Significance Of Icts In Teaching Learning Process Education Essay

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Integration of ICT in teaching has very important significance on learning attitude of students, creativity, knowledge construction, learning environment, teaching strategies, problem solving skills and understanding concepts using various tools. Learner has opportunity to keep record of information in electronic version and understand dfifferent concepts on the basis of self- learning (Owen, 2004). Different forms of Multimedia channels provide information about content knowledge, understanding of different concepts, variety of approaches and expertise (Sharma, 2005).

Trinidad (2003) recognizing significance of ICT stated that "Technology rich learning environment using e-learning can engage the learner giving them a sense of empowerment where they are no longer dependent of the specific and often limited knowledge of their educator." (p.110). However, Pelgrum discussing importance of ICT in teaching explores that use of ICT is very supportive tool for teacher which is helpful for students to explore effective methodology, proper guidance for self -learning, critical evaluation of their performance and high quality skills for communication( Pelgrum, 2001).

According to Loveless, Burton, & Turvey ( 2006) "ICT made a contribution, not only to the creative processes and outcomes of the activities themselves, but also to a deeper understanding of pedagogy and purpose in using ICT to support learning"(p.9). It is expected that by using ICT in teaching, teachers can enhance their competency and effectiveness in classroom teaching (Ertmer, & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Teacher educators have to recgnize and set up classroom settings for assignment in way so that ICT tools must be inetgral part of teaching methodology (Kalogiannakis, 2010).

"Teachers have had to learn new things and handle new teaching skills. Indeed, there are now a range of media competencies teachers must have to maximize the value of ICT learning in classrooms." (Watson, 2006, p.206). Use of ICT is increasing day by day to achieve educational objectives and its application have great influence in teaching and learning process which encourage teacher educator to use technological application for training programs. Wang ( 2008) pointed out that "Pedagogy, social interaction and technology are three key components of a technology enhanced learning environment. A sound design of these components should enable teachers to integrate ICT into teaching and learning in an effective way" (p.417). Use of ICTs in education has reshaped the conventional teaching approaches and provided innovative methods in teaching and learning process ( Skinner, 2010). "ICT are innovations in teaching and learning inspired by a constructivist perspective". (Volman, 2005, p.20)

Innovation of use of ICTs in teaching learning process

ICT- supported solutions have manifold functions for learning outcomes which enable learning achievements (Rickards, 2003). Supporting the innovative nature of ICT, Jung (2005) affirmed that "selecting appropriate ICT tools and supporting students in the use of those tools, using ICT to promote learning activities, developing new methods of facilitating learning and evaluating student performance, and so on." (p.95). The European Schoolnet in the The ICT Impact Report:A review of studies of ICT impact on schools in Europe has classified following innovations with the integration of ICT ion teaching:

Area

ICT-based teaching

Traditional teaching

Approach

Constructive (and instructive)

instructive

teaching

Project based teaching

Pre-programmed teaching

Training plan

Based on themes

Subject focus- based on a firm outline and standards

Tasks

Must be fulfilled- individual and collective

Having particular knowledge - everybody does the same

Learning

Understand the context

Memorizing facts

Pupils

Divided by skills and interests- differentiation

Divided by age

Evaluation

Mistakes are source for improvement and guidance

Oral feedback

Formative research

Correction only

Marks and grading as part of the evaluation of students

Teacher

guider and mediator

has several roles

high authority

has one role

School

open environment

closed environment

Source of

information

multiple

teacher

(Balanskat, Blamire, & Kefala, 2006, p.45)

Trainee teachers can be trained through ICT-supported teaching strategies in subject area. Teacher educators can easily manage trainee-centered learning method using ICT tools (Goktas, Yildirim, & Yildirim, 2008).

Teacher Preparation and Pedagogical Approaches

Teacher education plays vital role in reforming and strengthening the education system of any country. Pre-service teacher education provides knowledge and skills to the prospective teachers that are practicum to their workplace as a teacher. The most important problem in teacher education is the preparedness of teachers in their workplace as the studies attest the relationship of theoretical knowledge and practical skills provided to the students in their pre-service education with their effectiveness in their classrooms as a beginning teacher (Good et al, 2006).

