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Diffusion of Educational Innovations in Russian Schools: The Case of Digital Platforms

Student: Mikhail Klishin

Supervisor: Ekaterina Streltsova

Faculty: Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge

Educational Programme: Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

This study is devoted to the diffusion of digital educational platforms in Russian schools. Currently, educational organizations of all levels worldwide are introducing new technologies in studying process, which create flexible educational environment and allow to build individual learning trajectory, to learn remotely and free in any time and in any place, contributing to the development of each of students. One of the examples of these technologies are digital educational platforms or DEPs. The potential of DEPs is acknowledged globally. They became a lifeline for the majority of schools during COVID-19 pandemic and allowed to save educational process in emergency conditions. The Russian government also recognizes the potential of DEPs. It creates state DEPs and implements federal projects which imply their quantitative and qualitative development. However, despite the increasing attention to this topic, the diffusion of DEPs in Russian schools still remains understudied. Therefore, this study is run by the three research questions: At what rate is the diffusion of digital educational platforms in Russian schools? What factors influence the adoption of digital educational platforms by teachers of Russian schools? What are the channels of digital educational platforms diffusion in Russian schools? To answer these research questions, survey of 1009 teachers of Russian schools from all the eight federal districts has been conducted. The results of the survey show that DEPs are a widespread innovation in Russia. They achieved the last stage of Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory. DEPs are used by 85,7 % of teachers of Russian schools and are planned to be further applied by 84, 8 % of teachers. Although the scale of their usage is wide, and they are used in class, at home, in the framework of school program and for extracurricular activities, they have not been transformed into a learning tool of the daily usage yet. Teachers spend only more than third of their classes using DEPs. The survey also illustrates that teachers consider a wide range of factors in the process of DEPs adoption. The main among them are diversity of educational materials, availability of free content and ease of use. Additionally, teachers value such advantages of DEPs as interactivity, positive influence on students’ academic performance and on teachers’ image. The analysis also revealed that teachers appear to be the main source of information about DEPs. Recommendations of school colleagues and advice of teachers from other schools remain the main channels of DEPs diffusion. Besides, information of school administration and teachers personal interest play significant role in the diffusion of these innovations.

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