Recently, I realize that most of the students have a handphone or computer. Our life is full with this high technology gadgets . I'm so wondering about the information technology. Why does the information and communication technology would occupy our livelihood. In this new era, everyone is striving for trend, modern and high quality life, and some of the outmoded are eliminate or sifted out from this new era as it is different from the older era before. The information and communication technology has enhance the quality of our life and make our life become more convenient. Especially in education, everyone are rely on the information technology as it gradually become a part of our life. How do the information and communication technology improve in our educational ? and what is the reason for the information technology will be so flourishing.? I'm curious with the information technology , thus that is the reason for me to research on this topic. I think it will be a more interesting topic if compare to others. Besides, information technology is the thing that press closely to the public. Everyone are need for the help of information and communication technology. As everyone knows that, without the helping of information technology, it seems would be more lag behind than others.
According to the source form website , ICT ( information and communications technology ) is an umbrella term that includes any communication or application which encompassing radio, television, cellular phones, satellite systems, computer and network hardware or software and so on ( www.searchcio-midmarket.techtarget.com/sDefinition/ ). From the computing dictionary, ICT is the study of technology used to handle information and aid communication ( www.dictionary.refrence.com ). Nowadays, ICT is rapidly develop in many of countries which due to the globalization and technological change. Recently, ICT is widely use in many areas or sectors such as education, economy, politics and social. Especially for education, many countries now regard understanding ICT as part of the core of education, alongside writing, reading and numeracy. The emergence of ICT has made an improvement on the education for every student as it brings a lot of advantages for every student. For many teacher, ICT also has improve their effectiveness on the teaching process which in turn could help the student to enhance their educational performance. That goes without saying ICT has gradually become a part of the life for every students and teacher. Thus, how can we imagine that without the help of ICT on education? In recent years, the computers and internet has show their effectiveness and efficiency in education. Besides, ICT has also improved the learning environment of student. For ICT, if we used appropriately, it could help to expand the access of education for students and raise the quality of educational by reinforce the relevance of education. E-learning, blended learning and distance learning are the various types of learning that arise from the ICT.
Information and communication technology has a great impact on the education industry and has to lead to changes in the delivery mode of education and learning or teaching.
The Purpose of Using ICT in Education
ICT has play an essential role for every students in their education, the purposes of ICT for students are to enable them to acquire the skills that needed for the future higher studies or the digital world, which then help them to easily get a job in future. Besides, the critical thinking and analytic skill are needed for students in their future. ICT with the purpose to promote those thinking and skills of students by self developing. Thus, student will no longer depends on the teacher anymore as it would transform the classroom environment from teacher- centric to student-centric learning. In addition, the purpose of ICT is to offer an effective learning environment for students which then increase their performance in academic. Lastly, ICT is to enhance the existing curriculum and pedagogy for teaching and learning.
The Advantages of Using ICT in Education
ICT brings a lot of advantages in education. Firstly, independent access for the students to their education can be improved by the computer. Secondly, ICT enable the student who needs a special educational to accomplish working task at their own pace. In addition, with the help of ICT, students can communicate more easily for those who with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Moreover, using the voice communication by students enable most of them to aid gain the confidence or credibility of social and in the communities. Furthermore, students can be motivated to use the internet at home for schoolwork. On the other hand, for those with communication difficulties or problems, ICT could unblock the hidden potential of students. One of the benefit that arise from the using of ICT is the students can demonstrate their achievements in ways which might not be possible with traditional methods. The advantages of using ICT in education also include the enabling of tasks to be tailored to suit individual skills and abilities. (http://pil.mscommunity.net/Default.aspx?tabid=1051)
