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THE EFFECTIVENESS AND REGULARITY OF ICT USE AMONG BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS
1.1BACKGROUND OF STUDY
ICT is an acronym Information Communication Technology. They are a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store and manage information. These technologies include computers, the internet, broadcasting technologies(radio and television), and telephony(Volman,2005).In recent years, there has been a groundswell of interest in how computers and the internet can best be harnessed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education at all levels and in both formal and non-formal settings (www.en.m.wikibooks.org). But ICTs are more than just these technologies; older technologies such as the television, radio and telephone which are now given less attention, have a longer and richer history as instructional tools. The use of computers and the internet is still in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high cost of access. ICTs are making dynamic changes in society. They are influencing all aspects of life. The influences are felt more and more at schools. ICTs provide both students and teachers with more opportunities in adapting teaching and learning to individual needs , society is forcing schools to aptly respond to this technical innovation. Tinio (2002), states the potentials of ICTs in increasing access and improving relevance and quality of education in developing countries. He further stated that 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 and the poor. One of the greatest hardships endured by the poor, and by many others, who live in the poorest countries, is their sense of isolation and ICTs can open access to knowledge in ways unimaginable not long ago.
In Watson’s (2001) description, ICTs have revolutionized the way people work today and are now transforming education systems. As a result, if schools train students with yesterday’s skills and technologies, they may not be effective and fit in tomorrow’s world. This is a sufficient reason for ICTs to win global recognition and attention. For instance, ICTs are dependable tools in facilitating the attainment of one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is achievement of Universal Basic Education by the year 2015. Kofi Anan, the former United Nations Secretary General, points out that in order to attain the goal of Universal Primary Education by 2015; we must ensure that information and communication technologies unlock the door of education systems. This indicates the growing demand and increasingly important place that ICTs could receive in education. Since ICTs provide greater opportunities for students and teachers to adjust learning and teaching to individual needs, society is forcing schools to give appropriate response to this technical innovation.
The uses of ICT is making major differences in the learning of students and teaching approaches. Schools in the western world invested a lot for ICT infrastructures over the last 20 years, and students use computers more often and for a much larger range of applications (Volman, 2005). Several studies reveal that students using ICT facilities mostly show higher learning gains than those who do not use.
ICT offers an array technical tools that improve the academic experience, creating a potential for variety, diversity and better organization in education. Like all other courses of study, Business Education offers a creative field on which the opportunities offered by ICT can be explored.
It is no gainsaying that business cannot thrive in this modern day without the informative and communicative edge neither can business education graduates be globally competitive without having being imbued with ICT skills. It is against this background that this researcher investigates the regularity and effectiveness of ICT use among business education students.
1.2STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It has fully come to the attention of business education stakeholders, the invaluable importance of ICT tools such as computers, audio-visual equipment, internet facilities etc. to the course. They are however not sure whether this technological opportunity is being most effectively and optimally exploited and explored. Information Communication Tools are an integral part of business and business education and their extensive use , especially in recent years, is gradually being implemented in undergraduate training. Furthermore, many universities and their libraries across Nigeria are rapidly incorporating ICT tools such as computer and internet into their programmes for the use of students. The problem of this study is therefore to investigate the effectiveness and regularity of ICT use among business education students.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This research is aimed at achieving the following objectives :
i. To reveal the degree of possession of ICT tools by undergraduate students in the institutions covered by this study thereby predicting the spread and literacy of ICT among those students.
ii. To determine the extent to which business education students in those schools take advantage of ICT facilities provided by the school.
iii. To determine the extent to which business education students are using ICT facilities to support their studies
iv. To find out how students can derive more usefulness from ICT facilities that they are exposed to.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. Are business education students sufficiently equipped with ICT tools required to experience genuine academic growth and to be globally competitive?
ii. Are business education students sufficiently utilizing the ICT facilities provided by the school?
iii. Are business education students sufficiently using ICT facilities to support their studies?
iv. How can business education students derive greater utility from ICT facilities that they have access to?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
To achieve the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses were formulated:
H1: Business education students do not have enough ICT tools to support their studies.
H2: Business education students are not sufficiently utilizing the ICT facilities provided by the school
H3: Business education students are not sufficiently using ICT facilities to support their studies
H4: Business education students are not optimally exploiting the features that ICT tools provide
1.6 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study will focus primarily on business education students in University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Lagos State University (LASU).
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher was also restrained by occasional electricity instability which is which hampers certain observations.
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
i. This research will reveal the deficiencies inherent in business education students’ use of ICT technologies.
ii. This research will help open the eyes of business education students to the unexplored variety of opportunities that exist in ICT use.
iii. This research will also help business education students realize how to increase the influence of ICT on their studies.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
i. Information Communication Technologies: In this study, this refers to the computer and internet connections used to handle and communicate information for learning purpose.
ii. E-learning: This is a learning program that makes use of an information network, such as the internet, an intranet (LAN) or extranet (WAN) whether wholly or in part, for course delivery, interaction and/or facilitation. Web-based learning is a subset of e-learning and refers to learning using an internet browser such as the moodle, blackboard or internet explorer(Tinio,2002)
iii. Blended learning: Refers to learning models that combines the face-to-face classroom practice with e-learning solutions. For example, a teacher may facilitate student learning in class contact and uses the module (modular object oriented dynamic learning environment ) to facilitate out of class learning.
iv. Constructivism: This is a paradigm of learning that assumes learning as a process . Individuals “construct” meaning or new knowledge based on their prior knowledge and experience(Johanssen, 2004). Educators also call it the emerging pedagogy in contrast to the long existing behaviourism view of learning.
v.Learner-centred learning environment: This is a learning environment that pays attention to skills, attitudes and beliefs that learners bring with them to the learning process where its impetus is derived from a paradigm of learning called constructivism. In the context of this article, it means student’s personal engagement to the learning task using the computer and or the internet connection.
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