Community Factors in Technology Adoption in Primary Education: Perspectives from Rural India

Komathi Ale, Arul Chib

Abstract


The role of information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly in the domain of education (ICTE), has been recognized to benefit learning. This article aims to investigate the influential factors that affect the introduction of technology in an Indian rural primary school. The objective was to address current gaps in research by illuminating specific community factors that influence technology adoption. Anchored in the Technology-Community-Management (TCM) theoretical framework as a guide to analysis of community aspects, the main research question investigated the factors that contributed to, or detracted from, technology impact on education in a developing country context. Primary data were gathered during one month of fieldwork in the Indian village of Pudur. From June to July 2009, fieldwork was conducted in a rural primary school to validate the community claims of ownership, needs, and training. Qualitative research methods were employed; the respondents were 10 randomly selected children, between the ages of six and nine, studying in grades 1 through 4, and of both genders. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with three school teachers, and nine parents. Findings revealed that community factors that influence the adoption of ICTs in the rural education context can be translated into three claims, as suggested by the community dimension of the TCM model: a provision for unbiased technology access to children; the need to maximize application of local language within technology and content; and equipping teachers with technological skills while creating positive attitudes toward technology adoption. Implications for the needs, training, and ownership factors are discussed.

Keywords


Education, India, Computers, Primary School, Rural development

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