INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AS AGENTS OF CHANGE FOR TEACHING AND TEACHER DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY OF A SECONDARY SCHOOL, KWAZULU-NATAL

K. Ngwane1, B. Mbatha2

1Durban University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
2Mthunziwoxolo Secondary School (SOUTH AFRICA)
Modern technology has transformed every aspect of human life. In the education sector, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has the potential of changing teaching and learning to make it more effective, efficient and responsive. Teachers are increasingly facing the challenge of improving their teaching skills because of the availability of teaching resources available to them as compared to teachers in the past two decades. Among these resources is the availability of ICTs which can transform their teaching approaches. Mthunziwoxolo is a secondary school in KwaZulu-Natal that has recently been provided with tablets in 2016 to be used for teaching and learning.

This study was conducted at Mthunziwoxolo secondary school because the school experienced a problem with learner performance and teaching approaches. The study attempted to determine whether ICTs act as an agent of change for teaching and teacher professional development. Qualitative research data was collected using semi-structured interviews from 10 teachers of Mthunziwoxolo secondary school. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings indicate that infusing ICTs into teaching:
(1) improves the working conditions of teachers;
(2) improves teacher to teacher communications;
(3) transform educators’ teaching methods to a combination of traditional instruction and learner-centred approaches; and
(4) improves teachers’ professional development.

However, the study reveals that effective ICT integration requires effective teacher professional development and support.

Based on the results of this study, the school should concentrate on fundamental pedagogical strategies in combination with ICT use for teaching and learning. Good strategic planning combined with effective teacher professional development is recommended if ICT integration into teaching and learning is going to be efficient, effective and responsive.

It is recommended that the school implement ICT-enhanced Teacher Development Model (ICTeTD) (Engida, 2011:17-21). The school must also enrol its teachers in the OER4Schools programme so that they gain professional development (Hennessy et. al., 2015:541).