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MODULE 6

New Technologies in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Reflect on the following as you work through this Module

  1. The Tokyo and Dakar Conferences return to the question of utilisation of new technologies, suggesting that ‘higher education institutions must adopt new approaches for the packaging of information, for course delivery and for rethinking traditional approaches to teaching and learning. Multimedia, CD-ROM, the Internet and interactive video must all be used to promote interaction between students and their lecturers’. It also says that ‘teachers, professors and technical and administrative staff must be given training that enables them to integrate new information and communication technologies (NICTs) into their teaching programmes, and to examine the multiplier effect with regard to their use’.

Article 12. The potential and the challenge of technology

The rapid breakthroughs in new information and communication technologies will further change the way knowledge is developed, acquired and delivered. It is also important to note that the new technologies offer opportunities to innovate on course content and teaching methods and to widen access to higher learning. However, it should be borne in mind that new information technology does not reduce the need for teachers but changes their role in relation to the learning process and that the continuous dialogue that converts information into knowledge and understanding becomes fundamental. Higher education institutions should lead in drawing on the advantages and potential of new information and communication technologies, ensuring quality and maintaining high standards for education practices and outcomes in a spirit of openness, equity and international co-operation by:

  • a. engaging in networks, technology transfer, capacity-building, developing teaching materials and sharing experience of their application in teaching, training and research, making knowledge accessible to all;

    b. creating new learning environments, ranging from distance education facilities to complete virtual higher education institutions and systems, capable of bridging distances and developing high-quality systems of education, thus serving social and economic advancement and democratisation as well as other relevant priorities of society, while ensuring that these virtual education facilities, based on regional, continental or global networks, function in a way that respects cultural and social identities;

    c. noting that, in making full use of information and communication technology (ICT) for educational purposes, particular attention should be paid to removing the grave inequalities which exist among and also within the countries of the world with regard to access to new information and communication technologies and to the production of the corresponding resources;

    d. adapting ICT to national, regional and local needs and ensuring securing technical, educational, management and institutional systems to sustain it;

    e. facilitating, through international co-operation, the identification of the objectives and interests of all countries particularly the developing countries, equitable access and the strengthening of infrastructures in this field and the dissemination of such technology throughout society;

    f. closely following the evolution of the 'knowledge society' in order to ensure high quality and equitable regulations for access to prevail;

    g. taking the new possibilities created by the use of ICTs into account, while realising that it is, above all, institutions of higher education that are using ICTs in order to modernise their work, and not ICTs transforming institutions of higher education from real to virtual institutions.

  • Introduction

    The use of technology in education dates far back in history. From a crude form in the early days of civilisation to the vast array of computer-technology driven devices of the 1990s, technology has significantly impacted on educational theory and practice (Okebukola, 1998). In his book, "The Road Ahead", Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporation envisions a rather rapid transformation of the educational delivery process and assessment of learning by the fast developing information superhighway. The dynamics of change and the flux in computer technology development have made Gates (1995) to conclude that the information superhighway will transform education in the first quarter of the 21st Century "much beyond our wildest dreams".

    Instructional technology incorporates those tools and materials that present, support, and reinforce teaching. The devices used range from the pad and pencil to the computer. The use of technology in education started when the slate was introduced as a supplement to texts. The slate gave way to the blackboard and the chalkboard. From such beginnings came thousands of tools and devices to help teachers teach.

    The communications revolution has had tremendous implications for education. This is because education involves the medium and message of the communicative process. The chosen medium of communication influences the distribution of knowledge over time and space. The technology involved in communicating has been linked to learning throughout history. From clay tablets to paper and pen, chalkboard to books, pictures, radio and tape to television and films, the new educational technologies use the most sophisticated micro-electronics and communication media. The range of new information technologies include the chip, the microcomputer, the satellite and telematique (the merging of computer and telecommunications).

    After working through this module, you should be able to:

    UNIT 1

    At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

     

    NEW AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION

    A.M. Simiyu

    The term technology as explained by Simiyu (1999) has its origin in Latin. It encompasses two concepts, that is, technic which means tools and materials, and logic which covers the different approaches in solving a problem. The term technology as applied to the process of education includes ways of organising events and activities to achieve educational objectives as well as the materials and equipment involved in the process.

    The history of educational technology dates backs to the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century when various industrial products such as the camera and later the motion picture were invented. The invention may not have had anything to do with the education process, but the benefits were soon realised by educators and the products were consequently put to use. The still camera made it possible to reproduce a life experience and share it elsewhere. The motion picture’s contribution was more dramatic because features could be recorded and reproduced in actual motion. The invention of animation in the motion picture added further qualities of being able to demonstrate, for instance, the circulation of blood in the human body.

    The greatest impact to education in the history of instructional technology came from the 2nd World War efforts to teach various skills to the military. Soldiers had to be recruited and trained to be ready for action within the shortest possible time. In this search for efficiency in the training process, the logic aspect of technology came into play. There was need to specify objectives, and organise the skills development process in a logical sequence of steps. This process was refined leading to the systems approach to instruction.

    The invention of the computer and programmed instruction were applied to education with encouraging results. Correspondence education later developed into distance education that we have today. While correspondence education utilised print materials and programmed instruction, distance teaching has incorporated a variety of media to achieve educational results.

    The concept "new technologies" recognises that technology improves all the time. New ideas are all the time being introduced by industry and these should be applied to the process of education in order to help in resolving problems that educators are challenged with. The new technologies applied to higher education should be considered within the socio-economic context of each country.

