Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> vol. 35 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Exploring the extent to which ELT students utilise smartphones for language learning purposes</b>]]> The advent of smartphones has had dramatic influences on our daily lives and has rendered human beings 'walking computers' . This holds important reflections in the realm of language learning, as well as in many other areas. This study aimed to explore the extent to which English Language Teaching (ELT) students utilise smartphones for language learning purposes. To this end, a 25-item questionnaire was administered to 120 Grade Three and Four ELT students at Ondokuz Mayis University in Turkey. Following the questionnaire, a follow-up oral interview was conducted with 29 of the participants on a voluntary basis in order to further investigate their perceptions of smartphones. The statistical analysis of the participants' responses to the items in the questionnaire clearly shows that smartphones are actively used for language learning purposes. In particular, their contribution to the development of vocabulary skills is frequently reported, which is also verified by the answers given during the interview. The analysis regarding the 'gender' and 'length of the students' possession of a smartphone' variables does not yield any statistically significant effect on the degree to which students utilise smartphones for language learning purposes. Given the fact that almost all students have a personal smartphone, and use it very often, and considering the findings of this study, it is suggested that students be encouraged to utilise the invaluable language learning opportunities offered by smartphones when put to conscious use. <![CDATA[<b>Are e-books effective tools for learning? Reading speed and comprehension: iPad<sup>®</sup> vs. paper</b>]]> Recently, electronic books (e-books) have become prevalent amongst the general population, as well as students, owing to their advantages over traditional books. In South Africa, a number of schools have integrated tablets into the classroom with the promise of replacing traditional books. In order to realise the potential of e-books and their associated devices within an academic context, where reading speed and comprehension are critical for academic performance and personal growth, the effectiveness of reading from a tablet screen should be evaluated. To achieve this objective, a quasi-experimental within-subjects design was employed in order to compare the reading speed and comprehension performance of 68 students. The results of this study indicate the majority of participants read faster on an iPad, which is in contrast to previous studies that have found reading from tablets to be slower. It was also found that comprehension scores did not differ significantly between the two media. For students, these results provide evidence that tablets and e-books are suitable tools for reading and learning, and therefore, can be used for academic work. For educators, e-books can be introduced without concern that reading performance and comprehension will be hindered. <![CDATA[<b>Corrective feedback via e-mail on the correct use of past tense among Iranian EFL learners</b>]]> This study explores the differential effect of two types of corrective feedback strategies - explicit and implicit - on the acquisition and retention of correct past form of irregular verbs by Iranian English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners. Sixty out of 80 pre-intermediate EFL learners were selected as the participants, based on their performance on Key English Test (KET); their scores were between one standard deviation (SD) above and below the mean (M). Thereafter, they were randomly assigned into two experimental groups: the explicit group (N = 30) who received explicit corrective feedback and the implicit group (N = 30), who received implicit feedback. Results indicate that the explicit group outperformed the implicit group on the immediate and delayed post-tests. The findings of this study have theoretical and pedagogical implications for teachers. Feedback strategy provides teachers with information on effective teaching and student comprehension, and encourages them to use technology in a way that reduces anxiety and facilitates social learning. <![CDATA[<b>Perceptions and needs of South African Mathematics teachers concerning their use of technology for instruction</b>]]> Although many South African teachers have access to the internet, they often refrain from using available online resources to improve the quality of their own teaching. In an attempt to promote Mathematics teachers' effective use of online resources, we developed a web-based platform. This article reports on the first phase of a broader project that focuses on Mathematics teachers' perceptions about and needs for utilising technology in the classroom. Twenty-two teachers participated in this mixed-method pilot study. To obtain qualitative data, we facilitated a Participatory Reflection and Action (PRA) workshop and for the quantitative part of our study, we implemented a questionnaire. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) were selected for the theoretical framework. With regard to effort expectancy, participating teachers found the use of technology overwhelming, resulting in a need for further training. No evidence was found of social influence affecting the participants' acceptance of technology. The participants proved to have access to sufficient equipment. However, their perceptions of their own limited skills weighed heavier than external facilitating conditions. As a result, participating teachers were hesitant to utilise technology in their teaching. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring student teachers' perceptions of the influence of technology in learning and teaching mathematics</b>]]> Rapid global technological developments have affected all facets of life, including the teaching and learning of mathematics. This qualitative study was designed to identify the ways in which technology was used and to explore the nature of this use by a group of 52 mathematics student teachers. The participants were pre-service Mathematics students who were enrolled for a Mathematics module at a South African university. The research instruments were an open question and a semi-structured interview schedule. Saxe's framework was used to analyse the data. Some benefits of mathematics software were found to be the provision of different representations, dynamic visualisation of concepts and variation in mathematical situations. It was also found that students used technology more often in their own learning than in their teaching, because the schools did not have many resources. It is recommended that the education department prioritise the provision of specialist mathematics software that can be used to improve learning outcomes in mathematics. <![CDATA[<b>Management challenges in an information communication technology (ICT) network in rural schools</b>]]> This study concerns the management of an interactive whiteboard (IWB) network started in April 2008 in Mpumalanga, with a leading school partnered with several disadvantaged schools, transmitting lessons in Mathematics and Science. Many educational institutions try to provide learners with better learning opportunities by equipping schools with the latest technology. The IWBs have been invested in the most and the project is very successful in bridging the urban-rural divide. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) play an important role in reforming education. This study concentrated on the key managerial challenges to leaders when faced with introducing, accepting and managing new technology in their schools. The purpose of the study was to describe the management approach that developed during the implementation of the IWB network and what possible contribution the lessons learnt from this case study could have on management theory regarding the management of ICTs in similar multi-school models. <![CDATA[<b>A <i>Teacher Tablet Toolkit </i>to meet the challenges posed by 21st century rural teaching and learning environments</b>]]> This article draws upon the experiences gained in participating in an Information and Communication Technology for Rural Education (ICT4RED) initiative, as part of a larger Technology for Rural Education project (TECH4RED) in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The aim of this paper is to describe the conceptualisation, design and application of an innovative teacher professional development course for rural teachers, enabling them to use tablets to support teaching and learning in their classrooms. The course, as outcome, is presented as a Teacher Tablet Toolkit, designed to meet the challenges inherent to the 21st century rural technology enhanced teaching and learning environment. The paper documents and motivates design decisions, derived from literature and adapted through three iterations of a Design Science Research Process, to be incorporated in the ICT4RED Teacher Professional Development Course. The resulting course aims to equip participating teachers with a toolkit consisting of technology hardware, pragmatic pedagogical and technology knowledge and skills, and practice based experience. The significance of game design elements such as simulation and fun, technology in need rather than in case, adequate scaffolding and a clear learning path with interim learning goals are noted. <![CDATA[<b>Perceived usefulness and culture as predictors of teachers attitudes towards educational technology in South Africa</b>]]> The use of educational technology (ET) worldwide is increasing rapidly, and South Africa is no exception. Grouped amongst the emerging economies of the world, South Africa's information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure is often mentioned as one of the key factors leading to the growth of the country. Integrating ICT into education has become a priority for the South African government. However, it is necessary to move beyond merely providing physical access to ICT's in order for integration to be successful. The integration of ET in schools is greatly influenced by teachers' attitudes towards the technology. The aim of this study was to investigate teachers' attitudes towards educational technology and the factors that are thought to influence teachers' attitudes, namely, perceived usefulness, perceived cultural relevance, perceived competence and access to ET. A convenience sample of 117 teachers in the Johannesburg area, from both public and private schools, across foundation, intermediate and senior phase, completed the Attitudes Towards Computer Scale. Teachers' attitudes were generally positive. The strongest predictor of teachers' attitudes was perceived usefulness followed by perceived cultural relevance. Thus, it is evident that when integrating ET into schools, attention must be paid to teachers perceptions of the utility of ET in order for integration to be successful. Having access to ET and the competence to use ET are not enough for the successful integration of ET in schools. <![CDATA[<b>Empirical modeling of information communication technology usage behaviour among business education teachers in tertiary colleges of a developing country</b>]]> This study has empirically tested the fitness of a structural model in explaining the influence of two exogenous variables (perceived enjoyment and attitude towards ICTs) on two endogenous variables (behavioural intention and teachers' Information Communication Technology (ICT) usage behavior), based on the proposition of Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1989a). The sample was 212 teachers from Business Education faculties of 13 tertiary colleges in the northwestern region of Nigeria. As one of the major developing countries in Africa, Nigeria has invested a lot of resources in ICTs for the past several years to ensure the appropriate uptake and integration of technology across the important sectors of the country's economy, especially the education sector. Unfortunately, the country's standard of ICT adoption has remained low for many years. Congruently, its educational sector has remained incapacitated by lack of adequate ICT facilities and lack of skilled ICT-manpower, with school teachers using obsolete tools in the classroom, and some of them buying and using ICTs out of their own volition. Teachers' use of ICTs in tertiary schools' has remained poor in Nigeria, and research initiatives on ICT usage behaviour are rare and predominantly descriptive in nature. Past studies have dwelt on investigating the influence of physical infrastructural facilities on teachers' use of technology in the classroom. The current study has investigated the influence of teachers' perceptive beliefs, attitudes and intentions on their technology usage behaviour, using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Findings have shown that teachers' perceived enjoyment of ICTs influences their ICT usage behaviour in the classroom (β = .281, p < .05); teachers' perceived enjoyment of ICTs influences their intention to use ICTs (β = .740, p < .001); teachers' ICT attitude influences their intention to use ICTs (β = .122, p < .05); teachers' ICT attitude influences their ICT usage behaviour (β = .512, p < .001) and teachers' behavioural intention influences their ICT usage behaviour ICTs (β = .