Level of Adequacy of Information and Communication Technology in Early Childhood Education Classrooms in Oredo LGA Edo State
This study was on Level of adequacy of i.c.t in early childhood education in oredo local government Edo State. Four objectives were raised which included: to find the level of availability of ICT in Early childhood education and nursery classroom, to ascertain the level of adequacy in the provision of ICT in early childhood education and nursery classroom in Oredo L.g.a Edo State, to find out the difference in the level of adequacy of ICT in Early childhood education and nursery classroom in Rural and Urban Schools and to find out the difference in the level of adequacy of ICT in early childhood education and nursery classroom based on ownership of schools ( Private and Public. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up of headmistresses, head teachers, class teachers and non teaching staffs were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
Review of related literature
Information and communication technology (ICT) has been variously described as a tool that can be effectively utilised in teaching and learning in all subject areas. Which is why many authors have advocated and are still advocating that it should be integrated into every aspects of early childhood Education. However, not many of these advocates (authors) have undertaken to study the level of adequacy of this technology in ECE classrooms, as they have regularly focused on it’s (ICT) role and use by young children. This is particularly true for most literatures prior to 1999. For instance, In their review of literature, Stephen and Plowman (2002) suggest there is a proliferation of literature which makes claims for both the benefits, and potential risks, of young children’s use of ICT (mainly in terms of computers). Some of such researches include the ones done by (Cordes & Miller, 2000),in which they argued that “computer use is, at best, lacking in educational benefit for young children, and at worst, harmful to children’s learning, health, or development”. On the other hand,Angeline T. Tagarira an early childhood instructor, enumerated the benefits of introducing ICT in the education of young children to include:
Developement of Fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are movements and actions of the muscles and they are categorised in two groups. Fine motor skills are the small movements that occur in the hands, wrists, fingers, toes, lips and the tongue. These are the smaller movements that occur like: picking up an object between the thumb and finger, using the mouse to click, or select an object or shape, holding a pencil to write, holding a fork and using it to eat and other small tasks that occur every day. According to the study materials ICT requires many precision movements. Therefore children will develop fine motor skills to accurately control the mouse, clicking and dragging a cursor to select or highlight items of texts. Fine motor skills is about small muscle movement in coordination with the eyes however fine motor skills do not develop in isolations from other skills.
Gross motor skills
Gross motor skills involve the movement of the arms, legs, feet or the entire body. This includes actions like running, crawling, walking, swimming and other activities which involve larger muscles. According to the study materials, Gross motor skills can be enhanced when children use the white board to record things, as they stretch and touch various parts of the white board and also using larger pens to write on the screen.
As a child minder with a purpose for children’s learning when providing ICT lessons my priority has to be to provide software they will use to learn through expiration. Employing elements of play, exploring alternative approaches will help children to employ imaginative thinking thereby developing their creativity. Children will play around with colours and graphics, dragging and dropping items onto the screen.
Computers offer dynamic visual images that open up some areas of mathematical development in children. The use of ICT has a great impact on how mathematics can be taught to children. The use of easy mathematical teaching software will encourage children. The programmes will aid children and offer them opportunities to match shapes and carry out simple mathematical bonds as they play and learn at the same time. Computer graphics allow children to share mental images and patterns of structures. Counting images or icons on the home screen will assist develop early mathematical skills like numbers, shapes, size, quantity and patterns.
ICT should not only be computer based. It is important to develop an integrated, holistic and valid approach which will encourage children to develop their language. Such skills as listening, memory, expressing thoughts, ideas and feelings are gained. Children develop awareness that printed words have meaning. Children are able to use the key board to write simple words and their names.
Increase in confidence
ICT can be helpful and interesting if used in the right place and right way. Children under five have an uncanny knack of learning to master new technology. Children prefer to be left alone with things like smart phones, tablet computers, games consoles and use their intuition to confidently swipe screens and press buttons. Screens can be beneficial to learning and the more children are left to interact independently the more they develop in confidence. Heather Kirkorian carried out a research study and she says touch screens could hold educational potential for toddlers. She quotes; “Kids who are interacting with the screen get better, much faster, make few mistakes and learn faster.” Online environments can provide children with a virtual space to develop confidence. Good.
Increase in world knowledge
Children have to appreciate that modern technology is around to stay so be able to use the sense of investigation and exploration to develop their skills of observing. They should also appreciate that ICT resources speed different jobs and they are needed in home environment.
In a child care setting where these resources are limited children develop social skills like sharing and team work as they do projects in groups. A lot of communication goes on as children work on their projects. They develop a sense of tolerating one another in all aspects of life. A good explanation of the skills that can be developed through using ICT materials and equipment.
Judging from the submissions by the various authors above listed, it is no doubt that, the introduction of ICT in ECE classrooms, if well managed, can be of great benefits to the education of young children, especially as the world is gradually getting more sophisticated technologically. Consequently, it is of utmost importance to give attention to the level of adequacy of these gadgets in the classrooms where these young lads can easily assess and utilize them, for their all round educational benefits.
Concept of Information Communication technology
The phrase “Information Communication Technology” has been variously defined by many authors, so much so that, there is no universally accepted definition for it. This divergent views on the definition arise from the fact that the notions, tools and methods involved in ICTs are always evolving on almost a daily basis.
Etymologically, the phrase “Information Communication Technology” was first used by academic researchers, dating back to the 1980s. The abbreviation “ICT” however, became popular after it was used in a report to the UK government by Dennis Stevenson in 1997,and then in the revised National Curriculum for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2000.
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