Integrating technology into the learning and teaching practice
Nkosi, Cynthia Ntombi
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The aims of this research were to: investigate the nature of technology integration into the teaching and learning practice; investigate ways in which schools have integrated technology into learning; investigate ways in which schools have integrated technology for professional development of educators; investigate if there is an equitable accessibility of technology to learners in schools; investigate if necessary resources are available to implement technology in schools; and make recommendations for schools to integrate technology into their teaching and learning curricula. To achieve these objectives, this research used, firstly, a literature review in order to explore both the national and international literature findings on the scholastic work of researchers on the integration of information technology in teaching and learning settings. Secondly, an empirical research method, which consisted of both the quantitative and qualitative research approaches, was conducted to find out the way in which schools in South Africa, with particular reference to schools in the Vaal Triangle area, have made efforts to integrate computer technology in their teaching and learner curricula. The findings from the literature study revealed that primary school learners who received brief daily computer-aided teaching lessons as a supplement to teaching showed gains equivalent to between one to eight months of teaching over their peers who received traditional teaching only. Various researchers also reported increases in learner attendance, motivation and attention span. Computer technology, according to the literature, can also be very accommodating, for example, computers can reach learners at different study ability levels, any time of the day or night. Additionally, the sense of independence, self-regulation and accomplishment a computer offers helps learners fuel their self-confidence and self-regulated learning. The quantitative empirical research findings revealed that educators and school management teams do not understand their unique roles in the integration of computer technology in the school curriculum; and educators lack knowledge and skills needed to incorporate computer technology in teaching and learning activities on a classroom-wide basis. The findings of the qualitative research method revealed that schools do not have a mandatory obligation to enforce the teaching of computer technology to their learners; educators lack computer technology skills; there is a great need for an intensive training of educators on computer technology and the various soft wares which are available for educators in various learning areas; computer technology has capacity to enhance educators' efficient and effective school, class and learning area administration, including their personal professional development; School Management Teams need to concertedly manage the integration of computer technology into the teaching and learning situation and thereby empower educators through workshops, skills, and reducing learner: educator ratio in computer technology classes; Recommendations are made which emphasise the need for a comprehensive capacity-building programme for educators on computer technology and its integration in the school curriculum.
- ETD@Vaal Triangle Campus