THE EFFECTS OF THE USAGE OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF PHYSICS IN HIGHER INSTITUTIONS
Background to the study
Technology involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities. In other words, technology can change or alter how people access, gather, analyze, present, transmit, and simulate information. The impact of technology is one of the most critical issues in education (Webber, 2003). The use of information and communication technology (ICT) creates a powerful learning environment and it transforms the learning and teaching process In which students deal with knowledge in an active, self-directed and constructive way (Volman& Van Eck, 2001). ICT is not just regarded as a tool, which can be added to or used as a replacement of existing teaching methods. ICT is seen as an important instrument to support new ways of teaching and learning. It should be used to develop student’s skills for cooperation, communication, problem solving and lifelong learning (Voogt, 2003). Integrating technology into curricula with the intent of positively influencing teaching and learning has been in a state of evolution over the past 20 years (Dias & Atkinson, 2001). Driven primarily by hardware and software evolution, accessibility to computers in educational settings, and popular instructional technology trends, technology integration has covered the continuum from instruction on programming skills, self-directed drill and practice, interactive learning software, online training, testing, instructional delivery augmentation, and internet-based accessibility to information, communication, and publication (Dias & Atkinson, 2001).
According to Flanagan and Jacobsen (2003), technology integration is meant to be cross curricular rather than become a separate course or topic in itself. Technology should be used as a tool to support the educational objectives such as skills for searching and assessing information, cooperation, communication and problem solving which are important for the preparation of children for the knowledge society (Drent&Meelissen 2007). In fact, innovative use of ICT can facilitate student centered learning (Drent, 2005). Hence, every lecture roomlecturer should use learning technologies to enhance their student learning in every subject because it can engage the thinking, decision making, problem solving and reasoning behaviors of students (Grabe&Grabe, 2001).
According to Osakwe (2012), acquisition, deployment and management of information technology resources and services for teaching depend on electricity. Studies have shown that poorly maintained equipment and poor network infrastructure are prominent obstacles to the integration of ICT tools in teaching. Poor technical equipment would make negative impact on lecturer’s desire to integrate ICT tools in teaching all other subjects. Technological and science laboratories are run using electricity. Computers cannot operate without electricity even if all the equipment required is present. A number of lecturers today have never use computers in their lives and they are terribly shy .when they are confronted with this new technology and the terminology associated with using them. Some schools do not have them provided for their lecturers and some lecturers may not be economically buoyant to buy one for themselves. At the tertiary-level of education, National Universities Commission (NUC) in Nigeria has prescribed that there should be at least one computer to every four students and one PC to every two lecturers below the grade of lecturer I, one PC per senior lecturer and one notebook per reader/ professor. NUC has gone further to establish e-learning platforms fitted with twenty smart boards in twelve Federal universities for the promotion of the use ofICT in teaching and learning. Majority of the Nigerian universities have not achieved this recommended system ratio for their faculties, though some have made giant or notable strides in campus wide area networking and e-learning course deliveries. Institutions like ObafemiAwolowo University (OAU) and University of Nigeria, Nsukka boast of its bestdeveloped TCT system in the country with a personal VSAT access to the internet and a campus wide intranet services. University of Jos which is blazing the trail for content development an e-learning in addition to the campus networking.
Information and communication technology in education can be understood as the application of digital equipment to all aspects of teaching and learning. It is present in almost all schools in advance countries and is of growing influence. However, foe the past three (3) decades there is a legitimate concern that developing countries have been slow in terms of facilitation of learning among the majority of citizens. The National Grid for learning, UK government initiatives indicated that lecturers must move swiftly to more internets and web based work in schools. According to Busari (2006), the whole world is experiencing the advancement of science and technology. Each nation is either a powerful producer of technology or a consumer of other nation’s technology efforts. Infact technology has made the whole world a global village and ICT breakthrough has made anew landmark in globalizing education. The use of ICT is fast gaining prominence and becoming one of the, most important elements defining the basic competencies of the students. According to World Bank, ICT consists of the hardware, software, networks, and media for the collection, storage, processing, transmission and presentation of information; The use of ICT falls into four (4) major categories; constructing knowledge and problem solving (through the internet-mail, CD-ROMs, databases, videoconferencing); using process skills; aiding explanation of concepts and communicating ideas (power point, desktop publishing) (WCEA,2002). The use ICT in teaching is a relevant and functional way of providing education to learners that will assist in imbibing in them the required capacity for the world of work. Very few jobs today do not required the use of skills in technology, collaboration, teamwork, and information; all of these can be acquired through teaching with ICT. It fundamentally changes the way we live, learn and work. Technology has entered the lecture room in a big way to become part of the teaching and learning process. However, physics as a science oriented course or discipline is known for its abstract nature (having no material existence).
Sometimes the physics lecturers do not have adequate knowledge, but have to fall on ideas which lead to contradictions with what the physics theory says or meant. Students are left on their own, even when they are to read on their own, they find no material to read, where itis available most of them are obsolete material. That is, some of these materials include text book, journals, research publications and newspaperse.t.c. where these materials are lacking the students are forced to lose interest, motivation and passion; in some cases frustration sets in and students abandon the discipline or subject matter (physics) for another which they can cope with i.e. students leaving science class because of physics to commercial or Art subjects, simply point to the fact that other disciplines are not abstract in nature like that of physics. However, physics is a unique subject, which promotes the acquisition of specialized science1 skills and knowledge, which explain the natural phenomena of life in the society. It is a subject that grew up with civilization as man’s quantitative needs increased. It arose out of practical problems and mans need to solve these problems. It has contributed to the development of the sciences and to the development of civilization. Despite the abstract nature of physics its teaching is to bring about scientific thinking in students; a mindset that requires students to test out, through experimentation. However, through the use of ICT, whether CD-Rom, power point, e.t.c the teaching and learning of physics is interesting. According to Osunade (2003), internet is a valuable source of information for students looking for ideas for project and assignments.
Statement of the Problem
Today, as the educational sector is faced with series of changes and reforms, it is good to reflect on matters concerned with physics and the dissemination of physics knowledge and lessons. Numerous teaching strategies havebeen developed which correspond to the accommodation of students need and diverse learning method. One of such strategy involves the use of information and communication technology (ICT). The use of CT in teaching is arelevant and functional way of providing education to learners that will assist in imbibing in them the required capacity for the worth of work. Investigations reveal that manylearners at the senior secondary school in Lagos State strongly detest the manners in which the physics lecturers handle and deliver physics knowledge and lessons. Information and communication technology (ICT) is the use of technology in managing and processing information with the use of electronic computer system and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information .Physics on its own requires observation and knowledge to solve natural problems.
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