chapter  14
Global interdisciplinary research into the diffusion of information technology innovations in education
Pages 9

Taken as a whole, the wide range of research on innovation and change with IT in education is confusing. Reviews of the change literature by Ferster (2006) and Surry and Farquhar (1997) noted that the interdisciplinary literature on diffusion of innovations tends to be deterministic, focusing on innovation primarily from the perspective of those who want the innovation adopted, whereas the educational perspective tends to be more instrumentalist by taking the perspective of the educator considering adoption. For example, Cuban (2001) was the educator who coined the phrase that IT was ‘oversold and underused’. While both perspectives are valid, the evidence reviewed in this chapter suggests that neither goes far enough to inform educational renewal with IT. Comprehensive studies of the impact of IT in schools, such as ImpaCT2 in the UK (Harrison et al. 2003), provide a picture of complex processes with many factors interacting. Therefore, it is timely to seek a more useful theoretical perspective for research and theoretical models to inform the diffusion of IT innovations in education.