Computer Science Education Project Topics

Evaluate the Use of Computer in Teaching and Learning of Basic Technology at Secondary School

Evaluate the Use of Computer in Teaching and Learning of Basic Technology at Secondary School in Orumbo South Local Government Area of a Anambra State



2.1 Concept of ICT

Many of the momentous economic and social changes that have been experienced in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries have been facilitated by the dramatic increase in the capabilities and availability of information and communications technologies (UNESCO, 2011). Towards the end of the last millennium, deep structural, technological and scientific developments were impacting business, education and the ways we live and learn. The last few years witnessed two parallel revolutions in the field of information technology -the first represents the explosion of information that is easily accessible while the other is electronic communications through which all types of information are transferred securely at very high speeds at local and international levels (Al-Natour, Alkhamra & Ajlouni, 2008). Machlup (1983) as cited in Sholle (2000), noted that the original meaning of the word “information” derives from the Latin word „informare‟, which means “to put into form.” “Informing” therefore carries the sense of “imparting learning or instruction” or more generally conveys the sense “to tell (one) of something.” Thus, “information” refers to the action of informing or to that which is told. Adegbija (2009), explains in her work that there are many definitions of communication based of different disciplines. She further stressed that the term communication originated from a Latin word „communis‟ which means creating and establishing „commonness between two people with the intent of effecting a change in the recipients‟ attitude. Sambe (2008), sees communication as an instrument or a vehicle of social interaction and is the bedrock of modern society. A most critical component of modernity and civilization. Etymologically, technology is derived from the Greek word „teckne‟ which is an art or craft. Over time, technology has acquired meanings as a process and as a product. As a process, it involves applying resources to satisfy human wants and needs to extend human capabilities – systematic process of solving problems by scientific means. It is also refers to as a product in that it is perceived as hardware device that delivers information and serves to accomplish task – it implies the development of application of tools, machines and materials (Galbraith, 1967 in Egbowon, 2007). UNESCO (2004) as cited by Al-Natour, et al. (2008), defined ICT as those aspects of scientific, technological and engineering knowledge, and administrative methods that are used to access and process information and its applications – the interaction between computers and tools with human beings and their social, economic and cultural matters. Tella, Tella, Toyobo, Adika & Adeyinka (2007), claimed that formerly the term IT was used to mean ICT and the term ICT was synonymous with computer, but as the passage of time covered other equipment created to enhance acquisition, storage and dissemination of information materials. As ICT is becoming more pronounced to the extent that rarely is anything mentioned in any area of human endeavours without reference to this technology, Perez (2002) as cited by UNESCO (2011) provides an insightful summary and contrast between the technological, economic and social paradigms associated with the mass production and the information technology paradigm as follows; i. The primary distinction between the two paradigms is the shift from production of objects (mass production) to production of knowledge (Information Technology). They further stress that the hallmark of mass production is standardization while the hallmark of IT paradigm is personalization. ii. Secondly, the mass production paradigm used ICTs of an earlier time – print, radio and television- to support the dissemination of information from centralized authorities and to foster the consumption of mass produced goods. In the IT paradigm, ICT served primarily a production function, as more people have access to the multimedia information processing capabilities of computers and are able to use them to create new knowledge. Therefore, a good conclusion is that ICT can increase the economic and social well being of poor people, enhance the transparency of the public sector in the delivery of social services and empower individuals and communities to be part of global village (International Institute for Communication and Development, 2009).

