A SURVEY OF ICT DRIVEN INSTRUCTIONAL AIDS IN USE IN TEACHING OF SOCIAL STUDIES
Background to the Study
The world we live in today is very different from what it was centuries, and even a few decades ago. This transformation has been driven by rapid technological innovation. While the 19th century saw the rise of the Industrial Revolution, with steam-powered machines intensifying and expanding human productive power, the 20th century was characterized by the birth of machine-powered flight and the emergence of broadcasting and computer technologies that extended the reach of human creativity even more and made possible new ways by which humans could live and work together. With computers and Internet technologies in particular, more people can now have access to more information more quickly than ever before. Educational institutions acknowledge that they must move along with the technology-driven changes in society and economy. In today’s knowledge society, not only must schools ensure that learners possess the competencies to wield these new information and communication tools productively, they must equip learners with the critical and analytic tools necessary to live and flourish in an information-saturated environment. Thus, learners must develop three foundational skills: “(1) how to find information; (2) how to determine if what is found is relevant to the task at hand; (3) how to determine if the relevant information is accurate. Acquisition of these three foundational skills sets the parameters for the use of ICT in schools.
The integration of ICT driven aids in the teaching and learning process is, potentially, one of the most viable interventions towards educational reform. However the effective use of ICT use, however, cannot be constructed overnight. A variety of technological, curricular, pedagogical, institutional, cultural, and financial issues need to be addressed, and the complex interaction among these various factors means that constructing the best practice models would involve much “thought, experimentation, and a willingness to spend the time to develop and refine strategies until they are proven to be effective.”
Computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a set of arithmetic or logical operations Computers are machines that perform tasks or calculations according to a set of instructions, or programs. Also states that the use of computer in education in learning has been sporadic, a great deal of effort was expected with little general effort. Many of these academics that took part in the earlier crusade are now cynical about the effectiveness of computer in teaching (Ituma, 2010).
According to Anyakoha (2007), information technology is “the use of man-made tools for the collection, generation, communication, recording, re-management and exploitation of information. It includes those applications and commodities, by which information is transferred, recorded, edited, stored, manipulated or disseminated”. Information Communication Technologies (ICT) refers to the computer and internet connections used to handle and communicate information for learning purpose. ICTs are making dynamic changes in society. They are influencing all aspects of life. The influences are felt more and more at schools. Because ICTs driven provide both students and teachers with more opportunities in adapting learning and teaching to individual needs, society is forcing schools to aptly respond to this technical innovation. (Tinio, 2002), stated the potentials of ICTs in increasing access and improving relevance and quality of education in developing countries. Tinio further stated the potentials of ICT as follows: ICTs greatly facilitate the acquisition and absorption of knowledge, offering developing countries unprecedented opportunities to enhance educational systems, improve policy formulation and execution, and widen the range of opportunities for business.
Annan (2002) noted that the information society is a way for human capacity to be expanded, built up, nourished, and liberated by giving people access to tools and technologies, with the education and training to use them effectively. There is a unique opportunity to connect and assist those living in the poorest and most isolated regions of the world. Information of society is a major hurdle that most nations, especially developing countries, are encountering. The information age is a phenomenon that began after 1950, which brings challenges as we seek to integrate and expand the universe of print and multimedia sources. The two terms are often used to describe a cybernetic society in which there is a great dependence on the use of computers and data transmission linkages to generate and transmit information (Bruce, 1995).
Social Studies was introduced in the Nigerian School Curriculum as part of the instrument for achieving national development (National Policy on Education (NPE, 2001). This was what informed its designation as part of the core curriculum at different levels of education in Nigeria. Social Studies curriculum development agencies such as the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and experts further identified and disseminated the curriculum goals or purposes of the subject in the school curriculum. These include citizenship education, reflective inquiry and social science education, (Barth- shermis, 2009; Barth-Norris, 2006; Dubey and Olawepo, 2008) among others. These broadly stated goals must be clare to, and recognized as important as well as attainable by teachers and other participants connected with the Curriculum if the intentions or purposes must be realized and the investment of effort is to be considered worthwhile
Education in Nigeria is an instrument “par excellence” for effecting national development. It has witnessed active participation by non-governmental agencies, communities, and individuals as well as government intervention, it is therefore desirable for the Nation to spell out in clear and unequivocal terms the philosophy and objectives that underlie its investment in education. The national Policy on Education seeks to fulfill that role.
The role of technology in teaching is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy (Egbe, 2008). Most experts in the field of education agreed that, when properly used, information and communication technology holds great promise to improve teaching in addition to shaping workforce opportunities. Ever since ancient times people have devised various techniques for communicating their thoughts, needs and desires to others. The use of information and communication technology (ICT) driven is becoming an integral part of Education in many parts of the globe. Nigeria is not left behind as ICT driven gradually finds its way into the Educational systems despite chronic limitations brought about by economic disadvantages.
Education is essential for every society and individual. It is life itself but not a preparation for life. Man has various qualities. These qualities of the individual should be developed for the improvement of the country. So education plays a complementary role for overall individual, social and national development. It enables an individual to realize his highest self and goal. The key functions and roles of education towards individual, society and country are listed below.
Functions of education towards individual
Development of inborn potentialities, modifying behavior, all-round development, preparing for the future, developing personality and helping for adjustability (Martin, 2005)