    In Africa, higher education has many problems. We face problems of inadequate capacity for competent high school leavers to pursue further studies in the few tertiary institutions including universities. Evidence of this fact is the number of African students who raise large sums of money to study in Europe, America and elsewhere where they find such opportunities. In Kenya over 150,000 high school students sit the KCSE. Out of about 40,000 who meet minimum university entrance requirements, only 9,000 get places in public universities.

    Higher Education is also plagued with lack if books and equipment for study in various disciplines. Personnel is also inadequately trained. In cases where there has been expansion of opportunities for higher education the lecturers have problems in handling large numbers. Even where numbers are small, the quality of teaching does not meet the expected standards because of lack of training in pedagogy. It is this scenario which attracts us to consider new technologies in higher education so that the objectives of our institutions of higher learning can be achieved with mutual satisfaction of the lecturers and students, and eventually society may benefit from the role played by the graduates in the society.

    The new technologies can bring the following benefits to higher education:

    To be able to realise the above benefits, we need to engage in various activities:

    Excerpted from Simiyu, A.M. (1999). New and Emerging Technologies in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Lead presentation at the Regional Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya, 18-22 May, 1999

    New technologies as processes and products

    The term "technology" as explained by Simiyu (1999) has its origin in Latin. It encompasses two concepts, that is, technic which means tools and materials, and logic which covers the different approaches in solving a problem. The term technology as applied to the process of education includes ways of organising events and activities to achieve educational objectives as well as the materials and equipment involved in the process.

    Yapi (1997) provides deeper insight into the meaning of the concept of ‘technology’. In his view, the variation in the use of the term "technology" suggests several different explanations, each of which can be more or less accurate. One of the plausible explanations is that: those who use this term in defining technology in the strict sense of a product certainly do so because of the large volume of commercial activities undertaken all over the world to display the material products of high technology. It is because the general public (especially that of the developing countries with a less advanced research culture base) knows nothing other than technology as a product, on account of the myriad advertising campaigns mounted to that effect. Another explanation is that technology as a process expresses something quite vague or at least represents technology itself, to the public, since it remains the restricted domain for specialists. Thus, when a non-specialist is asked to explain the term "technology", he/she generally refers to it as the study of equipment (machines, materials, electronic components, electromechanics, etc). According to Thomas Kabayashi (1987), most people define technology as a set of electronic gadgets (film projectors, tape recorders, audiovisual equipment, microcomputers etc..).

    Contrary to this point of view, technology is not solely a tangible asset that can be acquired like any piece of equipment. It consists not only of the product but also of the process (the whole domain taken together). However, the authors have more holistic and more qualified points of view about this issue.

    Some authors consider technology as an intellectual and practical trend dealing with all aspects whereby systems are designed and controlled to produce a replicable effect.

    In other words, this is one way of defining and resolving a problem by taking into account the theoretic and practical aspects as well as the relationship between the two (Lapointe, 1991; Rheaume, 1993). Others say technology is a field of knowledge and activities that make it possible to design and produce objects and systems. It is also a process that allows for the automatic regulation of a system or an operation, thanks to a constant feedback effect that helps in readjusting the sub-systems or subsidiary operations, if necessary, in order to achieve the set objective. In other words, technology is the art of ensuring the effective functioning or management of very intricate systems (Gagne, 1987; Legendre, 1993).

    Some of these definitions refer to the technical object produced through knowledge and know-how i.e. visible equipment (machines and tools). Others go beyond this reference to the physical product to include methods, the set of ideas and knowledge, as seen from the angle of their use for practical purposes. With these definitions, we can theoretically distinguish technology as a product from Lapointe (1993), this distinction makes it possible not only to consider technology as an intellectual process but also to draw attention to the dynamics of the process rather than the physical product alone. To clarify the various interpretations, we will try to present and explain educational technology as seen from the general point of view before identifying from this global notion the aspects that makes it possible to distinguish between technology as a product and technology as a process geared towards education.

    Figure 6.1 is provided to give a better understanding of the contribution of new technologies to the learning process. Four forces (horizontal and vertical dimensions) are involved in realising the teaching act, and the learning process represented by the intersection of the two dimensions.

    The dichotomy between technologies as teacher-centered (traditional, non-verbal and non-dynamic) or learner-centered (new, verbal and dynamic) has been demonstrated by Edgar Dale. Dale illustrates with visual and verbal symbol representation on a continuum of experiences rising from a concrete base composed of directly transferable experiences pursuing immediate objectives up to abstraction, represented by verbal symbols, at the top of the cone. The divisions between the various experiences are not strict and inflexible. The cone only clarifies the sensory supports in terms of more or less concrete or abstract communication experiences.

    In this illustration, the terminology used to refer to those concepts is covered by the phrase " learning resources and technologies ".

     

    Edgar Dale’s ‘’Cone of Experience’’

     

     

    Verbal

    Symbols


    Visual Symbols


    Radio, Recordings,

    Still pictures


    Television


    Exhibits


    Field trips


    Demonstrations


    Dramatised Experiences


    Contrived Experiences


    Direct, purposeful, experiences

     

     

    Thus, once more we notice that the new technologies (at the cone base) exploit methods and tools that encourage interaction much more than traditional technologies (cone top) which use far more teacher- centered tools and methods.

     

    Relevance of Educational Technology to Developing Countries

    Achi Yapi

    Like the technological innovations which enhance performance in all sectors of economic and social activities, educational technology has developed over the last thirty years and ultimately improved the quality and efficiency of education and learning, educational management and research. However, this technology is perceived in diverse ways by authors and users. According to Thomas and Kobayashi (1987), educational technology represents several things to different people. Thus, it is often mistaken for high technology products and their implication in the education sector. To the less informed ones, educational technology represents nothing other than the use of audiovisual equipment and/or micro computers for teaching purposes. Gagne and Reiser (1987) maintain that people usually understand educational technology as the use of communication media for educational purposes.

