THE IMPACTS OF I.C.T ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF HEALTH EDUCATION IN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, IKERE-EKITI.
The use of the Internet and the web as well as the emerging of different communication channels have brought the world closer and contributed to the concepts of globalization and the extended enterprise also, the information society demands a workforce that can use technology as a tool to increase productivity and creativity. The educational sector at large has been one of the beneficiaries of the use of different information and communication technology tools and techniques. Information is a key resource for student teaching, learning, research, and publishing. This research work examines the impact or effect of emerging information and communication technology tools in teaching and learning of Health Education, identifying the reliable sources of information, effectively accessing these sources of information, synthesizing and communicating that information to colleagues and beneficiaries and the need for effective methods of information processing and effectiveness of using unconventional technologies in delivering Health Education knowledge in Nigeria.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
To meet the demands and expectations of increasing global competition, contemporary Health Educators require a range of generic skills such as analytical and problem-solving skills, personal and interpersonal communication skills, management, negotiation and organizational skills, together with the ability to apply these skills in a range of unique situations. Teaching and learning strategies should move away from procedural tasks and memorizing professional standards towards more conceptual and analytical teaching and learning. One of the most important questions that currently face research in Health education is what causes an individual to adopt new information technologies? Are they factors that relate to his/her inherent personality and background or is the acceptance of information technology driven by other external factors that can be influenced by educators and managers. This concern is a direct result of the technological advancements occurring all over the world. Over the past decades, technological developments and innovations have been progressing at an exponential rate. The impact such technological advances can be felt at the individual, organizational and societal levels through the use of personal computers, the Internet, the world wide web, cell phones, and digital cameras in different daily activities.
Moreover, on the professional level, the diffusion of computers and the use of the Internet and different software applications have facilitated researches and academic excellence ensuring quality, speed and accuracy. On the knowledge diffusion level, the learning process has also been dramatically affected by those technological advances with multi-implications on information dissemination and knowledge acquisition.
The use of information technology in classrooms allows schools to expand their markets, respond to the business and environmental requirements, support cross cultural and cross functional teams of students to engage and work together and allows faster and more practical cooperation between lecturers from various nations while maintaining the targeted level of quality delivery of knowledge in education.
The use of information technology in the classroom can allow more time and space flexibility for lecturers and students to use the educational materials. It can also allow for continuous testing of students of the contents of such materials, and allow the students more freedom in taking initiatives, learn on their own, be more creative, and individually study at their own pace.
As Nigeria is striving hard to play a leadership role in Africa, particularly in the period of pragmatic and competitive science and technology, there is an urgent need to pay more prominent attention to the improvement of teaching and learning particularly in Nigerian tertiary institutions. This entails the adoption of information, communication technology (ICT) in the institution. The ICT is an invaluable intervention of this modern time. Its inherent attributes such as accuracy, high speed performance, reliability and capability to store very large amount of data have made it possible for its applicability to all human endeavours including teaching, learning and research in educational institutions. This study is specifically set out to critically appraise the role of information, communication technology as a change agent for higher education in Nigeria. It also examines the implication and challenges of ICT on the development of higher education in Nigeria.
Education is one of the most important needs for the wellbeing of individual and that of the society. Thus, education is a powerful instrument of social, political, and economic progress, without which neither an individual nor a society can attain professional growth.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is an indispensable part of the contemporary world. In fact, culture and society have to be adjusted to meet the challenges of the information age. Information and communication technology (ICT) is a force that has changed many aspects of people’s ways of life. Considering such fields as medicine, tourism, travel, business, law, banking, engineering and architecture, the impact of ICT in the past two or three decades has been enormous.
