EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ON THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN IN AGEGE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE

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EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ON THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN IN AGEGE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE

ABSTRACT

As technology continues to advance into every aspect of our lives, some have pondered the effect it has on how students learn. The phrase “Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants” has emerged to describe the difference between young people who have spent their lives in a digital world and past generations who have incrementally adjusted to the proliferation of technology in society. Throughout the world, technologies are been integrated into the teaching-learning process. These technologies include but not limited to smart phones, personal digital assistants, tablets, iPods, computers, radios, television, network communication devices, satellite systems, gaming devices, hardware as well as other different services and applications. The use of these technologies has become a necessity for quality in teaching-learning. In this light, Nigeria had made efforts to catch up with these global trends by supplying computer hardware & software resources to schools. The use of such technologies in schools has therefore become a very essential area that must be investigated. Under this work, thirty (30) public basic school teachers were sampled across fifteen (15) schools to respond to a survey questionnaire. Unstructured interviews were first used to gather preliminary information that aided the structuring of the survey. All thirty (30) participants responded to the survey in its entirety. It has been realized that teachers have a low self-efficacy perception on their capacity to use technology in the classroom. As high as 63% of participants accepted that they do not use computer daily for instructional purposes as much as other teaching resources such as books. Technologies frequently used in classrooms were found to be mobile phones and computers; mostly used to conduct practical demonstrations and reading activities. The problem of accessibility to hard & software resources remains a major barrier to the use of technologies in most schools. Participants agreed that investments in the provision of technological infrastructure in schools could encourage the use of technology among teachers and students. It can therefore be concluded that, much more need to be done to propel a technological catch up.

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ON THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN IN AGEGE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0 Background

Technologies are being integrated into the teaching-learning process in many learning institutions of the world (Ertmer 2005; Juang et al. 2008; Friedman et al. 2009; Steel 2009; Ismail et al. 2010). Throughout the world, many countries have introduced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into schools via different courses of action. Their use is also underlined by OECD (2001) as a necessity for improving quality in teaching and learning. The Ministry of Education (MOE) in Nigeria has also made huge investments in the hope of attaining the goal of improving the quality of education through enriching the learning environment with the help of educational software and technologies. It has been stated time and again that the integration of technology in education, inter alia, does promote autonomous learning, curriculum differentiation (Smeets 2005), student-centred learning, higher order thinking, problem-solving, cooperative learning (Smeets & Mooij 2001; Bangert 2008), clarification of abstract concepts and transformation of the understanding of the subject matter (Leach & Moon 2000). It is due to such benefits that Nigeria too has been striving to encourage teachers to integrate technology in education at various levels.

These technologies include devices such as smart-mobile phones, personal digital assistants, computers, radio, television, network communication devices, satellite system, hardware and software, as well as other different services and applications (Kumar, 2006). Even though most of these technologies were made for purposes other than the classroom, they have found their way into education.

The Education System in Nigeria is divided into five levels, namely: 2 years of pre-primary education, 6 years of primary education, 3 years of Junior High School education, 3 years of Senior high school education and the tertiary levels.

Successful integration of technology in the teaching-learning process, among other things, is dependent on the training of teachers. In Nigeria, teachers are trained at two tertiary levels, the College and University levels. In the college level, graduates from Senior High Schools are trained as diploma in Basic education teachers for pre-primary, primary and Junior high schools while the Universities train teachers for senior high schools. At the university level, depending on the teacher’s specialization, the trainees can be secondary school teachers or college tutors. At

both levels, prospective teachers take courses related to Technology (Information and Communication Technologies).

Research studies in Nigeria show that teachers use technologies (Mensah, 2013) however, it is evident that technologies are rarely used in the teaching-learning process (Emmanuel, 2005; Peter, 2008). However, Abaa, (2014) disputed this claim and argued most Nigeriaian schools are increasingly using modern technologies. Research does not indicate what specific technologies are mostly used by teachers. The need for this cannot be ignored. According to Cavas et al. (2009), personal success in using certain technology can encourage teachers to use the technology in other areas such as teaching and learning. However, factors such as access and cost may limit technology application in the classroom.

1.1 Problem Statement

The development of a country is built on its resources both natural and human resources. Literature suggests that the human resource factor is much more crucial in national development than natural resources. Schools are the mines where human resources are produced. Human resource training has therefore been the primary responsibility of our schools. In Nigeria, various governments have attempted to prioritize education and have achieved various degrees of successes. However, the struggle continues as the country is yet to attain a desirable position. On this, Nigeria’s educational system has been severally critised for creating a knowledge gap between skills on one hand and industry on the other hand. It is already almost failing to develop the core professionals necessary to benefit from the emerging global knowledge-based economy. This is because our unevolved educational system was primarily meant to produce elite civil servants to replace colonial administrators. It continues to prepare a disproportionate number of students to join a public sector which had long stopped expanding and is now shrinking in many cases. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index suggests that Nigeria has limited capacity for harnessing technology and innovation to raise productivity and create industries with   competitive advantage in international markets. Out of 133 countries, Nigeria ranks 112th on technological readiness, 115th on innovation, 98th on business sophistication, and 108th on higher education and training.( United Nations, 2011).  The use of outdated teaching practices can be blamable for this turn of events. Nigeria needs to prepare its young people on the use of critical technologies and to attain proficiency in that.     Teaching-learning must be technology driven. What Africa needs is a substantial overhaul of education and training that can match the technology revolution and keep pace with continued technology development. A good educational system will focus on laying the best foundation of knowledge and skill that are laid during the first years of education. Teachers and trainers must be targeted and their training must include multimedia education content, the use of computers and other associated tools, the same tools they would be using in passing on the knowledge to the young. At a young age, individuals should be taught how to look for information and how to effectively make use of gathered information rather than just passing on classical material to cram and recite. This “Learning in the Information Society” will produce dynamic individuals who can easily adapt to the work force or quickly retrain to suit the emerging dynamic knowledge society.

