DOI: 10.5176/2251-1814_EeL13.11

Authors: Dr Noeline Wright

Abstract:
Continuance theory, arising out of research in commercial organisations wanting to include digital tools as part of work flows, argues that both members of organisations and their clients will repeat using technologies that support getting the job done [1]. While digital technologies/tools generally have prescribed and restricted formats in institutions like banking contexts, in educational contexts continuance theory can be applied to explain why teachers persist with digital technologies (often having their origins in commerce) to enhance students’ learning. Educationally, they “enable teachers and students with ‘possibilities’, not with a ‘ready to use’ resource”[2]. While sociocultural theorising often features in understanding what happens in classrooms, I argue that continuance theory can help understand teachers’ continued use (or not) of digital technologies through examining Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students’ decisions regarding digital technologies for learning. The study, a two-layer action research framework, with approximately 90 ITE students, used as data the reports within an LMS about these students using at least one digital technology/tool/affordance in a lesson. This paper thus extrapolates emerging findings from these data set posts in the light of continuance theory. Continuance theory helps make sense of why and under what conditions new teachers continue with digital tools and technologies and affordances in classrooms. The findings suggest what conditions prompt experienced teachers to repeatedly use digital technologies for learning.

Keywords: Continuance theory, initial teacher education, classrooms,
digital technologies

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