Education Sector And Rapid Technological Advances Education Essay

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This decade is characterised by rapid technological advances. Being in the digital era, technology has accounted for many changes in the educational sector. These changes range from the method instruction is delivered, to the attitudes on how learning occurs to the amount of collaboration and knowledge sharing between not only students, but also between teachers, managers and administrators. ICT represents one of the most useful tools to enhance curriculum if used correctly. According to Waxman H.Lin & Mitchko 2003, teaching and learning with technology has had a significant positive effect on students' outcomes when compared with traditional instruction.

In the future, P.E will need to undergo radical changes. If technology had a significant impact in learning in general education, could it also enhance teaching and learning in P.E? New developments in the field of technology will positively affect the system. Therefore, the use of technological advances will prepare physical educators for the future demands and expectations of the society. If technology is applied in Physical education, a lot of advantages could be obtained. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education is laying a lot of emphasis on integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning process in secondary schools. As students perform exercises and skills in their PE classes, PE teachers can use technological tools and systems to quantify processes and results to aid them learn more about themselves (Kirkwood, Manon, 2002).However, before using ICT in our schools as a teaching tool, these important questions must be addressed. What technological options are available for our PE educators? Does using technology in the PE classes motivate the students? What is the role of technology as an assessment tool?

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According to Green (2002), with the rapid developments in technology, ICT has made a significant impact on a number of P.E departments, and has the potential to enhance teaching and learning in P.E.

According to Cummings (2002), it is suggested that pervasion of ICT in education is now impacting on P.E as much as on any other subjects. Many P.E departments in the U.K are currently using ICT for administration and management tasks. Computers allow us to continuously modify and update our schemes of work and lesson plans. The construction of a database of all students in the schools enable school administrators to maintain detailed records of assessments, key stage grades, sports awards and extra-curricular achievements.

GENERAL CONTRIBUTION/BENEFITS OF ICT IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION

ICT introduces another dimension to physical education. The use of ICT in PE makes the science of sport come to life by linking both physical and mental activity. It also helps to create fully fledged students who are able to concentrate a whole better on both practical and theoretical work. Besides, it helps students to develop a better understanding of their own body parts and that of the human body in general.

It also raises the profile of P.E within the establishment by making the subject not only interesting, but also attractive and effective. Furthermore, it brings enthusiasm and motivation for both PE teachers and students.

ICT is also very important with regards to school administrative work. In fact, data can easily be collected and shared for analytical purposes, e.g. electronic records of performance of athletes.

ICT promotes teaching and learning within the school organization. By changing the nature of learning, students are motivated and are able to grasp essential concepts that previously eluded them. By developing their abilities to think in different ways students can select and relate skills, strategies and mixtures of ideas, assess and advance performance. Besides, ICT students are also encouraged to develop ownership of their work and the directions they choose to take. Moreover, with the adoption of ICT in PE, life-long learning can be supported through the collection of resources via the internet. According to Mike Rimmer, Head of Physical & Social development at the Buttershaw upper school in Bradford: "It's the excitement of learning in a different way."

With ICT, pupils are able to get access, select and interpret a wide range of information more easily. They are also able to recognise patterns, relationships and behaviours using appropriate technological software. Furthermore, models, predictions and even hypothesis can be made by students with the advent of ICT. Access to images of performance-enhancing knowledge of skill, strategy, choreography/composition, and physical training and conditioning can be obtained through video filming. Hence, students are able to review and modify their work to improve the quality. Reliability, evaluation and accuracy of actions can also be done using ICT tools. ICT provides a very reliable source of communication among people within the organisation. The use of email, fax, Facebook or even Skype will enable quick and direct communication among P.E staffs and even students in other schools on fixtures, meetings and many other relevant matters. Therefore, accuracy of information does not depend only on the busy school secretary.

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Throughout ICT tools, pupils can benefit from immediate feedback and their observational and analysis skills are dramatically improved. As they become more familiar with the software, they are also capable to pick out the significant points and make proper comments about constructive technique and areas for enhancement. The major advantage, however, be the general improvement in the performance level of the majority of the students' work, as they will fight their way to look impressive especially if their performance will be analysed on digital video system.

There are many good options available to physical educators in regards to technology. Many of these technologies are easily accessible and are easily incorporated into the curriculum.

