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2 Methodology, Objectives and Hypotheses

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MyEnglishLab Component Used in the Distant Part of Blended Learning



5.3



57



Variables and Test Units



As independent variables we determined using MyEnglishLab component. As

dependent variables we determined the improvement of English language knowledge

acquired and detected by didactic tests, and by evaluating increased studentsʼ motivation and their active participation in the education process detected by either interviews, questionnaires, or observation depending on the number of respondents. We

also determined functionality of the technology used (online connectivity, functionality

of projection equipment), different major subjects studied, the starting level of English

language competences as intervening factors.

The basic sample set includes 101 undergraduate students and academic stuff of the

Faculty of Science, University of Hradec Kralove starting their studies in academic

year 2015/16 with a prediction to increasing the number of students commencing their

studies in academic year 2016/17. The sample was divided into two groups - an

experimental group consisting of 57 students and a control group numbering 44 students studying in academic year 2015/16. The assignment of the two groups was done

by a random assignment method in order to avoid any influences.



5.4



First Findings



Students involved in the study research have taken a pretest, three progress tests and

one achievement test since September 2015.

The pretest was assigned in the very first week of the semester. Both groups

experimental and control contain the same number of students of Starter level – 9 %,

57 % of students of A1+ level, 27 % of students of A2+ −B1 level, and 7 % of

students of B1–B2 level.

The first progress test in grammar was assigned in the fourth week of the semester

and showed that achieved test results were comparable (the average success score in the

control group was 75.3 %; the average success score in the experimental group was

78.4 %).

The second progress test in grammar was assigned during the seventh week of the

semester. The test showed the following results: the average success score in the

control group was 73.1 %, the average success score in the experimental group was

78.7 %.

The third progress test was assigned during the tenth week of the semester and

included both vocabulary and grammar taught during the first ten weeks of the studies.

The third progress test showed the following results: the average success score in the

control group was 68.8 %, the average success score in the experimental group was

74.3 %.

The first achievement test was assigned after the first semester, i.e. after 14 weeks

of the studies. The achievement test included grammar, reading, listening and writing

skills. The test showed the following results: the average success score in the control

group was 67.1 %, while in the experimental group it was 77 %. From these results we

can see that the results in the experimental group were by 10 % points better than the

results in the control group.



58



D. Vymetalkova and E. Milkova



The first results coming from three progress tests and one achievement test comparing our two groups were taken from Excel data tables and were calculated on the

basis of Excel table calculations expressed in percentage.

We find necessary to continue testing students in the second semester of the academic year. The amount of subject matter will expand, and according to the pretest

results (most students of A1+ level) we can predict that there will be more subject

matter issues that students will have no experience with or knowledge in. Therefore, we

suppose that most subject matter issues will be unknown to students and students will

learn them with no previous knowledge.



6 Conclusion and Future Work

According to increasing demands on up-to-date teaching/learning materials seen from

both teachersʼ and studentsʼ points of view, we have carefully considered and chosen

blended learning model as most convenient and effective way to meet all requirements

on maintaining the level of studentsʼ English language knowledge and expanding this

knowledge according to studentsʼ area of study. The distant part of blended learning is

applied by MyEnglishLab online component developed and introduced by Pearson. In

order to verify the effectiveness of this component we have been carrying out a study

research in the form of pedagogical experiment within 101 undergraduate students at

the Faculty of Science, University of Hradec Kralove.

As we have mentioned before, we find finishing testing students in the summer

semester as a key factor in order to obtain more data coming out from more tests during

a longer (one academic year) period.

Obviously, we are planning to use statistics in order to analyze all test results. The

data will be statistically analyzed not sooner than after the end of academic year

2015/16.

In addition to this, as a possible basis for another study, we asked students to take a

test of learning styles preferences. With regard to multi-modal and multi-dimensional

approaches as important aspects provided within MyEnglishLab component (see

Sect. 4), we found this test and its results as a good source for future either comparison

or data evaluation.

Acknowledgments. This research has been supported by the Specific Research Project No.

2136 of the University of Hradec Kralove in 2016.



