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RASHID MOHAMMED SALIM ALHAJRI Thesis Khadijah Zon degree of Doctor of Philosophy UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA MALAYSIA Shuki Osman ACKNOWLEDGMENTS COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION TEACHERS’ BELIEFS AND SELF-EFFICACY IN COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING:
A COMPARATIVE STUDY
BETWEEN OMAN AND MALAYSIA
by
RASHID MOHAMMED SALIM ALHAJRI
Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA
June 2007
ii
‫ﺑﺴﻢ ﻪﻠﻟﺍ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﻴﻢ‬
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
First of all, I thank God for giving me the courage, strength, and wisdom
to complete this project, and for providing me the opportunity to accomplish
this achievement. Without His help, I would not be able to do anything.
iii
The completion of this study would not have been possible without the
support and guidance of many individuals. I am especially grateful to my
supervisor, Dr. Shuki Osman, whose encouragement, astute direction, and
kind support during my study over the past three years has kept me focused
and inspire me to look deeper and get the job done. I would also like to
express my thanks to co-supervisor Associate Professor Dr. Khadijah Zon for
her assistance throughout my project. She reinforced my knowledge on the
comparative educational studies.
I would also like to extend my thanks to Associate Professor Dr. Abd.
Rashid Mohammed, the Dean of the School of Educational Studies. A special
thank is also extended to the school administrators and teachers in Oman and
Malaysia who have assisted me to collect the data for my study. Their efforts
have resulted in a higher rate of questionnaires were returned.
I shall not forget my friend Saif, my faithful companion during many long
hours of residency. His companionship was a truly blessing. My thank also go
to my friend Salim whose help and humor during our residency have
encouraged my work. And finally, I must acknowledge my greatest source of
strength, my wife. She has been so patient while being absence from home
and she was always willing to do whatever was necessary to promote my
success.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Acknowledgments iii
Table of Content iii
iv
List of Tables x
List of Figures xii
List of Publications & Seminars xiii
Abstrak xiv
Abstract xvi
CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Context of the Study 2
1.2 Background of the Study 6
1.3 Problem Statement 21
1.4 Purpose of the Study 23
1.5 Research Questions 23
1.6 Hypotheses 25
1.7 Rationale for the Study 26
1.8 Significance of the Study 28
1.9 Limitations of the Study 29
1.10 Definition of Terms 29
CHAPTER 2 - EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN OMAN AND MALAYSIA
2.0 Introduction 32
2.1 Educational System in Oman 32
2.1.1 Basic Information 32
2.1.2 Historical Background of the Educational System 34
2.1.3 Educational Reform in Oman 35
2.1.4 Oman ICT Policy in the Field of Education 37
2.2 Educational system in Malaysia 40
2.2.1 Basic Information 40
2.2.2 Historical Background of Educational System 41
v
2.2.3 The National Educational System 41
2.2.4 Educational Reform regarding Computer Technology 43
2.2.5 Malaysia ICT Policy in the Field of Education 43
2.2.6 The Malaysian Smart School Project 46
CHAPTER 3 - LITERATURE REVIEW
3.0 Introduction 49
3.1 Comparative Perspective 49
3.1.0 Introduction 49
3.1.1 Definition of Comparative Education 50
3.1.2 Dimensions of Comparative Education and Contribution 51
3.1.3 Purposes of Comparative Study in Education 52
3.1.4 Comparative Research Methodology 54
3.1.5 Difficulties in Comparative Studies 54
3.1.6 Overcoming Translation-related Problems 56
3.1.7 The Danger of Borrowing from Foreign Systems 58
3.1.8 Summary 59
3.2 The Basis of Comparative Study between Oman and Malaysia 59
(Comparability)
3.3 Education and Technology 62
3.3.1 The Definition of Technology 63
3.3.2 The Integration of Computer Technology in Teaching and 65
Learning
3.3.3 Summary 67
3.4 Barriers which Influence Computer Technology Integration 67
