Posted: December 2nd, 2013
Use of ICT in teaching
Use of ICT in teaching
The exploitation of information and communication technology (ICT) such as Internet software, DVD-ROMs, computer attachments and various video technology have created various transformation in the society. These modifications are not simply technical in nature, but more notably, structural in nature. Various major institutions in the society have transformed, and the various lifestyles have been influenced. However, the influence of ICT on education is a new phenomenon that has been felt as teachers incorporate the new technology into their instruction methods. In the early phases of the application of ICT in the learning process, most teachers at the high school level provided insights into the new technology. The purpose of studying the effect of ICT is to understand how the application of ICT alters the teachers’ work, and what concern or issues that teachers have identified in the introduction of ICT.
Advantages and disadvantages of ICT in language teaching
Many non-native speakers around the world struggle to learn a new language. However, in their learning process, they make many oversights that are caused by their mother tongue. These mistakes can be corrected by instructors, but currently computers having appropriate educational software. Modern reviews of the studies that related to the impact of ICT on learners’ inspiration levels, carried out by Cox, acknowledged a number of precise inspirational features, for example, enhanced dedication to the learning process, improved satisfaction and concentration, heightened self-esteem and boosts in confidence and independence (Cox, 2007). Some of the investigations focused on the use of portable computers within one academic year by 300 students from different primary and secondary schools. The examiners discovered that the greater part of the instructors reported advanced levels of motivation among the students and an enhanced attitude to work when the students were using computers.
This incentive, leading to improved self-esteem, was particularly visible for the students in schools having children with special needs. Other studies by the UK impact group on the impact of ICT on children’s learning process discovered that the pupils’ dedication to their work was improved by the use of ICT. More recent studies done by Robertson (2005) on computer-related approaches of teachers and pupils in secondary schools were evaluated by questionnaire articles such as “I prefer working with computers” and “I would enjoy working with computers” illustrated that instructors and students held a positive attitude towards computers.
The application of ICT in the classroom can have numerous advantages, but conversely, it can have various disadvantages. The introduction of ICT in teaching leads to faster information gathering that can allow scholars to present materials in a more academic fashion with better organization of graphics and literature than using a traditional blackboard (Cox, 2007). ICT can be applied as the major tool in the teaching process, as a teaching aid for evaluating students, as an independent learning instrument and for e learning purposes for overseas individuals. Using these new advancements in technology, learners are aggressively interested by the teaching process and the result is a more refined learning experience, increased concentration and subsequently lesser delinquency and discipline cases in the classroom (Robertson et al, 2005).
The application of ICT in administering lessons is not limited to the educational programs only, but it can also be used the Internet. In most instances, the internet serves as a very useful resource, but most of the time, people waste precious time surfing for leisure. Small educational institutions cannot afford proper internet connection and this obstacle significantly lowers the quality of the lesson by slowing down the pace of learning. However, the internet is a great resource for information only when the instructor is able to regulate the content that students can access in order to find beneficial material for students. Similar consideration must be given when selecting an educational software package that will aid the instructors. When selecting, the issue of suitability and affordability surface as the school has a budget for such expenses and the administration will need to ratify that the software will help their students (Watson, 2003).
Teaching using ICT in itself does not contribute much towards achieving curriculum goals because besides helping in the preparation of classes, an excellent understanding of the Internet allows instructors to help the students in their classroom activities that require the Internet (Robertson et al, 2005). Apart from that, professional development is beneficial in updating the expertise and improving the possibility of career advancement among teachers. Among other uses, the Internet can be used to facilitate a joint discussion group, purchase access to a news group, enroll in classes, and communicate regularly with academic colleagues.
The Internet can be used to increase value, administer the activities in the classroom and fine-tune the planning process. Most instructors prefer to switch to ICT when teaching because they prefer the change, improvements and new dimensions that ICT introduces into teaching. When learning, the Internet motivates students in diverse ways and by providing Internet during the learning process, it acts as a motivational drive especially to those bored by the conventional methods of delivering information. Therefore, ICT enhances the shift of information from the short-term to the long-term memory (Watson, 2003). The Internet also enables us to inspire some of the disoriented learners in class and thereby hastening the process of information assimilation.
Computer literacy can be defined as the ability to successfully perform numerous tasks using a computer. The ability to be able to use computers effectively has evolved to become a requirement for individuals in all sectors. Within the education sector, teachers and students alike have been forced to embrace ICT in their learning and research process. One problematic aspect of many computer literacy programs is that they depend rather heavily on memorization. Different systems have different and specific methods of performing functions, and when students are introduced to another system, they may become confused. However, long standing companies such as Apple and Microsoft have developed programs that are compatible and easy to use (Watson, 2003).
Learners have the opportunity to grasp imperative technological abilities that are captured in a continuous, efficient application of ICT in the education process. However, even instructors need some support to develop these teaching skills, and here the application of ICT becomes crucial. The instructors are required to prepare the classroom environment and prepare the learning chances for pupils. Contemporary schools need to have skilled teachers who can use technology correctly and understand the role that technology plays in enriching the learning process.