    Whereas certain specialists have a very good understanding of the concept of educational technology, others are less informed about the concept, particularly in the developing countries where it is relegated to a mere notion of material products. With this confusion arising from interpretation, we wondered how educational technology could be basically explained to smooth away the situation and demonstrate the relevance of educational technology to a developing country.

    This article seeks to clear up the inherent lack of understanding. In this regard, we have drawn on the points of view expressed by various authors in identifying the concepts of technology and educational technology. We have also tried to examined the possible distinction to be made between technology as a product and technology as a process. This brief conceptualization of technology enabled us to explain how educational technology can help in promoting education in developing countries. Finally, we have explained the extent to which it can help teachers to plan case studies to improve the learning process. However, before presenting the concept of educational technology, we digressed to focus on technology itself: we did so because, on the one hand, an analysis of all aspects of technology brings the problem of technology into focus straightaway; on the other hand, it constitutes the first origin of educational technology, as established by Gagne (1987) and Lapointe (1993). Consequently, a convincing conceptualization of educational technology should start with that of technology itself.

    In other words, this article first attempts to explain educational technology by defining its concept and analyzing some aspects of the said technology that help in promoting education in the third-world countries. With this explanation, we wish to first iron out the lack of understanding of the concept of educational technology in developing countries and then demonstrate the theoretical and methodological contribution this technology makes towards the preparation of an instructional design aimed at improving learning and promoting its transfer.

    THE CONCEPT OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

    As in the case of technology itself, there is no universal definition for educational technology because the concept has been defined in numerous and diverse ways in the literature. Non specialist educationists generally consider educational technology as the use of microcomputers and audiovisual equipment in particular. Rheaume (1993) observes that, to certain teachers, the term "educational technology" refers to materials or equipment. Some of them define the field in terms of audiovisual products and the media. Others lay emphasis on programmed learning and observable behaviour (Stolovitch and La Rocque, 1988).The confusion becomes more obvious in the case of non-teaching staff outside the domain of specialists. This is because when you ask to know what educational technology represents, you can be taken as far as possible with a long lecture on what can be achieved through technology. Stolovitch and La Rocque observed that non educationists manifest an almost complete ignorance about technology issues.

    For their part, specialists consider educational technology as an intellectual process and practice that addresses the needs of learners and those of teachers to enable them to determine precisely the objectives of learning as well as the means of achieving them (stolovitch and La Rocque, 1988; Lapointe, 1993). Finally, Thomas and Kobayashi (1987) maintain that educational technology is a complex integrated process whereby problems connected with all aspects of learning are conceptualized, analyzed, established and resolved through interaction between people, techniques, ideas and resources within an organizational framework.

    With these definitions, it is noticed that, far from representing the mere use of the media and other tools for instructional purposes, as purported by certain people, educational technology is rather a scientific process whereby human and material resources are used to enhance efficiency in teaching, training and learning. Let us now consider what is meant by technology as a product and technology as a process.

    TECHNOLOGY AS A PRODUCT

    Technology as a product is the end result of the systematic application of scientific knowledge in finding practical solutions to specific problems. As a product, educational technology can include teaching procedures, practices and materials. Consequently, the inputs from technological developments comprise, on the one hand, non-physical products (programmed learning, individualized learning, teaching skills, the use of computers in learning, computer-assisted education, comprehensive educational syllabi or curricula, multimedia, etc.);they also include, physical products such as microcomputers, mainframe computers, video cassette recorders, radio and television sets, video-tape recorders, tape recorders, overhead projectors, photographic slides, electronic acetates, etc..).

    Some authors adds to this list of products, language, writing case, pencil, paper, books, newspapers and films. Finally, these tools facilitate education and learning and also enhance the performances resulting from the cost of education.

    TECHNOLOGY AS A PROCESS

    Viewed from the angle of process dynamics, educational technology is an approach geared towards finding and improving solutions so it should not be associated with products of such technology. It therefore includes functions connected with the management of organizations and human resources, research (the setting of theories, rational methods and practices related to the techniques of education and learning), logistics, the use and establishment of systems (Gagne, 1987; Winn, 1991; Lapointe 1993).

    Moreover, it is these different functions, together with the systematic analysis and design, that distinguish educational technology from the traditional approaches. In other words, educational technology is:

    The systemic approach is therefore one way of examining globally and not in isolation , a set of elements interacting in a given environment to promote learning (Stolovitch and Keeps, 1993; Garavaglia, 1993). With respect to methodology, Stolovitch and La Rocque (1988) consider the systemic approach as a process connected with the planning and operation of a system are identified and analyzed. The main concepts of this approach are:

    Consequently, any inappropriate interaction between the control unit and the feedback mechanism or any inconvenient readjustment deregulates and disintegrates the system (ibid). Moreover, educational technology requires three operational phases to establish a given system; analysis, design and evaluation (Gagne, 1987, Gagne and Glaser, 1988, Stolovitch and Keeps, 1993).

  • (b) in studying the target audience, the technologist tries to acquaint himself with the learner through his/her aptitudes and features that are most likely to interact with the other components of the model; (c) in the contextual analysis phase, the technologist identifies not only the contextual and environmental conditions underscoring the educational situation; however, it also presents a better enlightenment through the data collected to examine the manner in which the model to be designed is harmonized correctly and naturally;

    (d) the job analysis enables the technologist to make an in-depth study of the instructional information to be imparted to the learner; (e) the concept analysis consists in examining the content so as to identify the underlying concepts; (f) Stolovitch and Keeps (1993) propose the preparation of a summary programme, plan of action and results of all the analyses conducted previously; (g) whether it is intended for a course or training session, before preparing the appraisal report, the technologist should systematically prepare in a graphic form, a list of all the principal activities to be accomplished, together with the duration, site and the agents involved.

