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Strategies for training or supporting teachers to integrate technology into the classroom

What do we want to know?

Through our systematic review, we seek to discover what has worked in terms of strategies for using ICT in training and/or supporting teachers, and to what effect.

Who wants to know and why?

Teacher-training colleges wishing to train teachers in technology use; school administrators wishing to introduce specific technologies into their schools or school systems; corporate donors and other stakeholders in education; and policymakers at the international, national, or regional level would be interested in the answers to the research question.

What did we find?

The observational studies exploring the various factors affecting the use of technology by teachers showed that teachers' perceptions regarding the usefulness of a particular technology is twice as important as their perception of the ease of use of that technology in the classroom, if the technology is specified and related to a specific teaching or learning use. It is difficult to make generalizations when the technology intervention is not specified and not related to a specific use.

What are the implications?

Studies on the effect on student learning of ICT use in the classroom are often conducted without exploring the logical requirement of acceptance and use of ICT by teachers.

Eight observational studies point to the importance of teachers' perceptions regarding the usefulness and the ease of use of a technology, with perceptions of usefulness being twice as important as perceptions of ease of use, underscoring the importance of understanding and responding to "teacher factors" in the effective use of ICT in improving student learning outcomes. Three experimental studies, all from the US, are seemingly more concerned with the ease of-use aspects. They show that teachers use ICT in increased amount if professional development of ICT use is accompanied by adequate follow-up support for the teachers, or provision of one laptop per child in the classroom. While more attention should be paid to teachers' perceptions of usefulness in introducing ICTs in system-wide initiatives, such initiatives should be planned and executed as experiments to evaluate the effect of ICT on teacher perceptions and the effect of perceptions and/or use on student-learning outcomes.

How did we get these results?

We searched five electronic databases and hand-searched a selected set of other sources including In the title and abstract screening step, we included all studies that measure technology use in education published in 1990 or after, and excluded sources such as book reviews or textbooks that dealt with theoretical issues only, studies that were about technology use by pre-service teachers or studies that were about technology use in special education.

We mapped out all the included studies according to the type of study designs and developed a second set of inclusion/exclusion criteria to apply to the observational studies that specified the technology and used a technology acceptance model.

We used the Risk of Bias assessment tool developed by Waddington and Hombrados (2014) to assess the internal validity of both experimental and observational studies. The effect size of the interventions and the effect of other miscellaneous factors on the outcome were both calculated using the standardized mean difference (SMD) method.


This report should be cited as:

Gamage SN, Tanwar T (2017) Strategies for training or supporting teachers to integrate technology into the classroom. Education Rigorous Literature Review. International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, and the Department for International Development, UK.

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