The purpose of this case study was to establish the influence of the Internet on the use of computers by teachers at a primary school in a lower socio-economic community in South Africa. The study investigates to what extent the use of the Internet as a source of information and communication motivated teachers to apply the computer for other purposes. A project was implemented to find answers to the main question: “What influence did the Internet have on the integration of computers at a primary school in a lower socio-economic community in South Africa?” During this project teachers were introduced to the Internet, and attended a five months’ course in computer training, offered once a week, for one hour after school. Special attention was paid to factors that influenced the use of the Internet and the computer. The main focus was on factors such as motivation, training, support, time, the attitude of teachers and their access to computers. Answers to how the Internet contributed to the use of the computer for educational purposes were also noted. In this study the training and support offered to teachers played a major role in their use of the Internet and the computer. Teachers wanted training on aspects that would be useful and relevant to them. They mostly needed support with the technical aspects of the computer and the software. Prior to the project the teachers’ computer skills were limited. By the end of the project their skills had improved, as there was a 42% growth in communication through e-mail, a 67% growth in searching for information on the Internet, a 50% growth in the use of the computer for school administration and a 83% growth in the use of word processing. Other factors that also played a major role in the successful use of the Internet and the computer were the policies of the school’s management team, specifically those policies that made access to computer technology possible. The study recommended that policies on the use of the Internet and the computer (acceptable use policy) should be in place. The study concluded that Internet skills had a definite influence on teachers’ use of the computer.
Dissertation (MEd (Computer-Integrated Education))--University of Pretoria, 2008.