ICT in Education: A Catalyst for Effective Use of Information
Rev. Dr. Obiora Nwosu
Esoswo Francisca Ogbomo
Rev. Dr. Obiora Nwosu is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Library and Information Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He can be reached at the Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. He can be reached at: email@example.com. Esoswo Francisca Ogbomo is an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Library and Information Science, Delta State University, Abraka. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org Introduction
Educational systems around the world are under increasing pressure to use the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) (UNESCO, 2002 as cited by Yuen, Lee, Law & Chan (2008). The premise that ICT is important for bringing changes to classroom teaching and learning is the basis for this pressure. These skills include the ability to become lifelong learners within a context of collaborative inquiry and the ability to work and learn from experts and peers in a connected global community (Law, Pelgrum & Plomp, 2008). The information society demands a workforce that can use technology as a tool to increase productivity and creativity. This involves identifying reliable sources of information, effectively accessing these sources of information, synthesizing and communicating that information to colleagues and associates (Alibi, 2004). Information is a key resource for undergraduate teaching, learning, research, and publishing. This brings the need for effective methods of information processing and transmission (Hawkins, 1998). ICT is includes communication devices or applications, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, networks, software, and satellite systems, as well as the various services and applications associated with video conferencing and distance learning. Tinio (2002) notes that ICTs are powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICTs help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the workplace, and raise educational quality by creating an active process connected to real life. Cuban (1986) noted that in recent years there has been a groundswell of interest in how computers and the Internet can best be harnessed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education at all levels and in both formal and non-formal settings. But ICTs are more than just these technologies; older technologies such as the telephone, radio and television, although now given less attention, have a longer and richer history as instructional tools. For instance, radio and television have for over forty years been used for open and distance learning, although print remains the cheapest, most accessible and therefore most dominant delivery mechanism in both developed and developing countries. Potashnik and Capper (2002) also indicated that the use of computers and the Internet is still in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high costs of access. Moreover, different technologies are typically used in combination rather than as the sole delivery mechanism. For instance, the Kothmale Community Radio Internet uses both radio broadcasts and computer and Internet technologies to facilitate the sharing of information and provide educational opportunities in a rural community in Sri Lanka (Taghioff, 2001). Also, Tinio (2002) observed that the Open University of the United Kingdom (UKOU), established in 1969 as the first educational institution in the world wholly dedicated to open and distance learning, still relies heavily on print-based materials supplemented by radio, television and, in recent years, online programming. Additionally, Tinio further noted that the Indira Gandhi National Open University in India combines the use of print, recorded audio and video,...
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