The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of Information Technology (IT) in teaching and Learning Economics in secondary schools. The focus was on three main subject matters: to outline the challenges that can constrain the utilization of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools, analyze if the teaching and learning with the use of information technology can advance the students comprehension in economics and determine if the use of information technology in secondary schools in Akoko South West Local Government can enhance the academic development of Ondo State. Three research questions were formulated to guide the researcher investigate the phenomena. A descriptive survey design was used to collect data from the field through the use of questionnaire and an observation schedule. From the findings there was a strong indication that the use of ICT in learning and teaching in most of the secondary schools in the study area is limited. In most of the secondary schools the students were in agreement that the infrastructure was inadequate. Percentage of the students indicated that they did not have the skills to create/edit a document, save a document, send mail and open a file. This is a clear indication that most of the students did not have any basic idea on use of computers. The study also recommended that there is need for schools with I T facilities to address the issue of lack of I T staff as this will ensure that the facilities are in good working conditions and are utilized responsibly and optimally by the students and staff. All the students should be given some basic training on the use of computers before choosing to use the computer to teach and learn a specialized course. Finally, further research is to be done on utilization of I T facilities where such facilities are well established in other geographical areas of the country.
Keywords: Information Technology, Economics, Teaching and Learning, Utilisation.
Background to the Study
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
The use of computers for the gathering, retrieval, transfer, and operation of data or information is known as information technology. It’s also seen as a subset of ICT. Information technology is the use of computers to store, interact, and organize data in the generation, processing, modification, storage, security, and dissemination of electronic data (Eze and Adu 2014).
Information technology was first mentioned in a Harvard Business Review article in 1958, and it is considered a subset of ICT (Information Communication Technology) (Dwivedi, 2004). Since its inception, the IT sector has advanced in leaps and bounds. It has become so ingrained in our lives that it is difficult to imagine a world without it. From the mid-twentieth century forward, information technology grew to include transistors and integrated circuits. The advancement of technology has resulted in lower energy use and device costs (Eze and Adu 2014).
Information technology performs its operations with the help of hardware and software. Software contains the operating system and virtualization to conduct the key activities (O’Hara, Pritchard, & Bacon 2014). Hardware tools include physical equipment such as user devices such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, sound recorders, and so on. Architectures, techniques, and standards for the use and use of electronic data are all part of the information technology landscape.
Information technology and its patterns are always evolving as technology advances. The following are some of the current information technology trends:
Cloud computing is a type of internet-based computing that allows computers and other devices to access shared data on demand. Cloud computing lowers the cost of a company’s IT infrastructure and supports the notion of virtualization.
Cloud technology also makes software and hardware maintenance easier.
Mobile Applications: Since their inception, mobile applications have been a huge success. They are available for download on the internet.
User interface: Since the introduction of touch displays, the user interface has changed dramatically. Touch screens allow users to interact directly with the display, eliminating the need for a third-party device. This is often found in smart phones, tablets, and other electronic devices.
Analytical Patterns: Analytical Patterns is a blend of statistics, computer programming, and operations research that aids in the discovery of informative patterns in data.
There is no such thing as a certain sort of information technology. Almost every sort of modern computer networking technology falls under the umbrella of information technology. Information technology is utilized to develop a wide range of technologies that are critical to preserving life in the now and the future. As a result, information technology encompasses all of the sorts that we have created in the field of computer networking or in this modern world. However, several forms of mobile technologies, which enable the use of server and storage devices, are typical types of information technologies. Teaching is the process of paying attention to people’s needs, experiences, and feelings and making precise interventions to assist them in learning certain topics.
Senior secondary school students in Nigeria study economics as one of their disciplines. According to Dwivedi (2004), economics is the study of how society selects what, how, and for whom to manufacture things, such as steel and strawberries, and deliver services, such as messages or live performances, which are only consumed or enjoyed at the time they are produced. He went on to argue that depending on a country’s economic structure, the issue of what, how, and for whom to create is either answered by a central planning agency or the pricing mechanism. In addition, economics might be defined as the study of how man distributes finite resources among competing desires. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN 2004) goes on to list the specific objectives of economics as follows: equipping students with basic economic principles necessary for useful living and higher education; preparing and encouraging students to be prudent and effective in the management of scarce resources; and raising students’ respect for the dignity of labor and their appreciation of the economy, culture, and social value of the society (O’Hara, Pritcha). As seen by the rise in online learning programs and the usage of the computer as a learning support tool in the classroom, e-learning is increasingly being used to enhance the learner’s capacity to perceive, comprehend, and communicate. Although universities were pioneers in developing the Internet and interoperable computer systems to link academics for e-mail and data interchange, educational and training usage of ICTs has fallen behind other sectors of society (Eze and Adu 2014). If effectively applied in the classroom, information technology will considerably improve teaching and learning while also developing a skilled and efficient workforce for the country.
