ICTs stand for information and communication technologies and are defined, for the purposes, as a “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information.” These technologies include computers, the Internet, broad casting technologies (radio and television), and telephony.
The Effectiveness of ICTs in Education
ICTs are a potentially powerful tool for extending educational opportunities, both formal and non-for mal, to previously underserved constituencies—scattered and rural populations, groups traditionally excluded from education due to cultural or social reasons such as ethnic minorities, girls and women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, as well as all others who for reasons of cost or because of time constraints are unable to enroll on campus.
• Anytime, anywhere. One defining feature of ICTs is their ability to transcend time and space. ICTs make possible asynchronous learning, or learning characterized by a time lag between the delivery of instruction and its reception by learners. Online course materials, for example, may be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ICT-based educational delivery (e.g., educational programming broadcast over radio or television) also dispenses with the need for all learners and the instructor to be in one physical location. Additionally, certain types of ICTs, such as teleconferencing technologies, enable instruction to be received simultaneously by multiple, geographically dispersed learners (i.e., synchronous learning).
• Access to remote learning resources. Teachers and learners no longer have to rely solely on printed books and other materials in physical media housed in libraries (and available in limited quantities) for their educational needs. With the Internet and the World Wide Web, a wealth of learning materials in almost every subject and in a variety of media can now be accessed from anywhere at anytime of the day and by an unlimited number of people. This is particularly significant for many schools in developing countries, and even some in developed countries, that have limited and outdated library resources. ICTs also facilitate access to resource persons, mentors, experts, researchers, professionals, business leaders, and peers—all over the world.
· ICTs help prepare individuals for the workplace.
One of the most commonly cited reasons for using ICTs in the classroom has been to better prepare the current generation of students for a workplace where ICTs, particularly computers, the Internet and related technologies, are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Technological literacy, or the ability to use ICTs effectively and efficiently, is thus seen as representing a competitive edge in an increasingly globalizing job market.
Benefits/Advantages of ICT in Education
Here are some of the benefits which ICT brings to education according to recent research findings.
· Greater efficiency throughout the school.
· Communication channels are increased through email, discussion groups and chat rooms · Regular use of ICT across different curriculum subjects can have a beneficial motivational influence on students’ learning.
Benefits for teachers
· ICT facilitates sharing of resources, expertise and advice · Greater flexibility in when and where tasks are carried out · Gains in ICT literacy skills, confidence and enthusiasm. · Easier planning and preparation of lessons and designing materials · Access to up-to-date pupil and school data, any time and anywhere. · Enhancement of professional image projected to colleagues. · Students are generally more ‘on task’ and express more positive feelings when they use computers than when they are given other tasks to do. · Computer use during lessons motivated students to continue using learning outside school...
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