  • To sum up, the myriad definitions given in the writings do not facilitate the understanding of the concept of educational technology. For one thing, while some authors base their definition on the application of scientific results and the empirical process whereby knowledge is acquired, others base their definitions on all the skills required in creating, designing, using and improving teaching methods. However, upon analysis, the writings show that educational technology is not only a physical object. It can be a product (physical or non-physical) as well as process. It also allows for the systematic application of theory to practical work in order to allow for the adoption and design of the most effective teaching methods possible according to the set objectives and the circumstances under which teaching should be conducted. Educational technology also entails the use of all available resources (human, non-human and the media) in attaining the set goals. Finally, it requires, as far as possible, that educational decisions be based on research results and first geared towards improving and facilitating learning.

    This brief presentation of concepts concerning educational technology, which we have just made was intended to explain what this technology is (as summed up in the table below). It would now be interesting to consider what educational technology can represent for developing countries. However, the research into the relevance of such technology to developing countries inevitably poses the problem of its transfer.

    Excerpted from:

    Yapi, A. (1997). The relevance of educational technology in developing countries. UNESCO-AFRICA, 14/14, 43-53.

    How has educational technology as a process and as a product impacted on your teaching?

    List three ways in which you have used educational technology (a) as a process; and (b) as a product, in your teaching.

    & Reading 4.2

    New Information Technologies in Education and New Role for Potential Teachers

    N.C. NWABOKU

    The whole purpose of an educational system is efficient communication through the instructional sub-systems that is, the transmission of information, knowledge, skills, values and attitudes from a source to a recipient; bridging the gap between generations of learners. A major purpose of communication is to influence the recipient of information. To influence learners, and consequently society, in a desirable way, the future of the society has to be kept in view.

    Technology is a factor which has constantly changed the future of societies in usually unforeseen directions. It is the single factor whose advancement makes the difference in development for all the nations in the world. Technology has also made the difference between the various sectors of the society with the educational sector lagging behind the rest. In Africa, it can be said that technology, as it is known today, is virtually absent in the educational sector.

    Recent developments in technology, especially in computer technology has set the pace of development at "fast forward" in all spheres. The educational sector is therefore in danger of loosing contact with world realities in the very near future. The rate of advances in computer technology and the transformation it brings in its wake for communication and "work" cannot be ignored by the educational sector for two reasons; education involves and depends on communication systems, and secondly education prepares the future society for a world of work. This paper discusses the implication of technology in the classroom, at the delivery level, and the roles of the teacher in preparing learners for a technological world.

    Why Use Technology In Teaching?

    The introduction and use of information technologies in teaching in the schools would serve a dual purpose; for the purposes of acculturation and for more efficient instruction. For acculturation purposes, a learner who is being prepared for technologically oriented world needs to be immersed in technology early. Technology is a new world culture, and like all cultures is best acquired in early life. This would ensure that schools do not produce (technologically) maladjusted adults. By employing the information technologies (new or old) the schools would be facing up to new facts of life, that the learners would be functioning in a technologically dependent society. It is necessary to orientate the thoughts and attitudes of learners through technology. For a learner at any level to seek information through technology the awareness has to be created and a need established. Only then would the individual invest on and utilise technology. The use of the new information technologies have become inevitably for survival. While adults have to adopt with difficulties to the use of new technologies, young individuals can learn, and should be given the opportunity to learn easily and naturally by early contacts with these technologies.

    Technology is about "machines". Machines make work easier, achieve more work in less time. It can therefore be expected that employing technology in teaching would introduce better efficiency in the instructional system. This is achieved in many ways:

    In general terms the introduction of new technologies in education would provide education with more productive learning systems, ensuring equal opportunities for learners. Technology itself has generated new information at an exponential rate and it is only through technology that the tremendous amount of available information can be harnessed and accessed in learning.

    What Is In the New Information Technologies?

    All through the ages new developments in technology have revolutionised society. The printing press produced the first book in 1456, and broke the monopoly of knowledge and information. This also led to establishment of libraries, and more efficient information storage and retrieval systems. Photography also caused a revolution in information systems. It provided a means of capturing visual information on paper leading to developments like motion pictures, still pictures, photocopiers etc. Photography has led to further developments in information accessing in education through mass media like the Television.

    Developments in Mass Communication, mainly the radio and television, have had much impact on education, making distance learning possible, telecommunications also produced the telephone systems and satellite systems which have turned the world into an open learning classroom. A combination of all these technologies have resulted in limitless opportunities for the educational system.

    The development of computers from earlier digital systems like the calculators has marked a turning point in the technology evolution. This is because the computer is capable of processing information from all other systems once the information is digitised. The computer combines all the advantages of the other information technologies, processes information at high speeds, generates new information and converts information from one encoding system to another. Used in combination with any of the other technologies. The computer provides limitless possibilities in information processing and information generation. The computer can also be to develop the other information systems further.

    The main implication of the computer for instruction is not in data processing but in its ability to aid the further development of all the other information systems used in education. For instance, photography can be improved by using computerised cameras which adjust automatically for light exposure and object distance. Viewed from this angle the new information technologies in education includes:

    When new information technologies are discussed much attention is however focussed on the computer because of its versatility. Its many advantages in combination with other technologies include:

    The computer has also gained the attention because it is regarded as the main changing agent for the future. It is envisaged that in the very near future most work will be done through computers so the computer as a technology has become an important subject for the educational system.