Most reports about teacher education focus more on curricular issues, such as what prospective teachers should learn, or on structural issues, such as professional development schools or the length of the programs, than issues of instruction. Neither the research reports nor the reform reports had much to say about how prospective teachers should be taught. Yet in teacher education, attention to pedagogy is critical; how one teaches is part and parcel of what one teaches (Marilyn, Kenneth & Zeichner, 2009).

To strike a balance between theory and practice is a long standing challenge in the pre service teacher education programs (Korthagen, 1996, Bates, 2002, Smith, 2006). To apply the knowledge in the workplace for teachers is a crucial challenge of the pre-service teacher education and the significance inadequacies have been identified in the research studies in this regard (Bates, 2002). The effectiveness of pre-service and in-service depends on to narrow down the disparities lying between theory and practice provided to the student teachers in their pre-service teachers training (Singh, 2005).

Teacher education sector in Pakistan has been criticized by the academicians and researchers for low quality. Dilshad (2010) identified following common problems related to teacher training in Pakistan: "lack of funding and resources, poorly equipped training institutions, short training period, undue emphasis on quantitative expansion, narrow scope of curriculum, imbalance between general and professional courses, over-emphasis on theory as opposed to practice little/no coordination between education departments and training institutions, deficient quality of instruction, lack of in-service training of teacher educators, failure in implementing useful reforms, vague objectives, poor quality of textbooks, defective examination system, lack of supervision and accountability, and lack of research and evaluation of teacher training programs". The National Education Policy: 1998-2010 has rightly highlighted the quality problem by observing: "The qualitative dimension of teacher education program has received marginal attention resulting in mass production of teachers with shallow understanding of both the content and methodology of education" (Government of Pakistan, 1998, p.47).

According to Merrill (2002), learning is promoted when knowledge is applied and integrated in the real world. "Most instructional design theories advocate application of knowledge and skill as a necessary condition for effective learning (p. 6)." The traditional pre-service teacher education programs are failing in preparing teachers for effective teaching and learning in the classroom ( Korthagen& Kessels,1999), as well as a dominated view is emerging that theory and practice should be integrated ( Leinhardt, Young & Merriam, 1995).

ICTs and teaching methodology

In stereo type teaching, teacher uses different strategies to facilitate learning environment but with integration of ICT teacher can easily create appropriate learning environment to facilitate learning achievements. Machine instructions provide solution to problems therefore use if ICTs in education can modernize, develop and upgrade education system (Morrison at al., 1999). ICT has becoming part of teaching methodology as we are interacting with the applications of information and communication teachnologies and its imapct on learning achievements (Dore & Wickens, 2004).

Siddiqui (2004) believes that ICT integrated approaches can be adopted according to the requirement of students which help teacher educators to apply appropriate methodology for effective learning. Kennewwell, Parkinson, & Tanner ( 2000) pointed out that those teachers who are using ICTs in their teaching are always of the opinion that ICTs must be used by non-users so that they could improve skills and knowledge of teaching. Teacher training covers different angles of trainees which means "to enable teachers to develop the potentiality of their pupils, to serve as role models, to help to reform, encourage self-confidence and creativity"(Sharma, 2009, p.74) .

Pedro (2005) in research conducted on traditional and ICT integrated teaching methods concluded that "it is the change in the teaching method and not the adoption of technology that results in a higher quality of teaching" (p.403). "The teachers who are already regular users of ICT have confidence in using ICT, perceive it to be useful for their personal work and for their teaching and plan to extend their use further in the future "(Mumtaz, 2000, p. 323).

It is big challenge to motivate teacher educators regarding use of ICT in teaching methodology (Baron, & Harrari, 2005). It is very important for teacher educators to well equip them to obtain new knowledge , skilled in appropriate methods and adopt new startegies with the support of ICT to facilitate learning (Ertmer, & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). With advancement of ICT, innovative training strategies have been incorporated in teacher education which is based on sustainability and transferability. Jung (2000 suggests that:

One of the best ways to develop teachers' ICT skills and promote ICT-pedagogy integration in their teaching is the provision of ICT-based training environments where on-demand access to materials, peers, and networks of experts where expertise and advices can be obtained and active discussion can take place in relation to technology or pedagogy." (p.98)

More ever, specific competencies and ICT-enriched teaching methods required for 21st century students is still a big challenge (Voogt, 2009).