Just like the education in Malaysia, the first time that ICT began to use in a large scale throughout the school system as a teaching aid was in 2003 which is the changeover of teaching science and maths in English. This policy states that the advantages of using in ICT in education. The slideshows which presently used by the schools as teaching aid are important for whole lectures with some visuals included. Some of the information or data which are not included in the syllabus or not taught by the teacher, ICT would provide the access of these information or data. Alternatively, the presentation of those information or data could be in the ways of compelling and interesting by using the ICT while teaching. ( http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com/2009/02/properly-using-ict-in-classroom.html )
Furthermore, ICT has the ability to connect the things that learned in the classroom to contexts that familiar to the students. For instance, through the videos and video clips observe the scientist working in environment which they cannot have access. This method helps students to visualize the concepts that had learned to apply in real situations. (http://www.knowledgeenterprise.org/pdfs/ICT4SC.pdf )
The Impact of ICT on Teaching and Learning
With the help of ICT, the process of teaching by the teachers to students and the learning process of students will become more advanced and effective. The students can practice their listening by watching the news on CCTV or called up clips on YouTube. It was more natural than repeating sentences from textbooks to one another. While, the lecturer or teacher could using the graphing software on their teaching to the students due to the ICT lend itself readily to all types of interesting application in classroom. Besides, teacher or lecturer could make use of the internet to locate studies proving the theories that their teaching is actually apply to real world. The utilization of ICT also encourages teachers or lecturers to go beyond government-supplied tools, and to use the things like internet to improve on their teaching. ( http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com/2009/02/properly-using-ict-in-classroom.html)
In addition, the information and knowledge will be travel faster and further through using the ICT which in turn can help the student to be more effective in their learning. This is because the access of information or knowledge is essential to development learning, time will not be wasted while there are on learning process. For those who have access to computer and internet can open up a wealth of information and learning resources or either by on-line searching or by using CD-ROMs or DVDs for self-paced learning. ( http://www.jointokyo.org/files/cms/news/pdf/s2_benefits_v7.pdf )
Moreover, by using the ICT, some various types of learning are exist which are e-learning, blended learning, and the open or distance learning. E-learning is the utilization of an information network which the internet, an intranet (LAN) or extranet (WAN) for course delivery, interaction and facilitation. It encompasses learning at all levels, both formal and non-formal. E-learning most commonly associated with higher education or collaborative training for every student. Online- learning is an alternative terms for E-learning. This will be more convenient for the students who are disabled, sick or do not have the transportation due to the teacher can teach the students who stay at home by using the ICT to carry out the E-learning with them together. Some of the students who are prefer to stay at home also suitable for this E-learning. While, blended learning is a type of learning model that refers to the combination of traditional classroom practice with e-learning solutions. For example, both the print-based and materials form online can be allocated by the students in a traditional class and having online mentoring sessions with their teacher through chatting or discussion. There is still a type of learning affected by the used of ICT, which is the open and distance learning. It is a way of offering the learning opportunities for students with the characterized of separation between the teacher and student in a time or place, or both time and place. By using the ICT gadgets, such as variety of media, internet and computers, the student and teacher will be allowed to communicate and interact with each other. For those students who are shy to question in the class, they can make use of the ICT to help them while learning.
Furthermore, the teachers or lectures can make use of the power of ICT to facilitate the uniqueness of substances and skills which related to the given curricular areas. This would help the students to enhance their attainments and capacity of learning. (http://www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/publication/hgiosict.pdf) . On the other hand, ICT has the impact of learning based on the resources form internet or the access to real world information through web. (http://www.uoc.edu/rusc/5/1/dt/eng/benyoussef_dahmani.pdf)
Additionally, the teachers can prepare the lessons that increase the learning and understanding of students by using the ICT gadgets. Teacher would also integrate technologies into their classroom lessons to ensure the students would not feel any of boring when attend the classes. ( www. School_Connections_ ACER_PiL_Report.com ) .
