What is ict and what are the diffrent uses of ict in education

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''''''What is I.C.T. and what are the different uses of I.C.T. in Education''''''


Stating that teacher in India need to be prepared to face the challenges of the 21 century for imparting new age education, the authors stress that teacher education program in India should ingrate ICT components in such a way that teachers are enabled to face the new demands in this noble profession.

In the process of imparting formal education, curriculum plays a very important role. It is a plan of instruction, that details what students are to know, how they to learn it, what are teacher’s role is and the context in which learning and teaching will take place(UNESCO 2002). Curriculum provides a media of interaction between the student. It is an instrument to bring behavioral changes in the pupil. Different subjects are included in the curriculum to impart comprehensive knowledge to the learner.

Benefits of integrating ICT into teaching and learning -

ICT caters for Different learning Styles of learners:

Many learning styles exist and learners receive, process and retail information in different ways.

There are those who are better at understanding information in visual form; while there are those who understand and retain information better when presented in audio form, while there are those who learn better by manipulation. Illustration:

A lesson that incorporates digital content where learners are required to click on parts of the human body, revealing information for each body part; the learners then complete an interactivity; the teacher may then show them a video clip on the human body showing movement of different body parts. Such a lesson caters for visual and tactile as well as audio learners to understand concepts better.

2.ICT enables learners to play an active role in learning: for example, a lesson that requires learners to search for information from various sources about environmental pollution. The learners could use digital content, internet, watch documentary programs on television or listen to radio program on environmental issues (all ICT tools). The learners actively learn by enquiring, investigating, discussing, debating explaining and brainstorming about the information they have gathered. In this way, they play an active role in the learning process. [Note: Facilitator needs to emphasize the fact that teachers need to design appropriate tasks for this active learning to take place].

3.ICT increases the attention span of learners: A lesson that incorporates ICT well has the ability of engaging learners and therefore tends to capture and hold the attention of the learners for a long time. This is especially so when the learners are using the manipulative tools to accomplish a task. For example using drawing tools to make geometrical shapes; editing maps copied from digital content; preparing class presentations using power point etc.

4.ICT can provide real-life experiences: ICT can help link the subject taught to real-world situations or examples. For example watching news item on TV about flooding caused by climate change in one part of the world is a real-life experience which can be applied to learner’s situation where they are; studying about other cultures from the internet, with accompanying pictures will give learners an understanding of that culture and draw comparison with their own culture.

5.ICT encourages collaborative learning: learners can work in groups to achieve learning objectives. Instead of working alone on projects and activities, learners share ideas, learn teamwork skills and help each other to accomplish tasks. Working collaboratively encourages learner-centered teaching, with the teacher being a facilitator, who simply organizes the learning tasks for the learners. 6.ICT improves presentation of work: use of word processors and presentation software enables neat presentation of work. This boosts self-confidence among learners (and teachers) . 7.ICT can support high order thinking skills: this is especially so when learning tasks are designed around use of ICT where learners are required to evaluate source of information; synthesize the information, apply as well as interpret and solve problems. These are elements of critical thinking. 8.ICT offers flexibility of anywhere anytime learning. ICT use during lessons provides a motivating factor for learners to continue learning outside school hours where ICT resources are available to them.

'(c) Challenges of ICT integration in Schools'

Some of the challenges identified from research include the following:

•Teacher’s limited access to computers and other ICT resources •Teachers’ own fears and perceptions (fear of ICT replacing the teacher, students being more knowledgeable in ICT than the teacher and hence loss of control, fear of change of established and tested way of teaching; fear of loss of respect from students if the students think “computer knows more than the teacher” etc)

•Teacher Availability of ICT infrastructure versus number of students in a class or school

•Administrative priorities not geared towards ICT

Note to facilitator

The solutions to these challenges vary from school to school and situation to situation. It is best to get the challenges and solutions from the participants. This makes the solution more localised to their situation.

(d) Challenges that Schools and teachers often face in providing education services and how ICT can help address the challenges:

Facilitator should rely more on the list that the participants generated in Step II. Some of the challenges may include the following, with the associated solutions that ICT can provide.

' Challenge


ICT solution'

1.Lack of adequate text books and other teaching resources visa-vie student numbers

1. Digital content on computers, TV recorded programs and internet where available can provide respite in this. Many students can access these various ICT resources at the same time.

