ICT or Information Communication Technologies is having a particularly positive influence on the education sector. There has been a number of studies conducted around the world demonstrating that ICT can provide more effective teaching methods as well as leading to an improvement in student’s learning. One such study was conducted at Japan’s National Institute of Multimedia Education and it concluded that increased integration of ICT in the curriculum led to a significant improvement in the student performance.
A shakeup of the traditional classroom has been long overdue. It has been an educational staple since the 19th century and has continued on strong though the 20th century. We are, however, well into the 21st century and the humble classroom needs to house more than just a blackboard/whiteboard at the front with tables and chairs.
ICT represents a paradigm shift in a great many sectors and education is no different. Utilising the digital tools available in the education sector is becoming more of a necessity, but the changeover can present some challenges. For instance, the cost of implementation is often subject to budget restrictions, but the wonderful thing about technology is that it is constantly getting not only better but cheaper as well. Another challenge can be to get the teachers up to scratch on how to use the digital learning tools to complement their more traditional methods. If the teacher isn’t on board with the new tools at their disposal, it is hard for the student to get any benefit.
The benefits of ICT in education, however, far outweigh the disadvantages (which have more of an effect on the transitional phase than anything more permanent).
Here are just some of the benefits in no discernible order:
- Communication channels are increased through email, discussion groups and chat rooms
- Regular use of ICT across different curriculum subjects can have a beneficial motivational influence on students’ learning.
- Greater school efficiency
- ICT enables sharing of resources, expertise, and feedback
- More flexibility for where and when school tasks are carried out
- Gains in ICT literacy skills.
- Planning and preparation of lessons as well as designing materials are made easier
- Real-time student and school data, anytime and anywhere.
- Students are more motivated to learn outside of the school hours with computers.
- Students are more stimulated and motivated to learn with technology integrated into lessons.
- Opportunities to collaborate remotely.