The Changing Landscape of Language Teachers’ Usage of ICT in Classrooms
Dr. Shirley Tay Siew Hong
SMK Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu
The Malaysian Smart School is a learning institution that has been systemically reinvented in terms of teaching and learning practices in schools and school management processes in order to prepare students cope with the information age. It aims to produce proactive, efficient and competent students in information literacy so that they will be self-regulated learners who practise self-accessed and self-directed learning, at their own learning pace. (Ministry of Education, 2002). At the grass-root level, the writer’s school, SMK Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu began her smart school programmes in 2003 when the two computer laboratories were equipped with computers. It was classified as smart school with level B technology by the Ministry of Education (MOE) based on the level of IT-integration in schools. When the speaker assumed her post as the Principal here in 2009, she was keen to find out why after six years of IT-integration in this school, the Smart School Qualification Standards (SSQS) star ranking was only at the median or 3-stars level. Using models from Fullan’s (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008) Change Theory and Rogers’ (1995) Diffusion of Innovation Theory; she observed the teachers’ changing mindset in integrating ICT in their classroom teaching. By 2010 and 2011 the school successfully achieved the Advanced Plus or 5-stars level, the highest approval ranking awarded by the MOE. The study was carried out using observation techniques supported by the results obtained from the SSQS survey questions and a language teacher’s feedback form to determine language teachers’ progressive usage of ICT in their teaching process. Special focus is given to the changing attitudes of the language teachers in using ICT in their classrooms. The participants in this study are all the language teachers of this school which include the Malay language, English language and the Kadazandusun language teachers. Some issues that arise in the school’s context and smart solutions taken to overcome these issues are also discussed. In conclusion, the writer proposes ways to further enhance and to upgrade her school’s achievement in using ICT in the teaching and learning process.