University of Sussex
Banini, Dzigbodi Ama.pdf (3.62 MB)

Integrating technology into pedagogy at the basic level of education in Ghana

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posted on 2023-06-09, 18:46 authored by Dzigbodi Ama Banini
International debates on technology integration in teacher education stress the potential benefits to students' learning. Realising this, the government of Ghana initiated the Basic School Computerisation Programme in 2011, distributing sixty thousand laptops from the onset to some 2,500 basic schools to improve quality teaching and learning. In the midst of this distribution, teachers generally do not really claim to be literate in basic computer skills, let alone having the ability to use the technology to teach. For example, in a survey conducted in 2012, out of 17,953 teachers, only 7,920 (44.1%) had basic computing skills and 1,686 (9.4%) had integrative skills. The 2003 national ICT4AD policy talks about rapid deployment of ICT and teacher training from primary school upwards. Nonetheless, teacher training in basic computing skills and integrative skills has not followed technology integration into pedagogy in Ghana, at least at the basic level of education. This study, therefore, attempts to address a predominant question: “How can teachers explore the use of technology as tools to improve teaching and learning?” The study used a methodological approach involving a single case study, with an element of an open-ended single-cycle action research design, collaborative in nature and embodying planning, acting, observing and reflecting, to address this question. Thus, in collaboration with five purposefully selected Social Science teachers from a public Basic School, the study applied the Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to review existing lesson plans, which in the opinion of these teachers, could have been better taught if they had used films for illustrations. In the review process, the teachers discovered that their lesson plans integrated only content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, excluding technological knowledge. The teachers then explored using their own mobile phone cameras to take lesson/context related pictures from the school’s environment. Next, they imported the pictures onto Windows Live Moviemaker software, which they accessed from Windows XP, to produce lesson/context-related films. They then used the films to support the teaching and learning of their lesson plans revised into TPACK-compliant ones. Data collected for this study was through documentary reviews, focus group discussions, SWOT analysis, reflective journal entries, observations, individual face-to-face interviews and field notes. Data, gathered in MP3 format was transcribed into text and analysed using deductive thematic approach, set against a predetermined framework. The results revealed that some Social Science teachers lacked basic computing skills and this influenced their ability to use technology effectively in their lessons. Participants successfully reviewed and revised their traditional lesson plans to develop TPACK-compliant ones. Through action research, teachers were able to produce lesson/context-related films to support their teaching and learning, though they needed much support to achieve this. Students found the use of film-supported lessons particularly useful in developing deep understanding of their subject. The main problems faced during the training workshop were the lack of teachers’ own laptops to continue working on the films at home, poor functioning of laboratory computers, intermittent power supply to use the projector for smooth presentations and the time-consuming nature related to film preparation. Nevertheless, the study revealed that given the chance and the appropriate resources, teachers were able to utilise more of their creative skills and potential for the benefit of their students. In addition, the study revealed that the use of films and other technology-enhancing instructional methods have the potential to make teaching less teacher-centred and more participatory to encourage students to be co-constructors of knowledge


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