ICT in Education The e-Yethu Project The Grahamstown school’s project Departments of Computer Science and Education http://schools.coe.ru.ac.za/ Why focus on ICT in Education? - The questions posed from an education perspective Societal imperatives Policy directives Theoretical support Inconclusive research Inadequate planning for implementation Social imperatives Since the emergence of the Internet and the wider availability of computers in schools the promise of educational benefits has increased. Policy Directives Department of Education’s Policy on the Implementation of ICT in Education (August 2004) “Every South African learner in the general and further education and training bands will be ICT capable (that is, use ICTs confidently and creatively to help develop the skills and knowledge they need to achieve personal goals and to be full participants in the global community) by 2013.” Eastern Cape DoE in the process of developing a provincial policy Still sketchy at this stage. Process needs guidance and input Theoretical support Use of computers as “cognitive tools” (Jonassen 1996). Inconclusive research Computers are being used in schools “despite a history of achieving only marginal benefits from using technology in education” (Hokanson & Hooper, 2000:537). Inadequate planning for implementation (1) Inadequate planning for implementation (2) Planning for integrating ICT into the curriculum is haphazard Computers often obtained first, (purchased, donated, allocated by government), then planning takes place Planning for educator professional development is not necessarily undertaken with use of ICT in mind Timetabling not thought through carefully enough to ascertain if promises can be realised Why focus on ICT in Education? - The questions posed from an Computer Science perspective Social imperatives Research Development Skills upliftment Socio-economic empowerment Adequate planning Social imperatives Promise of educational benefit Empowerment Promote higher cognitive processes Through skills development Ability to engage and make use of the Information age Access to a plethora of information/knowledge and experts Potential socio-economic upliftment Job creation Skills Research (1) ICT for rural development Networks e-Commerce platforms Fixed and mobile networks Fixed and mobile learning m-Learning e-Learning Research (2) Telecommunication legislation Currently restrictive and non-competitive High prices keep schools on the wrong side of the digital divide Inform legislative processes such that schools will gain maximum benefits ICT in Education legislation Misunderstandings of certain technologies and PC capabilities Misunderstandings in terms of what is required of/for the school in order to run ICT facilities No idea about Firewalls, Central servers, AUPs, etc Inform legislative processes such that schools will be better prepared and equipped to take on ICT initiatives in their schools Research (3) Skills training Teacher literacy Teacher basic system and network administration and trouble shooting Empowerment and independence Socio-economic upliftment Through training for local communities Provision of ICT services for local communities Skills for local communities Providing support for schools Maintenance Support structures Selling computer components Why focus on Grahamstown? RU is in Grahamstown Microcosm of South African schools (in just the secondary schools alone!) 3 Independent Schools 3 Ex-Model C Schools 1 Ex-House of Representatives School 6 Ex-Department of Education and Training (DET) Schools Nathaniel Nyaluza Front of school and Computer room Grahamstown Grahamstown is found in EC, population 120000, diameter 10-12km The schools There are 13 secondary schools in Grahamstown There are 20 primary schools in Grahamstown These are just the schools in town, there are at least another 20 farm schools in the surrounding area Graeme College Front of school and Computer room Disparity The number of computers in the affluent private schools vs the ‘previously’ disadvantaged government schools Computer:Learner ratio at private schools is 3:1 Computer:Learner ratio at some of the government schools is as high as 778:1! Broken computers and lab in tatters Relatively new computer facilities, learners able to utilize properly Poor can learn from the affluent While we don’t specifically focus on helping the affluent schools amongst us we are partnering with them Already have experience in running their own lab Outreach potential through providing online and real time courses to other schools over a network Through Albany SchoolNet offering mail, web hosting and DNS to poorer schools It all began… With certain schools approaching the COE for Internet connections Nyaluza George Dickerson Good Shepherd COE partnered with RU education in providing support for the schools for their new labs and Internet connections NRF funding Eventually Prof Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams decided to formalise the project “What do educators and learners perceive as the benefits and drawbacks of integrating information communication technology (ICT) into the curriculum?” This involved putting together a research team 2 MEd students 1MSc student Three aspects to the project, working together Infrastructure component Project title: “Models of Internet Connectivity in Previously Disadvantaged Secondary Schools in the Eastern Cape” What ICT infrastructure is currently in Grahamstown schools What infrastructure is required by schools in order that they may achieve their ICT vision for their school Teacher component Project title: “Integration of ICT into the curriculum: The teacher’s perspectives” Educator’s perspective: What do educators perceive as the benefits and drawbacks of integrating information communication technology (ICT) into the curriculum? Learner component Project title: “Learners’ perceptions of the value of integrating ICT into the curriculum” Learner’s perspective: What do learners perceive as the benefits and drawbacks of integrating information communication technology (ICT) into the curriculum? From small beginnings From these small beginnings the project has really started to grow, with more and more students from both Computer Science and Education joining the project 5 computer science 5 education 5 RU members of staff Each person brings something unique to the group and each have their own specific interests in it RU staff: Prof Alfredo Terzoli Centre of Excellence co-ordinator Supervisory role in ICT in Education project Provider of funding and equipment RU staff: Prof Cheryl HodgkinsonWilliams ICT in Education Principal researcher for the NRF-funded research project investigating the integration of ICT into the curriculum in all the secondary schools in the Grahamstown Circuit with two MEd students and one MSc