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An Assessment of Factors Hindering Educators in Primary and Secondary Education from Utilizing Open Education Resources, Open-Source Tools, And MOOCS in Professional Development and Practice in Kampala District, Uganda. of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license

  • VVOB Education for Development
  • Avance international University

Abstract and Figures

The sustained debate on how people learn over the years and the resulting improved methods of teaching and learning have seen the education landscape taking a new shape. Though, not much change can be mentioned about the educators in Uganda. This study identifies the challenges triggering the gaps that have resulted in educators’ inability to effectively facilitate digital pedagogy. A case study approach is used to understand the factors that hinder educators’ use of Open Education Resources (OERs), Open-Source Tools, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in professional development and practice. A survey was used to reach out to 52 respondents from various schools from which a purposeful sampling was used to identify respondents for an interview. The study examines Information Communication Technology (ICT) knowledge linkage to achieving digital literacies, application of skills, availability of resources, and general opinions. This is achieved by identifying the linkages and the bottlenecks in ICT and its application in digital education. The significance of the study is to explore the role of digital resources in promoting educators’ transformation and raising awareness about digital affordances in supporting Teacher Professional Development (TPD) and practice. There is little evidence to show that educators are utilizing the ICT acquired knowledge and ICT resources to transition into effective use of technology in Teacher Professional Development (TPD) and practice. Whereas the majority, (78%) indicated being proficient in ICT, an average of (25%) were familiar with OERs, Open-source tools, MOOCs, and Mobile learning. A contraction in figures is seen when the assessment shifts from knowledge to practice. The study findings indicate a misconception to consider ICT proficiency enough to achieve effective use of technology in education. Digital pedagogy is unique and critical for educators to achieve the application of technology in education. The study recommends skilling educators in digital literacies and designing of learning objects that can facilitate a practical approach to digital pedagogy for educators' professional development and practice.
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An Assessment of Factors Hindering Educators in Primary and Secondary Education from
Utilizing Open Education Resources, Open-Source Tools, And MOOCS in Professional
Development and Practice in Kampala District, Uganda.
Mwebaze Mukisa Moses1
ODeL, Avance International University-Uganda
Zulu William Charles2
Advisor Content: Learning & Innovation,
VVOB Education for Development- Zambia
Moses M. Mwebaze
Online, Distance eLearning
Avance International University, Uganda
© The Author(s) 2023.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the
terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No
Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.
ABSTRACT: The sustained debate on how people
learn over the years and the resulting improved
methods of teaching and learning have seen the
education landscape taking a new shape.
Though, not much change can be mentioned
about the educators in Uganda. This study
identifies the challenges triggering the gaps that
have resulted in educators’ inability to
effectively facilitate digital pedagogy. A case
study approach is used to understand the factors
that hinder educators’ use of Open Education
Resources (OERs), Open-Source Tools, and
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in
professional development and practice. A survey
was used to reach out to 52 respondents from
various schools from which a purposeful
sampling was used to identify respondents for an
interview. The study examines Information
Communication Technology (ICT) knowledge
linkage to achieving digital literacies,
application of skills, availability of resources,
and general opinions. This is achieved by
identifying the linkages and the bottlenecks in
ICT and its application in digital education. The
significance of the study is to explore the role of
digital resources in promoting educators’
transformation and raising awareness about
digital affordances in supporting Teacher
Professional Development (TPD) and practice.
There is little evidence to show that educators
are utilizing the ICT-acquired knowledge and
ICT resources to transition into effective use of
technology in Teacher Professional
Development (TPD) and practice. Whereas the
majority, (78%) indicated being proficient in
ICT, an average of (25%) were familiar with
OERs, Open-source tools, MOOCs, and Mobile
learning. A contraction in figures is seen when
the assessment shifts from knowledge to
practice. The study findings indicate a
misconception to consider ICT proficiency
enough to achieve effective use of technology in
education. Digital pedagogy is unique and
critical for educators to achieve the application
of technology in education. The study
recommends skilling educators in digital
literacies and designing of learning objects that
can facilitate a practical approach to digital
pedagogy for educators' professional
development and practice.
