Going back to history of the Nigerian Schools in the late 18’s and early 19’s there has been a huge revolution in the system and a continuous improvement further. Once again change has proved to be ever constant. Recalling past tales of how Nigerian Schools made use of Church compound, Family buildings or compound, most times under a tree, just to gather few interested children for tutoring could be mind blowing as regard the current evolution in the educational system.
Being in the 21st century has given the Nigerian Schools more accomplishments to compare with and it is evident as well that the future holds more light than what we see today.
With the gradual introduction of ICT by Charles Babbage, lots of amazing scientists took over the mantle and kept going on and on until technology became versatile, rampant and overly accessible and mobile. Technology advancement has mostly sky rocked within the past few years. At first, the use was commonly in production companies, Engineering sites, banks and information. But with each yearly advancement, technology became an “all weather” making it a “jack of all trades” in the sense that technology is literally used in every sector be it Agriculture, Education, Finance, Work, Medicine, Construction, information, Production Architecture, Business just to mention a few.
For the purpose of this article, we shall be looking exclusively at Educational Technology amidst the nine other types of Technology. Now, before we proceed further, let’s break down some terms.
TECHNOLOGY: Amidst different thousands of definition which are all interwoven, I would go with this very simple definition “technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems.” Equally it be could be defined as the study and transformation of techniques, tools, and machines created by humans. All thanks to Thomas Edison the invention of technology made it possible for us to study and evolve the physical elements that are present in our lives.
EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY: this simply means the part of technology that is used mostly for the purpose of educating. It could be in any educational level be it Nursery, Primary, secondary, tertiary or even training places and equally at home (home schooling).
Over time, the use of technology in different areas have proved to be efficient, easy and comfortable. Most difficult tasks have been accomplished in due time, there has been reduced error and lesser use of man power. Infact technology had lifted undue stress from man.
Likewise, the efficiency in the use of technology over the years have proven modern technology to be the best tool to boast learning and teaching in Nigerian Schools in this century.
Educational technology doesn’t only imply making use of electronic devices like computer, laptop, television, and other electronic devices to teach. This is what one of the principal representing educational technologists have to say “Instructional Technology is a complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, devices, and organization for analyzing problems, and devising, implementing evaluating, and managing solutions to these problems, in situations in which learning is purposive and controlled.”
In summary it simply means that Educational technology is the sum of the processes and devices used to make teaching learning possible.
As a way to improve the education sector in Nigeria, applying the use of Educational/Instructional Technology is the needed boast the Nigeria School system needs.
Nevertheless, a lot had raised the argument that the introduction of technology to the Nigeria School system will create more unemployment. This is in regard to other sectors which had experienced a drop off in the number of staff since machines could produce reliable results easier and faster. These opponents believe that the use of technology would replace teachers and as such do more harm than good to the saturated unemployed job seekers roaming already. The captivating understanding of most educators is the quiet opposite. They strongly support the use of technology as it would be used as an extension tool to add up the common deficiencies in the Nigeria system of education and also it could be used effectively to encourage students interest.
Towards 1960’s the use computer of rarely visible. Most organizations and schools couldn’t afford this technology. Gradually by 1980’s when microcomputer was invented a lot of firms were interested in the new device. By 1983, some schools in the United States were already making use of computers for instructional references. The computer is one of the oldest form of educational technology to be ever used.
Role of Technology
Over the years, the educational system has always used the method of transferring knowledge. This is achieved by the teacher student relationship. Where the teachers are meant to transfer their knowledge (systematical written in form of lesson notes) to their students through constant assignment, tests and examination evaluation. This has been the role since history. Students never learnt anything out of the context of their teachers knowledge. In most cases when the teacher is wrong say in a particular thing (no one is perfect, remember) the students wouldn’t be aware (as they have no pre knowledge) hence circulating the ignorance.
This is where technology comes to play. Technology offers assistance to the teaching plan by making it easier for teachers to access variety of information regarding different topics. It would also ease the teachers’ work load by creating an ample opportunity for students and parents to learn on their own. Infact with technology, the earlier method of teaching would be disrupted. Technology would change the narratives, taking over the herculean task of transferring knowledge to students for the teachers. It would simply give teachers the role of creating a conducive environment where students would learn through sight, audio or the combination of both (audiovisual)
Not only that, effective use of technology would equally create “enthusiastic” impact in growing children. It would shake them off the only source of information “the teacher” and invite them to a whole lot to explore and lear from on their own.
Benefits of Educational Technology
Educational Technology would create the following impact in students.
• It would foster inquisity and research
• It would offer students opportunity to learn on their own beyond school and teacher’s knowledge.
• It would equally enable them to offer knowledge in presentable forms. (Here they are no longer mere learners, they could offer knowledge as well!) Hence there would be room for addressing mistakes and discussing questions.
• Finally, it would make students more realistic and practical. Since technology is majorly all about applying (theories) scientific knowledge into practice. In other words it would engage students in real life activities!