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Mini Review Article ID: igmin136

The policy development and current situation of information technology education in Taiwan

Min-Ying Tsai *

Received 27 Nov 2023 Accepted 09 Jan 2024 Published online 10 Jan 2024

Abstract

With the development of science and technology, almost everyone uses 3C (Computer, Communication, and Consumer Electronics) products and can search for information online, play games, chat with others, etc. at any time. Coupled with the impact of the pandemic, school teachers and students cannot go to school and can only use online teaching and distance learning. This requires teachers to quickly learn the relevant knowledge of using information technology for teaching, such as the operation of equipment, online teaching, etc. Establishment of meeting rooms. To this day, the Ministry of Education actively promotes digital teaching in primary and secondary schools based on international trends and domestic policy developments. The paper introduced the policy and current state of the application of educational technology in Taiwan.

Introduction

According to the Ministry of Education [11Ministry of Education (2017) A survey on Internet usage behavior of primary and secondary school students in Taiwan. Ministry of Education.], 11% of elementary students in grades four through six had a high internet addiction tendency, followed by 14.3% of junior high school students and 12.8% of high school students. It seems that one elementary and secondary school student out of every ten could become addicted to the Internet. However, what’s noteworthy is that boys are more likely than girls to have a strong predisposition to use and indulge, and this tendency develops gradually as grades rise which is in line with every survey’s global findings [11Ministry of Education (2017) A survey on Internet usage behavior of primary and secondary school students in Taiwan. Ministry of Education.]. Girls’ rates of high internet addiction tendency increased gradually from elementary school to high school, despite the fact that their rates were not higher than those of boys. Therefore, educators need to be concerned about this internet addiction issue, especially for boys.

Regardless of their academic system, students utilize computers and the Internet (94.4% - 99.6% usage rate in the last three months) and own smartphones or tablets (68.7% - 99.0% ownership rate in the past three months) [11Ministry of Education (2017) A survey on Internet usage behavior of primary and secondary school students in Taiwan. Ministry of Education.]. Regardless of the academic system, the majority of students use the Internet primarily to view videos that have been posted online [11Ministry of Education (2017) A survey on Internet usage behavior of primary and secondary school students in Taiwan. Ministry of Education.]. Social networking sites are frequently used by middle school and high school students while playing mobile games online is another popular online pastime among elementary school children [11Ministry of Education (2017) A survey on Internet usage behavior of primary and secondary school students in Taiwan. Ministry of Education.]. Evidently, students use the Internet mostly for pleasure and recreation, as well as to build and maintain relationships with others. Instructors need to help students use digital media for learning in the proper manner, not just for entertainment. The paper introduced the policy and status quo of information and technology education in Taiwan.

The policy about information and technology education

The UNESCO consensus on “Artificial Intelligence and Education” released in 2019 pointed out that an adaptive, fair, diverse, and inclusive learning experience based on artificial intelligence technology can provide everyone with access to high-quality education. Opportunity (cited in [22Ministry of Education (2022) Digital Teaching Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools Version 1.0. Ministry of Education]. Catalyzed by the epidemic, digital technology has flipped the definition and context of learning and teaching [22Ministry of Education (2022) Digital Teaching Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools Version 1.0. Ministry of Education]. We should rethink the roles of teachers and students. Therefore, the National Development Council of the Executive Yuan passed the “National Development Plan (110–113 Years), Development Strategy—Digital Innovation, and launched a new economic development model 2.0, of which item (5) is to create a “Digital Country·Smart Island”, and the government implemented “The next phase (2021–2025) of the “Digital Country and Innovative Economic Development Plan” will continue to promote digital learning, promote Internet awareness and media literacy of all age groups, provide sufficient digital education teachers, and enhance digital accessibility and digital inclusion.

To this end, the Ministry of Education proposed a “digital learning improvement plan for primary and secondary schools,” which includes “digital content enrichment,” “mobile vehicles and network enhancement,” and “education big data analysis [33Ministry of Education (2021) Promote digital learning improvement programs for primary and secondary schools. Ministry of Education.].” The five goals of the Ministry of Education are to achieve “teaching materials are more vivid,” “schoolbags are lighter,” “teaching is more diverse,” “learning is more effective,” and “urban and rural areas are more balanced [33Ministry of Education (2021) Promote digital learning improvement programs for primary and secondary schools. Ministry of Education.].” In addition to using textbooks and the internet to look for and learn new material, students could also utilize additional software (or applications) to arrange and condense the information. Therefore, the Ministry of Education in Taiwan funded $117 billion to support digital learning for students in first through twelfth grades [44Guo BX. (2021) Every class has internet access and every student uses a tablet - a comprehensive plan to improve digital learning in primary and secondary schools. The breaking news in Ministry of Education: Information, Technology and Education Division.]. Under this concept, every student gets a tablet to help with learning, and teachers create technology- or information-based courses to teach kids how to use tablets for learning.

