By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, Morocco, April 26, 2013
The use of information and communication technology (ICT) is not something new to the field of education. Educators and teachers throughout the course of history have been making use of the innovative technological inventions that emerged during their times. Radio and television have been used widely as educational tools since the 1920s and the 1950s, respectively (Wikibooks, 2012).
Thanks to the expansion of the internet and the production of technological devices in abundance at affordable prices, ICTs have enabled considerable change in many fields of social and economic development. Each technology serves the field of education differently and may be applied in various ways inside as well as outside the classroom to enhance the teaching and learning process, yet it may yield unexpected results depending on how it is used. Haddad and Draxler (2012) identify five levels of technology uses in education: presentation, demonstration, drill and practice, interaction, and collaboration. These strategies, that are inevitable in successful teaching process, can be made more effective when complemented with a wise use of ICTs.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines ICT as “the abbreviation for information and communications technology’ (the study of the use of computers, the Internet, video, and other technology as a subject at school).
According to Blurton (1999), ICT can be defined as a “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information.”
From these two definition we can conclude that ICT includes any communication device or application that can be integrated in education to facilitate and enhance the teaching and learning process, encompassing: radio, television, computer and network hardware and software, cellular phones, tablets, video projector, data-show, satellite systems and so on. All the various services and applications associated with these tools, such as chatting, videoconferencing and distance learning fall under the field of ICT educational tools when they serve the purpose of education.
Morocco has taken significant steps towards promoting the use of ICTs in education and making open-source software available for all users. A program entitled “Maroc Numeric 2013” was developed as part of the government’s National Strategy for Information Society and Digital Economy. Among the strategic priorities of “Maroc Numeric 2013” is to create educational content platforms (ITU, 2012).
According to the National Charter of Education and Training of 1999, (Article 10. 121, 122), the integration of ICT in education, the acquisition of computing facilities at schools, and the promotion of distance education and learning should be at the heart of the reform. To ensure that ICT is fully integrated in education and training at all levels, including in curriculum development, teacher training, institutional administration and management, and in support of lifelong learning, the ministry of education in partnership with the private sector, has introduced projects targeting the aforementioned objectives.
The program called Generalization of Technologies of Information and Communication in Education or GENIE, aims to train 230,000 individuals involved in the education system, including teachers, supervisors, technicians and heads of schools. The main objectives set by the strategy of the program are:
- The active involvement of teachers in ICT integration in education.
- The improvement of the quality of teaching and learning through the use of ICT teaching.
- The appropriation of multimedia tools by teachers to use them effectively in the classroom.
To achieve these objectives, GENIE training was based on two training modules: a module for computer literacy (operating system, word processing, spreadsheet and calculation, presentation and Internet) and a module for the use of ICT in teaching.
January 2009 marked the launch of the new GENIE strategy program to promote, facilitate and develop an educational culture that promotes the integration of ICT in teaching and learning (p. Note 146)
English Language Teachers on their parts are familiar with various approaches, techniques and strategies applied in teaching writing. They have varying knowledge in the use of computers and technological devices and services.
Figure 2 represents data collected through an online-based questionnaire (see attached) targeting English teachers and supervisors. The figure showed that teachers have varied levels of computer knowledge, yet all of them have the basic elements necessary to use computers.
Even though all teachers may not be techno-geeks, nearly all of them favour implementing ICT tools in teaching as demonstrated in Figure 3 from the same questionnaire (see attached).
They use their computers not only for personal needs but most of the teachers use their computers for different activities serving educational purposes. Figure 4 represents how teachers make use of their personal computers to prepare for their work and other educational objectives.
With respect to the guidelines of the Urgent Plan (2009-2012), and in consistency with note 146, English teachers have excelled in integrating ICT tools in teaching English. This questionnaire, which was completed by 60 English teachers, demonstrates the different tools that English teachers use in their classrooms and put at the reach of their students to facilitate the learning process and provide new technologies that appeal to students and consequently gain their attention and positive participation.
It goes without saying that there are some limitations and serious problems hindering an effective use of ICT tools in education, including overcrowding and the fact that some teachers use ICT as an objective in itself not as a means or tools to achieve better teaching/learning objectives. Nevertheless, the use of ICT tools for educational purposes should remain the priority of both the Ministry of Education and the direct actors in the field of teaching and education in Moroccan schools.
Blurton, C. (1999). New Directions of ICT-Use in Education. University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: UNESCO.
ITU. (2012). ICT ADOPTION AND PROSPECTS IN THE ARAB REGION. Geneva, Switzerland: International Telecommunication Union.
National, M. d. (2009). Patent No. 146. Maroc.
Wikibooks. (2012, May 03). ICT in education. Retrieved May 27, 2012, from Wikkibooks: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/ICT_in_Education/The_Uses_of_ICTs_in_Education
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