    Introducing the New Information Techniques Into The School System In Africa

    In the school system the computer can serve as subject, as media, and as a tool for creative work. As a subject the pupil learns about computers. This is computer literacy. The argument for computer literacy is that in the future the inability to use computers would be as limiting as the inability to read and write. It has therefore become important at this age to learn the basic uses of computers, to learn to operate the computer, to learn to use various computer software and to learn to develop computer software for various purposes.

    As media, the computer is used for teaching and learning. This is Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI). The knowledge of computers and programmed instruction are used to produce computer programmes that teach. It becomes possible to tailor instruction to individual needs. Learners can advance at their own pace, or use the programmes at school or their homes. Teachers can utilise packaged lessons or produce their own courseware. CAI adds a lot of flexibility to learning systems.

    As a tool for creative work, the learner uses the computer to advance her/his ideas, trying out new methods or projects, and experimenting with, and creating new concepts. In this format to use the computer also serves as a problem solving tool, calculating, manipulating and analysing data.

    In the Sub-Saharan Africa formal school system, these three applications of computers are yet to gain much ground. Outside the formal school systems however most countries have seen the acknowledgement of the importance of computers in the proliferation of "computer schools". In countries like Nigeria and Senegal these schools are popular and serve out of school learners who wish to improve their chances of securing a good job. In areas like secretarial studies computer literacy, and often competence, has become a requirement. In the private sector one finds that computers have made in roads and most companies especially the financial companies, are heavily dependent on computers and computer systems. These observations seem to indicate that the need for information technologies are evident in spite of the poor state of our economies. What is not clear is what the constraints are for introducing technology into the school systems.

    A major constraint in the introduction of computer programmes into the school systems in the developing nations is financial limitations. It is already claimed that a high proportion of any nation’s budget goes to education. The older technologies of learning mentioned earlier in this paper have not been employed much in our public schools systems. It would therefore seem presumptions to expect that computers can be provided in schools. One might just consider closing all discussions on this subject but the problem is that, like all other problems facing our educational systems today there is no longer much choice in the matter. If the educational systems do not advance at the same pace as developments in all others socio-economic sectors, education in the region will become irrelevant to the society’s needs. Also character of the computer as an all purpose tool could spell disaster for any nation that fails to grasp its benefits.

    The conclusion here is that financial constraints as an excuse for not improving our school systems has reached a dead end. It is time to put technology into the African school systems. Given the scope of informatics and other technologies of instruction the questions are, where to start?, how to start?, who to start with?. This paper proposes that action should start with intensive computer literacy programmes for teachers, now. There are many ways in which the urgency of this new requirement for teachers could be impressed on the minds of all concerned.

    The training of teachers by whatever means should be a first step in the introduction of computers to schools. These teachers would then participate in the decision on the equipment and software to be provided in schools, and also what new curricula to introduce for the use of computers. Training of all students in computer literacy should be encouraged at the tertiary level also. Degree courses in computer science should include courses in computer literacy and computer Assisted Instruction for education students at both first degree and higher degree levels.

    It would be possible to organise computer literacy programmes for teachers and students at the secondary school levels using youth camp or youth organisation outlets. It is important to use all available means to achieve mass computer literacy in a very short period. The use of public television should not be ruled out. Acquiring computers, hardware and software, for schools would require more financial commitment on the part of the government. Donor agencies, NGOs, parents and the communities may have to be appealed to in this regard.

    To avoid a wastage of resources and efforts in the introduction of computer literacy it is necessary to make a distinction between specialised, vocational, and general computer education programmes. What should be intensified is a general computer education programme. The intention should be to create awareness in, and influence the attitudes of teachers and learners to the use of computers. Specialised and vocational computer education programmes should be left to vocational schools and for computer science and technology courses at the appropriate levels.

    Emphasis on higher order use of computers in the school system, i.e. CAI and the use of computers for creativity, explanatory work, and research may be desirable but not advisable at a period in which computer literacy is very low and specialists in that aspect of educational technology are virtually lacking. The first step in that direction should be the training of personnel to a high level of specialization and competence in application of computers in schools.

    The use of computers for school management, evaluation, record keeping should however be given the same treatment as for all other instructional media in matters relating to their use in instruction (CAI). This opinion is supported by the fact that there is no conclusive research evidence for the superiority of the computer as a medium of instruction over any other medium.

    Our school system should look beyond the computer in the use of technologies of instruction. One important and very effective technology which Africa schools systems have failed to take advantage of is photography, and its products. The motion picture has evolved through the years and is versatile in its latest forms. The video tape and video disc are suitable for various modes of study. Recordings and retrieval of information require far less training for use. Video discs are compact and require very little storage space. This paper would recommend the setting up of collection of video tapes and discs in school libraries at all levels, or that where a media library exists, video materials should be an important part of it. Video materials are also an important software for distance learning.

    Countries in the Africa region should consolidate on the technologies already introduced in their educational systems. Studies have shown that educational radio and educational television have been used in almost all the countries in the developing world as a means of reaching remote learners and cutting the cost of education. Any measures to reduce the cost of education should be supported and exploited fully. Unfortunately most of these technological innovations have not been sustained. Reasons for the breakdown of the systems are largely related to technical know how in both utilisation and maintenance. Most of these technologies were established through external aids which provided the initial technical support. It is necessary to precede the installation of technology with the provision of local experts. In other words what the African continent needs most as precondition for a technological take off in education and other social sectors are seasoned indigenous specialists. Unfortunately while other sectors of the economy make effort to provide these educational sector is contended with ad-hoc training programmes and half-baked specialist or no specialists at all.

    Excerpted from:

    Nwaboku, N.C. (1997). New information technologies in education and new roles for potential teachers. UNESCO-AFRICA 15/15, 30-37.

