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Use of technology in learning in Saudi Arabia

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Alenez, A. (2017). Technology leadership in Saudi schools. Education And Information Technologies, 22(3), 1121-1132. http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-016-9477-x

This article outlines the potential of Saudi schools to have technology leadership that is provided for by Learning Resource Centers (LRCs) for the purpose of fostering the formulation of a technology-motivated environment. The study conducted by Alenez utilized the ground theory methodology, as well as, the CBAM stages of concern and levels of use to expound on the Learning Resource Centers in Saudi Arabia and their leadership role within the framework of the current ICT reforms in schools. Through the interviews conducted by the author involving participants from the Northern Borders University training programs, it was established that Saudi schools need standardized leadership to ensure the comprehensive and standardize utilization of technology through networked Learning Resource Centers. Therefore, in order to make the use of digital learning materials in schools successful, Saudi teachers with meager knowledge of technology need to use Learning Resource Centers.

The reason for selecting this article as a source for my research is because Alenez emphasizes the need for teachers to have the required ICT skills needed to lead and guide the students through various digital learning techniques. It is not just sufficient to have digital learning tools in a school. Such digital learning tools will only be beneficial to the students if the teachers can help them grasp the concepts as quickly and easily as possible. It is for this reason that Learning Resource Centers are an ideal solution to the technology leadership gap that exists in middle schools in Saudi Arabia. The article sets a platform for the formation of Learning Resource Centers that are tailor-made for students in addition to the existing Learning Resource Centers that are designed for teachers so as to improve performance in middle schools through the use of digital learning tools.

Almalki, G., & Williams, N. (2012). A Strategy to Improve The Usage of ICT in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Primary School. International Journal Of Advanced Computer Science And Applications, 3(10), 42-49. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.252.4237&rep=rep1&type=pdf

According to Almalki and Williams, integration of technology in education is an intricate concept that requires practical interpretation in order to attain significant results. As a nation, Saudi Arabia does not have technological infrastructure that is similar to those in developed countries. Based on this understanding, effective strategies are critical to improving the application of ICT in primary schools efficiently. An education system that Almalki and Williams describe as utilizing ICT efficiently in learning and teaching is one that entails the integration of ICT into the school curriculum and classrooms. Notwithstanding, there are certain barriers that prevent the successful implementation of ICT in primary schools in Saudi Arabia. However, Almalki and Williams give some recommendations to surmount these challenges such as training for Ministry of Education Staff in ICT, creating a suitable ICT infrastructure environment and developing ICT training programs for teachers in schools.

Use of technology in learning in Saudi Arabia

This article is extremely vital to my research in that it highlights the challenges that schools in Saudi Arabia face while integrating ICT in the education system and curriculum and recommends various solutions to these challenges. The barriers related to the implementation of ICT in schools exist in three categories, that is, institution/school factor, teacher factor and extrinsic factor. The strategies provided by Almalki and Williams for ICT integration in middle school are vital to ensuring that both teachers and students in middle school benefit from using digital learning tools. Some of these vital strategies include introducing certain subjects that are related to ICT to schools at a national level and providing ICT training programs for teachers and students to help sharpen their technological skills.

Alrashidi, A. (2014). E-learning in Saudi Arabia: A Review of the Literature. British Journal Of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, 4(5), 656-672. http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/bjesbs/2014/6997

As stated by Alrashidi, distance education and the utilization of digital information technologies are growing swiftly throughout the world both in remote areas and urban areas such as towns and cities. Alrashidi describe distance learning and distance education as a variety of discordant learning methods. Nonetheless, communication can be carried out online through emails or on the specific course website or portal. With such improved accessibility and availability, Saudi Arabia has embraced distance learning enthusiastically in recent years. This article explores the novel era that the government of Saudi Arabia is ushering in through the increased implementation of distance learning in school systems. However, despite the progress of the government in integrating e-learning in the school curriculum, there have been numerous fears, unanswered questions, criticisms, doubts and expressions of pessimism regarding the value and subsequent success of the proposed distance learning system in Saudi Arabia. As a result, Alrashidi conducted the study on e-learning in Saudi Arabia to evaluate the literature about e-learning in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that influenced the decision to implement and integrate distance learning for education systems.

