Is this an e-School? e-Learning Using Information Communication Technologies in South Africa
Keywords:Information and communication technologies, e-learning, e-school
The study reported on in this paper reviewed the readiness of a specific high school in the township of Soweto to the south of Johannesburg, South Africa, to deliver the curriculum by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), as well as to find the barriers and limitations thereto. For the empirical research, a quantitative mode of inquiry was adopted. A sample of learners and teachers was selected to answer the research questions, using two different questionnaires. The principal responded to a questionnaire on the ICT infrastructure available to establish what the school had in this regard, as well as the skills available to implement pedagogy using ICTs. Data analysis was carried out using a common spreadsheet application and multiple criteria, and the findings are discussed to provide value to, and should be of use to, the stakeholders involved for development purposes. The work discussed in this study covered curriculum topics, as well as lesson planning and reporting. In other words, it covered the process of teaching and learning up to reporting for teachers. A summary of the findings of the research conducted at the high school showed that the school does not have a stable internet connection and more technical support is needed from the government to strengthen the ICT infrastructure to enable the school to fully implement the curriculum using ICTs, compared to using traditional or hybrid methods. These strengthening recommendations include a stable internet connection, ICT staff, to support both e-teachers and e-learners with ICT problems, as well as software to deliver the curriculum. The findings also showed that learners are more comfortable with mobile devices and a little uncomfortable using computers for learning, which means that some aspects of e-learning requirements are not met, and it is very difficult to achieve some of the curriculum goals using mobile devices.