Key Words: Teacher Professional Development, Digital Resources, Digital Pedagogy, OERs, MOOCs
Educators across the globe are encouraged to incorporate technology in teaching and learning, not as an
add-on but instead as an enabler. According to (Jones et al, 2010), teachers and educational institutions are
expected to change in response to the assumed demands of this new generation of learners. The COVID-19
pandemic era hastened the expected change when educators across the sphere of learning were required to
use accessible low and high technologies to deliver classes to students grounded at home. Several
challenges were identified but notably, inadequate skills among educators, and rigid academics and
institutional structures (Ouma, 2021) are highlights of this study. The significance of the study is to explore
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the role of digital resources in promoting educators’ transformation and raising awareness about digital
affordances in supporting TPD and practice.
In Uganda, Information Communication Technology (ICT) education in schools is at the forefront for more
than a decade. Previously, it was a strategic response to achieving the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) that later transitioned into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also reflected in the
National Development Plan (NDP III) which identifies ICT as one of the primary growth sectors with many
opportunities (NPA, 2020). The promotion of ICT in education is amplified in the ICT policy where among
the indicators is the proportion of ICT-qualified teachers in schools (MoICT, 2014). However, the indicator
does not address the proportion of teachers proficient in ICT instead, the indicator is intended for teachers
of ICT to students. This study did not find statistics that would indicate the proportion of teachers proficient
in ICT. However, some studies highlight that teachers' lack of ICT skills and inability to use ICT in
teaching practice is due to inadequate training (Muweesi et al, 2021).
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) describes ICT literacy as the ability to adopt, adapt and
use digital devices, applications, and services. Though, digital literacy looks beyond functional IT skills to
describe a richer set of digital behaviors, practices, and identities (JISC, 2014). The committee describes
digital literacies in a seven-element model with ICT literacy as a subset. The model highlights a
combination of literacies expected to be digitally literate.
Figure 1: The seven elements of digital literacy (JISC 2014)
Teacher Professional Development (TPD) is seen as one of the avenues for teachers to exploit to cause a
change in education. The underlying assumption is that educators in Uganda are faced with the challenge of
utilizing ICT skills and resources to access and use digital objects for professional development and
practice. The study identifies factors that hinder educators at the primary and secondary levels to utilize
Open Education Resources (OERs), Open-Source (OS) tools, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
in their Professional Development and practice. Most of these resources are freely available to Reuse,
Retain, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute (Wiley, n.d).
The seven elements of digital literacy (JISC 2014)
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In this study, the term practice is used to refer to the activity of teaching and learning. Also, the phrase
digital resources is used in some cases as a combination of OERs, Open-source tools, and MOOCs. The
term digital pedagogy is used to refer to the study of how digital technologies can be used to effectively
enhance teaching and learning (Toktarova & Semenova, 2020). The noun educators is also a reference to a
Now, unlike before, the world is opened to actualize the dream of a global village. Education is one of the
bridges utilized to actualize the concept of a global village. Technology is seen as an education enabler
(Rollag & Billsberry, 2012) that creates interconnectivity that brings people of the world closer, and
academic institutions look to educate tomorrow’s global citizens, to prepare them for the challenges and
opportunities of this new landscape(Lloyd & Barreneche, 2015). New technology-enhanced learning
approaches, intended to democratize education, are emerging while traditional education is criticized for
being increasingly unaffordable and ineffective in addressing educational inequality (Deng et al, 2019).
Teaching and learning provision is taking new forms and teachers more than ever need to be supported to
upgrade and adopt utilizing available Open resources and digital tools to support the delivery of knowledge
and skills to learners. Information Communication Technology (ICT) in education has been touted to be
central for educators.
