Colophon

This publication is one of the results (Deliverable 8) of the EU project 'Supporting Continuous Professional Development of VET teachers in the use of Interactive Whiteboards' (SMART VET). It reports the results of a needs analysis carried out to inspire the design and delivery of materials to foster the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) through the delivery of professional development programmes for VET teachers in Ireland. More information on the SMART VET project is available on the website: www.smartvetproject.eu This publication, the related questionnaire and the survey data report can also be downloaded here. Text: Ton Koenraad (TELLConsult, www.tellconsult.eu , Netherlands) Editing and Layout: FIT, Ireland June, 2012 Acknowledgments We would like to thank the following persons who have contributed greatly towards the success of this phase of the project.  Angela Higgins (County Wicklow Vocational Education Committee) for her organisational and communication support, the provision of additional data and the reporting of outcomes of the focus group’s deliberations. The members of the focus groups for their time and input. All the members of the SMART VET project team, and Pat O’M ahony (IVEA) in particular, for their thorough discussion of and extensive feedback on draft versions of the questionnaire and the present report. And, of course all the respondents who contributed by providing data and the generous use they made of the options (n=5) to provide additional full text reactions which resulted - with its combination of quantitative and qualitative data – in a rich source of information that, in our view, has well served the purpose for which the activity was undertaken: to provide research-based input for the design of materials for and delivery of a professional development programme with respect to interactive classroom technologies.

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Contents Summary
1. Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……… ... 5 2. Methodology……………………………………………………………….......…………………………………………………………..6 2.1 Research Questions…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………6 2.2 Questionnaire development ………………………………………………………… ......................................... 6 2.3 Questionnaire contents ……………………………………………………………… ........................................... 7 2.4 Data collection…………………………………………………………….………………………………………………………….8 2.5 Communication …………………………………………………………............................................................. 8 2.6 Data Analysis………………………………………………………………............................................................ 9 2.7 Feedback…………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………..9 2.8 Need analysis report development……………………………………………….……………… .......................... 9

3. Summary of results………………………………………………………….……………………………………….…………………10 3.1 Section A: Questionnaire, respondents and representativeness ............................................ 10 3.2 Section B: Interactive Whiteboards: availability, competence levels and use ……………………...12 3.3 Section C: Personal and professional ICT skills, professional development, learning style & training delivery preference …………………………………………………………………………………………………… .... 24 3.4 Additional information regarding skills development requirements ..………………………………….25 3.5 Preferred mode of delivery of professional development training (Q.25) …..……………………..26 3.6 Preferred setting to receive professional development training (Q.26) .…………………….…………27 3.7 Further comments (Q. 27)……………………………………………………………………………………………………..28

4. Interpretation and discussion of results………………………………………………………………………………………29 4.1 Data Collection and representativeness………………………………………………………………………………..29 4.2 IWB availability, brands and related equipment. (Q. 8, 9, 10)………………………………………….…..29 4.3 Actual IWB use and interest in future or better use (Q. 11, 13, 14, 15)……..………………………...29 4.4 Neutral positions (Q. 12, 19, 21, and 25)………………..…………………………………………………….……….30 4.5 IWB training and resources (Q.17, 18) ……….……………………………………………………… ................ 32 4.6 Teacher IWB confidence levels (Q. 19) …..…………….………………………………………………………….…..32 4.7 IWB access, methodology and teachers’/tutors’ beliefs about educational benefits of using IWBs ................................................................................................................................... 33 4. 8 Personal and professional ICT skills …..…………….………………………………………………………….……….34

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5. Recommendations…………………………………………………............... ………………………………………………….….35 6. References…………………………………………………… .............................................................................. 37 7. Appendixes………………………………………………………………………… ........................................................ 38 Appendixes 1 Appendixes 2 Appendixes 3 Appendixes 4 Questionnaire development…………..…………….…………………………………………….……..38 Questionnaire contents………………………………………………………………… ..................... 42 Data on Educational settings in County Wicklow…..…………………………………………..47 Research Questions………………………………………………..……………………………………………48

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Summary
As part of the EU project 'Supporting Continuous Professional Development of VET teachers in the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) the present study reports the results of a needs analysis. This research project information aims to inform the design and delivery of training materials and programmes to foster the use of IWBs through the delivery of education and training programmes in Ireland. With the help of an online questionnaire distributed among teachers/tutors based in Ireland data was collected in March 2012 to establish the IWB & general ICT competencies of teachers/tutors, the availability IWBs and levels of IWB use in Co Wicklow VEC schools and centres of education. The questionnaire also addressed the confidence of teachers/tutors in the use of IWBs, the extent to which teachers/tutors use ICT applications in their work, the knowledge that teachers/tutors have of various IWB functionalities and their beliefs about the extent to which IWBs can enhance both teaching and learning. The measures taken to ensure the representativeness of the survey responses set for those delivering education and training in Co. Wicklow VEC were successful. The following are the main findings resulting from an analysis of the data gathered through the survey.  In general the teachers/tutors acknowledge that their competence in the use of IWBs merits being addressed and many of them report that they are motivated to become more competent in IWB use.  Although respondents report that they are reasonably confident about their personal and professional ICT skills, they are interested in developing further competence, in becoming more expert in integrating IT into their teaching and in applications relevant to using IWBs to improve teaching and learning.  Most respondents appear to prefer a face-to-face and blended approach to professional development - preferably in small groups that facilitate: hands-on activities, collaborative learning with peers and opportunities to pilot subject specific materials in actual practice. The fact that this research has shown that the majority of the respondents a) do not use the IWB b) are interested in using it in their teaching and c) would welcome training supports the rationale for the SMART VET project.

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1. Introduction
The present research is part of the EU project 'Supporting Continuous Professional Development of VET teachers in the use of Interactive Whiteboards' (SMART VET, 20112013). This project intends to address issues related to the competence levels of Irish VET teachers with respect to the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB). The aims of project are to: identify good practice in the delivery of training on IWBs and to transfer it to the VET sector in Ireland; provide VET teachers with the competencies needed to design educational resources suited to being used with IWBs and to integrate them in everyday teaching activities; foster the use of IWBs in the delivery of professional development (CPD) programmes to VET teachers One of the objectives of the project is to develop a training programme and related continuing professional development (CPD) materials for training teachers/tutors in the appropriate use of IWBs. To inform the design and delivery of these materials to the actual and current training needs of education and training practitioners a needs analysis was carried out. This document reports on the methodology and results of this research. It is based on the following sources of information. Analysis of data collected through an online questionnaire distributed among Ireland-based (Co. Wicklow Vocation al Education Committee) teachers/tutors. Reflections by the SMART-VET project team on the data and on the researcher’s interpretation of the survey results. Feedback on the survey results published in a first draft of the Report and related points and additional information collected from a focus group. Feedback from the project team on pre-final draft versions of the report.

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Teacher’s comment: ‘I think it would be very beneficial to receive training in my subject area and also in applications I can use to create my own content’. -

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2. Methodology

2.1 Research Questions
The main aim of the needs analysis was to collect and analyse information to inform the design and delivery of interventions targeted at providing teachers/tutors in the Irish vocational education sector with the competences to use IWBs and related technologies in their work, to increase the use of IWBs in Irish second level and further education programmes, and to devise effective and efficient training programmes to provide teachers/tutors with the competences to use IWBs effectively. The main research questions that needed to be answered in this respect were:   To what extent and in what ways are IWBs being used in the Irish vocational education sector? What should be the content and delivery mode of a training programme to provide teachers/tutors in the Irish vocational education sector with the necessary competences? A number of considerations (geographical spread of the target group, constraints in manpower and budget, required flexibility) led to an online questionnaire being selected as the principal research instrument.

2.2 Questionnaire development
TELLConsult was commissioned by the SMART VET project to develop a concept questionnaire to collect the data necessary to establish both the IWB and general ICT competencies of the target group of teachers/tutors and the levels of IWB use by Irish teachers/tutors. Also, to enable the results of the survey being compared with results of other similar, international surveys, some questions used in the EU project ‘iTILT’ (www.itilt.eu) were included in the survey, after being slightly adapted to suit the specific survey context. Having been reviewed by FIT and Co Wicklow staff and all SMART_VET partners a final version of the survey was put online by FIT staff using Survey Monkey.

