GAUGING THE ICT-BASED TEACHING READINESS OF PRESERVICE TEACHERS IN THE LIGHT OF 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION
PEOPLE International Journal of Social Sciences
This triangulation study assessed pre-service teachers of their readiness to functionally utilize Information and Communication Technology (ICT)based teaching strategies and techniques as corroborated with new graduates' related experiences.Their knowledge in ICT-based teaching acquired from the educational technology courses in teacher education was correlated with their attitudes and perceptions toward the use of these strategies in causing functional learning, their perceived readiness, and
... ved readiness, and technological practices. Subsequently, issues concerning the use of ICT-based strategies learned in college were sought from graduates of teacher education through exposition of experiences in their respective workplaces.This study ultimately revealed that the educational technology course experiences were not responsive enough to capacitate pre-service teachers to enact ICT-based strategies toward functional learning of their future students. They generally believe that their knowledge, potentials, and skills were not adequate to maximize ICT in designing and implementing curricular programs when they become full-fledged teachers despite their positive views on the benefits of ICT in teaching. New teacher-graduates, meanwhile, experienced limitations on the opportunities to use ICT in teaching due to lack of facilities and available resources to carry out their learned competencies. They also expressed restraint to innovate teaching as they were aghast of the demands of 21st century education. The need to revitalize the teacher education curriculum is, therefore, proposed that should be highly responsive in gearing up the potentials of pre-service teachers on ICT-based teaching in the light of 21st century education. Introduction Technologizing teaching is the language of innovation in education (Nelson, 2013) . The 21 st century classroom is technology-rich that includes the teacher as the empowered leader. The "seismic shift" (Bush, 2013, p. 62) of classroom teaching in this millennium makes information and communication technology (ICT) as the main thrust in the education of the new generation of learners. This dramatic evolution has seen practices, habits and even people's beliefs shifting to more sophisticated and faster ways to achieve their goals. This is the so-called technology. According to Gentry in Tomei (2002) , technology is the application of behavioral and physical sciences, concepts, and other knowledge to the solution of problems. As the social population grows, newer ideas are born as a result of the swelling demands of the society. Competition has started looming over human endeavor, hence, the birth of technology. As fresh minds hunger for knowledge and learning, education moves at par with the rapidly growing world of expertise. Educational technology occupies the center stage in the state-of-the-art hypermedia instruction. This has challenged educators to update their strategies and techniques in causing learning using technology in education. Corpuz &Lucido, (2008) cite the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Washington DC, USA, that "educational technology is a complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, devices, and organization for analyzing problems and devising, implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions to those problems, involved in all aspects of human learning". Truly, educational technology has determined how the learning environment in the formal schools developed into a more competent and highly interactive and analytical educational setting. Instruction has gone far regarding the techniques in teaching since the infusion of computers and the internet in the schools. The traditional chalk board method has PEOPLE: International Journal of Social Sciences 13 seen its giant rival in multi-media instruction. The textbooks have found a total alternative in hyper-media resourcing. However, the need to update in-service teachers to their new roles as learning facilitators (Divaharan, 2011) and induct the pre-service teachers to the world of ICTbased teaching that is learner-centered (Lee et al., 2007) emerges. It is, therefore, noteworthy to consider whether the teachers and would-be teachers are ready to embark with the fast growing technology in education. There are a wide range of computer software, educational applications, multi-media and hyper-media resources from the net and World Wide Web that can be utilized to maximize the teaching-learning experience. Could teachers be able to manage such techniques in teaching? Could pre-service teachers be ready enough to face the challenge? (Roblyer & Edwards, 2000) state that a teacher should develop a philosophy of technology which is integrated in the instruction. It is beneficial to consider that a teacher needs to set his vision towards "technologizing" instruction. As new generations of students take place in the academe, newer and more updated demands come about. Each year, the teacher updates his technological methods to meet the growing exigencies. The teacher sets at least a foot ahead of the students as far as technological growth is concerned. The pre-service teacher's learning experiences in the University are an excellent, if not the ultimate, opportunity to prepare him for a functional ICT-based instruction. While his attitude determines how much he could achieve the competencies, strategies and techniques, actual practice is inevitable to enhance his skills in managing such technology in instruction. Readiness is a highly variable and complicated word to consider. This entails a number of points to satisfy for an individual to be considered as "ready". It is quite easy to merely say that one is ready to face a certain task. However, along the way, problems arise that would just consequently lead to worse scenarios, hence, the miscalculations of readiness. Readiness, in the holistic sense, involves the readiness of the mind, heart and the physical bodythe cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains, respectively (Schaffer, 2004) . Pre-service teachers may be said ready when equipped with the necessary information and knowledge of the teaching strategies (cognitive), the positive attitude to sustain their interest to move on (affective), and congruent manual skills and practices in doing all these ICT tasks in teaching and personal development (psychomotor). 24 commit to gear up students' attitudes leaning to the development of oneself in using technology to think better, feel better, and do better. If achievements in the educational technology courses do not significantly relate with students' attitude, readiness and practices, there might be some missing link in the curriculum for teacher education. Further in this study, no matter which level a pre-service teacher would be, his/her perceived readiness and technological practices will not differ. Above average performers may simply feel the same and do the same as those in the average and below average groups. These ideas may suggest that the present curricular tasks in the said courses are not that responsive to equip the pre-service teachers of the necessary attitude, readiness and practices to be ICT-based teachers in the future. 4.2Problems, Difficulties and Limitations in ict-Based Teaching. On the perspectives of the newly-hired basic education teachers, social networking marks the most difficult and most limited area in the ICT-based teaching tasks. This means that communication problems exist among teachers to augment teaching-learning experiences and to improve one's personal and professional development.