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1.1 Background to the Study.
Educational technology is an interdisciplinary field which is comprised of a diverse set of disciplines and knowledge domains (Bhagwan, 2005). It is mainly concerned with the use of various forms of instructional modes that aids in simplifying abstract concepts during the teaching and learning process. Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) refers to the use of a computer as an instructional material in the teaching learning process. In the process, the teacher gives learners computer directions in a programming language, use the computer as a tool using in-built software such as word processors and spread sheets or as a tutor the learners take drills, practice, tutorial, use exploration tools or simulation, and at times test using the computer (Deepark & Turner, 2006).
Audio-visual education a branch of education technology emerged as a discipline in the 1920s, when film technology was developing rapidly (Hughes, 1962). A visual instruction movement arose, which encouraged the use of visual materials to make abstract ideas more comprehensible to students. As sound technology improved, the movement became known as audio-visual instruction. Educators at that time viewed audio-visuals only as aids to teachers. Not until World War II, when the armed services used audio-visual materials to train large numbers of persons in short periods of time, did the potential of these devices as primary sources of instruction become apparent (Blomeyer and Martin (1991). In the 1950s and '60s, developments in communications theory and systems concepts led to studies of the educational process, its elements, and their interrelationships (Hughes, 1962). Among these elements are the teacher, the teaching methods, the information conveyed, the materials used, the student, and the student's responses. As a result of these studies, the field of audio-visuals shifted its emphasis from devices and materials to the examination of the teaching-learning process. The field was now known as audio-visual communications and educational technology, and audio-visual materials were viewed as an integral part of the educational system (Laswell, & Dwight, 1948).
As the technology improved, educational capabilities increased correspondingly. According to Deepark and Turner (2006), the emergence of inexpensive computer technology and mass storage media, including optical videodiscs and compact disks, has given instructional technologists better tools with which to work. Compact disks (the CD-ROM and CD-I) are used to store large amounts of data, such as encyclopaedias or motion pictures. In the new interactive delivery stations with computers and CD-ROM, CD-I, or videodiscs, a student who is interested in a particular topic can first scan an electronic encyclopaedia, then view a film on the subject or look at related topics at the touch of a button (Garrison & Anderson, 2003). These teaching stations combine the advantages of reference materials, still pictures, motion pictures, television, and computer-aided instruction. With even newer technologies now being developed, such learning stations are now commonplace in homes for both entertainment and educational purposes. According to Nievergelt (1986) in Hung and Khine (2006); the appearance of microcomputers has initiated graphic animation and implementation of an increased variety of instructional strategies, such as simulation and modelling. Significant CAL projects emerging from these efforts in the early 1970’s included the Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching operations (Sherwin, 1978).
Various authors document the immense benefits that these materials bring to the classroom. For instance, Porzio (1995) in a research finding published in Hung and Khine (2006) asserts that calculus students who used mathematica (a Mathematics software) were better able to make connections between numerical, graphical and symbolic representations than students learning via traditional methods such as lecture method, historical method, book and pencil exercises and teacher-centred teaching. The assertion is supported by Roddick, (1995) in Hung and Khine (2006) who found that engineering mechanics students who used mathematica solved problems requiring calculus more conceptually when compared to students learning via traditional methods such as lecture method, historical method, book and pencil exercises and teacher-centred teaching focusing only on the procedures
Snir (1996) in Hung and Khine (2006) argues that computers can make a unique contribution to the clarification and correction of commonly held misconceptions of phenomenon by visualizing those ideas. For instance, he suggests that the computer can be used to form a representation for the phenomenon in which all the relational and Mathematical wave equations (trigonometry iii) are embedded within the program code and reflected on the screen by the use of graphics and visuals. Such use, according to Anderson, Boyle and Yost, (1986) in Hung and Khine (2006) makes the computer an efficient tool to clarify scientific understanding of waves and other Mathematical topics.
Although there are numerous research on the positive impacts of computer-Assisted Learning (CAL) in foreign countries and higher institutions of learning including institutes of technology, polytechnics and universities in Kenya, the high school Mathematics teachers have done very little to introduce the same in their classroom teaching and learning process. With the Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) provided by the Kenya Government, secondary schools are increasingly acquiring computers for computer science subject which is an optional subject, thereby ensuring that the infrastructure is put in place awaiting implementation (MOEST, 2003-2004).
It is common knowledge that Mathematics and Sciences subjects (Biology, Chemistry and
Physics) are a thorn in the ‘flesh’ of most high school students in Kenya (Chiriswa, 2002; Kwaka, 2003). This fact is illustrated by the persistent poor performance by most of the students in the subjects. The dismal performance, according to most researchers could be attributed to teacher factors, student factors and inadequate access to or use of instructional materials among others (Ogembo, 2012).
