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Portugal > ICT Usage in the School Portugal > ICT Usage in the School

As a result of the Technological Plan for Education, the resources within Portuguese schools have increased dramatically. Figures released in 2010 (Pedro 2010, p.5) reveal that the ratio of students per computer is now 2/1 (in 2008/09 this was 5/1), the vast majority of schools (94%) have access to a high-speed broadband connection with a smaller number of schools (35%) having access to a wireless connection within their classrooms.

In recent surveys done by the European Schoolnet (2009), 70% of teachers in this phase use computers regularly within their classroom teaching. Of this 70%, 59% of teachers use the computer for demonstration or presentational purposes; 49% get their pupils using computers to complete various curriculum tasks or activities. The average ratio of pupils/computer is 15/1. Although many teachers use the internet to access teaching materials (49%), this is well below the European average of 64%. (European Schoolnet, 2009, p2).

Many primary schools (70%) have a broadband connection to the internet but, by and large, they fall behind the European average in respect to ICT usage and equipment items (e.g. 56% of primary schools have a website, 29% offer email to teachers and only 10% to pupils). 65% of teachers have good and very good ICT skills and many teachers are optimistic about the benefits of ICT use in teaching and learning.

Ponte's study (2006) surveyed over 604 primary school teachers across Portugal and attempts to describe the impact of a national project (Internet@EB1) on the development of more sophisticated and significant use of ICT within the primary school. Using a mixed-methodology, the evaluation found that:

  • The project significantly contributed to teachers' use of ICT in their teaching;
  • Teachers' competence to promote ICT integration in the classroom and their students' competences improved through the project;
  • The development of school websites helped strengthen local partnerships and collaborations.

Ponte's 2007 report (Ponte et al, 2007) focused further on the development of primary school teachers’ competences with ICT. The main aim was to promote the use of ICT in the primary school and foster learning in all curricular subjects and develop cross-curricular approaches. Again, the project received a positive evaluation.