The Role of Icts in Nti Dls Program Administration: the ...

The Role of Icts in Nti Dls Program Administration: the ...

THE ROLE OF ICTS IN NTI DLS PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION: THE JOURNEY SO FAR AND THE WAY FORWARD By: Adewale Bolakale Kolawole State Co-ordinator, Bayelsa State, National Teachers Institute. At NTI, South-South Zonal Retreat: 17th February, 2017 ABSTRACT The influence of Information and Communication

Technologies (ICTs) in DE/DLS Program Administration of the National Teachers Institute (NTI), Kaduna is critically evaluated in this paper. Specifically, this paper examines how ICTs are being used in running and managing programmes; in the delivery of instructional contents, development of courses, development of learning packages and in the provision of students support services. This paper lays more emphasis on the relevant ICT applications (Web 2.0) as appropriate technologies to perform academic processes. Also, challenges are enumerated and possible way-out are mentioned. Keywords: DLS (Distance Learning System), ICT in Education, SMS, Mobile Phone, Mobile Learning, E-Library, elearning centre, Web. 2.0, Terrestrial Radio modulation (FM,SW,MW/AM), Internet Radio, virile and robust ICT centre, INTRODUCTION National Teachers Institute (NTI) was established in 1976, to provide in-service education for teachers through Distance Learning System (DLS). The Institute is charged with the duty of providing courses of instruction leading to the development, upgrading and certification of teachers, as specified in relevant syllabus, using Distance Education Techniques (Face-to-Face/ICTs). The vision of the Institute is to become an internationally-acknowledged centre for

Distance Education, that contributes effectively to the production of teachers of high quality and responds adequately to the educational systems demands and needs in the area of teacher education. INTRODUCTION Distance education, also called open or distance learning, is a form of education in which there is normally a separation between teachers and learners. Thus, it includes one medium or the other which may be used to bridge the gap in form of printed and written words, the telephone, computer conferencing or teleconferencing. These effectively bridge the physical gap between the instructor and the learner. Distance education equally involves the provision of whatever educational opportunities that are needed by anyone, anywhere, at any time for those who otherwise would have been denied. Therefore, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become key tools or techniques, having a revolutionary impact on educational methodology, both at conventional and distance education levels globally. However, this revolution is not widespread and needs to be strengthened to reach a large percentage of the population.

The Philosophy of Distance Education CONCEPT OF ICT AND ICT IN Information can be described as knowledge EDUCATION communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance. It can also be defined as knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc. Communication is the system employed in transmitting messages, exchanging thoughts, or information, as by speech,

signals or writing. Communication is also the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing or using some other medium, such as telephone, computer, etc. Information Technology, meanwhile, refers to the use of systems, especially computers and telecommunication, for storing, retrieving and sending information. ICT in Education means Teaching and Learning with ICT. Educational ICT Tools (Source: ELMO) ROLE OF ICTs IN NTI DLS PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION: THE JOURNEY SO FAR (ACHIEVEMENTS) RENOVATION, EXPANSION AND INSTALLATION OF MODERN COMPUTERS, PRINTERS AND OTHER SYSTEM ACCESSORIES TO A STANDARD IN THE COMPUTER UNIT. ESTABLISHMENT OF CAF/ ICT CENTRE ADMINISTRATIVE AND CONTROL CENTRE. AS SYSTEMS

ESTABLISHMENT OF E-LIBRARY ESTABLISHMENT & UPGRADING OF FM RADIO STATION (TERRESTRIAL) FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES INTRODUCTION OF CUSTOMIZED COMPUTER TABLETS. ESTABLISHMENT OF MODEL E-LEARNING CENTRES LAUNCHING OF WORLD WIDE WEB PORTAL FOR ONLINE ADMISSIONS, INSTITUTES PROFILE AND STUDENTS REGISTRATION In 2010, students applications and registrations were moved to an online students portal at www.ntionline.net. The portal was an innovation and a welcome development. A new web portal, (https://nti.edu.ng) launched in February 2017, promises a richer interactive experience for all distance learning students where they are able to plan, attend and track their education activity for both live as well as self-paced classes. It projects that with one-click, students can be able to access tools, calendars and support resources. FACTORS HAMPERING EFFECTIVE USAGE OF ICTs IN DISTANCE EDUCATION/ DLS PROGRAM