3.4.1 External Barriers 70
3.4.1(a) Lack of Standard of Integration 70
3.4.1(b) School Expectations 71
3.4.1(c) Lack of Computer Knowledge and Skills 71
vi
3.4.1(d) Lack of Access 72
3.4.1(e) Lack of Time 73
3.4.1(f) Technical Problems 74
3.4.2 Internal barriers 75
3.4.2(a) Teachers’ Beliefs 75
3.4.2(b) Teachers’ Self-efficacy 77
3.4.2(c) Computer Anxiety 78
3.4.2(d) Motivation 78
3.4.2(e) Teachers’ Attitudes 78
3.4.3 Teachers’ Gender and the Level of Computer Use 79
3.4.4 Teachers’ Subject Taught and the Level of Computer Use 80
3.4.5 Why Concentrate on Beliefs and Self-efficacy? 82
3.5 Teachers’ Beliefs, and Self-efficacy 85
3.5.1 The Definition of Beliefs 85
3.5.2 Attitudes and Beliefs 89
3.5.3 Teachers’ Beliefs 90
3.5.4 The Significance of Teachers’ Beliefs 92
3.5.5 Teachers’ Beliefs and Computer Technology Integration 93
3.5.6 Teachers’ Beliefs and Change 96
3.5.7 Self-efficacy 101
3.5.7(a) The Definition of Self-efficacy. 101
3.5.7(b) Teachers and Self-efficacy 102
3.5.7(c) Teachers’ Self-efficacy and Computer Use 105
3.6 Theoretical Framework 108
3.6.1 Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) 109
3.6.2 Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) 112
3.6.3 Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) 113
3.6.4 Proposed Research Model 115
3.6.4(a) Technology Acceptance 116
vii
3.6.4(b) Usefulness 117
3.6.4(c) Ease of Use 119
3.6.4(d) Subjective Norms 120
3.6.4(e) Formal Support 121
3.7 Summary 122
CHAPTER 4 - METHODOLOGY
4.0 Introduction 124
4.1 Research Design 125
4.2 Research Variables 125
4.3 Population and Sample 126
4.4 Instruments 127
4.4.1 Measuring the Level of Computer Use 130
4.4.2 Translation of the Instruments 133
4.5 Validity and Reliability 134
4.6 Confirmatory Factor Analysis 135
4.7 Scoring of Data 137
4.8 Data Collecting Procedures 138
4.9 Data Analysis 139
4.10 Research Procedures 144
4.11 Summary 144
CHAPTER 5 - FINDINGS
6.0 Introduction 147
5.1 General and Demographic Data 147
5.1.1 Respondents’ Areas of Teaching Expertise 148
5.1.2 Respondents’ Gender 149
viii
5.1.3 Respondents’ Academic Qualification 149
5.1.4 Respondents’ Teaching Experience 150
5.1.5 Respondents’ Computer Use Experience 151
5.1.6 Using Computer’s Tools and Applications 152
5.1.7 Computer Use at Home 154
5.2 Findings 154
5.2.1 Results for Research Question 1 155
5.2.2 Results for Research Question 2 157
5.2.3 Results for Research Question 3 159
5.2.4 Results for Research Question 4 160
5.2.5 Results for Research Question 5 161
5.2.6 Results for Research Question 6 163
5.2.7 Results for Research Question 7 165
5.2.8 Results for Research Question 8 168
5.2.9 Results for Research Question 9 171
5.2.10 Results for Research Question 10 173
5.3 Summary of the Findings 175
CHAPTER 6 - DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS
6.0 Introduction 182
6.1 Discussions 184
6.1.1 Level of Computer Use for Teaching and Learning 184
6.1.2 Teachers’ Beliefs about Computer Technology Integration 187
6.1.3 Teachers’ Self-efficacy with respect to Computer Technology 194
Integration
6.1.4 Differences Between Teachers’ Level of Computer Use in 198
Oman and Malaysia
6.1.5 Differences Between Teachers’ Beliefs in Oman and Malaysia 199
ix
6.1.6 Differences Between Teachers’ self-efficacy in Oman and 200
Malaysia
6.1.7 Gender Differences and the Level of Computer Use 202
6.1.7 Teachers’ Subject Taught and the Level of Computer Use 205
6.1.9 Teachers’ Beliefs and the Level of Computer Use 207
6.1.10 Teachers’ Self-efficacy and the Level of Computer Use 213
6.2 Recommendations 215
6.3 Limitations of the Study 218
6.4 Suggestions for Future Research 219
6.5 Conclusion 222
REFERENCES 225
APPENDIXES 258
Appendix A First draft of Questionnaires 1 (pilot survey) 259
Appendix B English Language version of the questionnaires 263
Appendix C Malay Language version of the questionnaires 269
Appendix D Arabic Language version of the questionnaires 274
Appendix E Original self-efficacy questionnaire 281
Appendix F Original items of Subjective norms dimension 283
Appendix G Approval Letter from Ministry of Education In Oman for 284
collecting data.
