Based on further analysis, those eight conditions can be categorized into two categories, namely the essential and the supporting conditions. The essential conditions are the conditions needed for the implementation, whereby the supporting conditions are the conditions which assure for the continuation of the implementation. The two sets of conditions are shown in Table 2.
Table 2: Conditions Facilitating the Implementation of ICT Integration
The essential conditions
The essential conditions identified were availability of ICT resources and acquisition of ICT knowledge. These conditions were needed for the implementation of ICT integration in the curriculum. If one of these conditions was not present then implementation of ICT integration would not taken place. For example, in School C, the teachers were knowledgeable in ICT integration and they had accessibility to the resources. School C showed successful implementation of ICT in their school compared to School B and A. Lack of knowledge had been the caused for the teachers in School A to be less confident to integrate ICT in the curriculum.
The Supporting Conditions
The next set of conditions was the supporting conditions. The supporting conditions comprised of the accessibility of ICT resources, existence of support, desire to change, school practices, influence of external forces and teacher’s commitment to the innovation determined continuous implementation of ICT integration in the schools. The findings demonstrated a relationship between the presence of these conditions and the continuation of implementation of ICT integration. It was found that the presence of these conditions in the schools enabled them to continue with the implementation of ICT integration. However, the lack or absence of these conditions resulted in the slow down or discontinuation of the integration of ICT in the curriculum.
Accessibility to ICT Resources
The schools in this study were all technology-rich school. Availability of ICT resources did not gave the assurance that the teachers would integrate ICT in the school. The study found that availability without accessibility to ICT resources had hindered the teachers from integrating ICT in their lesson. School C and B had access to the resources but teachers in School A seemed to have lack of access to the resources. This had discouraged the teachers from using the innovation.
Existence of support
This support shown by the principals in this study had motivated teachers to integrate ICT in their lesson. Especially in School C, the principal in this school had shown her support during facilitating the change process. She had shown the ability to obtain sufficient resources for the school and gave full support to her teachers in their effort to implement ICT integration in the school.
The principals and head of curriculum departments in School C and B had not only given teachers their support, but they had also monitored their teachers in their use of ICT in teaching. They had emphasized that when they observed the teachers’ teaching, they would like to see the integration of ICT in teachers teaching. Unlike School A, the administrators did encourage their teachers to integrate ICT in the teaching but did not request to see teachers’ utilization of ICT. School A principal seemed to stress on syllabus content more than the teaching aids. Therefore, the teachers in school A felt that teaching should focused on preparing students to sit for the examination. Principal C, on the other hand, strongly believed that with the vast knowledge and information plus the skills of answering the examination, any student would excel in academic performance. In fact, ICT makes a student more knowledgeable and informative.
Desire to change
Teachers in School C experienced the desire to change, which had promoted them to implement ICT integration in the curriculum. However, there seemed to be no existence of this condition in School A and School B. Teachers in School A seemed to concentrate on preparing students for examination. This condition also did not appear in School B. The teachers gave the impression that they integrated ICT in their lesson merely because the ICT hardware was there and they had to use them. It was not because they want to try a different approach in their teaching process. Consequently, this had lead to slow process of integrating ICT in the curriculum for School B.
All teachers in this study had used computer for administrative purposes such as typing examination questions, preparing lesson and writing reports. This study found that not all teachers in these schools practiced ICT integration in their teaching. For example, in School B and A, ICT as school practice was seen as a tool in the administrative work.
Influence of external forces
Influence of external forces to emerge in school C and School B. Teachers in these two schools felt the pressure of students’ advancement in ICT. These forces had promoted teachers to implement ICT in the school. However, in School A, this condition was absent. Their focus was more on the examination and completing their syllabus before the examination.
Teacher’s commitment to the innovation
Teachers in School C and B had high commitment to the innovations. As Fullan (1991) states, teachers’ ability to cope with the school demands and their commitment to change are crucial in sustaining implementation. However, teachers in School A showed less commitment to the innovation. This is due to the lack of confidence in the innovation and they were actively involved in non-teaching activities. The presence of this condition in the school had encouraged teachers to try integrating ICT in their teaching.
Based on the findings, it is clear that the presence of the essential conditions ensures the implementation of ICT integration in the curriculum while the supporting conditions had seen to the continuation of the implementation.
Levels of Approaches in Integrating ICT in the Curriculum
The findings also revealed that teachers in the study employed four levels of approaches in integrating ICT in the curriculum. As it shows in Table 3, these teachers integrated ICT as verbal resources at level one, as printed resources at level two, as hands-on experience at level three and a combination of all the approaches at level four.
Table 3: Level of ICT Integration Approaches in the Curriculum
Teachers in School C are found to be in Level 4 and 3. While, some teachers in School B are in Level 3, 2 and 1. None of the teachers in School B are in Level 4. School C are found actively implementing ICT integration in their teaching unlike School B and School A. School C teachers are very committed to the technology. Their commitment is evident from the interviews, classroom observation and document reviews. They were very enthusiastic when they shared their experiences during the interviews.
It seemed that the levels of approach were influenced by the presence and absence of the conditions that facilitated the implementation of ICT integration in curriculum. Based on data analysis, all school C teachers had integrated ICT throughout their teaching. This might be because their school was new and equipped with ICT infrastructure two computer labs as well as six computers in classroom. While the rate of integrating ICT in teaching in school B was slower than school C. The school ICT infrastructure was partly the reason for the slow integration. Insufficient hardware had caused teachers not to integrate ICT aggressively in their teaching.
