Exploring students' attitudes and beliefs towards e-portfolios and technology in education

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Tur, Gemma
Marín, Victoria I.Marín, Victoria I. - ORCID ID
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cc-by-nc-nd (c) Gemma Tur, Victoria I. Marín, 2015
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This article reports on student teachers’ attitude towards technology in education and e-portfolio processes. Attitude is closely related to teachers’ beliefs and the later have been defined as second-order barriers. While an important effort has been made to overcome first-order barrier such as resources, training and support, it cannot be observed that technology has been successfully introduced in education. Therefore, second-order barriers such as attitudes and beliefs are being considered nowadays in order to address the lack of innovative use of technology by teachers. It has been argued that the introduction of technology has to be directed towards the empowerment of cognitive and high-level thinking skills and has to be used based on student-centred approaches. Building e-portfolios and helping students which grow and curate their own Personal Learning Environments (PLE) are two approaches to go beyond technology-centered models. E-Portfolios are viewed as part of students’ PLE so social media are used to enhance both e-portfolio processes and students’ PLEs. The research is based on a survey in four groups of students at the local branch in Ibiza of the University of the Balearic Islands. The participants have previously built their e-portfolios with Web 2.0 tools during one semester. Students are asked to document their learning weekly and reflect on the change experienced in the way they think about educational issues. Students are also asked to use new tools and social media services to give evidence of their own learning. The survey is based on a Likert scale so as to be able to analyse the students’ attitude and beliefs towards their e-portfolio and technology in education. The results show that a generally positive attitude is developed by students. Conclusions highlight the slight difference in student teachers’ attitude between technology and specific e-portfolio processes.
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Enseñanza & Teaching: Revista Interuniversitaria de Didáctica, 2015, vol. 33, núm. 1, p. 57-82