THE INTEGRATION OF TECHNOLOGY (ICTS) INTO THE TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES
The Social Studies ICT-Pedagogy Integration Project
The Social studies project was initiated as a response to the following Challenges:
-decline in student performance in Social studies
-teaching and learning of social studies was mainly based on traditional teaching methods and use of technological innovations such as (ICTs) was minimal
-social studies teachers tend to rely more on teacher centric instructional pedagogy with very little variations.
The Project Assumptions were as follows that:
-It would integrate ICTs as tools with pedagogy to improve instruction and develop desirable teacher competencies.
-ICT would capture the attention, interest and motivate students into learning.
-empower teachers in the acquisition of relevant educational ICT skills.
-motivate teachers to engage in self-development and focus on the development of integrated classroom based educational technologies.
-to develop social studies lessons based on clear instructional objectives.
-to encourage the use of free web based resources for generating and sharing of educational information by teacher and students
-Create forums for information sharing by primary stakeholders in the Education system.
-above all to improve Social Studies Examination results.
The participation of all social studies teacher in the region was seen as critical factor to the success of the project. Therefore a Committee of social studies teachers was elected to spear head the Project to promote ownership.
This committee was tasked with the responsibility to deliver as follows:
Develop Social studies Syllabus Content Material for Form 1-5. The Production, Review and Editing of Material has been Completed. The material development was done by Social studies Teachers in the North-East Region of Botswana. The material which includes Lesson Content material in word and PDF has been uploaded into the System developed by a Computer teacher from Masunga Senior Secondary school, Mr. Joseph Moyo and Mr. Baruti, a computer programmer from Batanani JSS assisted by Ms Sebudzane Mathe and Mr Mpinyane Mpinyane who are attached to the North-East Region IT Unit. Examples of Lessons in Power point have also been uploaded in to the System. The computer system is used to processes Social studies Syllabus Material into teaching notes for teachers and is capable of Generating tests and quizzes for students. Copies of subject content CDs have been sent to all schools in the region for use by social studies teachers.
The System has been Test Piloted in Setlalekgosi JSS in Francistown and Masunga Senior Secondary school at Masunga. It was been presented to the North-East senior management who were visibly impressed. It will be presented to Francistown and North-East District school heads, respectively.
The system is fully functional and can run in different platforms including offline.
The Project has in the main achieved its objectives. Judging from the response the project team received from students in the two schools as well as teachers from other subjects during the test piloting exercise the social studies project will make a considerable impact.
It is anticipated that it will revolutionise the teaching and learning of social studies in our schools in the region and country at large.