Impact Of Information Technology To The Teaching And Learning Of Economics In Secondary Schools
The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of Information Technology (IT) in teaching and Learning Economics in secondary schools. The focus was on three main subject matters: to outline the challenges that can constrain the utilization of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools, analyze if the teaching and learning with the use of information technology can advance the students comprehension in economics and determine if the use of information technology in secondary schools in Akoko South West Local Government can enhance the academic development of Ondo State. Three research questions were formulated to guide the researcher investigate the phenomena. A descriptive survey design was used to collect data from the field through the use of questionnaire and an observation schedule. From the findings there was a strong indication that the use of ICT in learning and teaching in most of the secondary schools in the study area is limited. In most of the secondary schools the students were in agreement that the infrastructure was inadequate. Percentage of the students indicated that they did not have the skills to create/edit a document, save a document, send mail and open a file. This is a clear indication that most of the students did not have any basic idea on use of computers. The study also recommended that there is need for schools with I T facilities to address the issue of lack of I T staff as this will ensure that the facilities are in good working conditions and are utilized responsibly and optimally by the students and staff. All the students should be given some basic training on the use of computers before choosing to use the computer to teach and learn a specialized course. Finally, further research is to be done on utilization of I T facilities where such facilities are well established in other geographical areas of the country.
Keywords: Information Technology, Economics, Teaching and Learning, Utilisation.
Background to the Study
The use of computers for the gathering, retrieval, transfer, and operation of data or information is known as information technology. It’s also seen as a subset of ICT. Information technology is the use of computers to store, interact, and organize data in the generation, processing, modification, storage, security, and dissemination of electronic data (Eze and Adu 2014).
Information technology was first mentioned in a Harvard Business Review article in 1958, and it is considered a subset of ICT (Information Communication Technology) (Dwivedi, 2004). Since its inception, the IT sector has advanced in leaps and bounds. It has become so ingrained in our lives that it is difficult to imagine a world without it. From the mid-twentieth century forward, information technology grew to include transistors and integrated circuits. The advancement of technology has resulted in lower energy use and device costs (Eze and Adu 2014).
Information technology performs its operations with the help of hardware and software. Software contains the operating system and virtualization to conduct the key activities (O’Hara, Pritchard, & Bacon 2014). Hardware tools include physical equipment such as user devices such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, sound recorders, and so on. Architectures, techniques, and standards for the use and use of electronic data are all part of the information technology landscape.
Information technology and its patterns are always evolving as technology advances. The following are some of the current information technology trends:
Cloud computing is a type of internet-based computing that allows computers and other devices to access shared data on demand. Cloud computing lowers the cost of a company’s IT infrastructure and supports the notion of virtualization.
Cloud technology also makes software and hardware maintenance easier.
Mobile Applications: Since their inception, mobile applications have been a huge success. They are available for download on the internet.
User interface: Since the introduction of touch displays, the user interface has changed dramatically. Touch screens allow users to interact directly with the display, eliminating the need for a third-party device. This is often found in smart phones, tablets, and other electronic devices.
Analytical Patterns: Analytical Patterns is a blend of statistics, computer programming, and operations research that aids in the discovery of informative patterns in data.
There is no such thing as a certain sort of information technology. Almost every sort of modern computer networking technology falls under the umbrella of information technology. Information technology is utilized to develop a wide range of technologies that are critical to preserving life in the now and the future. As a result, information technology encompasses all of the sorts that we have created in the field of computer networking or in this modern world. However, several forms of mobile technologies, which enable the use of server and storage devices, are typical types of information technologies. Teaching is the process of paying attention to people’s needs, experiences, and feelings and making precise interventions to assist them in learning certain topics.
Senior secondary school students in Nigeria study economics as one of their disciplines. According to Dwivedi (2004), economics is the study of how society selects what, how, and for whom to manufacture things, such as steel and strawberries, and deliver services, such as messages or live performances, which are only consumed or enjoyed at the time they are produced. He went on to argue that depending on a country’s economic structure, the issue of what, how, and for whom to create is either answered by a central planning agency or the pricing mechanism. In addition, economics might be defined as the study of how man distributes finite resources among competing desires. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN 2004) goes on to list the specific objectives of economics as follows: equipping students with basic economic principles necessary for useful living and higher education; preparing and encouraging students to be prudent and effective in the management of scarce resources; and raising students’ respect for the dignity of labor and their appreciation of the economy, culture, and social value of the society (O’Hara, Pritcha). As seen by the rise in online learning programs and the usage of the computer as a learning support tool in the classroom, e-learning is increasingly being used to enhance the learner’s capacity to perceive, comprehend, and communicate. Although universities were pioneers in developing the Internet and interoperable computer systems to link academics for e-mail and data interchange, educational and training usage of ICTs has fallen behind other sectors of society (Eze and Adu 2014). If effectively applied in the classroom, information technology will considerably improve teaching and learning while also developing a skilled and efficient workforce for the country.
