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What Is Information Communication Technology

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									    INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES (ICTs)

       AND THE NIGERIAN TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME1



                                                 by

                          Professor Adewale O. Abolade
                       Professor of Educational Technology
                               Tel. 2348033850782



                                                 &

                         Dr. Mudasiru. O. Yusuf
                Senior Lecturer (Educational Technology)
                  Tel. 2348033950774 or 2348042670332
        e-mail: lereyusuf@yahoo.com or lereyusuf@hotmail.com



         Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology,
                               Faculty of Education,
                        University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria




1
    Published in African Journal of Educational Studies, 3 (1), 1 – 19, 2005, Faculty of Education,
    University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
Abstract

       Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become an indispensable

part of contemporary world. The school system globally has equally being affected in a

number of ways. The school, through teacher must make good use of technology so as to

prepare students for the future. This paper examines preparations for inculcating the needed

ICTs skills and knowledge in serving and pre-service teachers in Nigerian Institution. It

explores the problems, the prospcts, and model for ICTs integration in Nigeria teacher

education program.

Keywords

Information and Communication Technologies, Technology Integration, Nigerian Teacher

Education Program, Preservice Teachers, In-service Training

Introduction

       General computer literacy (operating system, word processing, spreadsheet,
       database, and telecommunication is not sufficient to prepare preservice
       teachers to use technology in their classroom. What is needed is professional
       literacy- a basic understanding of how computer and related technology can be
       used in education, as well as specific novice skills for integrating technology
       into the curriculum at the grade level and in subject preservice teachers plans
       to teach (Willis, 2001, para.10).

       This quotation underscores the need for quality teacher education program, meant to

develop in serving and trainee teachers’ quality ICT training, for successful ICTs integration

in instruction. Although ICT is becoming a household term, it has definitions as there are

researchers and educators.    Suffice to use the definition of Information technology as

enunciated in the Nigerian National Policy for Information Technology (FRN, 2001).

Information technology is defined as “computers, ancillary equipment, software and

firmware, (hardware) and similar procedures, services (including support services) and to a

related resources” (p. ix). It is also defined in the same document as “any equipment or

interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the automa tic acquisition,



                                              2
storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange,

transmission or reception of data or information” (FRN 2001, p. ix). Thus, they can be

regarded as the technologies used for accessing, processing, gathering, manipulating, and

presenting or communicating information. These could include software, hardware, and even

connectivity (Anderson & Baskin, 2002).

       Information and communication technologies are essential tools in any educational

system. They have the potentials of being used to meet the learning needs of individual

students, promote equality of educational opportunities; offer high quality learning materials,

increase self-efficacy and independence of learning among students, and improve teachers’

professional development.     Furthermore, ICTs offer great potentials for revolutionizing

school administration (Kirschner & Selinger, 2003 ; Moseley & Higgins, 1999; Williams,

2003). The Milken Exchange on Educational Technologies (1998) had noted in her synthesis

of research findings that ICT under the right condition has the following potentials in

education.

       First, it has the potential to accelerate, enrich and deepen basic skills in reading,

writing, mathematics, and the sciences. Second, it motivates and engages students in learning

as they are encouraged to be more independent and responsible for their own learning. Third,

it helps to relate academics to the practices of today’s work as the influence of ICTs is

pervasive in every field. Furthermore, it is relevant in increasing the economic viability of

tomorrow’s workforce, as students are prepared to be fluent in thinking with and using

technology in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in their work places, thereby increasing

productivity.   Also, it strengthens teaching as it provides powerful tool to teachers’

repertoires, thereby enabling them to meet individual learners’ needs. Information and

communication technologies allows for networking with other teachers, thus teachers are

more connected with each other to exchange ideas, share resources, and improve teaching



                                               3
practices . They also contribute to change in school as it can be catalyst for education.

Educators are required to rethink current practices and this inspires them to make

fundamental improvements in the system.             In addition, ICTs provide opportunity for

connecting schools to world, as learning is expanded beyond the classroom, thus, relevant

real life contact can be established. Finally, student and teachers can access information and

resources, and they can communicate with experts and peers and make useful contributions to

knowledge through electronic publications.