-368, p < .05). Teachers' behavioural intention to use ICTs has, however, predicted a decrease in their self-reported ICT usage behaviour. This study will benefit school leaders, curriculum planners and researchers in technology acceptance behaviour in Africa, by giving them guidance in taking decisions concerning teachers' perceptions and intentions of using ICTs in the classroom. The study will play a vital role in filling up the research gap that exist in technology acceptance behaviour among business education faculties across tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. Future research on the subject matter may attempt to investigate the moderating roles of voluntariness and compulsory standards in influencing teachers' ICT usage behaviour. <![CDATA[<b>Can Turnitin come to the rescue: From teachers' reflections?</b>]]> This article presents a qualitative critical action research of six Grade 12 high school teachers who used Turnitin as part of their assessment processes. Turnitin submissions, one-on-one semi-structured interviews, observation and reflective activities were used for data production/generation. This article concluded that although Turnitin did not help teachers to prevent all learner acts of plagiarism, it did scare the learners away from any obvious act of plagiarism. Teachers and learners became aware of technology as the 'servant', not the 'master'. Grounded analysis was used to generate two themes for this study. This study tried to explore the teachers' reflections of Turnitin used in assessing their learners' work. Purposive sampling was used in selecting the only six Grade 12 teachers who used Turnitin at a school in Durban. This article consequently recommends the use of 'Assessment, Educating to avoid and Turnitin' framework in any integration of hard-ware/soft-ware (HW/SW) resources. <![CDATA[<b>Students' perceptions on IWB through the lens of the community of inquiry framework</b>]]> Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are being utilised at a rapidly increasing rate, especially in distance education (DE). As a medium of instruction they allow the presenter to simultaneously interact with numerous students at different centres across the country. This study is unique in the sense that a collaborative learning community is created between two groups separated by distance. If utilised correctly and efficiently, IWBs have the potential to enhance the teaching and learning experience for the student. This article focuses on the perceptions of students (adult learners) from various school management teams (SMT), pertaining to their experiences with several IWB sessions. Open-ended questionnaires were completed by 45 students enrolled for the Advanced Certificate in Education (School Management and Leadership) (ACE SL). Participants' perceptions with regard to their IWB learning experience were determined according to the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, creating a collaborative constructivist educational experience. This article will indicate how important it is to focus on keeping the balance between the three presences in the CoI and also highlight the crucial role that presenters play to ensure an effective teaching and learning experience through the use of IWBs. <![CDATA[<b>Online chats: A strategy to enhance learning in large classes</b>]]> Online-supported teaching and learning is a technological innovation in education that integrates face-to-face teaching in plenary lectures, with an online component using a learning management system. This extends opportunities to students to interact with one another via online chats in the process of transacting their learning. There is a need to understand how South African students experience these technologies, where many students encounter them for the first time at higher education level. We are yet to understand variations in students' experiences of online support and how it has influenced their learning. This article explores students' experiences of learning using online chats in Business Management Education. The qualitative component of this mixed-methods research draws on the tenets of phenomenography. Fifteen participants from a Business Management Education class of 156 students enrolled in a Bachelor of Education programme were sampled using pheno-menographic approach. Qualitative data sources included personal reflective journals, focus group discussions and individual interviews, and questionnaires were circulated to the respondents. A quantitative component was subsequently implemented to validate the qualitative findings. Analysis of the data revealed that participants viewed online chats as learning contexts in qualitatively different ways. <![CDATA[<b>Can a multimedia tool help students' learning performance in complex biology subjects?</b>]]> The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of multimedia-based biology teaching (Mbio) and teacher-centered biology (TCbio) instruction approaches on learners' biology achievements, as well as their views towards learning approaches. During the research process, an experimental design with two groups, TCbio (n = 22) and Mbio (n = 26), were used. The results of the study proved that the Mbio approach was more effective than the TCbio approach with regard to supporting meaningful learning, academic achievement, enjoyment and motivation. Moreover, the TCbio approach is ineffective in terms of time management, engaging attention, and the need for repetition of subjects. Additionally, the results were discussed in terms of teaching, learning, multimedia design as well as biology teaching/learning.