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NIC, z. s. p. o. (2015)

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(3), 227–233 (2003)

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257–265 (2001)

19. Thorne, K.: Blended Learning: How to Integrate Online & Traditional Learning. Korgan

Page Ltd., London (2003)



Technology Investment and Transformation Efforts

in the Public Schools of Georgia

Eka Jeladze and Kai Pata ✉

(



)



School of Digital Technologies (Centre for Educational Technology),

Tallinn University, Narva mnt 29, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia

{ekajel,kpata}@tlu.ee



Abstract. This study explores best cases how schools use and make benefit of

technology investment in Georgia. We consider schools as learning ecosystem of

three types of services - Internal, External and Trade-off - in three educational

domains of digital infrastructure, learning facilitation and change management.

Multiple case study strategy was used in 15 schools of Georgia with purposive

sampling. K-means cluster analysis was applied to group schools based on the

grid of services. We built Bayesian Dependency model to find probabilistic

dependencies of the services in digitally enhanced schools. The model is

explained on the case studies of 3 Georgian schools. The findings suggest that

trade-off type of services and change management services are the biggest deter‐

minant of the schools belonging to the innovative technology-enhanced learning

ecosystems.

Keywords: Digitally enhanced schools · Learning ecosystem · ICT policy ·

Technology transformation



1



Introduction



Governments are increasingly investing into building school ICT capacity. However,

how these investments are managed to support learning at schools has little evidence.

ICT per se cannot be catalyst for change unless there’s school wide innovation [7].

Neither can central policies nor reforms automatically lead to education change as the

schools differ by performance level, innovation capacity and context [8]. Success of ICT

integration depends on the school-level factors like: ICT plan and vision, leadership

guidance through the process, Teacher training and internal support, evaluation and

monitoring on the use of ICT, between-school exchange of ICT related knowledge [6].

Georgia began modernization of general education system by investing in ICT infra‐

structure and capacity building in 2005. From 2011 it runs the program “Netbooks for

the First graders” to support 1:1 e-learning in primary education. Though, review on the

education reforms in Georgia points to the importance of meaningful use of ICT in

teaching and learning, alignment of individual ICT programs with the curriculum goals,

and systematic understanding of ICT infrastructure gaps [4]. This paper aims to look at

a school level and examine how externally provided and internally existing factors work

to support digitally enhanced learning ecosystem in Georgia. We will identify the

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

D.K.W. Chiu et al. (Eds.): ICWL 2016, LNCS 10013, pp. 60–71, 2016.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-47440-3_7



Technology Investment and Transformation Efforts



61



schools that successfully implemented innovative digital approaches, and characterize

the application of different types of digitally enhanced services there. We will particu‐

larly focus at the mutual interdependence of applied services thus depicting how they

form the effectively functioning learning service-ecosystem in schools.



2



Schools as Digitally Enhanced Learning Service Ecosystems



Ecosystem metaphor has been intensely used to describe the concepts and dynamics of

interaction of the system parts with each other and with the whole [9]. Following this

approach we suggest that schools may be considered as service-based ecosystems that

promote learning – the transformation of information to various types of knowledge.

Services are the species in this learning ecosystem. We define the service as a flow of

logically combined products (units, inventories, activities) between the service providers

and the users through the operating level management, in accordance to the outlined

processes, rules or definitions [1, 3, 5]. Services comprise the following components:

attributes (inventories, units, monetary and nonmonetary sources), provider, service

manager, service user, activities (necessary for delivering service to the user), and

accompanying rules and/or processes how user will consume the service. We identified

three types of services based on who are the provider and service manager, where the

activities take place, and where the user is situated. These are Internal services, External

services, and Trade-off around services.

1. Internal services are the services that are provided by school itself and managed

within the school with corresponding attributes, supporting activities, processes and

regulations developed there.

2. External services are the services that are provided to schools from outside by the

provider. Therefore, school is the user of arranged external service to consume. The

management of the external services are run and maintained outside the school.

3. Trade-off services are the services that school bargains for and manages on its initia‐

tive. School either participates in trade-of initiative to receive some external services,

attributes or tools to manage and consume it as internal service; or as a provider

shares the internally developed service externally for other entities to manage.



3



Recent Georgian ICT Agendas for Schools



MoES equips public schools with technology on the basis of student number. At the

moment the average ratio of desktop computers located in computer labs reaches 30:1.

Out of 2160 schools and educational resource-centers 569 are provided with 100mb/sc

optical Internet connection, the rest 1591 use radio-technology with 256 kb/sc-2mb/sc.

MoES runs the program “Netbooks for the First Graders” for 5years now. The

program aims to advance student’s skills to be aligned to knowledge-based economy

and to improve quality of teaching and learning in Georgia. All the first graders and their

teachers receive Intel-powered netbooks on their first day at school as a present from

the state. Classroom management software – Mythware - enables teachers to manage



62



E. Jeladze and K. Pata



the class digitally. Though primary education classrooms often lack Internet connection

and teachers mainly use intranet for the software.

