Comparison of Technology Use Between Biology and Physics Teachers in a 1:1 Laptop Environment
Simon J. Crook, Manjula D. Sharma, Rachel Wilson, University of Sydney, Australia
CITE Journal Volume 15, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA
Using a mixed-methods approach the authors compared the associated practices of senior physics teachers (n = 7) and students (n = 53) in a 1:1 laptop environment with those of senior biology teachers (n = 10) and students (n = 125) also in a 1:1 laptop environment, in seven high schools in Sydney, NSW, Australia. They found that the physics teachers and students reported more use of their laptops than did their biology counterparts, particularly in regard to higher order, engaging activities such as simulations. This disparity is consistent with the differences between the prescribed NSW physics and biology curriculum documents. The physics curriculum specifies that students should engage with various technologies (especially simulations) frequently within the course content, while the biology curriculum makes only generic statements within the course outline. Due to the curriculum mandate, physics teachers seemed to be capitalizing on the opportunities afforded by the 1:1 laptop environment, whereas the biology teachers had less of a mandate and, consequently, incorporated less technology in their teaching.
Crook, S.J., Sharma, M.D. & Wilson, R. (2015). Comparison of Technology Use Between Biology and Physics Teachers in a 1:1 Laptop Environment. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 15(2), 126-160. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education.
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