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
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Societal imperatives
Policy directives
Theoretical support
Inconclusive research
Inadequate planning for implementation
Social imperatives
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Since the emergence of the Internet and the
wider availability of computers in schools the
promise of educational benefits has
increased.
Policy Directives
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Department of Education’s Policy on the
Implementation of ICT in Education (August 2004)
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“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
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Still sketchy at this stage. Process needs guidance and
input
Theoretical support
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Use of computers as “cognitive tools”
(Jonassen 1996).
Inconclusive research
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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)
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Planning for integrating ICT into the
curriculum is haphazard
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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
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Social imperatives
Research
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Development
Skills upliftment
Socio-economic empowerment
Adequate planning
Social imperatives
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Promise of educational benefit
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Empowerment
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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
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Job creation
Skills
Research (1)
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ICT for rural development
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Networks
e-Commerce platforms
Fixed and mobile networks
Fixed and mobile learning
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m-Learning
e-Learning
Research (2)
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Telecommunication legislation
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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
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Misunderstandings of certain technologies and PC
capabilities
Misunderstandings in terms of what is required of/for the
school in order to run ICT facilities
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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)
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Skills training
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Teacher literacy
Teacher basic system and network administration
and trouble shooting
Empowerment and independence
Socio-economic upliftment
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Through training for local communities
Provision of ICT services for local communities
Skills for local communities
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Providing support for schools
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Maintenance
Support structures
Selling computer components
Why focus on Grahamstown?
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RU is in Grahamstown
Microcosm of South African schools (in just
the secondary schools alone!)
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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
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Grahamstown is found in EC, population
120000, diameter 10-12km
The schools
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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
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The number of computers in the affluent
private schools vs the ‘previously’
disadvantaged government schools
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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
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While we don’t specifically focus on helping
the affluent schools amongst us we are
partnering with them
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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…
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With certain schools approaching the COE
for Internet connections
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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
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Eventually Prof Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams
decided to formalise the project
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“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
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2 MEd students
1MSc student
Three aspects to
the project,
working together
Infrastructure component
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Centre of Excellence
co-ordinator
Supervisory role in ICT
in Education project
Provider of funding and
equipment
RU staff: Prof Cheryl HodgkinsonWilliams
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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
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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
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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!
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Producing course notes for
training teachers
Producing video clips of
how-to’s for training
teachers
Aibo demonstrations to
learners
RU staff: Ingrid Brandt
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Previous MSc student investigating
models of Internet connectivity for
Secondary Schools in the
Grahamstown Circuit
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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
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MSc student, research focus
on on using Open Source
Software to empower people
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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
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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
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e-Learning
e-Commerce
e-Governance, etc
RU CS student: Robert Alfonsi
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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
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Honours student
Also a junior lecturer and
qualified ICT, English and
Life Orientation teacher
ICTs in Education and
advanced learning
technologies (mLearning
and eLearning)
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Honours research
Interest in teaching the
teachers
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ICT literacy
ICT subject integration
across all subjects
RU CS student: Bradley Clayton
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MSc student, evaluation of current VoIP
security methods
Albany SchoolNet tech
Albany SchoolNet
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Collaboration to pool resources
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3 Private schools
3 Model C schools
Money
Equipment
Expertise
Soon to provide services to poorer schools
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Email
Web hosting
DNS
RU Education student: Nikiwe
Molhowane-Sotashe
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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
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What do educators perceive as
the benefits and drawbacks of
integrating information
communication technology (ICT)
into the curriculum?
RU Education student: Nombeko Mbane
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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
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What do learners perceive as the
benefits and drawbacks of
integrating information
communication technology (ICT)
into the curriculum?
RU Education student: Lorenzo Dalvit
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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
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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
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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)
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To build cost effective broadband network
solutions for schools
To aid schools in sourcing computer and
other necessary ICT equipment
To support schools technically
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Maintenance
Trouble shooting
To supply schools with avenues in which they
can collaborate over a number of areas
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ICT maintenance
ICT subject integration
Self inflicted mandate (2)
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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
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Maintenance
System administration
Network administration
Self inflicted mandate (3)
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To provide research in the following areas:
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Cost effective broadband network solutions for
schools
Sustainable ICT infrastructure for schools
ICT integration across the curriculum
Project sustainability
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Move from ad-hoc to planned and thought-out with
an emphasis on sustainability
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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)
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Networking
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Working 802.11g wireless network which
connects:
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Soon to connect:
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Mary Waters
Nombulelo
Benjamin Mahlasela
TEM
Samuel Ntsiko
Working DSL network, connecting
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George Dickerson
Nyaluza
Good Shepherd
What have we achieved thus far? (2)
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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)
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Technical support:
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Nyaluza
Nombulelo
Mary Waters
George Dickerson
Good Shepherd
Samuel Ntisko
With many more coming on board
Future steps (1)
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WiFi network to be replaced with WiMAX
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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)
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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
?
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ICT in Education - Rhodes University