THE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN TEACHING OF VOCATIONAL SUBJECTS IN NIGERIA POLYTECHNICS
Students’ learning in tertiary institutions all over the world has undergone tremendous transformations, especially since the advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). There is a shift from the traditional approach of teacher directed/didactic to modern method where computer technology plays a significant role. ICT has promoted learning and made it more meaningful where students can stay even in their homes or classrooms and receive lecturers without seeing the lecturer. The aspect of ICT that has brought about this revolution in students’ learning is e-learning.
E-learning as explained by Open Learning Centre (2007) is an educational resource that helps in effective teaching and learning process created through combining e-digital content with local community and tutor support along with global community engagement. It is also an effective and efficient system of self-paced personal training available over the internet. The Commission of Technology and Adult (2001) defined e-learning as instructional content or learning experiences delivered or enabled by electronic technology. Also, Erah (2006) stated that the term e-learning refers to computer-enhanced training as opposed to the computer-based training of the 1980s. It is usually delivered through personal computers and includes learning delivered by other communication technologies.
The devices often used for this purpose include:- laptops or personal computers, CD ROMs. Television, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). MP3 players and mobile phones. Communication technologies enable the use of internet e-mail, discussion forms, collaborative software, classroom management software, team learning systems, intranet, extranet, Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), audio and videotapes, satellite down links, computerized diagnostic assessment, competency certification and electronic portfolios (Asogwa, 2006).
E-learning is based on electronic formats (Bodys, 2005). It can benefit any students or teacher irrespective of the background. E-learning is a major issue in pedagogy of individualized instruction, self pace study etc, which is; adapting the teaching to the needs of various learners. E-learning provides this by making available the required learning materials for teaching of these vocational subjects which eventually leads to increased graduation rates and lower failure rates of students.
Finally, it promotes equity by providing students with access to courses which may not ordinarily be available and providing teachers with materials for teaching (Asogwa, 2006).
Concept of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Initially in business and other organizations, internal reporting was produced manually and only periodically, as by-product of the accounting system and with some additional statistic(s) and gave limited and delayed information on management performance. Data was organized manually according to the requirements and necessity of the organization. As computational technology developed, information began to be distinguished from data and systems were developed to produce and organize abstractions, summaries, relationships and generalizations based on the data.