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The Use of Digital Technology in Saudi Arabia’ Schools

Introduction

The education has experienced a huge influx of innovations, including the technology that supports the use of information technology. E-learning tools and online based libraries have become the norm rather than the exception for thousands of establishments of higher education.

The establishments of the lower levels of education, such as secondary schools, have also made a concerted effort to instill and make use of information technology in schools. The report under review seeks to explore and demystify the issues of digital technology use in secondary schools. The report, titled The Use of Digital Technology in Saudi Arabia’ Schools was written by Prof. Nasser A. Al-Faleh, who is a scholar at the College of Teachers, King Saud University. This paper reviews the above mentioned report, providing the analysis of the manner in which data was collected and how the results were arrived at. Further, the review will state whether the author arrived at the intended objectives that were set out in doing the report. This review will attempt to critique the research methods together with the conclusions.

Summary of the Study

The primary objective of the report done by Prof. Al-Faleh (2012) is to determine the extent and condition of digital technology use in secondary schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In doing this research, the idea of Al-Faleh (2012) who introduces the concept information technology and the manner in which much expectation was pegged on the new idea was considered. Al-Faleh appreciates the fact that the use of digital technology has been on the rise and further changes towards a technology-led form of education is inevitable. However, Al-Faleh (2012) decries the slow pace in which education has adopted digital technology. Still, with the introduction and innovation of personal computers the adoption of digital technology in education is bound to increase. The process of digital learning cannot be delinked from its impacts on learning and student-teacher relations. This research examined digital education from the perspective of the teachers.

The problem statement of the study sought to determine the condition of digital technology use in schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In answering the questions, the research set out four objectives, which are: to identify the kind of digital technology used in the schools in the monarchy; to identify the extent of availability of digital technology material in schools; to determine the condition of the digital technology material in the schools; and to try and emphasize the impact of the digital technology from the perspective of the average teachers. The literature review was mainly directed at college and university education with a succinct review of digital technology. It was found out that investing in digital technology has commendable results. For instance, technology-conversant education increases learning effectiveness, improve performance as well as influence learners’ efficiency. Moreover, it was proved that technology improved leaners’ engagement and improve their attitude towards education.

The findings of the study revealed that most of the important digital materials were available in secondary schools in Saudi Arabia; teachers were aware of the significant of deploying digital materials; most of the digital materials available in secondary schools were appropriate for learning. Basing on these findings, Al-Faleh composed a list of recommendations, including the need for teacher involvement from the earliest levels of education and in-service training courses in order to improve their digital competence; adopt the quality and critical use of digital materials in schools; promote innovative learning approaches; and the need to undertake further research on the issues concerning the use of digital media in education.

Importance of the Study to Curriculum Development

The research under review is relevant from the perspective of the modern time education. This is because while the idea of digital technology is important, the curriculum must take into account availability of such material before making it policy. Therefore, such study provided ground on which curriculum developers can evaluate the level on which educational content can be taught via digital technology. The research also provided means through which teacher training can be improved to incorporate digital technology. The curriculum will determine the extent to which teachers have to undergo digital technology training.

Critique on Research Methodology

The study adopted a quantitative research design with the data acquisition comprising mainly primary data gathered with a help of questionnaires. The quantitative research method was appropriate for this particular research context, owing to the fact that the study was not descriptive but analytical, concerning the state of digital technology use within secondary schools in Saudi Arabia. The questions were to be answered by the teachers responding with the figures rating from 0 to 3. The questions in the questionnaire were straight forward. The respondents would provide the values and the researcher would find a mean value. According to the requirements and the objectives of the research, its methodology is commendable as well as appropriate. The objectives of the study are worded with terms such as ‘determine’, ‘extent’, and ‘average mean’. This implies that requirements of the study are quantitative in nature and that would be required. The questionnaires used by Al-Faleh required a quantitative response and such methodology is quite plausible. In addition, the strength of the methodology stems from the fact that the researcher deployed random sampling, which means that the findings of the study can be generalized by making statistical inferences to all secondary schools in Saudi Arabia. Overall, the research method utilized in this study was appropriate for the nature of the study.

Curriculum Development Problem Addressed by the Research

The results of the above mentioned study were quite conclusive as well as they provided good grounds for evaluating the state of digital technology use. The research was successful in managing to address questions with regard to curriculum development. This is so because the result of the study found an above average mean with regard to availability, suitability, and conditions of digital technology material use. Once this has been ascertained, curriculum developers my now proceed and structure the curriculum in manner that digital technology education is inclusive. Moreover, the study found out that there is a significant difference in the quality learning and digital technology use between public and private schools (Al-Faleh, 2012). Thus, the curriculum should be directed at encouraging the mode of learning so that public schools can find innovative means of improving learning standards. It is evident that the study was instrumental in addressing the issue of integrating technology in curriculum development. Through the recommendations outlined in the paper, curriculum developers are provided with a guideline on how to integrate technology in secondary school’s learning procedures.

Conclusion

The research done by Al-Faleh should be hailed. The research was performed in a structured manner with clear and measurable objectives. Al-Faleh (2012) was keen on clarifying the problem statement and providing the significance of the research together with the limitation of the study. Al-Faleh’s work further reviewed other scholarly works, covering a wider area in the subject matter. Discussing the methodology, the author was able to inform the readers about the basis of the selection together with the expected provisions for error- Cronbach’s Alpha. Finally, Al-Faleh provided a list of recommendations based on the study and also suggested other surveys that could be done to complement the research. Such a systematically undertaken research results in commendable outcome.

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