EDUCATION AND INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

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CHAPTER 3 EDUCATION AND INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY 3.1

INTRODUCTION

This chapter provides a literature review of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) literacy from books, journal articles, government documents, sessional and conference papers. It reviews ICT literacy, monitoring and evaluation of ICT literacy and determinants of ICT literacy. The literature review creates the context for discussion on the concept of ICT literacy, scope of ICT literacy and strategies for improving ICT literacy development in secondary school administration.

ICT LITERACY

Manitoba Education (2013) defines literacy as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts”. Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society as cited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO-2009) in Manitoba Education (2013). The meaning of literacy evolves with time thus it is not about reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and representing. It is also about developing literacy with Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and therefore it is a continuum of learning (ibid).
The International ICT literacy panel (2002:2) defines ICT literacy as “the aspect of using digital technology, communications tools, and/or networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society”. The panel’s definition reflects the notion of ICT literacy as a continuum, which allows the measurement of various aspects of literacy, from daily life skills to the transformative benefits of ICT proficiency. This definition lists five critical components of ICT literacy which represent a set of skills and knowledge presented in a sequence that suggests increasing cognitive complexity. These include;-
Access – knowing about and knowing how to collect and/or retrieve information.
Manage – applying an existing organisational or classification scheme.
Integrate – interpreting and representing information. It involves summarising, comparing and contrasting.
Evaluate – making judgments about the quality, relevance, usefulness, or efficiency of information.
Create – generating information by adapting, applying, designing, inventing, or authoring information.
Oliver & Towers (2000:383) embraced the contemporary view of ICT literacy, as “the set of skills and understandings required by people to enable meaningful use of ICT appropriate to their needs”. In a related view, Egan (2003:2) notes that “ICT literacy implies the ability to use digital technology, communication tools, and/or networks to define, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information ethically and legally in order to function in a knowledge society”.
There is a close correlation in Egan Teresa’s ICT proficiencies and their application in various school functions. This is because administrators, teachers and clerical staff members comprehend the concept of ICT and its application in secondary school administration as they blend the selected skills. They adapt these skills to their respective administrative tasks like data analysis and interpretation.
The Association of College and Research Libraries (2000: 2) contends that “information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning”. An information literate individual is able to:
Determine the extent of information needed.
Access the needed information effectively and efficiently.
Evaluate information and its sources critically.
Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base.
Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.
It is worth noting that the interplay between these proficiencies makes the school administrators, teachers, students and other interested persons to be ICT literate as no single proficiency can stand alone to justify any person’s ICT competencies.
The introduction of ICTs has to be accompanied by far reaching reorganisation of the learning structures, according to Gewerc and Lourdes (2011:3). In addition, it is important that technological innovation is developed to serve education in diverse learning contexts, while respecting linguistic, cultural and social differences (ibid.). ICT literacy should also be re-organised in various administrative structures of the school and customised to enhance service delivery.