Lastly, with the impact of ICT, the teaching could be transformed by the teacher to student. In this approach, in all aspects of the professional lives of teacher will be integrating by them to improve their own learning and the learning of students. They use ICT to help all students to assess their own learning in achieving specific personal projects. The active and creative of teachers who are able to promote and manage the learning of students, conforming a range of preferred learning styles and uses of ICT in reaching their targets. The collaboration between teachers and students will improve the academic performance of students. (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001295/129538e.pdf )
The Impact of ICT on Students
ICT is very helpful for the every student as it bring many of positive impact on their education. Firstly, students will be motivating to accept to learn and to join in learning activities. Secondly, with the impact of ICT, the quality of work of students can be improving and which then given them the self-esteem or confidence to perform enhanced learning tasks. Thirdly, with the utilization of ICT, students are allow more flexible and more personalized learning which enabled more work to be finished. Fourthly, ICT enable collaborative learning with little indication of the isolated student. Fifthly, ICT has an impact on heightening the student motivation through hands-on-activity, visual representations and improved modes of presentation. By using the ICT, it also has an edit effect to change the quality of student's work and practical. For the student who has poor handwriting and languages skills, the ICT has the impact on it to improve such as using the word processing. Besides, the impact of ICT on student is to equalize individual differences and has particularly dramatic effects for students with special needs. As a student can work at the pace and intensity suitable to their demands, ICT has an impact on boosting self-pacing with increased abilities to deal with individual learning styles. The make use of ICT has also allow student to produce high quality multimedia products. (http://www.uoc.edu/rusc/5/1/dt/eng/benyoussef_dahmani.pdf )
In addition, students would be encouraged to collaborate with one another and take responsibility of their self learning through using the ICT. An ICT gives an impact the imagination and creativity of student will be encouraged to use it. ICT also develops the communication or enquiry skills of student and the appropriate contexts for critical thinking, decision making and problem solving activities can be created. ( http://www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/publication/hgiosict.pdf)
Moreover, the ICT has the impact on students which enabling them to any place learning. Use of the new technology of ICT, the off-campus delivery was an option for the students who unable to attend the classes. Nowadays, more students are accepted with this technology- facilitated learning settings. There is one of the example that show the impact of ICT for the student. Traditional classroom learning has provide to learning in work-based settings which enable them to the access of courses and programs from their study places. This strategy not only have the impact of convenience for students but help to save the costs associated with the travel and time away from school and also situation and application of the learning activities within meaningful and useful contexts. Thus, the time for students to study will not be wasted. ICT also has the impact on students as it allow student to undertake education anytime. This flexibility that cause by the utilization of ICT has enhanced the availability of student's just-in-time learning. By the online technologies, students are free to participate in learning activities when time permits and many of the students could take part in formal programs as these freedom have greatly increase. Through a survey of the MLC's students in 1991, there are 95% of the student preferred with the appearance of work completed on a computer, while 85% of the students preferred their work with paper and pen. (http://elrond.scam.ecu.edu.au/oliver/2002/he21.pdf)
Furthermore, distance education is one of the impacts of ICT on students. New technologies of ICT help student to student interaction. Student can cooperate with other students and discuss the content of class and also the activities with peers. The results of the ICT component of the 2003 PISA survey show that majority of the students had access to the computers at both home and schools and most of them used the computers for wide range of functions on their education and not just to play games. One- half of the students also reported them with the frequently use of the internet as a research tool.
The Impact of ICT in School
In recent years, many of school no matter it is in local country or foreign country, ICT has been introduce to school as it gradually become more advanced and also brings the great positive impact for schools. The use of ICT can support several of pedagogic practice in school. These pedagogic practices will have positive impact to the learning environment of school which in turn can increase the learning of students. Firstly, ICT can investigate reality and build knowledge. From the example of supporting research by Bereiter in 1998, it shows that ICT had been used by the students to analyze, organize and creatively represent real information in constructing the knowledge. It allows student to investigate more thoroughly real world and can more readily access information source, and also utilize the tools to analyze or interpret such information. The information is mostly access through online-system. The ICT allow them to receive the feedback, refine their understanding, build new knowledge and transfer from school to non-school settings. In the past, it is impossible to offer in school due to logistical constraints and the amount of material to be covered all of which can now be addressed with ICT support. Secondly, ICT pedagogic practice has the impact of boosting active learning and authentic assessment in school. In many classroom situation, it is tough to allow student to be sufficiently active as participants. Typically, students are always passive, quiet and spend most of time on the listening and reading. As we know that, student who will achieve a wider range of learning outcomes or good academic performance are more likely to be active and interested in school or classroom. Thus, student utilizes ICT to sustain their works and produce their own knowledge representations and thereby engage with powerful learning experiences. Thirdly, the productivity of student can be heighten as the ICT is a providing a tools for them to solve the problem in school. Some of the unnecessary repetition of low-level tasks is inefficient, non-motivational and might obscure the real purpose of the learning activity. The application of ICT in school, will help the students in quickly to completing those low-level tasks which then can allow them to focus on the main purpose of learning or studying activity. This will increase their efficiency on the learning process and their ability to accomplish the tasks works given by the teacher. As the example from the supporting research, students utilize an integrated learning system to assist the development skills in literacy which more effective than other major initiatives. Fourthly, ICT has supplied a scaffolding to support higher level of thinking skills. In school, there are some of the teachings or experiments are tough to carry out by actual, therefore, ICT has a great impact on this area for school as video or animation can promote learning when the concepts or skills to be learned involve motion or action. (http://www.det.wa.edu.au/education/cmis/eval/downloads/pd/impactframe.pdf)