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2.3 Questionnaire contents
The questions in the survey were categorized under the following 3 topic clusters: Section A: Personal Profile The purpose of the first set of questions (1-7) was to gather background information from each respondent and so make it easier to collate all the data from the different organizations. These questions were included to allow the responses to be aggregated and cross-referenced for particular factors (e.g. teaching experience, individual schools and educational sectors) and to facilitate possible future assessment of the impact of the training programme. Section B: Using the Interactive Whiteboard The questions in this section (8-22) are central to the questionnaire asking respondents about three elements:  Their attitudes to IWBs   Their pedagogical beliefs about the use of IWBs Their use of IWBs

Data was collected on a number of aspects including:      the IWB brands available, IWB related equipment available and access to IWBs (Q. 8-10) experience of using IWBs and reasons for non-use (Q. 11, 12, 14) willingness to start using IWBs and/or extend/improve current use and views on how to achieve improved use (Q. 13, 15, 16) views on training received in the use of IWBs and availability of IWB resources (Q. 17, 18) level of competence in using IWBs and respondents’ views on how their IWBrelated skills could be best be (further) developed (Q. 19, 20) Also, to facilitate further analysis, the individual statements (n=23) regarding the use of particular IWB features (Q. 19) were divided into four (4) sub-sections: textual annotation, graphical annotation, focusing and multiple resources (such as board-specific objects e.g. timers and audio & video files etc.) The words ‘I am very confident...’ have been used as a strong emotion that could not be easily misinterpreted by respondents. The 7th column ‘I do not know what this is’ was added as we cannot assume that all respondents are familiar with (the reference to) every IWB feature listed in the questionnaire and this column allows them to report this.

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A number of items (16, 18, 22, 23) in Question 19 refer to teaching skills related to IWB materials design and IWB-based lesson planning. Section C: General use of ICT, professional development, learning style & training delivery preferences The purpose of this section (Questions 23-26) is to gain an understanding of the respondents’ general ICT competence levels and use of applications on a day to day basis. It also allows comparison with responses in Section B.

2.4 Data collection
In collaboration with County Wicklow Vocational Education Committee (VEC), measures were taken to ensure that numbers and characteristics of prospective respondents would be representative of the entire target group (i.e. teachers in the Irish Vocational Education sector) All of the teachers who participated in the Survey were employees of County Wicklow VEC. Principals/directors/managers of twenty different education and training entities (second level schools and centres of education) in County Wicklow VEC (see Appendix 4) were invited to encourage staff to participate in the survey using a standardized mail message and follow up phone calls. Having received what was considered to be a representative set of responses (n= 200)1 the questionnaire was closed on March 20 after having been available for 23 days, after an extension of the closing date by 14 days.

2.5 Communication
To support the start, progress and finalization of the data collection process and to reduce risks of teachers/tutors not responding to the survey, a communication plan was developed specifying the content of and dates for communication activities including prenotification, the actual invitation to participate in the survey and some follow-up messages (mail messages, telephone calls) for the various parties involved including management, prospective respondents, project partners and the general public.

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200 respondents started the survey and 171 fully completed the questionnaire (85.5%)

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2.6 Data Analysis
TELLConsult has developed a draft version of the questionnaire results based on the numerical data generated by Survey Monkey standard functionality. Additional textual information resulting from reactions to the open questions (Q.3, 18, 20, 22, 24) was analysed with the help of text analysis software (TextStat)

2.7 Feedback
FIT, County Wicklow VEC and TELLConsult have pooled and discussed their interpretations of the information that the survey data provided. Other project partners were invited to share their reflections on the survey results and to identify issues that might need further exploration. Once the partner feedback was processed for a pre-final version of the report, it was made available to a focus group to provide more information on specific issues and to validate the conclusions and contents in this report. This group consisted of school principals and co-ordinators of adult education centres. Each of these participants had already made a commitment to the use of IWB technology in their centres, and to all intents were self-selecting in their choice to attend the Focus Group meeting.

2.8 Needs analysis report development
TELLConsult processed the results of the focus group feedback sessions and produced an update of the pre-final version. The final version was prepared with lay-out and editorial support from FIT staff.

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3. Summary of R esults
3.1. Section A: Questionnaire, Respondents and Representativeness 3.1.1. Representativeness
While it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions about education and training within the Irish vocational education sector, in the opinion of the Irish Vocation al Education Association (the Sector’s representative body) the survey findings should be sufficient to inform policy and practice around the use of IWBs throughout the sector. It is currently estimated that some 24,000 teachers/tutors are employed in that sector.

3.1.2 Respondents’ Profiles
3.1.2.1 Organisations Represented Of the education entities approached 16 responded. The respondents reported to work at 24 different locations. Six entities were represented by less than 5% of the total of respondents (n<9 per entity). The 6 best represented schools/centres, comprising a range of 9-10.5 % of all responses, were represented by teacher numbers ranging from 18 to 21.

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3.1.2.2 Subjects taught (Q. 3) As the responses to Q3 testify, a large majority of the respondents (n=168) teach at least two subjects (Appendix 2). This greatly contributes to the variety of subjects (> 25) represented in this respondents’ group 3.1.2.3 Education sector (Q. 4) More than half of the respondents work in a Second Level School/Community Colleges (55.5%). Other sectors represented are (in descending order): Adult Basic Education (18.5%), Youthreach and Back to Education Initiative, both 10.5%, Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (9.5%), Post Leaving Certificate College (7.5%) and Community Education (2.0%) 3.1.2.4 Gender (Q. 5) Based on 194 responses it appears that slightly more than three quarters of the respondents are female (77.8%) and 22% male, reflecting the picture across the population of teachers in County Wicklow VEC. 3.1.2.5 Age and Teaching Experience (Q. 6, 7) With 28.6% the group aged 41 –50 is the largest, closely followed by the 31–40 group (27.6%). The percentages for the other age ranges are: 20-30 (21.9%), 51 – 60 (16.8%), 61+ (5.1%).

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From the 190 available responses2 it appears that the largest group, representing 34.2% of all respondents have 11 – 20 years of teaching experience. Percentages of other experience ranges are in descending order: 25.8% (6 – 10 years), 25.3% (0 – 5 years), 9.5% (21 – 30 years), 4.7% (31 – 40 years). And finally this research can boast one person who has more than 40 years of experience.

3.2 Section B: Interactive Whiteboards: availability, competence levels and use 3.2.1 IWB availability, brands and related equipment. (Q. 8, 9, 10)
The vast majority of respondents (86,7%) reports the presence of IWBs in their schools, centres and colleges. For 11.7% of the respondents this is not the case. 3 respondents do not know if there are IWBs in the buildings they teach in and 78.6% do not know if there are related pieces of equipment like document cameras, tablets and response systems. Document cameras are reported more frequently (11.2 %) than tablets (8.2%) and response systems (4.1%). Almost half of the respondents (45.4%) are not aware of the brand of the available IWBs. The brands SMARTBOARD (36.2%) and PROMETHEAN (28.6%) are by far the most frequently mentioned.

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Not all respondents answered this question

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3.2.2 Actual IWB use and interest in future or better use (Q. 11, 13, 14, 15)
A majority (63.3%) of the respondents (n=196) reports that they do not use the IWBs as opposed to 36.7% who do (n=72). Of these IWB users, 32 teachers are first year users, 26 have used the board for between two and three years. Eleven teachers (15.9%) have been IWB-users for 4 years or more. Apart from being generally slightly younger, this group’s profile is not significantly different from the non-users in terms of gender, school/centre staff and educational sector.

Also the variety in (first) subjects is comparable. Most frequently mentioned are Maths, English and Communications followed by History, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Biology and Irish. Cross tabulation shows that non-use is not related to gender, age groups or teaching experience. More than three quarters (81.7%) of the non-users (n= 98) indicate they would like to make use of IWBs in their teaching. 5% are not interested and 13.3% don’t know yet. Almost all IWB-using teachers (92.8%) indicate they would like to extend and/or improve their IWB-use.

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3.2.3 Reasons for non-use (Q. 12)3
To find out more about what has kept them from using IWBs, the non-users were asked to indicate the relative importance of a number of potential conditions/reasons. Lack of regular access to IWBs was mentioned as the most important reason (82.9%), followed by insufficient training (66.1%). Opinions differed on the issue of availability of materials: 31.3% of 97 respondents said it had contributed to their non-use whereas 45.3% felt it did not have an effect; 22.7% took a neutral position. And although 67.6% of the nonusers acknowledge the added value of IWBs, 56.3% of the same non-user group indicated that they can adequately support their teaching using Internet and a data projector.

