Creat ive Educati on
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 70-76
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/ce) DO I:10.4236/ce.2012.38b016
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
70
Teachers’ ICT Skills and ICT Integration in the Classroom:
The Case of Vocational and Technical Teachers in Malaysia
Abu-Obaidah Alazam, A. R. Bakar*, R. Hamzah, S. Asmiran
Facult y of Educatonal Studies, Universit i P utra Malaysia, 43400 Serda ng, Selangor, M alaysia
Email: *abrahimbakar@yahoo.com
Received 20 1 2
This s tudy was to deter mine th e le vels of ICT sk ills and ICT usage i n the c lass room amon g techni ca l and
vocat iona l teacher s in Mala ysia . The data of t his stud y were coll ect ed using qua ntita tive techni ques, whe-
reby th e questionna ire was administer ed to 329 t echnical a nd voca tional teachers who were teaching en-
gineering subjects in Malaysian technical and vocational schools. The questionnaire included items re-
lated to teachers’ ICT skills, ICT use and their demographic factors. The study has shown that teachers’
ICT skills w ere at moderate levels, and that a vast majority of teachers who partic ipated i n this s tudy were
modera te us ers of ICT i n cla s sroom t ea c hing. There w ere s i gnif ica nt diff er ences of teac her s ’ ICT s k il ls as
a function of demographic factors: gender, age, years of teaching experience, and type of ICT training.
Also, there were significant correlations between ICT skills and ICT integration in classroom. Teachers’
demogra phic f actors ( age, gender, teaching experience, except level of education) did not influence ICT
integrati on in classroom.
Key words: Technical and Voc ational Educati on; ICT Skills; Technical and V ocational Teachers;
Technical and Vocational Education in Malaysia
Introduction
The explosion of Information and Communication Technol-
ogy (ICT) in th e last t wo decad es h as impa cted th e life o f many
people and the nature of jobs in all fields. Education as the
main vehicle for human capital development needs to heed to
the co nstant changes in the world of work. In line with the rapid
development and usage of ICT in the workplace, it is important
that the current generation of students need to well-prepared
with ICT knowledge and skills for th em to face the tasks in the
wor l d -of-work in the future. In fact, ICT is the way of life for
the majority of us and we should be fully prepared to live in the
ICT world.
Malaysia has a vision called VISION 2020 with the purpose
of embracing the knowledge economy in order to become glo-
bally competitive. To be able to compete in the globalized
world, Malaysia need to develop knowledge workers. Thus, in
line with that VISION, The Ministry of Education in Malaysia
has recommended the mini mum ICT skill s that teachers sho uld
have in order to lead Malaysian students to compete in the global
economy. Countries that are able offer high skilled workforce
will be able to attract potential investment in large amount.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has
the capability of preparing high skilled workforce and the inte-
gration of ICT in their classroom will enhance the quality of
TVET graduates and will make them the most sought after
potential employees. However, in order to integrate ICT in
TVET classroom, teachers must have t he requi r ed skills.
Many studies have been conducted in this country to assess
the level of ICT integration in the classroom (Paryono and
Quito, 2010; Sukri, 2010; Mahmud and Ismail, 2010; Ngah and
Masood, 2006; Wahab and Kaur, 2006; Mustapha, 2000; Bakar
and Mohamad, 1998). These studies report that the level of ICT
integration is low or moderate, and the integration of ICT into
the classr ooms is a dynamic process co nnecting variou s factors
such as teachers’ skills, experience with ICT, gender, age of
teacher, level of qualification, type of training, computer and
peripheral available at schools, and administration support.
These studies assessed the teachers’ basic ICT knowledge and
skills with the presumption that any teacher of any subject will
need to acquire it. Accordingly, the current study examines the
level of ICT integration as well as the new ICT skills that the
technical and vocational teachers need in teaching engineering
subj ects specifically in technical and vocat ion al schools in Ma-
laysia.
