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812 R. Chitiyo, S. W.

812 R. Chitiyo, S. W. Harmon a significant extend depend on the quality of the content, Nwuke (2003) observes that content development has been a major issue in North America and Europe and it is likely to be a major issue in Africa. He explains: The predominance of English and other inherited languages such as French and Portuguese as the means of conveying scientific knowledge has been a barrier to access to [and quality of] education, and this barrier is likely to be reinforced by information technology if early action is not taken. There is a need to develop content in indigenous African languages (pp. 36–37). Writing on the Internet and literacy in the developing world, Cobb (2006) argues that the problems of infrastructure and technology may not be harder to deal with than, ‘‘the lack of provision for literacy training in Internet-based learning schemes,’’ particularly in contexts where the Internet may isolate learners ‘‘in a world of text in an unfamiliar or semifamiliar language (usually English) (p. 628).’’ Cobb supports his argument by citing Kwaa Prah (2003) on research done in Africa, ‘‘The most commonly identified technical problems arising from inadequate language planning include the inappropriateness of technical terms in LOI [language of instruction], the complexity of syntactic patterns in textbooks, the poor quality and irrelevance of textbooks’’ (p. 630). Commenting on a study he carried out in Zimbabwe, Zinyeka (2005) says that on the issue of relevance, one major obstacle is the limited amount of local content. He notes that the current heavy dependence on external content brings in the problems of suitability and relevance to solving local problems. Leadership and policy framework formulation Uys et al. (2004), writing on technology integration in Africa, say that there are many aspects of the socio-economic and technological environment taken for granted in developed countries that need to be seriously addressed in African countries. They point out that some factors are of a common nature, such as the need to address stakeholders’ interest and government policy. Uys et al. (2004) believe that, ‘‘These factors are critical in Africa where there is a high sense of community and where social factors play a key role in sanctioning strategic initiatives and even allocation of funds’’ (p. 75). Whilst Botswana is cited as having an international reputation for being relatively neutral in its policy-making, the same cannot be said of Zimbabwe, where government policies have tended to be strongly driven by local politics and sentiments. As suggested for Botswana by Uys et al. (2004), Zimbabwe also needs government policy that will positively influence strategic initiatives such as the technological transformation of universities. Such a policy would, they suggest, ‘‘determine the parameters of such initiatives through laws, regulations, and allocation of funds and the support and guidance of its various ministries’’ (p. 75). To that effect, the government and stakeholders in the (ICT) sector in Zimbabwe rolled out an e-readiness survey, a meaningful step towards the formulation and implementation of an ICT policy framework. Besides acknowledging the absence of an integrated and coherent national ICT policy, the Zimbabwe e-Readiness Survey Report (Information and Communication Technologies in Zimbabwe Project 2005) concludes that the lack of a comprehensive policy has impeded wide use of ICTs in teaching and learning. Specifically, the report says ‘‘There is limited use of ICTs in facilitating or enhancing learning, even at university level outside specialist ICTs courses’’ (p. 85). The report also notes that, ‘‘Zimbabwe…has limited access to ICTs and its applications due to, among other factors, 123

An analysis of the integration of instructional technology 813 inadequate infrastructure, little or no local production of application software for the different sectors of the economy and lack of skilled ICT personnel in all sectors’’ (p. 14). Explaining the barriers to IT integration in higher education in Africa, Nwuke (2003) says that in many countries, there is a lack of leadership and senior management support for IT initiatives. This point is supported by Machacha (2004) who writes that the low-level priority accorded by institutional leadership to ICT development and application, is evidenced by lack of realistic ICT budgets, compounded by the lack of a national budget for ICT. In the case of Zimbabwe, Machacha (2004) says the problem of leadership is closely linked to the ‘‘absence of a national ICT policy’’ and the ‘‘lack of coherent and coordinated inter-organizational plans, policies and strategies for introducing and developing ICT’’ (p. 2). He argues that it is apparent that the majority of organizations in Zimbabwe have not designed ICT policies or ICT strategies to guide ICT development and implementation. One of the implications of this scenario is that educators and institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe, particularly universities preparing teachers, need to demonstrate new levels of leadership in the area of instructional technology integration. Putting the African context into the broader context Although the literature review above relates to the African and Zimbabwean contexts, research done in the USA, as well as other countries tends to reveal some similar constraints to technology integration. Ertmer (1999) says efforts to integrate technology into the curriculum are often limited by both first-order and second-order barriers. First-order barriers are defined as those that are external to the teacher, and which they (teachers) have little or no control over, for example lack of resources, financing and infrastructure, and institutional constraints. On the other hand, second-order barriers are those that are internal or intrinsic to teachers, and which they (teachers) have some, or more control over, for example, their attitudes and beliefs, and their knowledge and skills in technology integration. The review of the limited literature in the African context reveals a focus or emphasis on external (first-order) barriers, and the need to solve or address these for successful technology integration. Removal of these external barriers, it is believed, would create the conditions for ready access to technology, more and better quality teacher training, and conducive or ideal policy environments. However, according to Ertmer (2005), even when ‘‘the conditions for successful technology integration appear to be in place…high-level technology use is still surprisingly low’’ (p. 25), suggesting the existence of additional internal (second-order) barriers. This concern points to the need, in the African context, to also focus on, and put emphasis on internal (second-order) barriers, in order to address all the conditions for successful technology integration. Hew and Brush (2007), identify what they refer to as general barriers to integrating technology into the curriculum, and adopt Ertmer’s (1999) notion of first-order and secondorder barriers. Out of the 123 barriers they found from the review of past research, they classified them into six categories, namely (a) lack of resources, (b) lack of specific technology and skills, technology-supported-pedagogical knowledge and skills, and technology-related-classroom management knowledge and skills, (c) institutional barriers such as leadership, school time-tabling and structure and school planning, (d) teacher attitudes and beliefs towards technology, and (e) pressures of assessment. While there is a convergence of the barriers in their study and the constraints in the African context in terms of lack or absence of resources (cost and financing, 123

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