For some time teachers have been identified and even vilified as impediments to technology uptake in classrooms. It has been demonstrated that the purchase and installation of modern (and often costly) technology is no guarantee that teachers will use it to facilitate and improve learning. We argue that it is no longer appropriate to blame teachers for their slow uptake of technology. Instead it is important that we investigate and understand the ways that technology innovations fit (or mismatch!) with the culture of schooling and established pedagogical practices of teachers.
ICTs have made their way into classroom literacy sessions with varying degrees of ‘success’. The literature provides us with conflicting opinions about whether, how and why technology should be used in literacy teaching. While technology is said to have considerable potential to enhance literacy education, the focus on technology alone for too long has dominated research in educational settings. It is necessary to reframe the issue to consider the teaching of literacy first and the technology as a ‘tool’ to mediate pedagogical practices in the complex social world of the modern classroom.
This paper examines the literacy teaching practices of three teachers as we explore the nature of pedagogy in classroom environments where newer technological tools are featured. The synergy between the technologies, school culture and literacy pedagogy is explored using Activity Theory (Engestrom, 2001). This theory offers useful insights into the complex relationships between teachers, their pedagogic goals and the technological tools available.