ICT in Education/Student Activities
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NAME: BUSULWA HENRY SSEBULIBA
NAME OF ORGANISATION: DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION, SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
TITLE OF CHANGE PROJECT: USE OF MOBILE PHONES (AND OTHER ICT TOOLS) IN COMMUNICATION, TEACHING AND LEARNING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS.
Background: A Change project, by the ICT and Pedagogical Development programme of the Life Academy, Karlstad Sweden shall be undertaken to encourage use of mobile phones in communication, teaching and learning in Ugandan secondary schools. Internet coverage is limited, but mobile phones accessibility has reached many parts of the country, because students and teachers in many rural areas own phones. However their use at school is not accepted for fear that phones destruct students from concentrating on normal education programmes. Discussions on print media, live radio and television are still skeptical about the idea to liberalize use of mobile phones in schools. Even the Ministry of Education in Uganda is reluctant to pass a policy to liberalize open use of phones in secondary schools. While it is true that mobile phones cause excitement to youths and adults, they promote interaction and entertainment through social media like facebook, radio, television, games etc. Its through this that learning can be promoted. This change project aims at improving the perception of stakeholders in use of mobile phones by secondary school students. How can students balance their valuable time between studying while using mobile phones, for entertainment? How can students and teachers obtain cheaper and better smart phones so that they constructively enhance their communication, teaching and learning skills like it is used for ICT in Education in many parts of the world?
Objectives of the Change Project. The main Goal of the change project is to develop a positive attitude towards use of mobile phones (and other ICT tools) for communication, teaching and learning in schools. Specifically the change project will include the following: a) Change the teachers, parents’ and students’ perception and attitude on use of mobile phones b) Develop workable guidelines that will assist students and teachers to use phones in teaching and learning. c) Document learners lessons for involving the stakeholders in the use of phones.
Method: Stakeholders of a private secondary school shall be sensitized on the importance of the use of ICT and agree on the guidelines to use. The students shall be allowed to come with their phones to be used which shall be used according to agreed guidelines and supervision by the school administration. Observations on use shall be recorded. Teachers shall also be given guidelines to use the phones for learning. WIFI shall be established at specific locations. Makerere University shall supervise the project and will visit the schools once or twice a week.
Expected results Mobile phones and other ICT tools shall confidently be used with guidelines in place to confidently involve lecturers, parents, students and teachers in enhancing teaching and learning at selected secondary schools. Specific results will include the following: • Effective use of phone for interaction and communication between students and school administration; and teachers • Ethical considerations - improved communication in schools • Changed attitude developed • Guidelines for use of phones in schools developed • Information to guide policy formulation on use of phones
Stakeholders to be involved • Parents, • Teachers, • and Pupils, • Teacher trainees • Makerere University Department of Science Technical and Vocational Education implementer of the project under my supervision.
Some Expected Challenges
• Connectivity i.e Availability of telephone networks and wireless internet (WIFI) • Each student is expected to own a phone • Going by agreed rules to avoid destruction of learning
Project started with quite some resistance, guidelines have been generated and discussed with all stakeholders but Teachers are not willing to take on the role of using phones. They feel students are going to be disturbed and sirupted from other attention of concentrating on academics. I am still convincing them