Illiteracy, according to the current global trend, is defined as the inability to read and write, as well as the inability to use some electronic devices. Technology promotes literacy, offers kids access to knowledge, enhances learning, and builds students’ self-esteem, according to a research conducted years ago (O’Hara, Pritchard, & Bacon 2014). It is obvious that technology aids pupils in expanding and diversifying their personal knowledge. In colleges and universities, computer software for the preparation of educational documents and curriculum development is uncommon (Nicola 2014).
However, the importance of information technology in the teaching and learning process cannot be overstated, which is why schools must be supplied with basic IT tools and computer facilities to aid pupils. Today, everyone uses information technology, particularly computers, in both rich and poor countries across the world. Computers were first brought to American schools in the mid-1960s for administrative purposes, but they were not well received (Shue, 2009) Apple II computers, on the other hand, came up with the notion of employing its computers in schools for teaching and learning in order to understand how technology may be tied to education.
The conventional approach of teaching economics is dying away, and it no longer corresponds to the present student demographic, especially now that they have access to the internet. The fact remains that in order for students and teachers to use information technology in schools, they must be skilled in conjunction with its implementation in secondary schools (Pearson et al, 2005). Some measures must be put in place for economics teaching and learning to keep up with the current societal trend in secondary schools (Pearson et al, 2005). Furthermore, the employment of information technology in secondary school economics classes allows kids to learn in a safe and non-threatening environment. The internet is widely used for educational purposes, providing students with rapid access to information and resources. When communication technology is used in the teaching and learning process, difficult concepts become more understandable.
Computers might be utilized in teaching economics related topics such as population theories, statistics, theory of consumer behavior, theory of demand and supply, theory of production, and so on, as a result of changes in information technology. As a result of fast changes in economic conceptions as a result of global practices, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council has developed a framework for a three-year Basic Education Qualification.
Although it is known that some Nigerian universities use computers to teach economics-related topics, it is clear that the majority of secondary schools in Nigeria lack computer facilities to aid teaching. As a result, the purpose of this study is to determine the impact of information technology on the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools.
Statement of the Problem
Several factors can obstruct the use of information technology in secondary school economics teaching and learning. Cost, insufficient infrastructure, a lack of expertise, a lack of applicable software, and restricted internet connectivity are all factors.
Another obstacle to effective information technology use is a lack of infrastructure. Computers, as we all know, are powered by electricity. However, in Nigeria, unstable power supply is a major challenge, and with the current pump price of fuel, secondary schools will find it difficult to spend money on purchasing fuel to run generators, which will invariably discourage them (O’Hara, Pritchard, & Bacon 2014).
The use of information technology in economics teaching and learning is hampered by a lack of expertise. Nigeria lacks the necessary human resources and expertise to implement information technology tools in teaching and learning. Nigerian instructors are so used to teaching with chalk and duster that learning how to utilize a computer in teaching and learning is tough for them. As a result, the study’s goal is to look at the interaction between information technology and economics education in secondary schools.
Purpose of the Study
The basic aim of this study is to discover the extrapolation of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools
Other specific objectives include;
- To outline the challenges that can constrain the utilization of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools.
- To analyze if the teaching and learning with the use of information technology can advance the students comprehension in economics.
- To determine if the use of information technology in secondary schools in Akoko South West Local Government can enhance the academic development of Ondo State.
- What are the constraints in the utilization of information technology in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools?
- Does the teaching and learning of economics through information technology assist student’s comprehension of economics?
- Can the use of information technology in secondary schools enhance the academic development?
Significance of the Study
This study is meant to inform the general public, schools and the government on the need to use information technology in teaching and learning economics in secondary schools.
Also, it is meant to inform the government that they can assist in making learning across secondary schools in the country computer based,as a way of improving the literacy level of Nigeria youths.The government can assist by proving computers to secondary schools across Nigeria and making policies to support this.