Basic Technology as a Subject in the Nigerian Secondary School Curriculum

Technical and vocational education systems in Africa differ from country to country and are delivered at different levels in different types of institutions, including technical and vocational schools (both public and private), polytechnics, enterprises, and apprenticeship training centers. West Africa has a traditional apprenticeship which offers great opportunity for the acquisition of employable skills in the informal sector. In general, students enter the vocational education track at the end of primary school which corresponds to 6 – 8 years of education as in countries like Burkina Faso and Kenya, or at the end of lower or junior secondary school, which corresponds to 9 – 12 years of what is called basic education in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Swaziland. (African Economic Outlook, 2008 as cited by Adeoye & Olabiyi, 2011). At the inception of 6. 3. 3. 4. system of education in Nigeria, technical and vocational education as offered as a subject at the end of primary school and was called “Introductory Technology” which is different from the current 9. 3. 4. system of education where it is called “Basic Technology” ( Fakomogbon, Morakinyo, Omiola & Ibrahim, 2012). Basic technology is a subject that introduces students at the Junior Secondary schools in Nigeria to the basic rudiment of technology. The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) defined it as the aspect of education which leads to acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge. It is also a subject that deals with the fundamentals of engineering and technology and its components include: Woodwork, Metalwork, Building Construction, Electrical/Electronics, Computer, Mechanics, Technical Drawing, and so on. According to the Federal Ministry of Education (2004) in Fakomogbon, Morakinyo, Omiola & Ibrahim (2012), the following are the objectives of teaching Basic Technology subject in Nigerian junior secondary school schools:

  1. To provide pre-vocational orientation for further training in technology.
  2. To provide basic technology literacy for everyday living and
  • To stimulate creativity (Fakomogbon et al., 2012). Therefore, to reduce ignorance about technology and lay a solid foundation for true national development; basic technology subject needs to be accorded a place in the school curriculum as a not only as a core subject like Mathematics and English language, but with consideration of recent technological developments.

Application of ICT in Teaching

No matter how undeveloped countries might be, virtually most of them recognize that ICT development is the key to future prosperity. Therefore, teachers‟ pedagogical content knowledge in era of technological advancement must develop to take account of ICT, noting that the speed and extent of the development can vary between teachers depending on their degree of confidence and competence with these technologies (Kennewell & Beauchamp, 2008). Ajelabi, (2005), opined that individual differences among learners can influence the outcome of instruction. In recent times, many researchers have lamented on the integration of ICT into the curriculum as a major factor for curriculum developers. Some based their criticism on teachers not been taught in their training institutions, inability of teachers to decide the appropriate use of it for instruction, lack of teachers‟ knowledge of subject matter and so forth.  According to Kemmis et al. in Tella et al., (2007), there are three main approaches to ICT which can be taken by teachers. They are as follows;

  1. Integrated Approach: planning the use of ICT within the subject to enhance particular concepts and skills and improve students‟ attainment. This involves a careful and considered review of the curriculum area, selecting the appropriate ICT resources which will contribute to the aims and objectives of the curriculum and scheme of work, and then integrating the use of relevant lessons.
  2. Enhancement Approach: planning the use of an ICT resource which will enhance the existing topic through some aspects of lessons and tasks. For example, using an electronic white board for presenting theory about a topic. In this approach, the teacher plans to complement the lesson with an innovative presentation method to promote class discussion and visualization of problems.
  • Complementary Approach: using an ICT resource to empower the pupil‟s learning, for example by enabling them to improve their class work by taking notes on the computer, or by sending home work by email to the teacher from home or by word processing their homework. Therefore, educators have shown concern on how instructional needs are met while making use of ICT as a mode in instructional delivery. Some amongst many ways in which include the following:
  1. Computer Managed Instruction: This refers to programme that evaluate and diagnose students‟ need, guide them through the next step in learning and record their progress. Onasanya (2009) citing Harold (1981) classified the functions performed by computer managed instruction into two as follows: the function support- for basic users, including students, instructors, administrators and curriculum developers and evaluators- and the instructional management related functions- such as diagnosis of students, making prescription based on results of test, monitoring the performance of students, allocating or scheduling the instructional resources specified by the prescriptive process and reporting through storage in the data base for records.
  2. Computer Aided Design (CAD): These are graphics software which offers a variety of 3-dimensional modeling and visualization features. They allow images to be rendered completely, dangerous events to be simulated and making tedious tasks to be easier and less time consuming.
  • Computer Assisted Instruction: Though popularly referred to as CAI, it has several nomenclatures such as Computer Assisted Learning (CAL), Computer Based Learning (CBL), Computer Based Training (CBT), etc. it is an interactive technique which allows computer to be used for presenting instruction and also monitor the process of presentation. It can be used in the classroom in the area of drill and practice, tutorial, simulation demonstration, designing, data collection, analysis and games.
  1. Programming: this is the art of conceiving a problem in terms of the steps to its solution and expressing those steps as instruction for the computer to follow. Students and teachers can develop their programme using special computer programmes like BASIC, FOTRAN, COBOL, etc. Therefore, knowledge in the use of computer technology such as privacy and artificial intelligence, skills in flow charting, skills in software and hardware maintenance, etc. would also be of beneficial knowledge in the process of using ICT for classroom instruction. Teachers should endeavour to integrate ICT in teaching as it provides different modality to instruction and also makes it less cumbersome.
Read Too:  Influence of Class Size and Availability of Resources on Students’ Academic Achievement in Computer Science in Junior Secondary School