Asked whether developing other ICT skills was greater priority than learning about how to use IWBs, 33.3% responded that this was the case. For more teachers (44%) however this was not the case and therefore provides no explanation for their non-use. 21.9% took a neutral stance on this issue. Additional reasons for non-use mentioned were: current role in the organization (e.g. management (2x)) or lack of facilities (2x: IWB, Internet). One respondent considered IWB use inappropriate for the subjects s/he taught (e.g. literacy, child care).

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To avoid information overload (dis)agreement with statements using a 5-point Likert scale has been reported by adding up figures for the columns 1,2 and 3,4 in this and similar question types.

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3.2.4 IWB training and resources (Q.17)
A majority (57.4%) of the respondents (n=174) report to have had inadequate training to operate the IWB technically, for educational purposes (59.5%) and for the specific subjects they teach (70.5%). Almost half of them (49.7%) find it difficult to locate appropriate resources for the topics they teach using the IWB. The scores of the IWB using respondents are not significantly different for all these aspects.

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3.2.5 Additional information on the requirements for the (IWB) skills development (Q.18)
One hundred and five respondents added textual comments to their responses to question 17, providing more personal information on the need for the development of their (IWB) skills. These comments ran to some 2,410 words. For further text analysis the following high frequency content words were selected: a) training , IWB, would, like, more, not, use(-d)(-ing)(-ful) (occurring in the frequency range: 20-75) b) subject, how (to), need, resource(s), skills, received, input, area, further, specific(ally), subject(s), benefit, course(s) (occurring in the frequency range: 5-19) Corpus-based research yielded (optional) elements for model sentence structures to cover the most frequent and typical statements and information in this text sample:

I we One

would

like need benefit from

more basic further specific subject area

IWB

Input courses resources training

Representative phrases from real text instances4 from the comments corpus (question 18) are for example: ‘… I feel I would NEED SPECIFIC TRAINING in how to best use the IWB in the delivery of art… ’ or ’… and up skilling generally would be great. I NEED MORE TRAINING in order to be confident using the IWB…’ and ‘Although I have participated in TRAINING on the USE of IWB I feel that TRAINING should be on-going and I WOULD be very happy to participate..’

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Capitals added by the author of this report to stress occurrence of high frequency words

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3.2.6 Teacher IWB confidence levels (Q. 19)
To collect information on teachers’ awareness of and familiarity with specific IWB functionalities respondents were asked to indicate degrees of (dis)agreement with statements of the type: ‘I am very confident using [functionality x]. The results below are based on 174 responses. As can be expected, the results in this section are particularly influenced by the fact that the majority of the respondents are non-IWB users. Therefore, we also report the scores of the IWB-users group (n=72) where relevant. On average, 16.8% of respondents report that they do not know the 21 functionalities referred to in the question’s items. 19.3% take a neutral stance (neither agree nor disagree). The average of the IWB-using respondents for this is slightly less (14.8%) and 5.6% for non-familiarity with the IWB functionalities. Based on the characteristics they have in common we have clustered these functionalities into the categories ‘textual annotation tools’, graphical annotation tools, focusing tools and multiple resources (e.g. timers, audio, video etc.)

3.2.7 Textual annotation tools (Q.19: items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
The pen and eraser tools appear to be the best known of all the available IWB functionalities: 40.2 and 41.4% respectively. The percentages of respondents who indicate that they are not (at all) very confident with tools like handwriting recognition, the floating keyboard, thought/speech bubbles or split screens vary between 41.9% and 49.5%. The results for the IWB-users group are generally in line with these percentages, although for the pen and eraser tools they are somewhat higher: 47.4% and 50% respectively.

3.2.8 Graphical annotation tools (Q.19: items 7, 8, 9)
The tools in this category can be used to focus special attention on specific elements of the contents shown on the board. The percentages of teachers not feeling very confident using these functionalities are: for highlighting 39.7%, shading 42.6% and underlining 41.3%. It is only for the highlighting tool that results for the IWB-users deviate: 52.4 % indicate that they are (very) confident.

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3.2.9 Focusing tools (Q.19: items 10, 11, 12)
Percentages of respondents not (at all) at ease with other means of drawing attention are: for spotlighting 41.4%, revealing 47.7% and drag and drop 46.6%. IWB users do not score significantly different here.

3.2.10 Multiple resources (Q.19: items 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21)
Confidence in using audio (52.4%), video (57.2%) and images (49.2%) is significantly higher for IWB users than for the generality of respondents where the percentages were: 25,9% (audio), 28.2% (video) and 16.7% (images), respectively.

3.2.11 Design and planning competences related to IWB use (Q.19: items 16, 18, 22, 23)
Half of the respondents do not feel (at all) confident in saving annotated pages for future use and in assessing the quality of IWB materials (50.4%). Slightly more than half of the respondents (51.8%) do not feel (at all) confident adding navigation to IWB pages and 54% do not feel confident adapting materials to (better) suit lesson objectives. The chart below represents the scores for the reported confidence levels of the IWB using respondents (n = 63)

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3.2.12 Open text reactions on skills development (Q.20)
85 participants responded when asked to provide additional information regarding the requirements for the development of their skills. In an attempt to find additional indicators of potential differences in the needs of IWB using respondents and the non-users their full text responses were also analysed separately. For this we first compared the high frequency content words in the two text files to see if different patterns would show up: Frequency Ranges 10 – 20 IWB users train (-ed, -ing), would, use, more, not Non IWB users iwb, train (ed, -ing), use(ing), would, need, more, not

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Frequency Ranges 03 – 09

IWB users iwb, need, using, know, like, very, confident (-ce), access, area, class, features, feel, practice

Non IWB users access, confident (-ce), time, used, able, course, most, additional, aspects, experience, like, received, skills, subject, teaching, useful,

The considerable overlap between the two groups allowed further analysis of specific key words and possible related topics. Find typical statements and information related to some of these key words in the table below. Key word / Topic Would IWB users ‘I would like to receive dedicated training to increase my confidence using the IWB. I would also like time to explore techniques and resources specifically for Maths.’ ‘’I've seen the above tools: highlight, spotlight, hide/reveal, etc. but am shy in using them - would appreciate advice about how best to do this.’ Non IWB users ‘While I have received some training and during these sessions was able to confidently carry out tasks as shown I would require additional and more intensive training and preferably on-site support (e.g. from another staff member) to become competent and confident in the use of the IWB.’ ‘Unfortunately I have not received any training using the IWB, but would love the opportunity to gain confidence using all these applications’ train (-ed, -ing) ‘I am familiar with a lot of the above through selflearning. However, as I was never officially trained it would be great to gain ‘I need complete training on the use of IWB.’ ‘As I have little experience of using a whiteboard, any training would be helpful and

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Key word / Topic

IWB users more knowledge in various areas.’ ‘I have attended training, but the pace of the class was very fast and did not allow for opportunities for class to try techniques’ ‘I would like further training to progress the above skills. Task specific hands on training would be useful’

Non IWB users beneficial to my learners’. ‘Training on how to use the IWB and examples of how it can be used in the specific subjects that I teach.’ ‘I would need training on how to use the interactive whiteboard. I am unaware of any useful resources that can be used in the teaching of my subjects.

need

‘As per previous question I would need training in all aspects of whiteboard use. I can write on it and use it to play PowerPoint and access internet materials but that's it. ‘Just need to practice and play around more. I haven't found much use for the tablet in my subject areas.’

‘I am unable to use this white board and need training of how to use in my subject’. ‘I need more training to gain confidence I have not yet had access to a IWB in my teaching’ ‘Just a refresher course related to my subject areas I have not used one in years but when I did use one, it was grand it’s just you need to have access to the IWB to get use out of it and develop skills’.

confident (-ce)

‘Some hands on training would help to build my confidence in the use of interactive whiteboards. I do not often have access to one and rarely use it

‘I think an in-depth IWB course covering all aspects of the use of the IWB should be offered to teachers in order to acquire the necessary skills to a very

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Key word / Topic

IWB users when I do as I don’t know how to use it as more than a projector.’

Non IWB users confident level.’ ‘Am an IT tutor so I feel confident about the above. I just require the time to access a whiteboard. Time is the big issue. However I am open to going on a course.’

It appears that both groups mention the need for (more) access to and training in the use of IWBs with a number of respondents stressing the importance of a subject specific dimension to training. For the group that currently uses the IWB the emphasis is on (more) training to boost confidence levels, to enhance the use of different features and the need for greater awareness around subject specific resources.

IWB-using respondent’s comment: I can find my way around the IWB fairly well, however I am not very confident. I would benefit from use and training.