Such new provisions in education include but are not limited to Open Education Resources (OERs) as
powerful new media for learning (Bossu & Tynan, 2011), Open-Source Tools (OS) intended to improve the
teaching-learning process (Martín-Blas & Serrano-Fernández, 2009) and Mass Open Online Courses
(MOOCs) unrestricted learning at large (Blackmon & Major 2017). Access to education and learning
resources is traditionally known to be defined by cost and elimination or reduction of this cost can improve
education uptake (İşcan et al., 2015). The absence of equitability in education discourages the
disadvantaged population away from education and learning (OECD, 2012). Though, this is not the only
According to Stutchbury educators in Africa have qualified in a system that positions learners as passive
receivers of knowledge and the challenge today is to prepare teachers to utilize different methods of
teaching (Stutchbury et al, 2019). A TESSA study in Ghana (Acquah & Nyaaba, 2019) indicates (59%) of
respondents reported TESSA OER intervention to be incompatible with the planning of their instructions
[A disparity between the known old methods and the improved pedagogies]. In Uganda, as it was a decade
ago, very little is known about the extent to which the ICT policy in education has promoted digital literacy
amongst teachers and teacher educators to improve pedagogical practice (Andema et al, 2013). However,
there is a significant relationship between professional development and the performance of teachers in the
classroom (Malunda, 2019). Experimental studies with Teacher eLearning Portal (TEP-
concluded that when teachers are adequately supported internally by their schools and externally by [the
institution], can improve their digital literacy and subsequently engage in online life-long learning (Oyo et
al, 2017).
Teacher Professional Development (TPD)
The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework describes the CPD of teachers to be the
conscious updating of professional knowledge and the improvement of professional competencies of
teachers throughout their working life. However, the framework identifies the challenge of the
unstructured, non-institutionalized system of in-service teacher education. “Unless the country finds
immediate remedies to these challenges, the desire to produce professionally well-informed and motivated
teachers capable of transforming the quality of educational delivery will not be fulfilled.” (Uganda
Ministry of Education, 2017). Teacher professional development is defined as teachers’ learning, how they
learn to learn, and how they apply their knowledge in practice to support learning (Postholm, 2012). TPD is
also considered as structured professional learning that results in changes to teacher knowledge and
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practices (Darling-Hammond, 2017). Is teachers’ Professional Development always structured? According
to (Mizell, 2010) professional development can also occur in informal contexts such as discussions among
work colleagues, independent reading and research, observations of a colleague’s work, or other learning
from a peer. The theory of teacher change or action is not limited to the structural features of professional
development (Wayne et al. 2008). Darling-Hammond asserts that by creating space for teachers to share
ideas and collaborate in their learning, often in job-embedded contexts and working collaboratively,
teachers can create communities that positively change the culture of their grade level, school, or district
(Darling-Hammond, 2017). The article ‘Identifying the characteristics of effective teacher professional
development (Sims and Fletcher-Wood 2021) identifies six characteristics of Teacher Professional
Development which include TPD being continuous, in a group, teachers accepting to participate, involving
training in subject knowledge, involving outside expertise and involves opportunities to use, practice, or
apply what has been learned. The anatomy of the 21st-century educator (Bates, 2014) describes the outlook
and what is expected of the educator today.
Figure 2: The Anatomy of the 21st-Century Educator (Bates, 2014)
Teachers’ Professional Development and Open Education Resources
OERs are resources in form of digital materials offered freely and openly for educators, students, and self-
learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research (OCED, 2007). Such materials are identified
with Willey’s 5Rs-characteristics of Reuse, Retain, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute (Wiley, n.d). Programs
such as Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) provide OER support for teachers in developing
more active approaches to learning and provide a basis for collaboration (Wambugu et al, 2019). In the
publication OER evidence report (20132014), OERs awareness is reported to be increasing and learners are
using OERs to supplement formal study at low cost which can be interpreted as greater access to education
(Arcos et al. 2014a). The follow-up article of the report ‘Impact of OER use on teaching and learning: Data
from the research hub (2013-2014)’ indicates that 79 percent of educators used OER to get new ideas and
inspiration (Farrow et al, 2015). OERs facilitate almost effortless exposure of educators to a range of ideas
Anatomy of a 21st century educator (Bates, 2014), adapted by Ontaria Extended.
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and practices (Fadokun and Ayankunle, 2013). TPD can be formal or informal (Jones and Dexter,2014), and
the process of researching and creating OERs for integration into teaching and learning has a substantial
impact on changing teachers’ instructional resource use, pedagogical perspectives, and pedagogical practices
(Karunanayaka & Naidu, 2017). However, over years, OERs have not been easily accessible or even known
to educators. A study carried out by (Abeywardena et al, 2012) indicates that 57 percent of educator
respondents identified locating specific and relevant OERs to be important for their teaching. As reported by
(Hilliton, 2016) cited in (Morris-Babb and Henderson, 2012), a survey of 2007 faculty members and
administrators of colleges and universities found that only 7 percent of that group were very familiar with
open-access textbooks, while 52 percent were ‘not at all familiar with open access textbooks”. The findings
of the research hub report (Arcos et al. 2014) underpin knowing where to find resources as one of the biggest
challenges to using OER. Equally, OERs and OERs studies have previously focused attention on higher
education (Kimmons, 2015) and OERs materials are predominantly in a digital format requiring digital
media to access and use, a challenge TESSA OER program in Kenya identified as limited accessibility and
network connections and a lack of effective [educators] training on the use of ICT (Wambugu et al, 2019).
