The impact of information and communication technology on Nigerian children’s education.
1.1 Background of the Research
Information and communication technology is increasingly pervasive in the physical and social environments inhabited by young children. It is an integral part of most people’s private and professional lives, including those who support the learning and development of young children as parents, family members, caregivers, or early childhood educators.
In the literature, it is frequently argued that children’s early childhood education should reflect and connect to their experiences in the greater world. Information and communication technology is important in early childhood education because it already influences the people and environments surrounding the learning and well-being of young children.
Literature is largely in agreement that it is time to examine the role and potential of ICT in the early childhood education sector in order to guide future development and decision-making in this area (Biddulph, Biddulph, and Biddulph, 2003)
The majority of the literature on ICT in early childhood education strongly supports the position that technology alone should never drive the ICT development process in the sector (Downes and Fatouros, 1995). All planning for the introduction and use of ICT by children and adults in early childhood education should instead be based on a thorough comprehension of the goals, practices, and social context of early childhood education (Mitchell and Cubey, 2003). Early childhood education, at least in the United Kingdom, may be at the forefront of developing best practices in the use of ICT to support positive learning experiences for children, according to Brooker (2003).
There is now a significant emphasis on the development of ICT policy and the integration of ICT into curriculum and practice throughout the entire education sector. In primary, secondary, and tertiary education, ICT and e-learning have become essential concepts.
Policy and curriculum support for the development of ICT in the early childhood education sector have lagged in the majority of nations (Wylie, and Thompson, 2014). This circumstance is beginning to evolve. Some nations, such as Scotland, have developed ICT strategies for the early childhood education sector recently (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2011).
Researchers, academics, and practitioners in early childhood education have also published books, articles, and guidelines that provide information and guidance about ICT in early childhood and aim to assist early childhood education practitioners in making informed decisions and selections regarding ICT.
Many facets of early childhood education practice, such as children’s learning and play experiences, practitioners’ professional learning and development, and relationships and communication between early childhood centers, parents, and others, can be enhanced through the use of ICT technologies (Aladejana, 2010).
There is global support and interest in the development and integration of ICT into education policy, curriculum, and practice across the entire education sector. Today’s children live in a highly communicative environment. They encounter a wide variety of electronic and digital communication models in their daily lives (Siray-Blatchford and Siraj-Blatchford 2012).
The early literacy and play experiences of children are increasingly influenced by electronic media. In order to empower children and assist them in becoming competent and active members of their communities, they must be provided with opportunities to develop technological literacy, a new form of literacy that is increasingly regarded as an essential curriculum entitlement for any broad and balanced curriculum for the 21st century.
Today, there is considerable support and interest in the education sector for the development and incorporation of ICT into policy, curriculum, and practice. Some believe that, just as every child has the right to become literate, he or she should also have the right to become a proficient user of ICT.
Others believe that children should be exposed to ICT as a tool with limitless communication and information retrieval/sharing possibilities. The UK Foundation Stage (3 to 5 years) curriculum specifies that as part of their early childhood education, children should learn about and identify the uses of everyday technology, and have opportunities to use ICT to support their learning (Aladejana, 2012)
Policy and curriculum support for the development of ICT in the early childhood education sector is weak in the majority of nations. However, in some nations, such as the United Kingdom, early childhood education may be at the forefront of developing best practices in the use of ICT to support children’s positive learning experiences. Similarly, Scotland has developed ICT strategies for the early childhood education sector in recent years (Learning and Teaching Scotland 2013).
Researchers, academics, and practitioners in early childhood education have also published books, articles, and guidelines that provide information and guidance about ICT in early childhood and aim to assist early childhood education practitioners in making well-informed decisions and selections regarding ICT (Siraj-Blatchford and Siraj-Blatchford 2013).
It is essential to critically examine the function and potential of ICT in early childhood education in order to inform future development and policymaking. The introduction and utilization of ICT in this sector should take into account the current understanding of early childhood development and learning.
Technology alone should never be the driving force behind ICT development in the early childhood education sector. All planning for the introduction and use of ICT by children and adults in early childhood education should instead be based on a thorough comprehension of the goals, practices, and social context of early childhood education (O’Rourke and Harrison, 2009).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Some parents, educators, and children’s advocates have questioned the utility of ICT in meeting the cognitive, emotional, social, and developmental needs of young children due to its increasing prevalence. Typically, the argument centers on young children’s use of computers and computer games, and questions are raised on both accounts.
Healey (2008) warned that the use of computers is detrimental to the development and learning of young children. Noting that young children require human support and verbal interaction, she concluded that because computers do not provide intersensory experiences to enhance learning, they are unsuitable as an educational resource for children under the age of seven, because using computers before age seven “detracts from essential developmental tasks.” In light of this, the purpose of the study is to investigate the impact of information and communication technology in Early Childhood Education classrooms.
1.3 Objective of the Study
To investigate the extent to which early childhood classrooms have access to ICT facilities.
Examine the impact of ICT on the academic performance of Early Childhood Education students.
To investigate the perceived benefits of using ICT in early childhood education Education.
To identify the challenges associated with ICT use in early childhood classrooms.
1.4 Investigative Questions
In evaluating the study’s purpose, this research project addressed the following questions:
The investigation was directed by the following research questions:
What level of ICT facilities are available in early childhood classrooms?
How effective are ICT in improving the academic performance of Early Childhood Education students?
What are the perceived benefits of incorporating ICT into early childhood education?
What are the obstacles to utilizing ICT in early childhood classrooms?
1.5 Investigational Hypotheses
For the study, the following hypotheses were developed:
1.6 Scope of the Research
1.7 Importance of the Research
The significance of the study is based on the expectation that the findings will be useful to:
Moreover, both public and private schools will be able to plan systematically for the effective use of ICT in early childhood education. Other education stakeholders (parents, students, professors, support staff, and donors) will use the study as a safeguard against similar occurrences in the future.
The study will assist caregivers in limiting or closely monitoring children’s exposure to ICT that may be detrimental to their mental health in order to prevent antisocial development or behavior.
1.8 Determination of Terms
ICT: ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies) is an umbrella term that encompasses any communication device or application, including radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems, etc., in addition to the various services and applications.
Early Childhood Education: Early childhood education (ECE) is a branch of education theory concerned with the formal and informal instruction of young children up to the age of eight. Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, refers to the education of infants and toddlers between the ages of birth and two.
This refers to a piece of portable electronic equipment, such as a laptop computer or a mobile phone, that is small and easy to transport.
This is a piece of computer hardware that can be used to store information.
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The impact of information and communication technology on Nigerian children’s education.