Digital learning and curriculum development of information and technology education

Digital learning means that students have appropriate digital literacy and can apply digital tools and resources accordingly, utilize learning strategies, and interact with teachers or peers to achieve set learning goals and enhance learning interest [22Ministry of Education (2022) Digital Teaching Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools Version 1.0. Ministry of Education]. In order to realize a digital learning situation, every student and teacher needs information and communication equipment, networks, digital platforms and tools, learning resources, digital skills, and digital learning specifications and guidelines. There are three types of digital learning, including teachable, collaborative, and autonomous ways [22Ministry of Education (2022) Digital Teaching Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools Version 1.0. Ministry of Education] as described below. Firstly, instructional digital learning: Teachers plan digital learning mainly based on the learning objectives, tasks, content, methods, evaluation, etc. Students use digital tools or resources to listen, imitate, or practice under the guidance of the teacher to complete the learning tasks according to the steps. For example, based on demonstrations or assignments, students can read texts, practice exercises, and evaluate learning through digital platforms or digital vehicles (such as tablets). For example: Based on demonstrations or assignments, students can read texts, practice exercises, and evaluate learning through digital platforms or digital vehicles (such as tablets).

Next, collaborative digital learning: Students collaborate with teachers, and students participate in learning design. In the learning process, teachers and students become each other’s learning partners through questioning, dialogue, supervision, coaching, etc. For example, in open tasks or problems, through digital technology-assisted cooperative learning, students work in groups to discuss, share, interact, and solve problems, and through group self-evaluation and feedback to improve learning effectiveness, etc. Lastly, autonomous digital learning means student-led learning. Students decide on learning topics and problems, set learning goals, strategies, and processes, search and manage resources, select digital tools and platforms according to needs, conduct learning, self-evaluation, and adjustments to achieve the set learning goals.

Instructional digital learning was similar to technology integration in teaching, which is the most common teaching method in Taiwan. In order to promote students’ digital learning, the Ministry of Education developed the curriculum syllabus for Information and Technology Education for primary teachers to arrange the relevant curriculum [55National Education Research Institute (2020) Reference Notes on Curriculum Development of Science and Technology Education and Information Education in National Primary Schools. National Education Research Institute.]. In primary school, information or technology topics are integrated into learning courses or flexible learning courses in various fields. Teachers followed the curriculum syllabus to design the learning content and focused on learning integration, problem-solving, life connections, and integrated exploration and practice. In addition, teachers also need to be concerned about their cognitive and affective development to inspire their learning interests. The key learning points of curriculum development in technology education are seen in Tables 1, 2, including learning performance and content.

Table 1: Learning performance in technology and information education.
Table 2: Learning content in technology and information education.

The current state of digital learning in Taiwan

ViewSonic and flipped education investigated the current state of digital learning in Taiwan and found that the rate of information technology integration in teaching reached 65% to 89% in 2020 [66Integrated Communications Department (2022) 2022 Survey on the current situation of digital learning and teaching: Seeing the three major challenges on campus. Parent-child world e-newsletter] and the results were as follows: Teachers mentioned that the three main challenges of integrating information technology into teaching were frequently the use of hardware equipment, interactive teaching capabilities, and digital teaching tools [66Integrated Communications Department (2022) 2022 Survey on the current situation of digital learning and teaching: Seeing the three major challenges on campus. Parent-child world e-newsletter]. Firstly, concerning hardware equipment, as many as 96% of teachers agree that having handwriting devices is very useful for integrating information technology into teaching; 48% of them believe that classrooms need large-size digital interactive displays to improve the interactivity of classroom teaching; and 44% believe that touch-and-write electronic lecturers are needed. Table and other equipment such as physical projectors, writing tablets, and tablet computers. Currently, classrooms on campus are still dominated by one-way output equipment such as desktop computers (82%), projectors and screens (71%), microphones and amplifiers (58%), and there is a general lack of digital interactive equipment. Nearly 50% of the teachers surveyed said that there are no digital interactive displays in the classroom, and 19% of teachers do not know their uses.