According to the facts mentioned, UNESCO launched standardized guidelines for implementing ICT within the learning process. UNESCO proposed three main approaches that were founded on human capacity development (Cheong, 2012). These approaches include knowledge creation, knowledge deepening and technology literacy. These methods were closely related to the components within the educational system that include curriculum, policy, teacher training, ICT and pedagogy (Cheong, 2012). It is however imperative to realize that ICT greatly motivates teachers by giving them a positive attitude towards their work, by simplifying their tasks and by providing a different perspective toward the whole learning process.
Diagnostic testing is a relatively new field that has been introduced by ICT into the learning sector. More and more children have started depending on private tuition, and this is administered through ICT. With the increased intake of children across most schools, the conventional instruments for running diagnostic testing on students were rendered useless. In their place, programs such as computer based diagnostic testing were introduced into schools. These tools were necessary in finding out what aspect of a student needed improvement and this was difficult to do manually (Watson, 2003). Conversely, ICT can monitor individual aspects of a student such as cognition and comprehension. ICT has also been used for remedial teaching purposes.
When common mistakes are discovered by the teacher, a Remedial-teaching program can be implemented by the teacher that can be online or offline. ICT is also crucial in the evaluation process through digital collection of information (Cheong, 2012). Computer literacy is a crucial syllabus in schools, from primary to high school. As the role of technology continues to permeate all features of life, students require computer knowledge that is essential in plotting a course in the scientific world with expertise and accountability. Computer literacy in schools holds the possibility of leveling out the playing field and offer students from different backgrounds the chance to learn more about ICT.
The application of technology in education is without doubt a proper advancement in the teaching profession. The role played by the teacher in the modern ICT system has also changed. The new educational environment is plagued by an insatiable volume of information that is presented to the students, and this has increased the pace of learning every day (Elston, 2007). However, it is definite that the role played by instructors will still be significant and irreplaceable aspect of the educational process in spite of the tremendous application of ICT in teaching.
On a fundamental level, computer literacy instructs students on the proper way to use computers and maximize on the potential of computer software. Nevertheless, the main academic role of computer literacy transcends basic computer expertise. Computer literacy also covers areas that have a broad range of goals such as learning how to use equipment such as mice and keyboard, as well as investigating information on how to use the Internet (Cheong, 2012). Technology within the classroom or the computer lab engages the students actively in the learning process.
Teachers and ICT
Currently, the teaching profession is one of the most challenging careers where the knowledge bank grows rapidly. Current technologies demand that teachers acquire the necessary skills to apply these technologies properly in their teaching. ICT makes the delivery of lessons easier and aid the learning process. These contemporary technologies offer teachers the chance to transform the learning experience of a language and make it simpler and more useful to students rather than just providing the skills (Watson, 2003). The introduction of ICT can change the way teachers lecture in schools. Many states in the world have acknowledged the significance of ICT in learning and teaching, and have provided teachers with training programs that teach them to use technology as an instrument to improve the teaching process.
With the current infrastructure, class size, accessibility of instructors, teacher skills, training of instructors and other factors, it is next to impossible to attain all the goals. Furthermore, most of the instructors apply the lecture method that does not have the possibility of achieving the greater part of aforementioned goals (Elston, 2007). Theses objectives are multi-faceted in nature and therefore, multiple methods of achievement should be applied in an incorporated manner. Presently, ICT provides the best opportunity for these objectives to be realized. It is a recognized fact that not a single instructor is talented enough to provide updated and inclusive information in his or her own field.
Using ICT in the classroom can cover this gap because it can offer access to diverse sources of information. It will supply accurate information in a comprehensive manner and in different layouts with different cases. ICT also offers an online interactive option where students and instructors can switch their thoughts and opinions, and get explanations on any subjects from different professionals. ICT assists learners to widen their information base. ICT also provides diversity in the production of content that aids learners in attentiveness, better perception, and longer holding of information that is not possible through any other way (Elston, 2007). The students can get the chance to work on any live tasks with pupils and professionals from other states. Some of the challenges that face ICT education in most developed and developing countries include infrastructure problems. Most regions lack access to power supply and other sources of energy and equipment necessary for running a computer lab. The number of qualified teachers that can guide students in computer studies is also wanting for most schools (Elston, 2007).
Cox, M. J. (2007). The effects of Information Technology on Students Motivation. Final Report. NCET/King’s College London. Coventry/London
Cheong K. International Conference on ICT in Teaching and Learning, & Li, K. C. (2012). Engaging learners through emerging technologies: International Conference on ICT in Teaching and Learning, ICT 2012, Hong Kong, China, July 4-6, 2012. Proceedings. Berlin: Springer
Elston, C. (2007). Using ICT in the primary school. London: Paul Chapman Pub
Robertson, S.I, Calder, J, Fung, P, Jones, A, & O’Shea, T. (2005) Computer attitudes in an English secondary school. Computers and Education 24 (2) 73-81
Watson, D.M. (Ed.) (2003) IMPACT – An evaluation of the IMPACT of the Information Technology on Children’s Achievements in Primary and Secondary Schools. King’s College London
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