Information And Communication Technology For Effective Teaching And Learning

Amsoshi

By


Khadija Muhammad SAMA (Mrs)1


Department of Curriculum and Educational Technology


Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto


Phone: 08039592052


Mail: hadizasama@yahoo.com



 Zalkarnaini ABDULLAHI2


Department of Science and Vocational Education


Faculty of Education and Extension Services


Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto


Phone: 08039557853


Email: zalkarnainiabdullahi@gmail.com



Abu-Ubaida SANI3


Department of Educational Foundation


Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto


Phone: 08133529736


Mail: abuubaidasani5@gmail.com


                                                                                                                                                           


Abstract: Globally today, the increasing pressure of information age is forcing the entire world to integrate information and communication technologies (ICTs) into the various sectors, education not exclusive. It is well reported that, schools are now using ICT for achieving strategic advantages and gaining the right results of attaining educational standards. This is more so when the world is fast becoming a global village where the use of modern technological gadgets to improve teaching and learning has become imperative. However, this paper discusses the importance of information and communication technology in teaching and learning processes, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria. As several scholarly arguments have been based on the impacts of ICT, this paper highlights how relevant is ICT to students and teachers during instruction. More so, problems militating the use of ICT such as: lack of infrastructures, inadequate funding are discussed. Finally, the paper presented some suggestions as steps for the effective integration of ICT into the educational sector in Nigeria. One is that, a strong network provider should be made available across educational institutions. Another is, curriculum planners and implementers should take into consideration the role of ICT in the teaching and learning processes, thereby utilizing it to the fullest expectation.

Keywords: ICT, teaching, learning, education, technology

                                                                                                                                                           

 

Introduction


Education can simply be a dynamic force in the life of every individual, influencing his physical, mental, emotional, social and ethical development. (kumar et’al, 2014) sees education as means of modifying the behavior of an individual. The education process need to be science based and in coherence with the new technological era, which can provide the foundation as well as act as an instrument for the nation's progress, security and welfare. The present century is marked by the explosion of scientific knowledge, which has resulted in several educational innovations. It is generally acknowledged as one of the crucial allies of development. Abba, (2016) affirmed that teaching should encompass both instruction and procedures, a process to guide students to the information they will need, and challenging them to engage in thinking about concepts they construct in minds.

However, the concept of information and communication technology (ICT) was introduced in the early 1990s to replace the older, Information Technology (IT) in recognition of the communication abilities and facilities offered by the modern computers (Adesote & Fatoki, 2013). UIS, (2014) defined ICT as “an umbrella terms that includes any communication device or application encompassing radio, television, cellular, phones, computer hardware and software, satellite system and so on, as well as the various services and application associated with them, such as video conferencing and distance learning program.” According to Moges, (2014) Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are referred to as the diversed assortment of technological gear and resources, which are used in communication. They are also used in generation, distribution, collection and administration of information. Eya, (2006) sees ICT as a newer, better, faster and more robust means of information generation and dissemination. He stated that ICT involves the application of newer technology to generate information and communication same through sophisticated electronic devices. ICT is a force that has changed many aspects of the way we live. It consists hardware, software, networks and media for collection, storage, processing, transmission and presentation of information (voice, data, text, images), as well as related services.

Thompson, (2007) viewed ICT in three perspectives thus: i. the technological application of Information Technology to society; ii. the science dealing with the design, realization, evaluation, use and maintenance of information processing system, including hardware, software, organizational, human aspects and the industrial, commercial, government and political implications; iii. the combination of Information Technology with other related Technologies, specifically Communication Technology. Singh, Kumar & Singh, (2015) considers ICT or Information and Communications Technology as the basket of technologies, which assists or supports storage, processing of data/information, and or dissemination/communication of data/information. ICT thus includes technologies such as desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones, software, peripherals and connections to the internet that are intended to fulfill information processing and communication functions.

