Academic journal article International Education Studies

Effects of Demographic Characteristics, Educational Background, and Supporting Factors on ICT Readiness of Technical and Vocational Teachers in Malaysia

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Effects of Demographic Characteristics, Educational Background, and Supporting Factors on ICT Readiness of Technical and Vocational Teachers in Malaysia

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine ICT readiness and the effects of demographic characteristics, educational background, and support factors on the ICT readiness of technical and vocational teachers in Malaysia. The questionnaire was administered to 329 technical and vocational teachers who are teaching engineering subjects in Malaysian technical and vocational schools. The questionnaire consisted of items related to ICT knowledge, ICT skills, and attitudes toward ICT. The findings in this study indicated that the teachers' ICT knowledge was above average, the teachers' ICT skills were at a moderate level, and their attitudes toward ICT were positive. There was a significant effect of gender on teachers' ICT readiness in terms of ICT knowledge, ICT skills, and attitudes. No significant effect of teachers' educational background and support factors on teachers' overall ICT readiness was discovered.

Keywords: ICT readiness, technical and vocational teachers, ICT knowledge, ICT skills, attitudes toward ICT, ICT integration in classroom

1. Introduction

Integrating information and communication technology (ICT) in education is an important agenda of all countries because in the world with rapid changes occurring every now and then, no one country is willing to be left out. In fact, ICT is the tool for rapid advancement in the 21st century. Through ICT every part of the world is connected. Thus, the citizens of each country should acquire ICT skills and knowledge to be able to go through the ever changing world. As a result of the explosion of ICT, the world is the classroom and the world exists in the classroom. Students are easily connected to the rest of the world and information is easily accessible with a click of a mouse. Thus, teaching approaches need to be changed and the role of teachers need to be changed too. The classroom itself needs changes to cater for the new way of learning and teaching.

It is the vision of Malaysia to be a fully developed country by 2020 and as such Malaysia needs high quality and high skill human capital. Technical and vocational education is one of the avenues that was explored to ensure high skill workforce is produced in Malaysia. As such, technical and vocational education need to bring innovation into teaching in ensuring that its product is capable of making changes to the world of work. One of such innovations is the integration of ICT in the delivery of knowledge and skills to students. The integration of ICT in teaching has been implemented years ago in all areas of education including technical and vocational education.

Numerous studies show the importance of the ICT integration into TVE. For example, Moreno, Helenius, and Jarmo (2001) noticed that by the incorporation of ICTs into the TVE programs, schools can be provide good opportunities for students to communicate with the world of work not just outside the school but also around the world. In fact, the integration of ICT in TVE programs enables students and teachers to explore the world of work with ease thereby, makes teaching and learning more meaningful. In the world full of sophistication and connectivity, no one person should be working in silo. The integration of ICT in the classroom enables both teachers and students to connect to the rest of the work with ease. To enable the integration of ICT to be successful, teachers should be equipped with knowledge and skills and importantly, teachers should have the right attitudes. According to Kumar, Rose, and D'Silva, (2008), the teachers' knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward the ICTs are absolutely necessary as they play a significant role during the process of teaching.

1.1 Research Problem

Various studies have been conducted related to ICT readiness in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes among the teachers in this country (examples: Paryono & Quito, 2010; Sukri, 2010; Mahmud & Ismail, 2010; Ngah & Masood, 2006; Wahab & Kaur, 2006; Mustapha, 2000; Bakar & Mohamed, 1998). …

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