3.2.13 IWB access, methodology and teachers’/tutors beliefs about educational benefits of using IWBs(Q. 21)
From the survey responses (varying from 169 to174), it appears that 58.4% of the teachers/tutors do not have access to an IWB every time they need one. 46% of the respondents who report that they use IWBs have unlimited access, with 25 % using it for every lesson. When asked how they use the board pedagogically whole class teaching appears to be the most frequent use (57.1%), followed by small group work (42.9%), independent work by students (37.1%) and individual work (23%). 54% of the respondents feel that IWBs increases student engagement and participation and also that the IWB can cater for all abilities and needs (46.2%). The results for the IWB using group are: (69.8%) engagement, (73.0%) motivation and 64.5% for mixed ability.

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The percentages of respondents who take a neutral stance with respect to this potential added value are 35.1% (engagement), 35.8% (motivation) and 40.4% (mixed ability) respectively. In response to Question 22, sixty-six respondents provided additional information around their use of IWBs. Topics selected on the basis of word frequency in the comments made by the IWB using respondents (n= 22) address issues such as the following:  The limited access to IWBs and its effect on actual use I have access to an IWB only 8 classes out of 29 in my weekly timetable. If I could use it properly and had more access to it, I would use it and let students use it

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The need for additional training to expand pedagogical applications and procedures I have not used the IWB for individual or small group work but would implement these techniques with further information on how best to use them in the classroom. I would like to be able to video and save data and re-use the material for further use. I don’t think I would use it that much for everyday Art but need to grade up for Leaving Cert. Art History.

Student learning In order to make lessons more enjoyable and to engage the students more IWB can be crucial in facilitating students to regain ownership of their learning. I find that it engages all students regardless of ability but I would not consider myself an expert and therefore would be happy to participate in any training/development that is offered.

3.3 Section C: Personal and professional ICT skills, professional development, learning style & training delivery preferences
As general ICT skills also come into play when using the IWB a question regarding teachers’ general use of ICT on a day to day basis was included in the questionnaire. The information summarised below is based on an average of 170 responses.

3.3.1 Internet
Items 1-4, related to Internet use, show that 98.2% of the respondents feel (very) confident using the internet, bookmarking webpages (81.1%), using e-mail (96.4%) and social media (71%). IWB using respondents (n= 63) scored slightly higher on all skills.

3.3.2 Applications
Items 5,6,9, relating to the use of personal productivity applications and skills, show that respondents feel (very) confident using a word processor (95.9%), spread sheets (72.5%), PowerPoint (84.8%) and file management (85.4%). Except for spread sheets (63.5%) the IWB users scored slightly higher on all other application use and file management skills.

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As to the use of applications and general tools for professional purposes (items 7, 8, 10, 11) 84.8% report feeling (very) confident using presentation software and images for educational purposes (84.2%).

3.3.3 Using Virtual Learning Environments and Intranets, designing materials

Fifty-nine per cent declare that they are (very) confident users of their organisation’s intranet, fewer respondents (24.9%) express confidence in using the local Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), with (48.3%) taking a neutral position and 26.8% reporting not to feel confident (at all). The responses in relation to the Virtual Learning Environment are based on the interpretation of ‘virtual learning environment’, as there is no organization wide VLE in County Wicklow VEC. The respondents may be referring to an ‘in-house’ VLE, - located in their own school or centre. Except for using images (87.3%) the IWB users had lower confidence scores relating to intranet and VLE use with more respondents taking a neutral position for intranet (35.5%) and VLE use (50%) than for the other items. The majority of the teachers/tutors who responded (n=167) to the questions about designing materials (Q. 23, items 12 and 13) declare themselves to be (very) confident designing their own (84.4%) and/or adapting teaching materials using ICT tools (79.8%). IWB using respondents scored 80.7% and 82.% respectively.

3.4 Additional information regarding skills development requirements

With respect to the relatively low confidence levels for the use of VLEs and/or Intranets, it should be noted that some 20 per cent of the respondents who added open text comments (n=52) in Question 24 reported non-availability of VLEs and/or Intranets. Other, more frequent, topics in the textual comments on personal and professional ICT skills include:

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-

Integration of IT in teaching I have a general interest in IT and would like to incorporate Smartboard more into my teaching. I would like to be able to incorporate various on-line resources in formation of teaching material, e.g. how to make clips from audio-visual sources and readily access them within other teaching material, like Microsoft word, excel or Power Point.

-

Materials design I can do basic power point but would love to me more proficient and make more sophisticated presentations I generally find that the best way to learn how to effectively use any new IT equipment/gadget is to use it oneself, and see the various ways in which it can be used and adapted to the subject and students being taught.

-

A need for spread sheet training … would benefit from more information regarding spread sheets I would like Excel training I'm not very confident in using spread sheets but am improving. I just need to introduce them more into my record keeping.

-

3.5 Preferred mode of delivery of professional development training (Q.25)
Of the 5 formats offered for receiving professional development training, 81.3% of the 155 respondents indicated a preference for the ‘face to face ‘mode, while 40% of the 150 respondents opted for the ‘blended model’. As a first choice the other options scored as follows: 23.1% of 147 respondents opted for printed materials, 14.6% of 144 respondents preferred content on CD-ROM or Memory stick and 9.4% of 138 respondents preferred the online format. When we also take into account respondents’ second preferences, the preferred modes for receiving professional development around the use of IWBs are as follows. 1. Face to face (92.9%) 2. Blended (72%) 3. Printed materials (61.2%) 4. Online (44.2%) 5. CD-ROM / stick (41%)

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Also, 46.7% of 137 respondents indicate that they would be happy whatever way training is offered. The preferences of the IWB users show a comparable trend with face-to-face and blended as first choice but with a slight preference for CD-ROM over online.

3.6 Preferred setting to receive professional development training (Q.26)
Of the 4 settings offered for receiving professional development training 57.3% of the 171 respondents indicated they would most prefer a ‘ group discussion or workshop setting’, closely followed by the related option: ‘in a classroom situation with my peers’ (56.1%). 19,9% indicated a preference for ‘1:1 sessions’, while 10.5% opted for ‘study at home, in my own time’. The responses (n= 38) from the IWB using group showed the same pattern.

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In responding to this question, respondents were able to select multiple options so this analysis indicates what settings would be acceptable to respondents rather than a hierarchical ranking of settings. In two of the 3 additional, open text responses to Question 25 and 26 the importance of interaction and the Q & A possibilities that small groups and 1:1 can provide was mentioned.

3.7 Further comments (Q. 27)

To conclude the questionnaire question 27 offered respondents the possibility of adding further comments. Twenty-four respondents availed of this option, with a number of respondents providing greater detail about their professional development preferences.  I think in the workshop getting us to do a lesson plan for our subject and delivering is very productive rather than just been shown loads of amazing things and off you go on your own.  Training is useful if it is set out so you can practice what you are learning in between sessions rather than trying to take in all the learning in one go.  We need to have time to play around with the IWB and also to have clear step-by-step instructions.  I think that group learning in professional development is vital as you learn so much from participants as well as the trainer.  It is important for you to be able practice using IWBs while in training not just look at someone else operating it. Other comments showed the appreciation of a number of respondents (n=6) for the project initiative.  I am happy that the use of IWB is being addressed as I have felt the need for training on IWB since it first arrived in our centre. I feel that training is long overdue.   Thank you (3x) I would greatly appreciate any new advice/training you could provide about IWBs!

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4. Interpretation and discussion of results
4.1 Data Collection and representativeness
Considering the relatively short period devoted to data collection the results of the survey, in terms of the response rate and the data set realised, proved successful. Furthermore, the response can be considered representative on a number of dimensions: age, subjects taught, teaching experience, the presence of both IWB users and non-users, and the inclusion of respondents in management related roles. Distribution across gender, locations and educational sectors also mirrors the data for the total VET teaching community5 in County Wicklow VEC with the larger numbers of female teachers and teachers working in mainstream/second level schools (see Appendix 4). Below we will comment on the results for a number of questions and questionnaire items.

4.2 IWB availability, brands and related equipment. (Q. 8, 9, 10)
IWBs appear to be available in the majority of the settings that participated in this research. Further analysis shows that the teachers/tutors reporting the absence of IWBs (n=23) in the locations they work in represent 7 settings (9 locations). Given that the majority of respondents indicate that they do not use IWBs it is understandable that three quarters of the respondents do not know what brands of IWB are available to them or if there are related pieces of equipment like document cameras and/or tablets, etc. available. It should be noted that about one third of the teachers who do use the IWB are not aware of these peripherals either.

