Information and Communications Technology (ICT) investment in education is growing
steadily in many countries, yet ICT adoption and integration in teaching is still in its
infancy. In particular, in South Africa, only 26% of educators have basic ICT skills. This
alarming statistic means that educators are ill positioned to impart digital skills to their
learners. Consequently, failure to address these challenges may result in the widening
of the digital divide in South Africa, with an inability to work in the knowledge economy.
Thus, the purpose of this research was to explore the nature and extent of technology
integration in South African classrooms, from the perspective of educators. In particular,
the study examined five factors. These were educators' attitudes towards ICT; their
digital capabilities (knowledge and skills); the extent to which they had been formally
trained in ICT, what digital resources they had at their disposal, as well as what type of
institution type they worked in, in order to determine if institution impacts on ICT adoption.
Using a combination of explanatory and causal research design, data was collected from
66 educators using an online survey. Due to the nature of the data collection instrument,
the participant profile was that of well-resourced educators (in terms of digital resources)
working mostly in private high schools. Thus, findings are confined to this group.
It was established that the participants had positive attitudes towards technology, and its
use in the classroom. In particular, positive educator attitudes and access to ICT
resources promoted the adoption of ICT in the classroom. However, limitations in terms
of the range of respondents meant that no statistically significant relationship could be
found between institution type and ICT adoption, although the descriptive statistics
indicated that this could well be so. However, training and professional development
were severely lacking and so this is the greatest barrier to the integration of technology
into the classroom. In particular, most educators were self-taught in terms of ICT and,
thus, displayed only a surface level of competence, with basic skills in place but
advanced skills absent. These findings illuminated the need to intensify efforts to provide
training to develop digital skills for educators. Active engagement of educators is at the
epicentre of addressing the demands of the digital native learner.
Keywords: Digital divide; Digital natives; Educators; Information and Communication
Technology (ICT); Teacher training; Technology Integration
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.