Besides, ICT has an impact on creating a collaborative environment in school. But for This collaborative environment of school, it had shown deeply contrasts with the modus of traditional classroom organization in school before. For the environment of school with traditional classroom organization, students will tend to have a competition mentality rather than a mentality of cooperation. This is caused by the environment of traditional classroom always created an isolation circumstance where students tend to work in individually or in isolation, most of them will not share the ideas or works together. For instance, the students who are in science stream, the scientific works always need to depend on communication and cooperation between the group mates, they need to discuss with the different perspectives on a common topic. (http://www.knowledgeenterprise.org/pdfs/ICT4SC.pdf )
The Promise of ICT on Education
For those of the developing countries, ICT has the potential for raising the access to education and also could ameliorate the quality and relevance of education. Therefore, it represents a potentially equalizing strategy for developing countries. The absorption and acquisition of knowledge has provided for developing countries a rare of chance to promote educational systems. One of the greatest hardships bear by the poor, and by many others, who live in the poorest or remote area, is their sense of isolation and the education of these remote areas majority are deteriorate or not pay attention by the people, thus, majority of them are lack with knowledge. The emergence of ICT will promise to reduce that sense of isolation and to open access to knowledge. However, the gap between those who have control of ICT and access to ICT with those who do not introduce and integrate of ICT at different levels and in various types of education will be a most challenging undertaking. Failure to meet the challenge would mean a further broadening of the knowledge gap.
How can ICT widen access to education?
Some of the rustic and disperse population or groups traditionally are preclude from the opportunity to receive the education due to the external factors. These external factors are mostly related to the cultural and social. Cultural factor has included the minority of ethnic, girls and women. The ethnic minorities are excluded from education is due to the majority of them live in remote areas and cause them lack with the realization on the importance of education for themselves, even for their next generations, they also get less attention from others people. While, the factor of social encompasses the status of girls and women and the person with disabilities, as well as all others who for the reasons of cost or because of time constraints are unable to enroll on campus. Girls and women usually regard by others with a low status or identity in the social who are not necessarily have the education. As the promise of ICT on education state that the access of education could at anytime and anywhere. ICT let the asynchronous learning or the learning on a time lag between the convey of instruction and its reception by the learners becomes possible. The information from the source of online can be accessed to 24 hours a day even for a long time of period. If ICT is adopted in education, it could dispense with the necessary for the learners and instructors to be in one physical location. Teleconferencing technology such a type of ICT, allow the instruction or information to be accepted simultaneously through multiple, geographically scattered learners. ICT also has promise with the access to remote learning resources. Sometimes, the printed books or the books in library will has limited in quantities, through ICT, teachers and students are no longer to depend on those books with the limited quantities anymore. They can access to looking for the information and learning in anytime or anywhere with the exist of internet, a wealth of learning materials in almost every subject and in a variety of media that can be access through. For many schools in developing countries and also in the developed countries, it is very relevance.
How can the use of ICT help improve the quality of education?
ICT always been used to improve the quality of teacher training as to ensure the teachers could predominate the skills of ICT which in turn can teach the students to help them improving their academic performance.ICT also help the teachers to make possible for teaching process become effectively. Besides, ICT will promote to obtain the basic skills by drill and practice. The basic skills and concepts are the foundation for higher thinking skills and creativity.ICT also can motivate to learn. ICT technology such as networked computer with internet connectivity can increase learner motivation as it combine media richness and interactivity of other ICT technologies with the chance to connect with real people and to participate in real world events. Interactive radio likewise makes use of sound effects and other performance conventions to compel the students to listen and become involved in the lessons being delivered.
How can the ICT help to transform the learning environment into one that is learned-centered?
If the ICT has been used appropriately, it can change the content and pedagogy of educational system. With the ICT-supported educational system, the acquisition of knowledge and skill can be boosted by it, which then can empower the students for lifelong learning. When the ICT can be used properly, some of the ICT technologies, such as computer and internet, has created new ways for the learning and teaching process. These new way of learning and teaching has shifted from a teacher-centered pedagogy to learner-centered. Teacher-centered pedagogy is an traditional pedagogy which the whole process of learning is rely on the memorization or has the characteristic of rote learning.
