Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

A Preliminary Study of School Administrators' Use of Information and Communication Technologies: Brunelan Perspective

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

A Preliminary Study of School Administrators' Use of Information and Communication Technologies: Brunelan Perspective

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The study surveyed 96 Bruneian primary schools administrators (principals) in using the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Out of the five subscales used to assess the ICT usage, only two: curriculum integration and need assessment were found to be significant towards the use of the ICT. The results further indicate that majority of the school administrators have intermediate level of computer expertise and possess an adequate computer literacy. The school administrators use ICT for administrative purposes; however, the use of technology across the curriculum is still at infancy stage. The study has found some major reasons for the lack of use of ICT across curriculum. The statistical significance t- tests, ANOVA and post-hoc comparison have found a difference in the mean of novice classification and of advanced level of computer expertise. Based upon the analysis some recommendations are made for the relevant authorities of the Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam.

Keywords: Information and Communication Technology (ICT); technology leadership; primary schools, administrators; and Brunei Darussalam

INTRODUCTION

The schools in the various South-east Asian economies are continuously undergoing radical changes and these changes are bringing structural shift in the educational practices especially at the primary schools level. Several structural reforms are not only overhauling the school curriculum and teaching-learning methods but also integrating Information and Communication technologies (ICT) as a part of pedagogy to support the teaching and learning. It is for this particular reason that school systems are faced with intensive pressure to use ICT to enhance students' learning. To this regard, principals have been assigned with an additional responsibility of not only working with the technology but to introduce the technology as a part of pedagogy to enhance teaching and learning through it (Gurr, 2000). In his study of Australian schools, Gurr (ibid) found that technology has dramatically changed the way the principal work.

Right from the early days efforts are continuously being made to increase interest, attention and investment by the students, educators and investors to put them all into the use of the ICT in education in the schools. Hartman and Procter, (2003) conclude that effective technology integration require a new approach of leadership that demands the integration of ICT at every level of school in order to meet the school's challenges. In addition, efforts are continuously being made to adapt curricula to suit them to the environment and management demands that ICTbased knowledge acquisition creates. The emergence of knowledge economy has radically changed the traditional education system and remolded the existing framework of education practices where students' capacities for problem solving, self-learning , and critical thinking are developed and sustained in ways that make pre-ICT curricula anachronistic (Yuen er al. 2003). Now schools are expected to equip learners with the basic technological skills that prepare them to become technology oriented learners. With the pressure being put on schools to perform in the field of technology, demands emerge for leadership to facilitate this process (Mentz and Mentz, 2003). It is evident that induction of technology and its proliferation in the schools requires a new type of leadership. The studies such as Riffel and Levin, (1997); Technology Counts '99 (1999) and Meredyth er al. (1999) have pointed out that despite heavy investment in ICT in the Australian schools the potential for ICT to alter how teachers teach and how children learn has not been fully realized. They relate the discrepancy to the number of pedagogical challenges faced by the teachers and school leaders.

Rational of the Study. Results from the studies mentioned above and also from other studies such as Anderson and Sara (2005); and Tondeur er al. …

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