4.3 Actual IWB use and interest in future or better use (Q. 11, 13, 14, 15)
The rationale for the SMART_VET project can be said to be borne out by the fact that the majority of the respondents indicate that a) they do not use the IWB b) are interested in using it in their teaching and c) would welcome training in the use of IWBs.

In this respect it should however also be noted that the respondents constitute a self-selected group that might have been more prepared to take part in this research because of a positive attitude towards the issues addressed.
5

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The period of time during which the majority of the IWB-using teachers have acquired their experience in using IWBs can be said to be relatively short (1.5 years on average). IWB users also appear to be motivated to invest in further training with a view to reinforcing their confidence and extending and/or improving their IWB use. Although it is not possible to find significant differences between the profiles of the users and non IWB users, the focus group felt that some respondent characteristics such as the following may be conducive to IWB adoption: confidence in using ICT, willingness to ‘play’ with ICT, an openness to innovation and peer learning, and a constant focus on the learner and the learning processes. (see also Appendix 2) It can be concluded that lack of regular access has been the main obstacle for the majority of the teachers to start using the IWB (Question 12: Reasons for non-use)

4.4 Neutral positions (Q. 12, 19, 21, and 25)

A final remark on the results of question 12: the percentages of neutral positions chosen seem remarkable as the average score (17.8%) is higher than for most other questions in this research. Indeed, it seems to be often chosen as equivalent to no opinion: ‘I would like to have access to an IWB I am highly experienced with a wide range of software and programming languages but am unable to agree with any of the above as I have no experience of using an interactive WB as I have stated I do not have any knowledge relating to this technology. To an extent, it is not quite clear how the results for the availability of IWBs should be interpreted: although slightly more teachers indicate that scarcity had not contributed to their non-use than those who indicated that scarcity did contribute to their non-use, there is a rather large group (22.7%) who take a neutral position. Further analysis made it plausible to see this as an expression of ‘I have no opinion on this’ or ‘I am not in a position to evaluate this’ as a majority indicate on the one hand that IWBs may well have added value but that, for now, they can adequately support their teaching using the internet and a data projector. Yet, 77% of this particular group (n = 17) would like to make use of an IWB. A typical statement around this issue is: ‘… nor do I know if they would be an advantage in my SUBJECT as I do not know enough about them. I need training’ No other significant common features in the participants’ profiles could be found. An attempt to see if there was a relationship between the subjects taught by the teachers who said they were not convinced of the added value of the IWB (n=8) did not lead to any plausible conclusions. This group of respondents taught a wide variety of subjects,

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ranging from religion and mathematics to communications and home economics. Further analysis suggests that half of this group simply doubt the added value of the IWB technology and feel they can manage well enough just using a projector. It is possible that the other half may have taken a neutral position because they have not been trained.

As also emerged in the focus group discussion, the overall usefulness of IWBs is an issue requiring further discussion. On the one hand, the professionalism of the teacher is seen to play a crucial role but on the other hand concepts like ´interactivity´ need further definition in order to ensure a common understanding. Thus there may be a need for further research to inform the discussion around added value in relation to variables such as student age and subject areas. No real explanation could be found for the relatively high percentage (21.9%) taking a neutral stance on the priority of other ICT skills training as reason for non-use. What further analysis did bring to light however was that three quarters of this group of respondents indicate they need more IWB training. So lack of IWB training is apparently seen as a more plausible explanation for non-use than insufficient ICT skills.

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In the focus group adequate IT skills were seen as facilitating IWB adoption as is evident from this quotation: ´ IT Skills of some teachers still considered an issue – some of our teachers would be considered ‘late adopters’ and may feel that their IT skills are not at a level high enough for use with IWBs.

4.5 IWB training and resources (Q.17, 18)

As confirmed by results discussed previously and the additional comments (n=105) provided in response to Q. 18, regarding the requirements for the development of respondents IWB skills, there is an obvious need for training on most of the IWB features/functions and, most of all, for a discipline specific approach to this training. The difficulty that half of the respondents report in finding appropriate resources for the topics they teach could well point to a shortage, if not, a non-existence of such materials. Further analysis, triggered by the – in our view – remarkably high score for ‘neither agree nor disagree’ for this issue, led to the conclusion that these reactions can mostly be attributed to respondents with the following characteristics in their profile: non-IWB-user (67.9%) who have not received adequate training but are willing to avail of training to either commence or improve their IWB use. It is probably the non-use that explains this neutral position, as 74.5% admit to being confident internet users.

4.6 Teacher IWB confidence levels (Q. 19)

Based on the responses regarding the confidence of respondents in using the graphical annotation tools, the focusing tools and multiple resources (such as timers, audio, video etc,) it appears that 60% and more of the teachers/tutors are not familiar with most of these IWB features. From the scores in the textual annotation tools section it can (not surprisingly) be concluded that writing on the board is as yet the most well-known IWB use feature. One would have expected the non-user responses to question 19 (about confidence levels with specific IWB features) to provide a more straightforward picture of their unfamiliarity, e.g. by a greater, if not more consistent, occurrence of ‘I don’t know what this is’. Instead, although the frequency levels are high for the (strong) disagreement and neutral positions, some 14 respondents (on average) out of 111 indicate that they are familiar with the various IWB features. This may be explained by the fact that about the same number of non-users indicate that they have had adequate technical training. We

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could conclude then that while some professed non-users have had training – they are either not confident to use the boards; or have decided that they are not going to use the boards (possibly for a variety of reasons, some of which may be perceived to be outside of their control).

Non-IWB using respondent’s comment: The only reason I disagree with most of these statements is that I have not tried to do them yet.

We also conclude, both from the actual comments relating to IWB skills development and also from the fact that about half of the respondents (n= 105 for Q.18 and 85 for Q.20) were prepared to provide additional textual information (in full sentences and sometimes even small paragraphs), that teachers/tutors generally see IWB competence as an issue that needs to be addressed and that many of them are motivated to become more competent in IWB use. See, for example, this non IWB using respondent’s comment: ‘Not having received any training on IWB I have no idea what most of the above are. However I would love to be able to use an IWB in my teaching and be competent in doing so.’

4.7 IWB access, methodology and teachers’/tutors ’ beliefs about educational benefits of using IWBs

The responses to Question 21 (IWB access, methodology and teachers’/tutors’ beliefs about educational benefits of using IWBs) affirm the importance of access to IWBs to promote adoption and enhance use. Access and, in addition, hardware standardisation were also seen as key issues by the focus group: ‘It is important to consider the provision of uniform hardware and software, so that teachers do not need to change between different packages as they move from room to room or school to school. (Appendix 2).

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4.8 Personal and professional ICT skills
Respondents are in general reasonably confident about their personal and professional ICT skills (Q. 23). There is an interest in more competence on how to integrate IT in teaching and in applications relevant for and with IWB (e.g. spread sheets). It should be noted that although high levels of confidence were reported for designing and adapting (ICT) materials, in general respondents expressed much less confidence in comparable skills in relation to IWB specific materials (Question 19, items 16, 18, 22, 23) In line with the preference for face-to-face and blended approaches to professional development training expressed by the respondents (Q.25) the focus group had a similar view about what is necessary for successful training around the acquisition and effective use of IWB to support teaching and learning - ‘small numbers and hands-on experience is better’; ‘more is learned through sharing with peers, discovery and practice’; ‘there should be a cascade of peer education’; and ‘give time to the project/implementation after the training’ (Appendix 2). Some open text comments (see comments below) point – in our view – to a side effect of the process of filling in the questionnaire: promotion of reflection on and enhancing awareness of personal IT and IWB related needs in relation to professional development.      I would consider my ICT skills to be adequate but feel there is always need for improvement, as students always seem to have far greater skills than myself. I need to start to use ICT. More training on ICT. Just to say that ICT is the 'new literacy' and I'm open to exploring it further. Further training in ICT.