Appendix H Factor analysis output of Teachers’ Beliefs about Computer 286
Technology Integration questionnaire
Appendix I The result of Research Questions 2 & 3: Mean, Standard 291
Deviation, and Percentages
Appendix J1 Oman’s Map 300
J2 Malaysia’s Map 301
LIST OF TABLES
Page
Table 4.1 Sample from Malaysia 126
Table 4.2 Sample from Oman 127
x
Table 4.3 Cronbach's alpha of the Instruments 135
Table 5.1(a) Areas of teaching expertise (Oman) 148
Table 5.1(b) Areas of teaching expertise (Malaysia) 148
Table 5.2 Population composition by gender 149
Table 5.3 Academic qualification 149
Table 5.4 Teaching experience 151
Table 5.5 Teachers’ computer use experience. 152
Table 5.6(a) Frequencies of using computers tools and 153
applications in Oman
Table 5.6(b) Frequencies of using computers tools and 153
applications in Malaysia
Table 5.7 Computer use at home 154
Table 5.8 Participant extent of computer technology use for 156
teaching and learning
Table 5.9 Means and standard division for the overall scale of 158
teachers’ beliefs and the four subscales
Table 5.10 Means and standard division for the overall scale of 159
teachers’ self-efficacy and the three subscales
Table 5.11 Differences between teachers in Oman and Malaysia 161
on their level of computer use for teaching and
learning
Table 5.12 Differences between teachers in Oman and Malaysia 162
on their beliefs in general about using computer
technology for teaching and learning
Table 5.13 Differences between teachers in Oman and Malaysia 162
on their beliefs about using computer technology for
teaching and learning for each subscale
Table 5.14 Differences between teachers in Oman and Malaysia 164
on their self-efficacy in respect to using computer for
teaching and learning in general.
Table 5.15 Differences between teachers in Oman and Malaysia 165
on their self-efficacy in respect to using computer for
xi
teaching and learning for each subscale.
Table 5.16 Differences between teachers’ gender regarding their 166
level of use computer for teaching and learning
among teachers in Oman and Malaysia
Table 5.17 Differences between teachers’ gender regarding their 168
level of use computer for teaching and learning
among teachers in Oman and Malaysia
Table 5.18 Differences between teachers’ subject taught 169
regarding their level of use computer for teaching and
learning among teachers in Oman and Malaysia
Table 5.19 Differences between teachers’ subject taught 171
regarding their level of computer use for teaching and
learning among teachers in Oman and Malaysia
Table 5.20 Correlation between teachers’ beliefs, and the level of 172
computer use in Oman and Malaysia
Table 5.21 Correlation between teachers’ beliefs for each 173
subscale and the level of computer use in Oman and
Malaysia
Table 5.22 Correlation between teachers’ self-efficacy, and the 174
level of computer use in Oman and Malaysia
Table 5.23 Summary of differences and similarities between 180
Oman and Malaysia
LIST OF FIGURES
Page
Figure 3.1 Original Model of the Theory of Reasoned Action 111
Figure 3.2 Original Model of the Theory of Planned Behavior 113
xii
Figure 3.3 Original Model of the Technology Acceptance Model 114
Figure 3.4 Proposed Research Model 115
Figure 5.1 Teachers’ computer use experience (years) in Oman 152
and Malaysia
Figure 5.2 Participant extent of computer technology use for 157
teaching and learning
Figure 5.3 Interaction between country and gender for teachers’ 167
level of computer use.