National Center for Teacher Professional Development offers free ICT trainings to

teachers. Trainings differ by the level of complexity in ICT and methodology. All the

teachers of Netbooks program have participated in 1:1 e-learning training, 62 % of them

attended Flipped Classroom module, and 41 % - project-based learning with ICT. The

courses are separately run for middle/high schoolteachers. Up to date 70 % of the teachers

have participated in basic ICT course, 59 % of middle/high schoolteachers attended the

methodology of ICT utilization, and 20 % - project-based learning with ICT.

New edition of National Curriculum of Georgia has been approved recently. It

defines 2 approaches regarding teaching ICT: (a) Curriculum outlines student compe‐

tences and learning outcomes as a separate subject in 1st, 5th and 6th grade. (b) ICT is

a cross-curricular discipline through 1st to 12th grade through all subject groups. In

addition, school can choose 2 elective subjects on a high school level: Computer sciences

and Multimedia and design.



4



Methodology



We used K-means clustering to find more successful service application from the sample

schools. We reduced data by creating composites for types of services and built depend‐

ency model for the schools belonging to the group of successful application of learning

services. We will illustrate application of effective digitally enhanced learning

ecosystem with qualitative approach based on 3 cases from Georgian schools.

We used multiple case study strategy in 15 schools of Georgia with purposive

sampling. The schools were selected on the basis of location, size and ICT-oriented

activity. The data within each case was divided into separate primary and high school

sets. Netbooks for the First Graders program caused different values on the services for

primary and high schools due to the utilization of 1:1 e-learning program. 2 data sets

were identified for each case ending up with 30 cases for 15 schools.

We developed the grid of services of learning ecosystem on the basis of the definition

of services and metaphorical compliances with ecosystem [2]. 196 descriptors were

grouped into 3 types of services through 3 educational domains of digital infrastructure,

learning facilitation and change management. 62 Interviews were held with school prin‐

ciples, teachers and IT managers. 26 lessons were observed to explore how technology

is used in the learning process. The qualitative data were mapped to the grid using 1/0

system. K-means clustering was run to identify schools that had better application of

digitally enhanced learning services. The services that differentiated the clusters were

depicted with Mann-Whitney test [2].

In order to simplify our service-based learning ecosystem model we grouped service

variables into 9 composites (3 types of services X 3 educational domains): Internal

Infrastructure, Trade-off Infrastructure, External Infrastructure, Internal Learning Facil‐

itation, Trade-off Learning Facilitation, External Learning Facilitation, Internal Change

management, Trade-off Change Management, External Change Management. Both for

digitally enhanced and less innovative schools we conducted the Bayesian Dependency



Technology Investment and Transformation Efforts



63



modeling (http://b-course.hiit.fi) and modeled the probabilistic dependencies between

the service types. We selected three schools as cases to illustrate the dependency model

results with qualitative data.



5



Results



5.1 Two Types of Learning Service Ecosystems in Georgian Schools

2 clusters of digitally enhanced and less innovative schools were identified through Kmeans cluster analysis with 11 cases in the first cluster and 19 in another. The difference

between clusters was analyzed by Mann-Whitney U test that exposed statistically

significant difference in 54 services [2]. Due to the binary (1/0) nature of the service

descriptors in the grid, we may assert that these are services existing in one cluster, while

in another they are missing. Clusters differed on internal and trade-off services, since

external services are centrally provided by MoES or related agencies to all schools.

Change management domain revealed the biggest variance between the two groups.

5.2 Learning Service Ecosystem in Digitally Enhanced Georgian Schools

Dependency model in digitally enhanced schools (Fig. 1). represents how 9 components

of the model are closely connected to each other in the whole learning ecosystem. Simi‐

larly to the findings from U-Whitney analysis the dependency model highlighted the

importance of internal change management.



Fig. 1. Dependency model for digitally enhanced schools



64



E. Jeladze and K. Pata



Since the service components incorporate several services, we describe the main

services as they appeared in three example schools in the Sect. 4.3. In the Discussion

chapter we discuss, what way different services provided synergy to form the learning

ecosystem that promotes digital learning cultures.

