The ability to utilise information and communication technologies (ICTs) has become a new literacy for the twenty first century. This literacy raises a number of challenges for teachers’ vis-à-vis their technical ability, knowledge and expertise in ICTs. These challenges are also identified by the White paper on e-Education as: participation in the information society, impact of ICTs on access, cost effectiveness and quality of education, and integration of ICTs in the teaching and learning process. There is a gap in the ability of learners and teachers to use ICTs effectively, to access online content, to create content of their own, to communicate and collaborate, and to integrate technology into teaching and learning. There is also little evidence of technology integration into classroom activities such as systematic planning and implementation of lessons. This study describes barriers to effective technology integration in senior secondary schools.
This was a qualitative case study conducted in technology rich senior secondary schools in the Tshwane North District, Gauteng Province. Data was collected from semi-structured interviews with office-based and school-based officials, focus group interviews with learners, lesson observations and document study. The findings point to lack of ICT specialist teachers to teach students computer skills, lack of teaching experience with ICTs, lack of support from the Department of Education, insufficient technology resources and absence of desired integration of ICTs in the curriculum. The long term aim of the study is to make substantive recommendations on the integration of ICTs in teaching and learning.
In conclusion, this study clearly indicates that there are schools around Gauteng Province with computer technologies that are not used for teaching and learning. Based on the research findings and suggestions for further research, a national strategy for designing and implementing computer technology policy should be developed in Tshwane North Region to integrate technology effectively into teaching and learning. This will help teachers to plan and teach with technology and assist learners to become technologically compliant with 21st century demands.
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