74% of the teachers surveyed believe that improving hardware equipment is the most helpful for digital interactive teaching. When the hardware equipment is well established, teachers can conduct digital interactive teaching in the classroom at any time and naturally accumulate abilities and experience. In addition, 72% of teachers believe that online co-preparation courses and software teaching videos or live courses can effectively help teaching on-site. Secondly, about the usage of digital teaching tools, 89% of teachers use Google Classroom, which is the digital teaching system used by most teachers, followed by myViewBoard at 35%. In addition, when actually conducting digital interactive teaching, 58% of teachers will use Jamboard to obtain instant feedback, followed by Kahoot (47%) and myViewBoard (34%). The teaching site has also been deeply recognized by teachers and has become one of the digital teaching systems commonly used by teachers. In addition to the challenges of hardware equipment, many teachers interviewed also pointed out that students’ lack of independent learning ability and motivation are key factors in promoting the development of digital teaching. It’s necessary to improve students’ ability to operate the digital learning tools automatically and cultivate their willingness to learn actively.

Thirdly, regarding the opinion of digital learning from parents and students, 41% agree that digital teaching can achieve learning outcomes, 40% have no special opinion, and only 19% of parents do not believe that digital teaching can achieve learning outcomes for their children. In terms of learning motivation, 41% of the parents surveyed agreed that digital teaching can improve learning motivation, 36% had no special opinion, and only 16% of parents did not believe that digital teaching could improve their children’s learning motivation. Moreover, as many as 87% of the students surveyed believe that teachers using computers or tablets combined with digital content in class are helpful for understanding class content. Currently, the most common digital teaching applications used by teachers are to play slideshows (95%), followed by playing videos (57%), conducting group activities (53%), and answering questions (51%). Consequently, most parents and students have a positive attitude toward digital learning. Therefore, the study tried to analyze the current state of digital learning from primary school to high school based on the National Digital Library of Thesis and Dissertations in Taiwan.

Methods

The study conducted a literature review to understand the current state of digital learning in Taiwan. The study searched for the National Digital Library of Thesis and Dissertations in Taiwan based on the keywords, including information, technology, primary school, junior high school, and senior high school. The study first searched for information, technology, and primary school in the National Digital Library of Thesis and Dissertations in Taiwan, and found 225 papers. Secondly, the study searched for information, technology, and junior high school in the National Digital Library of Thesis and Dissertations in Taiwan, and found 117 papers. Lastly, the study searched for information, technology, and high school in the National Digital Library of Thesis and Dissertations in Taiwan, and found 42 papers. The total amount of the relative paper was 411, and all these were master’s degrees. Descriptive analysis was conducted to analyze the data based on the publication year, title, academic category, and college, based on the learning phase.

Results

About the publication year in three learning phases

The study found all the theses were proposed from 2000 to 2023. Except that only one paper was proposed in 2000 and three papers were proposed after 2021, the study analyzed the publication year of the theses from primary school to high school in terms of five years. In Table 3, the highest publication amount was between 2001 and 2005 in primary school and junior high school. In addition, the highest publication amount was between 2006 and 2010 in high school. Although the Ministry of Education promoted digital learning in 2021, the research didn’t focus on this issue very much between 2021 and 2023.

Table 3: The results of the publication year in the descriptive analysis.

About the title in three learning phases: From elementary school to high school, information technology was the most prominent title in Table 4, followed by technology integration and finally information technology integration. The words “information technology,” “technology integration,” “information technology integration,” “integrating information technology into teaching,” “integrate teaching,” and “integrating technology into teaching” were synonymous with “digital learning” from 2000 and 2023. Furthermore, there were 92 papers regarding students and 95 papers about teachers. Moreover, remedial instruction, field teaching, arithmetic, music, physical education, electrical engineering, and nature were among the disciplines that teachers merged with information or technology. It appeared that the majority of educators were using technology or information to instruct pupils in a variety of areas.

Table 4: The results of the title in the descriptive analysis.

About the academic category in the three learning phases: Most theses were from the Department of Education in three learning stages, next were from the Department of Computer Science and Department of Engineering in Table 5. In three subjects, all primary school teachers conducted information or technology instruction more than junior high school and senior high school. Moreover, teachers from different learning phases studied different academic subjects.

