Assessment of the Use of Educational Technology by Social Studies Teachers in Secondary Schools in Western Nigeria
Iyamu, Ede O. S., Ogiegbaen, S. E. Aduwa, International Journal of Instructional Media
At every level of education, educational technology is perceived as a vehicle for curriculum enhancement. Studies including Hadley & Sheingold, 1992; McDaniel, Melnerney & Armstrong, 1993; Hannafin & Saverye, 1993) have indicated that educational technology has the potential for enhancing student learning. Educational technology in this context refers to technology that is employed in the classroom for the purpose of student instruction (Buck, 1994). It is all about computer-based technology including computer hardware, software, CD-Rom, videodisc player and the Internet. These forms of technology provide teachers and students with vast quantities of information in an easily accessible, non-sequential format that can be used as a teaching tool.
Extolling the importance of technology in the instructional process, Chapin and Messic (1992) and Imogie (1998) asserted that the role of technology in teaching and learning is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy. To this extent, developed countries of Europe and America have made legislative provisions on the imperative use of technology in the instructional process (Brittain, 1988). Consequently, there has been a staggering amount of research and publication related to the use of technology for educational purposes in these advanced industrialized nations. Today, nearly everyone in these countries gains access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and the purchases of computers for school use in such countries as the United States of America has been increasing in such a pace that is difficult to keep track of how many computer machines are now in American Schools (Harper, 1987). A survey report by Becker (1986) on the instructional uses of computers in the United States public and private schools suggested that over one million computers were in American elementary and secondary schools and that more than fifteen million students used them during 1985. The report also says that more than half-a-million teachers used computers for instructional purposes during the same period and half of American secondary schools owned at least 15 computers each. Considering the fast pace of ICT in the last 20 years in Europe and America, the figures reported by Becker (1986) must have risen astronomically by now. According to Thomas (2003), the story in Britain is basically the same as that of the USA. This country has been able to keep such pace as a result of government funding through the local Education Authorities and the Educational Reforms Act of 1988 that compelled the central government to make budgetary provision for education technology.
Although the developing countries including Nigeria have become aware of the invaluable role of technology in effective teaching and learning, they have not been able to make significant progress in improving education through this medium. In Africa, concerted efforts have been made by many governments including Nigeria to initiate Internet connectivity and technology training programs. Such programs are expected to link schools and libraries around the world to improve education; enhance cultural understanding; develop vital skills of creativity, problem-solving and independent thinking which the youth need for survival in the global setting. Aduwa and Iyamu (2004) reported on the progress made in Uganda, Senegal and Nigeria to institutionalize educational technology. Efforts are gradually being made to provide educational institutions with computers and to encourage ICT as an integral component of the educational process so as to meet the demands and challenges of globalization.
TECHNOLOGY AS AIDS TO TEACHING AND LEARNING
The importance of technology in the educational process is quite evident. The computer holds greater promise in the instructional process compared to other media such as book materials, chalkboard, radio/television and film that have dominated instructional practices over the ages. …