ICT encompasses a range of applications, communications and technologies which aid information retrieval and research communication and administration. These include: Internet access, electronic mail, CD-ROMS, telephone, on line databases, library services and fax machines. It has become a global phenomenon of great importance and concern in all aspects of human endeavour, spanning across education, governance, business, labour, market, shares, productivity, trade, agriculture, commerce and others. Haddad and Draxier (2002) indicated that ICT contributed to effective learning through expanding access, promoting efficiency, improving the quality of learning and improving management systems. According to Obeng (2004), ICT is now regarded as a utility such as water and electricity and hence has become a major role in education, learning and research in general, agriculture, health, commerce and even in poverty alleviation by generating or creating new jobs and investment opportunities. ICT is an indispensable part of the contemporary world. The field of education has certainly been affected by the penetrating influence of ICT worldwide and in particular developed countries. ICT has made an impact on the quality and quantity of teaching, learning and research in the tradition and/or distance education institutions using it (Kwacha, 2007). According to Ololube, Ubogu and Ossai (2007), the introduction of ICT usage, integration and diffusion has initiated a new age in educational methodologies, thus it has radically changed traditional method of information delivery and usage patterns in the domain as well as offering contemporary learning experience for both lecturers and students.
As a tool for addressing challenges in teaching and learning, technology has the capabilities for delivery, management and support of effective teaching and learning. As a change agent, it is capable of changing the content, methods and overall quality and quantity of teaching and learning, thereby reducing teachers’ or lecturers’ workload and ensuring constructivist inquiry-oriented classroom. Moreover, ICT a central force in economic and social shifts that has technology skill critical to future employment of today’s students. Thierer (2000) pointed out that the role of technology in teaching and learning is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy. Experts in the fields of education have agreed that, if ICT is properly used, it holds great promise to improve teaching and learning in addition to shaping work-force opportunities. Thus, this study set out to critically appraise the role of information communication technology as a change agent for higher education in Nigeria.
Information Communication Technology has tremendously be a source of blessing to mankind. Various industries and fields of professions has felt the impact of technological innovations through the use of ICT In bringing the fastest and accurate outputs and ease the ways of resolving problems.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Information Communication Technology (ICT) relevance and positive effects as instructional resource for the teaching and learning of Health Education in Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti is a noticeable improvement among the institutions and academic output. It is noted that uses of ICT equipment in teaching and learning of Health Education in Colleges of Education does not only assist the Lecturers in carrying out their job effectively but also render qualitative service output to the entire academic community of the Nation.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
In spite the introduction of modern ICT equipment, this research work will look deeply in the impacts of ICT on the teaching and learning of Health Education in Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State in Nigeria. Finally, it is the objectives of this research work to fish both the relevance and problems of ICT in the teaching and learning of Health Education in Colleges of Education in Nigeria in the Era of modern Information communication Technology.
SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
The introduction of ICT into Nigerian tertiary education clearly changes the way education is conducted.
Not only is it possible to work with distance learning and achieve a chosen collaboration between colleges and universities, ICT is also paving the way for a new pedagogical approach where students are expected to play more active role than before. Using information and communication technology (ICT) as a tool in education, students should be able to communicate, create preservatives in power point, and interact with colleagues and teachers using technology and so on. For countries to benefit from technological development a cadre of professional has to be educated with sound ICT backgrounds with various computer platforms and software environment. Darkwa and Anao (2004) highlighted the impact of ICT on tertiary institution are as follows:
- It enhances both academic and business research by tertiary education lecturers and students with the advent of internet, researchers and students will have the opportunity to access a lot of information for various assignments in a more innovative way. Researchers can have full access to various kinds of information and even known relevant areas of critical concern and interest. It also offers them to know the demand of industry and conduct research to meet industry’s expectations. In no doubt, ICT has provided full access to students on all kinds of information for their studies and writing of dissertations and thesis.
- ICT solves the problem of lack of tertiary education lecturers. With the current state of acute shortage of academic facility and staff facing by our tertiary institutions, we could leverage ICT through video conferences so that students on various campuses pursuing the same or similar programme/course could be linked to benefit from a lesson, which they lack lecturers simultaneously.
- ICT reduces pressure on tertiary education admission process. In our tertiary education today, the pressure on academic admissions processes have been reduced, it has made it easy for money to be accessed easily. With the growing number of computer literacy in our society, more ICT centers could be established in selected areas. The universities and polytechnics could then be linked to these centers.
- ICT helps students in sharing of ideas. With the use of ICT, ideas can be shared online, as students and lecturers can enhance their skill remarkably through the creation of online communication. This will allow and provide opportunity for researcher and lecturers to have information and ideas. Also, the teaching methods have been improved whereby students no longer write notes during lectures when teaching in class, because the lecturer teaching has compiled almost everything from the Internet.