Active learning. ICT-enhanced learning mobilizes tools for examination, calculation and analysis of information, thus providing a platform for student inquiry, analysis and construction of new information. Learners therefore learn as they do and, whenever appropriate, work on real-life problems in-depth, making learning less abstract and more relevant to the learner's life situation. In this way, and in contrast to memorization-based or rote learning, ICT-enhanced learning promotes increased learner engagement. ICT-enhanced learning is also "just-in-time" learning in which learners can choose what to learn when they need to learn it.
â€¢ Collaborative learning. ICT-supported learning allow cooperation and
interaction between students, teachers as it can offer the learners having a chance
to work with the people from different places and different cultures, thereby
assisting to improve the communicative skill and cultivate the team spirit of
Evaluate Learning. ICT-supported learning are unlike with print-based educational technologies, with the help of ICT, it can increase the recognize of different learning pathways and also given to learners an opportunity to explore more knowledge rather than merely listen and memorise.
Integrative learning. Learning that supported by the ICT can stimulate the combination of methodology in learning and teaching process which benefits for the students and teachers to be more effective in education. This approach has removed the artificial separation between the theory and practice that carry out in the traditional classroom.
ICT Development at the School Level
There are four approaches to ICT development at the school level. Emerging approach is the beginning stages of development. The approach of applying is the second stage of ICT development at the school level. After the applying approach, it is then followed by the infusing approach and the approach of transforming which are the third stage and fourth stage of development ICT at the school level.
The emerging approach is linked with schools at the beginning stages of ICT development. such schools begin to purchase computer equipment and software or perhaps have had some donated. In this initial phase, administrators and teachers are just starting to explore the possibilities and consequences of adding ICT for school management and the curriculum. The school is still firmly grounded in traditional, teacher-centred practice. For example, teachers tend to lecture and provide content while students listen, take notes, and are assessed on the prescribed content. School organization provides discrete time periods for each subject. Learners' access to technology is through individual teachers. A curriculum that focuses on basic skills and an awareness of the uses of ICT assists movement to the next approach.
The applying approach is linked with schools in which a new understanding of the contribution of ICT to learning has developed. In this phase, administrators and teachers use ICT for tasks already carried out in school management and in the curriculum. Teachers still largely dominate the learning environment. For example, instructing may be supplemented with ICT such as electronic slide presentations and word-processed handouts. Students receive instruction and add notes to teacher prepared handouts. They use ICT tools
to complete required lessons and are assessed on prescribed content. School organization provides discrete time periods for each subject with some flexibility to combine subjects and time periods. Learner access to technology is through one or two classroom computers and computer labs. Until now, ICT has been taught as a separate subject area. To move to the next phase, the school chooses to implement an ICT-based curriculum that increases ICT across various subject areas with the use of specific tools and software.
The infusing approach is linked with schools that now have a range of computer-based technologies in laboratories, classrooms, and administrative areas. Teachers explore new ways in which ICT changes their personal productivity and professional practice. The curriculum begins to merge subject areas to reflect real-world applications. For example, content is provided from multiple sources, including community and global resources through the World Wide Web. Students' access to technology enables them to choose projects and ICT tools that stimulate learning and demonstrate their knowledge across subject areas. School organization provides the flexibility to combine subjects and time periods. Learners have more choices with regard to learning styles and pathways. They take more responsibility for their own learning and assessment. ICT is taught to selected students as a subject area at the professional level. To advance to the next phase, schools choose an ICT curriculum that allows a project-based, ICT-enhanced approach. These schools begin to involve the community more in the learning environment and as resource providers.
The transforming approach is linked with schools that have used ICT creatively to rethink and renew school organization. ICT becomes an integral though invisible part of the daily personal productivity and professional practice. The focus of the curriculum is now much more learner-centred and integrates subject areas in real-world applications. For example, students may work with community leaders to solve local problems by accessing,
analyzing, reporting, and presenting information with ICT tools. Learners' access to technology is broad and unrestricted. They take even more responsibility for their own learning and assessment. ICT is taught as a subject area at an applied level and is incorporated into all vocational areas. The school has become a centre of learning for the community.