The reason for choosing this article as a vital source of information for my research is because it attempts to utilize the literature on e-learning to demonstrate the social, cultural and economic benefits of e-learning since it provides the opportunity for the development of knowledge. Most literatures explore the academic benefits of digital information technologies without taking into consideration other benefits. Alrashidi takes into account the social, cultural and economic benefits of e-learning and provides the reader with essential information regarding how middle schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ought to go about implementing and integrating digital information technologies in their curriculum so as to ensure an all-round development of the students and the education sector in general.

Dede, C. (2014). THE ROLE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IN DEEPER LEARNING. Jobs For TheFuture. Retrieved 12 October 2017, from http://www.jff.org/sites/default/files/publications/materials/The-Role-of-Digital-Technologies-in-Deeper-Learning-120114.pdf

According to Dede, the last major transformation of the education in the United States occurred a century ago when as part of its alteration from an agricultural to an industrial economy the country invented a novel model of schooling. This new model of schooling treats education as a routine and almost mechanical process that is similar to the production of material commodities on an assembly line. Instead of the education system permitting the students to learn at their own pace and according to their individual interests and needs, the system treats students as interchangeable parts that are sorted by age, grouped in various classes of equal size, accorded identical instructions, evaluated at fixed intervals and moved along to the next grade provided they meet the minimum prerequisites. It is imperative to note that once the students are moved along to the next grade upon attaining the minimum requirements, they undergo the same process of learning and evaluation as they did in the previous grades. This kind of monotonous learning is what the author terms as a limit to deeper learning.

Use of technology in learning in Saudi Arabia

This article contributes to my research by highlighting the redundancy of a new model of schooling that incorporates technology. If traditional techniques of learning and teaching in middle schools were accused of being redundant and robotic, then the inclusion of digital learning tools escalates the level of redundancy in teaching and learning since it easier to operate. A system of technology-related schooling has also been found to favor the elite in the society with people from disadvantaged backgrounds lagging behind in school. However, with strategies such as extended inquiries, interdisciplinary projects, collaborative investigations, apprenticeships, as well as, other opportunities for students to connect academic subjects to their personal interests, debate and discuss intricate concepts and confront real and open-ended world problems, digital learning materials can yield positive results in middle schools.

Eady, M., & Lockyer, L. (2013). Tools for learning: technology and teaching strategies. Learning To Teach In The Primary School, Queensland University Of Technology, Australia., 71.

According to the article Tools for learning: technology and teaching strategies, the pace of technological change in schools and in the society has been exponential and will continue in the same trajectory. Teachers are utilizing ICT to espouse their role in providing students with advice and structure, monitoring the progress of student and analyzing their achievements. When students employ technology in analyzing data, designing products, conducting research, solving problems and assessing their work, they work in collaboration with their colleagues to formulate and communicate new understandings and knowledge. This article presents the reader with a range of tools, as well as, learning and teaching practices that are ideal for helping students and teachers gain meaningful benefits from the use of digital learning materials.

Use of technology in learning in Saudi Arabia

This article is vital to my research as it helps the readers to discern the role of technology in education and how students can utilize digital learning tools to perform functions such as analyzing data, designing products, conducting research, solving problems and assessing their work. Moreover, it helps both teachers and students identify resources and technological applications utilized in classrooms today. The article also provides suggestions on how schools can embed technology in their curricula via a vast array of learning and teaching strategies, as well as, how to assess these digital learning tools so as to ascertain whether they support learning and teaching and are beneficial to teachers and students in terms of performance. Thus, by exploring the use of digital learning and teaching tools in primary schools Eady and Lockyer were able to fathom the possible barriers and challenges teachers and students in primary schools face and how to overcome them.