SOME TECHNOLOGICAL TOOLS

Pedometers

Theses apparatus also called step counters are mechanical sensors used to count steps and can easily be incorporated in PE classes. They address motivation, assessment, and advocacy. Furthermore, they are portable and can be worn under the belt and be kept the whole day. Today, it can be said that the pedometer has become a recognized acceptable tool for measuring physical activity. Students can wear a pedometer and rece4e immediate or continuous feedback regarding their activity level (Beighle, Pangrazi,Vincent, 2001). Using pedometers at school can also demonstrate to parents that students are achieving a certain level of physical activity. By using the pedometers students will be able to see progress towards set goal and consequently will be motivated in the classes.

Heart Rate Monitors

These instruments also provide immediate feedback that can make students work harder (Bian, Partridge, King, Andon, Boyer, 2007). Based completely on the student ability level and current level of fitness, the heart rate monitor makes learning more student centered .As fitness level increases, student feel that their cardiovascular system is working Hence students can set individualized goal to work towards .The Heart rate monitor will also provide real time data that will allow students to see how different exercises and act4ities affect the heart rate. Hence the heart rate monitor is a convenient apparatus that allow students to use up to date technology (Kirkwood, Manon 2002). Charts of maximum heart rate can be made for each student and besides software do exist today that tracks increase or decrease in heart rate.

Digital Video camera and visual analysis software

The use of the motion analysis system will surely enhance many areas of the physical education curriculum both in research and teaching. Using digital video camera has indeed simplified the collection of data. These results can then be imported to interact4e multimedia presentation to provide students with a better understanding of the importance of breaking skills into components and the consequences of subtle variation in techniques (Ladda, Keating, Adam, Toscana, 2004). The visual analysis software allows students to view captured movement and to analyse them. This particular technology can help teachers to control student's progress towards motor skills goals; provide feedback opportunities and assessing students learning (Fiorentino and Castelli, 2005).

Using digital video camera to record pupils' performance in table tennis can be a helpful device to assist them improves their technique. When using the motion analysis software, students have a proficient tool to help them. For instance during a training session, a 'robot - pong', which is a special technological tool that distribute ping pong balls at varying direction and speed, is used to face a student. The respective teacher will then use the Digital video camera together with its respective motion analysis software to analyse the actions more closely. This is done with a view to improve the teaching and learning of table tennis. Digital video clips were used weekly to stress on proper and improper techniques and then the pupils were given the opportunity to evaluate their own techniques and the technique of others via the 'déjà vu' resource. In the Mauritian context, some state colleges which are actually working on a pilot project set up by the ministry of education are presenting candidates for the Cambridge O level Examination. Teachers involved in this project will have to make use of video cameras during the practical examination to record students' performance and then send them to Cambridge University. Each college involved in the pilot project have already received a laptop, an overhead projector and its respective screen. Digital video cameras and internet connection facilities will soon be available in these schools

Simulation and Games

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Games such as Dance, Dance revolution, Fx cycles and Nintendo Wii Fit provide opportunities for students to be physically active and simultaneously enjoying themselves .These games can also be combined to other technologies to enhance the experience (Di Giorgio, 2004). Concerning the Nintendo Wii Fit, work outs are done on a small balanced board that gamers stand on. The players receive instructions from screen and mimic the stretching and muscle building exercises. The Wii Fit tracking feature shows progress using the system. Therefore, it can be a valuable PE tool. However, teachers should not consider gaming system equivalent to traditional exercises. It should be considered as a supplement and a not a replacement of traditional exercises.

3.0 METHODOLOGY

Methodology refers to a systematic investigation of an issue to collect important data. When analyzing data, valuable evidence may be obtained by using several indicators.  A survey method seemed to be most appropriate rather than an Action research to us due to factors like time constraints, cost of implementation, high rate of absenteeism during 3rd term and unrealistic expectations.

3.1 SAMPLING

The quality of an efficient survey is not only based on appropriate instrumentation but also on a suitable sampling strategy that has been selected. The selection of sampling strategy was governed by the criterion of suitability. The choice of which strategy to adopt were related to the goals of the survey, the time constraints, the data collection methods, and the methodology. All these factors have been considered to ensure validity. The non-probability sample of 396 students of form iv were chosen for our survey which satisfied the minimum sample of Form 4 students. The estimated total population of Form 4 students was 19,179 which represent the number of students sitting for SC this year. We chose particularly Form 4 students because the survey had to be carried out during term 3 and during this period Form 5 and 6 students usually shine by their high absence rates. Hence, 66 students of Form 4 were randomly selected from 5 Form 4 classes in each school.