5.3 Three Cases Depicting Schools with Digitally Enhanced Learning Service

Ecosystem

We describe three cases from digitally enhanced schools’ cluster on the basis of 9 types

of services. “Village school” is located in the region of Georgia, “City school” is located

close to the capital city and “Capital School” is located in the capital of Georgia. We

focus on opportunities and limitations the schools have and highlight some particular

strategies they use to overcome these limitations or make new opportunities.

5.3.1 Infrastructure Services

5.3.1.1 Internal Infrastructure Services

The ratio of computers per students is not sufficient for using computers at the

lesson. “Village school” has 315 students and 34 teachers. School has one computer

lab with 9 computers in a working condition. “City school” has 854 students and 57

teachers. School has one computer lab with 22 computers. “Capital School” has 1300

students and 84 teachers. The school has one computer lab with 16 computers and one

innovative technology classroom with 12 computers. All schools participate in the

Netbooks program. In addition to the state provided technology the schools won some

laptops and projectors in different competitions. Still, they do not have sufficient ICT

technology that everyone at school can develop digital competences. Computer lab is

often occupied with ICT lessons. But even if it is free teachers have to pair students to

work. Capital school rarely uses innovative technology classroom. Teachers can only

accommodate half class there while another half stays with mentor.

Schools still have insufficient and badly functioning Wi-Fi connection. Capital

school manager says that only MoES hired IT manager knows Wi-Fi password, so she

can only use cable Internet at school.

Schools have special maintenance for digital infrastructure and for helping

teachers in using digital devices in learning. The ICT maintenance in school is suffi‐

cient to have technology in working order. All 3 schools have ICT manager and MoES

hired IT manager with clearly defined responsibilities. School ICT manager helps

teachers on everyday basis to use technology and digital resources. They diagnose tech‐

nical problem with hardware and software and contact IT manager to solve the issues.

Schools pay for both positions.

Students have extended access to schools’ digital infrastructure. Computer lab is

always open and students are guaranteed free access to Internet and computer technol‐

ogies whenever needed. That makes this group different from less innovative schools.



Technology Investment and Transformation Efforts



65



5.3.1.2 Trade-off Infrastructure Services

Schools participate in competitions to win additional technology and find resources

to set up Wi-Fi at school. MoES provides technology infrastructure, commercial

educational software and Internet connection to schools. In the explored cases, this was

not sufficient: Teachers from Village- and City Schools were not satisfied with Internet

connection and data exchange speed. Village School has optic cable, but the speed

dramatically and unpredictably changes. They can hardly manage opening the websites.

History teacher at City school has to download resources in advance and take on USB

stick to class.

Schools still have not discovered the additional benefit of BYOD approach to extend

the school infrastructure. Most of the students have ICT devices to work home.

However none of the schools support Bringing Own Devices (BYOD) at school. Village

school participates in Microsoft pilot program to support 1:1 e-learning. 16 students in

6th grade plus 5 teachers (math, English, Georgian, history and science) are equipped

with netbooks. They actively use this opportunity to integrate ICT in learning process

of that particular class, though still do not encourage other students to bring their devices

in the classroom. City school prohibits using smartphones at the lesson. Principal says

that neither students nor teachers are ready for using them. Students are expected to use

this opportunity for cheating or playing in social networks.

The opportunity for parents monitoring students learning with e-system is limited

and not expected by parents. At the moment, parents can only have access to students’

learning data in primary education through netbooks’ classroom management system,

but e-Journal project is underway by MoES. Schools are waiting to get software and use

it as learning analytics functionalities. History teacher at City school tried using educa‐

tional platform - Edmodo (edmodo.com), but abandoned it because of the lack of support

from parents.

Schools have started to systematically use cloud services for managing information.

City public school systematically uses free cloud solution for managing information

flow and documents that is sound difference from all other schools from both clusters.

All the teachers have personal e-portfolios in Google drive with required (predefined by

administration) folders. They upload thematic plans, lesson plans, tests, summary

reports, mentor’s portfolio, students’ data, lesson schedule, and learning resources.

Departments have their own folders there they upload: action plans, analysis of open

lessons, administrative documents, contests and etc. Principal says control and manage‐

ment is easier now then it was with printed documents.

5.3.2 Learning Facilitation Services

5.3.2.1 Internal Learning Facilitation Services

Students’ digital competences are taught in ICT lessons, though ICT teacher uses

input tasks from subject teachers. MoES defines students learning outcome in



66



E. Jeladze and K. Pata



national curriculum. ICT teacher at Village school says, students ask for help if they

need to accomplish ICT tasks in other subjects and he gives them instruction at ICT

lesson. Sometimes this is only a group of the students, not the whole class.

