This study focused on the problems facing the use of information technology in teaching of chemistry in secondary schools in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. Four research purposes were formulated to guide the study. Four research questions were also formulated to guide the study. The research was carried out in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area educational zone of Abia state. Isiala Ngwa South is a Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. The researcher employed a Descriptive survey research design for the study. The population of the study is comprised of four hundred and eighty-two (482) teachers from all the thirty-four (34) duly registered secondary schools in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State. The main instrument for the study was a structured questionnaire. The instrument was validated and found reliable for the study. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. Analysis of the data resulted in the following findings; how teachers’ negative attitude towards information technology stand as a barrier to the use of Information Technological equipment in teaching and learning of chemistry, how inadequate time hinders the effective use of information technological equipment in teaching and learning of chemistry, how training and retraining of teachers boost the use of information technology in teaching and learning of chemistry, how inadequate instructional material pose a barrier to the use of information technology in teaching and learning of chemistry. From the findings the following recommendations emanated: There should be a provision for training and retraining of teachers in the new technological system. Mandating teachers to go for computer training will help in the use of new information technological resources. Government should try as much possible as they can to make available those information technology tools so9 as to enable the use of new information technology resources in education. The school management should not be left alone to provide enough information technology tools for the school activities rather the Government should grant them aids as to enable success in the use of information technology tools in education. Enough time should be allotted to those teachers who make use of information technology tools in their instruction. Due to the fact that it consumes more time to teach a particular concept using new information technology tools.Student teachers should be given the opportunity to partake on several training during their degree pursuit. These will enable them make use of these information technology tools in teaching and learning when employed in secondary schools.
Background of the Study
Ever since ancient times people have devised various techniques for communicating their thoughts, needs and desires to others. In early civilized times, people tend to congratulate in geographically localized cluster in which communication were adequately achieved through speech and written messages. As civilization spread over larger geographical areas, a variety of long distance communication methods were tried such as smoke signals, carrier pigeons etc. one of the earliest known optical links, was the use of fire signal by Greeks in the eight century B.C. for sending alarms, calls for help, or announcement of certain events.
However, because of environmental and technology limitation, it generally turned out to be faster and more efficient to send letter messages by courier over the road network. The discovery of telegraph by Samuel, F.B. Morse in 1938 ushers in a new development in communication that is, the era of electrical telegraphy system were first encoded into strings of binary symbols and were then manually transmitted and received. The development and implementation of communication systems employing electric signals became increasingly sophisticated leading in turn to the birth of telephone, radar and microwave links.
Today, these communication systems have become an integral part of everyday life with circuits spanning the entire world carrying voice, text, pictures and many other types of information. As recent advances integrated circuits to technology have allowed computers to become recognized, less expensive and widely available, which make people to be more interested in connecting them to internet. Internet is a computer system that allows millions of computer users around the world to exchange information with the use of the internet, which made communication easier and faster, many bodies have spring up to assist the use of this technology such as management information services (MIS), Information technology (IT) and many others. Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle and applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. It can also be refer to the collection of such tools, including machinery modifications, arrangements and procedures.
Technology significantly affects human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The term technology can either be applied generally or to specific areas. Example includes construction technology, medical technology, and information technology.
The term is commonly used as a synonym for computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones.
Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating information and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed writing in about 3000BC, but the term information technology in this modern sense first appeared in a 1958article published in the Harvard Business Review, authors Harold S. Leavitt and Thomas L. whistler commented that “the new technology does not yet a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT).
Their definition consists of three categories such as techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision making through computer programs Based on the storage and processing technologies employed, it is possible to distinguish four distinct phases of IT development: pre-mechanical (3000 Bc-1450 AD), Mechanical (1450-1840), electromechanical (1840-1940) and electronic (1940-present).
This article focuses on the most recent period information technology contributes a lot to the education for the users.
According to clerk and star (2003) teaching as an attempt to help someone (the learner) acquire or change some skill, attitudes, knowledge, and idea. It means that the teacher’s task is to treat or influence desirable change in behavior of the learner. In the present time, in order to be able to move ahead as a society, proper education is required to be provided in our schools. It is imperative to improve the quality of education in order to be able to provide it properly.
Information technology has become one of the significant determinants of quality education in our society today. Yet qualitative education cannot be effectuated without qualified teachers (Toffler, 2008)
The information technology society denotes a type of society where the ability to produce, access and use information has developed and such information has been transformed into technology and thus institutional transformation of the society has been maintained (Toffler 2008). The production of information technologies for the teaching and learning is continuously increasing. In fact, information technologies produced in various scientific fields cause certain changes in the lives of human being, societies, establishments and schools. (Akinci and Seferoglu, 2009, UNESCO, 2002, Toffler and Toffler, 1996, Toffler 2008). As a result of those changes, the world that we exist on is dwelling on the age of technology.
It can be observed that the capability and development of any society today is been determined by the level of information technology in education which the society adopt. The use of information technology in the teaching and learning increased the understanding and the standard of the practice(s). Any lifestyle without along with the advancement of technology education has become one of the most important factors in the flourishing and development of any society Educational institutions undergo changes continuously in line with their relationship with information and technology. Depending on the information technologies used, the development can clearly be seen in qualitative terms (Seferogu, 2009). Parallel to such global developments, problem associated with information technologies used in educational institutions (in the secondary schools).