    Comment on Nwaboku’s claim that "what the African continent needs most are seasoned indigenous specialists (in educational technology)". How do you think this goal can be achieved?

    Old and New Technologies

    In the past twenty years, there has been a significant expansion in the availability of a wide range of technologies with the potential to improve the quality of teaching and learning (Taylor, 1995). Apart from the more traditional technologies such as print, broadcast television and radio, the following new technologies provide opportunities for enhancing the quality of teaching: audiotapes, videotapes, computer-based learning packages, interactive video (disk and tape), CDTV, audio-teleconferencing, audiographic communication systems (e.g. Smart 2000) and videoconferencing. In recent times, these technologies have been supplemented by the advent of the opportunities for interactivity and access to instructional resources provided by the computer communications networks popularly referred to as the "Internet"

    Delivery technologies simply package information and instruction to give students access to educational experiences. What matters is the quality of the instructional message, rather than the inherent characteristics of the instructional medium used. Clark (1983) makes the point that educational technologies are "mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence students’ achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition"(p.445). Taylor (1995) extends this view by taking the position that a teacher can be surrounded by a team of audiovisual technicians, graphic artists and computing specialists to vary the style of the delivery of the educational message without producing a significant increase in pedagogical efficacy. The key process for improving the quality of teaching and learning in Taylor’s (1995) view is instructional design which has received a significant boost from recent advances in instructional science, cognitive science and artificial intelligence, particularly expert systems. The process of instructional design entails a systematic fine-grained analysis of the knowledge base and associated cognitive skill that provide the foundation of professional expertise in a particular discipline. This approach entails the application of such techniques as cognitive task analysis, novex analysis, concept mapping, and knowledge engineering.

    Table 6.1: Generations of Educational Technology

    TECHNOLOGY CHARACTERISTICS
      Flexibility  
      Time Place Pace Interactivity
    FIRST GENERATION- The Pre-computer age model
    •  
    • Print
    •  
    • Board
    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    No

    SECOND GENERATION – The Multimedia Model
    •  
    • Print
    •  
    • Board
    •  
    • Audiotape
    •  
    • Videotape
    •  
    • Computer-based learning (e.g. CML/CAL)
    •  
    • Interactive video (disk and tape)
    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    No

    No

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    THIRD GENERATION – The Telelearning Model
    •  
    • Audioteleconferencing
    •  
    • Videoconferencing
    •  
    • Audiographic communications (e.g. Smart 2000)
    •  
    • Broadcast TV/Radio + Audioteleconferencing
    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    No

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    FOURTH GENERATION - The Flexible Learning Model
    •  
    • Interactive multimedia (IMM, CD-ROM)
    •  
    • Computer-mediated communication (CMC) (e.g. Email, Cosy etc)
    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Source: Okebukola (1997)

    As noted by Okebukola (1997), The flexible access technologies allow the student to turn the teacher on or off at will, as lifestyle and time permit. Also, access to the Internet facilitates interactivity without sacrificing the benefits of flexible access, since it can be used to support asynchronous communication. Such flexibility has the pedagogic benefit of allowing students to progress at their own pace. While this trend towards "technology-mediated" flexible learning is inexorable in a variety of education and training contexts, it is crucial that the use of a range of instructional media does not automatically enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

    Traditional technologies are often the starting point of new technologies. They include the chalkboard, the magnetic board, the overhead projector, and the slide projector.

     

    Suggestions for Using the Overhead Projector (OHP)

    Some advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are summarised in Table 6.2.

    Table 6.2 Advantages and Disadvantages of New Technologies in Education

    Advantages
    • Relatively easy use as teaching material.
    • Easy for trials and simulations.
    • Easy data storage and processing
    • Easy documentation follow-up
    • Fast access to information
    • Easy access to external programs.
    • Facilitate distance education
    • Used and developed efficiently, the new technologies prove to be a strong and effective teaching and learning tools.
    • Help teacher teach more and better, and integrate his learning.
    • Bring together a larger number of professionals who were apart in time and space.
    Shortcomings
    • High cost
    • Difficulty for user and maintenance staff training
    • Difficulty with respect to power supply
    • Inadequate resources to have access to hardware (machines) and software needed for new technology development
    • Even where the equipment is available, there is often an obvious lack of adequate services (maintenance, repairs and follow - up)
    • Teachers do not have the adequate training needed to understand the concept of pedagogy, the new learning technologies and their uses.
    • Non availability of teaching and learning resource centres to support – teachers.
    • Lack of skills and creativity to develop supports to new technologies (software)

    Some applications of new technologies

    Computer-assisted teaching/learning: This is the use of the computer to support the teaching / learning process. Each learner works at his or her own pace and on individual basis.

    Simulation teaching: This involves using a computer to represent the operation of a system in a real-life situation. Computer simulation programs were first developed for training aircraft pilots. They represented exactly the operations executed by a pilot in real life flying situation (e.g. take off, and landing in different weather conditions). These techniques have been fully applied in teaching science and technology and in engineering, geography, biological, chemical and medical sciences to help the teacher explain concepts and the student to learn better.

    Internet: Through digital telecommunication networks Internet explores information super highway which almost instantly offers users unlimited research and information opportunities in various specialised fields. Thanks to its accessible data, it becomes a veritable teaching, learning and research tool.

    Closed circuit television: The closed circuit television - assisted teaching system restricts the teaching and information only to identified learners linked with the circuit by means of a cable. .Such a teaching system permits a simultaneous presentation of a subject to a large number of clients. This technique may prove efficient when combined with verbal and non-verbal supports and if it makes room for learner’s participation.