Subject teachers also use ICT as cross-curricular subject. Subject teachers work in

different subject related applications or just ask students to search and present corre‐

sponding information. Oftentimes subject teachers either give digital tasks to accomplish

home or ask students to stay after classes.

Schools use collaborative digital learning activities that address problem solving

in socio-technical contexts, creativity and innovation. History teacher at City school

realizes Mini projects on restoring real situations of historic battles, e.g. Didgori.

Students search information to restore and create the situation where the battle happened,

how the historical characters moved in certain space, where the army was situated in a

real-world location.

Teachers use different digital activities and resources to differentiate learning

according to their students’ needs. Primary school teachers showed more positive

attitude towards this approach. In 3rd class lesson the Village schoolteacher sent to the

students the exercises that were differentiated by the complexity. Students did as much

exercise as they could and sent back to teacher via classroom management soft. Though

the approach seems to have a lot of challenge for teachers. Georgian language teacher

recalled she tried to differentiate the tasks, though students protested to be in a “weaker”

group. City school 3rd grade teacher finds differentiation easier with netbooks, as there’s

more anonymity there. Otherwise students always ask why do they have different tasks.

Schools additionally apply specific teaching forms to achieve certain digital

learning outcomes. In all three schools specific teaching forms were applied to achieve

certain digital learning outcomes. Village School initiated Club for programming. ICT

teacher gives free lessons there.

Students are involved in developing the evaluation criteria for their own learning

outcomes. Students’ involvement in developing the evaluation criteria for their own

learning outcomes was one of the statistically significant variables that cause variances

between 2 clusters. However, even in our 3 cases only City school showed the evidence.

History teacher in City public school recollects at the beginning she was afraid to involve

students in the process, thinking it would be dangerous for her authority. She planned

learning goals with 10th graders and was surprised with the results. She suggested the

students, which particular skills she wanted to work on with them. On their side students

suggested what they wanted to be assessed on. Now she is trying to do the same with

younger students. Math teacher at Capital school introduces rubrics and then students

can add their criteria.



Technology Investment and Transformation Efforts



67



5.3.2.2 Trade-off Learning Facilitation Services

Students develop digital learning scenarios for other students. In City and Capital

schools students developed digital learning scenarios for other students. The digital

learning activities and e-resources developed by students are integrated into the teaching

process of other students. City school teacher prepared texts and scenarios and asked

students to create videos. She shared the videos with 12th graders on Facebook group as

supplementary material. Though as she says, students do not take this material seriously.

They think that textbooks are the only source they can rely on.

Teachers use digital learning activities and resources that are developed by other

teachers. MoES manages international repository of learning resources – Lemill.net –

where teachers upload and share their learning resources. According to ICT manager

50 % of the teachers in Capital school independently prepare digital resources, and create

projects. Information manager provides other 50 % of the teachers with the necessary

resources.

Teachers participate with students in international projects. All 3 schools partici‐

pate in international projects, science fairs, IT events, that is characteristic to digitally

enhanced schools cluster. Village school teachers were involved in e-twinning projects.

History teacher at City school had been registered on epal.com for 7 years now. Chem‐

istry teacher at Capital school was involved in Polish project for teaching chemistry

where ICT is intensely used.

Students learning for digital competences are not yet supported in cross-school

e-learning courses. MoES or other organizations do not provide extra e-learning

courses for students; neither do schools cooperate to organize joint e-learning courses

for students, or assign students to e-learning opportunities offered outside the school.

History teacher from City school tried to use edmodo.com. This is an educational plat‐

form to build virtual classroom and connect students, parents and teachers in one space.

However teacher had to cease work on the platform due to a negative attitude from

parents. They did not consider virtual classroom a serious learning process because

students can use open book when doing Edmodo tests at home.

5.3.3 Change Management Services

5.3.3.1 Internal Change Management Services

Schools plan for ICT development. In Georgia MoES do not have long term ICT

development vision. ICT agenda is formed based on one-year action plans developed in

corresponding departments and agencies. Yet all 3 schools had ICT vision and plan.

However, the components they focused, as well as the stakeholders’ involvement

differed from each other. Capital school long-term strategy focused on ICT contribution

to the curriculum and the teaching and learning approaches with ICT. City school had

1-year action plan where it concentrated on building school’s information system and



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