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A survey of teachers' level of computer literacy and awareness of information and communication technology for application of science, technology and mathematics education.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to find out the literacy level and awareness of science teachers in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the application of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education. One hundred and eighty (180) teachers from 20 private and public schools were randomly selected from sixty private and twenty-five public schools in Warri Metropolis in Delta State Nigeria. Questionnaire were based on three research questions. Two hundred (200) questionnaires were sent out. 160 questionnaires duly completed were retrieved. Statistically, the respondent consist of 115 males and 45 females from both private and public secondary schools. Data collected were analyzed by simple percentages. The result indicated 68 (42%) of male science teachers from private and public schools are computer literate. Female science teachers who are literate in computer rated 22 (13%). With the number of computer literate science teachers, only 53 (33%) can access the internet without assistance. There is low respondents of science teachers that have actually accessed the unique science apparatus software rated 9 (10%) of male science teachers from the private schools while female respondents rated 4 (1%) from private and public schools. This study reveals that only 16 (80%) of the schools having computers with none linked to the internet or VSAT. With the number of schools having computers, only 4 (4%) allowed students access to their computer and this is only applicable to the private schools. The science teachers' awareness of the knowledgeability of the educational application of ICT are respectively far below expectation. This recorded 34 (21%) of male teachers in both private and public schools. Female science teachers having the awareness of ICT applications (computer and internet) in STM education rated just 8 (5%) only. Reasons for the low literacy level of ICT application in STIN were identified and recommendations were made to science teachers and stakeholders for improvement.

INTRODUCTION

The rapid advances in information and communication technologies are offering new potentials for producing and distributing knowledge. These techniques have fundamentally altered how we live and work as well as how we learn and have transformed the world into global community. The technological innovations in informatics and telecommunications revolutionizing capacity to store, transmit, access and use information, the key instrument in this globalization is the computer. Computer connectivity has allowed new form of correspondence to evolve. Academic, are fast extolling academically, professionally due to the advert of information technology (Kofoworola, 2003). The secondary and primary education should not be left out in this global connectivity. Olabode, Herselman and Jacobs (2006) stated that most developed countries have exploited the potentials of ICT to transform their educational process. With the Advert of ICT, it is expected that there should be revolutionalization in the pedagogical methods of teaching which will lead to quality education and improve the management of education systems. With the poor ICT infrastructures in Africa, (Adomi, 2005) it is very unfortunate that Nigerian classrooms are stilling very much evolved in traditional patterns of teaching science, technology and mathematics education. Adamu (1992) echoed that this typical pedagogical patterns reflects an authoritarian, didactic approach to classroom management. The knowledge-driven economies demand higher-level skills in the work force. The skills of a nation workforce and the quality of its infrastructure are what make it unique, and uniquilely attractive ,in the worlld economy. A workforce that is knowledgeable and skilled at doing complex things, and which can easily transport the fruits of its labour into global economy. Children in low classes especially in the secondary schools have natural curiosity who are eager to understand their environment. This curiosity is often diminished by instruction and discouragement in discovery because of combination of traditional methods and lack of expertise in science teaching. Kalu and Ekwueme (2006) noted that in primary and secondary schools, science instruction is essentially textbook centred due to lack of inadequate laboratory apparatus/materials. Most schools laboratories are mere buildings designed to store laboratory apparatus. Some have become staff rooms for science teachers. Those that were equipped have been vandalised by unknown persons due to lack of adequate security.

The 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria was to equip students with technological skills after the second 3s. The pedagogical pattern, did not prepare students for the success of the system to achieve its objectives.

There is need to improve the academic training for science technology and mathematics education in Nigeria. The only method to achieve this, is the availability of ICT facilities. There is a saying that "you cannot give what you do not have". Do these schools have the infrastructures? Do the teachers have the knowledge of ICT? These and more other questions that this study intends to answer.

Traditional methods of teaching is still fully being adopted by teachers today in Nigerian secondary schools. For constructive teaching to be meaningful in these areas; the traditional pedagogical pattern had to give way. This will involve both the teachers and the students.

This study is set to find out the literacy level, availability of ICT infrastructures and awareness of teachers in selected private and public schools in the application of ICT in teaching of science, technology and mathematics (STM).

