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Diffusion of Computers in Schools

Diffusion of Computers in Schools
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Author(s): Petek Askar (Hacettepe University, Turkey) and Yasemin Kocak-Usleul (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch089

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Abstract

Every system is shaped by the prevailing paradigm. As society innovates itself, it also adjusts its mechanisms to new situations. The phrase information society is one of the mechanisms suggested to adjust to new situations; it is to diffuse the innovation (Askar, 2004). On the other hand, in spite of the easily visible changes and adaptations in companies, it is hard to say this for educational organizations or schools. The use of computers in schools for the purpose of teaching and learning is a kind of diffusion process in which the computer is an innovation that is defined by Rogers (2003, p. 12) as “an idea, practice or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption.” In fact, computers, as a relatively new building block in the educational system, cause innovations that range from ways of communication, to teaching methods, to educational material and school management. As Rogers points out, getting a new idea adopted, even when it has obvious advantages, is difficult. In this article, the diffusion of computers in three schools was analyzed in the light of the theory of the diffusion of innovation. Furthermore, the findings were interpreted in the framework of complex systems since school is complex, an organic-like structure with its agents and schemas, and the interactions among them.

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