       In spite of the potentials of ICTs, only resourceful and competent teachers can exploit

the potentials. Kirschner and Davis (2003) identified two major frameworks for ICT use in

education. These are as core or complementary technology. Core technologies framework

refers to the principal way of organizing the learning experience. Under this framework ICTs

is the components around which all other components of the school learning are planned. On

the other hand, as complementary technologies, they are seen as optional serving a valuable

function but able to be compensated for via core technology if so needed or dropped all

together. With the benefits which will accrue to the schools there is the need to develop the

knowledge and skills of pre-service and serving teachers in the use of ICTs, so that they can

use ICTs and integrate them in their instruction.

Information and Communication Technologies and Teacher Education

       Practicing and trainee teachers need professional development program for successful

application of ICTs within the school system. Research findings have indicated that the extent

to which teachers integrate ICTs in their teaching and students’ learning is related to several

factors, among which are the teachers’ knowledge and competence. Furthermore, teachers’

ability and willingness to integrate ICTs into their teaching will largely be dependent on the

professional training and development which they receive (Pearson, 200 3; Watson, 2001;

Williams, 2003; Selinger & Austin, 2003). A In view of the importance of training to the



                                               4
development of teachers ICTs competence, educators and researchers have been concerned

about basic standard for trainee and serving teachers’ competence in the use of ICTs. These

competencies are classified into personal, subject, and teaching (Selinger & Austin, 2003)

According to them personal competence deals with skills, knowledge and understanding of

when, when not, and how to use ICTs effectively in teaching a particular subject. It

encompasses skills in the function, use and capability of ICTs in supporting the teaching

process. Subject competency deals with the knowledge of the functions, operations, use, and

features of ICTs, including speed and automation function, and how ICTs can support

teaching and learning. It also encompasses competence in subject specific ICTs courseware,

and the ways of handling information through ICTs. Finally, the teaching competency deals

with the ability to plan, prepare, teach, assess, and evaluate lessons in which ICTs could be

seen to be supporting a range of suitable learning outcomes.

       The International Society for Technology in Ed ucation (1999) outlined three basic

principles of ICTs in teacher education using the AMES white paper. These are that : ICTs

should be infused into the entire teacher’s education program, ICTs should be introduced in

context, and that students should be made to experience innovative technology support

learning environment in their teacher education program. In a synthesis of ideas emanating

from research findings across the globe Kirschner and Davis (2003) highlighted good practice

for both pre-service and in-service program for teacher training in ICTs. These are that (i)

teachers become sufficiently competent to make personal use of ICTs, (ii) competent to make

use of ICT as mindstool, (iii) became masters of range of educational paradigms that make

use of ICT, (iv) sufficiently competent to make use of ICT as a tool for teaching, (v) master a

range of assessment paradigms which make use of ICT, and (vi) understand the policy

dimension of the use of ICT for teaching and learning. These they observed were the six




                                              5
benchmark identified as making for good practices for both preservice and in-service teacher

education program.

       The competencies required by serving and pre-service teachers are further elaborated

by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE, 2003). The body noted that

educational computing and technology is an emerging field, and that the purview of the field

covers knowledge and skills about the use of computer and related technologies in delivery,

development, prescription, and assessment of instruction, effective use of computers as an aid

to problem solving, school and classroom management, educational research, electronic

information access and exchange, personal and professional productivity, and computer

science education.

       Using the aforementioned as theoretical basis, it is opposite to use North Carolina

Department of Public Instruction (2002) outline of basic and advanced competencies as the

basis of needed competencies for teachers. The department outlined nine basic competencies

and five advanced technology competencies. The nine basic competencies are: computer

operation skills, setup, maintenance, and trouble shooting; word processing/introductory

desktop publishing; spreadsheet/graphing; database, networking; telecommunications, media

communications (including image and audio processing), and multi- media integration.

Advanced competencies identified are: curriculum; subject specific knowledge; design and

management of learning environment resources; child development, learning and diversity;

and social, legal and ethical issues.

       In addition, the ISTE (2003) identified four major levels of training for teachers.

