A Conceptual Model for Optimal Integration of Information and Communications Technology in the Classroom
Mount Saint Vincent University
Teachers in many schools struggle to integrate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as part of their teaching practice. Among the issues faced by teachers when attempting to integrate ICT into their classrooms are gaps in ICT knowledge and skills, lack of training and inadequate support and scaffolding. Other issues include inability to translate training into teaching practice and curriculum design and lack of access to current hardware and software. Research in the field addresses the exponential pace of technology development and obsolescence as well as the financial and educational implications of teaching and learning in such an environment. Teachers are core to the integration of ICT in the classroom and hence are often under pressure, since ICT integration is not just about having the right hardware and software; it is deeper and covers many layers. Integrating ICT requires a harmonious synchronicity of content, teacher knowledge, compatible theoretical framework and suitable pedagogy all at the appropriate stage of knowledge acquisition. To help teachers better integrate ICT in classrooms with limited technology, a model was developed using literature in the field. The dynamic three-dimensional model presented here addresses some of the issues raised by teachers and researchers when integrating ICT. The model focuses on five areas of content, teacher knowledge, theoretical perspective, teacher role in the learning process and pedagogical approach and also examines three phases encountered in the process of learning with technology. The model was designed to help support teacher ICT integration in K-12 schools. However, the model could be used as-is or adapted for use in rural communities and developing countries where ICT is scarce and the student computer ratio is much higher.
Information and Communications Technology , Teacher , Schools , Gaps in knowledge , Lack of support