An evaluation of the extent to which information and Communication technologies have been integrated in the teaching process in selected Colleges of Education in Zambia
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The purpose of the study was to evaluate the extent to which information and communication technology is integrated in the teaching process among Colleges of Education in Zambia. Specific objectives were: To identify the ICT equipment used in the teaching process, to establish the role of ICT in the teaching process, to determine the factors that influenced the use of ICT in the teaching process and to assess the effectiveness of the integration of ICT in the teaching process in Colleges of Education. The theory of integration as devised by UNESCO (2004) was used to inform this research. This research employed both qualitative and quantitative survey research approaches. The target population comprised college principals and lecturers as well as ICT coordinators in colleges of education. Ministry of Education National ICT coordinator and the ICT coordinator from the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC). The sample consisted of 70 lecturers, purposively sampled (through homogenous type of purposive sampling) from four colleges of education: Chipata, Kitwe, Solwezi and the National In-Service Teachers' College. The same (purposive) sampling technique was used to select an ICT coordinator and a principal from each of the four CEs. One Ministry of Education National ICT coordinator was also selected as an informant. From CDC, one ICT coordinator was also purposively selected to be part of the sample. This brought the total sample size to 80. A questionnaire, semi-structured interview, observations, discussions and audio recording were used to collect data from the field. Constant comparative and narrative methods were used to analyze the primary data. This involved classification of words and phrases that related to the same content into major themes prior to discussion and conclusions. It was found that the most commonly used ICT equipment among CEs was a desktop computer (42 per cent). Although the TV and the radio were popular ICT equipment, they only scored 21 and 15 per cent respectively of all ICT equipments that were in use; 14 per cent of the responses showed that laptops were also used in the teaching process and the least used was the liquid crystal display (8 per cent). In terms of ICT use by course or subject, most responses (20 per cent) showed that they were mainly in computer classes, 17.7 per cent of responses indicated total none use of ICT equipments in any subject or course. Mathematics and natural sciences were tied at 15 per cent. Other courses in which ICT was used included social sciences (10 per cent). Local Languages and Art were both at 6 per cent). Music (5 per cent), English Language (4 per cent), and the least being Physical Education which accounted for 1.5 per cent as shown in table six. The factors that influenced ICT use in CEs included lack of good policy framework, poor ICT skills among lecturers and inadequate funding and resources. In summary it was concluded that the extent of integration of ICT in the teaching processes was low and had not been effective as it met neither national nor international standards as outlined in the Zambia MoE ICT policy and the UNESCO framework respectively. Further research, infrastructural development, ICT skills training and others were among the recommendations of the study.