Issues in the Use of ICT in Education
Does ICT-enhanced learning really work?
The educational effectiveness of ICTs depends on how they are used and for what
purpose. And like any other educational tool or mode of educational delivery, ICTs do
not work for everyone, everywhere in the same way.
Enhancing access. It is difficult to quantify the degree to which ICTs have helped expand access to basic education since most of the interventions for this purpose have been small-scale and under-reported. One exception is the television-based project Telesecundaria (discussed in a previous section), which in 1997-98 was serving over 750,000 junior secondary students in 12,000 centres in Mexico. In Asia and Africa, assessments of distance learning projects at the junior secondary level using a combination of print, taped, and broadcast technologies have been less conclusive, while at the primary level there is
little evidence that ICT-based models have thrived. In higher education and adult training, there is some evidence that educational opportunities are being opened to individuals and groups who are constrained from attending traditional universities. Each of the 11 so-called mega-universities, the biggest and most well-established open and distance institutions in the world (which include the Open University of the United Kingdom, the Indira Gandhi National Open University of India, the China TV University System, the Universitas Terbuka of Indonesia, and the University of South Africa, among others) has an annual enrollment of more than 100,000, and together they serve approximately 2.8 million. Compare that with the 14 million combined enrollment of the 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States.
Raising quality. The impact of educational radio and television broadcasts on the quality of basic education remains an under-researched area, but what little research there is suggests that these interventions are as effective as traditional classroom instruction. Of the many educational broadcast projects, the Interactive Radio Instruction project has been the most comprehensively analyzed. Findings provide strong evidence of the project's effectiveness in raising the quality of education as demonstrated by increased scores on standardized tests as well as improved attendance. In contrast, assessments of the use of computers, the Internet and related technologies for distance learning have been equivocal. Russell, in his comprehensive review of research, claims that there is "no significant difference" between the test scores of learners taking ICT-based distance learning courses and those receiving face-to-face instruction. However, others claim that such generalizations are inconclusive, pointing out that the large number of articles on ICT-based distance learning does not
include original experimental research or case studies. Other critics argue that dropout rates are much higher when instruction is delivered at a distance via ICTs. There have also been many studies that seem to support the claim that the use of computers enhances and amplifies existing curricula, as measured through standardized testing. Specifically, research
shows that the use of computers as tutors, for drill and practice, and for instructional delivery, combined with traditional instruction, results in increases in learning in the traditional curriculum and basic skills areas, as well as higher test scores in some subjects compared to traditional instruction alone. Students also learn more quickly, demonstrate greater retention, and are better motivated to learn when they work with computers. But there are those who claim that these represent modest gains and, in any case,much of the research on which these claims are based are methodologically flawed. Research likewise suggests that the use of computers, the Internet, and related technologies, given adequate teacher training and support, can indeed facilitate the transformation of the learning environment into a learner-centered one. But these studies are criticized for being mostly exploratory and descriptive in nature and lacking in empirical rigor. There is as yet no strong evidence that this new learning environment fosters improved learning outcomes. What does exist are qualitative data
based on observations and analysis of student and teacher perceptions that suggest a positive
impact on learning. One of the most critical problems in trying to assess the effectiveness of computers and the Internet as transformational tools is that standardized tests cannot capture the kinds of benefits that are expected to be gained in a learner-centered environment. Moreover, since technology use is fully integrated into the larger learning system, it is very difficult to isolate the technology variable and determine whether any observed gains are due to technology use or to some other factor or combination of factors.
Is there equity of access to ICTs in education?