Teacher Professional Development and Open-Source (OS) tools
Today, the internet hosts a plethora of tools meant to support teaching and learning. The OS tools are
provided to the public at no restrictions and are classified according to the intended purpose. These include
social networks, communication, Sharing, depository, Video sharing, web 2.0 tools, learning management,
communication, mobile learning, and depositories among others. Sharing tools [] are used to curate
content useful to TPD (Keating, n.d). Blogging tools are mentioned as one of the rewarding tools for TPD.
Based on a study involving 7 Iranian EFL teachers who shared their experiences and knowledge within the
community through blogging for one semester indicates that blogging has a positive effect on teacher
learning within a community of practice (Peivand, 2014). Teachers make greater contributions to blog
conversations than replying to a colleague’s post (Ciampa & Gallagher, 2015) and Blog usage is higher for
secondary teachers than for elementary[primary] teachers (Ciampa & Gallagher, 2015). An empirical study
by (Luehmann, 2008) puts across evidenced-based benefits of blogging to a teacher; a) Blogs provide
learners the opportunity to be self-directed, b) Blogs provide rich opportunities for reflection and meta-
cognition, c) Blogs provide opportunities to further develop one's thinking because of interaction with an
audience, d) Blogs offer 0pportunities for knowledge brokering on the part of the Blogger and e) Blogs
provide opportunities for identity development. However, blogging is not without barriers to educators.
Extrinsic barriers are said to result from inadequate and inappropriate configuration of technology
infrastructures including access, time, support, resources, and training (Ertmer, 1999) cited in (Ciampa &
Gallagher, 2015). Intrinsic barriers are related to teachers’ personal experiences, including attitudes,
competence, beliefs, practices, and resistance (Ertmer 1999) cited in (Ciampa & Gallagher, 2015).
Teacher Professional Development and MOOCs
MOOCs entered the world of online education with a splash (Carver, 2013). MOOCs take on the nature of
learning at scale and the original MOOCs had been designed to increase participation in lifelong learning
(Ferguson, 2019). There are several benefits of MOOCs, as they are open-access and offered at little or no
cost, with thousands of participants able to enroll and earn credits and receive certificates without constraints
of space or time (Celik et al, 2020). TPD needs new approaches in terms of content delivery and mode of
training and MOOCs have been seen as a potential solution (Misra, 2018). TPD can be offered in different
forms and several MOOCs on teaching skills have been added to a range of possibilities offering flexibility
and training to teachers (Castaño-Muñoz et al, 2018). A web search for TPD-MOOCs through Class Central
returned 326 courses available from various institutions (Class Central, 2021). Despite the positive impact of
MOOCs and their sense of equitability (Hernández et al, 2015) assert that MOOCs [structured] in teacher
development are presented with the challenge of a poor development model, problems with evaluation, and
adaptation to the economic model. A study carried out in Romania (Malita, 2018) indicates that a large part
of the sample [Educators] confirmed to know nothing or too little about MOOCs. A TESSA-MOOCs
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interventions study in Kenya reveals that the nature of MOOCs (free, timeless, peer-support, and
collaboration) presents an untapped opportunity for TPD but not without challenges relating to difficulties in
downloading of materials due to lack of internet connectivity and use of ICT phobia for learning MOOCs
(Wambugu, 2018). TEP study in Uganda recommends that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) being
courses designed for large numbers of participants with internet connection and without entry requirements,
makes them most suitable for in-service teachers who do not only access the internet but also receive
technical support from their schools (Oyo et al, 2017).
