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Wednesday, March 30 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Paper Presentation 4/8: 055 An Activity Theoretical Approach Towards Distributed Leadership For One-To-One Computing In A Singapore Elementary School LIMITED

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Adopting the socio-cultural Activity Theoretical perspective, this ethnographic case study examined how distributed leadership supported one-to-one computing implementation in an elementary school under the FutureSchools@Singapore programme. The FutureSchools@Singapore programme aimed to develop prototypes for the seamless and pervasive use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enhance teaching and learning in schools. 

Observations and field notes of significant events in relation to the implementation of one-to-one computing were triangulated by reviewing planning documents, reports and publications. Socio-cultural Activity Theory was used to examine how the distributed leadership of the school’s teaching community (i.e., the principal, ICT coordinator, curriculum coordinators and teachers) worked towards addressing the disturbances (disturbances are manifested as a result of the presence of systemic contradictions) of adopting one-to-one computing in the school.  The more significant actions and repair actions of the school’s teaching community to address the disturbances in implementing the one-to-one programme were highlighted, discussed and analysed.  The discussion of these actions was then used to formulate a more generalised one-to-one computing activity system where more meaningful analysis and interpretation could be made.  This in-depth analysis of the contradictions and tensions illuminated the less visible but very important social mediators: the relations between the subject, tool and object were mediated by these social factors (i.e., rules, community and division of labour).  There were physical infrastructure and technical issues in the integration of ICT into schools, but the socio-cultural factors (e.g., mindset and the level of acceptance of parents to procure computers for their children, teachers’ beliefs and practices in using ICT in their lessons and working with external agencies to fund the purchase of computing equipment for financially challenged students) were equally, if not, more important in the implementation process. 

This ethnographic case study with a focus on distributed leadership also serves as an instance of the implementation of a one-to-one programme in an elementary school for sharing, emulation and further refinements by others.  In other words, this chapter presents a useful empirical case study resource for those who are in the field of educational technology for the purpose of ICT integration and one-to-one computing in schools.



Hong Kong Institute of Education


Dean Development, Research & Technology, Beacon Primary School

Wednesday March 30, 2016 4:30pm - 5:00pm GMT+08
MR 335