Importance of ICTs in teaching methodology

Integration of ICTs in education has provided many forms of communication with flexibility and easiness (Inglis, Ling, & Joosten, 1999). Use of ICTs in education have very important role in teaching methodologies with positive impact on the way of dissemination of content knowledge and effective learning strategies (Chandra, 2004). In a sdudy by Beauchamp (2006) took position that "teachers must incorporate the use of ICT into their pedagogy" (p.82) and "ICT must be used to meet educational objectives" (Usun, 2009, p. 333). A study by Loveles at al.(2006) found very important significance using ICT tools. They stated that:

The affordances of ICT can also be part of this creative interaction as people exploit the distinctive features of ICT that enable digital technologies to act as tools in creative processes. The uses of ICT to support and promote creativity have been described, reviewed and theorized in a range of our work in recent years." (p .4)

In general, ICT provide supportive environment to teacher educators and help students to understand the concepts and content knowledge. ICT has provided opportunities to access variety of material increasing gaps among haves and haves not which has termed as digital divide (Skinner, 2010). Integration of ICT in teachning methodoloy make students active participants, provide aportunity to learn in classroom and from external sources. Enhance teamwork, encourga ethem to ask questions and find solution of problems (Pelgrum, 2001).

ICT and professional development

Professional development is very important phase of individual. Through education and training he treats professionally, become a responsible citizen, proves a good learner and turn into service provider. ICT in professional development plays vital role to prepare responsible citizens. Capacity building of teachers at initial stage makes them professional. As concluded by Voogt (2009) "ICT contributed to an increase in a variety of student outcomes and teaching practices" (p.340).

Integration of ICTs in teaching methods for capacity building of teachers is playing very important role in professional development (Chandra, 2004). Teaching and learning environment is improving day by day with the integration of ICTs and use of its application in education and training providing variety of methods and tools for professional development ( Pulist, 2010). A study by Dore & Wickens (2004) suggest that for the new appointed teachers it is need of hour to enhance their expertise in the different applications and usage of ICTs tools which provide support to trainee teachers.

Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) developed and model for new teacher education which requires that trainee teachers must comprehend the notions, instruments and regulation for which they are responsible for teaching. That model emphasizes that teachers should understand the development process of students, difference among the children on their comprehension level and applying different teaching methodologies (Collins, 2001). The argument of Sharma (2009) proposed that capacity building of teachers regarding use of ICTs in teaching and it applications is very effective for overall purpose of school reforms and development.

Teacher trainees are guided by teacher educators regarding classroom management and professional behaviour to achieve educational objectives. Applying modern ICT- enriched teaching methods facilitate teacher trainees to develop personality, exhibit talent, demonstrate skills and attain educational goals and this is possible through professional development programs. Using ICT-enriched techniques professional development prepare teachers to face the challenges of teaching, facilitate learning, and enhance their knowledge regarding use of ICT tools in teaching learning process (Cox, & Marshal, 2007). It is therfore necessary that "the new competency- based teacher education system is sorely needed as an appropriate measurement of all competencies "(Szilagyi, & Szecsi, 2011, p.329).

It is not important "Whether and how students participate in online communities is of significance to teacher educators" but "the intent of many online communities is to provide informal learning opportunities beyond what is possible in face-to-face classrooms" (Scherff, & Singer, 2008, p.153). The study conducted by Markauskaite find out that most of the teacher trainees wish to enhance and improve their information and communication technology skills during initil training or professional development program (Markauskaite, 2007).

Integration of ICTs in education and its frequent use has improved teaching - learning methodologies and enhanced qualitative efficiency (Siddiqui, 2004).Outside the classroom environment there are hundrends of thousand websites which support teacher educators to fufill the requirmen of professional skills (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, & Vocke, 2010)

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