This project is to investigate teachers awareness and utilization of ICT facilities in teaching biology. Five  research questions guided the study. Survey Research design was used. A sample of 50  biology teachers was randomly drawn from ten secondary schools in the local government. A structured questionnaire was use for the study. Data analysis was carried out using frequency, percentage and mean. Findings showed that  most of the required ICT resources are not available in most secondary schools in  -------------- local government area of River State.  The study revealed that most of the teachers have the awareness on how to utilized ICT facilities in teaching and learning of Biology  in the sampled schools. Also most of the teachers have problems with ICT utilization in teaching, and need adequate training of staff on integration of ICT facilities in teaching process for effective training of the students. The study recommended that Educational institution’s Administrators should come out with a clear vision about the use of ICT facilities as a means of improving teaching Biology   and develop strategies first to provide basic ICT training for both academic and supporting staffs i.e organizational self awareness. Provide appropriate ICT facilities of highest quality for education that is responsive to the needs of staff and students.









Background to the study

Advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have brought tremendous relief to the human race. ICT has reduced human labour and improved productivity. It has found application in science subject, accountancy, aviation, Administration and of course Education. ICT has been defined in many ways by experts. Iheke (2010) define ICT as the technology which supports activities involving creation, storage, manipulation, and communication of information together with their related methods, management and application. Akachukwu (2004) define ICT as an umbrella term that includes any communication devices or application encompassing radio, television, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardwares and software satellite system and applications associated with them such as video conferencing and distance learning.

              According   to  Iheanyichukwu (2001) ICT has helped to develop and promote programmes to eradicate illiteracy. With ICT, teachers easily explain complex instructions and ensure students comprehension (Iheke, 2010). Gusea, Olarionoye and Garba (2005) observed that ICT has the potential of transforming the nature of education, the where and how of learning and the interactive roles of teachers and students in the education process. It is a teaching tool for the development of intellectual thinking skill. Thus the present day teacher does not need to be told that he/she must be computer literate and be able to utilize the computer sufficiently in his eagerness to improve Education. ICT facilities can be used by the teacher to prepare lesson plans, write students report, store data, collect and analyze students' achievement etc. Information, messages, skills, strategies and relevant school practices unknown to both students and teachers that can not be found in  recommended school textbooks could easily be down loaded for information and academic developments of the students.

With the increased use of ICT as a means of instruction, ‘the decreased importance of physical distance means that the best (and the worst educational and corporate institutions) of any country can decide to open a branch anywhere in the world or to reach out across borders using the internet or  satellite communication links, effectively competing with any national university on its own territory’ Iheke (2010).

The Internet has granted access to a wealth of information previously unavailable to people. The danger for all students is that information is presented as fact without verification or references. It is therefore imperative that students are taught how to search effectively and to judge the credibility of what they find both essential skills for scientifically literate citizens. The Internet can allow students to research background information related to practical work being conducted, when asked to do so by a teacher. It allows students to choose the research areas they want to study, the depth of their research and, given Internet access at home, the time frame for carrying it out. In Biology, internet is used to conduct background research before the work is

carried out.

Data logging is one of the main applications of ICT used to support practical work. Data logging refers to the process of collecting data using a computer, but is also linked to how the data are displayed and analyzed and is one of the main applications of ICT used to support practical work Rogers, L. (2005). It has been suggested that data logging has the potential to enhance students’ thinking about and understanding of biology, as it removes the need for low-level data collection skills and allows students more time to focus on

the analysis of the data and application of theory. It removesthe need to manipulate intricate equipment, as long as there is support on hand to help set up the data loggers and computers. It also produces a clear output almost instantaneously, removing the need to draw graphs by hand or spend time inputting the data manually. It can also help those with visual impairment, who may struggle to collect data from traditional instruments such as thermometers, allowing them to create clear electronic output formatted to their own preference. Nonetheless, data logging is not a miracle solution which enables students with disabilities to conduct every experiment. There are, for example, still accessibility issues for many students when it comes to conducting fieldwork. At present there are only a limited number of sensors available, although the range is continuing to grow.

It is also important that the teacher still takes an active role in supporting learning, rather than letting the computer show the data and leaving the students to analyze the data on their own Rogers, L. (2005). This emphasizes the importance of scaffolding, teacher support and dialogue to help students construct their understanding  Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., Mortimer, E. and

Scott, P.,(2004).. It has been argued by Rogers and Rogers, L. and Finlayson, H. (2003), however, that there is a c ear time and place for data logging, and that it should not replace all traditional methods at all times because practical skills, such as reading a thermometer, still form an important part of science. It should only be used when the lesson objectives and learning outcomes focus on analysis and theory, rather than on the ‘hands-on’ aspects of learning science. In Biology, Data-logging can be used to collect information which removes the difficulties associated with papers getting lost, being blown away or destroyed by rain.

