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Educational Media International

ISSN: 0952-3987 (Print) 1469-5790 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/remi20

Educational Technology in Turkey: Past, Present


and Future

Buket Akkoyunlu

To cite this article: Buket Akkoyunlu (2002) Educational Technology in Turkey: Past, Present and
Future, Educational Media International, 39:2, 165-174, DOI: 10.1080/09523980210155352

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/09523980210155352

Published online: 02 Dec 2010.

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Educational Technology in Turkey: Past, Present
and Future
Buket Akkoyunlu, Turkey

Abstracts
This paper explains the past, discusses the present and makes projections for the future of educational technology in Turkey.
Technology has an important role in enhancing educational progress. Therefore, educators need to adapt technology within
their Ž eld of study. Educational materials such as textbooks, Ž lms, radio, television, overhead projectors, video recorders and,
of course, computers enrich learning environments in schools. Educational materials motivate students and induce them to
study subject matter while providing opportunities for students to access and evaluate information. In Turkey, the use of
educational technology in schools has been taken very seriously by the Ministry of National Education since the 1930s.
Universities and other institutions are also interested in research and application of educational technology to their own
settings.

La Technologie de l’Education en Turquie: Passé, Présent et Avenir


Cet article explique le passé et le présent et propose des projections dans l’avenir pour la technologie de l’éducation en Turquie.
La technologie joue un rôle important pour favoriser le progrès en éducation. Aussi les enseignants doivent l’adapter dans leur
discipline. Les moyens d’enseignement tels que les livres, les Ž lms, la radio, la télévision, les rétroprojecteurs et enŽ n les
ordinateurs enrichissent l’environnement éducatif des écoles. Les moyens d’enseignement motivent les élèves et les incitent à
étudier les sujets en fournissant l’occasion pour ceux-ci y avoir accès et d’évaluer l’information en Turquie, l’utilisation de la
technologie de l’éducation dans les écoles a été prise très au sérieux par le Ministère de l’Education dès les années 30. Les
universités et d’autres institutions s’intéressent aussi aux recherches et aux applications de la technolgie de l’éducation dans
leurs domaines.

Bildungstechnik in der Türkei: Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft


In diesem Beitrag wird die Entwicklung der Bildungstechnologie in der Türkei von der Vergangenheit bis zu Gegenwart
dargestellt und ein Einblick in die Planung für die Zukunft gegeben. Technologie spielt eine wichtige Rolle bei der
Verbesserung des Bildungsfortschritts. Daher müssen auch Erzieher sie innerhalb ihres Studiengebiets anwenden und
anpassen. Bildungsmaterialien wie Lehrbücher, Filme, Rundfunk- und Fernsehsendungen, Einsatz von Overheadprojektoren,
Videorekordern und natürlich jetzt auch von Computern bereichern die Lernangebote von Schulen. Bildungsmaterialien
motivieren Lernende und bewirken dadurch, dass sie sich schon während des Zusammenstellens von Material durch Zugriff
auf Informationen und deren Bewertung mit Inhalten befassen müssen.

Introduction
Information Technology (IT) has had a big impact on society. Although there have been criticisms – its dangers
and costs – IT has been widely accepted and used in many Ž elds. At the same time, technological changes have
been seen as a panacea, offering new opportunities of jobs and social progress. Undoubtedly, new technologies
have affected the social and educational system as well as the economic system. Thus, technological changes have
proved to be something to which societies must adapt (OECD, 1988).
The rapid development of IT is leading to the establishment of what is called ‘the information society’. It is
obvious that, nowadays, knowledge has become the key to the economic development of the developed countries.
Technology has also played an important role in assisting the educational progress. Educators not only need to be
aware of these changes within their Ž eld of study, they must adapt to these changes in the society they live in as
well.

