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Barriers to the Use of ICT by Students on Teaching Practice: Student Teacher and Lecturer Input
In this digital world, information and communication technology (ICT) makes it critical and mandatory for teachers to use ICT in didactic situations. Mounting pressure from pupils who are advanced in the use of ICT, influence of local education and general perceived usefulness of ICT to pupils and teachers, make it binding for teachers to make use of ICT. In spite of these developments, it seems there is very minimal use of ICT by Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) students during their teaching practice (TP). A case study involving student teachers and ZOU lecturers at ZOU Midlands Campus was conducted to determine causes of the minimal use of ICT in student teachers’ teaching and to obtain participant views on how the perceived limited use of ICT by student teachers could be attended to. Data were generated via open-ended questionnaire, interviews and analysis of students’ teaching documents. The findings of the study indicated that although students were aware of some benefits of ICT use in teaching and learning, most students did not utilise ICT due to a number of prohibitive determinants, among which were absence of connectivity, absence of practicals in the coverage of the educational media and technology (EMT) module and peer and microteaching, resulting in students not having ICT skills. Furthermore, the practice in some schools restricted use of school computers to some individual teachers only and there is inadequate ICT equipment and lack of ICT culture in some schools in rural areas. The study recommended revised school policies on the use of ICT, incorporation of ICT in teacher development courses and monitoring and support of government or ministerial policies on using ICT in schools.