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Assessment and evaluation of the availability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources and how well these are being utilized in secondary school among pre-service teachers will be stressed in this research. This chapter will review the literature associated with the accessibility and integration of ICT resources in the teaching and learning process. To serve the purpose of learning from this research, the chapter will commence with examining different ICT resources available and to what extent are they used in teaching and learning Science. It will then highlight the roles and benefits of ICT integration among pre-service teachers and then finally emphasize potential factors hindering the utilization of existing ICTs in secondary schools.
Information and communication technology (ICT) has become an integral part in the context of education in most developing countries. Since the evolution of ICT, giving and receiving information or lesson content have not remained the same. In the time past and now, nearly everybody in the industrialized countries of the world has gained access to the use of ICT. The provision of computers, radio, ancillary equipment, audio tapes and audio-visual tapes, microfilms for online learning in schools are not new to citizens of such countries (Jegede, 2013). Many pre-service teachers are members of the net generation and are expected to be familiar with different ICTs, yet several studies have indicated that they are not necessarily able to use them for teaching and learning (Kontkanen et. al, 2014). Consequently, a great deal of researchers has been carried out to help to advance the pedagogical knowledge and application of ICT in education. These studies focus on the importance of future teachers’ understanding, not only about how to use ICT but also about the specific knowledge involved in the pedagogical use of ICT, and the full comprehension of the impact of technology on learning processes.
Integrating ICT in Science has been most often utilized in teaching where students learn best if they have accessibility to view and/or hear a certain lesson through the audio-visual presentation. Bitok (2014), grouped the applications of ICT into two where the first group is applications that were used generally in all subjects like word-processing, searching for information, communication using e-mails, and multimedia presentations. In the second group, applications are adapted or developed to be used in science teaching. It involves imaging systems in microscopy, virtual dissections, simulations, virtual laboratory, and real laboratory exercises with data acquisition systems. One of the challenges encountered by pre-service teachers in science is selecting and integrating instructional materials for teaching. At the turn of the 21st century, technology grew and expanded at an even faster rate. Teachers of today are expected to know how to navigate around these technology changes in improving teaching and make learning more effective.
According to Bitok (2014), knowing how to relate the potential of ICT to complement the role of a teacher in the teaching and learning process is the real challenge for educators. It can be considered how the role of a teacher in an ICT-equipped classroom is being dreaded. Lack of chances of developing professionally in the use of modern ICT will make teachers feel under threat. This implies that a teacher is significant through the willingness to develop in this way. Mavellas (2017), in their research paper titled “Assessment Of The Availability And Utilization Of ICTs For Teaching And Learning In Secondary Schools – Case Of A High School In Kwekwe, Zimbabwe” revealed that there are unavailability and inadequacy of ICTs required for training. The available ICTs are not being utilized to its highest extent that made it a factor affecting or hindering the use of available resources in schools. In Chile, an international study was conducted in the Initial Teacher Training about the availability and use of ICT that was developed since late 2008. It provides required vision, experience, and skills for enabling future teachers to integrate ICT into their professional practices in primary and secondary education levels (Brun & Hinostroza, 2014).
The Philippines is a developing country in Southeast Asia whose educational system shares many of the same problems and limitations as those of its fellow developing nations. Some provincial schools lack chairs and tables, blackboards, and laboratory equipment. Some do not have electricity and water. The role of ICT in education is deemed vital but there are factors that hinder the effective integration of ICT which includes the scarcity of ICT resources, such as the limited number of computers and the unavailability of Internet services (Dela Rosa, 2016). Despite these conditions, the Philippines along with other countries in Asia, are generally interested in ICT hoping that their educational systems reap the pedagogical benefits associated with it.
There are arguments that have been still debated until today about the implications and impacts of technology to the society whether it is useful or not. Shan Fu (2013), cited the implications of ICT in education and how ICT integration is beneficial. It has been found to assist students in accessing digital information efficiently and effectively. Students have more access to acquiring knowledge and comprehension in different concepts when they are engaged in the application of ICT. They create new knowledge out of what they have learned through accessing, selecting, organizing, and interpreting information and data which leads to producing a creative environment. ICT also enables students to work collaboratively in a distance-learning environment such as teleconferencing. The teaching and learning quality will also improve through the use of ICT in which there are more opportunities to develop critical higher order thinking skills.
Researchers have demonstrated that using some ICT tools benefits students better than relying on traditional methods, for example, Alharbi (2014), conducted a study aimed to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of using ICT in the classroom for teachers and students in selected subjects in the curriculum. The research has shown that if students are less able in ICT use, then they will be less likely to fully appreciate or achieve the benefits offered by it through teaching and learning. In addition, the viewpoints of students towards the use of ICT in the learning process are regarded as the main driver to increase their motivation towards learning.