ICT COMPETENCY OF TEACHERS IN SCIENCE EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES

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1 ICT COMPETENCY OF TEACHERS IN SCIENCE EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES J.P. Bingcang Philippine Science High School, Philippines Abstract The use of information and communication technology (ICT) is becoming an essential part of education. The integration of ICT in both the teaching and learning processes is one of the most practical solutions towards educational reform. Teachers play a vital role in the said processes as he or she implements learning activities within the classroom. This Study seeks to measure the profile of teachers within the Philippine Science High School system, a specialized high school system focusing on science and mathematics. It looks into two major classifications of teachers subject taught and campus location. The Study then explores the significant differences between teachers within the mentioned major classifications of teachers in terms of ICT, as measured by the National ICT Competency for Teachers. Inferential statistics using T-test was used to see the relationship of subjects taught and campus location to the teacher s ICT competency. The Study reveals that: (1) there is a difference between Humanities and Science teachers in terms of ICT Competency, and (2) there is no significant difference between rural and urban campuses in terms of ICT Competency. Based on the foregoing, the researcher proposed recommendations for teachers, school administrators, curriculum writers, and policy makers. Keywords: ICT, ICT competency standards, Philippines, Science Education, teacher profiles Introduction The use of information and communication technology (ICT) is becoming an essential part in education. The integration of ICT in both the teaching and learning processes is one of the most practical solutions towards educational reform. Many countries have successfully integrated ICT to education by careful planning and establishing ICT competency standards both to the students and teachers. The next section narrates the developments in ICT and ICT competency globally and locally. Educational Technology in the Philippines Technology evolves fast, and hurrying alongside it, is education. Efforts to integrate technology in education abound. Educational Technology has even developed into an academic field of its own. Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources as defined by Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT, 2004). One important aspect of Educational Technology is ICT integration (Almekhlafi, 2006). ICT integration is the process of using ICT to enhance student learning. Teachers play an important role in ICT and education because they control the modes of instructions to students, and the implementation thereof. Because of the role they play in the field of ICT and education, various institutions and governments developed ICT competency standards for teachers. Some of the most recognized standards are the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (ISTE-NETS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

2 Organization ICT Competency Standards for Teachers (UNESCO-ICST), which has been used as the benchmark for many national teacher ICT competency standards. In 2006, the Philippines drafted its own National Standards for ICT Competency of Teachers (NICS-T). It was developed by studying various standards adopted in other countries, and was made in consultation with government and private agencies, institutions, and stakeholders. It is divided into four domains namely: Technology and Operations Concepts; Social Aspects; Pedagogy; Professional. Under these domains contains particular Standards, which are statements that set criteria that are to be considered guidelines for the method of carrying out tasks. It sets an accepted level of proficiency by portraying demonstrable activities (NICS-T, 2010). In the Philippines, the Department of Education (DepEd) has started computerizing education in secondary schools. Moreover, the DepEd now also provides professional development and technical training for teachers. Despite DepEd s efforts, various studies conducted on limited samples of teachers reflect alarmingly low levels of teacher competency. For instance, a study in 2004 revealed that only 1 out of 7 schools had teachers who were computer literate (Java, 2004). Two years back, a study found out that seventy-five percent of respondent schools had only 10percent of their teachers with Internet skills (Tinio, 2002). These studies reveal a nuance that our teachers are deficient in ICT skills. They necessitate the conduct of a definitive study which seeks to measure the ICT competencies of Filipino teachers. Correlation between ICT Competency and profiles of teachers To further appreciate the Study s result on ICT competency of teachers, one may look at the correlation between teacher ICT competency and profiles of teachers i.e. subject taught, geographic origins, educational background. Determining the correlation between the said variables may enable policymakers to customize teacher training. Are teachers from certain geographical areas deficient in certain skills? Do teachers of certain subjects need implementing lessons in particular? For example, in other European countries (Balanskat, 2005), teacher trainings for ICT are differentiated towards the task of the person in the school, academic training for teachers, administrative for administrators and technical for ICT coordinators. Because of this, the researcher wishes to look for answers on the following matters: Does ICT competencies vary within certain profiles? Do teachers which belong to a certain profile need help in a particular aspect on ICT? The results of this probe will aid both the teachers, school administrators and policy makers. For example, it may be worthwhile to investigate if there is a connection between the levels of ICT Competency of teachers and the subjects they teach. In Philippine Science High School, teachers are assigned in SMCT or Humanities subjects. One may assume that teachers in the SMCT group have a higher level of ICT competency because of the subjects they teach. This Study seeks to validate such notion. It is this goal which motivates the following questions: Do teachers with higher ICT competency levels use ICT more in the classroom? At present, there are but a few studies on the correlation between teacher ICT competency and teachers usage of ICT in the classroom. Attempting to answer these questions may help the literary deficiency on these topics. Science Education in the Philippines One school system which may be used as population for such a study is the Philippine Science High School (PSHS). PSHS is a specialized high school in the Philippines that known for its advanced Math and Science curriculum and have different unique characteristics compared to some regular high schools in the country. One unique characteristic of PSHS teachers is that they are not required to be a graduate of teaching education institutions. Therefore, they are not required to have a government teaching license to be hired as teachers. Also, PSHS is the only school that has different campuses in 11 regions around the country. With some of those reasons, the data that can be gathered (teacher profile, ICT competency, utilization) to the PSHS teachers

