HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS’ COMPUTER KNOWLEDGE AND THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARDS COMPUTER

 

Rajasekar S.

 Vaiyapuri Raja P.

INTRODUCTION

In the present digital era, the development in various aspects of computer technology has reached beyond our imagination and expectations. Even though computer has a lot of applications in various fields, one should not forget its applications in the field of education.  It is very useful and helpful in the teaching and learning process.  Therefore, computer literacy is very much needed for teachers as well as learners. The computers have created a revolution in the content of education and in the nature of learning process. They have the capability of multiplying the human intellect beyond part conceptions and have tremendous implications for education. They  have a great impact upon our educational system. The teachers should be in terms with the physical reality of the computers, and learn how to take actual advantage of the machines’ educational potential. For this, computer knowledge is essential for teachers. Computer knowledge may be stated as “knowing about the various fundamental aspects of computers and the basic skills involved in the operations of computers”. It also includes the applications of computer in teaching and learning process. if we consider teachers as sample.  E- learning,  helps the learner to know about the subject he/she  wants to learn with the help of the latest technology, the computer.  Favourable attitude towards computer plays a very important role in making one really interested in it. Unless the teachers possess a favourable attitude towards computer, they may not be interested in it, which in turn will affect their knowledge of computer and also they will find teaching with help of computer difficult, which in turn will affect students learning.  Therefore, if the teachers have favorable attitude towards computer, then there may be a chance for them to be motivated in acquiring knowledge of computer, as it is clear that the computer knowledge is very much needed for teachers. There are some studies conducted abroad on computer knowledge and also the attitude towards computers (Timothy Teo, 2007; Smith & Oosthuizen 2006; Sam HK et al., 2005; Tsai & Tsai 2003 and Denise 2003). In India very few studies have been conducted in this area (Rajasekar.S and Vaiyapuriraja.P, 2007; Rajasekar, 2005; Inamdar et al., 2004; Umme Kulsum, 2002 and Kumaran and Selvaraj, 1997).

 

The central and state governments are taking tremendous efforts to implement the computer application in the process of teaching and learning.  The state government has introduced computer course in the higher secondary schools and in other classes also. The government has started supplying computers to higher secondary schools with suitable software and has started providing facilities to develop computer laboratory. At this juncture, the investigators feel that the Government, after conducting more studies in this area would have taken these efforts. To fall in line with this, an attempt has been made to study the teachers’ computer knowledge and their attitude towards computer.  

 

OBJECTIVES

*To study the level of computer knowledge of teachers.

*To study the teachers’ attitude towards computer

*To study the significance of the difference between the sub-samples of the teachers in respect of their computer knowledge and their attitude towards it.

*To study the nature of the relationship existing between the teachers’ computer knowledge and their attitude towards computer.

 

HYPOTHESES

1. There is significant difference in the computer knowledge between: male and female teachers; teachers working in urban schools and rural schools; teachers working in government schools and in private schools; secondary grade  teachers and graduate teachers;sSecondary grade  teachers and post graduate teachers; and  graduate teachers and post graduate teachers

2. There is significant difference in the attitude towards computer between the sub-samples of teachers, falling into as many as six pairs as under hypothesis (1).

3. There is significant relationship between the computer knowledge of teachers and their attitude towards computer .

4. The above relationship is positive, too.

PROCEDURE

Tools

Tools used  were:

Computer Knowledge Test (CKT) constructed and validated by the investigators (2007).

Attitude towards Computer Scales (ATCS) constructed and validated by Kumaran D and Selvaraj K (1997).

The computer knowledge test contains as many as 21 multiple choice items for 21 marks and needs 30 minutes for an average person to answer.  The person one who scores above 11 is said to have high level of computer knowledge and one who score 11 and below is said to have low level of computer knowledge.  The attitude towards computer scale consists of 36 statements, some depict favorable attitude and some otherwise. Each statement has five options, namely “Strongly Agree”, “Agree”, “Undecided”, “Disagree”, “Strongly Disagree”. The responses of the subjects were scored by assigning numerical values or arbitrary weights to the two set of items i.e., the statements showing favorable attitude towards computer and the statements showing unfavourable attitude towards computer. The statements showing the favorable attitude towards computer having the scoring as 4,3,2,1 and 0 and for the responses from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” and it has been reversed for the statements showing the unfavourable attitude towards computer i.e., 0,1,2,3 and 4 for the responses “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Also there are 18 statements showing the favorable attitude towards computer and the statements were 1 to 16, 34 and 35 . Also there are 18 statements showing the unfavorable attitude towards computer and the statements were 17 to 33 and 36. An individual score is the sum of all the scores of the 36 items. The score ranges from 0 to 144. The maximum score that one can get in this is 144. The person  who scores above 72 is said to have favourabe attitude towards computer and  the one who scores 72 and below is said to have unfavourable attitude towards computers.

 

Sample

Cluster sampling technique has been used in the selection of the sample of as many as 670 teachers working in Higher Secondary Schools situated in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, India. There are 137 Higher Secondary Schools in Cuddalore district. Out of these, Higher Secondary Schools as many as 45 Higher Secondary Schools have been chosen by lottery method. Out of these 45 Higher Secondary Schools, 25 happened to be located in the urban areas and the remaining 20 were located in the rural areas. Likewise out of the 45 Higher Secondary Schools, 30 happened to be Government Higher Secondary Schools and the remaining 15 happened to be Private Higher Secondary Schools. All the available teachers working in each of these selected Higher Secondary Schools were chosen as sample. This sample of 670 teachers working in the Higher Secondary Schools is found to have the following sub-samples: (i) Male (N=375), (ii) Female (N=295), (iii) Teachers’ working in urban schools (N=299), (iv) Teachers’ working in rural schools (N=371), (v) Teachers working in Government schools (N=315), (vi) Teachers working in private schools (N=355), (vii) Secondary grade teachers (N=183), (viii) Graduate teachers (N=256), (ix) Post-Graduate teachers (N=231).

