ICT plays a pivotal role in education. It encompasses the LMS, e-Testing, and also the use of email. In this era, education cannot survive without ICT.
ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology that is comprised of technologies which provide access to information through telecommunications. It is same as Information Technology (IT) but concentrate basically on communication technologies. ICT consist of the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication sources.
Information and communications technology is an extended-term for information technology that concentrates on the role of unified communications and the consolidation of telecommunications telephone lines, wireless signals, computers, and necessary enterprise software, hardware, storage, and audiovisual systems, that make possible for users to access, save, transmit, and use information.
Role of ICT in improving teaching-learning:
ICTs can improve the quality of education in many ways e.g. by enhancing learner motivation and engagement, by alleviating the acquisition of fundamental skills, and by improving teacher training. ICTs are also trans-mutational tools that, when used properly, can improve the shift to a learner-centered environment.
The use of ICT in the classroom teaching-learning is very important in many ways because it provides various opportunities for teachers and students to operate, store, manipulate, and recollect information. It also encourages independent and active learning, and self-responsibility for learning like distance learning encourages teachers and students to keep on using learning outside school times. It helps to plan and prepare lessons and design contents such as course content delivery and make easy sharing of sources, skills, and advice. This versatile tool has the capability not only of involving students in instructional activities to enhance their learning but of helping them to solve complex problems to improve their cognitive skills.
Teachers can prepare their lectures on a computer and can deliver through multimedia. For students, PPTs and slides of lessons comprised of related pictures make lesson easier to understand. Teachers can easily design their lessons and teaching contents through computers. PowerPoint, animation, graphics can be used to improve the learning of content. Computers are good for explaining complex processes. Computer-aided learning is not a replacement technology but a complementary tool. Computers are useful for teaching, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Practitioners, over the years, has been using ICT in classrooms and other education fields to encourage students, to enhance instruction, to make sure students and teachers work more prolifically and to help students learn and enhance information age skills. ICT can be used to motivate students to gain their attention. Teachers say ICT’s visual and interactive qualities can lead students’ attention toward learning tasks. Technology can also be used to represent real-world relevance through highly visual presentations. When students see that high-level math and science skills have real-life applications, it is no longer just ‘school work’, they are more motivated to acquire skills that have clear importance to their future life and work.
Additionally, students who see the application of what they are studying as authentic and original are motivated by the application to their daily lives. Besides that, ICT can be used to improve instruction whereby interaction and instant feedback can be used to support skill practice. ICT also provides access to information sources. The internet connects students with information, research, data, and skills that are might not be available locally. In fact, ICT empowers students to involve in the learning process and give them an interest in their personal education.
Disadvantages of ICT:
Mankind’s inventions have both advantages and disadvantages. Although Information and Communication Technology improved learning and teaching environment and made the learning and teaching process easy but on the other hand it has some disadvantages in the teaching and learning process in classrooms as well in other areas. Some of them are described below.
As smartphones, laptops, desktops, and tablets totally replaced the use of paper and pen; hence, finding a person with good handwriting is just like finding a needle in the haystack. All the important documents are now typed and saved in that small folder icon in laptop. Experts argue that people are sacrificing their handwriting to adopt technology for fast learning. Experts say that the use of technology in place of handwriting slow down thinking process by making neurons lethargic.
Disconnection from the real world
Nowadays educators are busy in teaching the learners with its online education tools other than communicating orally that makes them unable to interact with their teachers and ask their problems openly to overcome it.
Major sources of distractions
As we know that in present generation social networking sites are literally ruling the world with its attractive innovations, therefore, educators and learners are wasting their time in checking their posts and updates, counting the number of likes, seeing the status that they themselves or any of their near one updated, busy in commenting on social sites, etc. All these activities create a long distance between them and their education.
Creating enough room for cheating
The technological world is making people more and lazier giving all the powers to control everything by a click of a mouse. Cheating is an illegal activity but technology made it more easy to use with its powerful wings. It has really become very difficult to control this activity, especially in the examination environment. Mobile phones are available with all its advanced features and quick internet accessibility which facilitate them to use it without any hassles.
5.Waste of valuable time
As humans are not error-free, likely technologies to do not come error-free. There are many problems like server error and connectivity problems which take much time to troubleshoot it, hence, hindering the learning process which can sometimes be a matter of frustration both for the learners and the educators.
Factors that prevent teachers from implementing information technology (ICT):
Technology is being used be nowadays in most aspects of education and many schools are adopting it quite well, whether its usage is BYOD initiatives, blended learning, flipped classrooms, creating content using authoring tools, or using a learning platform. It is amazing how much technology is available today that makes learning more interactive and easier. Most of the educators by now are quite familiar with these practices and use them regularly in their classrooms.
Although the usage of ICT in the classroom has increased significantly during the last years but there are still educators that are struggling with it, that feel left behind and don’t know how to include it in their teaching process. The worst part is that there are some educators that actually completely refuse to use any educational technology.
There are many factors that resist teachers to use ICT in classrooms. Some of them are written below.
1. Teachers don’t know how to use ICT devices:
This is really a big problem. Most of the schools now use ICT, but the amount and quality of training that is given to teachers on how to use the systems is very superficial, therefore, many educators don’t know about the usage of ICT devices and they seem reluctant to use ICT in classrooms. Of course, someone is going to be reluctant about using a tool they don’t know very well, even though the school board says it must be used. Even some teachers are not willing to use technology due to lack of confidence using the devices and tools.
2.Good Internet connection is a big challenge:
Educators prefer applications and devices that can work offline. It makes sure that teachers and students can use them over and over again without facing any problems due to a bad Wi-Fi connection.
Therefore, some educators with unstable or slow-speed internet will get frustrated about using certain apps if they know that it will interrupt or even suspend their lessons.
Teachers are afraid of losing control of the classroom:
Some educators have expressed their fear of not being able to control what kids do on their screens. Teachers also think that if the technology is used in their lessons then students wouldn’t be so interested in the lesson and the content itself. Some teachers think that Kids know how to use these things more than us; therefore, we will not be able to control them and keep them focused.
4.Lack of Time
According to my [point of view, this is the most common factor why teachers don’t use technology in the classroom. It seems that there is a new initiative, every year that gets added to their plates. Most of the educators are willing to integrate new technology, but finding the time to learn the technology and then design lessons and create a teaching plan to go along with it is a really challenging problem.
5. Educators are afraid of their ignorance:
Most educators, especially those who have been in this field for a good number of years, do not know how to use technology and because of their fear of anything that is named hi-tech, they do not even try to learn. They prefer to teach through old ways because it is familiar and they are used to it. For them, making a change to something that is totally new and not known to them is frightening. They scared to even attempt to know it because they think they will not learn how to use it and that this will cause them to lose face amongst the students and their peers.
Results in a lack of interest in studying
As everything is now accessible online or through data saved in a computer or mobile devices, students are likely to develop poor studying habits and a lazy attitude towards education. Some of them may even think they can skip school because they can find answers and lessons online.
This can also lead to students forgetting the basics of studying. They would rather depend on computers and the internet, instead of their books and the input from their teachers. Most of them will misspell words because they often use spell checkers.
Raise instructional challenges
Now it is necessary for professors and teachers to stay abreast with technology, they may need to be retrained. Those who have been teaching the whole of their lives using traditional methods may not be very susceptible to the changes being applied. In fact, a majority of teachers say that continuous use of digital technology is damaging student’s attention span and his ability to persevere when a challenging task is thrown his way.