Use of ICT in teaching physics: a case of secondary schools in Kimilili District, Bungoma County, Kenya
Makanda, John Livingstone
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is beginning to be recognised as one of the major instructional components especially in science subjects. This study sought to investigate the status of ICT in the teaching and learning of physics in secondary schools. It investigated: perception of teachers and students towards the use of ICT; physics teachers’ ICT competence; access to computers by both teachers and learners; teaching experience; and management’s and technical support. This study was conducted in Kimilili District, Bungoma County, Kenya. A descriptive survey design was adopted. The target population comprised 23 secondary schools in the district out of which 11 schools that have had computers for at least three years were selected using a combination of stratified, purposive and random sampling procedures. This study involved 11 secondary school principals, 30 physics teachers and 250 Form Three students comprising 83 girls and 167 boys. It employed questionnaires, interview guide, lesson observation schedule and document analysis guide in data collection. Data collection was preceded by a pilot study mainly to determine the validity and reliability of the instruments. On analysis of data from the pilot study, the instruments were found to be reliable; the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.85 and 0.78 for Physics Students’ Questionnaire and Physics Teachers’ Questionnaire respectively. The data collected during the study was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. Descriptive statistics comprising frequency counts, percentages, means and correlations were utilised in the analysis of the data gathered. The main findings of the study indicated that ICT competence was fairly high among the physics teachers in the sample schools with most of them using word processing and Internet. This study established that most of the teachers accessed computers for less than one hour per day. A favorable attitude towards ICT use was also evident based on the kind of responses given on the importance of ICT use in instruction. Management and technical support was moderate; mainly in the provision of ICT facilities and employment of computer teachers respectively. It was found that use of ICT in lesson delivery was low due to factors such as inadequate facilities, inadequate time to access computers and lack of appropriate ICT skills among others. This study recommends that physics teachers should make use of technology in their lessons to enhance learners understanding of concepts hence improve performance. Secondly, it is recommended that pre-service training and INSET of teachers should include a component on how to integrate ICT in lesson delivery. Thirdly, the school managers and other stakeholders should endeavor to provide more facilities especially Internet, digital and video cameras which are equally important in supporting technology based learning. Lastly, it is recommended that school principals be sensitised on the importance of having well documented ICT policies which should dove-tail into the MoEST ICT policy in education.