chapter  2
The changing nature of researching information technology in education
Pages 14

The initial introduction of IT in education in the 1960s was based on two main thrusts that influenced the early focus of research in this area. First, universities and national bodies recognised the need to provide a growing number of IT experts to work in the IT industry, and second, pioneering educators saw the potential for new technologies to enhance teaching and learning in other subjects (Beauchamp 2003, Cox 2005). Initially, IT resources available in education were invested in the teaching of computer science at university and later at school level (Rushby 1983). However, once computer use became of interest in other subjects, research into IT in education focused on the effects of particular computer programs on students’ learning (cf. Suppes 1968, Bork 1981) rather than the effectiveness of teaching computer science. One of the main purposes in the 1960s and 1970s for using IT in education in many countries, was to enhance existing teaching and learning practices or to enhance the existing curriculum. The research and development of IT in educational settings was therefore often intertwined with the design of the IT tools themselves and provided feedback for improving the software design (Reeves 2008).