Understanding teachers’ entry behavior is key to a successful teachers ICT proficiency development skills

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Having trained teachers in both urban and rural areas, I have come to discover that there is a great need to understand the teachers’ entry behavior before allowing the teachers to have hands on experience with the computer. Otherwise, it will be hard for the facilitator to enjoy the training and meet the teachers’ expectations at the end of the training.

During the introduction phase (small group discussion), I always found it important for teachers to define ICT, identify ICT tools and share experiences on how they have used these ICT tools and their benefits in teaching and learning. In addition, teachers explored ways of using available ICT tools for communication, collaboration and innovating teaching and learning process. This, at all times, was beneficial since the teachers appreciated that computer (desktop ones) is not synonymous to ICT.

Teachers always want to learn something new when they come for training. For instance, when I trained in the rural areas specifically Mwaluvanga in Kwale county where 99% of the schools have no access to electricity, teachers were eager to touch and use the computers. On the other hand, teachers in urban areas had basic knowledge on how to use computer applications. Nevertheless, they were always eager to know how to use this during teaching and learning process. The approach taken for training these two diverse set of teachers has therefore been different. However, at the end of the day, both set of groups were able to learn how to use Ms-word to create and save schemes of work, class list and other items that in most cases consumes most of their time every term. They were also able to learn how to create mark lists in Ms- Excel. Furthermore, teachers in urban areas were able to use Maths Worksheet Generator and other tools available on the Microsoft DVD suite. They went ahead and explored how to use the internet and search for materials to use for communication, collaboration, innovation in respond to the need of aligning to the 21st century skills. Others were also able to register and go through online professional development courses.

It is therefore important to understand teachers’ entry behavior to arouse their curiosity and eagerness to learn more on how to integrate ICT in their pedagogy.

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