The study uses a case study approach to assess the factors that hinder educators’ use of OERs, Open-Source
Tools, and MOOCS in professional development and practice. The group under study is composed of
educators from various schools in the Kampala district. As highlighted by (Hijmans and Wester, 2010) case
studies focus on the interrelationships that constitute the context of a specific entity such as an organization,
an event, a phenomenon, or a person.
A four-logical phase commonly used in case studies is utilized to identify a phenomenon, select a case(s),
gather empirical evidence, and generate theories (The Open University, 2015). In this research, a descriptive
case study design is used to describe a phenomenon and the real-life context in which it occurs (Yin, 2014)
cited in (Hollweck, 2016). A cross-sectional approach to a research question data gathering is utilized for
this study to collect data from a particular subset of a population (Clydebank, n.d). To increase the validity
of the study results, the study incorporates both qualitative and quantitative, using one set of methods to
explain the results obtained from the use of the other set of methods (Palinkas et al., 2015).
A mixed-method approach to research was used to collect and analyze data and present results merged for
comparison, validation, and interpretation done with equal emphasis on both data forms (Plano-Clark et al.,
2008). A purposeful sampling strategy was used to identify and select interview respondents. This involved
identifying and selecting individuals that participated in the self-administered questionnaire survey and are
knowledgeable about or experienced with a phenomenon of interest (Cresswell and Plano Clark 2011) cited
in (Palinkas et al, 2015) under which a criterion-i strategy shall support the identification of key informants
from a range of questionnaire respondents. The purpose is to gain insights into gaps in ICT literacy, digital
literacies, and pedagogy, generate theories and recommend interventions.
A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect survey data from (n=52) educator respondents from
both primary and secondary levels in Uganda. The questionnaire covered four sections including
demographic data, knowledge of ICT and digital literacy, practice, and experiences in digital literacies,
opinions and beliefs about digital literacy, opportunities, and challenges. The questionnaire was majorly
structured with five (5) and four (4)-point Likert scales. Data was collected through Microsoft online forms
and printed offline forms. Data were processed using a descriptive statistics approach and summarized in
tables, charts, and graphs. These were generated with the aid of the Statistical Package for the Social
Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel software.
The selective interviews were conducted with purposefully identified participants to contextually guide the
study findings through understanding the gaps in knowledge and practice. Thematic analysis was used for
interview data to create themes from transcription. A comparative approach to the analysis of the data is
aimed at identifying the association between themes and variables
Secondary data is used to study the trends over time and compare varying knowledge and practices from
different and similar education environments to provide context to the primary data. The information
collected at this level is detailed and not likely to access with primary data. The study explores the role of
digital resources in promoting educators’ transformation and raising awareness about digital affordances in
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Ethical Considerations
Participant Consent: Participants in responding to both the survey questionnaire and the key informant’s
interview were required to sign a consent form agreeing to participate in the study voluntarily.
Data Privacy: Information gathered from the participants shall be shared only if particulars that identify a
participant are anonymized. The information gathered and the processed data shall be handled per Data
Protection and Privacy Regulations, 2020.
Respondents Characteristics
Table 1 data show the characteristics of the survey participants with male (69%) and female 30 percent.
Most of the participants were in the age bracket of 20-39 and the median age is (29%). The majority of the
respondents (51%) had a bachelor's qualification.
Table 1: Respondents' Characteristics
Age Range
Nature of
School Location
Type of School
Private Enterprise
Public for GoU
Knowledge: Awareness of Digital Resources for TPD and practice
This section presents the results of the participantsICT proficiency standing at nearly (78%) and the link to
awareness about digital resources for TPD and practice presented with the overall (63%) not perceiving the
idea of digital teaching and learning. The majority of the respondents (57%) have participated in TPD
activities majorly organized by the school or self-initiative. Other variables are presented in the chart below.
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Chart 1: Awareness of Digital Teaching & Learning
Experience: The Practical Use of Digital Resources to Facilitate TPD and Practice
The data in this section is presented as mean and standard deviation from a 5-point Likert scale (Strongly
Agree - Strongly Disagree). There is a high rating (M = 4.06, SD = 0.938) in the confidence of ICT literacy
among the participants. The scores fall when the element of digital activities such as the use of OERs (M =
2.60, SD =1.624), the use of digital tools, and the use of MOOCs (M = 2.48) in TPD and practice are
assessed. Also, training for a digital environment (M = 2.46, SD= 1.434) is rated in disagreement.
