This makes it difficult to generalize findings based on the use of all technological tools. Technology Integration : This refers to using computers effectively and efficiently by teachers and students in classroom instruction to enhance student learning and understanding. It was to build basic computer competency and pedagogical skills to prepare technologically sound teachers who will be effective in utilizing ICT in their instruction to promote effective teaching and learning.
A customized curriculum was used aiming at teachers of all disciplines. Some of the courses included information retrieval, educational technology and computers in education. The study was organized into five chapters with their sub-headings. Chapter one provides a background to the study, states the problem and purpose of the study, and provides the research questions that guided the study.
The significance of the study is discussed as well as the delimitation and limitation. Some terms are defined as well as the organization of the rest of the study. Chapter three provides the research design, describes the population as well as the sample and sampling procedure of the study.
It also describes the instrument and pretest for validity and reliability as well as the data collection procedure and how the data collected was analyzed. Chapters four discusses the results of the study and chapter five, summarizes the findings of this investigation, draws conclusions and makes recommendations. It has also made suggestions for further research.
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The purpose of this study is to investigate how social studies teachers who have completed some form of technology integration training perceive and use technology in the social studies classrooms. This chapter first provides a theoretical framework of the study, a brief overview of the status of technology integration in Ghanaian schools, especially in the discipline of social studies.
After which importance of technology integration training has been reviewed. Finally, ways in which teachers can use technology in social studies classrooms and its related challenges or barriers involved while designing and teaching technology-connected lessons have also been considered. The theoretical framework that guides this study is constructivism. Constructivism is a philosophical school of thought that holds the view that the only reality is our individual interpretation of what we perceive.
It maintains that knowledge is not received from outside, but we construct knowledge from our heads and that learning is a process of people actively constructing knowledge. Traditional instructional methods such as memorizing, demonstrating and imitating are considered incompatible with the notion that learning is a process of construction. Thus presentation of information is downplayed whereas learner activity is stressed. For example, teacher questions are discouraged and learner questions are encouraged Jonassen, Constructivism emphasizes the learner exploring, experimenting, doing research, asking questions and seeking answers, which promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Another substantial aspect of constructivist thinking is an emphasis on cooperative and collaborative learning Slavin, The more general term cooperative, means learners are helping each other rather than hindering or engaging in unhealthy competition, or ignoring one another. They may be working on individual projects such as term papers or experiments , but the environment supports learners helping and teaching one another.
Collaborative learning goes a bit further, suggesting environments in which learners work on shared project or goal. Both cooperative and collaborative environments have several advantages.
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Interactivity is enhanced and more multisensory including conversation between learners and other activities, not just typing and reading , participants play roles of both learners and teachers, motivation is enhanced, social skills are fostered and met cognitive skills are improved. A criticism that constructivist educators aim at traditional and current educational environments is that the knowledge and skills taught are too simplified. Thus, they are not useful in the real world, because learners recognize them as such and are not highly motivated. In other words, traditional methods promote knowledge that does not transfer well.
In contrast constructivists suggest that methodologies such as hypermedia, simulation, virtual reality and open-ended learning environments are of more benefit to learners, allowing them to explore information freely, apply their own learning styles, and use software as a resource.
More importantly, constructivists support the use of computer-based tools with which learners can design and construct their own knowledge Jonassen, Activities such as typing compositions, using simulations and games result in more useful knowledge and skills. They also emphasize using computers for communication, such as e-mail for communication between learners at a distance, Internet chat rooms and video conferencing, and file sharing for group research and project work.
This effect is most significant in education. The computer has become a motivating tool for teaching and learning in schools World Bank, For instance, in the middle of the s, educational providers realized that Ghanaian professionals could not compete on the global market for jobs, because they were limited in skill, especially in the area of Information Technology.
Subsequently, the authorities incorporated the study of ICTs as part of the study of science. However, initiators found that the various programs were disintegrated, unstructured and did not cover all the schools Nyarko, Many lapses were identified for which the stakeholders agreed to work together to make education complete with ICT as a facilitator.
Wiredu said some of the basic schools in almost all the district capitals have ICT while most private schools no matter their location whether in the rural or urban setting have ICTs commonly called the computer centres. The then Minister said over out of the senior secondary schools SSS in the country have one form of ICT facility while all the 38 teacher training colleges are being hooked onto the ICT. In addition to all these, the Government of Ghana signed a memorandum of understanding with the Microsoft on the Partners in Learning Programme on March 6, to provide schools in the country with software to upgrade the operating systems GNA, The nodes are also serving as service providers to the senior secondary schools that use the dial up access to reach these nodes.
