By James Ratemo
With modern approaches to education requiring teachers to adopt information communication technologies (ICTs) to enhance efficiency, schools can no longer ignore technology in implementation of the curriculum.
Whereas technology cannot replace teachers, experts argue it forms an important and additional resource for the teacher and learner.
In today’s digital world the success of an education system depends on collective ability to close the gap between technology’s mere presence and its effective integration into the curriculum. The use of computer in curriculum delivery in particular promises better methods of content delivery and expanding the teaching and learning resource base.
This is impossible with the paper-based curriculum.
Hence e-learning – enabled by the use of digital tools and content – offers innovative and flexible means to support and enable quality learning and teaching.
E-learning includes the delivery of content via all electronic media, including the Internet, intranets, extranets, satellite broadcast, video, interactive TV, and CD Rom. It usually involves interactivity between the learner and their teacher or peers.
Across the globe, ICTs are becoming core platforms in learning and the Kenya Institute of Education, (KIE) is already shifting from the paper-based curriculum to a digital one.
ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems as well as the various services and applications associated with them such as video conferencing and distance learning.
Curriculum implementation refers to how the planned or designed course of study is translated by the teacher into syllabuses, schemes of work and lessons to be delivered to students.
Implementation takes place when the teacher-constructed syllabus, teacher’s personality, the teaching materials and the teaching environment interact with the learner.
KIE e-learning Senior Assistant Director, Reuben Nthamburi, says integrating ICTs in education is a contemporary global concern. “Globalisation and the shift to a knowledge based economy require that schools develop individual’s ability to transform information into knowledge and apply it in dynamic, cross-cultural contexts,” he says.
Ntamburi says ICTs have had a great impact in education especially in this era of knowledge economy and information society.
ICTs can improve access to and promote equity in education by providing educational opportunities to a greater number of people of all ages, including the traditionally unserved or underserved like those in rural and remote areas, women, irls, and persons with disabilities.
These technologies can enhance the quality of teaching and learning by providing access to a great variety of educational resources and by enabling participatory pedagogies.
“ICTs can improve the management of education through more efficient administrative processes, including human resource management, monitoring and evaluation, and resource sharing,” said Ntamburi.
KIE has already developed e-learning materials for Form One and Two curricula in chemistry, mathematics, English, physics, Kiswahili, agriculture, aomputer studies, business studies, history and government, biology, geography and home science.
The institute has also developed e-learning materials for Standard Four to Seven in mathematics and science curricula for primary schools and teacher training colleges.
These resource materials may be used to support, illustrate, explain or revise specific topics and to provide extra support for individual learners.
The content supports educators by proposing a variety of teaching methodologies and by giving explanations in areas that have previously proved to be difficult for learners and educators.