A Study of the Socio-technical Influences on Information and Communications Technology in Girls' Schools in Saudi Arabia

Open Access
Author:
Almoaiqel, Sarah
Graduate Program:
Information Sciences and Technology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
February 23, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Madhu Reddy, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Integration
  • Socio-Technical
Abstract:
The integration of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in the classroom has shown to have many benefits. Consequently, educational authorities around the world have been pressuring schools and teachers to integrate ICTs into the classroom. The Saudi Arabian government began its ICT-related educational reform by providing resources, such as resource rooms with interactive whiteboards and projectors in classrooms, and mandating teachers to become ICT adopters. Unfortunately, few gains have been observed and many challenges have yet to be addressed. This study focuses on ICT adoption in Saudi Arabian girl’s schools and examines the challenges to the currently partial ICT integration and to the goal of full ICT integration. To investigate ICT integration in schools, I conducted an interview-based study of teachers and school administrators in six Saudi Arabian girls’ public schools. My findings indicate that for Saudi Arabia to succeed in ICT integration in education, the government must first address the challenges to the currently partial ICT integration and then address the upcoming challenges for full integration of ICTs in the classroom. Factors that affect the currently partial ICT integration include: (1) formal training, (2) adequate resources, (3) awareness of value of ICTs, and (4) teacher evaluation. Full ICT integration creates challenges such as: (1) ICT curricula and ICT-pedagogy integration, (2) technical support, and (3) additional resources. Four different cultural insights were uncovered through this study: (1) effect of organizational culture on ICT integration, (2) effect of curricular differences between genders on ICT integration, (3) effect of perceived gender role on ICT integration, and (4) effect of social customs and traditions on ICT integration. The Saudi government must take into consideration the influence of culture as it attempts to integrate ICTs into the classroom.