Education Media International


ISSN 0952-3987 print/ISSN 1469-5790 online © 2002 International Council for Education Media
http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
DOI: 10.1080/0952398021015535 2
166 EMI 39:2 – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

The industrial revolution extended the requirements for education vastly. After the establishment of university
education in the middle of the last century, educational materials such as textbooks, newspapers, magazines and
photographs, Ž lms, radio and television grew. More recently in the classroom overhead projectors, video
recorders and of course Ž nally, computers came into service. In the information society while educational
requirements of people are changing, their learning needs are changing as well. These requirements and needs
triggered the start of studies on efŽ ciency of learning and teaching processes in schools. Most of the societies have
been using educational technology in order to create effective environments for their students. They emphasize
production and use of instructional tools and materials.
Instructional tools and materials undoubtedly enrich learning environments in schools. They:
• arouse interest and stimulate learning;
• induce students to study subject matter;
• connect new information with what has been learned previously;
• relate subject matter to students’ life experiences;
• provide opportunities for students accessing and evaluating information;
• respond to pressing needs of society;
• enable students to portray the world as they see it;
• condense information for ease of understanding;
• increase self instruction.
(Hackbarth, 1996)
Using educational technology in schools has been taken very seriously by the Ministry of National Education since
1930s in Turkey. Furthermore, universities and other institutions are also interested in studies on educational
technology. The aim of this paper is to review the past, discuss the present and make projections for the future of
educational technology in Turkey.

The Turkish educational system


Turkey, with a rich historical past, is a republic founded in 1923. Anatolia is the cradle of many civilizations that
sprang up after the collapse of the 600 year old Ottoman Empire. It is situated partly in Asia and partly in Europe.
Its location in two continents has been the central factor in its history, culture and politics. It has often been called
a bridge between East and West, because of its location. It is bordered by the Black sea in the North; Iran and
former USSR in the east; Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea in the south; the Aegean Sea in the west; and
Greece and Bulgaria in the north west.
After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the educational system changed rapidly. It was planned for
modernization and to spread to educational institutions. The Ministry of National Education was restructured. A
number of important steps were taken. On 3 March 1924, secularized education was established. Religious
schools were closed with the related law, and uniŽ cation of education was set up.

They afŽ rmed that the Republic of Turkey:

1. Abolished the Ministry of Pious Foundations (Madrasa) and Religious (Sharia) Courts (Law No 429/1924)
2. Placed all educational institutions (except Istanbul University but including all Madrasa) under the Ministry of
Education (UniŽ cation of Education Act, Law No 429/1924).
(Guvenc, 1998)

In 1928, the Latin alphabet was adapted and accepted. This important change affected the Turkish Educational
System deeply. Soon thereafter folk schools or courses were opened to teach the nation its new Latin alphabet
(Guvenc, 1998). Education was made compulsory for all people between the ages of 7–12 in 1929. In 1997, the
government extended the duration of compulsory education from Ž ve years to eight years without any
interruption, making education compulsory between the ages of 6–14 (MONE, 1999).
Now, in Turkey, the Ministry of National Education (MONE) holds the responsibility of Educational Institutions
except some preschool educational institutions and universities. Universities have been governed by Higher
Education Board (YÖK) in accordance with the 1981 Higher Education Act.
Educational Technology in Turkey 167

The history of educational technology in Turkey


The population of Turkey is very young, whereas the growth of the population is very high. Half of the population
in Turkey is younger than 20 years of age; the proportion of population over 65 is 4%. Approximately 13 million
students and 500 000 teachers are in full-time education (in primary and secondary) and approximately 1 million
pupils join the educational process every year. However, the educational level of the country’s population is still
insufŽ cient (MONE, 1999).
The schooling rate in primary schools has reached 100%, but it remains at 65.6% at secondary school level.
Because of the extension of the period of compulsory education from Ž ve to eight years, the secondary education
has not reached the desired level yet. Open universities occupy 53% of higher education. This situation points to
an unhealthy development in both the secondary and higher education system (State Planning OfŽ ce, 1996). This
is why the Turkish government is taking sound measures to improve education in Turkey to prepare students for
the 21st century.
One of the aims of education is to prepare students for life in a future society. Therefore, MONE deŽ nes
educational targets in the National Development Plan, and has determined the frame of national objectives and
policy as ‘catching up to the information society’. The plan aims to equip people with ‘thinking skills’ (such as the
ability to learn, to reason, to think creatively, to make decisions and to solve problems) for the information society;
thus supporting the educational system at all levels with technology for students and teachers.
Studies in educational technology have been made since the establishment of the republic of Turkey. After the
foundation of the Turkish Republic, a school museum was opened by MONE, where educational tools were
exhibited. Maps, projectors and laboratory equipment were given to schools for teachers in 1930s. These
materials and equipment were used in schools for nearly 30 years. In 1961, the Teaching Materials Center was
founded in Ankara. The Centre of Educational Radio was founded in 1962 and radio programmes were prepared
for students (Alkan, 1998).
The Turkish Educational System was established in 1974, when distance education was introduced to Turkish
higher education. However, between 1927 and 1960, discussions and proposals on distance education were
started. The aim was to spread literacy nationwide via distance education. In 1961, the Instructional Centre for
Distance Learning was founded and used at every level of education. As mentioned above, distance education
for higher education began in 1974. However, in 1983, Anadolu University’s Open Education Faculty was
founded in Eskisehir. Since then, the University’s Open Education Programme has been offering programmes to
all high school graduates who do not attend conventional universities. The University has done lots of research
and publications on distance education, and a number of programmes are also under the responsibility of
Anadolu University. These brie y include:
• completion programmes for teachers that have graduated from two or three years at a higher education
institution; and
• graduate programmes for the population in western Europe.
Distance education is also supported by MONE, which offers several programmes for every level of education.
These are:
• an educational radio programme, started by TRT and under the responsibility of MONE. TRT offers 10
hours of weekly radio programmes for primary education;
• an open lycee programme, which was started in 1992, for people who could not attend conventional schools
or left education early;
• open primary schools, which were founded in 1997 for 6, 7 and 8th-grade programmes.
Through distance education and Anadolu University’s Open Education Faculty, principles like ‘education
everywhere’ and ‘continuity’ in the Basic Law of National Education are planned to be put into use.

