Appraising the Relationship between ICT Usage and Integration and the Standard of Teacher Education Programs in a Developing Economy

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ABSTRACT

In this study, the author presents a relatively detailed analysis of a research survey conducted on the impact and uses of information and communication technology (ICT) and the issues that underlie the integration of ICT in teacher education programs in Nigeria. The theme (ICT) is one of the variables tested on a study conducted by the researcher on "the relationships between funding, ICT, selection processes, administration and planning and the standard of teacher education in Nigeria." The data for the study were gathered through a two page questionnaire administered to 180 respondents who were accessible in the Faculties of Education and School of Education of the selected institutions. In total, 154 questionnaires were retrieved which represents 86% return rate. At the same time, the data were analyzed quantitatively using SPSS. The results of the survey on universities and College of Education staff perception of the impact of ICT on teacher education in Nigeria suggested that the respondents were disgruntled with the sluggish use and integration of ICT in both the states and federal government owned institutions of higher education in general and into teacher education programs in particular.

Keywords: ICT; Standard; Teacher education programs; Pre-service teachers; Sustainability; Nigeria

INTRODUCTION

Improving the quality of education through the diversification of contents and methods and promoting experimentation, innovation, the diffusion and sharing of information and best practices as well as policy dialogue are UNESCO's strategic objectives in Education (UNESCO, 2002). This is because information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become key tools and had a revolutionary impact of how we see the world and how we live in it. This phenomenon has given origin to the contemporary and advances in our ways of life. ICT is having a revolutionary impact on educational methodology globally. However, this revolution is not widespread and need to be strengthened to reach a large percentage of the population. In a complex society like Nigeria, many factors affect its ICTs use and integration, so an interdisciplinary and integrated approach is very necessary to ensure the successful development of Nigeria's economy and society (Mac-Ikemenjima, 2005).

The academic landscape in Nigeria includes the teaching and learning process, along with the educational programs and courses and the pedagogy or methodology of teaching; the research process, including dissemination and publication; libraries and information services; including higher education administration and management (Beebe, 2004). The integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in higher education programs has been the topic of a good deal of debate. In Nigeria, the relationship between the development of ICTs penetration and use in teacher education programs and its diffusion into the programs in Faculties of Education and Schools of Education is dependent upon governmental policies.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are indispensable and have been accepted as part of the contemporary world especially in the industrialized societies. In fact, cultures and societies have adjusted to meet the challenges of the knowledge age. The pervasiveness of ICT has brought about rapid changes in technology, social, political, and global economic transformation. However, the field of education has not been unaffected by the penetrating influence of information and communication technology. Unquestionably, ICTs has impacted on the quality and quantity of teaching, learning, and research in teacher education. Therefore, ICT provides opportunities for student teachers, academic and non-academic staff to communicate with one another more effectively during formal and informal teaching and learning (Yusuf, 2005b, pp. 316-321). In the same vein, teachers need training not only in computer literacy but also in the application of various kinds of educational software in teaching and learning (Ololube, 2006). …

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