ADMINISTRATION Poor Power Supply Poor Network Coverage Poor Internet Access ROLE OF ICTs IN NTI DLS PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION: THE WAY FORWARD (APPLICATION/ USAGE OF WEB 2.0) The Internet is a library of information. It is a global system that makes it possible for computers worldwide to share information via a variety of languages called protocols. The internet is made up of websites and each website is made up of different web pages. The World Wide Web (www or The Web) is a part of the internet. Internet browsers are software applications used to locate and display web pages. The three most popular browsers are Mozillas Firefox, Googles Chrome and Microsofts Internet Explorer (now Edge). The three most popular browsers (Mozillas Firefox, Googles Chrome & Microsofts Edge) Web 2.0 describes World Wide Web websites that emphasize usergenerated content, usability (ease of use, even by non-experts), and interoperability (this means that a website can work well with other products, systems and devices) for end users. A model visualizing some of the factors and interactions required for the successful integration of Web 2.0 tools for collaborative learning, is

shown below: Conceptual model of a Web 2.0 community of inquiry, illustrating relationships between teacher, student and the integrated use of Web 2.0 tools. THE WAY FORWARD: Application/ Usage of Web. 2.0 Technologies Web 2.0 Technologies Description Wikis & Technologies Shared Example: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org) Blogs

An open collective publication, allowing people to contribute or create a body of information Provides an area for effortless collaboration and knowledge sharing among a community of users without any programming knowledge Wikis can be largely used in education for both teaching and learning. It can be used in the classroom to support many learning approaches. This collaborative feature provides an effortless collaboration and knowledge sharing, enabling learners to work together to interpret texts, essays, share ideas and improve their research and communication skills collectively.

A blog or weblog, is a website on which articles are posted and displayed in chronological order, allowing individuals a way to communicate and share information with other people. In distance education, facilitators can use blogs to replace standard tutorial. Class assignment notifications, suggested readings and exercises can be posted on the blog. Allows end-users to access, store, download and share audio recordings, photographs and

videos. E.g. podcasts, videocasts. Multimedia archives can be used by facilitators to transmit pre-recorded tutorial classes or broadcast tutorial sessions. They provide the enabling environment to enable facilitators and students to create their own digital e-portfolios, either individually or collectively. Examples: http://www.techrinch.com Multimedia archives Examples:Youtube http://www.youtube.com) Flickr (http://flickr.com) iTunes, etc ( Educational Applications

THE WAY FORWARD: Application/ Usage of Web. 2.0 Web 2.0 Technologies Technologies contd. Description Educational Applications Allows free real-time audio and These communication tools can be Synchronous used to create live tutorials with slides. visual communication over the Communication tools They take advantage of improved web. compression technology and wider Examples: Skype, Whatsapp, bandwidth capacity. Telegram, Google Duo, etc Can be organized and managed by

end-users or learners for communication. Social networking Examples: myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Allo, etc Mobile learning Examples: mobile phones and ubiquitous computing devices such as smart phones, Mp3/mp4 players, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)

A social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. Leverages connections between people to offer new applications. Enables users to access multiple information formats (voice, text, video, etc) at any time, any place. Social network tools facilitate collaborative workspace, improve comprehension, facilitate understanding of contents and encourage active engagement of participants in the process of learning. These collaborative workspaces serve as hubs where group of people with common interests can gather and share resources.

Mobile learning applies to the delivery of education and training on the move. Mobile phones can be used for student data collection, in the form of real-time interviews, photographs and videos for individual, group or collaborative work, etc that can be organized and posted on a weblog or multimedia archive. ROLE OF ICTs IN NTI DLS PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION THE WAY FORWARD: Responsibilities of DE/ODL Provider/ Manager/ Management Firstly, as Distance Education Administrators, we must ensure that any technology used is both pedagogically sound and socially-driven. In other words, it is not wise to use technology simply for technology sake, it must be relevant. Educational providers such as NTI, must strive to use quality and reliable ICT hardware (connections should be available, 24/7) and software (i.e., the learning management systems (LMS) that are used to simulate classroom settings and facilitate academic discussions/ interactions. LMS are often meshed with other, pre-existing technologies such as databases and digital libraries). Just as important, these systems must be supported by highly skilled individuals, armed with the knowledge and skills they need to ensure

hard and software runs smoothly. To accomplish the human aspect of ICT,NTI must offer training to various user groups (i.e., students, teachers, administrators, etc.). Unfortunately, the common perception among many Nigerians is that Distance Education is an easy way to get a degree. DE, as such, is often seen as a diploma mill. Hence, NTI must maintain and improve its high quality standards (i.e., maintaining entrance standards, grading standards, Establishment of a virile and robust ICT Department Training and Retraining of Field officers, Centre managers, Course Facilitators & CDOs on ICT Applications Model Study Centres A virile and robust ICT Department, with the Computer

