STRATEGIES AND FACTORS OF DIGITAL RESOURCES ADOPTION BY RUSSIAN SCHOOL TEACHERS: THE CASE OF YANDEX.TEXTBOOK
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.