Adoption of information and communication technologies for educational purposes in Malawian Secondary Schools.

Ziba, Anthony S K (2008) Adoption of information and communication technologies for educational purposes in Malawian Secondary Schools. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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    The adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in
    Least Developed Countries (LDCs) has often been motivated by ideas of bridging
    the digital divide and promoting socio-economic progress within these
    countries. For example, many LDCs within sub-Saharan Africa and development
    practitioners alike are enthusiastic about the prospects of socio-economic
    progress through the adoption and use of ICTs. In Malawi, this belief in ICT
    potential is widespread and it is presumed that the adoption of ICTs will provide
    a sufficient condition for socio-economic progress and will offer Malawi
    the opportunity to leapfrog stages of development and accelerate her progress
    in socio-economic spheres. In particular, the adoption of computer based ICTs
    for educational purposes in Malawian secondary schools is being widely promoted.
    However, in many LDCs particularly those within sub-Saharan Africa, the
    realisation of such over-hyped technological gains has always remained elusive
    and literature suggests that the use of computer based ICTs in LDCs is
    constrained by a cross section of critical challenges (Mansell and Wehn, 1998;
    Kawooya, 2002; Heeks, 2002). Wade (2004) further explains that ICT initiatives
    in LDCs are "... biased towards the supply side and give scant attention
    to demand" (Wade, 2004, pl9l) and that the alleged stories of ICT adoptions
    within the region are generalised with "little attention to scaling up problems"
    (p. 186). This suggests that ICT adoption processes can not be understood and
    explained by simply focusing on the perceived potential of ICTs and disregarding
    complex socio-technical influences which shape and are shaped by those
    adoption processes in LDC contexts.
    This research focussed on the development of a socio-technical conceptualisation
    of ICT adoption processes in Malawian secondary schools based on
    empirical evidence. Methodologically, it uses both qualitative and quantitative
    approaches and focuses on three main notions of ICT choice, ICT use and ICT
    value in order to investigate ICT adoption processes. Socio-Technical Interaction
    Networks (STINs) technique is used in order to analyse research data. In
    particular, analytical affordances provided by the Social Actor Model (Lamb,
    2006) are used to gain rich insights into ICT adoption processes in Malawian
    secondary schools and to generate an evidence based theoretical conceptualisation
    which appreciates the inextricable interrelationship between ICTs and
    the context within which they are embedded.
    The developed framework illustrates the significance of a context specific
    socio-technical approach when implementing ICT initiatives in Malawian secondary
    schools and the researcher argues that it deepens our theoretical understanding
    of the socio-technical nature of technologies and can facilitate the implementation of ICT solutions that are aligned and valuable to the adopting context in LDCs like Malawi.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Information and communication technologies; least developed countires; digital divide; socio-economic progress; Malawi; adoption;
    University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
    Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 370 Education
    Library of Congress Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
    Item ID: 3798
    Depositing User: Mrs Lyn Gibson
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2010 14:29
    Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 04:55

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