The importance of educational technology in the educational sector cannot be over emphasized. The growth of educational technology has the potentials to transform the educational standard of Nigeria at all levels. Before going further in defining Educational Technology, we need to asquint ourselves with what Educational Technology entails.
Educational Technology is the use of tools in learning, it has to do with tools, such as media, networking hardware and machine as well as theoretical methods for its application. Educational technology is not restricted to high technology, it has become an important part of our society today.
Educational technology includes e-learning, instructional technology, information and communication technology (ICT), education technology (Ed Tech), multimedia learning, web-based training (WBT), computer-based training (CBT), digital education etc. these descriptive terms are more restrictive than ‘‘educational technology’’ in that they individually emphasize a digital approach or methods, while Educational technology, refers to the use of both educational theories and physical hardware.
Educational Technology as defined by Richey, is ‘‘the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by
creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources’’.
As such, educational technology refers to methods applied to education science such as equipment, as well as procedures that are derived from theoretical, or scientific research that covers several domains including learning theory, computer-base training, online learning and in cases where mobile technologies are used (m-learning).
Educational Technology which is sometimes shortened as Edu Tech or Ed Tech is a wide field with many conflicting definitions.
- • G.O.M Leith: ‘‘Educational technology is the systematic application if scientific knowledge about teaching-learning conditions of learning to improve the efficiency of teaching and training (Leith, 1967).’’
- • Shiv K. Mitra: ‘‘Educational technology can be conceived as a science of techniques and methods by which educational goals could be realised (Mitra,1968:4).’’
- • S.S. Kulkarni: ‘‘educational technology may be defined as the application of the law as well as recent discoveries of science and technology to the process of education (Kulkarni, 1969).’’
- • I.K Davies: ‘‘Educational technology is concerned with the problems of education and training context and it is characterized by the disciplined and systematic approach to the organization of resources for learning (Davies, 1971).’’
- • Scottish Council for Educational Technology: ‘‘Educational technology is a systematic approach to designing and evaluating learning and
- teaching methods and methodologies and to the application and exploitation of media and the current knowledge of communication techniques in education, both formal and informal (cited in, Tucker 1979:160).’’
In respect to the definition listed above, there exist wide differences of opinions as regard the definition of the tern Educational Technology. These definition covers a whole range of educational technology activities from analytical methods of learning and teaching to Audio-visual communication and mass media technology.
Educational technology tries to discuss the concept of teaching analysis of the teaching process, levels of teaching, theories of teaching, the concept of learning, and the relationship between learning and teaching in order to attain optimal educational level. Educational Technology has developed in many countries decades ago, owning to the fact that it has helped in building their educational systems.
In Nigeria, Educational Technology is still at its infant stage. Most of the books on Educational Technology are written by foreign authors thereby citing foreign examples when illustrating an idea which are not relevant to our educational systems. Over the years, Nigeria has gone through educational transition in the field of Educational Technology, this is because of its importance and role in the development of the Nigerian educational system.
The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has developed a 9-year basic Educational Curriculum for the distribution
to schools. This curriculum laid emphasis on Science and Technology. Upon the implementation of this curriculum, it will help a great deal in the use of educational technology tools in the Primary, Secondary schools and also the Tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The continuous development of education with the use of Edu Tech, has made students who graduated from high school apply for Educational Technology in the university level in order to improve the level of development in Nigerian. Nigeria now have institutions offering Educational Technology as a course and with little Edu Tools to make the course worthwhile. Example of such university, is University of Ilorin(UI).
On the 10th of January, 2013, approval was given for the establishment of the department of Educational Technology. In line with the mission of the university and the department, they intend to:
- • ‘‘Provide a variety of community services through seminars, symposia, workshops, and training programmes to the immediate environment of the university and the society at large.
- • Help in the development, selection and integration of teaching and learning resources in the university.
- • Conduct research related to optimal efficiency and effectiveness of instructional and learning technologies.’’
However, the teaching and learning of educational technology in Nigeria at all levels of education are not encouraging. Many teachers use wrong methods, techniques and approaches, it is therefore important to map out
strategies to improve and promote the teaching and learning of the course at all levels for the development of the country.
In as much as education is the key to economic, social, self and national development, all hands must therefore be on deck to ensure the full integration and implementation of Educational Technology and its facilities into the classrooms of Nigerian educational system. When this is achieved, the product of modern Nigerian classroom will surly acquire a functional education equipped with required skills to develop her society.
I believe with more students been motivated, Educational Technology will gain root in contributing to all round development of students, so as to graduate as socially useful and efficient citizens of the modern scientific world.