Furthermore, it will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work by contributing to knowledge and serve as a guide for other work or study.
Scope of the Study
This study is restricted to the use of Information technology in teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools. A case study of Akoko South West Local Government of Ondo State.
Operational Definition of Terms
Information Technology (IT):
Information technology is the use of computers for the collection, retrieval, transmission and operation of data, of information. It is also considered to be a subset of information and communications technology.
Teaching is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.
A social science that deals with human behavior as relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
This chapter summarizes the investigation into the “Application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning of Economics in Secondary School Students in Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State. The chapter consists of summary, conclusion, recommendations and suggestions for further studies.
From the findings there was a strong indication that the use of ICT in learning and teaching in most of the secondary schools in the study area is limited. In most of the secondary schools the students and the teachers were in agreement that the infrastructure was inadequate. The printing facilities were also not adequate or were totally unavailable. Internet facilities were not available in the schools. Overhead projectors were also a facility that was not available in the schools. The percentage of the students who indicated that they did not have the skills to create/edit a document, save a document, send mail and open a file was quite high. This is a clear indication that most of the students did not have any basic idea on use of computers. The investigation on the teachers’ skills revealed that most of the respondents were weak in application of basic computer packages.
There are several factors that came out as having an influence in the utilization of ICT in learning and teaching. The availability of ICT personnel was found to be almost nonexistent and this is believed to be a big hindrance in utilization of ICT in learning and teaching even in the schools where computers are available. The availability of ICT staff is important in ensuring that ICT facilities are not vandalized by students or any other person accessing the facilities. Their availability will also ensure that the students utilize the facilities for only useful academic purposes. Training status of the teachers was found to have a very high influence on the teacher’s ability to use a computer.
The teachers who owned computers were found to be more skilled in computer application skills. This appeared to prove the researchers view that ownership of computer may help the teachers acquire relevant computer skills even when they have not received any formal computer training. There is an indication that training teachers in computers is very important and has no substitute. The ownership of computer may be used mainly in putting the skills learned in class into practice and acquiring new skills. The researcher on the other hand feels that the ownership of computer may have a higher contribution to the teachers’ skills if they were utilizing the skills more often in their schools.
The use of Computer Assisted Instruction method has significant effect in improving the academic performance of students than the conventional method of teaching Economics at the Senior Secondary School level in the state. Integration of information technology into teaching and learning in Economics has significant effect in enhancing the rate of independent learning skills acquisition among secondary schools students in Economics than the conventional method of teaching the subject.
Numerous were the perceived challenges facing the utilization of ICTs in teaching-learning process. They include; poor electric power supply, lack of knowledgeable ICT support staff, inadequacy of trained teachers in the use of lCTs, insufficient funds, high cost of ICT equipment, materials and accessories, government’s payment of lip service to implementation of ICT policies, inadequate telephone services, inability to replace broken down equipment and facilities and lack for ICT equipment. There is no doubt that teachers and students in Akoko South-West will have numerous amount of learning resources at their disposal if government lives up to its expectation in the implementation of her ICT policies. In order to fit in to the new technology driven era, Nigerian schools and individuals should as a matter of necessity develop a culture that places high premium on information and communication technology.
ICT access in the different secondary schools for both lecturers and students was not well attended to. The biggest challenge still affecting easy access to ICT facilities in the University remains the limited number of ICT resources which does not match with the ever increasing student population. But there was at least something in place to build on though still was limited to computers.
A number of conclusions will be arrived at with regard to the challenges facing the use of ICT in school management. At the policy level, the Ministry of Education had not come up with ICT policy, nor encouraged secondary schools to come up with the same in support of ICT use in school management, a shortcoming that for some time led to ad hoc acquisition of computers by the schools for lack of a proper strategy. Lack of permanent electricity supply from the mains in some of the schools with computers limited the use of ICT in school administration.
Computer purchases were not given priority in the annual school budgets and teachers and administrators were allocated time on the curriculum to use computers. At the same time, scarcity of computer hardware and software for school administrative purposes and access to computers were some of the greatest obstacles to the use of computers in the schools.. Further the study revealed that a high proportion of the teachers and administrators lacked training in essential ICT skills in database applications and administrative software needed for the effective application of ICT to school administration thus leading to limited use of computers for administrative purposes.