Greenhow, C., Robelia, B., & Hughes, J. (2009). Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship in a Digital Age. Educational Researcher, 38(4), 246 – 259. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0013189X09336671

As Greenhow, Robelia, and Hughes state, since Windschitl first outlined a research agenda for classroom research and the World Wide Web, critical changes have occurred in the conceptualization of classrooms and nature of the Web. Such alterations have affected constructs of instruction and learning, as well as, the paths for future research. This articles explores the features of the Web 2.0 that make it different from the Web present in the 1990s, expounds on the contextual conditions in which the teachers and students utilize the Web today and assesses how Web 2.0’s unique features and capabilities and the proclivities of the youth in using it influence teaching and learning. From the analysis conducted by Greenhow, Robelia, and Hughes two vital themes emerged, that is, online identity formation and learner participation and creativity. Since the research conducted by Greenhow, Robelia, and Hughes was limited to certain variables, the authors recommended that a stronger study should be conducted with a focus on the students’ daily usage of Web 2.0 technologies, as well as, their learning with the help of Web 2.0 both in and outside of the classrooms. The article Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship in a Digital Age also discussed insights on how educational scholarship may be transformed with Web 2. in light of the themes of online identity formation and learner participation and creativity.

This article contributes to my research by outlining how the Web can be used by students in their studies and for research purposes. However, despite the easy accessibility of the Web, students and teachers might fail to attain their desired results based on identity, creativity and participation challenges. This is because unlike traditional methods of schooling that required immense participation, creativity and involvement, digital learning materials provide students and teachers with so much allowance that they end up showing meager limited involvement or commitment to their work. Thus, despite the fact that digital learning and teaching materials in middle school make the work of students and teachers easier than traditional schooling methods, they should be careful not to lose their focus, creativity and identity in the process.

International Education Advisory Board. (2015). Learning in the 21st Century: Teaching Today’s Students on Their Terms. Retrieved 12 October 2017, from https://www.certiport.com/Portal/Common/DocumentLibrary/IEAB_Whitepaper040808.pdf

According to the International Education Advisory Board, information and communications technologies (ICTs) infiltrate classrooms all over the world at an exceedingly rapid pace today. In the wake of this swift transition, educators experience incessant challenges as they teach a more technical and “wireless” generation of students utilizing technologies that are ever changing. The purpose of this research by the International Education Advisory Board is to help teachers discern and embrace ICT so as to build better learning environments for students. This article defines the twenty-first century teachers and students who commonly refer to themselves as millennials and indicates the challenges that teachers face as the students and their accompanying technology cross the classroom and school threshold. The International Education Advisory Board also provides solutions to help teachers effectively meet the needs of the students while preparing them for their future careers in the twenty-first century.

Use of technology in learning in Saudi Arabia

This article is valuable to my research as it outlines how the best practice education resources and requirements continue to evolve as the rising Millennial generation continue to form the bulk of the students in schools. Technology already plays an important role of shaping and enhancing the learning environment. However, digital literacy skills and equipment are also vital to ensuring that technology is not just a substitute for high quality instructional methods but complements modern learning and teaching techniques in middle schools. The article culminates by stressing a very prominent point that teachers utilizing digital technology with certified computing skills will most likely be the most powerful educators in the twenty-first century.

Kreijns, K., Acker, F., Vermeulen, M., & Buuren, H. (2013). What stimulates teachers to integrate ICT in their pedagogical practices? The use of digital learning materials in education. Computers In Human Behavior, 29(1), 217-225.

Kreijns, Acker, Vermeulen and Buuren addressed the question of what stimulates teachers to integrate information and communication technologies in their pedagogical practices in the context of the usage of digital learning materials by teachers. The authors adopted the Fishbein’s Integrative Model of Behavior Prediction in their study to investigate the various relationships between proximal and distal variables and intention. The results of the mediation analysis showed that the proximal variables subjective norm, attitude and self-efficacy towards digital learning materials were critical predictors of the intention of the teachers to utilize digital learning materials. However, the contribution of the subjective norm was modest. The results also revealed that subjective norm, attitude and self-efficacy mediated the impacts of the three distal variables on intention, that is, the perceived skills and knowledge to use DLMs, previous utilization of DLMs and the colleagues’ usage of DLMs. Kreijns, Acker, Vermeulen and Buuren concluded that skills and persuasive communication-based training seem to be the appropriate interventions required to improve self-efficacy in utilizing DLMs and promote a positive attitude towards DLMs.

