Teaching natural science (NS) using computers : a case study of grade 8 educators in the Umzinto district.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of computer technology on teaching Natural Science (NS) in grade 8 classes. Computer technology is the powerful and influential tool in teaching and learning situation. When it is used appropriately it will support the NS educators in their teaching of NS. Indeed computer technology could be used to redress the inequalities of the past, especially in the teaching of Natural Science as they offer the educators whether in rural or urban area a common base of knowledge and experience. The term computer technology is used interchangeable with the term Information and Communication Technology. The term computer technology has the different meanings from the different authors but in these meanings that they gave, there are similarities that computer technology is a tool used for developing, implementing and evaluating the teachings aids. There are different ideas about the impact of computer technology on teaching NS because other authors in their studies state that it has a positive impact yet others state the negative impact of computer technology. Those they state the positive impact look at a dimension of the developing the teaching skills, creative thinking and problem solving skills in education. The other authors state the negative impact of computer technology look on the dimension that it is too early to conclude that computer technology has a good impact because some of the educators in the teaching field are not well trained to teach using computers. They also state that computer technology will have negative impact on teaching because in the schools where these educators worked there is no follow up after they attended the workshops to look that are they do what they are trained to do. The findings show that computer technology has a positive impact because 75% educators have a full understanding of computer technology and they apply in their teaching and learning of NS. This means that these results are supporting ideas of these authors that they were stating that computer technology has positive impact. There were few educators that they have no understanding of teaching using computers so they have a negative attitude of computer uses in teaching. These educators are supporting the views of the authors that in their studies they shown the negative side of computer technology in teaching. This study concludes that the Dinaledi project and the department of education must make it sure that they do the follow up that computers are used purposeful to schools that they have them. The trainings workshops must be long so these educators will acquire these teaching skills thoroughly.