ICT in secondary schools in africa: An Exploratory Case Study


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Sub division: 21st century learning

Capacity building for ICT integration in secondary schools in Kenya:
An exploratory case study

Jo Tondeur, Don Krug, Mike Bill, Maaike Smulders & Zhu Chang

Introduction and objectives
The demands of the 21st century dictate that learners should be equipped with requisite skills to competently engage and perform in the new information age. These skills commonly referred to as 21st century skills include inter-alia; critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, creativity and communication (Voogt & Pareja, 2012). When the learning opportunities presented by Information Communication Technology (ICT) are well utilized, they have a great potential to develop 21st century skills (Selwyn, 2007). In view of the above, the Kenyan Ministry of Education expects ICT to be widely deployed for teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools across Kenya (see Quality Education and Training for Vision 2030). However, a simple placement of hardware and/or software will not make ICT integration naturally follow (Earle, 2002). One of the key failures of many past programs in Africa – and the rest of the world - was that schools were provided with equipment but with little or no support for teachers’ professional development, national and local ICT policies, and/or community involvement (Agyei & Voogt, 2011).
Clearly, the primary factor that influences the effectiveness of learning is not the availability of ICT, but the capacity to integrate of ICT in the different subject areas, the scope of the current study. This study investigates a professional development program that provides not only support to equip secondary schools in Kenya with ICT. The VVOB program was designed from a school improvement point of view to support the process of capacity building for ICT integration in the curriculum. It built upon teachers’ existing practices and facilities their reflection of an inquiry into these practices (see Lim, Tondeur, Nastiti, & Paragan, 2010). The school would be a collaborative community to create engaging content that would be shared and assessed (cf. Arntzen & Krug, 2011). We aim to gain insight into whether and how this program affects secondary school teachers and practices regarding the educational use of ICT.

A case study was conducted in four pilot schools - with no previous ICT investments - to examine the process of capacity building for ICT-integration in the context of secondary education in Kenya. Based on a mixed method research approach, this study aims to critically evaluate the prospects and challenges through the lens of stakeholders at the different aggregation levels: policy makers (macro level), district managers, principals, and ICT coordinators (school level), and teachers and pupils at the micro level.

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  • Munyu Mixed Secondary SchoolMunyu Mixed Secondary School is a school built by the community in the Munyu area in the year 2000. It is a day school for boys and girls and its student catchment is usually the poorest performing pupils out of primary school who are unable to secure places in ‘better’ schools.The school has very poor facilities and only 3 years ago, the school was able to introduce school feeding for its students at lunch time and this improved the retention of students in schools significantly. The student population currently stands at 384 accommodated in 2 streams per class. There are 16 teachers (14 permanent and 2 employed on temporary contracts)The school consistently scores a below average mark in the annual national examinations.
  • ICT in secondary schools in africa: An Exploratory Case Study

