1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria like other developing countries is still in the initial stages of integrating ICT in teaching and learning process in the education sector. Though it is limited by a number of barriers, there are many factors influencing the use of ICT to make teaching and learning eective in schools of learning in Nigeria. ICT is an electronic means of capturing, processing, storing, communicating information. The use of ICT in the classroom teaching and learning is very important for it provides opportunities for teachers and students to operate, store, manipulate, and retrieve information, encourage independent and active learning, and self-responsibility for learning such as distance learning, motivate teachers and students to continue using learning outside school hours, plan and prepare lessons and design materials such as course content delivery and facilitate sharing of resources, expertise and advice. This versatile instrument has the capability not only of engaging students in instructional activities to increase their learning, but of helping them to solve complex problems to enhance their cognitive skills (Jonnasen & Reeves, 1996).
Pernia (2008) defines ICT as technologies used to communicate in order to create, manage and distribute information. She adds that a broad definition of ICTs includes computers, the internet, telephone, television, radio and audio-visual equipment. She further explains that ICT is any device and application used to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information and knowledge. Digital technology is included in this definition as services and applications used for communication and information processing functions associated with these devices. Generally, three objectives are distinguished for the use of ICT in education (Plomp et al, 1996): (i) The use of ICT as object of study; refers to learning about ICT, which enables students to use ICT in their daily life. (ii) The use of ICT as aspect of discipline or profession; refers to the development of ICT skills for professional or vocational purposes. (iii) (iii) The use of ICT as medium for teaching and learning; focuses on the use of ICT for the enhancement of the teaching and learning process Drent & Meelissen, 2007). It is a fact that teachers are at the centre of curriculum change and they control the teaching and learning process. Therefore, they must be able to prepare young people for the society in which the competency to use ICT to acquire and process information is very important.
Several studies argue that the use of new technologies in the classroom is essential for providing opportunities for students to learn to operate in an information age. It is evident, Yelland (2001) as argued that traditional educational environments do not seem to be suitable for preparing learners to function or be productive in the workplaces of today’s society. She claimed that organizations that do not incorporate the use of new technologies in institutions cannot seriously claim to prepare their students for life in the twenty-first century. This argument is supported by Grimus , who pointed out that “by teaching ICT skills in educational institutions the students are prepared to face future developments based on proper understanding” (p. 362). ICT originally is applied to serve as a means of improving eiciency in the educational process . Furthermore, it has been shown that the use of ICT in education can help improve memory retention, increase motivation and generally deepens understanding [Dede, 1998)]. ICT can also be used to promote collaborative learning, including role playing, group problem solving activities and articulated projects [Forcheri & Molfino, 2000]. ICT allow the establishment of rich networks of interconnections and relations between individuals. Some authors maintain that technology has the power to change the ways students learn and professors teach [Kozma, 1999]. However, the effectiveness of ICT despite all the accrued benefits needs proper studies especially in developing countries like Nigeria where a lot of factors is still militating against the use of ICT.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Basic Technology as a subject has been affected by ICTs, which have undoubtedly affected the teaching and learning of the subject (Yusuf, 2005). A great deal of research has proven the benefits to the quality of teaching and learning (Al-Ansari, 2006). ICTs have the potential to innovate, accelerate, enrich, and deepen skills, to motivate and engage students, to help relate school experience to work practices, create economic viability for tomorrow’s workers, as well as strengthening teaching and helping schools change (Davis and Tearle, 1999;). However, this research will examine the effectiveness of ICT on teaching and learning Basic Technology.