Unit, Media, Programme Design & Development (PD & D), Library, Radio and Learner Support Services Divisions, as units under the department (synergy between all units) This should be carried out periodically (practice makes perfect). CDOs and study centres should be further equipped with Computer Laptops and other ICT DEVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE.. 1. Establishment of more model study centres across 36 states, including the FCT. The use of permanent Zonal or State offices is considered wise for this purpose rather than study centres. 2. The centres should be equipped to the standard, and to serve as educational resource centres. 3. Alternative power supply sources such as Solar Inverters should be installed. Terrestrial & Internet Radio This should be equipped to transmit in all and TV Services modulations(SW, MW/AM, FM) and through Internet (Radio) and Cable TV. Mass Production Instructional Packages

Mass production of instructional packages in of print, audiotapes, videotapes, CDs, to meet the learner needs. NTI should consider the use of Zones for production to ease distribution Establishment functional e-library Functional e-library should be built and of maintained as a unit in the ICT Department. This is very essential for the success of NTI-DLS. Through this DTS system, students can submit their applications online, receive acknowledgement of Document Tracking System receipt, track the progress of their application, and (DTS) for application for receive results of their evaluation online through email and SMS. THIS SHOULD BE BUILT INTO THE NEW admission PORTAL. The online registration system allows the student to enrol for courses at their own convenience, typically Online registration/Semester during the prescribed registration period. In the same vein, it would be progressive if semester Results Access system results for our various programmes can be

integrated into students personal portal pages, for easy access and reference. Online Tutorials & TutorMarked Assignments PARTNERSHIPS The Institute should seek support and collaboration from government, NGOs and corporate organizations such as MTN, UNESCO, OUK, etc Online Tutorials (video and audio) can produce an enticing feature to the academic life of distance learners. This can be embedded as Open Educational Resources (OERs) to our new portal. Submission of online tutor-marked assignments will also draw interesting prospects to the ICT compliance drive. We can understudy UNILAG, LASU and National Open University of Nigerias iLearn portal by integrating online tutorials and tutor-marked assignments into our programmes course structure. 1. Seek support and collaboration from government,

relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as UNESCO, OUK and corporate organizations such as MTN School Connect Project, to equip some of our centres across the country. 2. Management should ensure that NTI is benefitting from the TETFUND/ ETF. CONCLUSIO N The importance of ICTs in any distance education provision such as that of NTI is in its management, implementation of policies, planning and in the delivery. Therefore, the effective usage of modern and relevant Information Communication Technologies in all activities of the Institute cannot be over-emphasized. With paradigm shift in teaching pedagogy and learning techniques, coupled with high and uncontrollable appetite for tertiary education globally, the only available option to get a fair and large percentage of higher education seekers educated (EFA = Education For All) is to provide a virile, robust, accessible and affordable Distance Education (DE/DLS), largely supported by ICTs. To this end, NTI must invest heavily in relevant ICTs, train its manpower (Training of staff in Web 2.0) and expand its horizon in accordance with globally accepted best practices. No Education System can rise above the qualities of its

Teachers. REFERENCES American Heritage (2016). Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Anderson, P. (2007). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, Technologies and Implications for education. JISC Technology and Standards Watch. Retrieved from: http://www.ictliteracy.info/rf.pdf/Web2.0_research.pdf Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance Education Trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Educ. 2006, 27, 139153. Retrieved from: http://static.schoolrack.com/files/ 169318/450204/Resources.pdf Dictionary.com(n.d.). What is Information? Retrieved from: http://www.dictionary.com ELMO (2016). What is ICT in Education? Retrieved from: http://www.elmoglobal.com/en/html/ict/01.aspx Kristin E., Stephen R., William B. et al (2012). Using Web 2.0 Technologies for Collaborative Learning in Distance EducationCase Studies from an Australian University Future Internet 2012, 4, 216-237; doi:10.3390/fi4010216. Retrieved from: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-5903/4/1/216/pdf National Teachers Institute (n.d.). NTI Web Portal 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.nti.edu.ng

Nwachukwu, P.O. & Andrew U. (2015). ICT and Distance Education in Nigeria: A Review of Literature and Accounts ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228346600 Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nwachukwu_Prince_Ololube/ publication/228346600_ICT_and_Distance_Education_in_Nigeria_A_Review_of_Literature_and_Accounts/links/ 561bc2c208aea80367242de9.pdf Nwachukwu, P.O., Andrew U. et al (2007). ICT and Distance Education Programs in a Sub-Saharan African Country: A Theoretical Perspective. Journal of Information Technology Impact: Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 181-194, 2007. Retrieved from: http://www.jiti.net/v07/jiti.v7n3.181-194.pdf The American Heritage (2014). Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. THANK YOU!

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