Education everywhere
‘National education objectives will be pursued not only at educational institutions, but also at home, in the outer
society, on the job, and everywhere and at every opportunity’ (Principal Law of National Education, Article 24).
168 EMI 39:2 – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Continuity
It is essential that general and vocational education of individuals should continue throughout life. In addition to the
education of younger generations, necessary measures will be taken to provide adults with continuing education to help
them achieve constructive and productive adjustment to life and to their work environment
(Principal Law of National Education, Article 24).

Considering these aims, MONE has accepted the ‘learning centres’ approach and offers continuous education
to everybody, everywhere. If we consider the use of educational technology, we see that, in the early years,
educational technology was only using basic printed materials in classrooms. The production of these materials
was the responsibility of MONE. Similarly, between the 1950s and 1970s, educational technology was viewed
largely as using tools (hardware); MONE also produced tools and offered them to teachers to use in classrooms.
During these years, educational technology was deŽ ned as ‘technology in education’, which meant ‘the appli-
cation of technology’. The main aim was to use the devices rather than focusing on the process. After these years,
educational technology was targeted at the process that resulted in learning. Several efforts were made to offer
educational technology to schools (Akkoyunlu and Imer, 1998). The development of the educational technology
concept as a process is not only found in Turkey but also in the rest of the world.
Accordingly, research began on how to use teaching devices effectively and efŽ ciently in learning and teaching
processes. Research studies also concentrated on testing the effectiveness of technological tools at universities.
Educational technology research is increasing, and provides general guidance for potential users. Universities
have started graduate programmes in order to train educational technologists.
One of the principles, ‘promotion of science and planning’ in the Basic Law of National Education Act
(1739/1973) is deŽ ned as:

All curriculum, instructional methods and technology in all educational levels are to be improved continuously according
to the new scientiŽ c and technological basis, innovations and requirements of society. Besides, the productivity increase in
education should be based on scientiŽ c researches and evaluation.

On the other hand, the Sixth Five Year Development Plan (State Planning OfŽ ce, 1991) also stressed that
scientiŽ c research and technological innovations should guide the curriculum and instructional methods and tools
in order to increase productivity in education. In line with these developments, it is observed that the widespread
use of technologies by potential educational services and the efŽ ciency increase in education are progressively
gaining importance, and this is accepted as a government policy.

The Basic Education Programme


Law No. 4306 was issued on 16 August 1997 and the Basic Education Programme was prepared after the
extension of compulsory education from Ž ve to eight years. This is an action programme in which new education
strategies can be applied. Objectives of the Basic Education Programme are to spread compulsory education
nationwide, to increase the quality of primary education and to provide schools with learning centres. This
programme has been carried out by a joint venture with the World Bank, which has provided the funding of
11.3 billion dollars needed to realize the objectives of the programme.

