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Trace the History of Educational Technology in Nigeria from 1914 To 2018

Trace the History of Educational Technology in Nigeria from 1914 To 2018

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Introduction

Educational Technology (ET) is the systematic application of scientific knowledge about teaching, learning, and conditions of learning to improve the efficiency of teaching and learning. Educational Technology has the effect of improving input, output and process aspects of education. It stresses developing methods and techniques for effective teaching and learning. It is an application of scientific knowledge to education and training. It includes the organization of learning conditions for realizing the goals of education. It emphasizes designing instruction and measuring learning outcomes and facilitates learning by control of the environment, media and methods. These are only a few among many other functions of Educational Technology to teaching and learning.

 However, the teaching and learning of Educational Technology in Nigeria at all levels of education are not encouraging. Many teachers use the wrong methods, techniques, and approaches. Consequent of that, teaching and learning of the course are in sorry state. It is therefore imperative to map out modalities and strategies to improve and promote the teaching and learning of the course at all levels for the much needed technological and scientific development of the country.

 The Concept of Educational Technology

Education and technology can sometimes be referred to as EdTech. It is the learning of and principled performance of facilitating e-learning which is studying and enhancing performance by creating, using and managing suitable technical practices and assets.

The education and technology are over and over again connected with, and covers, teaching theory as well as learning theory. Teaching technology is “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning,” according to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definitions and Terminology Committee while in education and technology other methods used in the practice of increasing human capacity and intention is involved.

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The topics covered in education and technology includes software, hardware, together with online applications, like wikis and blogs etc. Though there is still an argument on what these terms stand for.

Technology and education simply put are a collection of tools that might be crucial and essential in augmenting and enhancing student learning and could be assessed as for how and why individuals behave.

Education and Technology depend on a wide-ranging definition of the word “technology.” Technology can be defined as to materials that are useful to the human race like machines or hardware.

It can as well mean a lot more and wider themes like systems, processes of an organization, and methods-a number of contemporary tools like slides, overhead projectors, laptop computers, calculators etc.

Fresher innovative tools like smartphones and online and offline games are starting to gain more attention due to their potential to educate and assist in learning.

Media psychology is the field of study that applies theories of human behaviors to education and technology. According to the Handbook of Human Performance Technology, the word technology in conjunction with its sister fields of Education and Human achievement is referred to as “applied science.”What we mean by this is that any legitimate and trustworthy procedure or method that is the end result of fundamental research using the “systematic procedure” is well thought-out as a “technology.”

Education and technology or Human Achievement Technology may be completely reliant on logical step-by-step procedures or processes involving trial and errors, but none of them essentially entails objective technology.

The word technology is derived from the Greek word “techne” and means skill or art. The word, “technique,” which also originated from the above Greek word also could be borrowed when taking into consideration the field of education and technology. In this light, education and technology could be stretched to also express the techniques the educator follows while educating people.

Some people normally regard and educational technologist as a person changes fundamental research on education and psychology into an applied science that is based on evidence (or technology) of learning or instruction.

The History of Educational Technology in Nigeria from 1914 to 2018

To start with, it was in 1932, under colonial Britain, that the first form of communication media appeared in Nigeria. A Radio Receiving Station was constructed in Lagos. Since then, the development of media has been rapid following the technological development in various parts of the world which have contracts and relationship with Nigeria.

The visual era is followed by the Era of Radio media in Education which occurred between the early 1940s and 1950s according to Ogunranti (1982). The first educational radio programs were for English language and were broadcast by the Radio Distribution Service under the Post and Telegraphs Department. The Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) was established in 1951 and it took over the educational programme of the station.

In 1957, the NBS was instituted into the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). Another landmark for Educational Technology in Nigeria was I January 1958, when the Western  Nigerian Ministry of Education’s Audio Visual/Centre at Ibadan and NBC broadcast their first educational programme. Other regional ministries of education took the clue and opened audio-visual centres in which broadcasting to schools was established. In 1960, the educational radio broadcasting quickly develops into NBC’S School Broadcasting unit, and later in 1982 the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Education Service was established with the headquarter in Ibadan.

The Radio media was followed by the Era of Audio Visual which was in the 1950s. During this era, audiovisual centres were established by all Ministries of Education in the country with the assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Each unit of the Audio-visual centres in the region liaised with broadcasting houses for the broadcast of their recorded programmes. In October 1959, the first television sub-Saharan Africa was established. This introduced a new dimension to resources and education in Nigeria. Education programmes were part of the television experience from the beginning even though the establishment of the TV (then WNTV) was aimed only at Secondary Grammar Schools and Teacher Training Colleges to:

