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SKILLS COMPETENCE AND ICT INTEGRATION IN TEACHER EDUCATION
The study investigated the level of Skills Proficiency and ICT Integration in Teacher education. The research design adopted was the Descriptive survey design. The study population was the entire student population of the faculty of education, University of Lagos–Akoka. The total study population was stratified into 80 junior undergraduates, 80 senior undergraduates and 80 post graduate students from various departments of the faculty of Education. A self structured questionnaire containing both open ended and closed items was used for data collection. The data obtained was analyzed by answering three research questions and testing three hypotheses. After a careful analysis of the data, the results show that: Students were more proficient in the use of MS Word, Internet search tools and E-mail application tools but weaker in the use of IWB, MS Excel, and SPSS application tools. ICT Skills Proficiency is independent of students’ academic level, Exposure to Teaching practice and the type of study programme in the faculty of Education. The most integrated ICT application tools are Internet Search tools, Microsoft Word and E-mail while the least integrated application tools are IWB, MS Excel and SPSS. Avery strong positive correlation was established between skills proficiency and the pattern of ICT integration in the faculty of Education. The study recommended that the use of MS Excel, IWB and SPSS application tools should be better better integrated into the Teacher Education programmes through Curriculum content, Assignments, Teaching practicum and Lesson presentation in order to improve the effectiveness of ICT integration in Teacher Education. Finally Lecturers and in service teachers within the educational system should be motivated to adopting ICTs during classroom lessons.
1.1 Background to the problem
Change is commonly said to be the most permanent thing in the world because of its inevitability. The world itself is not static. So also all the activities of human endeavour keep on changing. Education is not left out of the phenomena that change with time either in policy formulation, implementation or operation. We are currently in the age of advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The world has become a global village. This makes what goes on in any part of the world known and accessible to the rest of the world. Teaching and learning are global phenomenon.
Acquisition of relevant knowledge comes via effective teaching and learning. In this world of advanced ICTs, teaching and learning cannot be adequately effective without the use of ICTs in schools. Rai (2006) said that new information and communication technologies are changing the world we live in and the way we learn to live .According to him, ICT changes teaching and learning through its potential as a source of knowledge, a medium to transmit content, a means of interaction and dialogue. Thus, in Rai’s (2006) view ICT is both a cause of change and a means of achieving change, especially in education.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral part of our daily lives for the last five decades. The dramatic adaptation of ICT has in turn called for education reforms at various levels with a view to creating an enabling educational environment for the next generations to effectively function in the digital era. Therefore, teachers’ capacity of integrating ICT into their teaching practices plays a critical role in achieving the goals of the education reform. In this regard, teacher education institutions (TEIs) have made great efforts to develop a new ICT curriculum (or course) or incorporate ICT components into their existing curriculum.
Also, UNESCO realizes that any educational reform of a country means little without the support of those at the heart of education, and so teacher development is at the core of such programmes. However, professional development of teachers can not be seen in isolation, but should be considered in the context of the broader educational reform, involving the development of supportive policy, infrastructure and curriculum.
Although, schools are known to be resistant to innovation and change (Kearsley, 2004), the proliferation of ICT is beginning to affect how teachers teach (Reid, 2002). One of the current issues about the use of ICT in Nigerian schools is the disparity in the use of ICT between private and public schools.
Despite an increasing emphasis on computer education in the Nigerian curriculum at all levels since the nineties; the maximum impact of ICT on Education is yet to be achieved.
The problem can be adduced to several factors such as inadequate skilled personnel, mismatch in curriculum, poor policies implementation, poor financing and lack of infrastructure.
Since the curriculum documents provide arguments for introducing ICT in the school setting, schools expect that graduates from teacher education programs have a reasonable knowledge of how to use ICT (Montgomerie & Irvine, 2001). However, this may not be the case as is noted by Oren, Mioduser, and Nachmias (2002), who argue that most current teachers’ pre-service preparation and subsequent in-service courses were devised in reference to traditional educational technology and settings. … Thus, the participants in these courses are not familiar with the processes, interaction patterns, features and possibilities of technology-mediated educational transactions. (Implications of these studies,
In order to substantiate this claim by Oren, Mioduser and Nachmias (2002) that current teacher’s pre-service preparation and subsequent in-service courses were devised in reference to traditional educational technology settings, this study is aimed at assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of ICT integration into teacher education.
1.2 Statement of the problem
This research serves as an evaluative tool and an assessment of ICT integration into the Teacher Training Programme at the faculty of Education, University of Lagos.
It has been observed that most graduate teachers in Nigeria lack the skills to cope in a modern work environment. This situation often results in the creation of skills gap in the labour market. Also, there is often an emphasis on quantitative expansion in education; whereby more schools are built by the government, but there is often no corresponding increase in the quality of teachers and educational facilities.
What compounds this issue even more is that although the students who were born in or after 1982 belong to the “Net Generation,” and are accustomed to operating in a digital environment for communication, information gathering and analysis (Oblinger, 2004), they typically lack information literacy skills, and their critical thinking skills are often weak (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005). The problem is that students “do not necessarily understand how their use of technology affects their literacy or habits of learning” (Barnes, Marateo & Ferris, 2007, Independence, Autonomy, and Learning, ¶).
Therefore, as knowledge experts, teacher educators must as a matter of necessity keep abreast with current inventors, research network and innovation in the world of
education. This knowledge can only be enhanced through adequate utilization of ICT resources.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this research is to determine the level of Skills competence and ICT integration into teacher education programme at the faculty of Education, University of Lagos. Relevant data will be obtained from primary and secondary sources. The study hopes to achieve the following:
iii. Find out if any correlation exists between Skills Proficiency and the level of ICT Integration in the faculty of Education.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions will be researched:
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In order to find out the level of skills competence and ICT integration in various programmes at the Faculty of Education, the following hypotheses will be tested in this study:
1) Ho: There is no significant relationship between students’ ICT proficiency and their academic level.
2) Ho: There is no significant relationship between ICT proficiency and exposure to Teaching practice during the undergraduate programme (Groups 1 & 2).
3) Ho: There is no significant relationship between ICT proficiency and the type of study programme in the faculty of Education (G3 & G2)
1.6 Significance of the study
The researcher hopes that the findings of the study will benefit the following bodies in the following ways:
Ø Students: To promote self efficacy amongst student teachers in acquiring ICT skills.
Ø Teacher educators: To project relevant ICT skills needed for ICT curriculum delivery.
Ø Employers: To help bridge the ICT skills gap in the teaching profession for both local and international labour market.
Ø Graduate teachers: To sensitize newly qualified teachers about relevant ICT skills necessary for the labour market
Ø Administrators: To highlight some of the weaknesses associated with ICT Integration in Teacher Education.
Ø Teacher Educators: to serve as a needs assessment report on ICT skills development in Teacher education.
1.7 Scope of the study
Teacher education is offered in various institutions such as Colleges of Education, Universities, Technical Colleges, On the Job training and other In-service programmes. These programmes vary in their content and duration and are designed to be relevant to various levels of the educational system. The faculties of education in the Nigerian universities offer both undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programmes which are aimed at improving teaching and learning across various levels of the educational system.
Thus, the scope of this study is the Undergraduate, Post graduate Diplomas and Master’s in Education programmes including those enrolled as full time and part- time students in the faculty of Education, University of Lagos.
Students enrolled in the Undergraduate programme take two ICT courses, each in the first and second year respectively. The Undergraduates undergo their teaching practicum in the third year. By the end of the fourth year, they prepare to round up and submit their research project.
For the Post Graduate Diploma programme, students take one ICT course in the first semester and their teaching practicum in the second semester.
Master’s students in the faculty are expected to have gone through some ICT training and their teaching practicum as undergraduates or postgraduate diploma students.
Thus, the scope of the study is the total population of students enrolled in the faculty of Education, University of Lagos-Akoka.
The dependent and out-put variable is the level Skills proficiency while the independent and input variable is the level of Integration of basic ICT application soft wares at the faculty of education, University of Lagos-Akoka.
In the course of carrying out this research, the study has some limitation that must be taken into account when interpreting the results and designing future studies. There was no actual skills test administered on the participants. Skills competence was based on self assessment of the participant. It is possible that some participant over scored or underscored their level of competence in the use of the various ICT software application.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Information Communication Technology
ICT in this study refers to a range of technologies that are applied in the process of collecting, storing, editing, retrieving and transferring of information in various forms.
ICT includes both soft ware and hard ware that are employed for educational purposes.
Skills Competence in ICT
The concept of Skills competence in this study refers to the extent to which a potential user can manipulate an ICT gadget and the corresponding software.
ICT Integration in Teacher Education
ICT integration refers to how ICT is applied for various educational purposes such as:
Classroom interaction, Lecture presentation, Assignments and Document preparation,
Communication and various Researches that take place during the Teacher Education programmes.
A description of Teacher Education
Teacher Education refers to various programmes that have been designed for the development and production of teachers in various tertiary institutions of Nigeria.
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