Figure 5.4 Level of computer use in Oman and Malaysia categorize 168
by gender
Figure 5.5 Interaction between country and subject taught for 170
teachers’ level of computer use
Figure 5.6 Scatter plot of the correlation between teachers’ beliefs 172
and the level of computer use in Oman and Malaysia
Figure 5.7 Scatter plot of the correlation between teachers’ self- 175
efficacy and the level of computer use in Oman and
Malaysia
Figure 5.8 Summary of differences and similarities between 180
Oman and Malaysia
LIST OF PUBLICATIONS & SEMINARS
Date
xiii
Teachers' attitude and self-efficacy and their integration of
technology in Oman. Paper presented at the Educational
Seminar: Education for Sustainable Development, 28-30 August 2005
1
August 2005, School of Educational Studies, University
Science Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.
A survey of epistemological beliefs of students in
e-learning environment. Paper presented at the
2 International Conference on Distance Education - ICODE March 2006
2006, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, 27-29 March
2006, Sultanate of Oman.
KEPERCAYAAN DAN EFIKASI KENDIRI GURU DALAM INTEGRASI
TEKNOLOGI KOMPUTER UNTUK PENGAJARAN DAN PEMBELAJARAN:
SATU KAJIAN PERBANDINAGAN ANTARA
OMAN DENGAN MALAYSIA
ABSTRAK
xiv
Kajian ini dijalankan untuk mengkaji faktor-faktor berkaitan integrasi
teknologi komputer untuk pengajaran dan pembelajaran. Kajian mengkaji
kepercayaan guru dan efikasi kendiri guru dalam mengintegrasi teknologi
komputer untuk pengajaran dan pembelajaran sebagai kajian perbandingan
antara dua negara, Oman dan Malaysia. Ia bertujuan untuk menentukan
sejauh mana guru sekolah menengah menerima teknologi komputer sebagai
alat untuk pengajaran.
Sampel kajian terdiri daripada guru sekolah menengah, iaitu 920 guru
dari Oman dan 934 guru dari Malaysia. Kajian menggunakan dua soal selidik:
Soal Selidik Kepercayaan Guru Tentang Integrasi Teknologi Komputer dan
Soal Selidik Efikasi Kendiri Guru terhadap Integrasi Teknologi Komputer.
Dapatan utama kajian mendedahkan bahawa guru di kedua-dua buah
negara mempunyai kepercayaan positif tentang integrasi teknologi komputer
untuk tujuan pendidikan, dan menunjukkan tahap efikasi kendiri yang secara
relatif rendah dalam integrasi teknologi computer, terutama di Oman. Dapatan
menunjukkan bahawa penggunaan komputer, untuk pengajaran adalah
rendah. Walaupun majoriti guru menggunakan komputer untuk pengajaran
dan pembelajaran, statistik diskriptif mendedahkan bahawa skor min untuk
tahap penggunaan komputer adalah rendah di kedua-dua negara. Perbezaan
statistik yang signifikan dikesan tentang kepercayaan guru terhadap integrasi
teknologi komputer untuk pengajaran dan pembelajaran antara kedua-dua
negara. Terdapat juga perbezaan antara kedua-dua negara tentang efikasi
kendiri guru berkaitan integrasi teknologi komputer untuk pengajaran dan
pembelajaran. Malah, terdapat perbezaan antara guru mengikut jantina di
xv
setiap negara dengan keputusan dapatan yang bertimbalbalik. Wanita lebih
kerap menggunakan komputer daripada lelaki di Oman berbanding Malaysia,
di mana guru lelaki lebih kerap menggunakan komputer daripada wanita.
