KU CONFERENCE 2015 SEPTEMBER Bridging the Digital Divide in Secondary Schools in Kenya: A Critical Analysis of Personal Characteristics of Principals, Teachers and Students on Readiness to Adopt E-Learning in Secondary Schools in Kitui County

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ABSTRACT

The paper is based on a study carried out to establish the influence of personal characteristics of the principals, teachers and students on the readiness to adopt e-learning in secondary schools. The study was carried out in public secondary schools in Kitui County, Kenya. The study was guided by three objectives and three hypotheses related to the objectives. The objectives were: to establish the extent to which principals’ personal characteristics  influences the readiness to adopt e-learning in secondary schools in Kitui District; to determine the extent to which teachers’ personal characteristics  influences the readiness to adopt e-learning in secondary schools in Kitui District and to establish the influence of students’ personal characteristics  on readiness to adopt  e-earning in secondary schools  Cross–sectional survey research design was adopted for the study. The target population included principals, teachers and students from public secondary schools in Kitui District, which had a form three class as at January, 2010. A sample of 66 principals, 66 teachers and 347 students, was selected from 66 public secondary schools out of a total of 80 schools, to represent teachers and learners and to serve as a basis for analysis of their main characteristics and their contribution to the readiness of the institutions to adopt e-learning. The multiphase sampling procedure was adopted for this study. Data was collected using questionnaires and an observation schedule. The resultant information was analyzed by employing the quantitative approach which involved descriptive and inferential statistical procedures. The study established that, the readiness to adopt e-learning in secondary schools is influenced by the personal characteristics of principals, teachers and students. Level of education of both the principals and teachers had the greatest influence on the readiness to adopt e-learning, while the most influential personal characteristic of students was the type of school they attended. It was established that, although e-learning technology is relevant to schools, its adoption could face resistance from some schools due to over emphasis on the examination and traditional way of teaching and learning. The study recommends that the government should plan to address the issue of e-learning infrastructure by availing e-learning equipment, enhancing connection to reliable sources of power, improving connectivity to various internet services and augmenting Human Resource capacity by organizing training programmes for Principals, Teachers and Students. Secondary schools should employ support staff members such as computer laboratory technicians or assistants before embarking on full-scale implementation of e-learning in schools in Kitui District and, indeed, all other remote semi-arid districts in Kenya.

Key Words: Principals, e-learning, digital divide, characteristics, teachers

 

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