It can also be used effectively to collect data over an extended period of time – e.g. changes in the oxygen concentration in pond water over 24 hours. Control and monitoring – remote experimentation: Where gaining access to a laboratory is problematic, remote experimentation can be used. Examples of this are the PEARL project Cooper, M.(2004) developed for the Open University, and the use of radio telescopes. Remote experimentation has a number of advantages over simulations (to be discussed later) in that it allows manipulation of the equipment and gives the students the opportunity to make mistakes and collect anomalous data (ibid.). This is an important part of learning, as recognizing that the data are not what you were expecting, and then trying to explain why, involves exploring a theory to a much deeper level of understanding– evaluating and synthesizing it, rather than just recalling the textbook explanation.

A strong advantage of working remotely is the chance to work at your own pace, and thus take time to reflect on the information presented. If technology to allow communication was linked with students undertaking remote experimentation, virtual field trips or tours of museums, an extremely powerful tool would be created, allowing students access to both the methodology of the work and the theoretical discussion behind it. They would

then gain crucial experience of being active participants in their learning Rogoff, B. (1999)  and interacting with their peers in Biology.

Models and Modelling – Simulations: There is a wide range of commercially available simulations. These allow students to carry out virtual experiments, or use visual aids to help explain phenomena. The most common and effective use of simulations is to demonstrate practical’s that may be too dangerous to conduct in the classroom or unrealistic because of the time frame or environment needed (e.g. showing the effect of introducing a new predator into a food chain).

Simulations can be very powerful tools, but often the learning opportunities and assessment inherent in the

software do not extend beyond checking recall of facts Lewis, S. 2003); they provide no way for students to get hands-on experience of the practical work or to manipulate equipment, which is an important aspect of learning .As most simulations are relatively basic in their programming, the students will not collect anomalous results. Although, initially, this may appear to be a good thing, it does not challenge students to think and explain their results, and thus it does not challenge their existing conceptions of science or force them to assess the accuracy of their theories. More advanced simulations can serve as ‘intellectual partners’ to the students and support their higher-order thinking skills; however, these programs are often expensive, and are unrealistic options for most schools. In Biology, simulations and models can be used, by those unable to gain access to fieldwork sites, to investigate phenomena or to collect additional data. Exchanging and Sharing Information: ‘Enabling’ or ‘assistive’ technologies are one obvious area in which ICT can support students with physical or sensory disabilities Cooper, M.(2004). These can be divided into technology which supports the input of information into a computer, and that which helps students access the output from the computer. Input methods include alternative keyboards, speech recognition software and substitutes for a mouse. Output methods include screen-readers or a Braille display, magnification software, transcripts of speech, or even just the ability to alter the character size, style and colour combinations on standard programmes. All of these are for short-term use; those who would need to use these on a regular basis are advised to invest in higher-specification programmes.

A major drawback with assistive technologies, particularly software, is that the software may not be compatible with certain systems, or may compete for memory, slowing down the whole process. In both these cases the assistive technologies can actually create more barriers to learning than there were at the start. Cooper (2004) makes a clear case for institutions to set ‘accessibility criteria’ for selecting software packages, and to train support staff to solve technical problems in order to avoid ongoing difficulties.

Virtual learning environments, discussed by Cooper (2004) allow for activity and progress to be tracked, provide access to learning support material and services and present curriculum material. Most importantly, they can support students in communicating with teachers and peers. This aspect means that virtual learning environments have the potential to enable students with physical or sensory disabilities to become active participants in the learning community, rather than just passive observers, thus reflecting the constructivist learning theories Rogoff, B. (1999)  which seem to underpin their design. Among the main advantages of ICT use by disabled students is the ability to alter the time in which the work must be completed. As documents can be saved, accessed via the Internet, or emailed to another person, it opens up the opportunity for work to be completed at another time and place.

In almost all practical work, data of some sort are collected. Software packages such as Excel enable students to use spreadsheets to analyze data and create a wide variety of graphs to display information visually, often aiding analysis. This can reduce the time needed for the mechanics of drawing graphs. This ability to save time is especially important for those students whose; physical restrictions make it very difficult for them to draw graphs. It also makes it possible for those who could not physically produce a graph via traditional methods to produce graphs for themselves. In these cases, being able to generate graphs on the computer, with or without the aid of other assistive technologies, is invaluable. It allows the students to ‘see’ the data in order to begin to explain the results using their scientific knowledge. However, it is still important that students develop understanding of the process, and where physically possible they should practice these skills. For example, in post-16 Biology students are required to conduct statistical tests on data they have collected. They could put the data into a software programme, such as Excel or SPSS for Windows, but they will not understand the logic of the test, and so will not be equipped with the knowledge to assess the reliability of the result.

