Information communication technology support for an e-learning enviroment at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Author:Okiki, Christopher Olatokunbo
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

The world is moving at an unimaginable speed in the area of information use and dissemination. According to Olaniyi (2006), the use of Information technology, knowledge and information can be transferred and cross-fertilized in real time. Hence, the need to pay attention to the way information technology has changed the educational sector through the internet. E-learning has been described as one of the educational challenges of the modern age about which progressive academic institutions must make bold efforts to excel and compete favourably in the global market where education is a commodity.

The arrival of educational technology vis-a-vis instructional technology whether as a field of education or new terminology to what has been there before like teaching aids or apparatus, as it was earlier called (Abimbade, 2002). Current achievements in the field of computer and communication technologies have offered tremendous opportunities for learning by electronic means (Rozina, 2002). The use of new multimedia technologies and the Internet in learning is seen as a means to improve accessibility, efficiency and quality of learning by facilitating access to information resources and services as well as remote exchanges and collaboration. Nonetheless, by the middle of the 20th century the growth in technology and applications even in the field of education became unavoidable to be ignored. According to Abimbade (2005), the world of technology continued to grow and today the whole world has become a global village. By the beginning of the 21st millennium educational technology has stretched educational boundaries and created new ones on a daily basis. One of these new and rapidly expanding boundaries is e-learning which is offering tremendous advantage to education sector.

The use of new multimedia technologies and the Internet in learning is seen as a means to improve accessibility, efficiency and quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services as well as remote exchanges and collaboration. E-learning has become a new paradigm and philosophy in education with a mission to serve as a development platform for present-day society based on knowledge. It is evident that the concept of e-learning is considered to be very attractive as a new learning model whose effect will be a positive one to the development of education in developing countries especially Nigeria, with all its potentialities. Although, not much effort is taken for its implementation, present-day research of e-learning in Nigeria shows that having e-learning on the educational agenda in Nigeria still face a lot of challenges

What is E-Learning?

E-learning has become a new paradigm and a new philosophy in library services as well as educational sector with a mission to serve as a development platform for present-day society based on knowledge. What then is e-learning? According to Olaniyi (2006), e-learning is all about learning that occurs at the computer. In our contemporary world, the learning through the aid of a computer simply means online knowledge acquisition through the internet or offline through CD-ROM etc. In other words, it is the use of network technologies to create, foster, deliver, and facilitate learning, anytime and anywhere. Horton (2005) defined e-learning as the use of internet and digital technologies to create experiences that educate our fellow human beings. E-learning has the potential to revolutionise the way we teach and how we learn (DfES, 2003).

Nigeria's ICT Readiness

Economist Intelligence Unit in (2008) ranked Nigeria 62 among the nations in terms of the ability of a nation's institutions to use ICT to achieve their mission and vision. Nigeria ranks below South Africa and Egypt - which rank 39 and 57 respectively. Nigeria's e-readiness ranking highlights the need to seek innovative solutions to improve in teaching and learning. Currently, in Nigeria there is increasing awareness on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in teaching and learning. The country has a number of initiatives such as:

* National Policy on Computer Education;

* National Policy on Information Technology;

* Establishment of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The key players in the development of ICT in Nigeria are:

* Nigeria Communication Commission...

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