2.Accomplishment of administrative tasks and retrieval of information takes long: tasks such as time-tabling; budget flow; students’ records management

2. Computer software such as excel and DBMS can solve some of these problems School Management Information systems can solve the information retrieval problems.

3.Making of School reports and students reports, including mark sheets is a daunting task

3.Excel and other School Management information systems can solve these challenges

4.Communication with Parents and guardians where at times written circulars are not delivered to the parents.

4.Radio announcement of school events; sending SMS to the parent directly; sending an e-mail where applicable to help relay a message very quickly without the risk of the message not being delivered.

5.Time taken in preparing schemes of work and lesson plans

5.Computers can aid preparation of schemes of work and lesson plans which are re-usable with little editing. Templates of lesson plans can be designed and stored in a computer and easily retrieved when needed.

6.Lesson notes preparation and storage: Often times, teachers keep very old note books and use them for teaching with little editing (commonly known as “yellow note”). When a teacher loses this book (“asset”) the teacher becomes powerless and incapacitated.

6.Teachers can type their notes and keep back-up copies in soft form. When need to edit arises, these are easily editable and it is also easy to make lesson handouts from these notes. [Site example of “Teach yourself Mechanics and Heat” by Kakinda as an example here]

7.Preparation of examination question papers. Often when a deadline for setting exams approaches, teachers are frantic, looking through very old files for past paper questions and marking guides

7.Keeping a digital question bank in a computer with marking guides can help teachers set very good papers in a short time. They will have a pool of questions to get exam questions from and edit these where necessary to prepare an examination rubric. 8.Difficulty in keeping track of students with difficulties and provision of counseling services.

8.Computerized record management systems improve pastoral care and behavioural management of students as the information about each student can be centrally located and retrieved at the click of a mouse.

(e)'ICT for Education and 21st Century skills for teachers and learners. ''''

The students we teach nowadays live, stay and interact with people and peers who have varying degrees of exposure to information and communications technology. Computers, television, mobile phones, internet are available to some learners in their homes and in the communities where they stay. The exposure of the learners to these environs then requires teachers to acquire new skills in order to adequately cater for the learning needs of these learners. Some of the environs of the 21st Century that learners and teachers find themselves living in are listed below and their characteristics:

1.21st Century homes and families: In these homes, families:

•Are entertained by watching, creating and participating in a variety of media

•Make consumer decisions by looking for information on the internet

•Stay in touch with friends and family members through various technologies

1.21st Century workplaces: In these workplaces, workers:

•Analyst, transform and create information

•Collaborate with co-workers to solve problems and make decisions

•Perform a variety of tasks using an array of ICT devices

1.21st Century communities: In these communities, citizens:

•Use the internet, TV, Radio and mobile phones to stay informed about local, national and global issues •Communicate and persuade others about their opinion using different technologies

•Take active role in making decisions in how their community (including schools) is managed and governed.

As ICTs take over the routine tasks in the workplace, a greater proportion of employees are engaged in tasks that require them to be flexible and creative problem solvers. Home life is also more complex as technologies take over some tasks at home: entertainment, leisure-time activities and participation in community activities. Therefore, the 21st Century schools must prepare students to work in today’s workplaces and teachers must stay current with the ways students and families use technology in their daily lives.

1.In a 21st Century school, students:

•Work on complex, challenging tasks that require them to think deeply about the subject matter and manage their own learning

•Collaborate with peers, teachers and other knowledgeable people on meaningful tasks using higher-order thinking

•Use technology to enhance their learning, solve problems and create new ideas. To help students achieve levels of full participation in their communities, teachers need to focus on the 21st century skills[1], some of which are listed below, that will help students adopt to changing society and technology:

•Accountability and adoptability: exercising personal responsibility and flexibility in personal, workplace and community contexts; setting and meeting high standards and goals for one self and others; tolerating ambiguity

•Creativity and intellectual curiosity: developing, implementing and communicating new ideas to others; staying open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives

•Communication skills: understanding, managing and creating effective oral, written and multimedia communication in a variety of forms and contexts •Critical thinking: exercising sound reasoning in understanding and making complex choices; understanding the interconnections among systems •Information and media literacy skills: analysing, accessing, managing, integrating, evaluating and creating information in a variety of media