Research Questions

1. To what extent are science teachers literate in ICT (Computer and Internet)?

2. What are the available ICT infrastructures in the secondary schools?

3. To what extent are science teachers aware of the educational applications of the computer?

Methodology

Questionnaire was the major instrument used in collection of data. Section one solicit the demographic characteristics of the teachers. Section two is to find out the literacy level of science teachers skills in ICT. Section three seeks to find out the availability of computers and level their connectivity to the web. While section four is to find out science teachers' awareness of using ICT in teaching of science, technology and mathematics.

Answer to Research question I Table 1: Extent and Nature of Science Teachers Literacy in ICT.

Table 1 shows that 43 (50%) and 25 (33%) male science teachers in private and public schools respectively are computer literate while 15 (17%) and 10 (13%) female science teachers in private and public schools respectively are computer literates. There is clear indication that there are more computer literates in the private schools than public schools. Also the table also shows that there are more male computer literates than females. Although this study is not for comparison, but this corresponds to Idowu, Alu and Popoola (2003) that there is low participation of women in the use of information technology and computer in science education. For male science teachers that can access the internet without assistance rated 29 (34%) and 16 (21%) in private and public schools respectively while female science teachers that can access the internet without assistance rated 6 (7%) and 2(2%) in private and public schools respectively. In using the internet to send emails, male science teachers rated 40 (41%) and 31 (41%) in private and public schools respectively while female science teachers who are able to send emails through the internet rated 21 (24%) and 10 (13%) in private and public schools respectively. Out of these science teachers who are computer literates, only a total of 9 (10%) of male science teachers from the private schools have accessed the unique science apparatus software which is Dbase. For female science teachers that have accessed the unique science apparatus software rated 3 (1%) and 1 (1%) from private and public secondary schools respectively. 100 (62%) of male science teachers who had one form of formal training had ordinary certificate in majority with 71 (44%) while female science teachers with ordinary certificate rated 48 (30%). Attendance at computer workshop and seminars rated low with 7 (8%) and 10 (13%) male science teachers in private and public secondary schools respectively. Female science teachers who had attended computer workshops and seminar rated 2 (2%) and 2 (2%) in private and public secondary schools respectively.

Answer to Research Question 2 TABLE 2: AVAILABILITY OF INFRASTRUCTURE OF ICT IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

Table 2 shows the availability of infrastructures for ICT in secondary schools in area of study. The table indicates that 10 (100%) and 6 (60%) of private and public secondary schools respectively have computers. The number of computers available are very few with 6 (60%) and 4 (40%) in private and public secondary schools respectively. Howbeit only 4 (4%) of the private schools that teachers have

In table 3, the results show that 16 (18%) and 11 (16%) of male science teachers in private and public schools respectively indicate awareness of the application of ICT (Computer and Internet) in teaching science subjects, technology and mathematics (STM). Female science teachers awareness of the application of ICT (Computer and Internet) in teaching STM rated 3 (3%) and 5 (5%) in private and public schools respectively. The number of teachers who are aware of the application of ICT in teaching STM is far below expectation compare to teachers who are literate in computer.

Discussion and Recommendation

The result have shown that quite a number of the science teachers are computer literate with 113 (70%) but with low level of internet accessibility of 53 (33%) without assistance. Majority of the science teachers have just Ordinary Certificate with 119 (74%). opportunity in teaching basic computer skills. It is also amazing to see that only 3 (3%) of the private schools that allow their students to have access to the computer. It is possible that computers that are available in the few public schools are locked up in the principal's office or probably in the bursar's office.

Answer to Research Question 3 TABLE 3: teachers awareness of the Educational Applications of ICT (Computer and Internet).

These certificates are obtained from private computer training centres.

The availability of ICT infrastructures is below expectation with only 10 computers in 20 secondary schools with none of this link to the internet or VAT. Student access to use of computer also rated very low with only 3 (15%) private schools giving room for students to access the computer. The level of awareness and knowledgeability of educational application of ICT (Computer and Internet) in teaching STM is still very low. In this technological information age this level of literacy among science teachers is beyond expectation. This low level of literacy among science teachers in the awareness of educational application of ICT (Computer and internet) in teaching STM could be attributed to the following reasons.