Tetapi hasil kajian tidak menunjukkan perbezaan yang ketara antara guru di
Oman dengan guru di Malaysia tentang tahap penggunaan komputer untuk
pengajaran dan pembelajaran. Walau bagaimanapun terdapat perbezaan
tahap penggunaan komputer mengikut mata pelajaran yang diajar oleh guru-
guru di Malaysia, tetapi di Oman perbezaannya tidak tidak signifikan.
Selanjutnya dapatan kajian menunjukkan terdapat hubungan yang signifikan
dan positif antara kepercayaan guru dengan dan tahap penggunaan teknologi
komputer di kedua-dua Negara. Terdapat juga hubungan positif yang
signifikan antara efikasi kendiri guru dengan tahap penggunaan komputer,
dimana terdapat perbezaan antara kedua-dua negara dari segi saiz hubungan
tersebut.
TEACHERS’ BELIEFS AND SELF-EFFICACY IN COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION FOR TEACHING AND
LEARNING: A COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN
OMAN AND MALAYSIA
ABSTRACT
xvi
This study was designed to investigate factors related to computer
technology integration for teaching and learning. The study examined teacher
beliefs and self-efficacy with respect to computer technology integration for
teaching and learning, as a comparative study across two countries, Oman
and Malaysia. The aim was to determine the extent to which secondary school
teachers are accepting computer technology as a tool for educational
purposes.
The sample consisted secondary school teachers, 920 from Oman and
934 from Malaysia. The study utilized two questionnaires for collecting data:
Teachers’ Beliefs about Computer Technology Integration Questionnaire, and
Teachers’ Self-efficacy Regarding Computer Technology Integration
Questionnaire.
Principal findings revealed that teachers in both countries possess
positive beliefs about computer technology integration for educational
purposes and relatively low level of self-efficacy with respect to computer
technology integration, particularly in Oman. Furthermore, the findings
indicated that computer use for instruction is relatively low. Although the
majority of teachers use computer for teaching and learning, descriptive
statistics revealed that the mean score of the level of computer use was low in
both countries. Statistical significant differences were observed on teachers’
beliefs about computer technology integration for teaching and learning
between the two countries. Moreover, there were differences between
teachers’ self-efficacy regarding the integration of computer technology
integration for teaching and learning. In addition, there were differences
xvii
between teachers according to their gender in each country with a converse
result. Female teachers use computers more than male teachers in Oman
whereas in Malaysia male teachers use computers more than female. On the
other hand, finding did not indicate significant differences between teachers in
Oman and Malaysia on their level of use of computer for teaching and
learning. However, there were significant differences in the level of computer
use with respect to the subjects taught among Malaysian teachers, while in
Oman the differences were not significant. Positive relationship exists between
teachers’ beliefs and their level of use of computer technology in both
countries, and also there was positive relationship between teachers’ self-
efficacy and their level of computer use, with a difference between the two
countries on the size of the association.
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1.0 Introduction
A number of researchers state that the integration of computer
technology in classroom instruction can improve and enhance teaching and
learning and many educators believe to be irrefutable. Technological
knowledge and expertise are viewed to be imperative for students to prepare
themselves for the challenges and demands of the information era. However,
provision of the latest computer paraphernalia in schools and the
implementation of a series of professional development programs of
technology integration for teachers do not give assurance that integration on
computer technology would be effectively carried out in practice. There are
various other factors that come into play which could influence successful
technology integration, such as teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy in terms of
their technological knowledge and expertise which ultimately would result in
the existence or non-existence of the internal barriers (or second order
barriers) affecting their use of computer technology for teaching and learning.
