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Background of the study
Improving the quality of education through diversification of contents, methods and promoting experimentation, innovation, the diffusion and sharing of information and best practices as well as policy dialogue are UNESCO’s strategic objectives in education UNESCO (2002).
According to Kahn, (2008) education is the knowledge of putting one’s potentials to maximum. It also helps man to think and make meaningful decision. Hence, man training is only complete when he is educated because; it makes man a right thinker. Unless the citizenry of any nation is properly educated, they remain unable to receive information from the outside world, with which to acquaint them with the knowledge of the past and receive necessary information about the present.
Education maybe formal, informal or non formal. While formal education is a classroom based provided by trained teachers. With a variety of specialized programmes and institutions for full time technical and professional training.
Informal education is a general term for education outside of a standard school setting. It is the wise, respectful and spontaneous process of cultivating learning. It works through conversation, exploration and enlargement of experience. It happens in after- school programmes, community- based organizations, museums, libraries or at home.
Non- formal education is an organized activity to acknowledging the importance of education, learning and training which takes place outside established educational institution. All the types education are required in serving the purpose of eradicating illiteracy whether conducted in a conventional education system or a non- conventional education system. Hence, whether in conventional or non- conventional institutions, teachers need communication technologies to an extend in delivering their lectures to students. In this case however, factors like space, time, place and distance are no longer barriers to any interested learner. Hence, the emergence and re-amplification of the terms “autonomous learning”, “distance learning” or “open learning”. To be autonomous means to be self governed and to be acting independently or having the freedom to do so. Hence, an autonomous learner is one who controls his or her learning, Robert (2005). It means the learners have a reasonable responsibility for planning and organizing their learning.
Distance learning on the other hand is a form of learning that is done by student at a distance from the tutor and the classroom through the reading of books at home or any place of convenience. There is more of distance teaching today than in the past (Robert, pg.8). this is because, the development of educational technologies makes it less important to be together all the time.
The conventional education is teaching- intensive, while the application of technologies in education can lead to economy of scale, and most education process is age related and favours more of the young, but for the new technology they provides learning opportunities for all ages.
Johnson, (2008) states that “the rapid development of technologies in information dissemination has continued to have a major influence in the livelihood of people across the world, it has therefore, turned the world to a global village, and even more, a living room.
Hence, the quest to finding out the extent of utilization of these technologies amongst not only the teachers of the National Open University of Nigeria, Kaduna Study Center, but their students as well, as it applies to distance learning.
Statement f the Problem
The open university in Britain and the university of British Columbia began a revolution of using the internet to deliver learning making heavy use of web-based training and online discussion between students. Practitioners such as Harasim (1995) put heavy emphasis on the use of learning network.
With the advent of world wide web in the 1990s, teachers embarked on the method using emerging technologies to employ multi-object oriented sites, which are text-based, online virtual reality systems, to create course websites along with simple sets of instructions for its students.
By 1994, the first online high school had been found. Educators could simply record lessons live and upload them on website page, there are currently wide varieties of online education that are reachable for colleges and university students that enrolled in online and distance learning programmes. This form of high learning allowed for greater flexibility by easing the communication between teachers and students, now teachers receive quick lecture feedback from their students.
Students growing up in this digital age have extensive exposure to a variety of media used in distance learning such as educational broadcast television, EDUSAT (educational satellite), E-mail (electronic mail),video cassette, videoconferencing/interactive video, the internet, teleconferencing, CD-ROM/ audio cassette, etc.
With the advent of this study system in Nigeria, and availability of the internet services, the National Open University students can adequately receive lectures from any distance they find themselves. However, this cannot be achieved without the use of such technologies mentioned above.
Purpose of the Study
This study seeks to investigate the extent of the utilization of educational technologies in the teaching and learning in the National Open University of Nigeria, Kaduna study centre, Kaduna.
Specifically, the study seeks to:
1. determine the most used technology in teaching and learning.
2. determine the resources that are more adequately accessible to both the teachers and students.
3. establish the benefits of these technologies to the teachers and students.
4. establish the accessibility of the networking system.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to the National Open University of Nigeria, Kaduna study centre, as it will assist them in the proper dissemination of information, using the most common and adequate medium amongst the technologies to their students. The findings of this study will also be of benefit to students that undertake to study programmes online by intimating them on the various technologies, thereby giving them options to select which one could be the best for their usage.
For the purpose of this study to achieve the stated objective, the following research questions were answered;
1. How can the most used technology in teaching and learning be determined?
2. What are the resources that are more adequately accessible to both teachers and students?
3. How can these technologies be of benefit to both the teachers and students?
4. How accessible is the networking system used?
Scope of the Study
The study seeks to identify the utilization of educational technologies amongst teachers and students in distance learning. Specifically, the study is restricted to distance learning studies, and in particular the National Open University Of Nigeria, Kaduna study centre.
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