Problems Teachers Faced during the Process of Integrating ICT in the Schools
The study also discovered problems that the teachers faced during the process of integrating ICT in the schools. The issues that emerged in implementation of ICT integration in the Malaysian technology-rich school were time factor, irrelevancy of course content and technical malfunction.
The major problem that appeared in all the three schools was time factor. The teachers in this study complained that the free time was too short for them to prepare their lesson using ICT. Surfing Internet to search for information, skimming and selecting information took a long time. During this free time they had to do many other tasks such as to relief a teacher who was absent. However, teachers who were ICT competent were found to need shorter time to prepare their lesson using ICT compared to teachers with low ICT competent.
Regarding teaching time, all teachers felt that one-hour period was not enough for their students especially when the need to print their work at the end of the lesson. Observation data showed that students took about five to ten minutes to reach the classroom and five minutes to settle down. They took another five minutes to operate the computers. If they faced technical problem, the teacher took another five to ten minutes to start the lesson. This had shortened the teaching time and the teachers were not happy with this situation.
Most of the teachers in this study had attended the 14-week course prior the implementation of ICT integration in school. Data revealed that some of the teachers were not happy with the course they had attended. The knowledge that the teachers acquired during the course could not be applied in their school. For example, software and hardware they learned during the course were not the same with what was found in school. Thus, they found their knowledge was not relevant to the school setting. They also felt the 14-week course did not teach them on how to integrate ICT in their teaching.
Teachers in Smart School had not only to teach using ICT but they also had to use the electronic management system, the SSMS or Smart School Management System. It is a comprehensive software system developed by the Ministry of Education to facilitate management and administration of resources. Teachers used the SSMS for classroom administration such as in writing reports, taking attendance, setting timetables and preparing lesson plans. If a server breaks down, the teachers could not get access to SMSS. Thus, lessons prepared and saved in the teachers’ folder found in SSMS could not be retrieved. Teachers felt frustrated over this problem. The SMSS had also caused problem to the teachers because it could not accessed from home. Teachers had to prepare their lesson in school if they want to use the software.
Other technical problems that the teachers faced during implementation of ICT integration in school are malfunction of computer, server, router and LCD. Although technicians were positioned in all these schools, the frequent technical malfunction had imposed problem to teachers.
DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATION
All the conditions found in this study were also found to be true to Ely’s eight conditions (1998), Fullan’s (2001) four factors affecting implementation and Rogers’ (1995) Diffusion Model as discussed in the literature.
In the literature, Ely stated that there were eight conditions that should be present in implementing technology. However, only six of the conditions were found to be true in this study. Reward as one of the conditions mentioned by Ely was not present in this study but still, the innovation could still be implemented. Therefore, when a question on reward was put forth to the informants, they all react similarly.
The teachers in this study all agreed that reward in any form, either monetary or others was not necessary since ICT integration was seen as part and parcel of teaching tool. Teachers in School C and B felt that when their students find the lesson interesting, tat itself motivated their teaching.
Time was also one of Ely’s conditions. Time factor was not one of conditions that facilitate the implementation of ICT integration in the Malaysian technology-rich secondary school. Time in this study was one of the problems that emerged during the implementation. With or without time factor, the teachers in this study would integrate ICT in the curriculum.
Rogers innovation attributes help to explain teachers’ different rate of adoption. In this study, two of the innovation attributes contributed to the cause of teachers not integrating ICT in the curriculum. The complexity of the SSMS caused teachers to feel the frustration over the innovation. Teachers in school A, being the late adopter would like to observe the result of the implementation. If it shows a positive result, they would likely adopt the innovation.
Factors affecting implementation proposed by Fullan had also contributed to the implementation of ICT integration in these schools. The characteristics of innovations, the stakeholder involved and the external factors were equally important in these three schools. The teachers who were the main stakeholders of the innovation with the support from the principal and others determined the implementation of the innovation.
The condition identified in this study drew attention that certain conditions should be present in any implementation of ICT integration in the schools. In the near future, for any implementation of innovation, the organization concerned should take into consideration of these conditions to see to the successful implementation. It was clearly stated that availability and acquisition of ICT knowledge were the strength of the implementation found in this study. By providing resources and not make it accessible had seen to the slow implementation of this innovation.
From the data put forward from interviews, it has clearly shown that the teachers lacked knowledge on integrating ICT in classroom. Therefore, schools and Ministry of Education should improve their course outline in teaching teachers “when” and “how” to integrate ICT. The course should be more focused on how ICT is used as a tool that assists and motivates teachers and students in teaching and learning. Teachers’ experiences also revealed that when attending the course, they had to learn software, which was not found in the school setting. Teachers should be exposed to whatever hardware and software found in the school so that they could be applied in their teaching.
Implementation of any innovation needs to be introduced one at a time. For example, in getting the teachers to integrate ICT in their lessons, they must be confident and comfortable with the technology first. The SSMS should come later. The teacher should also be given a choice of using the courseware bought by the schools.
The present society is increasingly dependent on electronic information and communications. Large quantities of information are available and transaction can take place remotely. The ICT has become part of the society for communication between people, searching for entertainment and education, virtual meeting place, shopping and many more. Thus education plays a very important role to provide the platform and strong foundation to people. Conditions for successful implementation of ICT integration in schools are essential requirement and must be met to achieve the Malaysian vision 2020 of becoming develop country.
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