Digital Literacy and Utilisation of ICTs in Teaching and Learning

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Published on International Journal of Informatics, Technology & Computers
ISSN: 2317-3793, Volume 1, Issue 1, page 1 – 8
Publication Date: 8 September 2018

Sithulisiwe Bhebhe, Patience Dlamini, & Zodwa Gcinaphi Nxumalo

Sithulisiwe Bhebhe & Zodwa Gcinaphi Nxumalo
Faculty of Education, University of Eswatini
Kwaluseni, Swaziland

Patience Dlamini
Institute of Distance Education, University of Eswatini
Kwaluseni, Swaziland

Journal Full text PDF: Digital Literacy and Utilisation of ICTs in Teaching and Learning.

Abstract
Digital literacy and utilisation of ICTs in teaching and learning is vital in the modern society. This study sought to establish teachers’ perceptions on digital literacy and utilisation of ICTs in teaching and learning. Teachers’ views were sought because they are the utilisers of the digital devices in teaching and learning. The study was located in the interpretivist research paradigm and followed a qualitative research approach which applied a case study design. Individual interviews and focus group discussions with a purposive sample of 28 practicing teachers was used to collect data. Data were analysed for content and conclusions were drawn. The findings of the study reveal that there are benefits in digital literacy and utilisation of ICTs in teaching and learning. The study found that some teachers were lacking knowledge of digital tools and could not use ICTs in teaching and learning. The study also found that ICT facilities were lacking in schools and that learners’ exposure to ICTs was very low. The study revealed digital literacy and utilisation of ICTs made teaching and learning more interesting. The study also revealed that digital literacy and utilisation of ICTs made the teacher more abreast with the current and appropriate means of lesson delivery. The main conclusions of the study were that schools still lack digital tools to ensure that there is digital utilisation in lesson delivery. It was also concluded that teachers lacked digital skills and knowledge to use ICT tools in the classrooms. The study recommends that schools should provide the appropriate teaching and learning digital tools and facilities. It is also recommended that teachers be equipped with digital skills and knowledge to use ICT tools in the classrooms to improve teaching and learning.

Keywords; Digital Skills, Digital Literacy, ICT Utilisation, Digital Teaching and Digital Learning.

1. Introduction
Digital literacy is the set of competencies required for full involvement in a society which requires knowledge, skills, and behaviors connected to the effective utilisation of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop and personal computers for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and backing. Schools have a mandate to successfully prepare all learners and equip them with the skills and capabilities for them to fit in the 21st century citizenship. Digital literacy and ICT utilisation are one way to prepare learners in schools for global awareness, creativity, collaborative problem-solving and self-directed learning. Apagu and Wakili (2015) reveals that ICTs used in the teaching and learning process include radio, television, computers, overhead projectors, optic al fibres, fax machines, CD-Rom, internet, electronic notice board, slides, digital multimedia and video/VCD machine. Currently, digital literacy and utilisation of ICTs in education is not an option, as all businesses are conducted and facilitated through the use of digital devices.

1.1. The Concept of Digital Literacy and ICT Utilisation in Education
Digital literacy and ICT are valuable concepts in teaching and learning in the morden world. The concepts are very useful in space exploration, engineering, banking and other fields but its greatest influence has been found in the field of education where it has helped tremendously to revolutionize teaching and learning (Olalere, 2005). Digital literacy refers to the mastery of skills set for digital equipment use.
Digital literacy helps people to communicate and keep up with societal trends. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) refers to several kinds of technological application and equipment which are utilized for processing, transmitting or communicating data and information (Igba & Oyibe, 2012) …….

2. Theoretical Framework
This study is underpinned by the diffusion of innovations theory by Rogers 1995 (LaMorte, 2016). The diffusion process can be defined as “the spread of a new idea from its source of invention or creation to its ultimate users or adopters” (Rogers 1995: 13). This means that with inventions in ICTs in the outer world, teachers and learners in schools should be seen to be utilising such invention in enhancing teaching and learning. According to Rogers and Shoemaker (1971), there are five categories into which adopters fall based upon their innovativeness: laggards, late majority, early majority, early adopters, and innovators. Teachers and learners should adopt ICTs, despite the different levels and paces of adoption, to ensure that schools do not lag behind developments in the word if they are to effectively prepared learners for life after school. The diffusion of innovations theory can be linked back to teachers’ computer literacy, access to and use of technology. By analysing prior research related to technology, certain indicators ……..

3. Research Methodology
3.1. Research Design
A research paradigm is a way of thinking about and studying social reality that results in a particular world view Maree (2007). Patel (2015) refers to a research paradigm as a set of common beliefs and agreements shared between scientists about how problems should be understood and addressed. The study is located in a post-positivist paradigm. Post positivist researchers employ multiple perspectives when studying a phenomenon, thus there is emphasis on collecting multiple kinds of data (Johnson & Christensen 2012)……….