Table 2: ICT literacy and digital teaching & Learning
ICT literacy and Digital Teaching & Learning practices
I have the needed ICT skills to use a computer in teaching and learning.
I am trained to teach in a digital classroom/environment
I used digital deliveries for teaching and learning during Covid19
I have a digital device to support digital teaching and learning
My school has digital learning alternatives for learners
ICT and digital literacy are a requirement for me to become a teacher
My school has ICT devices to facilitate digital teaching and learning
I use Open Education Resources (OERs) in TPD and Practice
I use digital/Web tools for TPD and Practice
I use Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in TPD and practice
I have practical skills in Technology Enhanced Learning
I can tell the difference between ICT literacy & digital literacy
My school provides TPD in Technology Enhanced Learning
Familiar with Digital
assets in TPD
Terms in digital
Teaching & Learning
TPD Participation
TPD from School or
Digital teaching &
Learning objects
Digital teaching &
learning guidelines
Digital teaching &
learning team at school
Awareness of Digital Teaching & learning
Iam familiar and
aware of digital
teaching & I am not
familiar of
even aware of
digital teaching
and learning
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Table 3 presents data assessed on a 4-point Likert scale (1-no level of competence, 2-low low level of
competence, 3-moderate level of competence, and 4-high level of competence). A categorized list of tools
was presented to the participants as a basis for assessment. The overall mean (M = 1.85, SD = 1.0568) shows
that the respondents rated themselves as poor in using digital resources to support TPD and achieve teaching
and learning outcomes.
Table 3: The practice of digital in teaching and learning
Practices of digital in Teaching & Learning
Std. Deviation
I have the skills to use sharing tools in alignment with the pedagogical
needs of teaching & learning
I have the skills needed to work with learning management tools to
achieve the outcomes of teaching and learning
I can use virtual classroom tools such as Zoom, and Teams in line
with digital pedagogy guidelines.
I know how to use social media to achieve teaching & learning
I know how to use varying digital tools to effectively assess learners.
Opinions & Beliefs: Importance of Digital Literacies to Support TPD and Practice
This section presents the results from participants’ opinions and beliefs about the use of digital resources.
This set of data was collected from the last section of the survey instrument and the selected interviews. The
majority of respondents (76%) agree that they need to have training in digital teaching and learning and
access to digital resources. Learning how to use digital resources in TPD and practice was considered a
priority. However, in the responses on why it is important to use ICT and digital literacy to support TPD and
practice, the majority (74%) of responses did not fall away from statements such as ‘It is the age of
technology’, ‘the trend requires ICT in education’ and ‘we have to cope with the era.’ A minor portion of
respondents diverged with statements such as ‘to facilitate focused learning,’ and ‘improve learning
outcomes.’ Some participants admit that they can’t differentiate between ICT and digital literacy-they
perceive gaining skills in using a computer, one becomes digitally literate. Others believe that having both
computer and internet skills renders the educator to be digitally literate-the use of the internet hardly
produced a specific function that can be related to TPD and practice. Whereas a sizeable portion of
respondents (46%) prefers having regular TPD in a blended form, some (30%) are opting for a physical
form as favorable. The majority of respondents (52%) indicated that they have access to a computer lab at
school and also have access to the internet at school or self-acquisition but they do not have digital learning
guidelines for TPD or an educator team to drive digital self-help at school.
The challenges identified associated with TPD and practice include lack of sufficient digital training, lack of
digital alternatives, absence of extensive knowledge about technology in education, expensive digital
resources (Computers & Internet data), and lack of knowledge about TPD digital resources.
We had the training on the new competency curriculum with big numbers of participants! If I need to
learn more about the subject, where do I go? This is where digital learning should come in to support
extended learning (Interview P-01).
“It is my first time hearing the term MOOCs or digital pedagogy but I am not poor at using computers
and the internet. Now, when I think of it, I agree that there should be a way of using technology
aligned to learning goals. (Interview P-02).
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Look at the internet data- someone buys internet for business to get profit, we pay the same cost in
schools yet we are supposed to use it for education, you have to forget about technology things and
buy more chalk. That is how we remain behind”. (Interview P-03).