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Review of empirical studies


Since early 1990s, researchers have written large number of literatures on ICT. This includes its significance in enhancing students’ academic performance by bettering up of the teaching and learning processes. Kumar, (2014) wrote on: “The Role of ICT in Teaching Biology.” In this study, he concluded that ICT is the best way to convey the information to students. Similarly, Akintunde & Angulu, (2015) noted that, the use of ICT in language teaching and learning process is highly recommendable. This is because, emerging technologies make it pertinent and practical to approach learning in ways that have been advocated by scientists, theorists and educational psychologists. Adosote & Fatoki, (2013) confirmed that, despite the reluctance in integrating ICT into the Nigerian educational system, majority of educators strongly feel that ICT is the most valuable tool to overcome the problem being faced in the teaching-learning process.

However, recent researches have shown setbacks to the possibility of easy integration of ICT into the teaching and learning processes in Nigerian schools. Joseph, (2013) learned that, majority of the teachers have inadequate ICT knowledge, and this influenced their ability to appropriately manipulate ICT gadgets. On this regard, Mtshali, (2011) observed that, lack of interest and knowledge on new technologies by some of the stakeholders who are reluctant to use the technology could hinder the Effective use of ICT in Nigerian schools. furthermore, Ali et’ al, (2013) categorically mentioned some factors responsible for poor response to ICT as new innovation. They include: teachers’ attitudes, ICT competence, computer self-efficacy, teaching experience, education level, professional development, accessibility, technical support, leadership support, pressure to use technology, government policy on ICT literacy, and technological characteristics. This is in line with the view of Chukwu, (2016) who commented that, only by the means of integrating ICT into the teaching and learning processes, shall Nigerian educational system meet up with the current global educational standards. To sum it up therefor, carrying along ICT in the process of teaching and learning is necessary for the overall development of educational sector in Nigeria.

 

Relevance of ICT) In Promoting the Standard of Teaching and Learning Processes


Currently, the innovations in global education are centered on structural shifts in the content of the curriculum, application of ICT and scientific innovation into educational processes Chukwu, (2016). However, the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is quite worthy of consideration from the educational perspective. Nevertheless, these technologies are contributing highly to both lecturers/teachers and learners for the accumulation of basic knowledge required at certain time. ICT enables both the lecturers/teachers and learners to process information and perform different tasks much quickly than the traditional process(es) (Aduwa-Ogiegbaen & Iyamu, 2005; Kumar, 2015).

ICT integrates a wide variety of packages, which aimed at making learning easier and more interesting. For instance, Computer Aided Instruction package assists learners with correct spellings, grammar and pronunciation of words. It also assists learners in words drilling, syllable, stress, intonation and other areas of morphological drills. More so, in teaching subjects like Fine Arts, Architecture, Geography and Engineering, Computer Assisted Design (CAD) helps vigorously in performing all kinds of designs (Nduanya & Emesini, 2013). In this regard, Schofield, West & Taylor, (2011) noted that, the development of World Wide Web (www) has been tremendously assisting in science teaching and learning processes. However, the global international network (INTERNET) is another function of ICT usage in teaching and learning processes. It is a worldwide connection of computers and their networks, which provides an excellent research tools for learning. For example, sources that include, e-books, e-journals, e-libraries and other proliferations of internet can simply be accessed globally (Helgason, 2016).

Similarly, in Science Subjects, ICT has become a very important tool in research and development. Facilities which include computers, satellites and telescope among others become asserted tools for instruction, measurement, calculation and experimentation in the laboratories. Various research studies on cells, microorganisms, bacteria and so on were carried out with the help of the internet facilities.

Furthermore, ICT promote possibilities to deliver training to a widely dispersed audience by means of video over territorials’ broad band network (Valk & Elder, 2010). For instance, the UNESCO’s educational efforts such as open and distance learning was promoted through ICT programs.  The activities usually take place through the use of   e-mails and class message boards. Hence, the contemporary desire for leaning by all, stressed the importance of distance learning in Nigeria. However, (Pinkwart et al, 2003) termed learning reinforced by any digital electronic tools and media as e-learning.