Acknowledging this problematic situation, this study attempts to identify the
internal barriers (second order barriers) that exist amongst teachers toward
technology integration. This study also attempts to compare the differences in
terms of the teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy regarding the integration of
computer technology between teachers in two countries, namely Oman and
Malaysia. It is expected that the results of the study would uncover the
2
psychological barriers that affect the integration of computer in schools in the
two countries.
1.1 Context of the Study
Efforts to encourage the use of computers have been undertaken by the
respective governments of Oman and Malaysia. Evidence of this can be seen
in the increasing number of computers made available in both countries’
schools. In Oman, Ministry of Education has launched a comprehensive plan
known as the ‘Educational Development Project' which aims at modernizing
the country’s education system in order to meet the needs of the 21st century.
This major reform in the education system commenced in 1998 with the
introduction of a new educational model called "Basic Education" which refers
to a “unified ten-year education provided by the government for all children of
school age” (Ministry of Education, Oman, 2003, p.4). The implementation of
this new educational model is geared towards meeting the basic education
needs of Omani pupils in terms of knowledge, skills, and values. It would also
ensure that they would be well-equipped when pursuing their education or
training at higher levels based on their interests, aptitudes and dispositions as
well as be prepared to face the challenges of their present circumstances and
future developments in the context of a comprehensive social development .
One of the most important aspects featured in this educational reform is
the introduction of information technology to the education system in Oman.
Huge investments have been made in order to make information technology
accessible to all schools in the country. This goes in tandem with the view
upheld by the government that computer technology is an effective catalyst for
3
improving the traditional educational practices in basic education schools.
Such reformation also requires changes in the curricular and instructional
practices from teacher-centered to student-centered learning. This huge
investment is illustrated in the differences between the average cost per
student for the academic year 2003/04 in which the cost per student in schools
with computers amounted to USD$1934; whereas the cost per student in
schools without computers was only USD$1349 (Ministry of Education in
Oman, 2005).
Similarly, the education system in Malaysia also underwent
transformation with the introduction of a project called “Malaysian Smart
School”. This project was launched in July 1997 and piloted in 1999, involving
87 schools and focusing 4 subjects, namely Mathematics, Science, English
and Malay Language. The full implementation of this project will be completed
in all Malaysian schools by the year 2010 (Foong-Mae, 2002; Jen & Huang,
2004). The goals of the project are as follows:
• To support the country’s ICT master plan and to be in line with the
countries drive to fulfill Vision 2020.
• To reduce the digital divide that exists in the different parts of the
country by providing computer laboratories to thousands of schools.
• To enable students in information gathering, management,
manipulation, access, and communication in various forms.
• To help the country achieve the aims of the National Philosophy of
Education, as well as to foster the development of a workforce prepared
4
st
to meet the challenges of the 21 century (Ministry of Education in
Malaysia, 2001).
Such transformation would also entail changing the instructional
practices of Malaysia’s teachers from a teacher-centered focus to a learning
environment that stimulates thinking, creativity and caring whilst at the same
time on the individual differences and various learning styles (Mae, 2003).
Nonetheless, despite evidence on the dramatic increase of the number
of computers in teachers’ classroom in the last 6 years in Oman, there have
also been reports from the authority indicating that integration of technology
into classroom curricula has been below the expectations. Similar issues have
been reported in Malaysia. Therefore, this study compares the current status of
technology situation in Oman and Malaysia to identify the barriers that exist
with regard to technology integration. More specifically, this study examines
and compares the differences and similarities in terms of teachers’ beliefs and
self-efficacy regarding the integration of computer technology in these two
countries.