Illiteracy, according to the current global trend, is defined as the inability to read and write, as well as the inability to use some electronic devices. Technology promotes literacy, offers kids access to knowledge, enhances learning, and builds students’ self-esteem, according to a research conducted years ago (O’Hara, Pritchard, & Bacon 2014). It is obvious that technology aids pupils in expanding and diversifying their personal knowledge. In colleges and universities, computer software for the preparation of educational documents and curriculum development is uncommon (Nicola 2014).
However, the importance of information technology in the teaching and learning process cannot be overstated, which is why schools must be supplied with basic IT tools and computer facilities to aid pupils. Today, everyone uses information technology, particularly computers, in both rich and poor countries across the world. Computers were first brought to American schools in the mid-1960s for administrative purposes, but they were not well received (Shue, 2009) Apple II computers, on the other hand, came up with the notion of employing its computers in schools for teaching and learning in order to understand how technology may be tied to education.
The conventional approach of teaching economics is dying away, and it no longer corresponds to the present student demographic, especially now that they have access to the internet. The fact remains that in order for students and teachers to use information technology in schools, they must be skilled in conjunction with its implementation in secondary schools (Pearson et al, 2005). Some measures must be put in place for economics teaching and learning to keep up with the current societal trend in secondary schools (Pearson et al, 2005). Furthermore, the employment of information technology in secondary school economics classes allows kids to learn in a safe and non-threatening environment. The internet is widely used for educational purposes, providing students with rapid access to information and resources. When communication technology is used in the teaching and learning process, difficult concepts become more understandable.
Computers might be utilized in teaching economics related topics such as population theories, statistics, theory of consumer behavior, theory of demand and supply, theory of production, and so on, as a result of changes in information technology. As a result of fast changes in economic conceptions as a result of global practices, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council has developed a framework for a three-year Basic Education Qualification.
Although it is known that some Nigerian universities use computers to teach economics-related topics, it is clear that the majority of secondary schools in Nigeria lack computer facilities to aid teaching. As a result, the purpose of this study is to determine the impact of information technology on the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools.
Statement of the Problem Several factors can obstruct the use of information technology in secondary school economics teaching and learning. Cost, insufficient infrastructure, a lack of expertise, a lack of applicable software, and restricted internet connectivity are all factors. Another obstacle to effective information technology use is a lack of infrastructure. Computers, as we all know, are powered by electricity. However, in Nigeria, unstable power supply is a major challenge, and with the current pump price of fuel, secondary schools will find it difficult to spend money on purchasing fuel to run generators, which will invariably discourage them (O’Hara, Pritchard, & Bacon 2014). The use of information technology in economics teaching and learning is hampered by a lack of expertise. Nigeria lacks the necessary human resources and expertise to implement information technology tools in teaching and learning. Nigerian instructors are so used to teaching with chalk and duster that learning how to utilize a computer in teaching and learning is tough for them. As a result, the study’s goal is to look at the interaction between information technology and economics education in secondary schools. Purpose of the Study
The basic aim of this study is to discover the extrapolation of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools Other specific objectives include;
- To outline the challenges that can constrain the utilization of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools.
- To analyze if the teaching and learning with the use of information technology can advance the students comprehension in economics.
- To determine if the use of information technology in secondary schools in Akoko South West Local Governmentcan enhance the academic development of Ondo State.
- What are the constraints in the utilization of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools?
- Does the teaching and learning of economics through information technology assist student’s comprehension of economics?
- Can the use of information technology in secondary schools enhance the academic development?
Significance of the Study
This study is meant to inform the general public, schools and the government on the need to use information technology in teaching and learning economics in secondary schools.
Also, it is meant to inform the government that they can assist in making learning across secondary schools in the country computer based,as a way of improving the literacy level of Nigeria youths.The government can assist by proving computers to secondary schools across Nigeria and making policies to support this.
Furthermore, it will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work by contributing to knowledge and serve as a guide for other work or study.
Scope of the Study
This study is restricted to the use of Information technology in teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools. A case study of Akoko South West Local Government of Ondo State.
Operational Definition of Terms
Information Technology (IT): Information technology is the use of computers for the collection, retrieval, transmission and operation of data, of information. It is also considered to be a subset of information and communications technology.
Teaching: Teaching is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.
Economics: A social science that deals with human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.