•Interpersonal and collaborative skills: demonstrating teamwork and leadership; adopting to varied roles and responsibilities; working productively with others; exercising empathy; respecting diverse perspectives

•Problem identification, formulation and solution: ability to frame, analyse and solve problems •Self-direction: monitoring one’s own understanding and learning needs; locating appropriate recourses; transferring learning from one area to another

•Social responsibility: acting responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind; demonstrating ethical behaviour in personal, workplace, and community contexts. The above skills require teachers to teach differently from the traditional teacher-centred approach. Focus should shift to a more student-centred approach, with technology aiding this approach. For purposes of reflection and future reading, student-centred approach characteristics are listed in the table below, compared against teacher-centred approach. The teacher should be able to use both approaches where applicable, but aim at using the student-centred approach more.

Teacher-Centred Approaches

Student-Centred Approaches


1.Content is established by the curriculum, and all students study the same topics at the same time

1.Students study topics based on curriculum and standards but are allowed numerous choices in a topic of study

2.Students have access to limited information, selected by the teacher.

2.Students have infinite access to unlimited information of varying degrees of quality

3. Topics of study are typically isolated and disconnected from other curriculum subjects

3.Students study content in a way that shows connection between subjects

4.Students memorise facts and occasionally analyse information critically. There is little focus on applying facts or concepts to a variety of real world situations

4.Students learn concepts as well as facts, and frequently engage in high-level analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of a variety of kinds of material. There is an emphasis on showing how concepts apply to a variety of real world situations.

5.Students work to find correct answers

5.Students work to construct any one of a number of possible correct answers

6.Teachers choose activities and provide materials at the appropriate level

6.Students select from a variety of teacher-provided activities and often determine their own level of challenge at which to work.


1.The teacher is the information giver – the sage on the stage – helping students acquire skills and knowledge

1.The teacher is the facilitator – the guide on the side – providing opportunities for students to apply skills and construct their own knowledge Learning starts with what the students do not know

Learning starts with students’ previous knowledge

2.Teaching is an instructive process

2.Teaching is a constructive process Students complete short, isolated activities and lessons around specific content pieces and skills Students work on activities and projects connected to long-term goals aimed at building deep conceptual understanding and proficient strategy use.

Classroom Environment

1.Students learn passively in an often silent classroom

1.Classroom environments are a beehive of activity resembling a workplace with various activities and levels of sound depending on the kind of work being done

2.Students usually work individually

2.Students often collaborate with peers, experts, community members and teachers


Students take paper-and-pen exams, silently and alone. The questions are kept secret until test time, so students have to learn all the material even though only part of it will be tested Students know in advance how they will be assessed, have input into the criteria by which they will be assessed, receive feedback from the teacher and their peers throughout a unit, and have multiple opportunities to assess their own learning. Teachers are primarily accountable for student learning Teachers and students share accountability for learning and achievement Students are extrinsically motivated by the desire to get good grades, to please teachers and to gain rewards.Students’ interests and involvement promotes intrinsic motivation and effort.


Teachers’ use of technology is minimal and is often limited to explain, demonstrate and illustrate various topics. Technology use is occasional. Students use various kinds of technology to conduct research, communicate and create knowledge. Technology is used routinely. Detailed notes and guidelines to the facilitator for session 2

The facilitator can refer to these guidelines as he/she provides harmonisation to the ideas generated by the trainees during the plenary discussion session.

There are very many ICT tools that are available to us as teachers, but at times, we do not recognise their potential as teaching and learning tools. Almost every home has a radio, and a mobile phone. But how do we often think of these tools as teaching and learning tools? When ICT tools are used as teaching and learning tools, they should add value to the exercise. Research has shown that when carefully used, ICT tools have the capacity to: •Support teaching, learning and management. Efficiency in teaching is increased when ICT tools are deployed. The content may not change, but the delivery method is better and process of preparation is improved. For example use of word processors to produce lesson notes, lesson plans and power point to deliver the lesson. •Extend learning. The ICT tools used can change content considerably. Multi-media can be included in content to make it more appealing and capture learners’ attention. Overall effect is an improvement in students’ learning •Transform teaching and learning. ICT enables better understanding of concepts; availability of content in a variety of forms enables learners to choose what they need to learn at their own pace; digital content with a variety simulations and graphics transforms presentation and delivery and at the same time transforms learning. The internet offers collaborating avenues for learners and teachers; mobile phones and other hand-held devices also provide collaborating avenues for learners and teachers.

