ICT INTEGRATION TRANSFORMING TEACHING AND LEARNING AT SACRED HEART SECONDARY IN MOMBASA COUNTY
Mr. Mwagodi, Teacher at Sacred Heart Secondary School,
Instruction in school has for days been teacher-centered where the learners consume information and be passive for the whole of the teaching/ learning process. This has made learning amongst learners to be a bitter pill to swallow as it is not only monotonous but also teacher centered. Change in the pedagogy to instill the 21st Century skills into the learners has brought a paradigm shift in the art of teaching. ICT has proved to be the best solution to enhance more learner-centered interactive learning where integration of ICT in teaching and learning is given a tap on the back. Traditional teaching method of use of chalk, board and talk has been enhanced through teaching with technology, an efficient learning tool.
As a teacher, my teaching was based on passing information to the learners where there was limited learner involvement due to the work load. I had once in a while struggled with the use of ICT in some of my lessons where theory would not be applicable. With my engagement and competencies in the use of ICT to teach, e.g. PowerPoint presentations and use of video clips, etc, it did dawn unto me that a lot of improvement was needed into my teaching.
During the April holidays this year, I was selected to attend a Jielimishe GEC workshop on ICT Integration in Learning held at Pride Inn and funded by UKAID. This came in at the right time of my teaching career, motivated and inspired me to become an innovative teacher and take more time and dedication into integrating ICT in my lessons.
With the knowledge I gained during the four days training, my ICT skills were not only sharpened but taken a notch higher. This built my confidence and competence in use of ICT in delivery of the curriculum. I was introduced into the Microsoft Educator Network through which I have received global support from fellow, like minded teachers and students. The introduction to Teaching with Technology has really boosted my skills and changed my attitude towards embedded teaching. This has made me more innovative, a good time manager, a mentor, a coach and a guide for learners through their journey. It has made teaching fun and interactive, enabling abstract concepts to be made easier to the learners. It has also enabled me to mentor learners in taking a center stage in drawing their own learning pathways. Above all, it has made learning to be learner centered, where learners are not restricted to normal lesson time in class.
Graph 1: Improvement in lowest marks scored in both Biology and Agriculture due to ICT
Graph 2: Improvement in highest marks scored in both Biology and Agriculture due to ICT
Graph 3: Improvement in Subject Mean score in both Biology and Agriculture due to ICT
The teacher recorded that there was an improved performance both in Biology and Agricuture subjects for form fours where the lowest scores before ICT were 24 and 29 respectively. These improved to 40 in each of the two. The highest score in biology before ICT was 39 and that of Agriculture was 41. The teacher reported an improvement of 51 and 80 respectively thanks to ICT integration. The mean scores on the other hand improved from 2.0 to 3.68 in Bilogy and 3.1 to 4.0 in Agriculture
ICT is an effective technological tool, that can transform teaching and learning in all aspects, it should be embraced by the teaching fraternity in order to trigger the best out of our learners. Thank you to Jielimishe for granting me this chance to better our learning experiences and outcomes.
How I Choose Life Africa’s Jielimishe GEC Project has contributed to Teacher Professional Development
Jielimishe GEC project, an I Choose Life Africa project with technical and financial support from the UK Government through Department for International Development (DfID) introduced ICT for learning intervention to its target schools. 204 Teachers from 36 schools across Laikipia, Meru and Mombasa counties were supported to undergo an intense self-directed Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE), a professional training meant to enhance teachers’ competencies in Teaching with Technology (TwT). The target schools, upon ICT Infrastructure audit, were provided with ICT infrastructure: Laptops, Projectors, Digital Content; speakers and headphones, a capital investment of KES 1.6M per school which would be used by the teachers as teaching aids. Schools were then supported to integrate ICT in their teaching with the support supervision of the sub County Quality Assurance and Standards Officers.
The effect of ICT for learning in schools so far
An intervention evaluation was conducted by Jielimishe GEC project with the help of an international Project Monitor from Zambia to try and establish to what extent ICT for learning is affecting teaching and learning in schools. A sample of 6 out of the 11 ICT supported schools (accounting for 55%) were interviewed. Below are some of the qualitative findings indicative of the effect of ICT in Education:
- Teachers citing improved ability and capacity to integrate ICT in teaching. This is as a result of the MCE certification training that was conducted to them. They reported that it changed their attitude to use of technology in the classroom in curriculum delivery and that it increased their confidence in integrating ICT.
- Teachers reporting improved confidence to deliver quality training. Most of the teachers interviewed cited that they have found it easy and simple to deliver lessons as concepts are easily explainable to the learners. One teacher reported that teachers have found an able assistant in teaching.
