Background of the study
In recent years, several studies and reports have highlighted the opportunities and the potential benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT) for improving the quality of education, particularly ICT. ICT is used as a mechanism at the school education level that could provide a way to rethink and redesign the educational systems and processes, thus leading to quality education for all.
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) creates a powerful learning environment and it transforms the learning and teaching process in which students deal with knowledge in an active, self directed and constructive way (Volman & Van Eck, 2005). ICT is not just regarded as a tool, which can be added to, or used as a replacement of existing teaching methods. ICT is seen as an important instrument to supporting new ways of teaching and learning. It should be used to develop student’s skills for cooperation, communication, problem solving and lifelong learning (Plomp Gregory 2004; Voogt, 2003).
Technology as a matter of fact can change or alter how people access, gather, analyze, present, transmit, and simulate information (Plomp, 2012). The impact of technology is one of the most critical issues in education (Webber, 2003). According to Flanagan and Jacobsen (2003), technology integration is meant to be cross curricular rather than become a separate course or topic in itself. Technology should be used as a tool to support the educational objectives such as skills for searching and assessing information, cooperation, communication and problem solving which are important for the preparation of children for the knowledge society (Drent Meelissen 2007).
In fact, innovative use of ICT can facilitate student centered learning (Drent, 2005). Hence, every classroom teacher should use learning technologies to enhance their student learning in every subject because it can engage the thinking, decision making, problem solving. These are cognitive behaviors that children need to learn in an information age. Despite successful efforts to acquire computer hardware and to raise the student to computer ratio to 5:1 (World Almanac, 2002), there has been less success identifying, which computer skills should be taught in school and how computers can be used for teaching and learning (Dooling, 2000). However, the use of information and communication technologies in the educative process has been divided into two broad categories: ICTs for Education and ICTs in Education. ICTs for education refers to the development of information and communications technology specifically for teaching/learning purposes, while the ICTs in education involves the adoption of general components of information and communication technologies in the teaching learning process. Integrating technology into curricula with the intent of positively influencing teaching and learning has been in a state of evolution over the past 20 years (Dias & Atkinson, 2001; Dockstader, 2000). Driven primarily by hardware and software evolution, accessibility to computers in educational settings, and popular instructional technology trends, technology integration has covered the continuum from instruction on programming skills, self-directed drill and practice, interactive learning software, online training, testing, instructional delivery augmentation, and Internet-based accessibility to information, communication, and publication (Dias & Atkinson, 2006). Information and communication technology is an essential tool in any educational system.
It has the potential of being used to meet the learning needs of individual students, promote equality educational opportunities; offer high quality learning materials, increase self-efficacy and independence of learning among students, and improve teachers’ professional development. (Apanpa and Lawal, 2009) opined that the use of technology, and knowing how technology can support student learning have become essential skills for professional teachers in today’s world.
To accurately understand the importance of Information and Communication Technology in Teaching and Learning, there is need to actually understand the meaning of ICT. ICTs stands for Information and Communication Technology, and are defined, for the purposes of this primer, as a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store, and manage information.
The recent electronic information system has shown that they offer great opportunities for students in various disciplines. The use of electronic information system aids students to gain extra information outside what they have been taught in school. This is made possible through the use of internet connection. Electronic information system can be defined as the combination of hardware and software used to store data and information for external and internal forces for more accessible data base towards the accomplishment of the organizational goal, through the use of Electronic Information System (EIS). Necessary information is transmitted widely within the shortest possible time, thus enabling researchers, scholars, to meet, interacts, and exchange ideas in the field of education.
(Adebayo 2008) asserted that the functions of teaching in education process is considered paramount especially when we consider teaching and learning process as the acquisition of knowledge and skills by individuals to enable him become useful member of the society. Teachers are the primary agents of educational innovation therefore; ICT skills among secondary school teachers should be seen as an invaluable prerequisite that would help facilitate the teaching and learning procedure in this modern age of information explosion.
The main objective of information and Communication technology for teaching and learning according to is to facilitate a faster and better comprehension and appreciation of the subject matter in such a way as to obtain the maximum possible output from the teaching and learning process. (Nwachukwu 2005) opined that with the changes in the forms, formats, and expressions of information, the process of access, storage, transmission and reproduction have witnessed new media technology, it is therefore of paramount importance for teachers to adapt themselves to new roles and skills in order to cope with the impending changes. Posited that use of computers can revolutionize teaching and learning and could bring advances that would improve education dramatically. (Jegede2008) opined that ICT is now recognized as an essential ingredient for creating 21st century learning environment but Lau and (Sim 2008 ) reported that despite the apparent benefits of the use of ICT for educational purpose, studies showed that in many cases, the learning potential of ICT is deprived as many teachers are still not fully ICT literate.
(Mutula and Mutula 2007) asserted that there is a digital divide which refers to the widening imbalance of access to ICT’s between communities and countries which creates an imbalance for equitable access to quality education in an electronic age. They further opined that schools are being seen as very important institutions for bridging the digital divide in society because they represent focal points where many children from different communities converge for learning purposes. Though, (Servon 2002) argued that the technology gap should not be defined narrowly as a problem of access. Training and content. It should be included as other dimensions of the digital divide so that policy makers and programs to narrow the digital divide would not lose their focus. It is therefore of paramount importance for teacher preparatory institutions to aim at developing in teachers ICT pedagogical competencies that will ensure that these teachers help the country to cross over to the positive side of the digital divide and keep pace on the information superhighway (Akudolu, 2002).
