Prof. Dr. Buket Akkoyunlu
Faculty of Education
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information. ICT becomes immensely important. Significant changes over the past decade in ICTs have impacted many aspects of our lives – including booking train tickets and banking, using search engines for information, communicating with friends and colleagues, and participating in virtual professional and social networks. ICT is at the very heart of the educational process. The education system is closely related to society's knowledge processes, which are most impacted by these new ICTs.
The human profile required by today’s societies has changed according to the needs of the current era. Globalization and improvements in science and technology are the main factors which determine the manpower profile required by information society. Today, students are exposed to information in very different ways and the amount of information is rapidly increasing. In today’s global knowledge economy, students need new skills and the failure to provide for this development will lead to a competitive disadvantage. Additionally, the increasing impact of media and technology on how students relate to the world and learn from their experiences are forcing educators to rethink the way teachers need to be trained, retrained and supported. Therefore, policy makers have given big importance to use of ICT in education.
The Turkish government is also aware of the importance of education for Turkey. The Ministry of National Education (MONE) considers the educational requirements of the 21st century. Educational targets are defined in National Development Plans, which take into account the needs of individuals and of industry and service sectors in line with technological developments. The national census is also considered while developing these targets. In the past, unidentified student needs, passive teaching environments, and an emphasis on memorized knowledge led to an educational system that was disfunctional. The rapidly changing needs of an infiormation society require a country like Turkey to redefine the educational objectives and the curriculum to integrate instructional technologies into teaching. Through using new technological resources in educational systems, the schools will meet the needs of future citizens who are able to use new Technologies on the one hand, and on the other, will help educators to develop interactive educational environments.
2. Use of ICT in Education in Turkey
Studies in educational technology have been done since the establishment of the republic of Turkey. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, a school museum was opened by MONE, where educational tools were exhibited. Maps, projectors and laboratory equipment were given to schools for teachers in 1930s. These materials and equipment were used in schools for nearly 30 years Between 1927 and 1960, discussions and proposals on distance education were started. The aim was to spread literacy nationwide via distance education. In 1961, the Instructional Centre for Distance Learning was founded and used at every level of education. The Centre of Educational Radio was founded in 1962 and radio programmes were prepared for students (Akkoyunlu, 2002).
Distance education was introduced to Turkish higher education in 1974. In 1983, Anadolu University’s Open Education Faculty was founded in Eskisehir. Since then, the University’s Open Education Programme has been offering programmes to all high school graduates who do not attend conventional universities. The University has done lots of research and publications on distance education, and a number of programmes...