The Italian School Ecosystems two years after the pandemic in the perceptions of schools’ principals and teachers – part 2 (a segmented analysis)

Carlo Giovannella, Licia Cianfriglia, Antonello Giannelli
pp.  83 – 108, download

This article presents a detailed analysis of the influence of age and gender of the respondents (231 teachers and 153 principals), and, as well, of the geographical localization and level of the schools in which they operate, on the effects generated, two years later, by the digital shock undergone by the Italian school ecosystem at the beginning of March 2020 due to the pandemics. An overall positive perception of the introduction and use of technologies is confirmed, although it remains clearly distinct from that of the particularly critical period experienced. Inhomogeneities emerged among geographical areas and school levels. Among them, greater suffering of ICs (primary and middle schools) and, in general, of the schools in the South of Italy regarding infrastructures and connectivity was highlighted. Due to that and to a greater sense of unpreparedness also a greater sense of increased workload has been perceived in such area. In spite of this, and perhaps because of this, a greater enthusiasm by teachers to experiment, together with a more positive perception about the usefulness of technology (particularly in the female gender), was also observed, along with a demand for highly qualified continuous training. A gender gap was observed in the variation of the individual factor related to the teachers’/principals’ wellbeing (lower for males) and in the judgment towards technologies. We detected also a greater difficulty with the teachers’ age to become accustomed to technology, particularly in high schools. The text analysis of the answers given to open-ended questions made it possible to bring out the peculiarities of the technologies that allowed teachers to develop the mentioned positive perception, as well as to highlight the reasons why many technologies are shelved. The activities for which technologies are considered most useful also emerged, as well as future intentions of use and expectations about continuous training. Differences in expectations about the future integration and use of technologies among the respondents teaching at different school levels clearly emerged. Finally, future smart organization of the schools seems deemed necessary by all categories of teachers and principals.

Keywords: smart learning ecosystems, Italian schools, Covid-19 pandemic, school e-maturity, school teachers, school principals, technology innovation process, technology-enhanced learning, integrated learning, smart organization.


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