PROJECT TOPIC- IMPORTANCE OF ICT IN TEACHING OF C.R.K IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LGA IN EBONYI STATE
Background to the Study
Nigeria like other developing countries is still in the initial stages of integrating ICT in teaching-learning process. Though it is limited by a number of barriers, there are many factors influencing the use of ICT to make teaching-learning effective in primary schools in Nigeria. ICT is an electronic means of capturing, processing, storing, communicating information. The use of ICT in the classroom teaching-learning is very important for it provides opportunities for teachers and students to operate, store, manipulate, and retrieve information, encourage independent and active learning, and self-responsibility for learning such as distance learning, motivate teachers and students to continue using learning outside school hours, plan and prepare lessons and design materials such as subject content delivery and facilitate sharing of resources, expertise and advice.
This versatile instrument has the capability not only of engaging students in instructional activities to increase their learning, but of helping them to solve complex problems to enhance their cognitive skills Jonassen and Reeves (2008). Also, Pernia, E.E. (2008) defines ICT as technologies used to communicate in order to create, manage and distribute information. She adds that a broad definition of ICTs includes computers, the internet, telephone, television, radio and audio-visual equipment. She further explains that ICT is any device and application used to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information and knowledge.
Digital technology is included in this definition as services and applications used for communication and information processing functions associated with these devices. According to Plomp, Tj., ten Brummelhis (2009), generally three objectives are distinguished for the use of ICT in education, (i) The use of ICT as object of study; refers to learning about ICT, which enables students to use ICT in their daily life. (ii) The use of ICT as aspect of discipline or profession; refers to the development of ICT skills for professional or vocational purposes. (iii) The use of ICT as medium for teaching and learning; focuses on the use of ICT for the enhancement of the teaching and learning process. It is a fact that teachers are at the centre of curriculum change and they control the teaching and learning
Religion has been rightly described as an essential factor in any society of the World hence it cannot be safely ignored or neglected. This is because it an inescapable, inevitable aspect of human life. Most nations and people has been nurtured, raised and developed on the platform of religions. The need for the Nigerian child to be adequately groomed morally cannot be overemphasized since this is crucially an important aspect of the development of human personality and moral development.
To moral maturity on the part of the citizen of a country is pre-requisite for the development of that country Omoregbe (1990). The traditional education aims in inculcating a high degree of morality. Thus, the Christian religious education emphasized the development of moral training in their adherents as fundamental education training to be received by them so as to be useful to themselves and society.
Additionally, the national policy on Nigeria education stressed the importance of developing good ethics in pupils when it states in section 3 (3) the need for the inculcation of moral and spiritual values in interpersonal and human relation. What culminate the present study is the fact that despite popular awareness of the importance of ICT and the role it now playing in many aspects of life, most teachers particularly at the primary school level in Nigeria are yet to introduce it to the teaching and learning particularly in primary schools in Afikpo North LGA of Ebonyi State.
Research has identified the importance of ICT in education. It has been found that ICT can promote students’ intellectual qualities through higher order thinking, problem solving, improved communication skills, and deep understanding of the learning tool and the concepts to be taught (Sutton 2006). ICT can promote a supportive, interactive teaching and learning environment, create broader learning communities, and provide learning tools for students, including those with special needs (Trinidad 2001; Hawkins 2002). Computer-generated graphics have been used to illustrate relationships of all kinds, especially dynamic processes that cannot be illustrated by individual pictures (Franke 1985).
They are also said to improve school attendance levels and enable the creation of a new and more effective curriculum. It is no more contestable that ICT has contributed to the teaching and learning and achievement in many subjects. Some areas of the curriculum have been the focus of considerable ICT development. Apart from initiatives to support literacy and numeracy, evidences of positive impact have been reported in mathematics, modern foreign languages, science, history, geography, physical education and the creative arts.
But the evidence of its contribution to the pupil’s performance in Christian religious knowledge from the teacher’s point of view in Afikpo North LGA of Ebonyi State context is yet to be ascertained. In the light of this therefore, this study examine the importance of ICT in teaching C.R.K in primary schools in Afikpo North. But before fully looking at the importance of ICT; it is welcoming to understand the concept of ICT first. Information and communication technology refers to as a computer based facilities used by organization personnel to record, transmit, generate, retrieve, impact knowledge and process information and communication needs Asiyai (2010).
