Transforming education through technology: vision vs reality

Amber McLeod, Ibrahim Latheef

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


As digital technologies were introduced in Australian schools in the 1980s, they were supposed to transform education. Successive school boards, administrators and governments have had such faith in this idea that all primary and secondary students are now expected to have access to their own devices, and digital technologies have become a learning area as well as a general capability in the Australian curriculum. But with declining digital literacy in Australia and the country’s falling numeracy and literacy world rankings, has the transformation been actualised? In this presentation, we analyse the literature in order to compare the vision and the realities of technology in education in 2017. Four research questions guided this study: What does “transforming education through technology” mean? Who have been the advocates for this transformation? To what extent has education been transformed through technology? What predicted transformation has not happened and why? The theories behind the transformation of education through digital technologies are discussed along with policy and funding initiatives for hardware, software and training promoted the use of technology in education. This is followed by a critical discussion of how teachers are actually using technology in their classes: classroom practices that could be considered transformative; barriers to the integration of digital technologies; and the reasons teachers reject or use technology. The investigation concludes by reminding us that it is the people using digital tools, not the technology itself, that will transform education, often in ways that may not previously have been considered, and this is where the investments need to be made
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2017 - Hotel Realm Canberra, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 26 Nov 201730 Nov 2017


ConferenceInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2017
Abbreviated titleAARE 2017
OtherThe theme of this year’s conference is ‘Education: What’s politics got to do with it?’

Cite this

McLeod, A., & Latheef, I. (2017). Transforming education through technology: vision vs reality. Abstract from International Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2017, Canberra, Australia.