- Teachers reporting that learners have had improved interest and motivation to attend lessons and actively learn. Learners have come to love learning using ICT. “You could see them saddened when they realise ICT is not being used in delivering lessons since we don’t use it in every lesson, shared a teacher from Hassan Joho secondary school”.
- Teachers reporting reduced boredom and learners’ apathy during the afternoon classes that were previously perceived as boring. With the new found excitement in ICT enabled lessons our learners are always looking forward to attending lessons. “Nowadays even if you teach maths or physics in the afternoon you will not realize it since learners are super alert” cited an ICT teacher from Sacred Heart secondary School”.
- Schools reporting improved performance in key subjects. In Hassan Joho Girls’ Secondary a teacher reported improvement in subject performance by learners where they was an improvement from an average of 10/30 to 17/30. This improvement was experienced for the first time after the teacher started using ICT to deliver his subject.
Fig. Learners keenly attending to a Biology ICT integrated Lesson.
- Schools reporting that the level of conception and comprehension has improved among learners. 100% of the schools visited reported improved retention of what has been taught in class among learners. This is enhanced by the fact that learners learn not only by hearing but also by seeing. According to social learning behavior, what is learnt through observation is highly likely to be retained more and for long compared to what is heard.
- Teachers reporting content development and delivery has been made a lot easy. Majority of the Teachers reported that with unlimited access to internet content development has become a lot easier. It not only allows the teacher to easily develop content but also develop content that is relevant and ease to understand. This makes it easy to deliver it and in the end quality teaching is delivered and lesson objectives easily met. “Of late I enjoy my lessons since I am able to easily assess achievement of lesson objectives with my learners, quoted Sacred Heart teacher”.
- Schools citing that it has reduced the student book ratio in schools. The intervention has supplemented reading materials in schools. This was reported more by language teachers who shared that they currently download set books and have learners read and watch from the laptops as they discuss. It has therefore contributed towards saving schools resources from buying books for every child
- Schools reporting that it has enhanced learners’ school and lessons attendance. The head teachers observed that there is improved learners attendance due to their new excitement about learning with technology. Lessons delivery using ICT have always recorded consistent high attendance compared to those that do not.
- Schools citing that it has increased schools’ enrolment. Schools management also observed that learners are transferring to their schools because of the word that goes around other schools and in the community of how teaching has been transformed using ICT. The head teacher from Hassan Joho Secondary observed that the schools current Form one is the highest they have received in over years. They have new students joining in at form two and as they get admitted parents testify that they have brought their children there to benefit from learning using technology.
- Teachers testifying that it has enhanced faster coverage of the syllabus. One Business Education teacher cited that he now covers the syllabus a lot faster as learners have exhibited the zeal to learn and comprehension of concepts improved.
- Improved student research and simplified revision. Teachers from the 6 schools visited reported that they have noted improved self-directed learning among learners. “Immediately after lessons, learners rush to the computer lab to do their own research, shared a principal from Miritini secondary”. His counterpart from Sacred Heart reported that learners’ research ahead of teachers based on subsequent topics. And during lessons teachers come to revise with learners as opposed to delivering new topics. My teachers have had easy time and they have found a new role in facilitating and not teaching which is very good for the school”.
- It enhances learners’ participation in lesson delivery. In the lessons observed, learners were seen to be involved more in delivery of the topic as the teacher facilitated. Teachers on the other hand reported that with ICT integration, learners are actively participating during the lessons. “They go research ahead of the teacher and during the lesson they are the ones presenting as I help clarify anything complex, reported a teacher from Sacred Heart”. He added that teaching has become easy as learners have taken the center stage in delivering a lesson hence improvement of learner centered teaching approaches in schools.
- It has enhanced learning for the Students with special needs. Those learners who are allergic to chalk and dust have found revelation in this mode of teaching and learning. One schools that was visited reported that such learners who used to sit at the very back to avoid dust, and instead strain to follow the chalk board teachings are now back at front rows. Their participation in learning has improved and this was seen in their internal Continuous Assessment tests (CATs) performance.
- It has enhanced girls’ uptake of science subjects. A teacher from Changamwe Secondary reported that the school observed change of attitude among girls to science subjects. Initially girls perceived Physics as a masculine subject and therefore reserved it for them when it came to choosing subjects. But with ICT integration the physics teacher used the approach to deliver Physics to leaners in almost all his lessons. The following year he saw more girls taking up Physics subjects and on interrogating them they shared that they enjoyed they subject as it was made a lot simpler and enjoyable through ICT.