Electronic Textbooks in Gauteng Public Schools: Pros and Cons

Electronic Textbooks in Gauteng Public Schools: Pros and Cons

Michack Mandla Masango (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa), Linda Van Ryneveld (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa) and Marien Alet Graham (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2019100104

Abstract

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), a basic education department, is responsible for the management and administration of public educational institutions in the largest province in South Africa. The provision of learning and teaching support materials (LTSMs), including textbooks, is one of its core strategic obligations. GDE has introduced an information and communication technology (ICT) project through which schools are provided with LTSM in electronic format (e-LTSM). The first phase entailed the provision of smart-boards, laptops and tablets to grade 12 teachers and learners. This article addresses the research question on the envisaged advantages and disadvantages of electronic textbooks. A mixed method approach was utilised where 356 schools were selected to be given questionnaires and 35 schools would be interviewed. The theoretical framework applied was the technology acceptance model (TAM), with the focus on the perceived usefulness variable. The data analysis shows that the majority of schools regard the use of electronic textbooks as useful.
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Literature Review

There are numerous global studies on the use of ICT in education. One of the ways in which the introduction of ICTs into education benefits schools is that it provides access to information using devices such as computers, the Internet, radio, and television (Aghaee, et al., 2016; Popovic, 2015).

These technological devices all have the potential to facilitate and promote teaching in the classroom (AlTammeemy, 2017; de Aldama & Pozo, 2016). In many cases, the unavailability of ICTs for teaching and learning is the main factor inhibiting their pedagogical use (Brun & Hinostroza, 2014; Chisalita & Cretu, 2015). However, when ICTs are rolled out in schools, the expectation is that teachers would want to take advantage of the affordances of these new technologies. Although teachers are often reckoned to be skilled in the use of ICTs in their classrooms, they still lag behind in realising its full potential by not optimally integrating these technologies into their teaching (Brun & Hinostroza, 2014).

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