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5. Recommendations
1. Develop a set of generic modules covering the basic IWB functionalities and those that support general cognitive activities such as ordering, structuring, comparing, etc., that are applicable in all subject areas, with specific instruction on the use of the two most widely available IWB brands: SMARTBOARD and PROMETHEAN. 2. Design or customise available training materials in as modular a format as possible, structuring content in such a way that the materials can support an eclectic approach and allow differentiation between absolute beginners and experienced users. 3. Trainers, beginning in their own centres (as suggested by the focus group), should adapt the generic modules to suit local circumstances - equipment and the needs of the personnel participating in the training. 4. Include training in the use of IWB peripherals such as document cameras and/or tablets, etc., possibly as an optional module. 5. To raise awareness levels of IWB potential for a variety of disciplines, provide convincing, subject-specific materials and applications. 6. As providing subject-specific materials for all disciplines in the basic course is beyond the scope of this project subject content selection to demonstrate particular IWB functionalities and their applications can be based on the frequency subject areas were mentioned in the participants’ profiles: Maths, Communications, History, Biology and (second) languages (ESOL, Irish, English) 7. Considering the relevance of skills like IWB page navigation, assessing, adapting and designing materials and the low confidence levels reported (Q.19: items 16, 18, 22, 23) for them, even by the IWB users, the training programme needs to be structured so that there is a focus on introduction to, and time to practice the more basic skills, but leading to competence in higher level skills. Developed teacher skills in these domains can greatly contribute to quality enhancement of materials as they can be expected to contribute to better selection of resources that are better suited to subject and context requirements and more flexibility during lessons. Development of these skills is also important because we assume that local materials development will be necessary in the near future anyway due to lack of available resources, commercial or otherwise, for a large number of VET specific curriculum areas.

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As also suggested in the focus group - particularly for groups with unqualified teachers - this might well be combined with (revision of) general pedagogical topics like ‘active learning’ and general materials design principles. 8. Offer optional training of general ICT and application skills that have obvious relevance for specific IWB uses or subject areas. An example in this respect could be internet search skills related to specific subject resources, the more since almost half of the respondents report to find it difficult to locate appropriate resources for the topics they teach using the IWB. 9. Foster discussion on the added value issue. 10. Although this will undoubtedly have organizational but possibly also financial implications a greater IWB availability may well be called for to support a successful implementation of this technology. The more so since other preconditions such as teachers’ expectations, views on added value (also after some time of actual use!), and willingness to be trained both for basic skills and to realize more sophisticated use appear to be in place: ‘While I have received some training and during these sessions was able to confidently carry out tasks as shown I would require additional and move intensive training and preferably onsite support (e.g. from another staff member) to become competent and confident in the use of the IWB. Training on how to use the IWB and examples of how it can be used in the specific subjects that I teach’.

Respondent’s comment: I look forward to the training that will ensue!

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6 References
Co Wicklow VEC
County Wicklow Vocational Education Committee http://www.wicklowvec.ie/Pages/Default.aspx

ITILT project
iTILT stands for interactive Technologies In Language Teaching and is a European project which aims to promote effective use of interactive whiteboards in communicative language teaching. http://www.itilt.eu

IVEA
The Irish Vocational Education Association http://www.ivea.ie/

FIT
Fastrack into Information Technology Limited http://www.fit.ie/

Survey Monkey
SurveyMonkey is a web-based survey tool. http://www.surveymonkey.net

TELLConsult
TELLConsult is a small educational consultancy firm initiated and owned by Ton Koenraad. As a linking pin between research and practice its general objective is to contribute to quality promotion of Technology Enhanced Lifelong Learning and Language Learning in particular. http://www.tellconsult.eu

TextSTAT
TextSTAT stands for Simple Text Analysis Tool. It is s a simple programme for the analysis of texts. It reads plain text files (in different encodings) and HTML files (directly from the internet) and it produces word frequency lists and concordances from these files. TextSTAT is free software and is available for download here: http://neon.niederlandistik.fu-berlin.de/en/textstat/

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7 Appendices
Appendix 1. Questionnaire Development
Representation of subjects and educational contexts Main Teaching task (n=200) 100% (analysed for #times mentioned) Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate Accounting, 2 Art, 6 Biology, 4 Business Studies, 9 Chemistry Economics, 2 Engineering, 3 English, 11 French, 6 Irish (Gaeilge), 7 Geography, 6 History, 5 Home Economics, 7 Mathematics, 14 Science X2 Art/Craft/Design Leaving Certificate Technology Leaving Certificate Applied Vocational Second Subject (n=168) 84.3% (analysed for #times mentioned) Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate Art and Design Applied maths Biology, 5 Physics Chemistry, 2 J. Cert. Science, 6 Bookkeeping Business Studies, 9 Civic, Social and Political Education, 3 Childcare Design & Communication Graphics, 3 English, 12 ESS Geography, 2 German French, 3 Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate Art Accounting Bookkeeping Careers Civic, Social, Political Education X6 ECDL Engineering English History Environmental and Social Studies X2 Independent study / Wrecked .ie – Driver Safety JC Technology Applied maths Civic Social and Personal Education 6 Geography Irish Irish JC Tech Graphics Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA Office) Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme Physical Leaving and Junior Certificate Accounts Leaving and Junior Certificate Art History CSPE LCA/LCVP Vocational Preparation LCVP Learning support Maths Music Social, Personal and Health Education, 3 Third Subject (n=115) 57.6% Fourth Subject (n=60) 30.3% Fifth Subject (n=27) 13.6%

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Main Teaching task (n=200) 100% (analysed for #times mentioned) Preparation and Guidance Learning Support, 2 Metalwork Music, 3 Physical Education, 3 Physics, 4 Religious Education, 6 Resource Teaching Design and Communications Graphics

Second Subject (n=168) 84.3% (analysed for #times mentioned) History, 10 Home economics Irish Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, 6 Learning Support LC Art, Craft and Design Materials Technology (Wood), 3 Mathematics, 13 Non-Irish/extra English Religious Education, 4 Resource Teaching, 3 Social, Personal and Health Education, 12 Technical Graphics

Third Subject (n=115) 57.6%

Fourth Subject (n=60) 30.3%

Fifth Subject (n=27) 13.6%

Junior Certificate History Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme X4 J. Cert . Maths Mathematics X12 Metalwork Religious Education X8 Resource Road Safety TY Module Social, Personal and Health Education X6 Science X6 Physics X2 Chemistry Design and Communications Graphics Social Education Technical

education Learning Support Maths Resource Social, Personal and Health Education X7 Technical Graphics X2 Transition Year Modules Design and Communicatio n Graphics

Further Education and Training Awards Council Further Education Level 3 Computer Literacy X2 and Training Awards Council

Graphics X2 Further Further Education and Training Awards Council Level 3 Education and Training Awards Council Level 3 Internet Skills Further Education and Training Awards Council Level 3 Crime Awareness X2 Personal

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Main Teaching task (n=200) 100% (analysed for #times mentioned) Craft Pyrography Communications, Personal Effectiveness X3 Maths Health Related Fitness X2 Personal and Interpersonal Skills

Second Subject (n=168) 84.3% (analysed for #times mentioned) Level 3 Computer Literacy, 2 Health and Fitness Internet Skills, 2 Personal Effectiveness Art and Craft

Third Subject (n=115) 57.6%

Fourth Subject (n=60) 30.3%

Fifth Subject (n=27) 13.6%

Personal Effectiveness X3 3NO565 Personal Safety – Nutrition and Healthy Options GENERAL LEARNING Graphics Communication X2 Communications X2 Community Arts Practice Compputers( mainl as a learning tool) Computer Literacy Level 4

Personal Effectiveness X2

Effectiveness Communications

Level Communicatio ns Level 4 Cultural Studies HEALTHCARE ICT

4

Level 4 Irish

Level 4 ECDL IT SKills, 3 Cultural Studies Desktop Publishing Digital Imaging European Computer Driving Licence, 2 IT Skills Painting Drawing Information Technology Skills French Health care X2 Level 5 ICT Cultural Studies

Level 5

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Main Teaching task (n=200) 100% (analysed for #times mentioned) Body Therapy Child development, 3 Communication, 10 Computer Studies, 8 Digital Photography E-business Maths Childcare Furniture Making Graphic Design I.C T., 16 Pattern drafting Personal and Interpersonal Skills Programming Puppetry and Mask making Reflexology

Second Subject (n=168) 84.3% (analysed for #times mentioned)

Third Subject (n=115) 57.6%

Fourth Subject (n=60) 30.3%

Fifth Subject (n=27) 13.6%

Data Entry Level 5 Anatomy & Physiology Art and Craft for Childcare Bookkeeping Manual & Computerised Business English Communications, 7 Computer Applications Early Childhood Education Facial Electrical Therapy Bookkeeping, Manual and Computerised Health care, 2 Garment construction Information and administration Internet & email, 2 PrintedTextiles Sport,2 Team Working Make Up photography Networks Understanding Level 5 Architectural Modelling The Internet Understanding Special Needs Word Processing Work Experience Special Education Sports X2 Stone Therapy Massage Skin Treatments Realising a fashion collection Information & Administration e-Business Film Studies Communications Digital Media Drawing Early Childhood Education Corporate Identity Business English Social Studies X2