These are educational computing and technology literacy endorsement, the secondary

computer science education, endorsement, the secondary computer science education initial

degree program, and the advanced educational computing and technology leadership

program. The educational computing and technology literacy endorsement program is meant



                                              6
to prepare teachers of computer literacy and computer application. Through the courses

teachers can be furnished with general foundations and other skills to deliver instruction in

technology rich settings. The computer science education program provides content a rea and

professional education in secondary computer science. The program is meant to prepare

teachers who have primary certification in another field to add a teaching endorsement in

computer education. The computer science education initial degree program is meant to

provide program standards for preparation in computer science as the primary area of

certification. Finally, the educational computing and technology advanced program standard

is designed to prepare candidates to serve as educational computing coordinators or

specialists. These are the basic standards to the development of ICTs in teacher education

program. It is therefore, imperative to examine the Nigerian education program in line with

internationally accepted standard.

Information and Communication Technologies Components of Nigeria Teacher
Education

       Teacher education is given prominence in the Nigerian education system. This stems

from the recognition of the fact that “no education system may rise above the quality of its

teacher...” (FRN, 2004; p.39). The importance of teacher education is further exemplified in

the goals of Nigeria teacher education as enunciated in section 6B (57) a-e, of the national

policy on education (FRN, 2004). The goals are to

       (a) produce highly motivated conscientious and efficient classroom teachers
           for all levels of our education system.
       (b) encourage further the spirit of enquiring and creativity in teachers,
       (c) help teachers to fit into social life of the community and the society at
           large and enhance their commitment to national goals,
       (d) provide teachers with intellectual and professional background adequate
           for their assignment and make them adaptable to changing situations, and
       (e) enhance teachers commitment to the teaching profession (p.39).

       Information and communications technologies (ICTs) are new innovations within the

Nigerian school settings. Just like the previous innovations the national policy on education



                                             7
(1998) anticipated such and thus recognized the need for teachers to be kept abreast of new

and emerging development which may impact on the school system or the work of the

teacher. Section 8B (74 & 75) of the national policy on education (FRN, 2004) noted inter

alia.

         74: Teacher education shall continue to take cognizance of changes of changes in
             the methodology and in the curriculum. Teachers shall be regularly exposed to
             innovations in their profession.
        75: In-service training shall be developed an integral part of continuing
             education and shall also take care of all inadequacies (p.34)

        Teachers’ in-service was specifically to be encouraged for the up-grading of teacher

using educational broadcasting through radio, television and other means. This was again re-

emphasized in Teacher Registration Council Handbook (FRN, 2002) that “the best way to

raising standard of teachers is by means of constant in-service training to serving teachers”

(p.12). It is apposite of this point in time, to examine ICTs content of the present Nigeria

teacher education program.

        In Nigeria, teacher education is provided in colleges of education, faculties and

Institutes of Education of universities, National Teachers Institute and schools of education of

polytechnics. The minimum qualification for teaching is Nigeria Certificate in Education

(NCE) (FRN, 2004). The National Universities Commission (NUC) the National for colleges

of Education (NCCE), and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), accredit

teacher education program offered in universities, colleges of education, and polytechnics,

respectively.

        In those institutions students are provided with basic knowledge and skills in a

particular subject area, techniques of teaching, and knowledge of how children learn

(acquired through courses in basic education and the study of education principles (du

Boulay, 1988). The need for teachers to be versatile in the use of ICTs in the contemporary

knowledge age is recognized by Nigerian teacher education institutions. The acceptance of



                                               8
the value of ICTs in teaching and learning enge ndered the inclusion of components of ICTs

in the Nigerian teacher education program. For instance, pre-service teachers in Nigeria are

expected to offer at least 2 credits course(s) in ICT. These are GSE 107: Introduction to

Computer Studies I and GSE 108: Introduction to Computer Studies II for NCE students

(NCCE, 2002). At the University level the NUC benchmark for minimum academic standard

prescribes that all education student should offer EDU 304-ICT in Education as a 2 credits

course (NUC, 2004). For GSE 107 and 108 and EDU 304, the content area include the

meaning and types of computer, historical development of computer, classification of

computer, basic computer operation, introduction to word processing, and so on.

        While the inclusion of ICT is laudable, it should be noted, however, that the inclusion

is at best superficial when examined from the global perspective. The courses are still

inadequate for trainee teachers to model good use of ICTs in education. What is available

presently are at best rudiments of basic knowledge and skill needed by a teache r in

contemporary knowledge age. Courses should not be aimed at making trainee teachers

literate in using the computer but they should be fluent in the use of and integration of ICTs

in their instruction.

