Utilizing a Social Constructivist approach to cultivate Teacher-educators’ and trainees’ Digital competence at Makerere University
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The study aimed at establishing how the social constructivist approach can be adopted to develop teacher educators’ and trainees’ digital competence at Makerere University, School of Education. The study answered the following questions namely: what particular technology knowledge can be acquired by the teacher-educators and teacher trainees from the social processes; what particular technology skills can be acquired by the teacher-educators and teacher trainees from the social processes and lastly, how do cultural processes influence teacher-educators’ technology knowledge and skills? The study adopted Kurt Lewin’s interpretive action research design with three phases of action model namely: unfreezing, changing and refreezing. The study also used social processes as an intervention. The study was guided by the constructivism theory taking Vygotsky’s social constructivism philosophy. The study population was composed of teacher trainers and trainees. The study sample comprised of 35 participants and these were selected using; stratified purposive and convenient sampling techniques. The study revealed that: social processes can nurture teacher educators’ and trainees’ technology knowledge in form of; content analysis, research knowledge, civic literacy, media Literacy, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, judgment, negotiation and photo-visual literacy; again, results revealed that: social processes can also nurture teacher educators’ and trainees’ technology skills in form of; information presentation, networking, data management, Internet, communication, self-direction, appropriation, creativity, collaborative, problem solving, critical thinking, information literacy and multitasking; results further showed that; cultural processes such as; teacher trainers’ beliefs, attitude, perceptions, disciplinary background, ICT background knowledge, curriculum design plus policy guidelines greatly influence teacher educators’ technology knowledge and skills. It was concluded that; team work is a basic technique for nurturing teacher educators’ and trainees’ technology knowledge; technology skills require continuous active practice and they cannot be attained in isolation of technology knowledge; individual and institutional cultural values are very fundamental in influencing teacher educators’ technology knowledge and skills. It was recommended that; teacher trainers and trainees should engage in team teaching and learning as a way of sharing ICT integration knowledge; teacher trainers should make teaching and learning action-based, The Dean and Heads of Department, School of Education should develop an evaluative instrument to regularly assess the extent to which their academic staff are using the available technologies to facilitate teaching and learning; The budgetary committee for The School of Education should annually include funds to facilitate ICT integration in teaching and learning.