INTEGRATING LEARNING TECHNOLOGY INTO THE CLASSROOM: THE IMPORTANCE OF PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ AND LECTURERS’ PERCEPTIONS
, A. Lukyamuzi2
1Islamic University in Uganda (UGANDA)
2Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) – Nkozi (UGANDA)
The integration of learning technologies into high school classroom is being promoted and supported worldwide. Underlying the promotion and support are claims that successful integration will lead to enhanced learning outcomes. Teachers’ perceptions and approaches and, consequently, the learning contexts they provide are known to influence students’ perceptions. Successful integration of learning technologies leading to enhanced learning outcomes is unlikely unless teachers perceive and use technology as an integrated part of a student centered / conceptual change teaching approach. It is only through students perceiving learning technologies as part of learning context, that independent learning will be encouraged and deep learning approaches enhanced. There was a concern in Islamic University in Uganda, Female campus (IUIU- FC.) that most of lecturers do not know how to integrate learning technologies in their lectures/classroom. This implied that most students are likely to graduate as teachers without learning how to integrate technology into their classroom. The purpose of the study was therefore to investigate the perception of Bachelor of Arts/ Education students (BAE) and their lecturers about learning technologies.
The study was guided by two research questions:
i. How do BAE (1st 2nd and 3rd year) students and their lecturers perceives learning technologies?
ii. Are the perceptions consistent with the integration of learning technologies into the classroom in a manner likely to encourage enhanced leaning outcomes?
The study used qualitative research strategy and case study design. Purposive sampling was used. The total of 56 students and 11 lecturers participated in the study. The instrument of data collection was a structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using contented analysis and descriptive statistics. The study found out that only 14 student (25%) and 06 lecturers (54.5%) had the appropriate perceptions of what constitute a learning technologies, that is, “anything which can be physically manipulated by the learner”. None (0% students and lecturers) had the appropriate perception of how the learning technology enhances learning, that is, “encouraging the seeking of meaning”. The study concluded that both pre- service teachers and their lecturers in IUIU-FC generally lack the appropriate perceptions necessary for successful integration of learning technology into a classroom. This has an implication to successful integration of learning technologies into classroom by graduate teachers from IUIU-FC. The recommendation was that there is need to train the lecturers in IUIU- FC about the learning technologies to improve their perception and practice. This will go a long way, to improve the quality of graduate teachers produced by IUIU- FC. Further research on the perception of experienced teachers about learning technologies need to be carried out to add more knowledge on the best way to integrate learning technologies in the classroom.