        They should be able to husband ICTs potentials to improve their own learning as life-

long learners and also be able to encourage their students to be avid users of ICTs for

learning and personal development. Student teachers need to be taught how to use a variety of

techniques and strategies for implementing ICTs effectively in their instruction

(Frederickson, 1999). Programmes designed for trainee teachers could prepare them to keep

abreast of developments in the application of ICT in education so as to advance their

profession

        Just like the Moursund and Bielefeldt (1999) had noted in their report about ICTs in

American teacher education, the general teacher-training in Nigeria teacher training



                                               9
institutions do not provide future teachers with the kind of experiences necessary to use

technology effectively in their classrooms. It is important for training institutions to provide

teacher with the requisite knowledge and skills to be able to use technology effectively.

Since new and practicing teachers will largely come in contact with new technologies they

have no experience with, they will need to be taught how to approach and, master new

technologies as well as existing technologies already in the classroom (Willis, 2001).

       Government recognized that the success of any education systems rise (and) fall on

the back of teachers. Thus, they need to be comfortable in access to and preparation for

effective use of ICTs in their schools.

Models of Teacher Preparation for Technology Integration

       Educators concerned with teachers’ competency development in ICTs integration

have discussed the major models which have been used to train teachers (Cloke & Sharif,

2001, Fredrickson, 1999, Watson 2001). These models involve the necessary stages of

orientation, adoption, evaluation, innovation, and institutional (Watson 2001). He identified

five approaches to in-service training of teachers are the home grown expert, the comfortable

shoes’ approach, let them struggle, and the Killer application.         Home grown e xperts

developed competencies personally, this reduce money to be spent on training of teachers.

The comfortable shoe approach involves a lot of demonstration to students which are later

replicated by students. As for the let them struggle, students are shown samples and then the

teacher steps back to let them struggle to master the skill, while killer application involves

some curriculum application which the use of ICT is compelling that teachers cannot help but

be excited by it or at least compelled by it.

       Frederickson (1999) identified three major models for preparing pre-serve teachers to

teach in a technology rich environment. Those are: single-course model, integrated model,

and combined model.        Using the single course model teacher training institution teach



                                                10
technology using an isolated course method. In such courses students are presented with basic

instruction in a one semester three credit hour course.        Students are taught basics of

productivity or application software (word processing, database, spreadsheet, etc). This is

called traditional computer literacy. In other instances, software evaluation, web uses,

electronic presentation, among others, are taught. This is the approach used in Nigeria as

recommended by NUC and NCCE in Nigerian teacher education programme.

         Integrated model involves students being introduced into technology through

integration of ICTs in various courses that is ICTs are integrated across the curriculum.

Using this approach the teacher models the use of technology. The final model the combined

model which is an eclectic application of the two previous models, this is called the combined

model.     It involves the combination of the two approaches where basic instructional

technology skills and teaching skills are taught generally in one or two credits course, and

this is followed by technology integration in other courses the student teacher take.

         In addition, Frederickson (1999), suggested that trainee teachers should be trained

using various strategies like field based experience in technology rich environment,

cooperative learning, electronic field trip, guided inquiry, and so on. It is essential that

serving and trainee teachers should be given adequate ICTs training using the combined

model, particularly in pre-service teacher education programme.

Proble ms Militating Against Effective Integration of ICTs in Nige rian Teacher
Education

         There are certain factors which hinder teacher training institutions in Nigeria in

providing quality ICTs knowledge and skills for trainee teachers. Some of these include lack

of technically experienced lecturers, limited ICTs facilities and infrastructure, inadequate

course content for ICTs training, lack of clear direction in the Nigerian National Policy for

Information Technology (NNPIT) on teacher education, lack of leadership by professional

organisations, and problem of electricity. These factors are e nunciated as follow:


                                               11
Lack of technically experienced lecturers : Most of the lecturers in Nigerian universities,

colleges of education, and polytechnics do not have competence in the use or integration of

ICTs in their instruction. Majority of lecturers who had taken tenured job were taught

without ICTs and they have not developed competence in the use of ICTs, thus they cannot

model good use of technology (Idowu , Adagunodo & Popoola, 2003). Even in the USA,

faculty lecturers have been shown not to be better than their students in ICTs usage

(Moursund & Bielefeld 1999).

