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

Pre-Service Teachers' Attitude towards Information and Communication Technology Usage: A Ghanaian Survey

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

Pre-Service Teachers' Attitude towards Information and Communication Technology Usage: A Ghanaian Survey

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In the last three decades, governments and policy-makers around the globe have made enormous investments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in their educational systems in order to remain competitive in the global knowledge economy (Ministry of Education, Ghana (MOEG) 2015; Lim, Chai & Churchill, 2011; Steketee, 2006; Teo, 2008). However, a number of them has been underutilised or abandoned completely due to limited user acceptance and adoption (Park, 2009; Teo, 2009). Given the high rate of failure of ICT initiatives intended for effective teaching and learning in education, particularly in the developing world, a solid understanding of the determinants of user acceptance of particular technology is crucial not only for theory building but also for practical effectiveness (Park, Roman, Lee & Chung, 2009). Although contended by some few researchers (Teo & Schalk, 2008; Venkatesh, et al., 2003), pre-service teachers' attitude towards ICT usage have been widely recognized as a key determinant of technology acceptance and its subsequent integration in any education system (Al-Rabaani, 2008; Hernández-Ramos, et al., 2014). As such, at a time of substantial levels of investment in ICT in Ghanaian schools (Asabere & Enguah, 2012; MOEG, 2015), this study adopts the widely tested TAM to empirically investigate factors that influence Ghanaian pre-service teachers' attitudes towards ICT in teaching and learning. This study is timely and relevant because it focuses on pre-service teachers attitude towards the use of ICT for pedagogical purpose, a topic considered to be critical for meeting the needs of educational development in Ghana (MOEG, 2015) and internationally (Lim et al., 2011). A better understanding of the pre-service teachers' attitudes towards the use of the technology can provide essential information for curriculum designers in supporting this new innovation and for policy-makers who are setting new directions for ICT policy.

ICT IN GHANAIAN EDUCATION CONTEXT

Ghana is one of the most developed and economically stable country in West Africa sub-region. The growing economic prosperity coupled with Ghana's democratic political dispensation has made the country a regional power in the West African sub region. With its current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 38.65 billion, Ghana achieved Lower Middle-Income status in 2010 (World Bank, 2014). The country is also one of the African countries in which the importance of ICT is growing fast. One area, in which the influence of ICT in Ghanaian society is visible, is education (MOEG, 2015). The Ghanaian government has for the past two decades invested enormously in ICT in education with the aim to equip students to meet the challenges and demands in the 21st century knowledge economy (Gaisie-Nketia, 2008; MOEG, 2015). For example, in 2008, the government of Ghana dedicated US$3 million to promote ICT in Basic Education (Gaisie-Nketia, 2008) and as at August 2015, it was reported that the government had distributed over 450, 000 laptops to schools, especially, those in the deprived areas (Myjoyonline,31st March 2016). In the same vein, a survey conducted by the MOEG in 2009 in 501 second cycle institutions showed that 494 (98.5%) of them had computers whilst only 7(1.4%) did not have. The survey further indicated that 87% of the schools had computer laboratories whilst 94.7% had ICT teachers (Ministry of Education Statistics, 2009). In the pre-service teacher education context, although no available statistics existed to show the number of computers in the various Colleges of Education, evidence show that there is no single College of Education in Ghana that has no, at least, one ICT laboratory. Even more important, most of the institutions that are connected to the Internet are also found to have their own websites (Owusu, et el., 2010).

However, a survey by Pome (2015) found that although ICT is available in most schools, particularly, in the urban areas, teachers are not using the technology for pedagogical purposes. …

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