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An exploration of e-learning practices of teachers at selected schools in the Western Cape
This study is about teachers’ e-Learning practices at school level. The research aims were to explore the patterns that emerge when teachers use and integrate technologies for e-Teaching and e-Learning, and to explain why teachers adopted and used technologies. My original contribution to knowledge is that the adoption and use of technologies is influenced by value propositions. Schools in the Western Cape are acquiring more technology and gaining increasing access to digital products, services and systems at an exponential rate. In spite of the prevalence of technology in the Western Cape, there appears to be an under-utilisation or non-adoption of the available tools and technologies for educational benefits. However the e-Learning practices of teachers are not fully understood by e-Learning policy makers and implementers. This study sought to address the research problem through an exploration of the technologies that teachers used and what they used these technologies for; the patterns in their use and integration of technologies; and the reasons they offered for their decisions to adopt and use technologies. The research was not strictly confined to one particular method, approach or strategy, as the nature of the phenomena under investigation and the dynamics of the situation required adaptations. A sensible selective blend of qualitative and quantitative approaches, explanatory and exploratory enquiry, and inductive and deductive techniques was employed. Existing research does not sufficiently describe or indicate patterns of use, practice and adoption of technologies by teachers. While a range of taxonomies, levels and stages exists, they deal in most instances with singularities. Existing technology adoption theories do not explicitly progress beyond the point of ‘actual use’. Use of technologies could result in some benefits. The findings of this study revealed that teachers used a purposeful selection of technologies for personal, administrative, teaching and learning purposes. Teachers’ practices were found to be incremental and progressive, and aligned to their comfort zones. Teachers adopted and used technologies on account of the value propositions afforded to them. The aggregated patterns of use, practice and adoption could be located on continuums.