(a) The ICT tools available:

The following are ICT tools that may be available to users today depending on location. •Computers with software such as word, power point , excel, Photoshop, Corel •Digital content available in software form installable on servers or individual workstations. Such software include Rachel portal; Encarta encyclopaedia from Microsoft; Learnthings Africa; Cyber school Technology Solutions Digital Science and Mathematics among others. •Mobile phones

•The internet

•Digital cameras


•Televisions and television programs

•Video Cassette players and recorders

.Transistor radios


Note to facilitator:

This list is not exhaustive. The facilitator should rely on the list generated by the trainees during the discussion. This gives a feel of how the trainees understand ICT tools. They could generate a totally different list, or could not have imagined that some of the above mentioned tools can be used to enhance learning. During harmonization, facilitator should draw the attention of trainees to this fact.

(b) Possibilities for teaching and learning offered by the tools listed above:

(i) Computers • Provide productivity tools to write reports, make lesson plans, make presentations, design animations, build websites, and improve school record keeping and administration. •Provide tools that promote higher order thinking (use of excel and DBMS) •Provide environment for self-assessment •Improve subject matter mastery through simulations offered by programs such as computer-Assisted


•Combines multiple media presentation platforms such as text, audio, video, animations and interactivity, which accommodate all learning styles •Promotes collaborative learning where learners can work in groups on a project on different workstations •May promote learner-centred and active learning methodologies

(ii) Radio

•Promotes teacher development through sharing best practices and demonstrations by replaying and listening to a lesson delivered by an expert

•Teaches learners listening skills

•Has the potential to reach large learner populations in different locations (addresses issues of access to learning and equity)

•May be implemented in situations where text books and other reading materials are scarce •Address the learning needs of learners whose learning style is more audio

•Can address issue of shortage of teachers (this is can be debated)

(iii) Mobile phones

•Promotes collaboration among teachers and students

•Promotes better communication between the school and the parents

•Short messaging service can be used to send reminders to parents about teacher-parents meetings, school events, assignment due dates and examinations dates

(iv) Digital cameras and camcorders

•Camcorders can be used to record demonstration lessons and be played back to learners and even teachers to promote learning •The play back controls such as play, rewind, freeze-frame can provide powerful tools that enable critical analysis of situations •Promotes creation of local content which makes learning more meaningful. For example if a geography class went and filmed a market situation as part of a geography lesson on “economic activities in Uganda”, the video will make the learning of that geography concept more meaningful because of the relationship to reality the students relived. •The video can be a powerful learning tool as it brings learners “live” to events and phenomena. This supports concept building and retention (addresses visual and audio learning styles) •The pictures and video can be re-usable in different situations. They become learning objects. •Motivates learners especially if they are involved in the production of the video and pictures. They tend to own it and have satisfaction in “seeing their work and themselves” in the pictures. •Promotes collaboration and resource sharing among teachers and learners

(v) Television

•Provides teachers and learners learning resources that are located at distant places that may not be reached by some teachers and learners in their lifetime •Powerful visual that brings learners and viewers “live” to an event which enhances understanding of concepts •Provides demonstration of classroom management and best practices that help teachers to implement new techniques of teaching effectively •Powerful audio and visual teaching and learning resource. •Has potential of reaching large numbers of learners in variety of locations •Promotes learning beyond normal school hours (promotes anywhere, anytime learning – a critical e-learning element). Teachers can give assignments based on a particular TV program that learners may be required to watch at home. •Promotes content delivery and learning across curriculum. Eg. Watching a documentary on wildlife and interaction with the environment, one can learn biology (predator-prey relations) and geography.

(vi) Internet

•Has an array of content that can be used by learners and teachers eg lesson planes, lesson notes, simulations, digital content.

•Provides avenues for collaboration and peer support

•Provides sources reflection and critical thinking through the several discussion for a available

•Provides an avenue for research through the available search engines and online data bases.

•Promotes learning beyond the classroom (anywhere anytime learning)