TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Attitude is an important concept in social judgment and behaviors and thus, is one of the most important concepts in decision making (Venkatesh and Morris, 2003). As a result, a lot of research on the attitude of both students and teachers towards the use of ICT in teaching and learning had been done with outcome being either positive or negative. For instance, Becta (2004) reported that negative attitude was a barrier towards integration of ICT in teaching and learning while Rhoda and Gerald (2000) found that positive attitudes towards ICT use are widely recognized as a necessary condition for effective computer use in teaching and learning. Similarly, study findings by Kubiatko and Halakova (2009) pinpointed that attitude towards use of ICT in teaching and learning in learners was as a result of its impact. According to Selewyn (1999), integration of ICT in education environment depends, to a great extent, on teachers and student attitude towards their use. This view is supported by Slouti and Barton (2007) findings which indicated that ICT can motivate students in their learning by bringing variety into the lessons and at the same time sustaining teachers own interest in teaching. Myers and Halpin (2002) asserted that attitude of both students and teachers towards ICT use was a major predictor of future classroom use. It therefore appears that teachers’ and students’ attitude may influence adoption of ICT in teaching and learning.

Use of ICTs such as computer technology and internet is intended to enable teachers to facilitate learning more eectively and enhance students’ understanding of concepts which are expected to translate into expansion of Knowledge and improved examination outcomes. Today, humanity can be classified as living in a “machine society’ where technological tools are predominant at dierent levels, interfacing in the day-to-day activity of man (Anthony, 2000). These livelihood activities constitute and deliver economic, social and political benefits and potential risks to the survivability of nations especially developing nations, of which Nigeria is a prominent player.

Introduction of information communication technologies (ICT) into education in European countries was at the end of 1970’s and at the beginning of 1980’s. For the first time, ICT was accepted as a subject of education. Only later, it was understudied as an educational tool. The European commission published the plan “Learning in the Information Society” in 1996. The plan included four aims: i. To support the creating of electronic networks among schools, ii. To support the preparation of teachers for using ICT, iii. To provide information about possibilities of using ICT, iv. To support the development of multimedia tools in education (Information and Communication Technology in European Education Systems, 2001). Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Human Capital have become the centre of gravity and indeed the heart of sustainable National Development and in particular for structured education, advanced knowledge and intelligence activities, product development, manufacturing techniques as well as organisational financial and management systems all of which are the cornerstone of global competition through automated globalisation (Valasidou and Bousiou-Makridou 2008). Information Communication Technology have also enabled more eicient, information centred management and contributed to the breakdown of the bureaucratic/industrial organisational model. Both public and private sectors are downsizing and flattening the hierarchy centric to this development cycle is its embedded opportunities, benefits and techno-crime related high risks. It has been demonstrated that Information Communication Technology can provide opportunities to change traditional practices and that the introduction of Information Communication Technology can oen change the accepted social distribution of power within organisations and Nation (Becta, 2003). This is why the interfacing relationship of Government and Citizens, through technology must be systematically understood, strategically organised, constantly examined, tracked, monitored and managed for sustainable development of national resources and survivability of the sovereignty. The shi towards knowledge work has accelerated the rise of the services sector, creating new work opportunities. Reduction in constraints of time and distance have enabled outsourcing, as well as various forms of Tele-work, either within or outside organised work units, to generate an increasing proportion of national wealth. Tele-work offers, at least in theory, the opportunity to work from geographically isolated communities as easily as from urban areas and is seen as a means of reducing trends towards urbanization, particularly movements of young people from rural communities (Castells, 1996).

There is hardly any aspect of modern living that does not require the use of information technology. It is significant that in the developed world the conscious or unconscious tragedy has been to ensure that the average home has at least one personal computer (Ahmed and Abdulaziz, 2004). Consequently, even the young once are trained to remain ahead of other children by relating to computer technology as the second nature (Hassan, 2003). Indeed, the computer has become a basic tool, rather than leisure for solving life’s problems. Hence, information technology help to simplify and easy communication on public formation categorically the use of Internet, satellite, and cellular mobile network etc. all Federal Government. Ministries, Departments, Interdepartmental Agencies and Commissions are all online. Information Communication Technology has become a veritable instrument of world politics. The nation of the world with high technological powers tent to control the less technologically advanced once. This is evident when we observed the activities of the G7 nations and the United Nation Security Council (Amins, 1990). Only nations which can hold their own technological are the members of the UN Security Council. A country with little technological track records stands dwarfed in today’s world politics (Amin, 1990) Education is not only limited to teaching the students according to prescribed syllabus as a specific school level. It has much border objectives, goals and other concepts. Thus, education is becoming an increasingly important tool to combat poverty and to establish a modern nation. Feature of modern society is the penetration of information technologies in all spheres of life, including schooling.

In general, the new technologies have been recognized to play a valuable role in developing and improving the teaching and learning situations. The world is changing. The last few decades have seen a dramatic rise of technologies within the field of education, and it was known by terms such as teaching or/and instructional aids. Teaching and instructional aids include the use of slide projector, television, radio, audio and video cassettes, etc, in the teaching and learning situations. The integration of technology in the process of teaching and learning is thought by many researchers and to increase student and teacher productivity as well as to make vast amounts of information available. Bena and James (2001) claim that there are three reasons for investing in technology: (1) To increase students ability and interest in applying authentic settings, what district and states have identified as learning and tasks that students should know and able to do; (2) To prepare students for success in a technology centered world of work, and; (3) To prepare students to manage and use information so they can be productive lifelong learners and responsible citizens.

Furthermore, integrating technologies in learning classrooms has been shown to promote teachers and students’ performance and motivation. Information and Communication Technology therefore has brought about globalization. Globalization therefore, has to do with processes by which different human communities and nations become integrated in one single system called global village. Therefore, whether as a historical process or as an ideological construct, globalization brings about greater interaction between countries, and between peoples all over the world. Tomlinson (1996), defines it as “a rapidly developing process of complex interconnections between societies, cultures, institutions and individuals worldwide. It is a social process which involves a compression of time and space, shrinking distances through a dramatic reduction in time taken – either physically or representational to cross them, so making the world seem smaller and in certain sense bringing human beings ‘closer’ to one another”.

TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY