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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROJECTS

LEVEL OF ADEQUACY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CLASSROOMS

LEVEL OF ADEQUACY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CLASSROOMS

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LEVEL OF ADEQUACY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CLASSROOMS

CHAPITRE ONE

Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Information and communication technology (ICT) has become an accepted part of all of our lives around the world, and it plays an important role in education. Similarly, the globe is currently witnessing technology advances in teaching and learning.

Because children live in a rich communication environment, early childhood education does not fall behind. ICT is described as “anything that allows us to get information, communicate with each other,

or have an effect on the environment using electronic or digital equipment” (Siraj-Blatchford & Siraj-Blatchford, 2003, p.4). Some authors refer to it as learning technologies, while others just call it technology.

It can also be described as anything that allows for the passage of communication. It entails communicating with electronic devices such as computers, phones, digital cameras, puppets, video discs, and electronic toys.

According to Bolstard (2004), these technologies provide new chances to enrich many elements of early childhood education. Siraj-Blatchford and Whitebread (2003) defined ICT as “anything that allows individuals to communicate with one another or have an effect on the environment using electronic equipment.”

However, in early childhood education (ECE), the word ICT may include, but is not limited to, the following types of hardware and software devices:

Computers (including desktop, laptop, and portable devices);

(ii) Digital cameras and video cameras;

(iii) Software and tools for creativity and communication; the Internet;

(iv) Telephones, fax machines, cell phones, and tape recorders

(v) Interactive tales, computer , and virtual worlds; programmable toys and “control” technology;

(vi) Videoconferencing and closed-circuit television.

(vii) Data projectors, electronic whiteboards, and other similar devices

All of these devices, when combined, have vital responsibilities to play in the education of young children in the twenty-first century. As a result, the researcher set out to investigate the level of adequacy in Early Childhood Education and Nursery classes in City.

Early Childhood Education (ECE), on the other hand, refers to the type of education obtained between the ages of three and five in a school setting. It is also known as a nursery school or a play group (Farrant, 1982).

The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2009) defined ECE as a pre-primary school educational institution where children are left in the care of individuals or organisations.

It has recently been revealed that the use of ICT in the education of young children is extensively practiced/advocated for. This is due to the numerous benefits that accrue from its incorporation into the teaching and learning process.

The Advantages of Using ICT in the Teaching and Learning Process

The benefits of introducing ICT into early childhood education cannot be overstated. However, for the purposes of this paper, a few of these benefits are as follows:

Speaking and Listening – ICT in the classroom enables for more sustained types of speech, such as asking and answering questions.

Webcams increase involvement and enable for immediate feedback and reflection on the processes involved in conversing, both in groups and individually.

The interactive whiteboard (IWB) technology emphasises group and public discussion, as well as student answers. Details cannot be easily remembered in everyday conversation unless they are recorded in some way.

Of course, sound has been accessible for some time, but portable sound recording technologies (such as MP3 or MP4 codecs) make it easier and promote an emphasis on listening.

Furthermore, digital cameras are expected to improve students' abilities to reflect on and comment on language use: gesture, posture, and facial expressions are all important components of speaking.

In more formal settings, video presentations enable students to observe and discuss formal and informal presentations from the very beginning.

Early reading – With revived interest in phonics instruction, a wide selection of software to promote early reading utilising synthetic phonics is now available. Clear linkages between sounds and letters on a page can be formed with ICT-based phonics books.

Learning to read is a time-consuming and challenging process, and many students struggle to concentrate when using books alone – boosting concentration and attention time is a significant benefit of ICT. Many students regard software differently than ICT, believing it to be more fascinating.

There are numerous audio-based reading programmes accessible to schools today, many of which have considerable advantages over books.

There are also several software-based reading intervention programmes available for struggling readers that can significantly enhance students' progress. Some include speech recognition software and integrated learning assessments.

Vocabulary – Interactive dictionaries can be extremely useful in the classroom. The days of having to refer to a heavy tome in the corner of the classroom are long gone, and interactive resources make critical vocabulary development easier.

Sentences – ICT facilitates word sequencing. There are numerous tools available to assist with sentence writing skills, such as Textease or Clicker, and many of them have additional speech features to help students verify their work.

Comprehension – Using ICT resources that incorporate aural and visual comprehension activities can help a student's progress significantly.

Pupils must learn to listen, which they will require in all areas of the curriculum. This can be tough if the only voice they ever hear is the teacher's.

There are numerous items available that include paper-based comprehension activities as well as sound, animations, and video. These multimedia expose students to a new world of experiences, helping them to acquire key comprehension abilities without even realising it.

Presentational software and databases expand the possibilities for composition. Mixed-mode texts can be created on paper, but with digital technology's ability to incorporate images and manipulate text, the presentation of writing can be more diversified, incorporating design characteristics that paper-based writing does not enable.

Using word processors allows students to update material without having their changes appear on the page. They don't have to worry about spelling or presentation and can instead concentrate on the substance. They can utilise a spellchecker or thesaurus to deliver information in a variety of ways.

theatre – Using ICT-based theatre in literacy sessions has the advantage of allowing students to be experimental, reflect on their learning, and alter their ideas after reflection.

Digital cameras that capture both moving and static images can substantially improve theatre procedures, particularly dialogue development.

Capturing dramatic moments on camera with freeze-frame functions and showing the images on the IWB facilitates sharing, assessing, and expanding understanding.