Level

5 Bookkeeping Manual & Computerised Early childhood programmes Health and Safety at Work Ideas In context Legal studies Work Experience X3 (Can be any level) Relational Database Safety and Health at work

Agriculture/Hor ticulture Computer Architecture & Systems Computers Computers Editorial Design Enterprise Fashion Design Human Growth and Development X2 Marketing Practice Media Industries Metalwork Onsite Massage Social and Legal Studies Special Educational Needs Text Production Working In Childcare X2 Work

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Main Teaching task (n=200) 100% (analysed for #times mentioned) Adult Basic education Adult Literacy, 3 Back to basic adult education English as an Additional Language (ESOL), 2 Family Learning Literacy, 5 One to one ADULT LITERACY english One to One tuition, Numeracy and literacy Adult Guidance Career Guidance, 2

Second Subject (n=168) 84.3% (analysed for #times mentioned) Special Needs Web Authoring Wood Turning Word Processing ICT, 2 Adult Basic Education Basic computers Basic English spellings/grammar/f orm filling etc. IT Literacy group Money Skills - Maths Numeracy, 3 Tutor training

Third Subject (n=115) 57.6%

Fourth Subject (n=60) 30.3%

Fifth Subject (n=27) 13.6%

Experience X3 (could be any level) Adult Basic Education Adult Basic Education Literacy English as an Additional Language My IT Communicatio ns Nonaccredited Literacy Literacy 1 to 1 Literacy and Numeracy

Adult Basic Education Taster Courses Computer Taster Courses

Appendix 2. Questionnaire Content
VET Focus Group, 2nd May, 2012 Participants: Mary Mc Call (Arklow Further Education Centre); Ray Finucane (Bray Adult Education Centre); Alan Kinsella (Blessington Community College). Apologies: Linda Dunne (Colaiste Bhride, Carnew). What are the factors that cause teachers top answer ‘don’t know’ when responding? Teachers not familiar with technology, gadgets and language referred to and used in the survey. Training received to date demonstrative rather than participative – trainers tend to present lots of ideas about what can be done, without giving teachers ‘hands-on’ time.

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These sessions are short, and tend to be delivered to a large group. My question – when teachers are offered ‘hands-on’ experience, do they participate readily? Perhaps not (not in every case at any rate) but the point of a good participative training session is that the reluctant participants more or less have to participate anyway – and become converts thereby. There is an assumption of computer/digital literacy. Using IWBs/participating in the training is asking people to come out of their comfort zone. More is learned through sharing with peers/discovery and practice. (refers to Q6 too). Teachers tend to learn best from each other. Access to the IWBs an issue – they are fixed items and timetabling can be an issue. It would be a good idea to schedule in-house sharing sessions. Small numbers is better. Hands-on experience is better. Overall usefulness of the IWBs in question… Though the you-only-get-out-of-a-thing-whatyou-put-into-it principle applies. The interactive dimension depends on the subject and how the board is used. There is no incentive to use the interactive nature of the IWB – big question – how can we move teachers to use the IWBs interactively? How do teachers/Principals define interactivity? It was noted that students can become motivated through using the IWB. There was a perspective that levels of interactivity depend on who you are teaching – it is good for younger students; students with Specific Learning Difficulties or literacy/numeracy difficulties (yet – the school principal reported that in his school the board was used most by a Geography teacher teaching Leaving Certificate Geography. It was the perception of this group that interactivity refers to the active engagement of students in learning as a result of using an interactive whiteboard.

There was discussion of the use of Information Technology – as a tool for teaching – it is used by some teachers in this way. On the other hand, there is a risk of the IWB being used ‘ because it’s there’ – used a lot but in an unsophisticated way – e.g. – in the same

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way as a Data projector for presenting PowerPoint slideshows and DVDs, but with little emphasis on significant learning. It was agreed that there are different levels of motivation behind the adoption of IWBs. In answer to the question – ‘why do you think teachers in the areas of literacy and childcare feel that IWBs are not appropriate for teaching in these areas ?’, the groups expressed some surprise that this was the case. One of the Principals expressed the view that introducing IWBs was challenging teacher professionalism – specifically around teacher ability to use the tools to promote learning. Learning will take place where these tools are used – an issue for practitioners. The onus is on those who work with teachers and the teachers themselves – to make sure that the tools are of use. This is not an issue for the suppliers of the boards. Perceived Characteristics of teachers who adopt Interactive Whiteboards:       Confidence with ICT Willing to play Predisposed to think correctly about the job of teaching. Constantly looking at new ways of making learning happen Open to innovation Their choices are student focused – these teachers are constantly looking for the best tools – those which work best for the learner  Open to peer learning – happy to teach one another using the board.

One person commented on how using the IWBs came quickly for some of the students – they have noticed students explaining their learning to one another using the IWB. Some issues that emerged in relation to unqualified teachers: FE – Dichotomy between qualified and unqualified teachers - trained teachers appear to be earlier adopters – it would appear that understanding the nature of learning presents some advantages in terms of knowing how to design for learning using IWBs One of the issues in Irish VET is that while teachers have expertise in their vocational area, they have not received training in pedagogy. These teachers do not think about learning as consciously as qualified teachers. A qualification: this is not so much an implied criticism of unqualified teachers as an affirmation of training; giving rise to the consequent implication that an organization with

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unqualified teachers on board probably needs to offer some teacher training as in-service (even somewhat rudimentary training should improve the quality of teaching/learning and will be worthwhile). Key Skills desirable: Being able to play. Essentially this is an attitude rather than a skill. Being creative Openness - attitude Not afraid of getting it wrong –attitude Knowing how to plan and organise learning Preparation in advance – this comes from a commitment to teaching. Knowing how to analyse what is to be learned. Being able to organise all stimuli into a seamless learning experience. Understanding of the significance of the tactile and cognitive dimensions – which can be maximised if the IWB is used effectively. Knowing how to download and upload materials. Knowing how and where to find information and resources. Knowing how to use technology designed for sharing, such as Drop box and VLEs. Flexibility for using new technology (attitude)

Which teachers tend to favour the use of IWBs most? Mainstream (second level) – Leaving Certificate teachers – (teachers preparing for final, school leaving examinations). Art (History of Art) Maths; Geography; Language; Science; English for Speakers of Other Languages; Handwriting.

How would the ‘champions’ be most useful? Start with their own centres (the centres/schools they are based in).

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Casually and unofficially talking about the use of IWBs. Providing well-targeted advice about specific uses. Be first class at delivering their material using IWBs. Providing information that is perceived as useful, relevant and easy to apply. Make this information attractive and relevant to the different subjects (need for the champions to know about application of the IWBs to a range of different subjects). Access!!! How the training should be delivered. There should be a cascade of peer education. That is to say the champion might finish each piece of training with the recommendation (no stronger than that) that the recipient pass on what has been learnt to a colleague.    Ask teachers what they think they need. Give time to the project/implementation after the training. Explore students’ experience – did their experience of education change as a result of being taught using the Interactive Whiteboard? Is their learning benefitting as a result of the experience? We considered whether this aspect should be part of this particular project or not – but decided that it may be veering away from the current project, but may be worth considering as a follow-on project. Other Thoughts It is important to consider the provision of uniform hardware and software, so that teachers do not need to change between different packages as they move from room to room or school to school. Generic utility of the Interactive Whiteboard vs its purpose and effectiveness for teaching and learning. IT Skills of some teachers still considered an issue – some of our teachers would be considered ‘late adopters’ and may feel that their IT skills are not at a level high enough for use with IWBs.

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Appendix 3. Data on Educational settings in County Wicklow
There are eleven mainstream Secondary Schools in County Wicklow. Four of these schools also have Post-leaving Certificate Colleges on site. These colleges provide fulltime vocational education for students who have completed formal second level education. In addition, there are ten adult education centres in the county, catering for adults who have decided for a variety of reasons to return to education and training and for young adults who have not completed full secondary education. These centres provide a range of vocational courses. Finally there is an Outdoor Education Centre in Baltinglass, West Wicklow, which provides ecology and adventure education to pupils from both primary and secondary schools. This included an analysis of the different categories of teachers working in different types of education settings and delivery in County Wicklow. The table below sets out the proportions of male to female teachers in County Wicklow: Centre/School type Mainstream Secondary/PLC Youthreach (Early School Leavers under 21) Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (Full time) Senior Traveller Training Centre Community Education Back to Education Initiative (Part-time) Adult Basic Education (paid tutors) Adult Basic Education (voluntary tutors) Female 443 32 33 7 32 21 40 99 Male 233 15 9 2 6 12 5 22

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Appendix 4. Research Questions

Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
Survey Introduction
Thank you for deciding to complete this short survey, which will take approximately 8 minutes. The Smart_VET team is carrying out the survey on behalf of County Wicklow VEC to ascertain the level of interest in the use of Interactive Whiteboards, and the level of knowledge and application of Interactive Whiteboards among teacher across County Wicklow. Following data collection, the data will be analysed to provide an overall picture of training needs of teachers in County Wicklow VEC. This will inform the project team, who will be developing materials which will be used for training teachers in the effective use of Interactive Whiteboards. Please note that you will be asked to state your name as well as your school so your responses can also be used for course impact evaluation purposes at a later stage. We will ensure that you remain completely anonymous for the purposes of publication and any other dissemination activities. In order to navigate between the survey pages please use the "Next" and "Prev" buttons. Do not use the Browser Return button as your data will be lost. When finished with the survey please click "Done" and your answers will be saved.