    Satellite - assisted teaching: The use of communication satellites enables learners in far - flung and large areas to benefit from teaching offered in a remote location. Distance teaching becomes the most efficient means of teaching far - flung clients according to their specific needs in terms of time and place.

    Identify in a comparative table the technologies and products used in the following cases:

    Teacher - centered technologies (verbal role)

    Examples

    - chalk

    - blackboard

    Learner – centered technologies

    (non verbal role)

    - TV sets

    - computers

     

    What other new technologies are there for use in Higher Education?

    Televisions WWW

    Films e-mail

    Videos fax

    Tape recorders Satellite

    Photocopiers Data bases/CD ROM

    Microphones LCD Projects

    Teleconferencing/video conferencing Overhead projectors

    The level of readiness to use these technologies?

    Readiness is on the level of:

    - Affordability - Skills

    - Attitudes - Management

    How ready are we?

    - User training needed

    - Maintenance strategies required

    - Adequate physical facilities (space, security, electricity, power, backup, accessibility) required.

    - Need to sensitise the public to enhance acceptance, including university senates.

    How do we proceed?

    Needs:

    - Training of staff in use of technology.

    - Acquisition of technologies

    - Change of attitudes

    - Have a maintenance culture

    - Adapt technologies to our institutional needs

    - Make our own programmes and software

    - Lecturers should be helped to acquire computers.

    - There should be common facilities for new technologies in each institution.

    Recommendations

    1. Train prospective users in use of new and emerging technologies

    2. Provide facilities, security and maintenance of the new technology.

    3. Provide guidelines for adoption and adaptation of new technologies.

    4. Enable academics to purchase own computer hardware and software.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At the end of this unit you should be able to:

    Using New Technologies in Higher Education

    The development of new technologies has permitted greater interactivity, the design of interactive self-teaching programs for users, as well as feedback. Indeed, through an integration of various types of information, the whole range of sounds can be exploited and the learner’s emotional and cognitive processes better integrated. Above all, new technologies have permitted individualisation, self-teaching and distance education by creating open universities in a wider space.

    Learner behaviours have undergone major changes as a result of easier communication and interaction with other learners and teachers through the use of computers. In short, thanks to new technologies, greater pedagogic efficiency has been attained. To sum up, the pedagogic support of computer technology in higher education have made possible:

    - the visualisation of processes and procedures.

    - diagnosis: self - testing as the exercise goes on.

    - reflection: on acquisition and learning.

    - the creation of situations: contextualisation.

    - autonomy.

    - rhythm of work

    -motivation

    - group work

    -integrated knowledge

    -access to learners from various social backgrounds and traditional teaching systems.

    In some fields, the new technologies are unquestionably better and give greater priority to individual work: one remembers, retains what one hears, one understands what one sees and one best assimilates self-taught knowledge.

    If the new technologies were developed in Africa, they could help solve three major problems:

    - remedy the lack of access to information and teaching resources, and

    - the lack of communication opportunities among the actors involved in the pedagogic process: learners, teachers and parents

    -and put an end to research workers isolation: providing them with information on recent developments, experiences.

    Computers can be compared to books and libraries. As multimedia items, they facilitate learning since they include most of the educational proprieties of older technologies such as books, the radio, films, television, which they improve and transmit more efficiently. They encourage more learner - centered and interactive pedagogic approaches.

    The new technologies have changed the bureaucratic and authoritarian approach of traditional methodologies by making the learner independent (convenience of ease, flexibility in terms of time). The teacher has to deal with a different type of learner who is better motivated, better educated, more critical, more autonomous. He no longer has the authority he used to enjoy in traditional education, and now the individual selects information according to his own interests and motivation.

    The use of such a media - based teaching system (multimedia centers) is limited due to some drawbacks:

    The prospects for the use of these new information and communication technologies in higher education are limited by the African universities’ unequal opportunities of access to these technologies for obvious reasons;

    Due to poor experience with older technologies (films, radio, television), which were expected to be able to bring about drastic changes in the world, disappointed users are no longer enthusiastic about technologies. Most of the actors have faith in the nature of the educational activity that traditionally depends largely on the quality of human interactions for the realisation of its objectives; they can hardly perceive any possible improvement with technology. In education, the problems raised by traditional teaching with regard to teacher / learner relationship in a face - to - face situation has so far been scarcely touched upon. How then can the new technologies be tackled when the older ones have not yet even been entirely tapped? In Africa, in the few universities where computer science has been introduced in the faculties or other educational institutions,

    - it is used much more as a support to administrative services than to teaching;

    - instructors use it for their own research work more than for teaching purposes.

    It is learned as subject rather than as a support to learning and training.

    It must therefore be used beyond that level, as a support to improving education, the various subjects and learning. The risk is that the teacher may no longer be consulted whereas he must remain a facilitator.

    With the new technologies the teacher may become lazy, relying only on the Internet content without making any effort to design, compare and simulate. On the other hand, the lack of control over the style and quality of the information provided by Internet may make teachers, parents and politicians sceptical and apprehensive, as they can no longer control these contents.

     

     

    & Reading 4.4

    The Library as a Resource

    Philomena Fayose

    A guide to teaching and learning in Higher Education is incomplete without any reference to libraries and library resources. Not a librarian from the tertiary institution or a library educator from the 12 library schools in Nigeria had been given the opportunity to speak at this very important workshop. The library should be the hub of teaching and learning in higher education. It provides a wide variety of teaching and learning resources including the new terminologies which actually are refinement of some traditional learning and teaching resources. The book here used in its widest sense will continue to be the main instrument of teaching and learning.

