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The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the education system to a rapid and unprepared transition to distance learning, inducing many teachers to organize lessons via information and communication technologies (ICTs), albeit often without sufficient technological and organizational support. Our study aims to evaluate teachers’ and students’ experience with ICTs during the first lockdown, considering three categories of relevant factors: technical issues, attitudes and beliefs towards online learning, and metacognitive skills. Participants were 486 students and 83 teachers of a Northern Italy high school, who were administered a self-reported online questionnaire. Video-lessons and audio-lessons emerged as overlooked teaching modalities. The desktop was the less used device, teachers preferred the tablet, while students preferred the smartphone. In general, students displayed appreciation of distance learning, even if they wished for more interactive activities. Teachers’ level of metacognitive competence and self-efficacy were rather high. For students, the perception of the e-learning environment predicted positively the perception of distance education and negatively the experienced anxiety, with anxiety also being higher among females. For teachers, the evaluation of distance learning was positively predicted by their beliefs about ICTs. This demonstrates the importance of promoting positive ICTs beliefs to motivate teachers in engaging in distance learning. Moreover, higher perceived self-efficacy was associated with lower levels of anxiety, thus showing the need to engage in training activities enabling teachers to feel confident when using ICTs.
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