Understanding the messy realities of teaching with technology in secondary school physical education in Scotland - an examination of the habits and practices of lead users
Craig, Murray Pringle
There is lack of research focused on the ‘…’messy’ realities of educational technology use in situ’ (Selwyn 2014 p.161). Following Selwyn’s recommendations for tracing a ‘bigger picture’, this study aimed to examine Physical Education (PE) teachers’ technology related habits on multiple levels, namely a macro level analysis of the wider socio-political backdrop, together with the national and local contexts influencing their associated practices with technology. Nine secondary school PE teachers in Scotland, all of whom were recognised by colleagues as being proficient in the use of technology, took part in the study. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant at their respective schools, in order to explore their experiences using technology, as well as their associated wider habits and practices with it. Close analysis of the data revealed the overarching concept of ‘weighted investment’ by the participants, which encapsulates their wider involvements associated with technology. The concept depicts the manner in which the teachers engaged with technology, specifically the time and effort they devoted to it and an appreciation of why they seemed predisposed to engage with technology. Specifically, the main reasons for investing time and energy, and undertaking practices with technology, relate to career advancement, enhancing pupil engagement, personally-held values and beliefs about technology use, and increasing professional expectations. However, the lack of a strategic overview for technology at local and national level, limited infrastructure and inconsistent technical support compounded matters with respect to the time and effort they were having to invest. These insights contribute to the education and physical education literature by presenting a more comprehensive picture of PE teachers’ use of technology in comparison to past studies.