Strategies to implement innovative ICT based approaches to teach Sciences at Secondary school level.The guidelines aim at providing science secondary school teachers with the competences to make an effective use of ICT based science teaching learning objects.
School Directors’ and Policy Makers’ Guidelines
2 1 Some Perspectives about the Current Use of ICT in Science Education
(a) Lack of software, lack of sufficient training, lack of learning equipment and computer problems were identified as high level problems.
Lack of software problems
This was one of the main factors that made the use of ICT difficult in many countries including Italy. Restrictions on access to hardware and software resources have influenced teachers' motivation to use ICT in the classroom. Not only, unreliable and pirated software, which is difficult to use, but also the sharing among several teachers has slowed down its use in school.
Lack of sufficient training
Most teachers do not have the ability to use ICT in the teaching-learning process because they have not received sufficient training opportunities. One of the three main problems for teachers' use of ICT in teaching is the lack of training.
The issue of training is certainly complex because it is important to consider different components to ensure the effectiveness of training. Indeed, training should not be limited simply to the use of ICT tools, but teachers should also be offered pedagogical training.
Lack of tools and resources for learning
Several research studies have identified the lack of an insufficient number of computers, peripherals and software copies and insufficient simultaneous access to the Internet as the main obstacles to the implementation of ICT in educational institutions. The accessibility of ICT resources does not guarantee the success of their implementation in teaching, not only because of the lack of ICT infrastructure, but also because of other problems such as the lack of high quality hardware, adequate educational software and access to ICT resources. Other authors also claim that a wrong choice of hardware and software and a lack of consideration of what is suitable for classroom teaching are problems that many teachers face. Most teachers also agree that insufficient ICT resources in the institution and insufficient time to review software prevent them from using ICT.
b) Reluctance to use new technologies, lack of motivation, lack of funding, delay in processing documents, lack of qualified technical staff were identified as medium level problems.
Teachers' reluctance to new technologies
One of the problems in the implementation of computers in teaching-learning is that of teachers", i.e. the problem of acceptance, which in turn has been influenced by their attitude towards these media. The attitudes of teachers have been considered to be the main predictors of the use of new technologies in education; the success of the use of new technologies in the classroom depends largely on teachers' attitudes towards these tools. Indeed, teachers' attitudes towards computers affect their use of computers in the classroom and the likelihood of benefiting from training. Much research has shown that teachers' reluctance to use new technologies is a significant problem. The application of new technologies in educational contexts requires change and each teacher is free to manage this change independently.
A key area of teachers' attitudes towards the use of technologies is their understanding of how these technologies will benefit their teaching and the learning of their students. Although teachers felt that the technology available was more than sufficient, they did not believe they were adequately supported, guided or rewarded in integrating technology into their teaching.
Lack of qualified personnel
Teachers who do not apply ICT in the classroom argue that "lack of knowledge and skills" is a binding factor.
Studies have shown that many teachers have computer skills in the classroom, but still make little use of technology because they do not have enough time. They need time to find information on the Internet, prepare lessons, explore and practice technology, deal with technical problems and receive appropriate training. The problem of lack of time exists for teachers in many aspects of their work, as it affects their ability to complete tasks.
c) Lack of confidence, lack of knowledge; course material and political influence were identified as low level problems.
Lack of trust
One of the problems preventing teachers from using ICT in their teaching is the lack of trust. The study investigated the reasons for teachers' lack of confidence in the use of ICT and found that, because of their 'fear of failure', many teachers do not consider themselves to be proficient in the use of ICT and feel anxious to use ICT in front of a class. Limitations in teachers' knowledge of ICT make them feel anxious to use ICT in the classroom and therefore have no confidence in using it in their teaching.
Lack of pedagogical skills
Another problem, which is directly related to teachers' trust, is the lack of pedagogical knowledge about the use of ICT in teaching practices.
Source: Skills Outlook 2019: Thriving in a digital world. https://doi.org/10.1787/df80bc12-en
Constrictions on the use of ICT in educational institutions
It was found that there are many barriers related to administrators and the school's investment in hardware and software purchase and training.
Low-speed Internet, lack of IT skills, threat of viruses, lack of adequate training, lack of qualified staff, software problems, power problems, lack of motivation to encourage the use of ICT by the administration, lack of training, lack of adequate equipment and delays in the purchase of equipment are major causes that make it difficult to use ICT in the teaching-learning process.
Another important reason behind the teacher's failure to use modern technology for an effective teaching-learning process is dissatisfaction with the work. Their initiative, creativity, inventiveness have become lazy because of job satisfaction. Many teachers in institutions have remained in an unsatisfactory salary position because they have not received incentives due to wrong policies in educational institutions.
It was also found that the lack of adequate knowledge of the importance of ICT use also by administrators is one of the other factors limiting the use of ICT.
The implementation of a leading scientific literacy requires designing the appropriate learning environment through providing supplies, programs, networks, and the classrooms equipped with new technologies that enable communication with the world easily and quickly.
In summary, none of the problems highlighted above, if taken individually, is able to stimulate the improvement of the quality of teaching. The action to promote a breakthrough in the use of ICT, especially in scientific subjects, must see an integrated action at the level of education policy that addresses the shortcomings that most penalize and inevitably are different in each country and even within each nation.