The role of ICT was further projected to students’ online registrations and payments. In the past, tuition, accommodation and other sundry fees were in cash or bank drafts. Contrarily, in the present days, all are carried out online, which eliminate students’ long queue for payment and cots of un-collected revenue. With effective networking, ICT will surely bring education to the door of every person more than ever before.

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Impact of ICT on Teaching and Learning Science Subjects


Many arguments have advanced regarding the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on the science teaching and learning processes. While some are of the opinion that it makes students smarter and enhance the teaching and learning of science, others posited that there is no certainty about its possibilities, because many educators are not yet familiar with the technology to use and how to apply it in the teaching and learning processes (Eng, 2005). For instance, there has been a great deal of debates in the past few decades on the pedagogical worth of computers in the classrooms. While some researchers have suggested that technology often remains antiquated, limited to the simple writing assignments and browsing the internet (Primo, 2003), others viewed that, it has to do, with the educators' limited knowledge of the role played by communication technology instruction. Whatever might be the case, ICT remains a medium through which a variety of methods, approaches and pedagogical philosophies are implemented much faster and easier (UNESCO, 2004). Nevertheless, the arguments implies that the use of ICT in Science education has its merits and challenges.

 

Factors Affecting the Use of ICT In Teaching and Learning in Nigeria


There are number of factors that hinder the rate at which ICT is used for teaching and learning processes in Nigeria. However, Kumar (2015) noted that, we are still using traditional technologies, such as audio recorders and players for educational purposes. Below are some factors, which are challenges to the use of ICT in Nigerian schools:

  1. Lack of Infrastructures


Computers, high speed internet and Continuous supply of electricity are the basic requirement for integration of ICT into educational system. Supply of electricity is not sufficient. Availability of internet connection and proper speed of internet is a matter of concern. 3G and 4G technology of internet is not adequate even in most of the Nigerian universities.

  1. Teachers’ Inadequate ICT Skills


The integration of ICT as a tool in the teaching and learning depends to a large extent on teacher’s familiarity and ability of using ICT. Basic skills to use ICT as a tool for own subject-specific purposes are necessary. Knowledge of appropriate educational software, application, and websites are necessary requirement for a teacher to use ICT effectively in teaching and learning processes.

  1. Students’ Inadequate ICT Skills


Before integration of ICT into the educational processes is ever actualized, the students concerned must possess at least minimum knowledge required for the use of computer(s) and the internet.

  1. Inadequate Funding


Proper funding is required for this purpose. A heavy investment is needed for the integration of ICT in education. In a developing country like Nigeria, it is not easy to invest the heavy amount on the infrastructure required for Information Technology based teaching learning method. Moreover, Training of students for smart use of ICT is also very important. Financial condition of the students is such that they cannot purchase the computer or smart phone which is very necessary to utilize all the benefits of smart classes.

Similarly, Aduwa-Ogiegbaen & Iyamu, (2005) maintains that among the factors impediments to the successful use of information and communication technology in Nigerian universities, are: Cost of ICTs facilities, weak infrastructure, lack of skills, lack of relevant software and limited access to the Internet.

 

Mobile Learning


Mobile learning (M-Learning) is another educational function which is possible with the help of ICT. Many institutions of higher learning have adopted this system of teaching and learning, many a times with the help of NGOs. Mobile learning is the use of mobile, portable, and hand-held computing devices in learning applications and environments (Kossen, 2001; Prabaharan, 2006). Vavoula & Sharples, (2004) defined mobile learning from the perspective of the technology as any educational provision where the sole or dominant technologies are handheld or palmtop devices. According Schotfield, West & Taylor, (2011) mobile learning can be considered as any learning and teaching activity that is possible through mobile tools or in settings where mobile equipment is available. It is the point at which mobile computing and e-Learning intersect to produce, at anytime and anywhere, learning experience. Mobile learning is a new form of e-learning through the use of mobile and portable devices and wireless network and communication technologies for teaching and learning (Prajapati & Patel (2014).

