Augmenting primary teaching and learning science through ICT

Funding year: 
2 years
University of Waikato
School sector
Project start date: 
January 2009
Project end date: 
January 2011
Principal investigator(s): 
Dr. Kathrin Otrel-Cass
Research team members: 
Dr Bronwen Cowie and Dr Elaine Khoo
Research partners: 
Candy Hart and Tanya Thompson, Saint Andrew’s Middle School

Project Description

This study explored how information communication technologies (ICTs) in primary classrooms can enhance the teaching and learning of science. By building on teachers’ and students’ prior knowledge and experience with ICTs, we investigated how ICT use can structure activities to offer enhanced opportunities for active participation in science. The project generated examples of how ICTs can support subject-relevant ways of exploring and communicating science, and evaluating what has been learnt.

The major implications from the key finding, found in the Summary report are that;

  •  ICTs amplify science learning if teachers unpack the scientific ideas to identify specific pedagogical strategies that exploit the opportunities of each ICT. 
  • Visually recorded data present instant, immediate and context-rich information that teachers and students can use as a repository for evaluation, analysis and communication.
  • For ICT-supported activities to meet the needs of diverse learners, students and teachers need “sandpit” time to develop competencies to participate in various tasks. 
  • Teachers who use ICTs require support tailored to the specific pedagogical, content and technology needs of the topic they are teaching. 

Project contact

Dr Kathrin Otrel-Cass
The University of Waikato
PO Box 3105
Hamilton 3240






Project team left to right: Elaine Khoo, Bronwen Cowie, Candy Hart,Kathryn Otrel-cass, and Tanya Thompson

Project Outputs



Presentations, conferences and workshops

Otrel-Cass, K. (2010). How can the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) go beyond being an exciting new classroom tool? Keynote speech at the SMART teachers conference, Auckland, 15-16 July 2010.


Presentations, conferences and workshops

Otrel-Cass, K., Cowie, B., Khoo, E. (2009). SCIAnTICT, Science Classroom Investigations of the Affordances in Teaching with ICT.Presentation at the New Zealand Association for Research in Education conference, Rotorua, 1-4 December 2009.

Otrel-Cass, K., Cowie, B., Khoo, E. (2009). Video as a flexible tool for supporting teacher and student talk in primary science classroom.Presentation at the International Science Education Conference (ISEC), Singapore, 24-26 November 2009.

Otrel-Cass, K., Cowie, B., Khoo, E. (2009). Collaborative learning practices in science classrooms: Possibilities and boundaries using computers and the Internet. Presentation at the Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA) conference, DeakinUniversity, Geelong, Australia, 1-4 July 2009.

SCIAnTICT: A Summary of Key Findings