Personal Profile
1. Name

*2. College / Organisation name: *3. List subject(s) you teach in descending order of taskload (main vs. minor)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

*4. VET Sector
e f c Back to Education Initiative e f c Post Leaving Certificate College e f c Youthreach c Voc ational Training Opportunities Schem e e f e f c Adult Basic Education e f c Community Education

5. Gender
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Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
6. Age (years)
l m j 20 - 30 l m j 31 - 40 l m j 41 - 50 l m j 51 - 60 l m j 61 +

7. No. of Years Teaching
l m j 0 – 10 l m j 11 - 20 l m j 21 - 30 l m j 31 - 40 l m j 41 +

Using the Interactive Whiteboard

*8. Does the organisation you work for (most) own the Interactive Whiteboard(s)
l m j Yes m l j No j I don ’t know l m

*9. What brand are they?
e f c e-Beam e f c eInstruction / Interwrite e f c Hitachi Starboard e f c Mimio Studio e f c Open Sankore
Other (please specify)

e f c PolyVision e f c Promethean e f c RM Easyteach e f c Smartboard e f c I don ’t know

for (most) own:
e f c Tablets

*10. Which of the IWB-related equipment listed here does the organisation you work

c Response systems (e.g.ActiVote) e f e f c Document Camera e f c I don ’t know
Other (please specify)

*11. Do you use Interactive Whiteboards?
l m j Yes m l j No

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Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
currently do not use IWBs

*12. To what extent do the potential factors below contribute to the fact that you
Very relevant I have no regular access to IWBs I am not convinced of added value There are not sufficient, relevant IWB materials I can adequately support my teaching using internet + projector Developing other ICT skills has more priority for me now I need more training Other (please specify) Rather relevant Neutral Not so relevant Not relevant at al l

k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

k l m n j j l m k l m n j m l j n k l m j l m j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j l m j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j m l j n k l m j l m j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j l m j

*13. Would you like to make use of IWBs in your teaching
m l j Yes l m j No j Don't know l m

*14. Number of years you have been using Interactive Whiteboards?
l m j 0–1 m l j 2 -3 l m j 4 -5 l m j 6–7 l m j 8+

*15. Would you like to extend and/or improve your use of Interactive Whiteboards?
l m j Yes l m j No
Don't know m j l

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Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
Interactive Whiteboards?

*16. What measures would help you best to extend and/or improve your use of
Very relevant More regular access to IWBs More practice & technical training to gain confidence in using IWB functionalities Greater availability of relevant IWB materials Access to & training in IWB-related equipment (tablet, voting kits, document camera) Further development of related ICT skills More pedagogically oriented IWB training Other (please specify) Rather relevant Neutral Not so relevant Not relevant at all

j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

the IWB Training and Resources:

*17. Please tick one box only per row for each of the following statements regarding
Strongly Agree I have received adequate training on how to technically operate the IWB I have received adequate training on how to use the IWB for educational purposes: I have received adequate training on how to use the IWB specifically for the subject(s) I teach I find it easy to locate appropriate resources for the topics I teach with the IWB Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j

18. With regards to the previous question please give us additional information regarding your requirements for development of your skills
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Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
the IWB Features

*19. Please tick one box only per row for each of the following statements regarding
Strongly Agree I am very confident using the pen tool: I am very confident using the eraser tool: I am very confident using the handwriting recognition tool: I am very confident using the floating or on-screen keyboard: I am very confident using the thought/speech bubbles tool: Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree I do not know what this is

j k l m n l m j k l m n j

j k l m n l m j k l m n j

j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j

j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j l m j k l m n j k l m n j

l m j k l m n j

I am very confident using the split screen tool: I am very confident using the highlighter tool: I am very confident using the shading tool: I am very confident using the underlining tool: I am very confident using the spotlight tool: I am very confident using the hide and reveal tool: I am very confident using the IW B to drag and drop text and/or images: I am very confident using the IWB to play audio files: I am very confident using the IWB to play video clips: I am very confident using the IWB to insert images or diagrams: I am very confident adding hyperlinks to IW B flipchart pages to facilitate navigation: I am very confident using the IWB to create graphs/charts/tables: I am very confident using the IW B to save annotated pages for future use (e.g. content rehearsal and/or elaboration) I am very confident using the IWB to save students’ work: I am very confident using the IWB to print off students’ work: I am very confident using additional IWB-related devices such as tablets or response systems (e.g.ActiVote) during lessons: I am very confident assessing the quality of readymade IWB materials: I am very confident using the IWB software to adapt ready-made IWB materials to (better) suit specific lesson objectives:

l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j k l m n j l m j l m j k l m n j k l m n j l m j l m j

l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j

l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j l m j j k l m n l m j

l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j

l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j

l m j k l m n j l m j

k l m n j k l m n j l m j l m j k l m n j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

l m j n k l m j k l m n j

l m j k l m n j

l m j

l m j

l m j k l m n j

l m j k l m n j

k l m n j

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Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
20. With regards to the previous question please give us additional information regarding your requirements for development of your skills.
5

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the use of IWB with students.

*21. Please tick one box only per row for each of the following statements regarding
Strongly Agree I frequently allow my students to use the IWB: I feel that using the IWB increases student engagement and participation: I feel that using the IWB increases student motivation: I feel that the IWB caters for all abilities and needs: I have access to the IWB at all times and as often as I need it: I frequently use the IWB for whole class teaching: I frequently use the IWB for small group work: I frequently use the IWB for individual work: I use the IWB for every lesson: Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j

n k l m j m l j k l m n j l m j n k l m j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j

n k l m j m l j k l m n j l m j n k l m j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j

n k l m j m l j k l m n j j l m n k l m j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j

n k l m j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j l m j k l m n j l m j n k l m j

22. With regards to the previous question please give us additional information regarding your requirements for development of your skills.
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General Use of ICT and Professional Development

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Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
basis by ticking the relevant answer in the statements below:
Strongly Agree I am very confident with using the Internet: I am very confident using systems to keep track of relevant WebPages (e.g. Favourites, other bookmarking tools): I am very confident using Email : I am very confident using social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, linkedIn etc.): I am very confident using a word processor (e.g. W ord or equivalent such as available in Open Office): I am very confident using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or equivalents): I am very confident using presentation software (e.g. PowerPoint or equivalents): I am very confident using Images/Photographs etc. for teaching and learning: I am very confident managing (my) files: I am very confident using the internal College online information systems e.g. an intranet or knowledge management system (indicate in the comment box below if not applicable / available): I am very confident using the local Virtual Learning Environment (indicate in the comment box below if not applicable / available): I am very confident adapting content to use as teaching materials: I am very confident designing my own teaching materials: Other (please specify) Agree

*23. Please rate your confidence level with the general use of ICT on a day to day
Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j

j k l m n l m j j k l m n l m j k l m n j l m j k l m n j l m j j k l m n l m j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

k l m n j l m j k l m n j

24. With regards to the previous question please give us additional information regarding your requirements for development of your skills.
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(multiple choices allowed)
c Face to Face e f c Printed Materials e f c Online e f c On a CD-Rom or a memory stick e f c I am happy whatever way it comes e f
Other (please specify)

*25. What format do you prefer to receive Professional Development training?

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Smart_VET - Use of the Interactive Whiteboards - Teacher Survey
training? (multiple choices allowed)
c In a classroom situation with my peers e f c Study at hom e, in my own time e f c 1:1 sessions e f c In a group discussion or workshop setting e f c I am happy whatever way it comes e f
Other (please specify)

*26. In what setting do you prefer to receive Professional Development

27. Would you like to add any other comments?
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