Principles of the Basic Education Programme. With the application of an eight-year primary education, basic principles
have been set. Some of the main principles of the programme are:
• to increase the schooling rate up to 100% in primary education;
• to make students and teachers computer literate;
• to help students learn a foreign language;
• to support formal education through distance education;
• to provide opportunities for Ž ve-year primary education graduates who are out of compulsory education
because of their age – to complete their eight year primary education through open education;
• to fulŽ l the most important principle of being a ‘learning society’, through training individuals who know how
to learn.
To realize these objectives, various actions are to be put in place:
• to establish new classrooms for 3 500 000 students throughout Turkey;
• to establish information technology classrooms in 15 000 schools;
Educational Technology in Turkey 169

• to train 18 000 information technology co-ordinators;


• to train 200 educational personnel to be computer literate, and to train them on computer-based education.
The above-mentioned objectives and principles are all directed to augment the quality and quantity of the 8-year
compulsory education.
During recent years, Ž nancial resources allocated to education from the general budget have shown a slight
increase. In addition to this, private educational institutions have been encouraged in accordance with liberal
policies. Law 4306, issued under the Seventh Fifth Year Development Plan, has also provided for increasing
existing resources and creating new ones.
In order to increase the quality of education, the Ž nance obtained through new sources will be spent on the
construction of school buildings and sport facilities, the installation of computer laboratories in all primary schools
– starting with the ones which have at least 1000 students – the development of relevant software, the
establishment of a network that will connect all primary education schools by the end of 2002, and in increasing
the number of school libraries.
The Ministry of National Education considers the use of new technologies in education as important. Therefore,
the Ministry pays special attention to provide in-service computer training for teachers. In the following sections
the planned activities will be explained in detail in the light of principles given above.

Technology-based education in Turkey


Technology has had a large effect on society. Due to immense complexity of societies, technology exerted force
upon them. The last decade witnessed the rapid spread of technology use for a great variety of applications in
business, industry, science and education.
The future is ambiguous for today’s children in the rapidly changing world. The speed and uncertainty of
this change makes it impossible to predict with any precision what skills students will need to function as adults.
The need for students to be able to cope with daily problems in a dynamic world has led many educators to
conclude that technology integration in education will enrich the learning environment in schools. It is obvious
that technology has brought about widespread and fundamental changes in education. Therefore, major devel-
opments in the use of technology must take place in schools.
The Turkish National Ministry of Education is fortunately aware of these changes and developments in the
world. Therefore, The Ministry values the importance of equipping students and teachers with necessary skills
throughout Turkey. The general objectives of MONE are given below:
• to increase student achievement and quality of learning and teaching;
• to improve teachers’ professional qualiŽ cations;
• to increase the productivity of the use of resources (such as allocating money, space and materials);
• to encourage the efŽ cient use of technology in education.
As mentioned previously, the population of Turkey is increasing. The large proportion of young people leads
to high pressure and demands on the educational system. Schools are often crowded and a class size of 40–50 is
common. Teachers are usually expected to teach from 20 to 40 hours a week (MONE, 1999). A total of 73% of
this young population lives in cities, but the rest (27%) of them live in rural areas. There are major problems in
providing them with an efŽ cient education. There are many deŽ ciencies that affect the educational system,
including lack of staff, inadequacy of buildings and shortage of instruments.
The last decades witnessed the introduction of a reform in the Turkish Educational System. One solution to
educational problems has been targeted in new technologies, which kick-started studies of computer education.
The aim is to increase efŽ ciency and productivity in education through the use of technological innovations and
improvements.
The study and use of computers in the Turkish Educational System were limited until the 1980s to universities
and a few technical schools, which offered computer science programmes and programming courses for
management and research purposes. With the advent of cheap microcomputers, a considerable amount of
hardware began appearing in public and private schools in Turkey at a rapid rate.
Computers have been used in MONE’s testing and research departments for more than 25 years. By the end of
the 1960s, some universities started to use computers. Some universities and a few technical schools had computer
science programmes and programming courses. As a result of technological developments in information
170 EMI 39:2 – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