Kukulska-Hulme & Traxler in Mtshali, (2011) identified three fundamental attributes that are essential in understanding and identifying mobile learning thus:

  1. M-learning is ubiquitous,

  2. It is pervasive and that



  • It is ambient.


Mobile learning is consequently an emerging concept as institutions of higher learning are starting to explore its use with mobile technology in teaching and learning environments. The most prominent benefit of mobile learning is that it offers convenient learning from anywhere and at any given time (Keegan in Mtshali, 2011). M-learning affords students the opportunity and possible easy access to learning materials, and mobility of both the learner and the learning materials and devices. This factor is attributed to the increased interests and encouragement in teaching and learning in many educational institutions Prajapati & Patel, (2014).

Mobile learning is possible today due to increased adoption of ICT artefacts. This is as a result of a continuation of the educational technology investment strategy adopted by higher learning institutions. Mobile learning is going through the trials and experiments that define its role and applications in an institution of higher learning. Its application depends on the subject and context in which it is used. Some contexts and subjects naturally fit into the mobile learning paradigm, while others do not. Early trials of mobile learning indicate that it can offer convenience, mobility, and increased access to information need in educational carders (Trifonova in Mtshali, 2011).

 

Positive Impact of ICT in the Teaching and Learning Processes


ICT increases the flexibility of delivery of education so that learners can access knowledge anytime and from anywhere. It can influence the way students are taught and how they learn as now the processes are learner-driven and not by teachers (Ul-Amin, 2010). This in turn would better prepare the learners for lifelong learning as well as to improve the quality of learning. Kumar et’al, (2014) noted the followings as the reason way ICT need to be integrated into teaching and learning process:

  1. To help teachers use ICT as a tool for designing new learning environments for their own subject-Specific purposes to help their future students to use ICT.

  2. To provide the students with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to better use technology in their research, communication and problem solving.



  • To critically apply the pedagogical principles of ICT integration in science education.



  1. To develop and facilitate ICT-based learning activities in the context of teaching and learning.

  2. To analyze and evaluate appropriate content and context for the use of ICT in teaching and learning process.

  3. To use appropriate and varied communication and multimedia tools (emails, websites etc.) in teaching and learning.



  • To use ICT efficiently in research, problem solving and project-based learning.

  • To integrate ICT appropriately into curriculum activities that will foster students’ ownership of their ICT-rich learning environment.


Similarly, Kumar, (2015) noted that, integrating ICT into the teaching and learning processes could ensure the following benefits:

  1. Taking advantage of on-line books, articles and other study materials.

  2. Interactive teaching and learning.



  • Increased communication between teachers and students through internet.



  1. Teacher can give instructions and notices to students very easily and much quicker.

  2. Teacher can provide study material, books, notes, etc. to students any time at a very little cost.

  3. Sometimes costly experimental set ups are required to provide the practical knowledge of any topic in science subjects. ICT provides the solution of this problem.



  • Distance education and online courses can be made more effective by using Information and Communication Technology.

  • It increases the effectiveness of teaching and improving students’ learning.



  1. ICT can be used for laboratory experiments modeling and computational activities.


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Conclusion


In conclusion, it is worthy of being noted that, information and communication technology have now been the most advanced way of imparting knowledge to students. ICT integrates a wide variety of packages which aimed at making learning easier and interesting. It has been noted that information and communication technology is the most recent way used in teaching and learning processes as it integrates a wide variety of packages such as distance and online learning, reduce cost of education, carries students along as well as fast gratification of instructions. However, in developing countries like Nigeria, several problems are hindering the use of information and technology as several educational institutions experience inadequate infrastructure, lack of training of teachers and students to use ICT facilities, poor network server provider and inadequate funding among others.

 

Suggestions



  1. There should be appropriate utilization of information and communication technology in the educational system for the improvement of teaching and learning processes.

  2. Adequate training should be given to teachers on how to use information and communication technology during the teaching and learning processes.



  • Computer studies shall be taught paying maximum attention to the practical aspects at all level of education.


 

Reference


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