    There may be CD-ROMs and microforms but these were first in book forms before being transferred into electronic media. Books are cheaper to use and easier to come by. Books, computers, microforms and the like will complement each other and help to bring fresh insight into the traditional teaching and learning resources. Tertiary institutions’ libraries will increasingly become multimedia based. This is why they are now called library resource centres, instructional resource centre, etc. The library will be the umbrella site for all learning and teaching resources in the tertiary institutions.

    Besides the provision of resources, the library will provide opportunities for teaching staff and students skills required for the effective use of books and other learning resources. Some of the ideas in my book titled "School library Resource Centres for Educational Excellence" can be adopted for use in tertiary institutions.

    Beside the provision of support and enhancing facilities for teaching and learning, the library and its staff can provide opportunities for teaching skills in the use of books and libraries. Too often, University and other tertiary institutions assume that the two-hour tour of the library by fresh students is enough to make them users of the library. This is not true. Many students do not come across good libraries until they enter tertiary institutions. The library can be a bewildering place for the uninitiated. Besides the orientation tour, there are library skills that can actually be taught to teachers and students. The courses should be taught throughout the first year. They include:

    LIBRARY RESOURCES

    This course will introduce students to the wide variety of learning resources printed and unprinted. The division of printed materials into reference and non-reference. Reference books are those consulted for specific pieces of information. They are not meant to be read from cover to cover. Non-reference books are further sub-divided into text books and supportive books. Text books are used teachers and students in the pursuit of a course of study. Supportive or complementary books elaborate on text books and enable teachers and students to have a broader perspective of the topic.

    The references and reading lists given by lecturers provide the extra reading that leads to a mastering of the subject. Periodical and journal articles further complement books and provide up to date information especially in the fields of science and technology. Fiction and creative writing in general build up vocabularies, educates, the imagination, provide vicarious experiences which nature and develop our sensibilities and keep the student in tune with the rest of humanity.

    NON-PRINTED RESOURCES

    These are made up of audio-visual software and hardware – sound of all types, particularly useful for teaching languages, music and drama, visual resources which concretize learning, reducing the problems of over verbalization and a combination of the visual and aural video cassettes; film slides with their attendant gadgets for use. Students and teachers should be taught how to operate and use these gadgets in various teaching and learning situations. The availability of these materials will encourage self investigation and reduce dependence on the lecturers. All teachers should be encouraged to produce audio-video resources in their subject areas.

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES IN BROAD SUBJECT AREAS

    Science and technology, mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences. The course will also include bibliographic citations and compilation.

    THE LIBRARY CATALOGUE

    The library catalogue is a tool for unlocking the treasures of the library. The components of the book and their various uses. Many students and their teachers for example, do not know the value of the back of the book index. Others do not realize that books have authors and publishers. All tertiary teachers should be encouraged to provide their students with extra reading lists. Students should be encouraged to read outside their various disciplines so that they can have a better perspective of life and knowledge. A proper use of library resources will produce robust students who are self-reliant and creative, who are able to weight one opinion against the other thus arriving at their own judicious conclusions. These will become the thought leaders and entrepreneurs of the 21st century. Finally, tertiary institutions with the support of the governments should provide all the infrastructure that would make the use of the new technologies possible.

    Excerpted from:

    Fayose, P. (1998, September). The library as a resource in higher education. Presented at the UNESCO Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Ibadan, Nigeria.

     

    (a) Identify the new educational technologies used in your institution and in each case indicate the advantages and drawbacks of each technology.

    List of Educational Technologies used in your own teaching Strengths Weaknesses
    1---

    2--

    3---

    4---

    5---

    ---

       

    (b) Identify the technologies used in your own teaching and examime them critically

    List of Educational Technologies used in your own teaching Strengths Weaknesses
    1---

    2--

    3---

    4---

    5---

    ---

       

     

     

    (c)Propose a new participatory approach to enhance teaching and learning for your students.

    List of Educational Technologies used in your own teaching Strengths Weaknesses
    1---

    2--

    3---

    4---

    5---

    ---

       

     

    Summary and Conclusion

    In this module, we defined technology as a process and as a product. We found that the new technologies can bring the following benefits to higher education:

    To be able to realise the above benefits, we need to engage in various activities:

    The module has presented to

    We described the uses of the following new technologies:

    Computer-assisted teaching/learning: which is the use of the computer to support the teaching/learning process. Each learner works at his or her own pace and on individual basis.

    Simulation teaching: using a computer to represent the operation of a system in a real-life situation.

    Internet: Through digital telecommunication networks Internet explores information super highway which almost instantly offers users unlimited research and information opportunities in various specialised fields.

    Closed circuit television: which provides teaching and information only to identified learners linked to the circuit by means of a cable. .Such a teaching system permits a simultaneous presentation of a subject to a large number of clients. This technique may prove efficient when combined with verbal and non-verbal supports and if it makes room for learner’s participation.

    Satellite - assisted teaching: The use of communication satellites enables learners in far - flung and large areas to benefit from teaching offered in a remote location. Distance teaching becomes the most efficient means of teaching far - flung clients according to their specific needs in terms of time and place.

    The library as an important resource was also described. On how we can proceed, the following needs were identified:

    - Training of staff in use of technology.

    - Acquisition of technologies

    - Change of attitudes

    - Have a maintenance culture

    - Adapt technologies to our institutional needs

    - Make our own programmes and software

    - Lecturers should be helped to acquire computers.

    - There should be common facilities for new technologies in each institution.

    Recommendations made to ensure greater use of new technologies in higher education in Africa include:

    1. Train prospective users in use of new and emerging technologies

    2. Provide facilities, security and maintenance of the new technology.

    3. Provide guidelines for adoption and adaptation of new technologies.

    4. Enable academics to purchase own computer hardware and software.

     

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