technology, computer science and engineering programmes were established leading to Bachelor, MA and PhD
degrees. There were also some departments that trained software and hardware engineers. At the same time,
technical high schools opened programming departments to train intermediate manpower in this Ž eld
(Akkoyunlu, 1991). Computers were used for commercial applications and also industrial and scientiŽ c appli-
cations. But it was only recently that the educational system was affected by computers in Turkey.
In the 1980s, the Turkish Government, through the Ministry of National Education, has placed a special
emphasis on the utilization of computers in schools. As the acting Prime Minister stated: ‘Turkey is going to
provide the schools of the nation with one million microcomputers in the next decade’. It was the most costly and
largest education project in the history of the Turkish Republic, with approximately 600 million US dollars of
additional investment (Fidan, 1988).
Computers came into use in the Turkish Education System in 1984. The Ministry of National Education began
a pilot study, with 1100 computers spared for 121 secondary schools at a ratio of one computer to ten students.
A total of 2400 computers were purchased for secondary and vocational schools between 1985–1987 (Akkoyunlu,
1991). In-service training was given to 225 teachers, and the use of computers was integrated into the curriculum.
At Ž rst, priority was given to hardware over software and to the teaching of BASIC and Pascal programming
languages. Computers were spread through schools and courseware for several subjects was developed.
MONE co-operated with 24 universities, and more than 750 teachers were trained from various schools. After
evaluating this 1989 pilot project, private computer companies and MONE signed an agreement with nine
companies in order to start computer-based education (CBE). These companies developed several courseware
packages for approximately 2000 hours in the 1989–90 school year, and they co-operated with universities to
train teachers.
In 1991, more than 6500 computers were disseminated to 2400 schools. In order to integrate computers into
schools, educational and scientiŽ c institutions and private research and development centres were provided
(Askar, 1991). The General Directorate of Computer Education and Services (BILGEM) was established in 1992
under the responsibility of MONE. It aimed to integrate IT into schools by using computers at every level of
schooling, training the teachers and improving CBE.
In the 1995–1996 school year, educational software was produced for geography, history, Turkish and science.
MONE co-operated with the ScientiŽ c and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) to produce the
software. The software was developed at the Centre of Electronic Research and Develepment at TÜBITAK.
After the extension of compulsory education from Ž ve to eight years, MONE made the decision to establish
computer labs in at least two primary schools in every city and town during the 1998–1999 school year. New
computer labs have been installed in 2541 primary and secondary schools in 80 cities and 921 towns. MONE
plans to establish Internet connections in 2500 primary and secondary schools, with the aim to connect teachers
and students to the world.
MONE has set a goal to set-up its largest network – MEBNET. MEBNET is an important project for the Turkish
Educational System; this network provides Internet use and makes sharing information easy for students and
teachers. However, MONE needs a considerable amount of Ž nancial resources to realize this goal. In addition to
Ž nancial problems, MONE also needs technical manpower and computer teachers for this project. Up to now,
almost 3000 computer labs for 25 000 computers have been established in 2481 schools in Turkey.
Reasons for placing computers in schools vary from country to country. The Turkish Ministry of National
Education’s policy is to meet the national need for catching up with the age of technology. The Ministry of
National Education declared a policy of widespread introduction of computers in schools. The Minister of
National Education is quoted as saying that training children to use computers at an early stage in the school
system makes it easier for them to grasp the concepts of advanced computer technology at a later stage.

Educational technology units in Turkey


There are several educational technology units within MONE. These units have co-operated with other
ministries, Turkish Radio Television (TRT), universities, scientiŽ c research institutions and private institutions. In
this paper, only educational technology departments within MONE and universities will be discussed.
Educational Technology in Turkey 171

Educational technology departments within the Ministry of National Education


Units within MONE are grouped as administration, production and distribution.

Administration units
• Department of Publications;
• General Directorate of Educational Technology;
• Department of Teaching Materials and Equipment.

Production units
• Department of Education via Film, Radio and Television (FRTEB);
• Centre of Production of Educational Tools (DAYM);
• Printing House of the Ministry of National Education.