Government of Ghana, Other developments have been establishment of computer laboratories in most secondary schools in the country. Teachers have been urged to integrate technology into school curriculum by the media, teacher education accrediting organizations, professional development programs, teachers, parents, and administrators. In his doctoral dissertation, Ottesen revealed that one fundamental problem facing ICT integration in schools is the lack of computer infrastructure.
The study revealed substantive correlation between technology access and use. In another study, Yildrim revealed that teachers agreed that access to ICT infrastructure is one of the effective means to integrate ICT in classrooms.
CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Through ICT, curricula can be more easily updated, adapted, enriched and personalized to satisfy a broad range of learning needs. Using ICT access to a curriculum can be made available more efficiently over a wider area. Even within more traditional learning environments, ICT is changing the way classrooms operate; the integration of multimedia subject presentations, online research, changing teacher-student dynamics, and innovative project approaches are making the learning process more interactive and participatory UN Youth Report, Teachers, even though might have access to technology, its effective use will however warrant a knowledge in their application through training.
A large body of literature Berson, ; OTA, ; Redish, ; White, supports the idea that the biggest obstacle to teacher infusion of technology into the classrooms is the lack of adequate teacher training. Without adequate training of how to use technology, teachers will feel timid and not be able to successfully use computers as a powerful tool to transform instructional practices. Once teachers master the skills of the technology and acquire confidence and control over the technology, they will feel prepared to use it in their classroom, and their frustration will be substantially reduced or eliminated.
New technology is being introduced so rapidly today that it is very unlikely that a teacher will keep up with it on his or her own. For this reason, professional development of teachers is urgent and important King, b. It is in view of this that the UEW and UCC introduced the technology integration training as part of their curriculum. Jophus Anamuah-Mensah assumed office.
Enhancing the Impact of Investments in 'Educational' ICT
Among other things, this plan emphasized the development and deployment of ICT tools for teaching and learning. In furtherance of this institutional goal, a series of ICT workshops were organized as part of a faculty technology professional development programme. These workshops aimed at conscientizing faculty on the benefits and demerits of ICT as instructional and learning tool, and equipping faculty with basic ICT skills and knowledge. The university encouraged individual faculty to own their personal computers PCs through a hire purchase arrangement with a computer vendor.
So far, 81 faculty members have been trained on online content creation and their course materials are already uploaded to the servers of this project. All masters graduate students are also required to pass EDI Introduction to Information Technology in Education as part of their graduation requirements. The implementation saw the establishment of a computer laboratory and the provision of internet facilities on campus. User support has been provided in the form of informed help on academic and administrative computing and information to all categories of staff and students.
The challenge however has been the provision of support for undergraduates to ensure successful computer literacy for everyone. Additional to the student support, appropriate incentives and support packages have also been made available to faculty and staff as encouragement in the creative use and application of ICT for teaching and research. In order to ensure its effective use, senior members and staff have been trained to electronically publish as well as searching for data.
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In support of this, the departments have also provided academic staff with desktop computers to help facilitate teaching and learning as envisaged in the mission of the ICT policy UCC ICT Policy Document, Furthermore, UCC has also made huge investments in multimedia equipments to be integrated in the curriculum of the university.
Courses such as information retrieval especially computer and internet use was introduced as compulsory for all undergraduate first year students. Education level students also offer a course known as educational technology, which is aimed at training education students on the various multimedia available and how they can be effectively integrated into classroom interaction to enhance learning. In addition to this all students were given free training sessions on Microsoft office suite Word, Excel, Powerpoint and internet orientation.
At the graduate level, all education masters students offer a course in computers in education, which is supposed to further enhance their knowledge and skill in how to effectively utilize the computer and technology in their classroom activities UCC ICT Policy Document, All these developments have been implemented with the rationale of training students who will graduate as professional teachers to utilize technology as an effective tool in the classroom. Some researchers found that provision of opportunities and training to enable teachers to experience computer technology resources and learn how to use them in instruction is crucial for teachers' acceptance and use of them Clark, What are the anticipated impacts of providing technology training for teachers?
With the recognition of the potential of ICT in education, the study reflects the appropriateness of the dominant traditional approach to the first and second-order barriers to technology and attempts to overcome this restrictive view in order to stimulate fundamental changes that can facilitate the contribution of technology for transforming of teaching. The study consists of two parts. The first phase is an exploratory study for understanding the ICT-based teaching activities and ICT-based training activities of faculty professors.
The main purpose of the first phase was to establish a more extensive research angle using the Activity System as the analytical tool to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon. The second phase is an intervention process.