ICT Census

ICT Census of Primary, Post-Primary and Special Schools: Analysis of Census Data

Surveys on ICTs in primary, post-primary and special schools have been carried out on a ‎periodic basis since 1998.  The one conducted in 2013 is the fifth occasion on which a ‎census of ICTs has been implemented.  The most recent one prior to 2013 was in 2005.‎

Questionnaires were delivered online for the first time in the 2013 census.  Also for ‎the first time, questionnaires for teachers were administered, again online.  Therefore the ‎‎2013 ICT census can be considered a continuation of previous censuses at the school level, ‎whilst at the same time providing baseline information on teachers’ views on and uses of ‎ICTs in teaching and learning.

The Educational Research Centre and the Education Department of St Patrick’s ‎College, Drumcondra, are responsible for the review of draft questionnaires, for checking, ‎weighting and analysis of data, and for drafting a report. A final report will be delivered in ‎early 2014.‎

The design of the survey entailed contacting every primary, post-primary and special ‎school in the country, and asking the principal to complete the school questionnaire. In each ‎primary school, one Second-class and one Fourth-class teacher were asked to complete a ‎questionnaire, while, in each post-primary school, two teachers of Second-year students and ‎two teachers of Fifth-year students were asked to do so.  One to two teachers in each special ‎school were invited to complete a teacher questionnaire.  The questionnaires were sent to ‎schools in April 2013, with data collection taking place until the end of June.  Due to low ‎teacher response rates, the survey of primary and post-primary teachers was re-opened to ‎extend the period of data collection during the month of October 2013.‎

The content of questionnaires is similar across primary, post-primary and special ‎school categories in order to maximise comparisons between them.  Principals’ responses ‎have been weighted in order to allow generalisations to the population of schools.  Teacher ‎surveys, on the other hand, have not been weighted, and results are not necessarily ‎representative of teachers in general.  The questionnaires gather detailed information, both ‎quantitative and qualitative, on key areas and issues relating to ICTs in schools, and results ‎are expected to contribute to the Department’s policy development in these areas. Themes ‎include:‎

•    ICT infrastructure in schools
•    Access to and frequency of ICT usage in teaching and learning
•    Perceived obstacles and priorities in ICT usage
•    Continuing Professional Development in the area of ICT
•    Perceived impact of ICT usage on students’ engagement in learning
•    School policies on Internet safety and sharing of digital teaching resources.‎ ‎ ‎