Social scripts in educational technology and inclusiveness in classroom practice

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Abstract:

Educational Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be an appropriate tool for creating flexible learning environments. ICT can contribute to flexibility through its potential to keep content up-to-date and to address personal learning needs. ICT could, thus, make learning more accessible to a wider group of students. However, doing this requires that educational tools and the ways they are used in the classroom are experienced as challenging and attractive and, most important, inclusive to the students using them. In order to support the learning of all users, differences between students should be taken into account. In four schools for secondary education in the Netherlands, the relationship between social scripts in educational tools and the inclusiveness of the use of these tools in classroom practice has been studied. Our analysis shows that educational tools indeed differ in the extent of inclusiveness for different groups of students, particularly in their instructional structure. Teachers appeared to reinforce the inclusiveness of the more inclusive tools, but, generally, did not affect the inclusiveness of the less inclusive tools. When more inclusive educational tools were used, students participated more actively - they read the texts better, they asked fewer questions and they collaborated more. This is particularly the case for girls and students from minority groups.

Keywords: ICT; educational technology; ethnicity; gender; inclusiveness; secondary education; social scripts

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2011.538495

Affiliations: 1: Kohnstamm Institute, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: Department of Child Development and Education of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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