ICT roles and applications in early childhood education

Some of the identified roles/uses of ICT in early childhood education are as follows:

Children playing or studying with ICT (alone, with classmates, or with adults). Children, for example, may use computers to play games, listen to stories, or create pictures.

ICT is being used collaboratively by children and practitioners to scaffold children's learning.

Using the Internet to find knowledge or resources in response to a child's interest in a specific topic or notion.

Children and practitioners use ICT to document and reflect on children's learning, as well as to share children's learning with parents or other practitioners.

Taking digital images, videos, or audio recordings of activities in the early childhood education environment, for example, and examining or sharing these with parents.

Practitioners and children utilise ICT to create portfolios of children's work that can be used to assess progress in children's learning and development.

Practitioners who use information and communication technology for planning, administration, and information management.

Teachers creating personalised learning plans for children or utilising computer-based templates to plan or document children's learning (for example, using learning story templates or integrating pertinent TeWhriki concepts into children's learning records).

Making databases to save vital information about children and their families. etc

ICT may substantially boost accomplishment levels, spark innovative thinking, and encourage the development of skills that will prove important in the real world if utilised wisely and supported properly inside the school by a technician. We live in a computer age, therefore the earlier students become acquainted with technology, the better.

1.2 Of The Problem

Given the numerous benefits of using ICT in the education of young children, and the fact that the world is gradually becoming a global village,

with all economies becoming digitised, it is cause for serious concern that the educational sector in this part of the world appears to be making little effort to capitalise on the numerous opportunities presented by this illustrious and reputable sector.

There is little doubt that no nation can ever make reasonable progress outside of its education sector; therefore, it is of essential importance to always endeavour to strengthen the education sector for the overall benefit of the nation.

In light of the aforementioned realities, the researcher, having observed the numerous benefits that come with the adoption of ICT in the teaching and learning process in early childhood education classrooms,

undertook to assess the level of it's (ITC) adequacy in ECE classrooms in Oredo local government Edo State, where this research is centred, in order to aid in creating awareness/sensitization on the need for more attention to be paid to this aspect of the children's education.

1.4 Research Questions

How accessible is ICT in early childhood education and nursery classrooms?

What is the state of readiness for ICT in early childhood education and nursery classrooms in Oredo L.g.a, Edo State?

Is there a difference in the level of ICT adequacy in early childhood education and nursery classrooms in and urban schools?

Is there a difference in the level of adequacy of ICT in early childhood education and nursery classrooms based on school ownership (private versus public)?

1.5 Scope and Limitations Of The Study

The purpose of this study was to assess the level of ICT adequacy in early childhood education classrooms in Oredo local government area, Edo State.

This study's ICT of interest comprises a laptop or notebook computer, the internet, computer games, programmable toys, recording devices, and television. The scope of the research is confined to public and private nursery classes in the Oredo local government region of Edo State.

1.8 Importance of the Research

This study is extremely important, particularly for parents and teachers of preschool students, because the findings will help to sensitise them on the numerous benefits that come with the use of ICT in the education of their children/wards, allowing them to become more involved with its provision.

When this is done, it will benefit the teachers by facilitating their work, thereby increasing profficiency/productivity. It is also believed that the findings of this study would be useful to:

The Ministry of Education, where the study might be utilised to develop policies to improve early childhood education in the classroom.

Furthermore, the study will be used by the Ministry of Education and other government policymaking bodies, particularly in the measures they take to address the identified barriers to the adoption of ICT in early childhood education.

The outcomes of this study will also disclose the best techniques or procedures to be followed in order to improve the quality of early childhood education in Edo state utilising ICT; this helps to promote teachers' productivity and the overall effectiveness of the school system.

It will also act as a resource base for other academics and researchers interested in conducting additional research in this sector in the future, and if utilised, will go so far as to provide fresh explanations for the topic.

1.9 Operational Definition Of Terms

The following terminology were used during the course of this investigation, necessitating clarification in the context in which they were employed.

Things that are or can be known about a certain topic are referred to as information; communicative knowledge of anything.

The notion or state of transferring data or information between entities is referred to as communication.

ICT: An abbreviation for Information and Communication Technology, which is used in this study.

* A laptop computer, sometimes known as a notebook computer, is a tiny, portable personal computer (PC) that includes a screen and an alphanumeric keyboard.

* The Internet: This is a of interconnected computers.

*Computer Games: A computer game is an entertainment-oriented computer-controlled game in which players interact with things displayed on a screen.

* Programmable toys: These include “Bee-bots”, Roamers, Pixes, and Robots, and are appropriate for children aged three and up.

* Recording Devices: These are devices for recording or transferring sounds or images.

* Television: An image and sound reproduction device with a screen and speakers.

Technology: All of the various and usable technologies created by a culture or people.

Academic performance, often known as academic achievement, is the extent to which a student, instructor, or institution has met their short and long- educational objectives.

Preschool: Education provided to children from birth until around the age of eight years.

A school is an institution that provides learning spaces and learning settings for the instruction of students by teachers.

Learning Outcomes: Significant and necessary learning that students have achieved and can demonstrate at the end of a course or programme.

Infant/Toddler Education: A subset of early childhood education that refers to the education of children from birth to the age of two.

A classroom is a room where a group of students or pupils is taught.

Childhood is defined as the period of time between birth and adolescence.

Education is the facilitation of learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, beliefs, culture, and habits.

Urban Schools: These are schools that are located within the headquarters of the municipal government.

Rural schools are those that are located outside of the local government centre.

Public schools are those that are run by the government.

Private schools are those that are run by private bodies, organisations, or individuals.

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