B.F. Skinner’s (1950) concept of programmed instruction emphasized the need for total educational plan involving, identifying objectives; arranging subject matter into logical sequences; preparing and testing instructional programs; and then implementing, testing, and revising them. Skinner shifted the emphasis in education away from the teacher's presentation of information and toward the learner's behaviour and, especially, reinforcement of that behaviour. His teaching machines provided programmed instruction, which allowed students to proceed through lessons by small steps, at their own pace, following an orderly sequence, and receiving immediate reinforcement for every correct response. Skinner's work emphasized the use of audio-visuals, which are well-illustrated in facilitating individualized learning. This is the concept that computer use in the teaching and learning of Mathematics was hoped, would bring to the Kenyan classroom sessions.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Mathematics has been recognized worldwide over the ages of civilization as a vital tool for survival particularly in areas of science and technology. Mathematics education therefore has increasingly become science and technological oriented. The 21st century has witnessed an advanced development in information communication and technology (ICT) through the introduction of undersea fibre optic cables which link the whole world through the computer (internet), making the world a global village (Deepark and Turner, 2006). Further to these, there has been an increase in access to computers due to tremendous advancement witnessed in computer hardware and software engineering which has resulted in the lowering of the prices of desktop and laptop computers (Garrison and Anderson, 2003).
Due to the initiative of the Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders, there has been massive rollout of computer hardware and software to learning institutions (MOEST, 2003-2004). This rollout, it was hoped would enable the learners in using the computers during their learning sessions be at par with the rest of the world. Education sector professionals were particularly keen to adopting the technology of using computers in teaching and learning particularly of Mathematics and Sciences due to insight on its benefits in educational media instructions. Empirical data from researchers such as, Nievergelt (1986) in Hung and Khine (2006) and Bollinger (1986) have documented many potential benefits of using computers in Mathematics education, an area that has presented a lot of challenges to learners particularly at the secondary school level. However, information obtained from most learners and their teachers in secondary schools particularly in Kisii central district indicate that most schools are yet to integrate the use of computers in teaching and learning of Mathematics. This study therefore sought to investigate the factors affecting use of computers in teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom StateKenya to document the challenges that might still be prevailing in our learning institutions.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The aim of this study was to contribute to an improved Mathematics teaching and learning environment at secondary school level. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the factors affecting use of computers in teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State.
1.4 Objectives of the Study.
The overall objective of this study was to investigate the barriers to the acquisition of computers skills in teaching and learning mathematics in secondary schools in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State
The study was guided by the following specific objectives.
i. To find out the current status of computer models and mathematics computer software resources.
ii. To establish the difficulties teachers face when using computers in teaching and learning mathematics.
iii. To establish the challenges students face when using computers in learning mathematics.
iv. To give recommendations on using computers in teaching and learning mathematics.
1.5 Research Questions
i. What models of computers and mathematics computer software are available for use in schools?
ii. What difficulties do teachers face when using computers in teaching and learning mathematics?
iii. What challenges do students face when using computers in learning mathematics?
iv. What recommendations may be given on the usage of computers in teaching and learning mathematics?
1.6 Significance of the Study.
The study will be useful and will make a major contribution in providing information on the factors that affect the use of computers in teaching and learning mathematics in secondary schools. First and foremost, as the implementers of all research inputs related to academic excellence in schools, Mathematics teachers will find much assistance in the findings. The findings will provide the teachers with appropriate information on using computers in teaching and learning Mathematics in secondary schools in order to enhance the performance of their students in the subject.
Secondly, students of Mathematics have a responsibility of responding to the learning activities and utilization of time for proper guidance. The findings will increase students’ awareness of the use of computers as a medium of teaching and learning mathematics which will lead to improved learning strategies with modern technology and achievement in mathematics.
Thirdly, policy makers will use the findings to review the existing policies especially on teacher training on computer skills with a view of guiding them on using computers as a medium of teaching and learning. The findings will also assist in formulation of policy guidelines on using computers as a medium of teaching and learning in all secondary schools of not only Mathematics but other subjects as well.
Fourthly, educational administrators are charged with the responsibility of monitoring learning programmes in schools. The findings will help them to ensure appropriate and meaningful computer instructions in Mathematics and other subjects as used in secondary schools. The results will also help the Government to identify and plan administrative issues related to imports, marketing and access to computers and computer software in order to enable students’ access quality education.
Lastly, the study will provide an insight into the Kenya’s perspective of B.F. Skinner’s programmed instruction with reference to the factors affecting the use of computers as a medium of teaching and learning in the Kenyan education system. In addition, the study will contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of instructional technology and help stimulate further research in computer applications and other related fields.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study was limited to a sample of schools in Uyo metropolis, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria because it offered a variety of schools: district schools both mixed and single (boys and girls), private schools, provincial and National schools for the study to be carried. The study focused on Mathematics teachers, principals and Mathematics students. The researcher was also familiar with the locality.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The limitations of the study included the ever changing technology on computer hardware and software resources, inadequate literature addressing use of computers in teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools in Kenya and insufficient funds. The study only took place in Uyo metropolis , Akwa Ibom State due to time and money constraints.
Sample size was nineteen schools to represent the whole district.
1.9 Assumptions of the Study.
The study was based on the following assumptions.
i. All respondents were co-operative and provided reliable responses.
ii. All respondents were aware of the computers and computer software materials that were necessary in secondary schools iii. All respondents were computer literate.
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