The Concept of ICT Literacy

The Association of College and Research Libraries (1989:2) views information literacy as “a means of personal empowerment”. It allows people to verify or refute expert opinion and to become independent seekers of truth. It provides them with the ability to build their own arguments and to experience the excitement of the search for knowledge. Moreover, the process of searching and interacting with the ideas and values of their own and others’ cultures deepens people’s capacities to understand and position themselves within larger communities of time and place (ibid.). ICT literacy as a global phenomenon offers a forum for people from diversified cultures to freely interact and exchange ideas, views and opinions over the internet from different corners of the world.
“Information literacy is an intellectual framework for understanding, finding, evaluating, and using information” (The Association of College & Research Libraries 2000: 3). Information literacy initiates, sustains, and extends lifelong learning through abilities which may use technologies but are ultimately independent of them. Information literacy competency extends learning beyond formal classroom settings and provides practice with self-directed individuals (ibid.). Ministry of Education (2012:227) Vision 2030 of Kenya asserts that ICT extends boundaries of the classroom to beyond the fixed time and space of school. This is done as individuals explore the world outside the school environment in the ICT world informediaries. However, not all information is reliable to the end users from the informediaries as some of it may be misleading, harmful and subject to disclaimers. There is therefore a need for further research on the effects of web based information on various end users in school administration, key among them being the principal, teachers and support staff.
ICT Literacy has mainly been associated with computer literacy. Oliver and Towers (2000:381) note that the term computer literacy has long been used as a description of people’s skills and predisposition to the use of computers and information technologies. They further contend that competencies and skills still remain the underpinning elements of computer and ICT literacy and are those that still provide the basis for explorations of the extent and scope of ICT applications and uptake among the different cohort of computer users. However, Manitoba Education (2013) argues that “ICT is more than just computers and keyboarding. ICT is any Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that helps us to find process and communicate information”. ICT tools include the internet, cell phones, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), texting, video games, digital cameras, MP3 players, wikis, blogs and many more. Literacy enables us to understand ourselves and the world around us, to interact with others and to share thinking (ibid).
Egan (2003:3) is of the view that ICT Literacy serves as a bridge between information and communication literacy where various ICT knowledge and skills are applied.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) (2012: 227) Vision 2030 of Kenya notes that there are two dimensions to ICT in education, that is teachers and learners learn about ICT and teachers and learners learn with ICT. Learning about ICT allows learners to contribute to the development of ICT technology and also become ICT literate. On the other hand, learning with ICT is aimed at enabling learners to acquire knowledge and skills that they can use effectively. These two approaches have been assimilated into education in Kenya. The Ministry‘s policy is to integrate ICT in education and training in order to prepare learners and education managers for the 21st century education and knowledge economy (ibid.). Although learning with ICT is secondary in ICT literacy acquisition and integration in this case, it eases dissemination and application of knowledge and skills in the school administrative set up unlike learning about ICT.
Literacy with Information and Communication Technology (LwICT) according to Manitoba Education (2013) means “thinking critically and creatively about information and about communication, as citizens of the global community, while using ICT responsibly and ethically”. It further observes that whereas ICT literacy is about demonstrating ICT skills, literacy with ICT is about thinking critically and creatively, about information and communication as citizens of the global community. This is done while knowing how to use technology to meet our needs using ICT responsibly and ethically (ibid.).
Pernia (2008:13-14) argues that ICT literacy differentiates among three major dimensions: one pertains to knowledge of technology, the second to skills relevant to using the technology, and the third to attitudes accruing from critical reflection of technology use:
The knowledge dimension of ICT literacy is characterised by a user’s awareness of ICTs and appreciation of the relevance of these ICTs in either his or her personal and professional life. It is familiarity with the technologies and understanding how these are actually or can be potentially beneficial to her or his own and other people’s lives.
The skills dimension of ICT literacy pertains to, and often results from the use of or experience with the technologies. For many, the abilities “to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in networks via the internet” are hallmarks of an ICT-literate individual (European Commission, Directorate for Education and Culture 2004, in Pernia 2008:13).
The attitude dimension represents the product and process of a person’s critical assessment of her or his use of ICT for information and knowledge. In recursive fashion, the continued use of ICTs increases and deepens the user’s critical reading of the information and knowledge that is accessed, managed, integrated, created, and communicated through ICT. The attitude dimension according to Pernia reflects a higher level of ICT literacy than either the knowledge or skills dimensions Pernia (2008:12) further notes that technology is of increasing importance in people’s everyday lives and that presence will most certainly increase in the coming years.
Chan (2002) posits that “the concept of ICT in education, as seen by the Ministry of Education in Malaysia’s Vision 2020, includes systems that enable information gathering, management, manipulation, access, and communication in various forms”. Naidu and Jasen (2012) in Kipsoi, Chang’ach and Sang (2002:20) further emphasize that “education management and development is an intricate process that requires reliable, timely, user-friendly data”. This would require ICT literate administrators who can be able to read and interpret this data for effective application in the respective dockets of school administration.
Many of the indices used to rank countries on knowledge economy competitiveness and preparedness use the level of investment in ICT as a factor in determining a nation’s standing (Vital Wave Consulting 2009:5). The World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index uses access to the internet in schools and overall investment in ICT as two of the indicators with which it ranks countries. Others such as the World Knowledge Competitiveness Index and the Global Competitiveness Index use measures of technology readiness as proxies for nations’ ability to compete for knowledge economy jobs. These indices are important because they often either reflect or influence the opinions and decision making of corporations whose opinions may in turn influence foreign investment decisions (ibid.).
Using ICTs in higher education administration is fundamentally about harnessing technology for better planning, setting standards, effecting change and monitoring results of the core functions (UNESCO 2009:27). Although the benefits of ICT use in education cannot be clearly measured, many countries continue to introduce it based on the assumption that citizens should be able to function adequately in a rapidly evolving information society (ibid.16). There is need for policy makers to set up standard criteria as parameters for evaluating ICT literacy from where principals, teachers and clerical staff (accounts clerks, secretaries and store keepers among others) can be assessed and gauged so that a suitable capacity building can be organised and tailor made for them.
Kipsoi, Chang’ach and Sang (2012:20) argue that ICTs can help school administrators and school principals to streamline operations, monitor performance and improve use of physical and human resources. More than other technologies, computer related technologies have the potential to support the management of complex, standards-related instructional processes in relatively simple ways. They also can promote communication among schools, parents, central decision makers and businesses thus fostering accountability, public support, and connectivity with the market place (ibid.).
To be information literate, a person must be able to recognise when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information (The Association of College & Research Libraries 1989). “Producing such a citizenry will require that schools and colleges appreciate and integrate the concept of information literacy into their learning programmes. They should also play a leadership role in equipping individuals and institutions to take advantage of the opportunities inherent within the information society” (ibid.).
Pernia (2008:16) postulates that however high the regard and expectation is for the role ICTs play in development among countries in the Asian and Pacific regions, wide disparities exist among these countries’ socio-economic circumstances. This also applies to their levels of ICT preparedness, availability, use, and literacy. Hence the thrusts or objectives, contents, and delivery mechanisms of ICT literacy education cannot be uniform across countries or possibly even within countries in the region. The same also applies to ICT literacy in various secondary school set ups as their social-economic circumstances vary from one geographical region to another. There is, therefore, the need for every school to customise its ICT integration approaches in line with the set school and national ICT policies as well as the legal and regulatory framework for ease in their pedagogical and administrative tasks based on ICT literacy.

