Discussion On The Topic Of Ict Not Influencing Academic Achievement

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As another saying goes, "Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Apparently, rapid revolutions of information and communication system as well as globalization are not neither here nor there thing. It is the most demanding tasks these days to prepare our government and our society to face it.

Basically, it is all about ICT. ICT is an acronym that stands for "Information and Communications Technology". However, apart from explaining an acronym, still there is not a universally accepted definition of ICT because the concepts, the methods and the applications involved in ICT are constantly develop almost on daily basis. It is difficult to keep up with every change as they happen to be so fast. Thus, a good definition for ICT is to consider all the uses of digital technology that already exist to help individuals, businesses and organizations use information. So based on Victoria.L. T. (2000), ICT is defined as "diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information."

ICT in education

Recently, Chan, F. M. (2002) from Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Education, said that the Ministry of Education sees to ICT as a way on developing new media as tools in the service of one step ahead curriculum, enhanced pedagogies, more effective organizational structures in schools, stronger links between schools and society, and the empowerment of disenfranchised learners. The Ministry believes that appropriately designed and implemented computing and communications have the potential to develop education. This also will improve learning as profoundly as information technology has altered medicine, finance, manufacturing, and many other sectors of society. Furthermore, technology is not seen as a "vitamin" whose mere presence in schools can catalyse better educational outcomes.

Technology is also not seen as simply another subject in the curriculum, suited primarily for teaching students to use tools they may encounter as adults.

2.1 Application of ICT in education.

Generally, it is believed that ICT can empower teachers and learners promote changes and promote the development of 21st century skills. Although there is only some reliable data to support this statement, it is believed so. How ICTs are actually being used in education is amazing. As it was mentioned just now, ICT could gain more confidence towards the users in education which are mainly consists of teachers and students. As a matter of fact, teachers' confidence and skills levels have improved significantly in recent years, in part due to the provision of more relevant and appropriate staff development opportunities. According to Condie R. and Murno B.(2007), the newer programmes that was being discovered by ICT, such as Hands on Support (DfES, 2004) and Masterclass (Granville et al., 2005), are more flexible and more reliable as well as targeted than before. There is a wider series of ways of learning about the new technologies and their implementation at school, as well as through the use of ICT itself.

ICT is supporting a range of planning and administrative activities at class level as well as school level. At class level, planning and preparation and report writing can be done in effective ways along with school level activities. Handling attendance and assessment records and timetables will not be as difficult as it had been like before. As a result, teachers and school leaders are able to identify the sort of training that they want to apply and the needs as well as to know how they can acquire it. Needles to say, it is happen to be a slightly different when it comes to trainee teachers. The trainee teachers and the teacher educators do have differing needs and these are beginning to be addressed.

2.2 Impact of ICT

It is widely belief that ICTs can and will enhance teachers and students, transform the teaching and learning processes from being highly teacher-dominated to student-centered. According to Trucano, Michael. (2005),this transformation will result in increased learning gains for students, creating the opportunities and allowing the learners to develop their creativity, problem-solving abilities, informational reasoning skills, communication skills, and other higher order of thinking skills.

Thus, the significant investment that has been done into introducing ICT into schools as well as hardware, software, networking and staff development will be considered worthwhile if there is evidence that it has made a corresponding impact on the performance levels and progress of students. More to the point, the positive impact of ICT use in education has not been proven extensively. In general, despite thousands of impact studies done, the impact of using ICT on student achievement remains difficult to determine. Positive impact is more likely when it is linked to pedagogy as it is believed that specific uses of ICT actually can have positive effects on student achievement. This supposed to happen when ICTs are used appropriately to complement a teacher's existing pedagogical philosophies.

"Computer Aided Instruction has been seen to slightly improve student performance on multiple choice, standardized testing in some areas Computer Aided (or Assisted) Instruction (CAI), which refers generally to student self-study or tutorials on PCs, has been shown to slightly improve student test scores on some reading and math skills, although whether such improvement correlates to real improvement in student learning is debatable."

Trucano, M. (2005)

2.3 Students achievement.

By one way or another, ICT somehow do affect the students' achievements. Before discussing this issue into deeper situation,

"Academic achievement can be defined as excellence in all academic disciplines, in class as well as extracurricular activities. It includes excellence in sporting, behaviour, confidence, communication skills, pantuality, assetiviness, Arts, Culture, and the like."

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Definition

Therefore, academic achievement comprises all sorts of things regarding students' achievement in schools. After all, by considering all those factors, a student academic achievement can be clarified by two major things, student motivation and engagement for learning. At the meantime, the evidence on achievement is fairly inconsistent, although it does appear in that way, in some contexts with some students, in some disciplines, achievement has been enhanced. Condie R. & Munro B. (2007) states that there is a need for more systematically gathered evidence although it is already apparent that, where ICT has been successfully embedded in the classroom experience, a positive impact on attainment is more likely. In fact, the impact of ICT on intermediate outcomes is said to be greater and more persuasive such as motivation engagement with and independence in learning. The perceptive of ICT can support creativity, including critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities is developing although some of evidence appears to be different. Hence, in general, impact is best observed where tasks have a clear educational aims which designed to maximize the usage of ICT as much as purposeful by students.

2.4 Impact within specific subject areas

Apart from that, widely usage of ICT in education since a few years before had contributed a lot. Indeed, some areas of the curriculum have been focus to consider the development of ICT. Apart from initiatives to support class and school level activities, ICT also had been reported to give positive impact in mathematics, modern foreign languages, history, geography, science, physical education and the creative arts. These examples were mentioned by Condie R. & Munro B. (2007) in their research. They also added that most of it was based on small scale studies and further research is needed to measure the extent of recorded success in ICT and their persistence over time. In addition, there has been a significant development in the provision of online resources over the years.

To be specific, ICT has been greatly helpful in learning modern foreign languages due to the increase availability of online resources. Modern developing technologies such as digital video and photography enable students to grab more complex concepts in mathematics and science. Current technologies of ICT in animations and simulation of particular areas in the subject also simplified the explanation on those concepts especially when it comes to the understanding of abstract or microscopic concepts and processes in science. Moreover, digital video and photography also have been proven to be more effective and tend to improve performance in physical education, dramatic arts and sport. Clearly, these technologies enable the performance to be recorded, watched time and again and thence improved on particular targeted skills.

2.5 Personalisation of the learning experience

The new technologies these days are increasingly becoming integrated into schools' curriculum and thence into the learning experiences of students. As the learning is being enhanced by the new technologies, growth has been limited by the need to give fast connectivity and a virtual learning environment (VLE) or learning platform.

2.6 ICT expand the access to education.

As a matter of fact, ICTs are a potentially powerful tool for extending the educational opportunities. One defining feature of ICT is the ability to transcend time and space.

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