Teachers in UAE 'have limited computer skills'

AL AIN - A recent study has shown that teachers in the UAE have limited computer skills- in effect less than what is required for integrating technology in education.

By Lana Mahdi

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Published: Sat 7 May 2005, 11:31 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

The study has also shown that a high percentage of schools have Internet connection and a high percentage of schools have an internal network with the Ministry of Education.

However, less than half of the schools have web sites. Only 23.4 per cent of the schools communicate with parents via the Internet and a similar percentage have language labs and less than eight per cent of schools have a school messenger. This situation might not help the Ministry of Education (MOE) in achieving its ambitious goals of integrating technology in education.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Iman M. Alghazo, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, college of Education at the UAE University has revealed that while some schools enjoy the availability of computer hardware and software, some others do not. The main purpose of the study was to investigate the technology infrastructure at the United Arab Emirates Schools and to investigate the quality of technology use in these schools. This investigation was being done through surveying a sample of public schools and teachers in the United Arab Emirates.

The study highlighted that if Vision for Education 2020 is to succeed, the Ministry of Education and Youth has to take into consideration that teachers are not ready to teach with technology and that extensive professional development plans have to be implemented. "The integration of technology into education requires equipping the classrooms and computer labs with appropriate hardware and software," said the study.

Schools differ notably in the availability of equipment. This was approved by examining the difference between maximum and minimum numbers of different kinds of equipment. For example, numbers of Projector 35 ML ranged from 0 to 6 in computer labs, Transparency projectors from 0 to 14 in resource rooms and classrooms. No school has Video conferencing Camera, Satellite receivers and transmitters, or Wireless System.`

The interviews revealed that computers are used mainly for presentation, typing work sheets, and recording students' grades.`

This study has identified many reasons for failure of technology integration similar to those revealed by previous studies: teachers' limited knowledge about technology, lack of time available for teachers to learn about technology and to use it teaching, lack of technical support, and lack of professional development opportunities.

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