DIGITAL LEARNING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND EDUCATIONAL CHANGE IN GHANA’S BASIC SCHOOLS
Tallinn University (ESTONIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In this paper, we looked at schools as Digital Learning Ecosystem (DLEO). The objective was to explore the DLEO Services in terms of Infrastructure, Learning Facilitation, and Change Management in Ghana’s basic schools; in the context of how these services are provided externally, adopted internally, and domesticated in schools’ as digital transactions within DLEO. We observed conflicts in ICT related human and material factors schools' DLEO.
Seventeen (17) schools (Urban, Peri-urban, and Rural selected) participated. Headteachers and teachers were active subjects; together, with few students and Circuit Supervisors. A mixed design approach was used for the study. Structured rubrics to measure the digital infrastructure, learning facilitation and Change management as external, internal and transactions digital services; using a binary scale was developed and used as instrument. Qualitative data obtained through interviews, observations, documents analysis, and focal group discussions we mapped on the services rubrics to measure the manifestations of the digital services in the schools DLEO. Rubrics passed reliability test(External services α=.80; Transactional Service α=.77; Internal Services α=.94). Descriptive analysis was done on the services rubrics; for means of the cases; these were triangulated with qualitative information. Data collection was successful;100%, school participation was recorded.
Research results indicated availability of government and private digital services at the infrastructure, learning facilitation and change management levels of the external services level, which could mould a kind of school DLEO. The study showed that;
Infrastructure: External services in the form energy sources (M=.88) are available; internally adopted by schools (M=.88). However, schools have to find resources to pay for the service (M=.71).
Externally, Government have supplied free ICT equipment (M = .65); In schools, these resources are either in use (M=.71) or obsolete or faulty (M = .53). Transactionally, schools need to find resources to obtain new ones (M=.88).
Learning Facilitation: Externally national curriculum provides for digital literacy(DL)(M=.76) and specifies course for students’ DL(M=.65). Further, it directs ICT usage across subjects (M = .53) and curriculum defines national ICT test for students (M = .71). Internally, these are adopted in the schools DLOE; Computer classes in school (M=.88), students DL are taught (M=.94), schools participate in national ICT test (M = .71). Transitionally, teachers support learning outcomes digitally (M = .82) and share digital resources (M=.71). Transactionally, schools need more resource to be digitally innovative (M=.82) and absence of internet/wifi pushes the training for digital competences to occur mostly in ICT classes (M=.88).
Change Management: Externally schools have ICT agenda (M=.65), school data is collected for analysis towards innovation (M=.65) and there are opening for professional online networking for students and teachers (M=.65). Internally, it seems school have no strong ICT plan (M=.59) and those external services stagnate and unable to materialise transitionally for innovation; as schools need resources (M=.82).
Conclusively, most schools lack internet connection, large class sizes impair the effective use of laptops. Seemingly, schools are left alone to map their own DLEO. Training for digital innovations and change management needs to be pursued.
Keywords: Digital Services, Digital Learning Ecosystem.