Limited ICTs facilities: Limited fund available to higher institutions have hindered the

provision of needed facilities and infrastructure to promote ICTs usage. Most faculties of

education and schools of education in Nigeria do not have dedicated laboratory for ICTs

training. Classrooms are equally not equipped for ICTs usage. Thus, teacher trainers and

trainee teachers do not have access to ICTs within their schools. The few available ones are

used mostly for administrative purposes.

Inadequate course content for ICTs : The curriculum for teacher education is centralised

based on NUC draft benchmark or NCCE minimum academic standard. The content and

strategy are based on single course model. It is meant to teach trainee teacher about the

computer, not teaching them how to learn or teach through the computer. While this is good

for introductory stage its outcomes are very limited. They cannot furnish trainee teachers

with the needed skills and knowledge to integrate ICTs in their instruction.

Lack of clear direction on teacher training on ICTs in the NNPIT. The national policy

on information technology (FRN, 2001), is supposed to give clear directions for successful

use of ICTs in schools. The policy only made superficial reference to education at the

mission, goals, and strategy levels. There is no sectoral reference to education. Education is

subsumed under human resource development. Since no clear information or reference is




                                              12
made to teacher development the document does not give focus to teacher education in the

implementation of ICTs in Nigeria.

Lack of leadership by professional organisation:            In advance countries professional

organisations like International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Association for

the Advancement of computer in Education, Milken Exchange on Education Technology,

play pivotal roles in promoting ICTs integration in schools, and also in setting standards for

teacher training. However, professional organisations like computer Association of Nigeria

(CAN), National Association for Educational Media and Technology (NAEMT), computer

professionals, and so on, have not impacted on the use of ICTs in schools, the promotion of

ICTs in teacher education, or in setting academics or professional standards on ICTs. This

lack of leadership creates vacuum which militates against quality ICTs component of teacher

education in Nigeria

Proble m of electricity: ICTs equipment are electrical equipment that require electricity for

operation. Most rural areas of Nigeria do not have electricity facility and in urban area

electricity supply is epileptic, and this reduces the life span of hardware and also militates

against effective usage. Even enthusiastic teacher educators and students who have access to

computers may be debarred from using them as a result of power outage.

Lack of access to ICTs in trainee teachers’ field experience. Practical teaching practice is

an indispensable aspect of teacher education. During their field experience trainee teacher do

not have access to technologically enriched classroom. Rather they are exposed to classroom

where they use chalk board and talk. This does not give trainee teachers opportunity to

explore the little knowledge, gained in the area of ICTs.

Conclusions

       It is widely acknowledge, by the government, educational agencies (NCCE,NBTE,

and NUC) and teacher training institutions that training teachers in ICTs knowledge and



                                              13
skills and appropriate pedagogical approaches is essential. However, the present course

content, 2 credit course (s) are grossly inadequate to provide quality ICTs integration skills

needed for the 21st century. The content as at now is at best minimum level of traditional

computer literacy. There is urgent need for curricular reforms so that more single courses are

introduced and complemented by integration of ICTs in all courses. This will ensure that

teachers acquire their knowledge and skill in an organic whole manner (Moseley & Higgins,

1991).

         Practising teachers need to be given in-service training to make them relevant to

contemporary knowledge age and thus acquire skills in the area of ICTs and for them to be

able to husband the potentials of ICTs in their teaching tasks. Such training should

incorporate the four guiding principles identified by Hughes (2004). These are connecting

ICTs learning to professional knowledge, privileging subject matter and pedagogical content

connection, using technology to challenge professional knowled ge and teaching many

technologies. They will be able to model good use of ICTs for students who are being

prepared for tomorrow’s work places, where ICTs will be indispensable.

         Teacher trainers would need to be skilled to impart ICTs training on student teachers.

Teacher trainers must be made to undergo compulsory ICTs training to the level of advanced

application as identified by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Through

this they can make personal use of ICTs, model good use of ICTs for trainee teachers, and

also integrate ICTs in their teaching and learning.

         Since research studies have established that ICTs use and integration in teaching is

dependent on access (Anderson & Baskin, 2002, Frederickson, 1999, Watson, 2001), it is

important that ICTs facilities and equipment should be provided in teacher training

Institutions. Secondary schools should also be equipped so that trainee-teachers are provided

with technology rich environment during their teaching practice. School authorities, local



                                               14
education authority, and state administration should develop technology planning for the

development of quality teacher’s education.         Since, teacher education is important to

successful use of ICT teachers should be motivated to develop interest in ICT use in school.

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