Distribution units
• Centre of Teaching Materials and Equipment in Cities;
• Publishing House of the Ministry of National Education (Akkoyunlu and Imer, 1998).
The Department of Publications produces printed educational materials for students and teachers. These
materials are printed in the publishing house of the Ministry of National Education and sold in its bookstores.
The production of textbooks used in primary and secondary schools is in accordance with regulations made in
1995 (MONE, 1999). Some of the textbooks that are used at these levels are prepared according to the needs of
the market ascertained by and published by MONE. Other textbooks are produced and published by private
publication houses.
The Department of Teaching Materials and Equipment deŽ nes the needs of schools on educational technology
and produces and distributes teaching materials and equipment. While teaching materials are produced by
Department of Education via Ž lm, radio and television, teaching equipment is also produced by the Centre of
Production of Educational Tools. All materials are distributed by the Centre of Teaching Materials and
Equipment.
The name of the General Directorate of Computer Education and Services (BILGEM) was changed to the
General Directorate of Educational Technology in 1998. This directorate aims to produce innovations in science
and technology; to support and spread education and instruction through technological developments; to increase
the quality of education; and to provide distance education to people who are outside the education system. The
Department of Information Technology in Education (EBIT) is under the responsibility of this directorate and is
in a great place to spread new information technologies in schools. Functions of this department are to plan and
carry out basic computer education (computer literacy) and CBE at every level and in all schools.

Universities
Studies in educational technology at universities are usually on research, curriculum studies and training
professionals in the Ž eld of educational technology. The Faculty of Education and Anadolu University’s Open
Education Faculty are directly related to educational technology. The courses given and the research carried out
are on educational technology.
The most recent application is the reconstruction of Education Faculties in Turkey. Some new departments have
been established and curriculum of other programmes in the Faculty of Education have been revised and
changed. This new application is regulated by Higher Education Board (YÖK).
One of the new departments is ‘Computer Education and Instructional Technology’ in faculties of education. The
departments that will graduate primary and secondary school computer teachers will send their Ž rst graduates in
the 2001–2002 school year. Again, within the framework of the reconstruction of the faculties, in all teacher
education departments, the modules ‘Computer Literacy’ and ‘Instructional Technologies and Material
Development’ are made compulsory.
The Internet was offered to Turkey for the Ž rst time in co-operation with universities and TÜBITAK to parallel
the growing global interest in networking projects in Turkey. This began in the second half of the 1980s.
172 EMI 39:2 – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Undoubtedly, these early attempts were closely associated with the developments in telecommunication services
in Turkey.
Turkish Universities and Research Institutions Network (TÜVAKA), the Ž rst Turkish network open to all
universities and non-commercial research institutions without a fee, was set up in 1986 at the Aegean University
to provide Bitnet connection. In October of the same year, TÜVAKA was connected to the European Academic
and Research Network (EARN) via Pisa in Italy. The TÜVAKA’s EARN connection enabled Turkish univer-
sities to gain access to similar networks around the world, such as Bitnet, and to use the Internet to communicate
with both European and American academic and research institutions.
Network facilities provided by TÜVAKA were rapidly exhausted. The increasing demand for networking
among Turkish universities and research institutions made a Turkish Internet connection necessary. In 1991,
co-operation between Middle East Technical University (METU) and TÜBITAK produced the Turkish Network
(TR INET), set up to establish the Internet connection of Turkey and promote it within the country (Tonta and
Kurbanoglu, 1995). The Turkish Internet connection was established on 12 April 1993 through a link between
the METU and National Science Foundation (NSF) in the USA. Although the national Internet structure has yet
to be completed, universities have been connected to National Academic Network (ULAKNET) since 1997.
There have been a number of important developments with regard to networking in Turkey since the 1980s. The
demand for network services has grown tremendously since Turkey joined the Internet in 1993. Universities,
governmental bodies and commercial companies have shown that they value information services gained over the
network. Today, it is thought that currently 800 000 individual and institutional computers are connected to the
Internet (State Planning OfŽ ce, 2001).