3 will be essential to the research process. The researcher used the National Statistics Office website in determining the category of urban and rural campus location grouping. The researcher proposed to use PSHS in this study because of its unique setup and curriculum among the secondary school in the Philippines. PSHS has regional campuses in every region of the country. This geographical coverage will enable the researcher to detect if there are inequalities or parities in terms of ICT competencies and utilities between from, either urban or rural area. It is very important to assess and equate the quality of teaching and learning in all campuses to give the teachers and its student s equal opportunities and assure the quality of education is one and the same despite geographical coverage. Statement of the Problem The Philippines Department of Education has committed to put in more efforts toward ICT Integration, but such can only have meaning if teachers are equipped with the right ICT skills. What skills are needed in teacher training and what type of training will be given requires prior knowledge of current ICT skills of teachers. Knowing the relation between ICT Competency Standards will provide for the necessary motivation for teachers to enhance their ICT skills. Considering the particular context of Philippine High Schools, what is the present status of ICT competency of teachers? How do they relate to teacher s profiles? The present status of ICT Competency of teachers in the Philippines is yet to be measured accurately. How the said indicator is related to various profiles have not been accounted for yet. Specifically, it will answer the following research questions: 1. What are the levels of ICT competencies of teachers in PSHS? 2. Is there a significant difference between the ICT competency of Humanities and Science teachers? 3. Is there a significant difference between the ICT competency of teachers in Urban and Rural campuses? Methodology The respondents of this study are of 262 teachers from 10 campuses of Philippine Science High School System (PSHS). The researcher used the National Statistics Office website in determining the category of urban and rural campus location grouping. The most appropriate and feasible method in determining teacher profile and ICT competency of PSHS teachers is to use a questionnaire type of instrument. The first part of the Questionnaire is the Personal Profile part which is needed to obtain the teacher s demographic information such as age, gender, campus, years of teaching experience, highest education level attained, subject(s) taught, and course and institution where degree was received. The second part of the Questionnaire was developed based on a document prepared by the government, the National Standards for ICT Competency for Teachers (NICS-T, 2010). NICS-T is divided into four domains namely: Technology and Operations Concepts; Social Aspects; Pedagogy; Professional. Under these domains contains particular Standards, which are statements that set criteria that are to be considered guidelines for the method of carrying out tasks. It sets an accepted level of proficiency by portraying demonstrable activities. These standards are concretized by specific indicators that are used for the implemented questionnaire. These were measured by a Likert scale type of instrument where 1 shows a weak grasp of the indicator and 5 is the highest showing high proficiency. The responses for the respondents were tabulated and analysed using the Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) version 21. The researcher used descriptive statistical technique to calculate the frequencies, percentage distribution and means and standard deviation of each response to present the details about the teacher profile, ICT competency of the teachers. Independent Sample s T-Test was done to check the significant difference of Humanities and SMCT teachers and Urban and Rural campuses teachers in terms of ICT competency.

