15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference: Online Conference. 8-9 March, 2021
15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Online Conference. 8-9 March 2021.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has revealed problems in school education using ICT. Teachers were forced to start teaching remotely using special, often unfamiliar to them software to communicate with students. The interaction in online lessons is very different from face-to-face classes. This is especially true for lessons with young children who overcome various barriers and may require outside support because of lack of ICT literacy or inappropriate software. However, teachers experience even greater challenges. At the beginning of the urgent transition to distance learning, teachers started to shape spontaneously their teaching methods, taking into account technical problems, such as students’ low speed of Internet connection or lack of webcams. Different teachers were dealing with such problems in different ways: for example, giving assignments on the textbook, and asking to send photos with answers. Besides, there are new barriers related to the order of the lesson. It is important to make sure that children are involved online, therefore there is a need in controlling the children's activity in distance learning, keeping the classroom discipline and sometimes parental involvement. The aim of the research is to identify barriers that hinder effective distance teaching in grade 5 according to teachers’ opinion. To address our aim we used data collected in May 2020 for Sber Gamification Lab research of digital interactive history materials. This research assumes a qualitative analysis. The data consists of 18 semi-structured interviews on multiple topics with history teachers of the 5th grade in Russian schools. Teachers face new challenges because of distance learning, and it is still unclear how to introduce a new lesson format of interactive e-learning, how to manage a lesson, and how to test knowledge remotely. There is no universal solution to distance learning, so it becomes difficult for teachers to provide exciting and engaging lessons. What solutions to these problems have teachers found? Our results showed that teachers began to use a variety of online-activities on history lessons. For example, it is noteworthy that one of the schools has its own Learning Management System (LMS), where the teacher has the ability to create their own tests and control students. It is also important to note that due to the introduction of interactive materials, teachers could not determine their role in the lesson. Some issues were connected with teachers’ digital literacy skills: some teachers did not know how to organize work in groups or pairs, some of them never used communication platforms such as Zoom before. The article concludes with recommendations for solving problems of organizing and conducting remote lessons.
The use of digital resources in school education plays an important role in the modern world, especially in the context of distance learning. Despite this, the school remains quite a conservative social institute, where adoption of new technologies faces a number of external and internal barriers. Thus, there may be insufficient material and resource base of the school, lack of additional time and technical support for teachers, as well as personal characteristics of teachers, their internal attitudes and resistance to change, that deter the successful adoption of digital resources in the educational process. The aim of this research is to identify and describe the strategies for the adoption of digital resources in the educational process by Russian school teachers, and also to detect the determinants of differences in their choices of those strategies. The empirical basis of this study is a randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers of the International Laboratory for Evaluation of Practices and Innovations in Education for the Russian IT company Yandex in the 2018/2019 academic year with 347 Russian schools participated in the study. During the 25 weeks, the experimental group of 165 teachers from these schools was recommended to use the digital service named Yandex.Textbook, which provides individualized digital home tasks in Mathematics and Russian language with automated checking. We analyzed the average weekly number of home tasks given by every teacher to identify their strategies for using Yandex.Textbook. With the help of time series cluster analysis, there were identified three different strategies for using digital resources. The first one presents a situation where a teacher uses Yandex.Textbook from the very beginning with pauses during school holidays. The second strategy is typical for those teachers who join the experiment later and start with a bigger amount of home tasks than the first ones, to compensate for the lost time. The third strategy is usual for teachers who use Yandex.Textbook only once or twice, despite recommendations. Further analysis with the use of multinomial regression showed that relationship of teachers’ characteristics and their strategy choice. Those teachers who are more likely to choose the 2nd strategy (“delayed start”) tend to have a bigger working experience and a lower education level than the teachers that realized the 1st strategy. At the same time, there was no significant relationship between strategy choice and personal ICT and user experience. Besides, chances for choosing the 3rd strategy (“sporadic use”), as well as the 2nd one, are higher for teachers in schools where principals consider the lack of computers with the Internet connection as a significant obstacle to the use of new technologies. This research shows how the external and internal barriers of Russian school teachers determine the dynamics of digital resource adoption in the educational process. These results allow us to identify teachers who may need additional support for the further integration of digital resources. This is an important result for education policymakers and school principals who plan to introduce new digital learning resources into practice.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and the allover shift to remote learning, the need for sufficient material and technical equipment in schools has become very urgent. Forced to hold their classes online, many teachers face a shortage of gadgets and ICT skills to teach successfully.
Russia is no exception in this situation. Despite three waves of digitalization, during which schools were equipped with computers and other devices, many of them were poorly prepared for online learning. In part, this is the consequence of the large territory and decentralized educational policy for schools’ equipping, because of which schools in some regions and municipalities have become more prepared for the challenges of the pandemic.
This paper examines the digital gap between Russian schools and its growth over the past 10 years. The differences in the material and technical base of schools and in their financial capabilities for the acquisition and purchase of new equipment are shown. Also, there are analyzed the differences in the teachers’ qualifications and their digital opportunities at school. Finally, there is shown the relationship between all these differences and the educational outcomes of students from different regions and municipalities.
The results of the study make it possible to single out some territories where low access to digital resources negatively affected the students’ exam results and their choice of further educational trajectory. First, these are residents of remote regions of Siberia and the Far East, where the digital lag of schools overlayed on the infrastructural problems. As a result, these students were the first to be most affected by the forced shift to remote learning. Thus, the coronavirus crisis became a litmus test and widens the digital gap in Russian education.