  1. Reduces teaching deficiencies in subjects such as sciences

  2. Provide examples of good teaching to help upgrade the general quality of classroom instructional activities.

  3. Enrich contents.

In the tertiary institutions, the first official support for educational technology was directed towards both pre-service and in-service training of teachers and audio-visual loan services (Imogie 1984). Apart from the development in the areas of schools broadcast, there were the sponsored projects of the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1962 at the Institutes of Education, University of Ibadan. The audio-visual Unit was established in the Institute. Through this, UNESCO introduced New Methods and Techniques in Educational Practices. Moreover, the programmed learning method and its application were introduced. In 1964, three workshops were held to this effect, two of these were in Nigeria (the University of Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria), and the third was in Accra Ghana, at the institute (which later became the Research Centre for Programme Instruction Techniques). Many programmes were designed and tried out in science, biology, and mathematics. Apart from Ibadan where Educational Technology began, other universities like ABU Zaria, Nsukka, Benin, Ife, Ilorin etc. now have Departments of Educational Technology or/and Centre for Educational Technology. Lastly, in 1977, the National Educational Technology Centre (NETC), Kaduna was established

On the 10th of January, 2013, approval was given for the establishment of the Department of Educational Technology. In line with the mission of the university and the department, they intend to:

  • ‘‘Provide a variety of community services through seminars, symposia, workshops, and training programmes to the immediate environment of the university and the society at large.
  • Help in the development, selection, and integration of teaching and learning resources in the university.
  • Conduct research related to optimal efficiency and effectiveness of instructional and learning technologies.’’

However, the teaching and learning of educational technology in Nigeria at all levels of education are not encouraging. Many teachers use wrong methods, techniques and approaches, it is, therefore, important to map out strategies to improve and promote the teaching and learning of the course at all levels for the development of the country.

In as much as education is the key to economic, social, self and national development, all hands must, therefore, be on deck to ensure the full integration and implementation of Educational Technology and its facilities into the classrooms of Nigerian educational system. When this is achieved, the product of modern Nigerian classroom will surely acquire a functional education equipped with the required skills to develop her society.

2018, the latest researches and reports identified three trends in educational technology that are directly relevant to ICT. These are:-

  1. Technology-smart curricula

This is of the opinion that technology is increasingly becoming integrated into the school curriculum, and as such, the current goal is to help teachers learn how to use the computer as a tool to teach English, Mathematics, Science and other subjects.

  1. The Digital Divide

This involves efforts ranging from collaborative efforts aimed at providing the massive funding required, to capacity building programmes for utilizing ICT. 

  1. Distance learning Via Internet

This involves the opinion that there is a clear direction towards using the internet to open education to students everywhere. The use of the Internet ranges from making course materials available online, to using the Internet as the communication tool for the course.

Currently, the institutions use any of the following technologies

Worldwide web (www)

– Satellite broadcasting

– Video conferencing

– Compact Disc (CD) technology- using CDs’ to disseminate information  .(Anderson, 2002).

Challenges of educational technology in Nigeria

The high cost of technology

Obviously, this is one of the major factors adversely affecting education technology in Nigeria. Technology is not cheap! Adopting modern technologies is capital intensive and sadly, all major software and hardware products have to be imported.

The Nigerian government needs to start allocating a large percentage of its budget to EdTech, to propel its adoption in the country.

Although some private institutions have managed to adopt education technology in the country, they have, however, resorted to the policy of BYOD, (Bring Your Own Device), which is a welcome development. However, what about students in publicly-owned institutions? If we ignore them, then it will keep expanding the digital divide which is not good for the overall well-being of our dear nation.

It is therefore imperative that both federal and state governments increase funding for the education sector. Not just for teachers welfare, but also to improve infrastructure and invest in the required technology, otherwise, those who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow will be unable to compete.

Inadequate training

Yes, technology is trendy but there is still inadequate manpower to get the ball rolling. Technology requires you to be constantly updated by learning new things. Mind you, instructors and teachers themselves are not digital natives, but as they are the ones to transfer the knowledge and skills to students, they, therefore, need to be constantly trained to keep them up to date. School administrators must be ready to invest funds in various types of capacity development to keep their human resources up to speed.

In other words, even if teachers have access to technologies, but they are not receiving the proper training to harness these technologies, it becomes a waste of time and resources.

Inability to adopt new technologies

There are a series of factors that contribute to this problem. Some of the instructors and teachers feel reluctant to change, thus, resisting the adoption of new technologies. Adopting new technology usually requires special training of the teachers. Obviously, when there is a lack of support from the teachers who are wary of adopting new classroom technologies, this becomes difficult.

Some start-ups have been able to develop good products and services that can improve the sector but sadly, school administrators are often not patronizing them for one reason or the other. I urge those in authority to be more open to new ideas and disruptive solutions because whether we like it or not, some of our current strategies are now obsolete.

Inadequate infrastructure

I have often stressed the fact that without power, there can be no meaningful technological development. Technology and power go hand-in-hand. This is why technology hubs and co-working spaces have become hugely popular because they solve the most basic challenge, which is power.

Next would be Internet access, particularly high-speed broadband. Once upon a time, the government launched a broadband plan that would have seen rapid broadband by 2018. We hope that this plan is still in motion because broadband is required for the next phase of technology advancement. Virtually all the programmes are Internet-driven and the lack of necessary infrastructure to drive the Internet becomes a barrier.

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