Academic journal article Education

Practical Skills in Laptop Computer Repairs for Curriculum Innovation in Technical Education Programmes in Nigeria

Academic journal article Education

Practical Skills in Laptop Computer Repairs for Curriculum Innovation in Technical Education Programmes in Nigeria

Article excerpt


Technological advancement has continued to add value to the dynamic nature of the society in recent times, especially in the industries and the educational institutions, thereby making production, teaching and learning easier. The fields of engineering, technology and industrial education have continued to experience technological innovation in the new economy era in order to meet the challenges and demands of the society. However, it has also posed challenges to technology teachers in the educational institutions in producing complementary graduates. In order to deal with these challenges Higgins (2008) posited that programme evaluation of technology education by utilizing graduate and employer perception data in determining graduates' job preparedness levels is one of the adoptable approaches. One of the fields of study in technical/technology education programmes that requires such attention is electrical and electronic technology.

According to Ogbuanya (2009) electronic is a branch of science which deals with the motion, emission and behavior of current as free electronics especially in vacuum, gas or photo tubes and special conductors or semiconductors. Electronics on the other hand involves electronic components, devices, systems or equipment, and these devices operate on a relative low voltage (Crecraft & Gergey, 2002). The technology of electronics can be broadly grouped into analogue and digital electronics. The changeover to digital technology was a welcome relief from a variety of electrical noise generated at home (Agrawal, 2011). Digital signals in contrast to analogue are designed to take on a discrete set of values. The values of digital circuits are meaningful for the digital cases and they employ logic circuits and decisions (Paton, 1998; Frey, 2000). All operations that can be performed on the analogue signal such as amplification, filtering, limiting and others, can also be duplicated in digital domain, even better (Singmin, 2001). It may therefore be concluded that every digital circuit is also an analogue circuit in that the behavior of any digital circuit can be explained using the rule of analogue circuit. Digital electronics are more efficient than the analogue ones in the areas of lessening or removing noise because it uses the principle of quantization to regenerate the signal at each logic gate (Chen, 2005). These electronics are better in design difficulty and precision.

Digital circuits operations are based on a number of discrete voltage levels. They are the most common physical representation of Boolean algebra and are the basis of all digital computers such as laptops. Most digital circuits use two voltage levels of zero (0) and (1) which represents LOW and HIGH, OFF and ON, FALSE and TRUE, MINUS and PLUS, CLOSED and OPEN switch respectively. Often "Low" will be near zero volts and "High" will be at a higher level depending on the supply voltage in use (Theraja & Sedha, 2009; Emant Pte Ltd, 2013). This represents the fact that every digital electronic appliance takes such two states of logic decisions during operation and therefore works with two or more functions at a time, as it is found in laptop computers where more than one windows can be operated simultaneously or using the laptop as a caller and browser device at the same time. These states and functions in any digital system are guided by some building blocks in that system.

The building blocks of digital electronics include the logic gates, adders, flip-flops, counters, registers, multiplexers, Schmitt triggers, encoders and decoders, microprocessors, microcontrollers, memories, application specific integrated circuits (ASIC), digital signal processor (DSP) and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) (Paton, 1998; Frey, 2000; IBM Family Science Team, 2001; Singmin, 2001; Tokheim, 2005; Theraja & Sedha, 2009; Emant Pte Ltd, 2013). Some of the building blocks are briefly discussed below:

* Logic gates: these are the basic building blocks from which most of the digital systems are built (Parton, 1998; Theraja & Sedha, 2009), they are therefore basic blocks in laptop design. …

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