THE IMPORTANCE OF ICT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS WITH HEARING IMPAIRED
1.1 Background to the Study
Information and communication technology usually called ICT, is often used as an extended synonym for Information Technology (IT) but it is usually a more general term that stresses the role of unified communication and the integration of telecommunication (telephone lines and wireless signals), intelligent building management, systems and audio-visual system in modern information technology. ICT consists of all technical means used to handle information and aid communication which include computer and network hardware, and related communication software. In other words, ICT consists of information technology as well as mobile phone, Ipad and Galazy tab, all types of audio-visual processing and transmission network base control and monitoring information. The expression was first used in 1997 in a report by Dennis Steverson to the UK government and promoted by the new national curriculum documents for the UK in 2000.
ICT is often used in the context of “ICT road map” to indicate the path that an organization would take with their ICT needs.
The term ICT is now also used to refer to the merging (conveyance) of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or wireless system. There are large economic incentives (huge cost saving due to elimination of the telephone networks) to merge the audio-visual, building management and telephone network with the computer system using a single unified system of cabling, signal distribution and management. See VIOP and Intelligent Infrastructure Management (IIM). This in turn has spurres the growth of organizations with the term ICT in their names to indicate their specialization in the process of merging the different networks systems. www.european.agency_org/ICT.
Oliver and Chapman(1990) defined information and communication technology as the technology which supports activities involving the creation, storage, manipulation and communication of information together with their related methods, management and application.
Agboola (2001) defined the term as “the range of products and system which handles, process and produce information using computer and/or telecommunication technologies.
To cater for the handicapped people, special schools were established. The new National Policy on Education has made provision for them. Section 8, page 556 of the policy stated the purpose and objectives of special education as to give concrete meaning to the idea of equalizing educational opportunities for all children, their physical, mental and emotional disabilities notwithstanding. The policy has therefore rated both the normal and handicapped person equal educational opportunities. The government then established special primary and secondary schools and special colleges of education. These schools have been taken over by both the federal and state government in Nigeria.
Hearing impairment is one of the handicapping conditions, which many educators regards as a living problem because of their inability to hear and to talk due to the damage of their eardrum and cochlear. Also, the fear may stem largely from the general belief that such children are usually in capable of learning and thus living a normal life. But all these speculations have been disapproved by some researchers (European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education 2003).
ICT development make it possible for more people with hearing impairment to realize their educational and employment aspirations. Student are able to accomplish a greater range of tasks independent of physical association from others and are able to enter greater number of academic fields with increasing success, (Britter, 1996). However, voice recognition software, scanning technology, increasing use of e-mail and an over expanding range of assistive devices have enabled impaired children to retain and enter the labour market (Work Bridge, 1996).
According to the European commission, the importance of ICT lies less in the technology itself than in its ability to create greater access to information and communication in underserved populations. Many countries around the world have established organizations for the promotion of ICTs, because it is feared that unless less technologically advanced areas have a chance to catch up, the increasing technological advances in developed nations will only serve to exacerbate the already existing economic gap between technological “have” and “have not” areas. Internationally, the United Nations actively promotes ICTs for development as a means of bridging the digital divide.
ICTs are often spoken of in a particular context, such as ICT in education, health care, or libraries. The term is some what more common outside of the United States. ICT which refers to technologies that provide access to information which is similar to information technology (IT), but focuses primarily on communication technologies. This includes the internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums.
In the past five decades, information and communication technologies have provided society with a vast array of new communication capabilities. Modern information and communication technologies have created a “global village”, in which people can communicate with others across the world as if they were living next door. For this Reasons ICT is often studied in the context of how modern communication technologies affect society.
Hearing impairment is a hearing loss that prevents a person from totally receiving sounds through the ear. If the loss in mild, the person has difficulty hearing faint or distant speech. A person with this degree of hearing impairment may use a hearing aid to amplify sounds. If the hearing loss is severe, the person may not be able to distinguish any sounds.
The integration of ICT can be described as the use of internet based and computer-based applications in class environment to help establish communication and reach information and thus to support student learning. Studies conducted in the field of education have revealed that the effective integration of ICT into the learning environment engage students in higher-order thinking. In recent years a number of developed countries have started to invest on the integration of ICT in schools and educational instruction especially universities are increasingly looking to ICT as a technical aid in the development of new models of teaching and learning.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is of particular value in developing the language experiences of learners with hearing impairment. ICT can be a very visual medium with pictures, signs or texts on screen allowing pupils to extend to both their general knowledge and use of language without being depended on the spoken word. Learners who have a hearing loss often need opportunities to extend their use of descriptive language in order to describe, compare and contrast objects; all skills that under line effective information handling, collaborating on an ICT activities can encourage a group of students to extend their use of language and their understanding of concepts and they plan and carry out their works. The end of the dark ages for the deaf may be marked by the writing of Girolamo O. Cardano (1501-1576), an Italian Mathematician and Physician, who accepted Agricola’s report of a deaf mute who had learned to write. Cardano argued for teaching of the deaf to read and write, believing that may abstract ideas could be explained to them through signs. Apparently, he was the first to realize that written words could present ideas directly without recourse the speech.