    1. 1. CAPACITY BUILDING FOR ICT INTEGRATION ISATT - Ghent 2013 Jo Tondeur, Mike Bill, Maaike Smulders, Don Krug & Chang Zhu in Secondary Schools in Kenya: An Exploratory Case Study
    2. 2. INTRODUCTION  21st century skills > ICT-integration in education (Selwyn 2007; Voogt and Pareja 2012) “ICT-integration should support teaching and learning in the delivery of the various curricula to achieve improved education outcomes, to develop diversified skills needed for industrialization and a knowledge-based economy” (Quality Education and Training for Vision, 2030, Kenya)  A simple placement of hardware and software will not support teachers and students using ICT within educational settings. (Earle 2002)
    3. 3. “A few years ago, the emphasis in ICT in education in Kenya has been on the provision of computers to schools, … after which it was left for individual schools to figure out what to do with the computers” Kizito Makoba, ICT Integration Team member INTRODUCTION (CON’T) > Capacity building for ICT-integration in Kenyan schools
    4. 4. 1. Conceptualizing and creating capacity for the use, incorporation and integration of ICT. “What does it mean to create capacity for the use of ICT?” 2. Planning and Implementing a systems approach to integrate ICT “What does the VVOB model, MOE model, 4inB model, Ecologies of Learning approach and holistic approach look like?” 3. Examining and analyzing how to and why should ICT be integrated within school cultures. “What are the contextual forces, human and material factors and relationships associated with ICT integration?” CAPACITY BUILDING AND INTEGRATING ICT
    6. 6. Capacity Building and Integrating ICT 1. Digital Inquiry should include educators’ competencies and confidence in using technologies or the knowledge and skills needed to use ICT to improve learning, productivity, and performance (Becker, 2000; Wray, et al., 2000; Laferrière et al., 2001; Krug, 2002b, 2004; NEA, 2002). 2. Pedagogical practices should incorporate ICT to engage learners in problem-posing, problem-solving, decision making and other 21st Century Learning competencies through face-to-face and online flexible, formal and informal learning spaces. 3. Teacher’s should strive to develop a philosophy that embraces change and life-long-learning, and ability to not only know about, plan and implement the use and incorporation of ICT practices toward enhancing their own and student learning, but also to transparently integrate ICT through the curriculum as a way of living and learning, and generating new knowledge. This of course includes, but should not limited to learning about core educational content.
    9. 9. THE HOLISTIC APPROACH Policy level. School level. Classroom level Vision Expertise Digital Content Infrastructure
    10. 10. Location of the 4 secondary schools
    11. 11. School 1 460 Students 20 Teachers Performs above average
    12. 12. School 2 Located in Kiserian on the shores of Lake Baringo. Home to the minority tribe called the Ilchamus (Njemps) Location
    13. 13. 422 Students 15 Teachers
    14. 14. School 3 Started in 1978 Student population: 283, 16 teachers
    15. 15. School 4 Started in the year 2000 Built by the Munyu community to accommodate students that could not get to other secondary schools Student population: 384 16 teachers
    16. 16. AIMS OF THE STUDY How does the PD program support the participating schools’ capacity building for ICT integration in the curricula? Today’s focus Exploring critical domains in the process of capacity building for ICT-integration in four secondary schools in Kenya: Leadership I Cooperation and support I Access to resources I Development of a shared vision
    17. 17. Longitudinal mixed method case study approach February 2012 2012-2013 VVOB Pilot May 2013 Study 1 Study 2* Method - Questionnaires administered to all teachers (pre & post) - 4 Focus groups* with teachers, ICT-coördinators and school leaders (pre & post) - Observation of ICT facilities (pre & post); - Observation of teaching practice - Review of school documents including school planning/policy documents *Focus of the presentation
    18. 18. Component Exemplary questions Vision building To what degree does the school have a shared vision on the place of ICT in the curriculum? Does the school have an ICT policy plan? Access to resources What kind of infrastructure can we find and where? Future plans? ICT-use Which opportunities can ICT bring for education? What are the most important obstacles? Support (How) are teachers working together? Leadership Who’s involved in the process of ICT-planning? What are their roles? Instrument Focus group
    19. 19. Case Study results: ICT-infrastructure • School 1 School 2 School 3 School 4 Computer lab (2CPUx10) + 8 desktops in each class Computer lab with 16 desktops, Computer lab 18pc’s Computer lab with 16 desktops 5 laptops 3 laptops, 1 tablet 3 laptops 4 laptops 3 projectors 2 projectors 2 projectors, speakers 2 projectors 1 camera, 2 camcorders 1 video camera, 2 2 digital 1 video camera, 2
    20. 20. CASE STUDY RESULTS: ACCESS TO RESOURCES Our decision to have a computer lab Setup was mainly motivated by security (T, S3) To illustrate: Computer lab S2
    21. 21. CASE STUDY RESULTS: ACCESS TO RESOURCES Power breakdowns Not enough laptops to have equal access “Unreliable electricity is a big Obstacle to proper use of ICTs” (teacher, S1) Lack of space/too many students “Lack of enough infrastructure and space is an obstacle to good integration. Teachers have too many students in class to use ICTs at an optimum level” Lack of technicians for maintenance of the equipment
    22. 22. CASE STUDY RESULTS: ACTUAL ICT-USE Use of ICT as an information tool: Presenting information by teachers “In our school it is also being used to show things that are not familiar to the students such as icebergs” (T, S3) Use of ICT as a supportive tool: Preparing lessons, make lessons current, production and analysis of exams, Timetabling; school management system-accounting, …
    23. 23. SURVEY RESULTS: USE OF ICT IN CLASS* 0 =not al all 1 = to a certain degree 2 = to a great degree 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 School 1 School 2 School 3 School 4 Learning tool LT_AU Learning tool LT_PU Actual use Preferred use * I teach my pupils to… work together in order to perform an assignment by means of represent info multimedially with ICT learn independently in an ICT supported environment, … > gap between the actual and the preferred class use of ICT > Educational potential of ICT seems to be acknowledged by teachers
    24. 24. CASESTUDY RESULTS: LEADERSHIP & COLLABORATION  ICT integration team is leading the innovation process  Support from the school leader is crucial The principal played a crucial role and she leads by example in that she integrates ICTs in her lessons I have also observed better unity among my teachers. My teachers are consulting and collaborating a lot more because of the ICTs in school. This is very nice for me as a principal.
    25. 25. CASESTUDY RESULTS: ICT SCHOOL POLICY Schools are developing policies…. But ICT-policies are not (yet) integrated in a school plan “Our policy seeks to empower all the school stakeholders and give them responsibilities for ICT integration” (BOG, S2) “The more we learn, the better we are becoming at generating a vision for ICT-integraton” (T, S1)
    26. 26.  Teachers are starting to use ICT to support their practice and to bring reality to the classroom > How to stimulate students’ use of ICT (given the number of students/lack of space)? > How to achieve 21st century skills through student centered learning? “ICTs tend to invoke creativity” DISCUSSION & IMPLICATIONS
    27. 27.  Towards distributed leadership for capacity building > Limitations of a centralised system?  Development of policies for ICT Integration need experience of ICT Integration > Implications for PD? > Experience of possibilities with technology in schools (sandbox) We would also like to to train teachers in neighbouring schools so that we increase the pool of teachers around us who are integrating ICT. This will be beneficial to us as much as it will benefit our neighbours. DISCUSSION & IMPLICATIONS
    28. 28. CAPACITY BUILDING FOR ICT INTEGRATION More info: www.vvob.be Contact: Jo.Tondeur@Ugent.be http://ugent.academia.edu/JoTondeur in Secondary Schools in Kenya: An Exploratory Case Study
    29. 29. EXTRA: SCHOOL CHARACTERISTICS No overall significant diffences between schools 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 School 1 School 2 School 3 School 4 teacher perceived need for innov teacher participative decision making school innovation orientation supportive leadership Need for instructional innovations Teacher participation in decision making School innovation orientation Supportive leadership