4 Results and Discussions The first domain in the National ICT Standards for Teachers is the Technology Operation and Concept (TOC). This domain includes competencies related to technical operations and concept, and productivity of various ICT tools like computers and communication devices as well as application available on-line or off-line. Among the 15 indicators asked on its 4 standards, the participants got relatively above average scores in almost all the indicators. Among the standards on this domain are Teacher Productivity Tools, which got the highest mean score of 4.20, and Stitch together video footages and sound tracks, which posted the lowest mean score of The second domain is the Social Aspect (SA) that includes competencies related to social, ethical, legal and human issues, and community linkage. Majority of the standards under this domain are also posted above average scores. The standard with the highest score under this domain is the Ethical Use of Technology with 4.10 mean score and the lowest is 3.83 for the standard Be an Anti-Piracy advocate for all products with IPR. The third is the Pedagogy domain. This domain includes competencies related to planning, designing learning environment and experience; teaching, learning and curriculum; assessment and evaluation; and educational technology. A number of indicators under this domain got low scores compared to the previous standards under TOC and SA domains. The two lowest scores of the teacher standards under the Pedagogy domain are the standards on how teachers apply technology to develop student s higher order skills that posted below average score of 2.98 and how competent teachers in designing appropriate learning activities that apply technology to support the needs of learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics and abilities at The last is the Professional domain that includes competencies related to professional growth and development, research, innovation and collaboration. The three standards under professional domain got lower scores compared to the previous standards under the first three domains. Difference between Humanities and Science teachers in terms of ICT Competency An independent-samples t-test was conducted to compare Humanities and Science teachers of Philippine Science High School in terms of ICT Competency. The Sig. (2-Tailed) value is This value is less than Because of this, it may be concluded that there is a statistically significant difference in the scores of Humanities teachers (M=232.20, SD=54.01) and SMCT teachers (M=264.87, SD=46.82) in terms of ICT Competency; t(255)=-5.12, p= These results suggest that there is a difference between Humanities and Science teachers in terms of ICT competency.

5 Mean St. Dev. TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS AND CONCEPTS Computer Operation Teaching Productivity Tools Internet And Network Applications Data Management SOCIAL ASPECTS Legal Aspects Of Technology Ethical Use Of Technology Promotion of Sound Learning and Environment Learning, Social, And Cultural Diversity PEDAGOGY Students Higher Order Skills Ease Of Communication Cooperative Learning Design Of Learning Activities Stakeholder Information Communication Strategies Addressing Diversity Of Learners PROFESSIONAL Exploring New Technologies Research On The Use Of Technology Sharing Of Expertise Table 1. ICT Competency of PSHS Teachers Difference between PSHS teachers in the Urban and Rural campuses in terms of ICT Competency An independent-samples t-test was conducted to compare the PSHS teachers in urban and rural campuses in terms of ICT Competency. The Sig. (2-Tailed) value is in This value is greater than.05. Because of this, the researcher concludes that there is no significant difference in the scores of PSHS teachers in urban campuses (M= , SD= 48.47) and rural campuses (M= , SD=247.09) in terms of ICT Competency; t(255)=+1.36, p= These results suggest that there is no significant difference between rural and urban campuses in terms of ICT competency. Conclusion Based on the findings, the following conclusions are derived: 1. There was no significant difference between Humanities and SMCT teachers of PSHS in terms of ICT Competency 2. There was no significant difference between Rural and Urban PSHS campuses in terms of ICT Competency In view of the findings of the Study, the researcher wishes to recommend the following: 1. In case of training and re-training of teachers, it would be very useful to have customized sessions for Humanities and SMCT teachers. According to the conclusion of this research, there is a difference between the Humanities and SMCT teachers based on ICT competency. A specialized training based on needs and existing competency of the teachers will be more helpful. 2. The result of the study yield high ICT competency of PSHS teacher based on the country s national standard. The researcher suggests that a similar study can be conducted based on the existing international standards. 3. Review the existing national standards in ICT competency of teachers. In the fast age of ICT today, regular update and revision will be very advantageous both for the teachers and

6 students for teaching and learning. One remark of the expert who reviewed and validated the TSQ is that new technologies, like social media and cloud technology, are not yet reflected in the national standards. 4. Regular analysis and benchmarking of ICT competency and technology utilization can be done annually to help the school administrators. References Almekhlafi A.G Teachers Perceptions of Technology Integration in the United Arab Emirates School Classrooms. Journal of Interactive Learning Research 17(2): Balanskat A Assessment Schemes for Teachers ICT Competence - A Policy Analysis. European Schoolnet. pp.29 Commission of Information and Communication Technology National ICT Standards for Teachers. Available at: Accessed: February 15, Department of Education Harnessing ICT s for Quality Basic Education for All. National Framework Plan for ICTs in Basic Education ( ). Java T Technology attitudes, competencies and use in practice teaching: Implications to pre-service teacher education. Thesis for Master of Arts in Education (Educational Technology), College of Education, University of the Philippines, Diliman. Quezon City Molenda M., Januszewski A Educational Technology: a definition with commentary. Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). PSHS Philippine Science High School Official Website. About PSHS. Available at: Accessed: January 2, Tinio V Survey of Information & Communication Technology Utilization in Philippine Public High Schools. UNESCO ICT in Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Progress and Plans. Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, ISBN Available at: UNESCO ICT competency standards for teachers: policy framework, Available at: Accessed: February 15, 2013.

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