Table 5: The results of the academic category in the descriptive analysis.

About the publication universities in three learning phases: In Table 6, there were sixteen private colleges and twenty-four public colleges. Nine universities of education offered sixty-four percent for elementary instruction. Furthermore, three regular universities suggested fifty-six percent for junior high school. It revealed that over half of the papers from junior high and elementary school were from different colleges. The National University of Tainan submitted the most theses, followed by the National Kaohsiung Normal University with the second most and the National Taipei University of Education with the third most. Merely 34% of papers submitted in senior high school came from three regular colleges. Nearly 70% of the papers came from various academic institutions. It seems that an increasing number of university scholars who are not in education are interested in issues related to information or technology education.

Table 6: The results of the publication universities in the descriptive analysis.

Conclusion

Almost half of the theses related to information and technology issues were proposed between 2000 and 2015. From elementary school to high school, information technology was the most prominent title. From elementary school to high school, almost half of the theses belonged to the education category. The National University of Tainan submitted the most theses, followed by the National Kaohsiung Normal University with the second most and the National Taipei University of Education with the third most. In addition, an increasing number of university scholars who are not in education are interested in issues related to information or technology education. Based on the results of the study, there were not many studies about information and technology from 2021. Apparently, with the promotion of the Ministry of Education, more and more teachers and researchers were encouraged to adopt information and technology into their instruction or studies to enhance students’ learning effect and information literature in the future.

To promote digital learning in primary school, both teachers and students need to enhance their digital application skills and add digital media equipment. Until now, the Ministry of Education has invested a lot of money to add digital media equipment. Each student has a platform to assist their learning. Teachers need to explore how to use the tablet to guide students’ learning or master the operation of interactive teaching software or hardware equivalents. We look forward to creating a digital learning environment for every teacher and student, making full use of digital tools and platform resources to enhance the spontaneity, interaction, fun, and effectiveness of teaching and learning, cultivating students’ ability to use technology for independent learning, and also using online media to shorten learning gap. What should worry us all together is that when the Internet and digital technologies play a significant role in how kids discover the world, they might spend a lot of time online, interact with social media, and take in and share a lot of information. Media literacy and digital security concerns are educational subjects that should be covered in digital instruction.

References

  1. Ministry of Education (2017) A survey on Internet usage behavior of primary and secondary school students in Taiwan. Ministry of Education.

  2. Ministry of Education (2022) Digital Teaching Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools Version 1.0. Ministry of Education

  3. Ministry of Education (2021) Promote digital learning improvement programs for primary and secondary schools. Ministry of Education.

  4. Guo BX. (2021) Every class has internet access and every student uses a tablet - a comprehensive plan to improve digital learning in primary and secondary schools. The breaking news in Ministry of Education: Information, Technology and Education Division.

  5. National Education Research Institute (2020) Reference Notes on Curriculum Development of Science and Technology Education and Information Education in National Primary Schools. National Education Research Institute.

  6. Integrated Communications Department (2022) 2022 Survey on the current situation of digital learning and teaching: Seeing the three major challenges on campus. Parent-child world e-newsletter

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Tsai M. The policy development and current situation of information technology education in Taiwan. IgMin Res. 10 Jan, 2024; 2(1): 006-012. IgMin ID: igmin136; DOI: 10.61927/igmin136; Available at: www.igminresearch.com/articles/pdf/igmin136.pdf

  • Received
    27 Nov 2023

  • Accepted
    09 Jan 2024

  • Published
    10 Jan 2024

DOI10.61927/igmin136

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Topics
  1. Ministry of Education (2017) A survey on Internet usage behavior of primary and secondary school students in Taiwan. Ministry of Education.

  2. Ministry of Education (2022) Digital Teaching Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools Version 1.0. Ministry of Education

  3. Ministry of Education (2021) Promote digital learning improvement programs for primary and secondary schools. Ministry of Education.

  4. Guo BX. (2021) Every class has internet access and every student uses a tablet - a comprehensive plan to improve digital learning in primary and secondary schools. The breaking news in Ministry of Education: Information, Technology and Education Division.

  5. National Education Research Institute (2020) Reference Notes on Curriculum Development of Science and Technology Education and Information Education in National Primary Schools. National Education Research Institute.

  6. Integrated Communications Department (2022) 2022 Survey on the current situation of digital learning and teaching: Seeing the three major challenges on campus. Parent-child world e-newsletter

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