Spreadsheets can be used to store, process and display data, allowing time to be spent analyzing rather than handdrawing graphs. Digital Photographs can be taken to give a permanent record of the site, which can then be shared easily with other members of the group. Word-Processing or Speech-Recognition software could allow students with physical disabilities to produce a report more easily.

In particular, Becta [2003] points out, the use of interactive multimedia software, for example, motivates students andleads to improved performance. Barak [2004] says that the use of ICTs in education promotes deep learning and allows schools to respond better to the varying needs of the students. According to Menjo [2012], the dilemma that arises in providing educational technology stems from a lack of financial resources, lack of knowledge and skills and a limited distributive capacity. In Nigeria, most teachers, instructors and students cite insufficient access to computers as the main obstacle in ICT for education programmes. This is particularly relevant for educational institutions located in the rural areas where the school or training institution is often the only access point for ICT resources for example computers, printer, modems, laptops, internet, router, phones, among others.

Problem Statement

A review of studies on the use of technology in education has consistently found that students in technology-rich environments experience positive effects on performance in all subject areas. Despite the many advantages associated with the use of ICTs that have been documented in past literature and the numerous government efforts to investment in training and resources to integrate the use of ICT in its operations, the rate at which ICTs are used in the  Nigerian classrooms is still far below expectation. For the realization of the  nigeria Vision 2020, secondary school teachers need to use adequate computers in classroom teaching. In addition, the demand for ICT learning has been tremendous and the number of teachers who are trained to teach ICT cannot meet the demand. This failure to use ICT is itself a result of the prevailing digital and knowledge  divides, and their causes are deeply embedded in the learning and performance of Biology. Therefore, there is need to energize action to bring technology into the classroom for improved Biology teaching, learning and performance. As such, the study sought to investigate the availability and utilization of ICT facilities in teaching and learning of Biology in secondary school in Ikwerre local government area of River state



Purpose of the study

The main purpose of the study is to determine teachers awareness and utilization of ICT facilities for the teaching of  Biology in secondary schools

  The is study specifically to seek for the following;

        i.            To determine if biology teachers have the awareness on the use of computer facilities in teaching  biology

     ii.             Ascertain the extent to which Biology teachers utilize ICT  facilities in teaching Biology

   iii.            To find out problems faced with ICT utilization in teaching Biology in the selected   secondary school

   iv.            To find out the availability of ICT facilities in the selected schools.

      v.            To find out the possible strategies for improving the teaching of Biology in using ICT facilities

 Research Question

            The following research questions were raised to guide the conduct of the study;

     i.            Does Biology teachers have the awareness about the utilization of ICT facilities in teaching Biology in Ijebu ode?

  ii.            To what extent does  Biology teachers utilize ICT  facilities in teaching Biology

iii.            What are the problems faced with ICT utilization in teaching and learning Biology in Ijebu –Ode secondary schools?

iv.            How adequate are ICT facilities in the secondary school for teaching Biology ?

   v.            What are the possible strategies that will improve the teaching of Biology using ICT facilities?



Research Hypothesis

      1.            Lack of ICT facilities has significantly contributed to the problems associated with teaching of Biology .

      2.            Lack of ample knowledge about utilization of ICT facilities by Biology teachers has significantly contributed to the students’ poor performance.

 Significance of Study

The result of this study would be valuable in the following specific ways;

The students of Biology would benefit from the result of this study as they will be adequately trained and equipped with necessary skills and knowledge which will manifest after graduation and the result may also be useful for the students carrying out research.

The Biology teachers will benefit from the result of the study if utilized, by gaining more knowledge, skills and experience of delivering instruction through the use of ICT facilities.

The result of this study will also be useful to the educational institutions as the result provides information necessary for improving the teaching processes in business course.

Employers of labor will derive the advantage if opportune to employ such students who are well trained and equipped with necessary knowledge and skills through the use of ICT facilities which would result to maximum productivity of an organization.


Scope of the study

This study covers the entire  biology students in  five selectedd secondary schools in Ijebu Ode local government area

Definition of Terms

Teacher – centered mode of instruction; is the process of teaching whereby the teacher verbally delivers a pre-planned body of knowledge to his students while students listen and jot down points.

Student – centered mode of instruction; is the process in which the students learn all on his own a field of study or topic broken into bits according to his interest and ability, and consult teachers only when he needs him.

Information – Can simply be defined as a processed data, while data is a raw facts about an entity.

Technology – Is the application of basic scientific knowledge in providing solution to problems around us.

ICT: information and communication technology






You may like these posts

Post a Comment