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The Scope of ICT Literacy

The scope of ICT Literacy in this study will address; ICT Knowledge, ICT Skills, ICT Access and ICT Application in secondary school administration.

ICT Knowledge

(Pernia 2008:14) argues that knowledge is a feature of the user and a product of the interaction between the information supplied through ICT and the user of such information. People with knowledge have vital information at their disposal (ibid.). The Association of College and Research Libraries (1989) asserts that, “information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organised, how to find information and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them”. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand (ibid.). These are people who can be able to harness the benefits of ICT in carrying out their personal, official or administrative duties.
Using ICT in education seeks fundamental reform and change in traditional instructional programmes (Afshari 2008:645). Principals are the on-site educational leaders who shape and communicate visions of teaching and learning within their schools, and by their action or inaction influence school activity. Therefore, knowledge of how principals effectively manage staff and student use of computers is essential (ibid.). This is relevant and applicable in the use of ICT in secondary school administration where the principal plays an instrumental role in inspiring teachers, support staff members and students.
ICT integration will take teachers and students beyond seeing ICTs as computer studies and computer literacy skills (Kipsoi, Chang’ach & Sang 2012:21). “Although these are important skill sets, they are not sufficient in leveraging the true potential of ICTs to improve creativity, innovation and collaboration – key capacities in the new knowledge economy” (ibid.). More research is required in unravelling the strategies of using ICT in nurturing creativity and innovations in pedagogy and administrative duties.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE ORIENTATION OF THE STUDY
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 LITERATURE PREVIEW
1.3 RESEARCH PROBLEM
1.4 RESEARCH AIMS AND HYPOTHESIS
1.5 LIMITATIONS AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY
1.6 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
1.7 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
1.8 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.9 RESEARCH DESIGN
1.10 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.11 CLARIFICATION OF TERMS 19
1.12 CONCLUSION 20
CHAPTER TWO CONTINTINUITY AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN THE USE OF ICT IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 CONTINUITY
2.3 CHANGE AND ICT
2.4 CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN ICT INTEGRATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
2.5 THE PROCESS OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN THE USE OF ICT
2.6 KEY AGENTS OF CHANGE
2.7 THE IMPLICATION OF CHANGE IN ICT INTEGRATION IN EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION
2.8. FACTORS AND DILEMMAS AFFECTING CHANGE IN THE USE OF ICT IN EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION
2.9 LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATIONAL CHANGE
2.10 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER THREE EDUCATION AND INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 ICT LITERACY
3.3 MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF ICT LITERACY IN SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
3.4 DETERMINANTS OF ICT LITERACY ACQUISITION & DEVELOPMENT
3.5 STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVING ICT LITERACY
3.6 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 AREA OF STUDY
4.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS RESTATED
4.4 RESEARCH AIMS AND OBJECTIVES RESTATED
4.5 THE NULL HYPOTHESIS
4.6 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
4.7 RESEARCH METHODS
4.8 INSTRUMENTS FOR DATA COLLECTION
4.9 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS
4.10 DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES
4.11 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
4.12 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER FIVE RESEARCH FINDINGS: ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 SOCIAL DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
5.3 DATA ANALYSIS ACCORDING TO POLICIES GOVERNING EFFECTIVE USE OF ICT IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
5.4 SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENT (HoD)
5.5 DATA ANALYSIS ACCORDING TO ICT ACCESS, TEACHERS’ ICT COMPETENCIES, CONTINUITY, CHANGE AND CHALLENGES IN THE USE OF ICT IN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS
5.6 SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF ICT TEACHERS
5.7 DATA ANALYSIS ACCORDING TO ICT TEACHERS AND SCHOOL LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES, MOTIVATION AND PROJECTED ICT INTEGRATION IMPACT
5.8 TESTING HYPOTHESIS
5.9 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER SIX SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMMENDATIONS
6.1 REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH
6.2 SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
6.3 FINDINGS FROM THE EMPIRICAL STUDY
6.4 CONCLUSIONS
6.5 RECOMMENDATIONS
6.6 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
6.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.8 CONCLUDING REMARKS
REFERENCE LIST
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