Availability and utilization of computers in teaching and learning of business studies in secondary schools: Westlands district Nairobi county, Kenya
Kiarie Maingi, Bernadette Kamene
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The use of computers world over has changed the way we do many things. In the developed world, the integration of computers in teaching and learning has proved to be a worthwhile experience. This study sought to establish the availability and utilization of computers for teaching and learning Business Studies in Nairobi County‟s Westlands district – Kenya. The objectives of this research were: (i) to investigate the availability and accessibility of general purpose computers to teachers and learners of Business Studies in Westlands district secondary schools of Nairobi County. (ii) To ascertain the ways in which teachers and learners use computers for teaching and learning purposes in Business Studies. (iii) To probe the attitude of Business Studies teachers and learners towards the use of computers in teaching and learning of Business Studies. (iv) To explore the main benefits of using computers in teaching and learning of business studies in Nairobi County‟s Westlands secondary schools. (v) To investigate the challenges that teachers and learners of Business Studies experience in relation to the use of computers for teaching and learning respectively. The study was significant because its findings can be used to help teachers, students and teacher training institutions to improve the availability, accessibility and use of computers in education and eventually help in achieving Kenya‟s economic blueprint Vision 2030. This study was guided by Bates ACTIONS theory. The independent variables were teacher and learner characteristics, computer as a teaching/learning resource and teaching strategies. The dependent variables were; improved teaching environment, class participation and improved performance in exams. This research was a descriptive study that used both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The target population was made up of all the head teachers, Business Studies teachers and students of the 23 secondary school in Westlands District. The researcher used stratified sampling in order to ensure all types of schools were represented. In each category, simple random sampling was used to pick the sample population. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules and observation then analysed using percentages, frequencies and charts. This study found that head teachers were aware of the general trend towards the use of computers in education. It also found that although both teachers and students have a positive attitude toward the use of computers in the teaching and learning 62.5% of teachers did not use them for instructional purpose. The most pressing challenges were; low literacy levels, lack of time within teaching time and a fact that teachers were not taught how to use the computer as a teaching resource. The researcher concludes that there is willingness to use computers to teach but patience is required as the positive attitude precedes the implementation of teaching resources such as the computer. One of the recommendations of this study is a revision of the curriculum to allow integration of this emergent technology in our classrooms at all levels and in all subjects because computers are now an inevitable tool of trade in all spheres regardless of the career choice of any person.