Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
McGarr, O; McDonagh, A
International Conference on Mobile Technology in Teacher Education (MiTE)
Technology use in Irish classrooms: what do school inspection reports reveal and how can we learn from them?
Optional Fields
Galway, Ireland

The debate about the use and justification of ICT including mobile technologies in schools has been replaced by a discourse of inevitability where schools of the future are presented as technology-rich sites of learning. The extent to which school inspection reports challenge or affirm this techno-centric discourse is the focus of this paper. This study examined school inspection reports from a sample of post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland from September 2013 to June 2014 (n = 75). The research aimed to identify the references made to ICT, and where present, examine what was reported and how its use was evaluated. The research found that, where mentioned, reference to ICT was characterised by a vagueness which gave little indication of how the technology was actually used. Where descriptions of use were provided, they tended to reflect the use of the technology as a presentation aid for the teacher and limited reference to student-centred use was found. The paper discusses the possible reasons for this type of reporting (and the nature of use reported) and examines the implications for future ICT developments including the use of mobile technologies in the post-primary sector.

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