student. Supervisory role as well as co-researcher RU staff: Dr Bruce Brown Mathematics and ICT in Education Joined Education Department in January 2006 Interest in use of ICT in Mathematical learning Cognitive development mediated by ICT Implicit learning in using ICT RU staff: Dr Hannah Slay While previous research interests have not been in this area she is keen to be involved and is incredibly helpful and useful member to the team! Producing course notes for training teachers Producing video clips of how-to’s for training teachers Aibo demonstrations to learners RU staff: Ingrid Brandt Previous MSc student investigating models of Internet connectivity for Secondary Schools in the Grahamstown Circuit Inventory of GHT schools’ ICT infrastructure Investigate, deploy and test networks to schools Currently COE research assistant working on improving school wireless network Working with schools in order to support them obtaining ICT facilities Looking to work with government to provide consultation on government initiatives RU CS student: Brad Whittington MSc student, research focus on on using Open Source Software to empower people by researching, and deploying an Asterisk server to a rural area, providing telephony to people in infrastructure bare areas, using IEEE 802.11 wireless networks, and SIP hardphones And investigating novel methods of powering these phones. Ght schools are becoming more involved through VoIP deployment at the schools allowing each school to communicate with RU and other schools on the network COE technician/buyer thus employed to also support schools RU CS student: Mamello Thinyane Phd student research entails the implementation of knowledge networks in rural communities and assessing the impact of these networks on both the rurality of these communities and their development prospects Encompasses e-Learning e-Commerce e-Governance, etc RU CS student: Robert Alfonsi MSc student Using conceptual maps for teaching ICT literacy skills to teachers in township schools Not specifically ICT dependent but focusing on the use of software, specifically Open Source Software RU CS student: Mici Halse Honours student Also a junior lecturer and qualified ICT, English and Life Orientation teacher ICTs in Education and advanced learning technologies (mLearning and eLearning) Honours research Interest in teaching the teachers ICT literacy ICT subject integration across all subjects RU CS student: Bradley Clayton MSc student, evaluation of current VoIP security methods Albany SchoolNet tech Albany SchoolNet Collaboration to pool resources 3 Private schools 3 Model C schools Money Equipment Expertise Soon to provide services to poorer schools Email Web hosting DNS RU Education student: Nikiwe Molhowane-Sotashe MEd student Part of the original NRF research team Teacher’s perceptions of the integration of ICTs into the curriculum in all the secondary schools in the Grahamstown Circuit What do educators perceive as the benefits and drawbacks of integrating information communication technology (ICT) into the curriculum? RU Education student: Nombeko Mbane MEd student Part of the original NRF research team Learner’s perceptions of the integration of ICTs into the curriculum in all the secondary schools in the Grahamstown Circuit What do learners perceive as the benefits and drawbacks of integrating information communication technology (ICT) into the curriculum? RU Education student: Lorenzo Dalvit Phd student in CS and Education Using African languages together with English to teach ICT literacy – proof of concept Verifying language problems in teaching ICT literacy Working with foundation course students RU Education student: Lloyd Singata Potential MEd student for the Department of Education Teacher at local school, TEM Interests in the potential and effects of the use of ICTs in Education Mother tongue Xhosa speaker, very useful in teaching teachers! RU Education student: Matsitso Kalake MEd student One of 4 science advisors in Lesotho, responsible for supporting science teaching Research focuses on evaluating the implementation of the NEPAD e-schools project in Lesotho She will hopefully learn from this project’s ICT implementations in schools as well as provide us with insight on how NEPAD are working in Lesotho – we can learn from each other Self inflicted mandate (1) To build cost effective broadband network solutions for schools To aid schools in sourcing computer and other necessary ICT equipment To support schools technically Maintenance Trouble shooting To supply schools with avenues in which they can collaborate over a number of areas ICT maintenance ICT subject integration Self inflicted mandate (2) Provide ICT literacy skills for teachers and learners Attempt to find ways in which to teach teachers how to integrate ICT into their subject areas Attempt to transfer ICT skills to teachers and learners Maintenance System administration Network administration Self inflicted mandate (3) To provide research in the following areas: Cost effective broadband network solutions for schools Sustainable ICT infrastructure for schools ICT integration across the curriculum Project sustainability Move from ad-hoc to planned and thought-out with an emphasis on sustainability Champion teachers are pre-requisite Community involvement and hence ownership Realistic goals and expectations Use of open source software where we can Investigation of models where old hardware can be useful Cost effective connectivity solutions Skill transfer – teach a man to fish What have we achieved thus far? (1) Networking Working 802.11g wireless network which connects: Soon to connect: Mary Waters Nombulelo Benjamin Mahlasela TEM Samuel Ntsiko Working DSL network, connecting George Dickerson Nyaluza Good Shepherd What have we achieved thus far? (2) Assisted Mary Waters in obtaining a tuXlab and providing the school with the necessary know-how to find additional funding through Dell. Also a fully networked school COE sponsored replacement of faulty disks at Nyaluza Facilitated collaboration amongst schools in providing workshops on the use of ICTs in teaching Maths What have we achieved thus far? (3) Technical support: Nyaluza Nombulelo Mary Waters George Dickerson Good Shepherd Samuel Ntisko With many more coming on board Future steps (1) WiFi network to be replaced with WiMAX Backhaul links and long distance links Increased connectivity to those schools who are interested and prepared to take on the challenge Increased support and training to those schools who are interested Future steps (2) Working in partnership with schools to provide training in the form of ICT literacy but also how to sustain their facilities and hopefully allow a ripple effect of uplifting surrounding communities Producing notes and training content with which teachers and learners can be trained Questions ?