The mention of the use of multimedia and information technology in education in the poorer Sub-Saharan countries may be followed by questions of finance. As a matter of fact, achieving quality education in these countries by use of information technology is a far cheaper alternative.

Most educational institutions in these countries lack quality facilities, journals, laboratories, etc. The quality of educational materials is often poor. Library collections have become out of date. Laboratory equipment is most often old, in disrepair and out-of-date, while current budgets for consumables are lacking. It would seem almost impossible for these countries to setup efficient educational systems but for the availability of multimedia and information technology. Efficient growth bases with vast multimedia content can be setup at a minute fraction of the cost of setting up modern facilities comparable to that of developed countries. With the advent of the internet and world wide web, and already existing knowledge bases, many educational institutions will be able to make use of the same resource thus further minimizing the cost requirement. The internet opens up a way of exponentially expanding the physical limits of the school, giving students and teachers access to each other, experts and resource around the world. Information technologies help create more equitable and accessible education systems. Students can use technologies to access courses not available at their school; rural students can complete their studies without leaving their communities, and adults can take advantage of a more flexible study schedule. Cultural development will also benefit as knowledge-bases of art, culture and history can be easily created, made widely accessible and easily updated. To this end, this study was set to examine Teachers’ perceptions and Levels of Technology use in some Classrooms in the Sefwi Wiaso Agege LGA’s.

 

1.2 Objectives of the study

1.2.1 General Objective

To investigate teachers’ perceptions and levels of technology use in classrooms in selected basic schools in the Agege LGA.

1.2.2 Specific Objectives
  1. To find out teachers’ perception of their self-efficacy in using technologies in the classroom.
  2. To identify technologies (software, instructional tools and materials) used by teachers in the classroom
  • To find out learning activities that teachers use technologies to conduct. iv. To unearth the barriers teachers faced in using technologies in the classroom.
  1. To suggest programs/incentives that should be used to encourage teachers to use technologies in the classroom.

1.3 Research questions and Prepositions

1.3.1 Research questions

  1. What are teachers’ perceptions of self-efficacy in using technologies in the classroom?
  2. What technologies (softwares, instructional tools and materials) are used by teachers in the classroom?
  3. What learning activities do teachers use technologies to conduct?
  4. What are the barriers teachers faced in using technologies in the classroom?
  5. What programs/incentives can be used to encourage teachers to use technologies in the classroom?

 

1.3.2 Prepositions

P:    Teachers use more than one (1) technology in their classrooms with 5 out of 10 teachers believing to have high self-efficacy in the use of such technologies.

P2 :   Teachers use one (1) and less technology in their classrooms with 5 out of 10 teachers believing to have self-efficacy in the use of such technologies.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The study has the following potential benefits. In the first place, it informs teachers’ readiness to use technology. Second, teachers’ experiences of using technology shade light on proper integration of technology in teaching and learning, and, in turn, these experiences help to determine teachers’ professional development needs for proper technology integration in the classrooms. Finally, it informs teacher preparation colleges, Universities and educational technology curriculum developers on the actual use of technologies in context. It is from such contextual uses of technology, that concerned parties can improve their programmes.

Government and policy makers in the Nigeria Education Service will equally find this work useful. The need for quality education demands an active technological preparation of students. The success or otherwise of such a task will depend on how instruction is delivered in the classroom.

Equally significant is the fact that this research has undoubtedly pushed forward the frontiers of scientific knowledge in the area of technology education.

1.5 Delimitations

This study is limited to investigating teachers’ perceptions and levels of technology use in the classroom. It documented teachers’ perceptions of self-efficacy in using technologies, mostly used technologies, technologically applicable learning activities, barriers in classroom technology usage and made suggestions on how to encourage active technology use in classrooms. The variables investigated are technologies such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, iPods, ipads etc and software that are used by teachers in the classrooms. The study was limited to a sample of fifteen (15) schools in which a minimum of two (2) teachers were questioned in each school.

Other issues such as the cost of technology usage, means of acquisition of such learning technologies, students’ performance among others are outside the scope of this study.

1.6 Limitations

The study was limited to a sample of fifteen (15) schools in which a minimum of two (2) teachers and a maximum of eight teachers were questioned in each school. Ten (10) of the schools were primary schools and the five (5) others were Junior High Schools. Schools got selected using a simple random procedure. However, selection of teachers was base on the presence of the teacher at the time of enquiry. I therefore accept with no dispute that the teachers contacted for this study were selected base on convenience. The study was done only in schools in the Agege LGA. Chances are that the results may not hold valid in other geographical settings.

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS ON THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN IN AGEGE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE

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