Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Interactive Child Learning Aid Project (I-CLAP): Design and Development of an Indigenous Instructional Multimedia Model for Nigeria

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Interactive Child Learning Aid Project (I-CLAP): Design and Development of an Indigenous Instructional Multimedia Model for Nigeria

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This project is concerned with the design and development of an indigenous Instructional Multimedia prototype for enhancing early child-education in Nigeria, tagged: Interactive Child Learning Aid Project (i-CLAP). It is structured based on a combination of African art, Computer Graphics and Animation, contextualized to accommodate the needs, preferences and styles of the local learner. This paper introduces a new vision that is motivated by the rapid advancements in digital technology and the urge for cultural expressionism, as catalysts for reinforcing early cognitive development and school-readiness among Pre-primary school children in Nigeria.

Keywords: ICT, Instructional Design, Cultural Sensitivity, Early Child Development (ECD), Computer-Assisted Instruction.

INTRODUCTION

The African continent is faced with multifaceted predicaments ranging from wars, diseases, starvation, political instability, crime and corruption hence the African child has come to view the world, through these tragic experiences, negatively. Conversely, there are objects that make Africa a unique pearl of beauty like its folklores, architecture, games, storytelling (Ayo, 1995), a heritage reflecting its needs, feelings and style which act as soothing to the child's gory experience. The challenge is to harmonize this heritage with formal learning practices, which may provide greater potency to inculcate the urge for enquiry and creativity in the child, through the exploration of nature and manmade environment, toy playing, artistic and musical activities. Unfortunately, lromantu (2004) asserts that the average African literacy rate is 58% as against developed countries that have achieved 98.6%. An ADEA's Executive Summary affirms that in the modern sub-Saharan African societies, for instance, the major agent implementing the process of education has been the traditional system featuring: face-to-face interactivity between teachers and learners, structured courses, fixed location, fixed period etc. The need therefore to improve upon these practices so as to boost educational development efforts within the subregion cannot be overemphasized. The goal is towards nurturing a child better prepared to take up his or her own role as a useful member of the society.

The "Education for AM" Agenda

Nigeria presents a complex political, economic and social environment due to its political history, demography, size, inequality levels and socio-cultural diversity. The strategic importance of the country, at the sub-region and the wider African region, places huge expectations in terms of its development performance, viewed from a political and economic perspective (Abani, 2004). According to Nicholas Negroponte, every single problem you can think of: poverty, peace, the environment, is solved with education or including education. Hence, the Interactive Child Learning Aid Project (i-CLAP) was initiated in 2002 in search for a "techno-cultural approach" to consolidating the "Education for All" agenda, which has the onerous challenge of catering for 13 million Pre-school children in Nigeria. Key issues of concern to this research include an appraisal of the following questions:

(i) Does adapting culturally sensitive instructional components enhance assimilation, retention and recall in Pre-primary school learning delivery?

(ii) Does the use of Computer-Assisted Instruction reinforce flexibility, motivation and engagement in learning 'ABC' among Pre-primary school children in Nigeria?

(iii) Is the "i-CLAP" model capable of enhancing cognitive maturation towards supporting school-readiness among Pre-primary school children in Nigeria?

McArdle (1991) defines Instructional Design simply as a systematic process of taking a human performance problem, figuring out what to do about it and then doing something about it. Therefore, the "i-CLAP" research is carried out on the assumption that integrating Artistic, Cultural and Technological metaphors in education have the potency of stimulating greater cognitive maturation (i. …

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