Computers are now used to regulate educational service so as to meet the students’ educational needs. It provides educational services and makes education more effectively and productively and to create a school environment which is at a contemporary level. (Usun, 2000).
In recent days, it has become obligatory to make education acquire a scientific and technological quality, the use of information technologies in schools emerge as an indispensable necessity. It is not doubtful that as long as education polices do not rely on scientific principle, in terms of their overall structures and do not make use of advanced technology, it is not possible for them to the social and individual need in terms of teaching and learning.
In the computer age that we dwell today, the growing need of individuals to learning has led to an increase in the applications required to enhance the efficiency of the education processes in schools.
In parallel to that, there are significant global projects directed at providing more favorable conditions for education in schools and developing and using tools that can be of use during teaching and learning.
The role of technology in teaching and learning is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy (Roseland well 1995: and Tmerer 2000).
Most expert in the field of education agreed that, when properly used, information and communication technology hold great promise to improve teaching and learning in addition to shaping workforce opportunities.
Poole (1996) has indicated that computer illiteracy is now regarded as the new illiteracy. This has actually gingered a new and strong desire to equip schools with computer facilities and qualified personal necessary to produce technologically proficient and efficient students in developed countries of the world.
There is no doubt that computer can aid the instructional process and facilitate students’ learning. Many studies have found positive effect associated with technology aided instruction. (Bumett, 1994, and Fitzgerald and Warner, 1996). Undoubtedly, the implementation of information technology systems in secondary schools has enabled dramatic change in teaching and learning practices or exercise in science and art subject’s studies.
According to Ikeobi, 2001 al form of human endeavors and absolutely nothing goes on in science without the application of chemistry. The importance and role of science education (particularly chemistry) cannot be over emphasizes. Chemistry has long been a traditional part of academic curriculum in schools and it is usually studied alongside with other related subjects such as biology, physics and mathematics. It is a core subject in the study of many biological science courses such as medicine, Biochemistry, Microbiology pharmacy, Engineering among others.
Thus a sound knowledge of chemistry is of great importance to many pupils and the community at large.
To be able to achieve these great importance and role of chemistry in our senior secondary schools and to be able to inculcate this knowledge of chemistry properly and efficiently to the student of these great computers age generation, there is a great need for information technology system in education sector.
In fact, the use of information technology service society today cannot be ignored or skipped for any reason rather it should be embraced.
Statement of the Problem
In the secondary and tertiary education, the teachers and students need to wholly embrace information technology skills in other to achieve education effectiveness. In the management of schools, human and material resources tend also to determine to a large extent the achievement of educational objectives.
In secondary school, lack of teachers competence, Resistance to change and negative attitude by teachers, lack of time, lack of effective training, lack of accessibility to resources, and many others, affect the use of information technology (IT) in teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary schools.
The problem of this study is to assess factors influencing the use of information technology (IT) in the teaching of chemistry in secondary schools in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to identify the problems facing the use of Information Technology in the teaching of chemistry in secondary schools in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State. Specifically, this study tends to:
- Ascertain if teachers negative attitude towards Information Technology stand as a barrier to the use of Information Technological equipment in teaching and learning of Chemistry.
- Determine if inadequate time is a hindrance to the use of Information Technological equipment in teaching and learning of Chemistry.
- Ascertain how training and retraining of teachers can boost the use of Information Technology in teaching and learning of Chemistry.
- Know how inadequate instructional material pose as a barrier to the use of Information Technology in teaching and learning of Chemistry.
Significance of the Study
This study was carried out by the researcher with a view to finding out the problems facing the use of information technology (IT) in teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary schools in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State.
The problem of low academic achievement among the students has been plaguing our educational system completely right from the primary classes to university level. This problem is responsible for the tremendous wastage of human potential and facilities for education apart from the finical wastage, which a developing country like ours can ill afford. The present study helps us to provide the effective media to present the content matter among the large number of students in a classroom. This study investigated the extent of the impact of ICT on teaching and learning of chemistry and to find out whether students taught chemistry with the use of ICT materials such as computer system, internet facilities, projectile, video player etc. performed better than those taught with textbook only.
- The result of this finding will be of benefit to secondary school teachers. This is because it will go a long way in sensitizing them on the importance of information technology in education.
- The outcome of this study will be of immense importance to students in secondary schools because it will instill dedication in them and help them embrace learning.
- The society as a whole will equally benefit when the information technology is encouraged. It will sensitize them on the importance of civilization and development
- The result of these finding will be of immense important to students because it will reinforce them to put more effort in their studies.
- The result of the finding will also help the students to implement the use of information technology (IT) in education. This is because the study reveals the barriers which should be avoided so as to implement the use of information technology in education.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on assessing the problems which hinder the use of information technology in teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary schools in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State.
The barriers which established the focus of this study includes: lack of teachers’ competence, Resistance to change and negative attitude by the teachers, lack of time, inadequate/effective training, lack of accessibility of resources and lack of technical support.
The following research questions guided the study:
- Does teachers’ negative attitude towards Information Technology stand as barrier to the use of Information Technological equipment in teaching and learning of Chemistry?
- Does inadequate time hinder the effective use of Information Technological equipment in teaching and learning of Chemistry?
- How does training and retraining of teachers boost the use of Information Technology in teaching and learning of Chemistry?
- Does inadequate instructional material pose a barrier to the use of information technology in teaching and learning of Chemistry?