This comparative study between Oman and Malaysia is aimed at
highlighting similarities and differences on several aspects. In general, it is
evident that both countries vary in many important socio-economic and
geographical dimensions such as demography, size of population, language,
political system, economic development, culture, and geography. Among
prominent factors are the cultural differences and political aspects of these two
nations. Studies have suggested that cultural differences influence users’
acceptance of technology (Heath, 1998; Shimahara, 1986; Sun & Zhang,
5
2005; Vöhringer-Kuhnt, 2005). Hence, it would be expected that there would
be differences in aspects of technology adoption between teachers in Oman
and Malaysia. The diversity in cultures between these two countries can be
attributed to the different historical background and geographical location. A
distinctive aspect distinguishing the two cultures is the degree or level of
openness of both societies towards modernization. Unlike Malaysians who
have been accustomed to modern life since the early years of the twentieth
century, Omani people began accepting modern living and lifestyles only after
1970.
In retrospect, both Oman and Malaysia have been under the British
colony since the 19th century and remained so for most of the 20th century.
Democracy in Malaysia has been established for many years ago; whereas, in
Oman, like most Arab countries, the government (monarchy) controls every
thing in the country. In this context, studies have indicated that political
ideology translated in the government policy is another key factor which
influences teachers and their teaching (Karakaya, 2004, p199).
Apart from the above differences, some similarities can also be
observed between the two countries, particularly, the official religion, status of
economic development, as well as government’s emphasis on technology in
education. Another interesting observation is that both governments started to
provide their schools with computers and related devices approximately in
1998. This reflects one of the important similarities between Oman and
Malaysia. In addition, the fact that Islam is the official religion for both countries
is also viewed as an important contributing factor in this study which
6
investigates and compares technology adoption of teachers in Muslim nations.
Similarly, in terms of levels of development, both countries appear to fall under
the category of developing countries. It is argued that economically, Malaysia
may have more development compared to Oman as there have been signs
indicating that Malaysia is becoming one of the new industrialized countries
(Watson, 2001). The similarities as well as the differences observed between
these two nations serve as background for this comparative study.
1.2 Background of the Study
With the advent of the Internet in recent years, the diffusion of
information technology has become a global phenomenon. It is also a natural
part of human lives to the extent that certain aspects of economic,
communication, transportation, and even social life have become difficult
without technology necessitating them. Rapid expansion of technology has
even effected every organization throughout the world and many workers are
expected to be able to access technology to increase effectiveness in their
workplace. The fact remains that whether welcomed or not, computers have
and are going to have an increasingly important role in our society (Selwyn,
1997).
The use of technology in the educational institutions has also become a
necessity in order to prepare the students for the information era and the
globalized world. Advanced knowledge and skills in technology is required
from the students after their graduation owing to the demand for efficient
employees at workplaces to have sufficient knowledge and skills about
computer, telecommunications, and the ability to utilize new technologies and
7
new ways of working (Rowland, LeCrone, Tuker, Willis, & Wong, 2001).
MacNeil (2001) asserts that similar demand is also made by the public that
expects students to be getting adequate skills in schools to enable them to
cope with the challenges brought forth by the advancement in technology.
Hence, the inevitability of making technological knowledge and expertise is an
integral aspect of education which has given rise to efforts to develop policies
that could improve the aims and content of educational system or even reform
the system altogether.
1.2.1 Technology and Education
Despite being acknowledged and accepted as an integral part of life,
consensus as to what technology entails and how it effects educational
practices are still being debated in the educational community. There has yet
difficult to be found only one accepted definition or meaning of the technology
word that prevails across societies; and this is largely due to the fact that
technology changes so quickly; hence, it is hard to create one definition of
what constitutes its effective use in an educational setting (Veal, Tippins, &
Wiesema, 1997). Nonetheless, there have been several definitions which
many educators have considered all as encompassing. Some researchers
have defined technology as "the practical implementation of intelligence" (Veal
et al.1997, introduction section, para.3). However, focusing on the definition of
technology is not as important as deciding on what students need to learn
about technology. This poses as one of the biggest challenges encountered by
the educators and curriculum designers (Fulton & Pruitt-Mentle, 1998).
8
Education today relies heavily on technology and over the past decade,
schools have invested greatly in computers and networking to enhance
instruction (Sylvia & Sylvia, 2002). In other words, technology has become a
prevalent part


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