 

Statistical Treatment of the Data

The means and standard deviations of the computer knowledge scores and Attitude towards computer scores were computed directly from the respective raw scores for the entire sample and its nine sub-samples of the higher secondary teachers with the help of computer. The percentages of the entire sample and its nine sub-samples  of the higher secondary school teachers who had high level and low level of computer knowledge and those who had favourable attitude and other wise were also computed and were diagrammatically presented. The test of significance was used (‘t’ test) in order to study if there was any significant difference between each selected  pair of sub-samples in respect of their computer knowledge and their attitude towards computer. Pearson’s product-moment ‘r’ was computed between computer knowledge scores and attitude towards computer scores of the higher secondary school teachers

 

Reliability and Validity of the Tools Used

For the computer knowledge test, the reliability was found to be 0.81 using the split-half technique and its intrinsic validity was  0.90.  For the attitude towards computer scale the reliability was 0.78 using the split-half technique and its intrinsic validity was  0.88.

 

FINDINGS

*In respect of the entire sample of teachers, only 16.70% of them belonged to the high level of computer knowledge and as much as 83.30% of them belonged to the low level of computer knowledge. This trend is seen in respect of the sub- samples, too. These findings reveal that the teachers are weak in their computer knowledge.

*As much as 60.40% of the teachers had relatively a favourable attitude towards computer and only 39.60% of them had relatively a unfavourable attitude towards computer. This trend is seen in respect of the sub samples, too.

*There was a significant difference in computer knowledge between the male teachers and female teachers. Moreover, the female teachers were  better than their male counterparts in their computer knowledge.

*There was significant difference in computer knowledge between the teachers working in the urban and rural schools.  Moreover, the teachers working in urban schools were  better than their rural counterparts in respect of their computer knowledge.

*There was no significant difference in computer knowledge between the teachers working in Government schools and private schools. 

*There was no significant difference in computer knowledge between the secondary grade teachers and graduate teachers.

*There was no significant difference in computer knowledge between the secondary grade teachers and postgraduate teachers.

*There was a significant difference in computer knowledge between the graduate teachers and postgraduate teachers.  Moreover, the postgraduate teachers are found to be better than the graduate teachers in respect of their computer knowledge.  

*There was no significant difference in attitude towards computer between male and female teachers.

*There was no significant difference in attitude towards computer between the teachers working in the urban and rural schools.

*There was no significant difference in attitude towards computer between the teachers working in Government schools and private schools.

*There was significant difference in attitude towards computer between the secondary grade teachers and graduate teachers.  More over, the secondary grade teachers were f better than graduate teachers in their favourableness of attitude towards computer.

*There was no significant difference in attitude towards computer between the secondary grade teachers and postgraduate teachers.

*There was a significant difference in attitude towards computer between graduate teachers and postgraduate teachers.  More over, the postgraduate teachers were better than graduate teachers in their favourableness of attitude towards computer.

*There is a significant and positive relationship between the computer knowledge and the attitude towards computer of the higher secondary school teachers.

 

CONCLUSION

It is a very unique study conducted in a developing country like India, to study the teachers’ computer knowledge and their attitude towards computer. The present study has revealed many interesting findings. Viz., the majority of teachers working in the higher secondary schools, situated in the Cuddalore district of Tamilnadu, India, belong to the low level of computer knowledge and majority of teachers have a relatively favorable attitude towards computer.  This reveals that the computer knowledge of the teachers needs to be improved.

 

REFERENCES

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Inamdar, S.C and Rotti,S.B. (2004) Computer use among medical students in an institution in southern India. National Medical Journal.

Kumaran, D and Selvaraj, K (2001)A study of cognitive and affective computer attitude of teachers. Journal of All India Association for Educational Research. 13, 1& 2, 1-7, March - June.. 

Rajasekar,S. (2005)University students’ attitude towards computer. Recent Researches in Education and Psychology 10, 1-11,  1-5.

Sam .H.K, Othman,A.E.A, and Nordin, Z.S (2005) Computer self-efficacy, computer anxiety and attitudes toward the internal: A study among undergraduates in Unimas.  Educational Technology and Society 8, 4, 205-219.

Smith,E and Oosthuizen,H.J.( 2006) Attitudes of entry-level University students towards computers: A Comparative Study. Computers and Education 47, 352-371.

Timothy Teo (2007) Assessing the computer attitudes of students: An Asian perspective. Computer in Human Behaviour 30.

Tsai, M., and Tsai, C. (2003)Student computer achievement, attitude and anxiety:  the role of learning strategies. Journal of Educational Computing Research  26, 1, 47-61.

Umme Kulsum (2002) Teachers Attitudes towards Computer. SETRAD, National Conference on Integrating Technology into Teaching and Learning, Vol. I,  208-211.

Vaiyapuri Raja. P and Rajasekar, S. (2007)  Development of a test to measure Computer Knowledge of higher secondary teachers (CKT). Experiments in Education 35,.7, July