This study examines A Comparative Assessment of the Use of "ICT" in Teaching Biology in Some Selected Secondary Schools in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State. It investigates the use, importance and significance of ICT in teaching Biology in secondary schools in Mushin LGA of Lagos. The purpose of this research was to determine students performance in Biology within a non-ICT equipped secondary school system; to determine students performance in biology within an ICT equipped secondary school system; to account for the disparity in students performance within the two contexts of secondary schools if there is any and indicate the serious need for a comprehensive ICT-aided teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Nigeria. Two questions were stated for this study, the research design was comparative research method in nature. The data used was WAEC results of three public and three private senior secondary schools for three consecutive years (2013, 2014 and 2015).The data collected was analysed using simple percentage. Based on this findings from the study the following conclusions were drawn that if ICT facilities are made available, accessible and effectively used in relevant topics by the teachers, teaching and learning would be much easier and effective, Thereby improving the academic performance of students in the subject.Recommendations were made on the basis of the findings of this study which include the following: More trained computer teachers should be employed and those science teachers who are not computer literate should be mandated to go for computer training; government should make it mandatory for science and computer teachers to always; attend seminar, workshop, conference and refresher course in computer;government should provide more jobs for young unemployed graduates as a measure of security for the nation; There should be a serious punishment for any individual or group who mismanaged or misappropriate money meant for education; and government should make it mandatory for science and computer teachers to always; attend seminar, workshop, conference and refresher course in computer.
1.1. Background to the Study
Biology is a widely studied subject. The knowledge of it calls for a balanced secondary school education. Biology as a school subject may be a factor in improving the lives of students and their immediate environment.
In a developing country like Nigeria, the use of "ICT" in the teaching of Biology should be promoted in all secondary schools, since the national policy on education states that "the broad aims of secondary education within overall National objectives should be preparation or higher education". In specific terms, secondary education should equip students so that they can be able to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) has positively transferred effectively and efficiently every aspect of human lives such as Education, Aviation, Agriculture, Manufacturing etc. In Nigeria, it appears that most students and schools lack facilities such as Information Communication Technology facilities, the influence of media devices such as projectors, perhaps may improve the teaching-learning process of the subject, Biology.
ICT is an acronym Information Communication Technology. They are a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store and manage information. These technologies include computers, the internet, broadcasting technologies(radio and television), and telephony(Volman,2005).In recent years, there has been a groundswell of interest in how computers and the internet can best be harnessed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education at all levels and in both formal and non-formal settings (www.en.m.wikibooks.org). But ICTs are more than just these technologies; older technologies such as the television, radio and telephone which are now given less attention, have a longer and richer history as instructional tools.
The use of computers and the internet is still in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high cost of access. ICTs are making dynamic changes in society. They are influencing all aspects of life. The influences are felt more and more at schools. ICTs provide both students and teachers with more opportunities in adapting teaching and learning to individual needs, society is forcing schools to aptly respond to this technical innovation. Tinio (2002), states the potentials of ICTs in increasing access and improving relevance and quality of education in developing countries. He further stated that ICTs greatly facilitate the acquisition and absorption of knowledge, offering developing countries unprecedented opportunities to enhance educational systems, improve policy formulation and execution, and widen the range of opportunities for biology and the poor. One of the greatest hardships endured by the poor, and by many others, who live in the poorest countries, is their sense of isolation and ICTs can open access to knowledge in ways unimaginable not long ago.
In Watson’s (2001) description, ICTs have revolutionized the way people work today and are now transforming education systems. As a result, if schools train students with yesterday’s skills and technologies, they may not be effective and fit in tomorrow’s world. This is a sufficient reason for ICTs to win global recognition and attention. For instance, ICTs are dependable tools in facilitating the attainment of one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is achievement of Universal Basic Education by the year 2015. Kofi Anan, the former United Nations Secretary General, points out that in order to attain the goal of Universal Primary Education by 2015; we must ensure that information and communication technologies unlock the door of education systems. This indicates the growing demand and increasingly important place that ICTs could receive in education. Since ICTs provide greater opportunities for students and teachers to adjust learning and teaching to individual needs, society is forcing schools to give appropriate response to this technical innovation.
The uses of ICT is making major differences in the learning of students and teaching approaches. Schools in the western world invested a lot for ICT infrastructures over the last 20 years, and students use computers more often and for a much larger range of applications (Volman, 2005). Several studies reveal that students using ICT facilities mostly show higher learning gains than those who do not use.
ICT offers an array technical tools that improve the academic experience, creating a potential for variety, diversity and better organization in education. Like all other courses of study, Biology Education offers a creative field on which the opportunities offered by ICT can be explored.
Scientific research especially in the 21st century has greatly increased the understanding of the world around us. This has brought a lot of changes in different areas of human endeavor, like in the area of Education, Health, Power, Industry, Environment etc. It has promoted better living and good practices. There has been tremendous increase in research which led to a lot of discoveries in science and technology. All these innovations and developments are interrelated and dependent on each other. Natural science has witnessed a lot of improvement recently and science in this century had displayed a lot in the area of innovation and technology and has shown a great potential in transforming human life and the world around him. The development of science and technology is of paramount importance to the society and the nation at large, that is why a lot of emphasis is being placed on it recently in our schools.
It is no gainsaying that biology cannot thrive in this modern day without the informative and communicative edge neither can biology education graduates be globally competitive without having being imbued with ICT skills. It is against this background that this researcher investigates the regularity and effectiveness of ICT use among biology education students.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
There is a need for steady evaluation of the impact of ICT in the teaching of essential subjects such as Biology.
It has fully come to the attention of biology education stakeholders, the invaluable importance of ICT tools such as computers, audio-visual equipment, internet facilities etc. to the course. They are however not sure whether this technological opportunity is being most effectively and optimally exploited and explored. Information Communication Tools are an integral part of biology and biology education and their extensive use, especially in recent years, is gradually being implemented in undergraduate training. Furthermore, many universities and their libraries across Nigeria are rapidly incorporating ICT tools such as computer and internet into their programmes for the use of students. The problem of this study is therefore to investigate the effectiveness and regularity of ICT use among biology education students.
This is with a view to ascertaining the level of success recorded in terms of students performance in Biology with the increased wave of computer based education system in Nigeria.
1.3. Aim and Objectives
The aim of the present study focuses on the impact of ICT in the teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools.
The specific objectives are:
i. To determine students performance in Biology within a non-ICT equipped secondary school system;
ii. To determine students performance in biology within an ICT equipped secondary school system.
iii. To account for the disparity in students performance within the two contexts of secondary schools if there is any and
iv. Indicate the serious need for a comprehensive ICT-aided teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Nigeria.
1.4. Research Question
i. How relevant is the use of ICT in teaching Biology as a secondary school subject?
ii. Do students perform better when they are taught Biology by the means of information communication technology (ICT).
1.5 Scope of the Study/Delimitation
Six secondary schools in Mushin Local Government Areas of Lagos State were used for this study as time and cost did not permit examining all schools within the selected local government areas.