Although increasing attention is given to the needs of hearing impaired children, the present state of special education for hearing impaired children is not special one. Many deaf students have leave school unable to read and write their mothers tongue proficiently. The average deaf students completing a secondary education programme are still performing at a level similar to average 9 or 10 years old hearing students”. Many deaf students are not able to communicate effectively, perhaps not even with school mate or member of their own family. Many parents are given confusing, contradicting information and advice when it is discovered that their children have hearing impairment, identification of deaf child is often devastating for parents.
The rate of unemployment and underemployment among hearing impaired adult is shockingly high and their wages are often lower than those of the hearing population. They are forced with he stark choice of attending local school, where they are likely to fail unless efforts are made to include them, or go without formal education.
To cater for the handicapped people, special education programs are designed those students who are mentally, physically, socially and/or emotionally delayed. This aspect of “delay” broadly categorized as a developmental delay, signify an aspect of child’s overall development (physical, cognitive, scholastic skills) which place them behind their peers. Due to these special requirements, student’s needs cannot be met within the traditional classroom environments. Special education programme and services adopt content, teaching methodology and delivery instruction to meet the appropriate needs of each child. These services are of no cost to the family and are available to children until they reach 21 years of age.
The Education for all Handicapped Act (EHA) was amended in 1997 and is now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The amendments made in IDEA provide children and youth with disabilities access to a higher quality of education related services, ensuring all students have the complete access to the most appropriate education within the least restrictive environment. This law provided local and statewide support and protection to children and youth with disabilities, as well as their families. Under EHA, all public schools were granted federal funding that provided equal access to education for children with physical and/or mental disabilities. Schools were required to evaluate children and create an educational plan that paralleled the academic experience of their non-disabled peers. EHA requirements also provided parents and families the necessary support systems to ensure their child received appropriate and adequate services, along with the services needed to dispute decisions made on behalf of the child.
A leading proponent of technology in learning impaired education, has found that the use of information technology adaptation for the deaf falls in four main areas;
– Information Technologies are learning tools which include computer that provide word processing, data base management, spreadsheet, and simple programming language. The computer assisted learning application can include adapted keyboard, voice synthesis and control for other devices.
– Computers are living tools for hearing impaired student to manipulate the environment and include voice synthesis, communication software for the non-verbal and optical scanners.
– Information technology as vocational tools includes the use of computer in the work place. As our society change from an industrial to information based, more tools are changing to be some form of computers.
– Information technology as recreational tools to expand the ability of hearing impaired students to engage in appropriate recreational activities. Hearing impaired students can play game with the able on equal footing.
Conclusively, as information and communication technology has a greater significance in the education of the hearing impaired learners to make them at the same rate with their counterparts.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Regardless of how people felt about the hearing impaired, most would agree that they are lucky to be coping with the hearing loss today, rather than in the past. Most would also agree that one of the big reason for these feelings is that the technologically advancement of the past few years are of great benefits to hearing impaired persons.
From computers to cochlea implants to hair cell generation, technology to assist person with hearing loss has exploded in recent year and would likely to continue to explode in the future.
Some impacts of ICT on the education of hearing impaired students are;
- Through the use of ICT, student with hearing impairment will develop an appropriate level of capability, become more engaged with their own learning.
- It will assist the learners with hearing impairment to learn, work and live successfully in a knowledge-based global society.
- It will help the learners with hearing impairment to involve in similar learning activities as other students.
1.3 Research Question
- Can information and communication technology improve the academic achievement of learners with hearing impairment?
- Does information and communication technology influence the academic achievement of students with hearing impairment?
- How do the hearing impaired individual respond to ICT training?
- What are the attitudes of parents and governments towards ICT in the education of hearing impaired students?
- What would be the level of communication of ICT to hearing impaired person?
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose and objectives of this study are as follows:
- To know the effect of ICT in the educational achievement of students with hearing impairment.
- To enrich and facilitate the learning experiences of hearing impaired students with the use of ICT
- To know the importance of ICT in the education of students with hearing impairment.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study are briefly stated below;
- The result of this research work would be extremely useful and also form a medium to be reckoned in the education of students with hearing impairment.
- The outcome of this study will enlighten and encourage the hearing impaired students in various ways through which ICT would assist them in their language development.
- The result of this work would determine ameliorate some of the problems being faced by the hearing impaired students in the use of ICT for their day- to-day teaching and learning.
- It would also help the hearing impaired students in choosing ICT as a course of study for self-sustenance and self-reliance in the nearest future.
- It would also assist government to provide adequate funding to improve on the provision of needs of ICT gadgets to special schools.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is aimed at finding out the use of information and communication technology in the education of hearing impaired students.
In the process of this, the researchers would sample two(2) special schools in this area so as to get authentic information about the importance of information and communication technology.
The school covered but this study is restricted to Durbar Grammar school and School for the handicapped Oyo respectively.
1.7 Definition of Terms
- Communication: Is the process through which information of ideas, facts knowledge or message are transmitted from one sources to another.
- Education: Is the act or process of impacting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
- Hearing Impairment: The term “Hearing Impaired” is a technically accurate description of someone who is hard of hearing or who has no hearing.
- Information Technology: Is the study or use of systems especially computers and telecommunication for storing, retrieving, and sending information.
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT): It refers to all the technology used to handle telecommunications, broadcast media, intelligent building management systems, audio visual processing and transmission systems and network-based control and monitoring functions.