National information infrastructure


A national information infrastructure (NII) is necessary to make use of information and communication tech-
nologies for economical development. Therefore, a NII should be established to organize all kinds of information
services. The NII of a society covers technologies, rules, standards and policies on storing, accessing, processing,
creating and communicating information.
TÜBITAK prepared a report in 1995 and revealed important points for Turkey in order to keep pace with the
rapid changes in technology. The report highlighted that a NII would provide CBE activities and computerized
public services (such as health services, transport services, ofŽ cial record keeping services, remote controlled
systems, etc). The report proposed that libraries, information banks and archives in Turkey should be connected
via a computer-based information highway for accessible services.
There have been a number of important developments with regards to a NII in Turkey in recent years. The
initiative for the Turkish National Information Infrastructure (TUENA) master plan started in 1996. This master
plan was prepared by the Transportation Ministry, TÜBITAK, Turkish Technology Development Foundation
(TTGV), Turkish Electronics Industrialists Association (TESID) and Turkish Telecom. Four work packages were
prepared with a long-term strategic planning approach:
• Monitoring Environment (Turkey & the World);
• Infrastructuring Planning;
• National Value Added Instruments;
• Institutional Restructuring;
All packages were generalized by the end of 1998. By May 1999, an update study was applied before the Ministry
of Transportation gave the Ž nal approval in June (TUENA Final Report, 2000).
The TUENA master plan initiative examined current proposals regarding the ICT arena under four headings
and put forward a number of proposals for reorganization, setting up new bodies and improving principles:
• information infrastructure/knowledge society bodies: new body as ‘Council of Knowledge Society’;
• telecommunications regulatory bodies: new principles, reorganization, setting up a regulatory body;
• government information and public services: new’ knowledge society agency’, new principles, and reorga-
nization;
• sectorial ICT industry policy bodies: new principles, new instruments and reorganization.
Finally, in the future, a ‘Ministry of Knowledge Society’ should be established to employ talented personnel
dealing with policy developments in the following areas:
Educational Technology in Turkey 173

• regulation;
• informatization of the government and public services;
• leading ICT industry;
• leading transition to a Knowledge Society.
Putting several functions in the hands of one ministry brings Ž nancial problems and paperwork/in exibility. This
is the weakest point, but it can be overcome by the proposed ‘Knowledge Society Agency’ under the auspice of
the Ministry of Transportation. Financial resources for this institution may come from licenses/regulation fees,
advertising fees and/or from a ‘ Knowledge Society Fund’ (TUENA Final Report, 2000).

Final comments
In an information society, the basic aim of education is to equip people with necessary skills to access, process,
create, organize and communicate information. In order to teach these skills to students, educational technology
should be used in schools. On the other hand, the Turkish educational system is presently facing serious difŽ -
culties. As for the educational level, 46.1% of the population above the age of 6 have primary school education,
7.6% secondary education, 7.8% lycee and its equivalent, and 3% higher education.
DifŽ culties stemming from the structure and operation of this education system are still crucial. Centralized
structure of the MONE limits the activities of sub units and provincial organizations, thus delaying the decision
making process. There is an imbalance between existing needs and the availability of laboratory equipment,
computers, video, etc. Currently the available laboratory equipment meets 70% of the existing needs and
equipment such as computers, video, etc., meets 40%.
As mentioned earlier, studies in educational technology are on the rise in Turkey and these developments go far
beyond meeting the requirements. However, the latest information technologies are entering schools very slowly.
In order to use educational technologies effectively, teachers should be trained in the use of technologies and their
integration into the teaching/learning process.

References
Akkoyunlu, B (1992) Modelling CAL in the Turkish Educational System, unpublished PhD thesis, University of
Leicester.
Akkoyunlu, B and Imer, G (1998) Türkiye’de Egitim Teknolojisi’nin Görüntüsü (Views of Educational
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Technologies and Policies), Special Group Report. 2560 / 576, State Planning OfŽ ce, Ankara.
Tonta, Y and Kurbanoglu, S (1995) Networked Information in Turkey, Journal of Turkish Librarianship, 9, 3,
230–234.
TÜBITAK (1995) Bilim ve Teknolojide Atylym Projesi (Project in Science and Technology) TÜBITAK BTP 95/02,
TÜBITAK, Ankara.
Turkish National Information Infrastructure (TUENA) (1998) Final Report. Available online:
http://www.tuena.tubitak.gov.tr/rapor/pdf/3000G-T-A-01-2.pdf (accessed 11 September 2001).
174 EMI 39:2 – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Biographical note
Assoc. Prof. Dr Buket Akkoyunlu was born in 1962. She graduated from Hacettepe University’s Department
of Sociology (Turkey) in 1983. After earning her MA on Curriculum and Instruction from the Department of
Educational Sciences at Hacettepe University in 1986, Akkoyunlu completed her PhD on Educational
Technology at Leicester University’s (UK) School of Education in 1991Her publications on curriculum and
instruction, information technologies and information literacy have appeared both in scholarly periodicals and
books. . She has been working for Hacettepe University since 1984 and has also been working as an IT consultant
at K–12 schools.

Address for correspondence


Assoc. Prof. Dr Buket Akkoyunlu, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Education, Department of Computer and
Instructional Technology Education, Beytepe/Ankara, O6532 Turkey; e-mail: buket@hacettepe.edu.tr