SITES-M2. Second Information Technology in Education Study Module 2

The IEA Second Information Technology in Education Study Module 2 (SITES-M2) was a qualitative study of innovative pedagogical practices using information and communication technology (ICT).

The study aimed to:

  • identify and describe innovations that were considered valuable by each country and that might be considered for large-scale implementation in schools in other countries;
  • provide policymakers with information to use for making decisions related to ICT and its role in advancing national educational goals;
  • provide teachers and practitioners with new ideas about using ICT in the classroom;
  • identify factors contributing to the successful use of innovative technology-based pedagogical practices.

National research teams in each of the participating countries applied a common set of case study methods to collect and analyze data on the pedagogical practices of teachers and learners, the role of ICT in these practices, and the contextual factors supporting and influencing them. Data were collected from multiple sources for each case, including questionnaires for school principals and technology coordinators, individual or group interviews, classroom observations, and supporting materials (such as teacher lesson plans). In total, 174 case studies from around the world were collected. The case selection and the collection of data were conducted in all participating countries in 2001.

Target population

The case studies of ICT-based innovative pedagogical practices were selected from among classrooms in primary, lower-secondary, and upper-secondary schools.

Participating education systems

Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain (Catalonia), Thailand, and United States.

Key findings

General characteristics of collected cases

The 174 case studies were distributed across a wide range of grade levels and subject areas. As a group, the cases were evenly divided among primary, lower-secondary, and upper-secondary grades. A large number of cases were in the sciences and language arts (both mother tongue and foreign languages). A smaller group of cases were in the social sciences or creative arts. Many of the ICT-based innovations involved multidisciplinary projects.

In a large majority of cases across participating countries, teachers and students engaged in a common set of innovative pedagogical practices supported by technology. In the cases under study, teachers stepped back from their role as knowledge provider to advise students (90% of cases), create structure for student activities (80%), and monitor student progress (76%), while students collaborated with others (83%) and searched for information (74%). These changes portrayed a classroom that was very different from the traditional classroom, where the teacher lectures and students take notes or complete worksheets. They also showed important similarities in how technology was being used in many countries around the world.

Students' activities during ICT-centered lessons

In the selected cases, students were actively engaged in 'constructivist activities', such as searching for information, designing products, and publishing or presenting the results of their work. Students often collaborated with classmates on these projects and occasionally collaborated with others outside the classroom, such as students in other countries. To support these activities, productivity tools (e.g., word processing and presentation software), email, Web resources, and multimedia software were used in the majority of cases.

Teacher behavior during ICT-centered lessons

In a small number of the reported cases, teachers lectured. A large number of case reports indicated that teachers created structure for students by organizing student activities and monitoring or assessing student performance. In over 50% of cases, teachers collaborated with other teachers as part of their innovation. In only a few of the cases reported, teachers collaborated with other people outside the classroom, such as scientists, professors, and business people.

Factors associated with innovative ICT-related classroom practices

The study found that ICT-based innovations had limited impact on other classrooms or schools. In the schools where the innovations had been both sustained for some time and transferred, continuation depended on the energy and commitment of teachers, student support, the perceived value of the innovation, availability of professional development opportunities for teachers, and administrative support. Beyond these factors, innovations were more likely to continue if there was support from others in the school, as well as from external sources, funding, and supportive policies and plans. Particularly important was the connection with national ICT plans that provided resources to enable the innovation to succeed.

Major publications

Kozma, R.B. (Ed.). (2003). Technology, innovation, and educational change: A global perspective. A report of the Second Information Technology in Education Study Module 2. Eugene, OR: ISTE.

Plomp, T., Anderson, R.E., Law, N., & Quale, A. (Eds.). (2003). Cross-national information and communication technology policies and practices in education. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.