1. The curriculum of the tertiary institutions is not much ICT practical oriented.

2. Inadequate availability of ICT infrastructures in schools and

3. Lack of in-service training for science teachers.

This study calls for a review of the tertiary education curriculum. This conforms to Ojedoku (2007) who stated that "the challenges before the tertiary education systems in Africa are to produce graduates with relevant skills to function in the age of globalisation produce graduates who can create and adapt knowledge-producing organisations for knowledge enhancement and further discoveries. Aina (2007) was also of the same view in reviewing of the school curriculum. These challenges calls for educational system with increased access to information resources beyond the print information resources for teaching and learning.The quailities fundamental to knowledge-base development include a high level of educational attainment of human resources, significant innovation potential and to relatively developed material and technical based.

In-service training should be organised for science teachers. Such courses should provide opportunity for the trainees to practically use the computer and the internet. This will upgrade the skills of science teachers. Pre-science teachers should undertake Web search assignments that are performed outside of the class as recommended by Kalu and Ekwueme (2006).

This study calls for attention of private schools stakeholders, Ministry of Education to provide the necessary infrastructures for teaching of science, technology and mathematics for schools. The availability of these infrastructures will motivate science teachers for continuous training and use.

REFERENCES

Adamu, A. U. (1992). Operation, efficiency and desirability of special science schools at the secondary education level. The Nigerian experience. Paris International Institute of Educational Planning. UNESCO.

Adomi, E. E. (2005). Internet development and connectivity in Nigeria. Electronic Library Systems, vol. 39(3) 2005.

Aina, L. O. (2007). Appropriate curriculum for Library and Information Science Schools in Nigeria. The Role of the Nigerian Library Association Paper delivered at the 2007 Annual Conference of Nigerian Library Association Uyo 2007.

Idowu, P. A., Alu, A. O. and Popoola, B. I. (2003). Nigerian Women in Information Technology and Computer Science Education.

Kalu, I. and Ekwueme, C. O. (2006). Assessment of Teachers' level of literacy and attitude towards Information and Communication Technology. Application in Science Technology and Mathematics Education. Available at: file://f:/AssessmentofTeachers.htm.Accessed 11/21/2006.

Ojedokuun, A. A. (2007). Information Literacy for Tertiary Education Students in Africa. Third Word Information Services Limited Ibadan, Nigeria.

Olabode, S. A., Marlien, E. H. and Jacobs, S. J. (2005). ICT provision to disadvantage urban communities: A study in South Africa and Nigeria. Accessed from http://ijedict.dec.vwi.edu//viewarticle.php?id=57&layaitzhtml.

ONOHWAKPOR, E. JOSEPHINE

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT LIBRARIAN DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY P.M.B. 1, ABRAKA, DELTA STATE, NIGERIA. Email: ordejoe@yahoo.com.

and

Rhima, Tracy Efe, Collection Development Division, Delta State University Library, Abraka, Nigeria
Answer to Research question 1
Table 1: Extent and Nature of Science Teachers Literacy in ICT.

 Private Public Total

Literacy No % No % No %

Male literate 43 50 45 60 88 55
Female literate 15 17 10 13 25 15
Not indicated (both males and females) 7 8 2 2 9 5
Can access the internet without
assistance
Male 29 34 16 21 45 28
Female 6 7 2 2 8 5
Can operate unique science apparatus
Male 9 10 -- -- 9 5
Female 3 3 1 1 4 2
Can sent Email
Male 40 47 31 41 71 44
Female 21 24 10 13 45 28
Certificate obtained
1. Degree
Male 2 2 -- -- 2 1
Female 1 1 1 1 2 1
2. Diploma
Male 9 10 18 24 27 16
Female 4 4 6 8 10 6
3. Ordinary Certificate
Male 38 44 33 44 82 51
Female 21 24 27 36 48 30
Computer workshop and seminar
attended
Male 7 8 10 13 15 9
Female 2 2 2 2 4 2

Answer to Research Question 2
TABLE 2: AVAILABILITY OF
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ICT IN
SECONDARY SCHOOL

Literacy Private Public Total

 No % No % No %

Schools that have computer 10 100 6 60 16 80
Number of computers 6 60 4 40 10 50
Teachers that have opportunity to 4 4 -- -- 4 2
use the computer in teaching
Student's access to computer 3 3 -- -- 3 1

Answer to Research Question 3
TABLE 3: Teachers awareness of the
Educational Applications of ICT
(Computer and Internet).

Teacher Private Public Total

 No % No % No %

Male 16 18 11 16 34 21
Female 3 3 5 6 8 8
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Author:Onohwakpor, E. Josephine; Rhima, Tracy Efe
Publication:Computing and Information Systems
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Words:2477
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