The findings of the study indicate that the majority of the educators who participated in the study possess
ICT or computer skills described by (Scher, 1984) cited in (Oliver & Tower, 2002), as the “appropriate
familiarity with technology to enable a person to live and cope in the modern world.” This is the definition
that coincides with what the majority of the respondents perceive as to why it is important to incorporate
technology in teaching and learning. The definition is limited to the ability to understand basic ICT
terminologies, use word processors, and worksheets, save, copy, paste, and manage data (Buckingham,
2015). This is problematic enough to create a misconception about the role of technology in education.
However, ICT literacy described by (Panel, 2002) is the ability to use digital technology, communications
tools, and/or networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to function in a
knowledge society. The description coincides with digital literacy being a set of digital behaviours,
practices, and identities (JISC, 2014). The study does not find the participants to be digitally literate in line
with Panel and JISC descriptions of ICT or digital literacy. The paradox of ICT in education partly explains
why the majority of educators in this study are not aware and have not accessed or used digital resources in
TPD and teaching practice. It is important to mention that for educators to succeed with digital education,
technology in education has to achieve for educators the affordances highlighted in the seven elements of
digital literacy (JISC, 2014) and the anatomy of the 2st-Century Educator (Bates, 2014) models.
The study revealed that there is an immense split not only in understanding but also in the practices of ICT
and digital skills. Although the majority of respondents indicated that they have a computer lab at school and
have access to internet data, the study did not find the activities in ICT for education (typing exams,
connecting projector, using social media, and using excel among others) to be associated to the practice of
reuse, retain, revise, remix, and redistribute (Wiley, n.d), adopt, adapt, interpret, evaluate, and manage
(JISC, 2014), curate, collaborate, experiment and research (Bates, 2014). The absence of effective use
impedes the definitive goals of digitalization in education that yields, collaboration, critical thinking,
innovation and creativity, and accessibility among others. It is important that educators' digital training on
ICT goes beyond to support using ICT to improve pedagogy (Tanweer et al, 2023).
In agreement with the CPD framework (Uganda Ministry of Education, 2017), TPD (standardized, site-
based, or self-directed) is considered the avenue for educators to build capacity and develop professionally.
Resources to organize training workshops at national and institutional levels are shrinking each year while
the population of educators entering the field of teaching practice is steadily increasing. The remedy is to
utilize digital resources to enable sustained professional development. The study did not find clues to
suggest that educators are utilizing digital resources to achieve the goal. What is clear is that the most of
educators are not aware of or even use of OERs, Open-source tools, mobile learning, and MOOCs among
others to gain knowledge and skills. Those familiar with digital resources in education omit the part of
effectively utilizing them in sync with teaching and learning goals and outcomes. This explains why most
perceive that the role of technology in education is to cope with the modern era. It is also worth mentioning
that the respondents perceive that a blended learning approach to TPD is suitable for in-service educators.
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Following the discussion above, the study conclusions about the hindrances of using digital resources are as
follow. Educators hold a misconception about the variations in ICT and digital literacy. This partly reveals
why they perceive ICT in education to be limited to coping with the modern age. Therefore, they do not
pursue digital literacy as envisioned for TPD and practice. It is equally safe to allude that there is a
significant lack of knowledge about the evolving digital affordances for TPD and practice as a means to
sustainable skills acquisition and capacity building. This study recommends equipping educators with digital
literacies with education bias (digital pedagogy) utilizing the fundamentals outlined in the anatomy of the
21st-century educator and the seven elements of digital literacy models. This can be achieved through the
development of digital courses for TPD to facilitate enhancing educators’ digital education control.
Educators in Kampala district reported having computers at school, some have unrestricted internet, and
some individuals have personal devices specifically laptops, tablets, and smartphones. What is lacking are
digital TPD guidelines and teams at the institutional level to drive communal learning using digital
resources. These are important aspects in promoting self-directed digital learning where educators use digital
resources to learn but also share knowledge and experiences through communities of practice. The study
recommends nurturing communities of practice to drive digital TPD and practices at the school level.
Whereas this study was carried out in an affluent Kampala region, the cost of digital devices and internet
data are still impediments to facilitating a digital environment that can support the sustained use of digital
resources for TPD and practice. Advocacy for digital education interventions is needed at the national level
with a focus on internet data and devices for educators.
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