Classroom Innovation Becoming Sustainable: A Study of Technological Innovation Adoption by Estonian Primary School Teachers

Janika Leoste, Mati Heidmets, Tobias Ley, Jelena Stepanova 
pp. pp. 144 – 166, download


Rapid technological advances provide education systems with a steady stream of novel teaching approaches that are based on various modern technologies. These novel approaches are known as Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) innovations, and they are aimed at making learning and teaching more efficient, and providing students with relevant skills and knowledge for the contemporary world. Despite this, TEL innovations often fail to become sustainable in teachers’ classroom practices, resulting in wasted human and material resources.       Based on existing theoretical frameworks, several TEL innovation process stages as well as the factors that shape innovation acceptance by primary school teachers were outlined. Through interviews with 22 Estonian math teachers, who have already become permanent users of one particular TEL innovation called Robomath, the three stages of innovation acceptance – Awareness, Acceptance and Adoption – are described. In each of these stages, a certain combination of so-called sustainability factors is responsible for leading teachers to the next stage or making them reject the innovation. The role and importance of Contextual, Organizational, Personal, Technological, Social Practice and Perceived Value factors were studied. In order to ensure the sustainability of a TEL innovation, innovation planning should take into account the innovation process stages, ensuring that teachers are adequately supported in each phase, in particular with regard to the factors that are decisive in that particular phase.  

Keywords: Technology-Enhanced Learning; Innovation; Innovation Process; Innovation Process Stages; Innovation Process Factors; Sustainability

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