- Registration of course and details of examination and other services are being offered online, thereby reducing pressure during course registration. With the use of ICT, students pay their school fees online and check their results after every examination, able to provide strong support for all these requirements and examples of the world-class settings for competency and performance based curricula that make sound of the affordance of these technologies.
However, these advantages are hindered by the presence of several challenges that arise from the use of various information and communication technologies, including the need for expensive infrastructure and large startup costs, finding qualified instructors, and the lack of face to face instruction, which may diminish the students interpersonal, social, and communication skills. These issues are further intensified in developing countries due to the lack of a complete infrastructure including the main building blocks such as financial resources, human resources, information recourses and technological resources. The level of Health Education in developing countries is rather low and Nigeria is not an exception.
Therefore, it is crucial to find ways to speed up the educational process of its citizens and one of the venues could be distance learning and computer based technologies, which could lead to a cheaper process and yet as effective and as efficient. However, to date most of the implementations took place in developed nations and there is an urgency to test the environment in a developing setting (Rose and Straub, 1998, Dahawy et al, 2002).
Furthermore, information now plays a vital part in the lives of individuals, organizations and institutions and information literacy is the key to the optimum use of information. The state of education and skills emphasized the importance of ICT and information literacy as vital components in the development of life skills, workplace skills and citizenship.
This research work will help the Governments, Ministry of Education in Nigeria, Students and readers to understand those benefits that Information Communication Technology embodies which we have neglected with in the past. In understanding this on the side of the government, it will allow them to rethink and work towards real implementation of it thereby creating a room for the rapid growth and development of the education sector of this country. At the other hand, it will go a long way to create an avenue for more academic research.
Haven known this, it is worthy to conclude that the main beneficiaries of this study lies on the government and other readers respectively.
In view of this study, the following research questions have been formulated to ascertain how
ICT could have be a catalyst to effective use of information by students.
1. What types of ICTs are available to Health Education Students for use?
2. To what extent do Health Education students make use of ICT?
3. What are the reasons for Health Education Students use of ICT in education?
4. What are the problems Health Education Students face with the use of ICT?
5. What are the solutions preferred to the problems face with the use of ICT by Health Education Students?
Ho1: Modern ICT facilities are not adequately available in Nigeria Colleges of Education.
Ho2: Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Nigeria do use ICT facilities in teaching and learning of Health Education.
Ho3: There is a great significant relationship between usage of Modern ICT facilities and Lecturers’ productivity as reflected in students’ academic results
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research work focused strictly on the effects of information communication technology (ICT) in teaching and learning of Health Education in Nigeria. This work will lead us to the evolution of ICT in Nigeria and also examine how the academic field (teaching and learning) is fairing in this Era of Information Communication Technology.
1.8 LIMITATION TO THE STUDY
On the course of this research, the following problems were encountered, like short time frame. Financing problem, scarcity of information or data, etc. this is due to mainly, the wide scope of this study which emphasizes on a complexity of numbers of colleges of education in Nigeria. Now, the implication is that the short time frame mapped out for this research work posed a problem of assessing these programs as whole, but that doesn’t threat the authentication and quality of this work.
Again, enough financing of the accomplishment of this work became a problem in the sense that gathering information was costly, the researcher needed enough money to gather them.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Information Communication Technology (ICT): is generally refers to ‘computers and computing related activities’. Computers and their application play a significant role in modern information management, other technologies and/or systems also comprise of the phenomenon that is commonly regarded as ICTs. According to UNESCO (2002) information and communication technology (ICT) may be regarded as the combination of ‘Informatics technology’ with other related technology, specifically communication technology. Informatics refers to the science dealing with the design, realization, evaluation, use and maintenance of information processing systems, including hardware, software, organizational and human aspects, and the industrial, commercial, governmental and political implications of these.
2. INFORMATION: facts or details that tell you something about situation person events.
3. COMMUNICATION: It is the transmission of information or idea. From it means the use of mechanical arts and applied science e.g. Engineering.
4. EDUCATION: Is what prepares an individual to accommodate and to contribute positively to the development of his/her society.
5. COMPUTER: It is an electronic device that accepts data as to give information as an output.
6. NEPAD: New Partnership for Africa Development.
7. I.C.T: Information Communication Technology.