' questionnaire) and analyze data statistically. However, due to a number of reasons we changed our goal. Firstly, there was not enough time to collect and analyze appropriate amount of data in a useful and illustrative way. Secondly, we saw the main purpose of the interview in describing present situation at Norwegian, Finnish and Estonian high schools and providing some ideas which we could further develop in the chapter.

Due to that, we decided that interviewing one IT teacher from each of the three countries will be enough for getting some "food for thought" and, at the same time, it will not be too time consuming. The questions were chosen from a pool of questions, created during a brainstorming meeting. They were designed to give a qualitative impression of the user experience (teacher), limiting factors, general restrictions and potential use of relevant software solutions.

Unfortunately, we did not manage to get answers from a Finnish high school IT teacher.  

THE QUESTIONS

The interview questions for the Norwegian and Estonian high school IT teachers were the following:

  1. What kind of e-learning systems do you already use at your school?
  2. Are you able to choose the tools you use yourself, or are they chosen based on a centralized government decision out of your control?
  3. How many e-learning systems have you used since you became a teacher?
  4. How often do they change?
  5. Do you use online submission for the students' homework assignments in any capacity? If yes, why, and if no, why not?
  6. Do you use a online system to distribute information to the students?
  7. How many students have smartphones?
  8. Do you think it would be useful to use smartphones in your classes, or would it be to much of a distraction?
  9. How many students does a regular class consists of?
  10. How big is your school? How many students attend your school? How many new students come each year?
  11. Have you experienced any privacy issues with your software?
  12. Is there any functionality that you as a teacher would like to implement? Any requirements or needs you need filled?

The answers we have got from the interview made it possible to come up with some ideas concerning teaching large classes:

  • We can see that in both schools learning management systems (like Fronter and Moodle) are used. Moreover, the Estonian IT teacher mentioned a great variety of tools and Web 2.0 services used at their school. This software is used for announcements from teachers, submission of students' assignments, sharing media files with students, etc. Use of learning management systems, Web 2.0 services and other software can address some problematic issues in teaching a large class, such as collecting and returning homework, making announcements, sharing study materials, etc. described in the Part II of the chapter. 
  • From the answers we can see that quite a big number of students (“all” Norwegian and 1/3 of Estonian) have a smartphone. The Estonian teacher also mentioned that the situation is changing fast and it is likely that in half a year 1/2 of students will have a smartphone. Therefore, it can be assumed that in case of a large class Clickers could be used (based on the bring your own device principle).

Full interviews of the Norwegian and Estonian IT teachers are also available for reading.

Discuss & brainstorm