Information Communication Technology (ICT) has changed the face of teaching and learning globally. And serious nations are taking the advantages inherent in ICT to impact on the educational sector. Though Nigeria is also making efforts to join the ICT fray, these efforts appear to be ineffective. Computer laboratories are largely non-existent in many public schools across the country. And where they exist, they are nothing to cheer. Due to this general neglect and other factors, comprising corruption, outdated curriculum, ill-motivated teachers, materialism and academic laziness on the part of Students and Teachers, the nation has been reaping mass failure in public examinations.
The success of the implementation of ICT is not dependent of the availability or absence of one individual factor, but is determined through a dynamic process involving a set of interrelated factors (Ema, E. & Ajayi, D. T. 2006).
The efforts of different governments and administrations have been focusing on providing the schools with good equipment. However, an analysis of the educational uses of ICT in the classroom has been lacking. This research focuses on the need to develop appropriate strategies to face this new teaching role and, additionally, the students’ role when integrating ICT in the teaching and learning processes. The role and the perspective of teachers have become highly relevant, highlighting them as crucial players in this process. Particularly, teachers use technology depending on their perceptions and their trust in the way it can contribute to the teacher and the learning process. Through knowing what they think, we will be closer to understanding what they do or what they might do with technology in their classrooms and in relation to their work.
The technologies to develop and deploy will ensure that the end user receives a minimum level of service even in adverse conditions. Examples of this would be:
- E-Learning: E-Learning is the convergence of learning and the Internet done at a computer, usually connected to a network, giving us the opportunity to learn almost anytime, anywhere. It is the use of network technology to design, deliver, select, administer, and extend learning. (Gregory Ford, 2007)
E-Learning provides faster learning at reduced costs, increased access to learning, and clear accountability for all participants in the learning process. It is not unlike any other form of education – and it is widely accepted that e-Learning can be as rich and as valuable as the classroom experience or even more so. With its unique features e-Learning is an experience that leads to comprehension and mastery of new skills and knowledge, just like its traditional counterpart. E-Learning is a valuable part of a well-planned and properly supported education and training environment.
- Virtual classroom: A virtual classroom is a web-based environment that allows you to participate in live training events without the need to travel. You listen to lectures, participate in lab exercises, ask questions, and receive feedback just as you would do in a conventional classroom except you do it from the convenience of your desktop, laptop or anywhere you have an Internet and phone connection.
- Distance education: The scope could also be extended to also establish distance education programs in the state so that schools in the rural areas could evolve their own non-formal educational program. How do we reach out to people with no or very poor internet connection? We can consider other means such as mobile phone network, cable television network or offline access using DVDs. To address the bandwidth constraints, we should make the same multimedia content available in multiple formats such as audio only, low quality video, and high quality video.
- Email service: Store and forward abilities to ensure that the user is able to send email to a local server can be implemented. The user is not asked to wait to come back when the “internet is back again”. The user would also be allowed to type, send email and ask questions.
- Market Price Information: The buyer and seller could receive customized market data to allow them to make informed decisions.
Local content: Local content will be stored in a distributed architecture making it accessible to all kiosks in the area irrespective of problems with the leased lines.
- Medical diagnostics / consultation: Linking the rural communities over a reasonably high bandwidth line is the first step in connecting primary health centers to the good medical facilities provided in the city.
(CEO Forum on Education Technology 2001).
Statement of Problem
The research is very much concerned about the Impact of Information and Communication Technology in teaching and Learning in secondary schools in Enugu-east Local Government Area of Enugu State.
This is caused by certain factors which has attracted the concern of the researcher. One of the factors is:
- Lack of equipments and technological know how
Other factors are as follows:
- Lack of trained teachers, to handle the equipments for teaching and learning.
- Negligence on the part of the state government to boost educative infrastructures in the state.
- Lack of basic computer skills among the secondary school students.
Purpose of the Study
The general objective of the study is to investigate the Impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Teaching and learning in Enugu-East local government of Enugu State.
The specific objective includes;
- To find out student’s exposure to teaching and learning with ICT in government secondary schools in the local government.
- To determine the factors affecting the use of ICT related equipment present in each of the secondary schools.
- To find out how functional and impactful the equipments are on student’s learning.
Significance of the study
This study should be of great importance to the policy makers in our secondary schools and also to the state and local governments of Enugu state because this research is aimed at helping them to appreciate the usefulness of ICT in teaching and learning so as to come up with policies that promote ICT in teaching and learning. The researcher hopes that result of the study may be useful to future researchers with interest in examining further the impact of ICT on students learning and teaching in general. This should lead to the generation of new ideas for the better implementation of ICT into learning process.
Scope of the Study
The study covers ten Government Secondary Schools in Enugu east Local government Area of Enugu State. The schools comprise both male and female schools. Out of the 10 secondary schools covered, Three out of 10 were chosen by the researcher for focus. The Chosen schools are:
- Girls’ secondary School, Abakpa
- National Grammar School, Nike
- Trans-ekulu girl’s Secondary school, Trans-ekulu.
All of these above listed Secondary schools are located in Enugu-east local government area of Enugu state, Enugu.
This study sought to unearth answers for the following question
1. How does Information and Communication Technology help in Teaching and learning?
2. What is the availability of ICT related equipment present in each secondary school?
3. What are the factors affecting the teaching and learning with ICT in your school