ICT is any technology that students and teachers use to organize, create, manipulate, solve, find, draw, design, synthesize, share, collaborate, modify, analyze, evaluate and disseminate information. ICTs include internet, computer, hyper net software and hardware, network, data projector and other devices that convert information into digital forms. Kent and Facer (2004) indicated that school is an important environment in which students participate in a wide range of computer activities, while the home serves as a complementary site for regular engagement in a narrower set of computer activities.
Increasingly, ICT is being applied successfully in instruction, learning, and assessment. ICT is considered a powerful tool for educational change and reform. A number of previous studies have shown that an appropriate use of ICT can raise educational quality and connect learning to real-life situations Lowther, (2008); Weert and Tatnall, ( 2005). As Weert and Tatnall (2005) have pointed out, that learning is an ongoing lifelong activity where learners change their expectations by seeking knowledge, which departs from traditional approaches.
As time goes by, they will have to expect and be willing to seek out new sources of knowledge. Skills in using ICT will be an indispensable prerequisite for these learners. ICT tends to expand access to education. Through ICT, learning can occur anytime and anywhere. For example, Teleconferencing classrooms allow both learner and teacher to interact simultaneously with ease and convenience.
Based on ICT, learning and teaching no longer depend exclusively on printed materials. Multiple resources are abundant on the Internet, and knowledge can be acquired through video clips, audio sounds, and visual presentation and so on. Current research has indicated that ICT assists in transforming a teaching environment into a learner-centered one Castro, Sánchez and Alemán (2011).
Since learners are actively involved in the learning processes in ICT classrooms, they are authorized by the teacher to make decisions, plans, and so forth (Lu, Hou and Huang 2010). ICT therefore provides both learners and instructors with more educational affordances and possibilities. They maintained that ICTs can provide an efficient delivery mechanism of educational services by supplementing conventional delivery mechanism. Engaging pupils of primary school would be fascinating and quite enriching. Seeing that the mastery of such ICT facilities would be fundamentally embedded in them.
Therefore, the importance of using ICT in teaching C.R.K in primary schools could be more specifically seen below:
- It assists students in accessing digital information efficiently and effectively. As Brush, Glazewski and Hew (2008) have stated, ICT is used as a tool for students to discover learning topics, solve problems, and provide solutions to the problems in the learning process.
Thus, ICT makes for Christian Religious knowledge (C.R.K) acquisition more accessible, and concepts in the learning areas are understood while engaging students in the application of ICT.
- Support student-centered and self-directed learning. Students are now more frequently engaged in the meaningful use of computers Castro, Sánchez and Alemán, (2011). They build new knowledge through accessing, selecting, organizing, and interpreting information and data. Based on learning through ICT, students are more capable of using information and data from various sources, and critically assessing the quality of the learning materials of C.R.K.; especially having Bible, Bible Commentary and other materials relevant to studying C.R.K in primary school.
- Encourages a creative learning environment. The broadness of C.R.K as a subject definitely requires a learning environment with ICT facilities. ICT develops pupils’ new understanding in their areas of learning (Chai, Koh and Tsai, 2010). ICT provides more creative solutions to different types of learning inquiries. For example, in a reading class, e-books are commonly used in reading aloud activities. Learners can access all types of texts from beginning to advanced levels with ease through computers, laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or iPads. More specifically, these e-books may come with some reading applications, which offer a reading-aloud interface, relevant vocabulary-building activities, games related to reading skills and vocabulary acquisition, and more. Therefore, ICT involves purpose designed applications that provide innovative ways to meet a variety of learning needs found among pupils of primary schools.
- Promote collaborative learning. Koc (2005) mentioned that using ICT enables students to communicate, share, and work collaboratively anywhere, any time. Especially among pupils of primary schools who love learning together. Pupils not only acquire knowledge together, but also share diverse learning experiences from one another in order to express themselves and reflect on their learning.
