Perceived usefulness and culture as predictors of teachers attitudes towards educational technology in South Africa
The use of educational technology (ET) worldwide is increasing rapidly, and South Africa is no exception. Grouped amongst the emerging economies of the world, South Africa’s information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure is often mentioned as one of the key factors leading to the growth of the country. Integrating ICT into education has become a priority for the South African government. However, it is necessary to move beyond merely providing physical access to ICT’s in order for integration to be successful. The integration of ET in schools is greatly influenced by teachers’ attitudes towards the technology. The aim of this study was to investigate teachers’ attitudes towards educational technology and the factors that are thought to influence teachers’ attitudes, namely, perceived usefulness, perceived cultural relevance, perceived competence and access to ET. A convenience sample of 117 teachers in the Johannesburg area, from both public and private schools, across foundation, intermediate and senior phase, completed the Attitudes Towards Computer Scale. Teachers’ attitudes were generally positive. The strongest predictor of teachers’ attitudes was perceived usefulness followed by per-ceived cultural relevance. Thus, it is evident that when integrating ET into schools, attention must be paid to teachers perceptions of the utility of ET in order for integration to be successful. Having access to ET and the competence to use ET are not enough for the successful integration of ET in schools.
Keywords: attitudes; computers; diffusion of innovations; education; educational technology
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