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THE APPLICATION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TO THE LEARNING AND TEACHING OF ECONOMICS IN NIGERIA : A CASE STUDY OF SEC. SCH IN JOS
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2.0Â Â INTRODUCTION
This research is based on an analysis of current research about the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching economics in secondary schools. It summarizes the key findings and suggestions resources for further reading. Economics provide a rich and varied context for the use of new technologies to enhance both learning in the subject and to reinforce existing ICT skills. (Ofsted 2004a)
This chapter looks at the definition of ICT as well as brief history of the ICT and its relevant to the topic. It also traces the advent of ICT in education. This research considers not just technologies themselves but also the pedagogical implication and the support necessary to enhance learning and teaching of economics.
2.1Â Â DEFINITION OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
Information Communication Technology (ICT) will mean all electronic system that has to do with information gathering, processing and disseminations. These include all forms of computer system (mainframe, mini, micropalm pilot etc.)
Ehikhamenor (1993:1) information technology is a technique and the equipment that facilitates the acquisition, recording, processing, storing, retrieval, transmitting and receiving information that has been processed using some electronic equipment and appropriate methods.
UNESCO further defines Information Communication as the scientific, technological engineering and management techniques used in information handling and processing.
Igwe (1998:18) however, stated that the term Information Communication Technology originated from the coming together of three (3) technologies (micro electronics, computer and communications). Microelectronics are made from the reduction of electronic circuits on sting silicon chips so as to receive a small raw data and organize it into meaningful information.
Computers are the major platform upon which Information Communication Technology stands on communication. The processes of telecommunication using telephone and telegraphic lines to send messages from one place to another, is the third aspect of Information Communication Technology.
Thompson (1982:12) further explained that information communication involves 3 processes:
- CHIPS: Minute (very small) storage of information like microforms, magnetic types disc and video discs.
- The mechanism to manipulate, scan and search such stored recorded information as well as organized new record using computers
- Telecommunication systems and networks provide cheap and instant means of transmission (sending) of information.
Orimalade (1995:35) computer is an electronic machine or a set of machines which accepts raw data presented to it in a specific format carries out some operations on the data and produces results in a specific format as information for:
- Human decision making
- Signal to control some other machines or processes
- Further input into some other machines
A computer is any machine or device, under the control of a stored program, can accept data in a prescribed form, process the data and supply the results as information in a specific form (Adekunle O. Eyitayo, 2003:23)
Computer comes from the word compute meaning calculate. It could be seen as a machine that performs arithmetic and logical operation quickly. They can store and process information and data and then made available to the users efficiently. With the general purpose of software, computer is no longer the domain of mathematicians, engineers and scientist. The name computer was later changed from computer to Information Technology (IT). Information technology is concerned with the handling and processing of information using electronic devices. It creates opportunity to handle, text and images, numbers and graphs, instruction, sound and music and to process information by organizing, storing and retrieving, sorting and analyzing, presenting and communicating (NCET, 1995).
Oloruntoba (1997) further defined a computer as an electronic machine operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory that can accept data (input) manipulate the data according to specified rules (process) produce results (output), and store the results future use.
2.2Â Â PARTS OF A COMPUTER
- Input unit: This is the component through which data and instructions gets into the computerâ€™s memory. This component receives data and instructions from the computer operator or an electronic device. An input device allows a user to enter data and commonly used input devices are the keyboard, the mouse, a microphone on a PC camera.
A computer keyboard: contains keys that allow you to type letters of the alphabet, numbers, spaces, punctuation marks, and other symbols. A keyboard also contains keys that allow one to perform specific functions on the computer.
A mouse: is a small hand held device that contains at least one button. The mouse controls the movement of a symbol on the screen called a pointer. Moving the mouse across a flat surface allows one to move the pointer on the screen. One can also make choices and initiates processing on the computer by using a mouse.
A microphone: allows one to speak to the computer in order to enter data and control the actions of the computer.
A PC camera: allows others to see you while communicating with you, as well as allowing one to edit videos, create a movie and take digital photographs.
Memory Unit: This is the primary storage computer, where data instructions are stored and from which data are obtained when needed.
Arithmetic-logic unit: This performs arithmetic and logical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and comparison of two-values. Data in the memory section are manipulated according to instruction from the control unit and the arithmetic logic unit.
Control-unit: This directs the sequencing of operation that process input data according to well defined instruction fed into the memory unit.
- Output-unit: An output device is used to convey the information generated by a computer to a user. Three commonly used output devices are: printer, a monitor and speakers. The output component or device translate the result of processed data in such useable form as printed copy, punched cards, disks paper tape magnetic paper or liaison a display screen.
A Printer: is the most common output device which produces permanent cords in print. There are various types of printers available and are dependent on the quality of production examples are dot matrix printers, Laser printers and inkjet printers.
A monitor is the most common form of display monitor is the CRT, CRT means Cathode Ray Tube. This is the type of monitor used with micro computers, virtually all computers used with micro computers, virtually all computers used in information handling initially output their information to a display unit. They can output either text or picture or both in monochrome mainly two colors e.g. black and white.
A speaker or voice output has a few specialist applications using computer speech output, at present the sound produced sound rather unnatural. One application is a book reading machine for the blind.
The system unit is a box: Like case made from medal or plastic that houses the computer electronic circuitry. The circuitry is the system unit usually is part of or is connected to a circuit board called the mother board. Two main components on the mother board are the central processing unit (CPU) and memory.
Memory is a series of electronic elements that temporarily holds data and instruction while they are being processed by the CPU. Both the processor and the memory are chips. A chip is an electronic device that contains many microscopic pathways designed to carry electrical current. Chips, which usually are no bigger than one-half inch square, are packaged so they can be connected to a mother board or other circuit boards.
- Â Storage device: This device holds data, instructions and information for future use, storage differs from memory, in that it can hold these items permanently, while they are being processed storage medium (media is the plural) is the physical material on which data, instructions and information are stored, one commonly used storage medium is a disk, which is a round fiat piece of plastic or metal on which items can be encoded, or written. A storage device is used to record and retrieve data, instructions, and information to and from a storage medium. Storage devices often function as a source of input because they transfer items from storage into memory.
Communication Devices: Communication device enable computer users to communicate and to exchange items such as data, instruction and information with other computer. Communication devices transmit these items over transmission media, such as cables, telephone lines, or connection between two computers. A modem is a communication device that enables computers to communicate via telephone lines or other means. Although modems are available as both external and internal devices, most are internal, that is, contained within the system unit.
4. Central processing unit (CPU): the CPU, also called processor, is the electronic device that interprets and carries out instructions that operate the computer. The CPU consists of its memory arithmetic-logic and control components. The CPU determines the operating capacity of the computer because it performs calculations and other manipulation on the data, and izu1ates the flow of output. In addition to the primary storage of the memory component, a computer is usually supported with secondary storage external to the computer which allows the storage of a larger volume of data that permit in the memory of the computer itself.
2.3Â Â Â BRIEF HISTORY OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMPUTERS
Early developments Abacus. The history of competing instruments may be considered to begin with the abacus, which is derived from the word abax meaning a board, table or calculating table. Originating in orient more than 5000 years ago and still used in of the middle and for