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Computers are oversold and underused, research on educational programs suggests

Date:
August 30, 2011
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
According to new research which studies educational programs in Bahrain, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, information and communication technology (ICT) is not effectively utilized in classrooms in the Middle East.
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According to new research which studies educational programs in Bahrain, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, information and communication technology (ICT) is not effectively utilized in classrooms in the Middle East. The new article "Promoting the Knowledge Economy in the Arab World," published in the open access journal SAGE Open, discusses the need for a deeper institutional reform that will bring Arab classrooms into the 21st century.

After studying current school inspection and review reports as well as an independent impact study report commissioned by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), author Michael Lightfoot stated that many technology-related policies overlook the real needs of students. Lightfoot wrote that while ICT infrastructure aims to incorporate electronic classes and teaching systems that enhance students' and teachers' technological abilities, in reality it has become little more than a way to mechanically optimize the operation of equipment and to perpetuate cultural traditions.

"This is undoubtedly a reflection of the difficulties inherent in implementing an agenda for modernization and reform within countries which have only been free from colonial domination for a few decades," wrote the author. "It is a symptom of globalization that the pressures for education reform are now coming not from social forces seeking Enlightenment thinking but rather from those that see the development of a knowledge economy as a substitute for oil revenues or profits from real estate."

The author also pointed to teachers' inability to treat students as independent thinkers as an issue that inhibits technology-related educational reform from helping to transform the Middle East into an important part of the global knowledge economy. Ultimately, he called for more rigorous research that goes beyond mere speculation about ICT implementation.

The author wrote, "If the findings from this research are able to identify best practices that can be replicated in different settings, then educationalists can begin to be satisfied that computers in the classroom are not just 'oversold and underused'."


Story Source:

Materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Lightfoot. Promoting the Knowledge Economy in the Arab World. SAGE Open, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/2158244011417457

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Computers are oversold and underused, research on educational programs suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830144525.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2011, August 30). Computers are oversold and underused, research on educational programs suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 24, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830144525.htm
SAGE Publications. "Computers are oversold and underused, research on educational programs suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830144525.htm (accessed June 24, 2024).

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