THE USE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS IN EDUCATION

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As you may or may not know, an Information System is a collection of hardware, software, data, people, and procedures that work together to produce quality information and education is the process of acquiring knowledge. How do people acquire this knowledge you may be thinking? Well, they learn from other people such as educators, employers and workers. There are many forms of materials that are used in education. The traditional materials would be the text books and manuals used for learning tools, but in todays times it's a different story. Educators are now turning to computers to assist them with learning. This new way of learning is becoming extremely popular and is realy spreading fast. Not only can you use information systems inside the classroom to accompany face to face learning but it can also be used for distance learning.

Learning has no boundries when it comes to IS. The Internet allows student to have to access to an endless amount of information for research purposes .Students of all ages can use online activities that relate to their subject matter and keyboarding skills are being developed at very early ages. In order to succed and gain more knowledge about our information-rich society, students must be able to use this technology effectively, both in an educational setting and beyond.

The teachers of today are facing many challenges and changes, it is becoming an increasingly more difficult job because of the huge amounts of expectations. By using technology in teaching it can actually help with many expectations faced by the educators of today. IS changes from year to year therefore it is important for a teacher to take part in professional development in technology. Professional development ensures that technology is used eficiently and effectively in order to create new opportunities for learning and to promote student achievement.

In a way, Information Systems have become the keystone of modern education. It allows schools to store valuable student information and assists the administration department with the management of the entire school. When an IS tool is beneficial to learning, it benefits teaching. If an IS tool is beneficial to teaching, it in turn benefits administration and the learning students and so on. It is a collaborative effort which affects all aspects of education.

Teachers can present many IS tools to students in order to aid in the learning process. Examples of these learning tools would be E-learning , Web TC, online classes, concept maps and distance learning are all classified as forms of instructional technology . Distance learning has many benefits, these include allowing students to attend classes when the situation does not permit them to attend the on-campus lecture, it gives the students flexibility to work on assignments when their schedule permits them to and in turn this releases a student from attending a class where a set day and time is scheduled. Students also have the priviledge to do interactive teamwork between groups as well as have the opportunity to cormmunicate with people from different backgrounds, cultures from all around the world.

Having IS capabilities in the classroom allows students to have reference materials at their fingertips. The web is not only a source for communication but can also provide reference for an enormous number of topics. Today's web not only consists of Web sites where information on various topics can be found but it contains videos where the visual learner can study topics in a way that they process information. This resource provides educators with engaging digital resources to be more effective in the classroom and in turn increase student interest by connecting the classroom to an abundant amount of information from around the world. When using such resources, the teacher is now a facilitator in learning the subject material and not someone who is lecturing the materials like in the past.

The majority of the decisions made within educational institutions are made from analyzing data this data is collected by the use of IS technology. Examples of IS technology would be an online tests (such as Exam View or Quiz Star) where students take tests online and recieve their results almost immediatly. This online tool then stores the test and the memo to the test, but will also store the students answers. A report can be immediately generated after the test has been completed. The data from the reports will immediately be available for teachers so they can be shown where the students are struggling.

A common example of the use of this technology in the classroom are students using computers for research projects, computer software and demonstrations. Various applications are taught to students on a daily basis. Due to the fact that today's students learn in many different ways, teachers need to figure out variou effective methods for them to get that information. The rules of the past do not apply to the students of today. Instead of the students needing to adapt to fit the mold of what the teacher expects, the teacher needs to adapt the way they deliver that information to the students.

IS helps improve teaching in the classroom due to the fact that it gives the teacher the opportunity to educate the students many different ways. It requires students to think outside the box and get a better understanding of the information that is being presented to them. Students also have a chance to research ideas on hand and make their learning more meaningful and relevant. In the past, teaching was one dimensional. However, due to technology changing the atmosphere in the classroom, teaching is now teacher directed, but students can become further engaged with assisting the teachers lesson with the provided technology at a click of a button. Teachers also have to establish a reason for using IS in the classroom and have to make the teaching successful for their students. In order for teaching to be effective teachers need to allow flexibility in the lessons prepared on a daily basis.

In the society of today, information systems are changing rapidly day by day. There are many different styles of technology that can be use to boost learning for students. These styles of technology can range from Power Point presentations to mobile laptops with Internet access for each student. With technology like this in the classroom the students get a much better quality of learning. Nowdays information systems are becoming easier and easier to use and this makes it more convenient for students who wants to do research and find solutions to there problems. Students gain knowledge through computers where technology is used essentially as a tutor and serves to increase the students basic skills and knowledge and where technology is used as a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process which can serve as a resource to help develop higher order thinking, creativity and research skills.

Communication is extremely important if you want the correct message to be delivered. There are many different ways to communicate. Using the correct method for its delivery is just as important. In the past teachers and students would make presentations in class and would use flip-charts, overhead projectors, or chalkboards as their primary medium. Now, we have electronic whiteboards that record what the teacher writes, so students can access the animated or narrated information on a computer for revision after the presentation. Power Point presentations can also be used, in which we can integrate text, video, sound, graphics, links to other documents, or links to the Internet. This widespread application allows both students and teachers to communicate in a truly multimedia format. Social networking sites, electronic mail (e-mail), and web logs (blogs) are three more means of facilitating communication among students.

Collaboration is now simpler than ever due to the use of online tools and software that allows students and educators to work together on projects. Wikis, web seminars, and video conference calls are a few ways that students and teachers can come together and share information with other students and colleagues.

Communication can also be done via the Web. Students can connect to the internet by using either Dial-up access, wireless networks, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), satellite modems or cable modems. Many schools of today have Web sites that connect users to school calendars, upcoming sporting events, contact information for the school and educators, library resources and a lot more. If IS did not exist this would all be impossible to do. This method of communication allows schools relay information to parents and students in a timely manner. Lots of schools have incorporated a type of IS that allows parents and guardians to have access to their child's results and attendance record. In a nut shell parents sign up for their own user name and password and then they have exclusive access to this type of information. Via this IS tool, schools can have 24/7 communication with parents to inform them of their child's progress in each class.

When students graduate and enter into the working world, they must be equipped with the necessary skills to compete in an international market. An example of a skill would being able to video conference which removes the boundaries of a traditional classroom. The students are able to gain valuable knowledge that is outside of the textbook by talking to students in that country. From the educators' standpoint, computer applications allow for them to take a traditional classroom and turn it into a virtual classroom.

In the classroom, the various types of technology deliver different forms of content and serve many different purposes. Examples of this would be word processing and e-mailing which promote communication skills, database and spreadsheet programs which promote organizational skills, as well as modeling software which encourages the understanding of mathematic as well as scientific concepts.

Educators and students alike are both looking for better ways to deliver and learn information. Most educational programs use a computer-based training approach. Schools are quickly adapting to thse training programs and it in turn aids students in learning. The benefits that information systems give to the educational process are endless.

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