Given the wide disparities in access to ICTs between rich and poor countries and between different groups within countries, there are serious concerns that the use of ICTs in education will widen existing divisions drawn along economic, social, cultural, geographic, and gender lines. Ideally, one wishes for equal opportunity to participate. But access for different actors-both as users and producers-is weighted by their resources. Hence, initial differences are often reproduced, reinforced, and even magnifiedâ€¦.A formidable challenge, therefore, continues to face planners of international education: how to define the problem and provide assistance for development. The introduction of ICTs in education, when done without careful deliberation, can result in the further marginalization of those who are already underserved and/or disadvantaged. For example, women have less access to ICTs and fewer opportunities for ICT-related training compared to men because of illiteracy and lack of education, lack of time, lack of mobility, and poverty. Boys are more likely than girls to have access to computers in school and at home. Not surprisingly, boys tend to enjoy working with computers more than girls. As the American Association of University Women
reports, "Girls have narrowed some significant gender gaps, but technology is now the new 'boys' club' in our nation's public schools. While boys programme and problem solve with computers, girls use computers for word processingâ€¦" In an evaluation of its programme in four African countries, Worldlinks, an organization that promotes project-based, international telecollaboration activities among secondary school teachers and advocating for reducing the after-school duties of girls to give them more time to use the computer lab.Girls also need to have female role models to inspire them to participate in technology-related activities. Providing access to ICTs is only one facet of efforts to address equity issues. Equal attention must be paid to ensuring that the technology is actually being used by the target learners and in ways that truly serve their needs. An ICT-supported educational programme that illustrates this wholistic approach is the Enlace Quiché: Bilingual Education in Guatemala Through Teacher Training programme. The programme seeks to establish and maintain bilingual education technology centres for educators, students, teachers, parents, and community members in Quiché and neighboring areas. The technical teams for each centre are composed of three students, two teachers,and the centre administrator, with at least one female student and one female teacher. Another objective of Enlance Quiche is the creation of multimedia bilingual educational materials that are anchored on the Mayan culture and that reflect
a constructivist approach to learning. As the project website notes, this "demonstrate[s] that the technology can be used to know, to conserve, to disclose and to value local knowledge."The project thus illustrates a model for bridging the digital divide arising from the monopoly in Internet content provision by Western and English-speaking groups and from uneven capacities to make purposeful, relevant and critical use of digital resources (see section on language and content below). Another example of a wholistic approach to ICT integration in education is a radio instruction project in Mongolia called the Gobi Women's Project. It seeks to provide literacy and numeracy instruction built around lessons of interest to around 15,000 nomadic women, and to create income opportunities for them. Among the programme topics are livestock rearing techniques; family care (family planning, health, nutrition and hygiene); income generation using locally available raw materials; and basic
business skills for a new market economy.
The Uses of ICT in Education
Education policymakers and planners must first of all be clear about what educational outcomes (as discussed above) are being targeted.These broad goals should guide the choice of technologies to be used and their modalities of use. The potential of each technology varies according to how it is used. Haddad and Draxler identify at least five levels of technology use in education: presentation, demonstration, drill and practice, interaction,
and collaboration. Each of the different ICTs-print, audio/video cassettes, radio and TV broadcasts, computers or the Internet-may be used for presentation and demonstration, the most basic of the five levels. Except for video technologies, drill and practice may likewise be performed using the whole range of technologies. On the other hand, networked computers and the Internet are the ICTs that enable interactive and collaborative learning best; their full potential as educational tools will remain unrealized if they are used merely for presentation or demonstration.
How have radio and TV broadcasting been used in education?
Radio and television have been used widely as educational tools since the 1920s and the 1950s, respectively.
There are three general approaches to the use of radio and TV broadcasting in education:21
1) direct class teaching, where broadcast programming substitutes for teachers on a temporary basis;
2) school broadcasting, where broadcast programming provides complementary teaching and learning resources not otherwise available; and
3) general educational programming over community, national and international stations which provide general and informal educational opportunities.
What is telecollaboration?
Online learning involving students logging in to formal courses online is perhaps the most commonly thought of application of the Internet in education.However, it is by no means the only application. Web-based collaboration tools, such as email, listservs,message boards, real-time chat, and Web-based conferencing, connect learners to other learners, teachers, educators, scholars and researchers, scientists and artists, industry leaders and politicians-in short, to any individual with access to the Internet who can enrich the learning process.
The organized use of Web resources and collaboration tools for curriculum appropriate purposes is called telecollaboration. Judi Harris defines telecollaboration as "an educational endeavor that involves people in different locations using Internet tools and resources to work together. Much educational telecollaboration is curriculum-based, teacher-designed, and teacher-coordinated. Most use e-mail to help participants communicate with each other. Many telecollaborative activities and projects have Web sites to support them."41 The best telecollaborative projects are those that are fully integrated into the curriculum and not just extra-curricular activities, those in which technology use enables activities that would not have been possible without it, and those that empower students to become active, collaborative, creative, integrative, and evaluative learners. There are currently hundreds of telecollaborative projects being implemented worldwide and many more that have either been completed or are in development.