PE teachers were also targeted for our survey to be meaningful. For a total population of 325 PE Teachers, we selected a minimum sample of 176 according to the given software for sampling calculation. P.E. teachers who were selected to fill questionnaires were from respective schools where members of our group work and PE educators who are following Diploma, B Ed, M Ed and PGCE courses at the MIE.

3.2 METHODS AND TOOLS FOR DATA COLLECTION

The survey has been based on quantitative observations. The methods and tools for data collection were:

Survey questionnaires

Documentation

3.21SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRES

Two distinct survey questionnaires were designed one for the students and the other one for P.E teachers in respect to the objectives and opinions on using ICT to enhance P.E. The questionnaires included profile of the student/teacher, knowledge in ICT, opinions if ICT is integrated in P.E. A structured questionnaire was designed to reduce time for filling questionnaire and simplify data analysis.

3.22 DOCUMENTATION

Our investigation to gain required information regarding number of P.E. teachers in Mauritius and approximate form 4 student's population included consultation of various records and statistics.

3.3 DATA COLLECTION STRATEGIES

The questionnaires were distributed in four secondary schools and two MITD schools that is in the six institutions where six members of our group work. Respected teachers in our group briefed respondents before answering questionnaires about our objectives in the research. Record of number of questionnaires being circulated was kept. As for teachers, questionnaires were distributed to PE teachers around the island.

3.4 SELECTED SCHOOL PROFILE

1. Three State colleges SSS, one from urban and two other from rural areas. One of them is a Girls college and two others are Boys College. 2. A private mixed college situated in an urban area. 3. Two MITD mixed Schools were chosen, one from rural and the other from urban area.

PE and IT facilities available in almost all selected schools: P.E. room/gymnasium, audio visual room(PowerPoint presentation and theory classes), Laptop, playground. audio visual room, Lecture theatre (PowerPoint presentation and theory classes), Laptop, playground, Internet facilities @ computer lab.

Pupils from different type of schools were selected for the survey to check students' attitude in P.E., to collect different perspectives of using IT in PE and to seek their views on ICT integration in P.E. from different types of schools and regions in order to meet our objectives.

3.41QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN

The purpose of the questionnaire:

To make a survey on PE Teachers, and students' questionnaire to seek their views on the possibility of enhancing P.E. classes with ICT.

To meet our objectives and to be linked to the literature review.

The students questionnaires include three sections-

section1: Knowledge in ICT, section2: Physical education and section 3 included questions relating P.E. to Technology.

Age-appropriate type of questions was included for mixed ability students like multiple choice questions. Different sections were designed to measure knowledge, attitude towards ICT integration in PE, interest in PE, level of importance now given to PE, level of IT literacy, willingness of students to adopt ICT in PE for self improvement and better learning, to seek pupils' views in using ICT as a P.E. assessment tool.

Through the graphical representation, it can be seen that the results tend to move to the outer side of the spider hence showing that the results (74.9%) are favorable when it comes to video filming as a mot4ating factor for students. However, we want to investigate what are those specific school types who either disagreed or strongly disagreed to this pertinent question. To further deepen our analysis, the different school types were then cross tabbed with video filming as a mot4ating factor to have a detailed view of the tendencies towards this question.

The Cross tabulation indicates that most of the students who strongly disagree and disagree comes from the vocational students from the M.I.T.D with 21.4% against 9.4% and 8.3% from the state and pr4ate students consecut4ely. This may be a result of their low literacy level and also of the lack of resources at school.

From the chi square table, we find that statistics chi square = 28.397 and P = 0.000, hence rejecting H0, it can be concluded that at 5% level of significance, there is an association between the two variables labeled School types and Mot4ation through video filming.

Assuming that there is a relationship and accepting H1, it can be noted however from the last table, phi and Cramer's V being 0.276 and 0.195 respectively, represent values which are quite far from a maximum value of 1, indicating a fair relationship between the variables. Therefore, it can be said that in our Mauritian educational set up, visualization software does not always suit certain school environment and types of students.

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