Traversing the digital divide : issues surrounding usability of the teachers' website Te Kete Ipurangi : research report.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
Despite the wide availability of computers to teachers throughout New Zealand, and despite the strong philosophy supporting Internet use for teacher development, the actual use of Internet websites aiming to enhance teacher professional development is not high. The New Zealand website Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) was developed with the aim of connecting teachers to a wide range of materials and information. Professional development of this kind is well supported by many theorists as being able to break down teacher isolation and build a supportive teaching and learning community. Websites for teachers, such as this one, are beginning to develop on the Internet, and their availability to all teachers is of no dispute. The extent to which they are able to be easily employed by teachers as the resources they were intended is, however, a matter only a few have investigated. This research studies some of the navigation aspects of TKI and the usability issues which influence the overall use of this website. Usability tests and a questionnaire were utilised to examine the degree to which this website was usable for teachers and the extent to which there were navigation issues for its intended users. It found that use of TKI was constrained by teachers' own lack of confidence and feelings of inability, as well as several navigation issues. These issues centered on the language used in the website - particularly in the headings; the search facility; the layout of the site; and the speed of use.