Use of technology in learning in Saudi Arabia

The reason why I selected this article as a source material for my research is that it provides salient information regarding the motivation of teachers to integrate digital learning materials in their teaching techniques. When teachers have adequate knowledge and skills on how to use the digital learning materials effectively, they are motivated to utilize digital technology when teaching, issuing instructions, communicating with students and assessing the work of students. The desire to improve their teaching capabilities is also another reason that motivates teachers to employ digital learning materials. For the teachers who are reluctant to utilize digital learning materials, this article offers the solution of skills and persuasive communication-based training to help in motivating them to embrace technology in their curricula.

Sofi, L. (2015). Teaching English in Saudi Arabia Through the Use of Multimedia. USF Scholarship: A Digital Repository @ Gleeson Library | Geschke Center. Retrieved from http://repository.usfca.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1143&context=capstone

According to Sofi, English is taught in Saudi Arabia as a subject and not as a means of communication. This means that the lessons are teacher-centered with the students being passive receivers of information. The purpose of the research conducted by Sofi was to design model lesson plans that require the utilization of contemporary technology, as well as, graphic novels, songs and movies to foster the communicative competence in Saudi Arabia and improve their critical reckoning. The results of the study by the author reveal that lessons and curricula need to be modernized through the use of technology and recreating textbooks to suit the language needs of Saudi students. Some of the recommendations outlined in the article include: students and teachers should possess a basic knowledge in multimedia and technology use, grammar should be taught explicitly in middle schools and multimedia utilized in Saudi schools for teaching English language should be assessed for appropriateness.

Use of technology in learning in Saudi Arabia

This article contributes to my research by outlining the importance of multimedia in teaching English in Saudi schools. Multimedia has proved to be an efficient way of teaching English to Saudi students in Saudi Arabia and in the United States. This is because English is a second language to most of them and thus, they require English-centered lessons to help them fully grasp the concepts of the language. Multimedia is a technological supplement that provides Saudi students with the opportunity to sharpen their verbal and written English language skills without relying wholly on the teachers.

Sung, Y., Chang, K., & Liu, T. (2016). The effects of integrating mobile devices with teaching and learning on students’ learning performance: A meta-analysis and research synthesis. Computers & Education, 94, 252-275.

As stated in this article, personal digital assistants, mobile devices such as laptops and mobile phones have become a learning tool with immense potential both in outdoor and classroom learning. Despite the fact that there have been qualitative analyses of the utilization of mobile devices in education, systematic quantitative analyses of the impacts of mobile-integrated education are still lacking. The study conducted by Sung, Chang and Liu performed a research synthesis and meta-analysis of the impacts of integrated mobile devices in learning and teaching involving one hundred and ten quasiexperimental and experimental journal articles published between 1993 and 2013. The results of the study showed that there was a moderate mean effect size of 0.523 for the utilization of mobile devices in education.

The reason for selecting this article as a source material for my research is because it indicates the effect of mobile technology in learning and teaching on the performance of the students. As revealed in the study conducted by the authors, mobile devices have a significant effect in the learning performance of students. Despite the fact that there is a need for more in-depth experimental research into how teachers reconcile lesson content, educational goals, mobile software and hardware and teaching methods, the research conducted by Sung, Chang and Liu is sufficient to conclude that mobile devices have a significant impact on the learning performance of students in schools where such technology is integrated in the curricula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Alenez, A. (2017). Technology leadership in Saudi schools. Education And Information Technologies, 22(3), 1121-1132. http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-016-9477-x

Almalki, G., & Williams, N. (2012). A Strategy to Improve The Usage of ICT in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Primary School. International Journal Of Advanced Computer Science And Applications, 3(10), 42-49. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.252.4237&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Alrashidi, A. (2014). E-learning in Saudi Arabia: A Review of the Literature. British Journal Of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, 4(5), 656-672. http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/bjesbs/2014/6997

Dede, C. (2014). THE ROLE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IN DEEPER LEARNING. Jobs For TheFuture. Retrieved 12 October 2017, from http://www.jff.org/sites/default/files/publications/materials/The-Role-of-Digital-Technologies-in-Deeper-Learning-120114.pdf

Eady, M., & Lockyer, L. (2013). Tools for learning: technology and teaching strategies. Learning To Teach In The Primary School, Queensland University Of Technology, Australia., 71.

Greenhow, C., Robelia, B., & Hughes, J. (2009). Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship in a Digital Age. Educational Researcher, 38(4), 246 – 259. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0013189X09336671