Before we talk about how to implement Educational technology in Nigeria, there is a need to understand what it means. Educational Technology is the utilization of tools such as online tools and resources for the benefit of developing education. Along with using tools, educational technology evaluates both theoretical and practical applications of these tools for learning.
Establishing educational technology in a school makes learning more engaging. Students will be interested to know more, because their lessons are now interactive with photos, videos and slides, all thanks to technology and how it is being utilized in the educational sector.
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One of the biggest advantages of educational technology, is its use for the teachers, with the proper tools and technology they will find their job becomes exponentially easier. They will be more efficient and save time and energy, and rather focus on what really matters, which is educating the child.
Technology has always had that impact on most if not all aspects of our lives, education is no exception. But how do we implement it in schools in Nigeria? How does one implement educational technology for primary or secondary schools?
Before we answer that, you should be aware that there are some factors one must put into consideration before implementing educational technology. Let’s take a quick at them look below.
There are a few factors that may affect the implementation of educational technology in schools so that they rely on your judgement and assessment before they are put in place.
Because sometimes, introducing teachers or students to new technology and getting them to use it is not as straightforward as it seems.
The first thing that should be on your mind should be the cost implications. It is crucial to consider this because the cost of machines, tools and other resources can determine the success of the operation.
Along with these, you will also have to consider the cost of maintenance and managing of the tools.
In general, to implement educational technology is to spend some money, it doesn’t come cheap. For instance, if the Government decides to move the secondary curriculum to only be accessed via a laptop, they will need to equip every school teacher with a laptop, and that is a huge expense.
So, the budget is incremental to the success of the implementation of educational technology in Nigeria, technology costs money.
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Believe it or not, some technology can turn out to be useless to your cause, you have to find a tool that will gain positive results at the end of the day.
Some technologies are just not ready to be used or adopted, it could be a great innovation but only time will tell if it will be useful. That is an undeniable fact of reality. Even from history, you will see that the computer was not readily adopted by Governments and businesses, it took a few decades before it became what it is today.
Educational technology is meant to drive progress in learning, it is meant for the students and instructors, emphasis on ‘students and instructors’. For the students it is supposed to make learning more engaging and efficient.
For the instructors or teachers, it is supposed to make their work easier. Machines and tools and the internet etc. are good and all but how is it going to affect their performance? Their behavior, and are they going to embrace it fully? Those have to be put into consideration. A piece of technology has to be meaningful to the students and teachers, as they are the ones who will be using it.
Don’t give them something too difficult to operate, or something too impractical or that wastes a teacher’s time instead of saving it.
There numerous ways to help the school system to achieve its best, if we implement educational technology we can do just that. Students and teachers need these technologies to stay with the times and to match the pace of their learning with the current developments and advancements.
Here are some of the ways to implement educational technology in Nigeria.
Students are the whole reason behind the design and implementation of educational technology, therefore the tools and resources have to be student-centric, i.e. to keep their motives in mind.
Showing them how to make use of the resources available to them will not only teach them about it but it will also encourage them to use it to solve their problems.
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So that a new textbook will not remain abandoned, computers will have someone to actually use them for simple school projects and not just locked up in the school lab, and so on.
Introducing teachers to new outstanding resources has always been a great motivation for educational success, but at the end of the day, that success gradually becomes a failure as the tools given to the teachers is not used by them to further their teaching cause.
This happens mostly because the teachers don’t know how to use them properly, so they simply abandon the tools. You have to understand that most of the teachers were not born with devices in their hands unlike their students who find the use of them very easy.
So teachers need to be trained too if educational technology is to be implemented properly.
It is not enough to simply bring a tool or implement a new policy in a school and leave them to their own devices, a continuous assessment of the progress (or lack thereof) is needed.
That is part of what educational technology is, inclusive, is the management and evaluation of past, present and future tools and resources to be utilized for learning.
This goes without saying, but the support of the Federal and State Governments is needed to make sure educational technology is Implemented strongly and without delay.
There are numerous government agencies and programs that were built specifically to cater to the needs of education in Nigeria.
Computers and android mobile phones can do the work of ten men or more, they have made work for schools and teachers a lot easier because nowadays, they can simply track the activities of every student, and measure their progress using the data they have about them.
A type of computer application software known as SaaS is used by schools to gather all their data in one place. For one, it is easier to manage that way, and two, it is mighty efficient.
Implementing any of these is no easy task, but once it is done properly, you will begin to see the results, and students and teachers can now reap the benefits of using some of the latest tools and resources the 21st century can offer.
By Hafiz Mahmud