Project -EFFECTS OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) GADGET IN TEACHING NURSERY SCHOOLS (A STUDY OF FIVE SELECTED PRE-SCHOOLS IN HONG LGA, ADAMAWA STATE)

Project – EFFECTS OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) GADGET IN TEACHING NURSERY SCHOOLS

(A STUDY OF FIVE SELECTED PRE-SCHOOLS IN HONG LGA, ADAMAWA STATE)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

ICT technologies present novel opportunities to strengthen many aspects of early childhood education practice such as children’s learning and play experiences, practitioners’ professional learning and development and relationships and communication between early childhood centers, parents, and other people (Aladejana, 2010).

Information and communication technology is becoming a ubiquitous component of the physical and social worlds occupied by young children. It is an important part of the private and work lives of most people, including those who support young children’s learning and development, whether as parents, family members, caregivers, or early childhood educators. It is often argued in the literature that children’s early childhood education experiences should reflect and connect with their experiences in the wider world. Therefore, Information and communication technology matters in early childhood education, because it already has an effect on the people and the environments that surround young children’s learning and well-being. There is strong consensus across the literature that it is timely for the role and potential of ICT for the early childhood education sector to be critically examined, to guide future development and decision-making in this area (Biddulph, Biddulph, and Biddulph, 2003)

Most of the write-up about ICT in early childhood education strongly supports the view that technology on its own should never drive the process of ICT development in the sector (Downes and Fatouros, 1995). Rather, all planning for the introduction and use of ICT by children and adults in early childhood education should be grounded in a clear understanding of the purposes, practices, and social context of early childhood education (Mitchell and Cubey, 2003). Brooker (2003) has suggested that, at least in the UK, early childhood education may actually be leading the way in developing best practice in the use of ICT to support positive learning experiences for children.

There is now a strong focus on the development of ICT policy and integration of ICT in curriculum and practice across the whole education sector. ICT and “e-learning” have become important concepts in primary, secondary, and tertiary education. In most countries, policy and curriculum support for the development of ICT in the early childhood education sector have lagged (Wylie, and Thompson, 2014). This situation is beginning to change. Some countries, like Scotland, have recently developed ICT strategies for the early childhood education sector (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2011). Researchers, academics, and practitioners in early childhood education have also published books, articles, and guidelines which provide information and guidance about ICT in early childhood, and aim to support early childhood education practitioners to make well-informed decisions and choices about ICT.

There is global support and interest across the whole education sector for the development and integration of ICT into education policy, curriculum, and practice. Children today live in a communication-rich environment. The models of communication they encounter in their everyday lives include…a whole range of electronic and digital methods of communication (Siray-Blatchford and Siraj-Blatchford 2012).

Children’s early literacy and play experiences are shaped increasingly by electronic media. So, in order to empower children and assist them in becoming competent and active participants in their environments, they must be given opportunities to develop “technological literacy”, a new form of literacy, which is increasingly considered to represent an essential curriculum entitlement in any broad and balanced curriculum for the 21st century. Today there is a significant amount of support and interest in the education sector for the development and integration of ICT into policy, curriculum, and practice. Some consider that just as it is every child’s right to become literate, he or she should enjoy the right to become a skilful user of ICT. Others believe that children should be given opportunities to experience ICT as a tool with vast possibilities for communication and information retrieval/sharing. The UK Foundation Stage (3 to 5 years) curriculum states that as part of their early childhood education, children should find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology, and that children should have opportunities to use ICT to support their learning (Aladejana, 2012)

In most countries, policy and curriculum support for the development of ICT in the early childhood education sector is weak. However in some countries such as the UK, early childhood education may actually be leading the way in developing best practice in the use of ICT to support positive learning experiences for children. Similarly, Scotland has recently developed ICT strategies for the early childhood education sector (Learning and Teaching Scotland 2013). Researchers, academics, and practitioners in early childhood education have also published books, articles, and guidelines which provide information and guidance about ICT in early childhood, and aim to support early childhood education practitioners to make well-informed decisions and choices about ICT (Siraj-Blatchford and Siraj-Blatchford 2013).

In order to guide future development and policy-making, it is essential to critically examine the role and potential of ICT in early childhood education. The introduction and use of ICT in this sector should take into account the existing knowledge about early childhood learning and development. Technology on its own should never drive the process of ICT development in the early childhood education sector. Rather, all planning for the introduction and use of ICT by children and adults in early childhood education should be based on a clear understanding of the purposes, practices, and social context of early childhood education (O’Rourke and Harrison 2009).

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The increasing pervasiveness of ICT has led some parents, teachers, and children’s advocates to question its usefulness to the cognitive, emotional, social, and developmental needs of young children. More often than not, the argument is focused on young children’s use of computers and computer games and questions are raised on these two accounts.

 

Healey (2008) cautioned that the use of computers is damaging to young children’s development as well as their learning. Stating that young children need human support and verbal interaction, she concluded that as computers fail to offer intersensory experiences to enhance learning, they are inappropriate as an educational resource for children below the age of about 7 years as using computers before the age of 7 ‘subtracts from important developmental tasks’. It is therefore a part of the background that the study seeks to examine the Effects of information and communication technology (ICT) gadget in teaching nursery schools in Hong LGA, Adamawa State.

.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The study examines the Effects of information and communication technology (ICT) gadget in teaching nursery schools in Hong LGA, Adamawa State. Specifically, the study aims:

  1. To examine the level of availability of ICT facilities in early childhood classroom.
  2. To examine the effect of ICT on the academic performance of children in Early Childhood Education classrooms.

iii.       To examine the perceived advantages of using ICT in early childhood school Education.

  1. To establish the challenges of ICT usage in early childhood classroom.

1.4       Research Questions

In assessing the purpose of the study, this research project answered the following questions:

The study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the level of availability of ICT facilities in early childhood classroom?
  2. How effective is ICT on the academic performance of children in Early Childhood Education classrooms?

iii.       What are the perceived advantages of using ICT in early childhood school’ Education?

  1. What are the challenges of ICT usage in early childhood classroom?

 

1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were developed for the study:

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between ICT usage and early childhood classroom performance.

Ho2: There is no significant relationship between availability of ICT facilities and early childhood classroom performance.

 

1.6       Scope of the Study

The study examines effects of information and communication technology (ICT) gadget in teaching nursery schools in Hong LGA, Adamawa State. The scope of the study are: ICT and Early childhood education while the geographical scope of the study is limited to Private Nursery Schools in Hong LGA, Adamawa State

1.7       Significance of the Study

The significance of the study lies in the hope that the findings may be of benefit to:

The Ministry of education where the study may be used to understand the effect of ICT in early childhood classroom.

 

Again, it will enable both public and private schools to be able to plan systematically for effective usage of ICT in early childhood education. Other stakeholders of education (parents, students, lecturers, support staff, donors, will use the study as a checkpoint to act as a safeguard against any future happenings of the same nature.

The study will help the care-giver to reduce or carefully monitored children exposure to ICT which could be detrimental to their mind to avoid anti-social development or behaviour.

 

1.8       Definition of Terms

ICT: ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications.

Early Childhood Education: Early childhood education (ECE) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight. Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, denotes the education of children from birth to age two.

Electronic Devices: This is a piece of electronic equipment, such as a laptop computer or a mobile phone that is small and easy to carry.

Storage Device: This is a piece of computer equipment on which information can be stored.

Classroom: a room in which a class of pupils or students is taught.

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