- Facilitate teaching and learning quality. As Lowther (2008) have stated that there are three important characteristics that are needed to develop good quality teaching and learning with ICT: autonomy, capability, and creativity. Autonomy means that students take control of their learning through their use of ICT. In this way, they become more capable of working by themselves and with others. Teachers can also authorize students to complete certain tasks with peers or in groups. Through collaborative learning with ICT, the students have more opportunity to build the new knowledge onto their background knowledge, and become more confident to take risks and learn from their mistakes.
Further, Serhan (2009) concluded that ICT fosters autonomy by allowing educators to create their own material, thus providing more control over course content than is possible in a traditional classroom setting. With regard to capability, once students are more confident in learning processes, they can develop the capability to apply and transfer knowledge while using new technology with efficiency and effectiveness.
For example, in an ESL listening and speaking class, students may be asked to practice their pronunciation using an online audio dictionary. They are required not only to listen to the native pronunciation from the dictionary, but also to learn the definitions and examples of a new vocabulary item. They then have to make a recording of their own pronunciation and provide examples of how this new word is used in context.
Before completing this task, they have to know which browser to use in order to search a suitable online audio dictionary. They will have to browse several online dictionaries, and select the one that best meets their learning needs. In addition, finding good software to record their voice is another prerequisite for these learners. Therefore, the whole learning process enriches students’ learning skills and broadens their knowledge beyond what they already know.
By using ICT, students’ creativity can be optimized. They may discover new multimedia tools and create materials in the styles readily available to them through games (Gee, 2011), CDs, and television. With a combination of students’ autonomy, capability, and creativity, the use of ICT can improve both teaching and learning quality.
PROJECT TOPIC- IMPORTANCE OF ICT IN TEACHING OF C.R.K IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LGA IN EBONYI STATE
Statement of the Problem
Information and communication technology is an innovation that has been integrated into the education system of virtually all countries of the world including Nigeria. Highlighting the relevance of information and communication technology in this modern age, Ajayi (2002) rightly noted that any industry that sidelines ICT has simply signed a “death warrant” on its continued relevance. The availability and utilization of ICT in our primary schools is without exclusion from the truth of the matter. Perhaps the government feels that ICT usage is irrelevant at the primary school level; whereas, in developed countries, kids are being exposed to ICT usage at their Nursery level.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this research work is to assess the importance of ICT in teaching of C.R.K in primary schools in Afikpo North LGA in Ebonyi State. But in other to be guided properly, the specific objectives would be:
- To identify the innovations that ICT has brought in teaching -learning process in teaching of C.R.K in primary schools in Afikpo North LGA.
- To identify the importance of I.C.T in teaching C.R.K in Primary schools in Afikpo North LGA Ebonyi State.
- To determine how ICT contributes to pupil’s performance in C.R.K
Significance of the Study
The main significance of this study, base on the importance of ICT in relation to teaching-learning processes in primary school is that would offer access to a lot of data and information which the teachers can utilize for teaching and learning in class; hence, the result of this study would give teachers the access to ICT and as a tool to improving the pedagogy of teaching, building a more effective organizational structure in schools, stronger links between schools and the community, and empower students (Chan, 2002).
As the Ministry of Education believes that ICT has the potential to revolutionize education and improve learning as it has changed the medical, financial, manufacturing, and other sectors in society thus, the findings of the study would inform the Ministry of Education on how to facilitate ICT in primary schools in Afikpo North LGA of Ebonyi State.
As Moore (2005) had summarized the positive impact of ICT on pupils’ learning such as increased students’ motivation to stay on-task and drive them to behave better and produce high quality work. Besides, through ICT students learnt more independently and did more works at a fast pace. Since the importance of ICT and its contributions to all fields including education had been proved in previous studies, this study will demonstrate the impact of ICT use in teaching and learning on the achievement of primary school students in C.R.K.
Scope of the Study
The study covers the importance of ICT in teaching and learning CRK in primary schools in Afikpo North LGA of Ebonyi State and the benefits of ICT integration in teaching C.R.K.
- What innovations have ICT brought into the teaching-learning process of C.R.K in primary schools in Afikpo North LGA.
- What are the importances of I.C.T in teaching C.R.K in Primary schools in Afikpo North LGA Ebonyi State?
3. How does ICT contribute to the pupil’s performance in C.R.K.