Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Importance of Information and Communication Technology

ICT is an essential component of school, intellectual diffusion and research programmes assessment. Nkanu and Usang (2007) remarked that these trends make it possible for teachers to break away from professional isolation with information and communication technology, they can easily connect with other teachers outside their immediate environment with sources of teaching materials. Before now, the observed,
learners were dependent on teachers and librarians for information but now, availability of ICT facilities in schools is helping them to redefine the role of teachers and librarians thus enabling them to focus on analyzing information and sharpening their critical thinking skills. It is in the same stead that the Federal Government of Nigeria emphasized in section II (102) (A) of the National Policy on Education that:
A Network of Educational Services Centre in Nigeria (NESCN) shall be setup to provide a forum for exchanging of ideas on the development and use of innovative materials for improvement of education. All states, teacher resource centres, university institutions of education and other professional bodies shall belong to the network of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
        Obviously, ICT would bring about collaborative, provide participation, cooperation and interactive learning environment, as well as enrich the curriculum content. Studies conducted worldwide indicated that students working in a collaborative environment using technology-infused instruction have had better academic achievement (Cheorg, 2008; Lee Predhan & Dalgarno, 2008; Barwach, 2006 and House 2006 cited in Masole, 2008). ICT as a technological-based instruction methodology facilitates the achievement of content and objectives of the curriculum since it enables students to access accurate information easily unlike the traditional methods require strenuous co-ordination. Nkanu and Usang (2007) observed that the educational system has undergone major structural changes. That is from pedagogical methodology to the current phase of more sophisticated, but user friendly technology-based instructional methodology. The complexity resulting from the enormous instruction co-ordination mechanism is reduced or eliminated with the new system (ICT and E-Learning).
        ICT is also important in that it has enabled learners to see things and master them faster than as it was in the olden years. Appreciating this, Udensi (2006:124) stated:
In fact, our ways of life have been greatly touched and influenced, ICT equipment have brought about speedy, timely and efficient information processing which is very significant to people. Again, ICT equipment have made it possible for modern man to see more information in a day the people hundred years ago used to see in whole year.
        ICT also help learners in the acquisition of four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Acquisition of these four basic language skills is very important because when learners acquire them they can easily master the concepts in the curriculum of all levels of education faster. To that end, Okereka (2007) emphatically stressed that, ICT increases reading skills. Computer had made the teaching and learning of writing (essay) can now be better enhanced by using computer programmes that corrects errors and provide feedback. Through ICT learners can make use of the most up-to-date texts from the conventional library. This will help the learners to get access to relevant texts which will help the learners to get access to relevant text which will help them in their lesson.
        Furthermore, ICT helps in erection of individualized and collaborative instruction. With the use of computer, learners can learn individually and collectively with or without the teacher in the classroom. Hence, Tuoyo (2007) stated that computers are tools for teachers and students. They can be useful for erection of individualized and collaborative instruction and can manage and generate instructional research and administrative data. Thus makes full implementation of curriculum in all levels of education easier and more practicable; hence there is greater hope of realizing the national educational goals as enumerated by Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2004).
        ICT assists in evaluation of students’ performance. Evaluation is a very important aspect of curriculum implementation. With the use of ICT, evaluation of students’ performance is easy for both teachers and administrators, since it provides immediate feedback to the students. With provision of immediate feedback, students and teachers can find out the area of strength and weaknesses for modification. Commenting on the usefulnesss of provision of feedback to the learners, Mkpa (2007) stated that it is an established fact that most effective learning occurs by engaging and giving him immediate feedback on his performance as he learns.

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