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‘So you can make it fast or make it up’: K–12 teachers’ perspectives on technology’s affordances and constraints when supporting distance education learning


This paper examined Australian distance education teachers’ perspectives about how they drew on technological tools to support their primary and secondary students’ learning. Via two focus groups (n = 9, n = 7), teachers identified that technology greatly assisted them in relation to developing relationships with students and families, creating interactive lessons, differentiating learning, providing quality feedback, and connecting peers. However, they also reported experiencing ongoing challenges and constraints related to gaining technology expertise, overcoming technology faults, and coping with additional accountability. Data made it clear that teacher use of technology was driven by specific student needs and that teachers drew heavily on both core pedagogical knowledge and technological pedagogical content knowledge. Findings suggest the need for more distance education specific professional development to ensure that teachers have the knowledges needed to support diverse learners in this context.

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Correspondence to Kate Ames.

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Ames, K., Harris, L.R., Dargusch, J. et al. ‘So you can make it fast or make it up’: K–12 teachers’ perspectives on technology’s affordances and constraints when supporting distance education learning. Aust. Educ. Res. 48, 359–376 (2021).

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  • Teacher engagement
  • Distance education
  • Diversity
  • Online learning K–12
  • School-based learning
  • Teaching strategies