ICT Skills and Integration
ICT has become an important component of education of
many nations. In some schools ICT is taught as a subject and
for the majority ICT is a teaching tool. ICT can do wonders in
classroom if used wisely by well-trained teachers. ICT en-
hances teaching and learning process by increasing students’
motivation. The use of ICT in classroom helps in the explana-
tion of difficult concepts so students’ are able to easily under-
stand those concepts. The integration of ICT in education can
takes several forms such as information and computer networks,
digital content, internet sites, multimedia and others. ICT inte-
gration can be defined as ICT use in classroom teaching (Lloyd,
2005). ICT integration in technical and vocational classrooms
(Kuskaya and Kocak, 2010; Crittenden, 2009) would involve
using instructional software during the course, making presen-
tations, carrying out the tasks in laboratories or workshops or
application services. However, Lloyd (2005) believed there are
conflicting definitions of ICT integration in classroom teaching.
To many of us, ICT integration in classroom is using ICT to
*Corresponding author.
A.-O. ALAZAM ET AL.
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71
deliver knowledge to students, that means many of us probably
do not have a clear understanding about ICT integration in
classroom.
Ma ny s tu dies h ave confirmed the impor tance of ICT integra-
tion in teaching and learning processes in technical and voca-
tional schools. For instance, Crittenden (2009) asserted that the
ICT use amon g technical edu cators is to transmit, sto re, create,
share or exchange information by various technologies such as
radio, television, video, DVD, telephone, satellite systems,
computers and the Internet. Few other studies (Jamsek and
Kocijancic, 2007; Abdulrasool and Mishra, 2009; Alseddiqi et
al., 2009; Bezjak, 2010) indicated that the IC T tools used i n the
schools in Malaysia. They found that there were no significant
linear relationship between teachers’ ability and skills about
using software and their actual use of computers. A chi-square
analysis to determine if ICT integration is dependent on se-
lected demograph ic variables (gender, age, teaching experience,
level of qualification, ICT availability in school) showed that,
of these variables, only one variable, that is, level of qualifica-
tion appeared to have some influence on the ICT integration in
classroom (Χ2 (8) = 24.24, p = 0.01). Only those with a bache-
lor degree tend to integrate ICT more frequently than the oth-
ers.
Conclusion
This study examines the levels of ICT skills and ICT use in
the classr ooms among tech nical an d vocation al teachers in Ma-
laysia. The findings indicated that the level of teachers’ ICT
skills was moderate, and the skills of AutoCAD software were
at a high level and the skills of programming languages and
simulation were at low level. Furthermore, there were signifi-
A.-O. ALAZAM ET AL.
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75
cant differences between teachers’ ICT skills and their gender,
age, years of teaching experience and type of ICT training, but
not with levels of qualification and ICT availability. In addition,
a vast majority of teachers who participated in this study were
frequent users of ICT in classroom teaching. However, the
study reveals that they ‘quite frequently use’ and ‘frequently
use’ ICT in classroom (70%) with only 8% heavy users. As
ICT is an important tool in education, teachers should be using
ICT very frequentl y in their teaching.
We need to increase the level of ICT usage in classroom.
Based on this present study, ICT usage in vocational and tech-
nical classroom is at a moderate level only. The level of ICT
usage in cl assroom may be attr ibuted to the skil ls they have. As
shown by the study, there was a significant correlation between
ICT use in the classroom and teachers’ ICT skills. But, it was
also discovered that the respondents’ ICT skills were not very
high. If it is true as found, some serious actions have to be tak-
en to ensure th at teachers do have the skil ls needed for them t o
integrate ICT I teaching vocational and technical subjects. The
study also showed that there were significant differences be-
tween teachers’ ICT skills and their gender, age, years of
teachin g experience and type of ICT trainin g, however it is not
reflected in ICT integration. In fact the study showed that ICT
training do influence ICT skills acquisition by teachers, where-
by those teach ers who atten ded trainin g obtained a significantly
higher ICT skills those who did not attend the training, but
based on chi-square analysis, attending ICT training has no
influence on ICT integration. This is something we need to
ponder. They have been trained in some ICT course and they
have skills, yet they do not integrate ICT in their teaching. The
relevant authority needs to find reasons as to why the ICT inte-
gration in vocational and technical classroom is low.
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