Integrating Information Technology in Precollege Education in Kuwait: Teachers’ Perspectives on a Botched Initiative
This study collects empirical evidence to investigate the extent to which high school teachers adopted the tablet computer in their instruction within the context of the Tablet Project in Kuwait and explores what drove their adoption behavior.
The role of information technology in education is prominent and takes different forms depending on the purpose of information technology adoption and the adopted information technology systems. To utilize emerging technology in education in Kuwait, the government launched an initiative to integrate the tablet computer into high school education during the 2015–2016 academic year. Three years later, some evidence doubting the project’s value had had been circulated, which motivated undertaking a thorough investigation to assess the project’s effectiveness, particularly from the teachers’ perspectives and its influential factors.
We adapted an expanded Technology Acceptance Model to assess the extent of high school teachers’ use of the system in their teaching practice and to examine the effects of teaching efficacy, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness on that use behavior. To test the research hypotheses, a data set was collected from 206 teachers and analyzed using the partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) method.
Our empirically derived results confirm the scanty information that was in circulation at the time of this study and that claimed that the Tablet Project was not progressing sufficiently or achieving its objectives. These results could guide future efforts aimed at effectively integrating information technology into high school education in Kuwait and at enhancing the ongoing online education necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. They also advise that effective integration of information technology into teaching and learning mandates a comprehensive redesign and digitization of the targeted educational system.
Although teachers report minimal use of the system in teaching, teaching efficacy emerges as the strongest determinant of that use behavior, followed by perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. The fitted model also has satisfactory explanatory power as it explains 43% of the variance in use behavior.
The results of this study suggest that, in the public schools of Kuwait, teaching efficacy is a more important determinant of the use behavior of information technology in teaching than perceived ease of use or perceived usefulness. In addition, it is difficult to adopt information technology into teaching where there is inadequate awareness of the role of technology in e-learning, a lack of content modules fit for information technology-assisted teaching, poor Internet connections, a lack of technical support, and a lack of adequate professional and technical training.
This study offers significant empirical results from the Arabian milieu on the utility of the Technology Acceptance Model in elucidating public high school teachers’ adoption of the tablet computer in teaching practice. Our results also enhance the growing global body of knowledge on the integration of hedonic systems as well as their individual and contextual determinants in education, in general, and in teaching practice, in particular. Furthermore, teaching efficacy is an important determinant of teachers’ adoption of information technology in teaching.
Information technology augments traditional, face-to-face teaching and learning in societies by incorporating rich, online learning experiences and creating a motivating and efficient learning environment. Yet, the value of information technology-enabled education depends significantly on the successful integration of the systems into the educational process, and the results of this study could serve as a foundation for policies and plans aimed at successfully integrating information technology into the educational systems in Kuwait and similar societies.
The results and limitations of this study suggest several future research topics. Future research should explore the extent of students’ adoption of the tablet computer in learning activities and its important determinants to gain a better understanding of the Kuwaiti Tablet Project initiative. In addition, future research should employ other research methods (e.g., qualitative analysis), use samples from private schools’ teachers, and incorporate and test other possible determinants of teachers’ adoption of information technology in teaching to verify the validity and generalizability of the reported results.