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Digital transformation in education: A mixed methods study of teachers and systems

McCarthy, Aidan (2020) Digital transformation in education: A mixed methods study of teachers and systems. Professional Doctorate thesis, Murdoch University.

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The growth in digital transformation in many societies is outpacing its uptake in education. Leaders in education are seeking guidance about best practices to achieve their transformation goals, from mobile innovation for classroom teachers to system wide digital transformational change. The goal of this thesis is to offer insights, strategies and guidance for education leaders as they implement digital technologies for the purpose of transforming teaching, learning and administration. The mixed methods study utilised teacher interviews and surveys in a hospital school to gather data for descriptive statistics and inductive analysis, and qualitative thematic content analysis of existing industry and education digital transformation frameworks. The findings are presented in three articles, the first two from the hospital school setting. The focus of Paper One is teachers’ professional learning needs to enable effective mobile technology integration in a hospital school setting. Paper Two examines the effectiveness of a customised professional development program for teachers to facilitate integration of mobile technologies with digital pedagogies. The findings of the hospital school-based research identified three types of teacher professional learning needs to enable the effective use of mobile technology: technological, pedagogical, and personal support. Participation in a customised professional development program resulted in notable improvement in hospital teachers’ perceived preparedness to use mobile technology to transform pedagogical practices. Furthermore, technology needs were significantly impacted as teachers gained confidence and collaborated as a learning community. The third Paper used thematic content analysis to identify critical components that provide guidance for education leaders embarking on digital transformation. This Paper recognised four key digital transformation needs: leadership, people, experience, and technology. The thesis affirms that identifying the needs of key stakeholders is a fundamental first step when embarking on transformative initiatives in education, and offers guidance on developing a coherent strategy that addresses drivers for scalable and sustainable change.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
United Nations SDGs: Goal 4: Quality Education
Supervisor(s): Maor, Dorit and McConney, Andrew
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