RELATIVE IMPACT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ECONOMICS
This research work focused on relative impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning of economics in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Purpose of this study is to determine the ICT materials available for use in teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government Area, the ICT skills acquired by teachers in teaching of economics, factors that affect utilization of ICT by teachers in teaching economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government Area. Two hundred (200) respondents made up of teachers and students were randomly selected from (8) secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government Area to participate in the study. Data were collected through the use of structural questionnaire and were analyzed with mean and frequency, the result showed that ICT availability, teachers competency in utilizing ICT skill and overcoming constraints encounter by economics teachers in utilizing ICT facilities are strategies for improving students’ performances in the subject. Based on the findings, recommendations and suggestion for further study were also made.
Background to the Study
Everyone wants education to make difference in the lives of the citizens of this country. This difference should affect their skills, knowledge, dispositions and habits. (Dimkpa, 2011). The world is experiencing dramatic changes brought about by the use of information and communication technology (ICT) via computers internet and communication technologies (Ezeocha 2012).
There is evidence that information communication technology (ICT) is having in positive impact on education (and training in schools). However, this depends on a lot on how ICT is being used in educational institutions and by learners, also outside educational setting. It is general learners, promotes change and foster the development of 21st century skills (Odunta, 2011).
ICT has thus not (yet) been able to revolutionize teaching and learning. In order to understand the impact of ICT in teaching and learning, a holistic approach is needed that takes into account the socio economic context, the learning environment and the learner. Furthermore, it includes looking at future learning needs, changing skills and competencies necessary for employment, self-development and participation in a knowledge based, digital society.
Information and communication technology are seen as a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store and manage information (Adesina, 2002).
Information and communication technology (ICT) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing. Radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network, hardware and software, satellite systems as well as the various services and application associated with them such as video conferencing and distance learning. (Cornwal, 2009). According to Anikpo (2011), information and communication technology refers to the convergence of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system.
In the past few decades, information and communication technologies have provided society with a vast array of new communication capabilities, for example, people can communicate with others in different countries using technologies such as instant messaging, voice over IP (VOIP) and video-conferencing, social networking, facebook allow users from all over the world to remain in contact and communicate on a regular basis. Modern information and communication technologies have created a “global village” in which people can communicate with others across the world as if they were living next door. For this reason, ICT is often studied in the context of how modern communication technologies affect society.
According to Uwaje (2011:10) “the impact of 21st century information society will create new world, redefined the way we live, work and think, we therefore owe it as a duty not only to ourselves but also to future generation of Nigerian’s to recognize the place and influence of information technology in teaching of economics both in secondary schools and tertiary institutions”.
The introduction of information and communication technology in the teaching and learning of economics has witnessed a tremendous change in its methods and practices. ICT material has helped in the teaching of economics through the use of projectors and computers.
ICT also hap in motivating, engaging the learner and offering personal approaches to learning. It developed collaborative and team working skills and unleashing creativity in learning.
Research studies of ICT use in economics education have shown that ICT empowers students and allow them access to the discipline. (Behling, 2004). Various types of ICT tools are used in economics course, tutorial, testing, stimulation/game, database, spreadsheet, and tools of local area network and the internet. Each provides opportunities for students to think in an economic way and provide students with learner autonomy that is crucial to the learning process.
Statement of the Problem
Globalization and innovation in technology have led to an increased used of ICT in all sectors and education is no exception. Uses of ICT in education are widespread and are continually growing worldwide. The prevalence and utilization of ICT in education has brought about radical changes in the teaching and learning of economics. Thus the use of ICT facilities has posed a very big challenge to teachers and students which include;
Shortage of manpower for effective utilization of software and maintenance. Qualified programmers, engineers and technicians are equally difficult to find and when they are found, the (public) education sector cannot afford to retain them as competition from the private sector is fierce. This lack of manpower breeds a compendium of other problems; teachers can only pass on skills and ideas to the learners, if they are masters of their trade and they are the cutting edge of knowledge in the discipline. This is unfortunately the case here in Ebonyi L.G.A, most teachers in our secondary schools have minimal or low ICT skills and hardly use existing opportunities to develop them.
Limited ICT infrastructure due to lack of fund. Lack of fund has limited the effective use of ICT package in teaching and learning of economics here in Ebonyi L.G.A.
Highly prohibitive associated with the maintenance and technical as well as poor power supply has impeded the use of ICT in Ebonyi L.G.A.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine the influence of ICT in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi L.G.A. It also aimed at ascertaining the constraints facing teachers in their attempt to gain skill competency as well as proffering solutions to such constraints.
Specifically, this study is aimed at identifying:
1. The ICT materials available for use in teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi L.G.A.
2. The ICT skills acquired by teachers in teaching economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi L.G.A.
3. Factors that affect utilization of ICT by teachers in teaching economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi L.G.A.
4. The strategies for enhancing effective utilization of ICT by teachers in teaching economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi L.G.A.
Significance of the Study
ICT tools had assisted many developing countries to integrate itself properly to the globalize economy, especially in their educational sector. Hence, to help curriculum developers and policy makers in the educational sector to identify the prospects of information and communication technology for the purpose of development.
The outcome of this study will help economics teachers and students to understand the need to use the ICT gadgets adequately and effectively in their academic work.
An effective use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) by students will facilitates the acquisition of important cognitive skills required for effective economic analysis and evaluation.
No doubt, the result of this study would reveal the shortcomings of the economics curriculum being used in the country.
This study will assist authors to identify aspects of coursework where student’s needs’ can be met.
In conclusion, this study will be of help to the government to integrate itself properly to the globalize economy especially in the educational sector.
Scope of the Study
This study is limited to the influence of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning of economics in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Hence will centre on all secondary schools situated in Ebonyi L.G.A.
In carrying out this study, the following research questions were formulated to guide the study;
1. What are the available ICT facilities for teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi L.G.A?
2. What are the skills acquired by teachers in teaching economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi Local Government Area?
3. What are the constraints facing teachers of economics in Ebonyi L.G.A in acquiring and utilizing ICT skills?
4. What are the strategies for enhancing effective utilization of ICT by teachers in teaching economics in secondary schools in Ebonyi L.G.A?.