Empirical Studies

The following related studies reveal the utilization of ICT in instructional delivery by teachers in schools. Though few international studies were reviewed, effort was made to address its impacts on Nigerian secondary schools. Subsequently, several studies carried out locally which have significant effect on utilization of ICT in instructions by teachers were also reviewed. 34 In a study carried out on ICT resource utilization by Jude and Dankaro (2012) in Benue State in which five schools and forty teachers were sampled, the study revealed that 87.5% of the sampled does not have computers/laptops. 80% of those who had laptops/computers were not connected to the internet, while 67.5% could not access the internet using persona mobile device. Fakeye, (2010), also investigated English language teachers‟ knowledge and use of ICT in Oyo State and found that availability of computers and internet was non-existent in virtually all the schools studied. Chattel,(2002); Cheng, (2003); Chiemeke, (2004) in AbdusSalam, (2010) on teachers‟ use of ICT also concluded that most secondary schools have either insufficient or no ICT tools to cater for the increasing population of students in the schools and where they are available, they are by implication a matter of out-ofbounds to the students. A study carried out in Jordan by Jawarneh, El-Hersh and Khazaleh, (2007), in exploring Vocational Education teachers‟ adoption of ICT reveals that teacher have both low to moderate ICT skills and the degree to which they incorporate ICT in their instruction. Lawal, Ahmadu and Dogara (2003) also conducted an investigation into the six selected secondary schools in Kano Metropolis. Finding among others revealed that half of the teachers were IT literate but very few used ICT in instruction. Salau (2003), study on promotion of ICT usage in instructions revealed, “that nations who adopt rigid ICT human resource or skill development policies run the risk of expanding the gap between ICT skills demand and supply”. A report from UNESCO (2011) on transforming education through the power of ICT policies, stresses the urgent need for correct integration of technology into teaching and learning. In another study carried out according to a survey on teachers‟ potential on ICT utilization by Kiridis, Drossev and Tsakiridou, (2006), majority of teachers in Greece were not fully convinced about the potentials of ICT due to their low ability level in ICT utilization. Some studies on application and adoption of ICT in Nigerians schools also showed that most Nigerian junior secondary schools teachers are yet to harness the opportunities offered by ICTs in instructional delivery process in which Kwara State is part of (Olatokun & Folaranmi, 2008; Adomi & Kpangban, 2010). According to ISTE (2008) report on using ICT in classroom “merely purchasing computers and practice software is not enough to makes alignment of software to curricular standards, effective school leadership and professional development are equally as important”. Ali, Haolader, and Muhammad, (2013), carried out an empirical study on factors influencing use of ICT to make teaching and learning effective. A sample of 90 teachers and 75 administrators in which 101 (61.2%) fully completed questionnaires were returned- 70 were filled by teachers and by administrators respectively. The findings of the study revealed that teaching staff and administrators had a strong desire to integrate ICT into teaching and learning process. Also, Ajelabi and Agbatogun (2010), carried out a study on teachers‟ perception on ICT in instruction. Teachers were of the view that ICT should be utilized in schools as soon as possible to support learning. 36 Five schools were surveyed – two public and three private Kenyan schools by Gakuu and Kodombo (2008). The results showed that the integration of ICT in curriculum delivery in Kenyan secondary schools is influenced by the ownership of the schools. Also, an investigation by Idoko, and Ademu (2010), on the challenges of ICT for teaching/learning as perceived by Agricultural science teachers in 210 secondary schools from the three educational zones in Kogi State found that ICT facilities were not available in secondary schools


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