On the extent of ICT use, the study showed that it was mainly for the facilitation of clerical activities and to a limited extent, other administrative duties, particularly processing of examinations. The power of ICT in timetabling, student records and other record keeping, financial management and decision making was minimal and yet to be tapped fully by the schools covered in the study. However, there was positive attitude towards the use of ICT and a realization by some of the staff that ICT could lead to enhancing administrative work performance, in particular contributing to more free time available for the teachers and administrators to do other worthwhile school duties.
The findings also revealed that ICT positively affects students’ academic accomplishment and comprehension in the subject of Economics.
In view of the various factors that emerged from this study, the researcher made the following recommendations:
- The government need to help secondary schools have access to electricity from the national grid as in some of the school this was cited as being a major hindrance to use of ICT.
- There is need for schools with ICT facilities to address the issue of lack of ICT staff as this will ensure that the facilities are in good working conditions and are utilized responsibly and optimally by the students and staff.
- The use of ICT facilities by students should be closely monitored so that the students only engage in useful academic activities when using the ICT facilities. In this connection the accessibility to pornographic materials should be prohibited and students found engaging in such activities should receive harsh punishment. The students should also be discouraged from loading computer games on the facilities and playing them, visiting social sites and engaging in many other non academic activities whenever they have access to school ICT facilities.
- All the students should be given some basic training on the use of computers before choosing to take computer as a specialized course.
- The students should be advised on responsible use of ICT facilities in order to ensure that there is no addiction to the use of computers at the expense of engaging in other non important activities like games.
- The culture of use of computer facilities should be encouraged in school so as to nurture the skills possessed by some of the teachers and the students. This can be done by encouraging the use of power point during meetings school. The teachers should also be encouraged to type their own work instead of depending on the secretary.
- The teachers should be encouraged to acquire enough computer skills at the time they are in college. This can be achieved by the lectures encouraging typed presentations, presentation of projects and research papers using power-point, giving assignments whose materials can only be found on the internet and encouraging the students to hand in their assignments through mail.
- There is a need for adequate provision of ICT-driven instructional devices that are functioning and their appendages for all Senior Secondary School students in Nigeria by the government just like the Osun State Government initiative of “Opon Imo” (Tablet of Knowledge). This will help Economics students to develop ICT independent learning skills to improve their academic performance and equally equip them to meet up the challenges of online system of examination currently adopted by some examination bodies.
- Computer Assisted Instructional technique is relatively new and should be incorporated into the senior secondary school curriculum of Economics. Consequently, schools supplied with computer systems by Government and other non-governmental agencies require the need for computer assisted instructional packages in different subjects to be installed on them for use. This will help Economics teachers to develop their skills and competency in instructional delivery. In addition, there is need for proper maintenance culture to be incorporated in schools, in the handling of ICT- driven instructional facilities provided for effective functioning and utilization.
- Teachers should be upgraded in their ICT compliance on the use of Computer Assisted Instructions (CAI) for teaching Economics and also to be trained as initiator of instructional packages. To equip this category of teachers, orientation, workshops, seminar and conferences could be organised by the Zonal Inspectorate Divisions through adequate sponsorship from the State and Education Authorities.
- Funding is fundamental as the ability to acquire the ICT devices and appendages rest squarely on what is available to the school management. The Federal, State, Local, Non-Governmental Organizations as well as Philanthropists are encouraged to support secondary schools by providing ICT facilities to them.
Recommendations for Further Research
- A study to be done on utilization of ICT facilities where such facilities are well established
- A similar study to be conducted in the private secondary schools and also in middle level colleges.
- This study to be done on a different geographical area in Nigeria.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can ICT be used to teach economics in senior secondary schools?
In achieving these aims and objectives, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a teaching aid in teaching and learning of economics in senior secondary schools comes in arises.
What is the relationship between ICT and education?
ICT for education implies the development of information communication technology for learning and teaching purpose while ICT in education involves the adoption of general components of information and communication technology in practical use in teaching and learning processes (Voogt & Pelgrum, 2005; Watson, 2006).
What are the benefits of information technology to economics?
Ilyas Mohammed (1986) stipulated the benefits of information technology to economics, as an important aid to learning and teaching a wide topic in economics, ranging from statistics, measure of tendency, national income etc.
Is the impact of ICT significant on student performance in economics?
Ho: The impact of ICT is not significant on students performance in economics H1: The impact of ICT significant on students’ performance in economics