Information and communication technology (ICT) has become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Everyday it plays an increasingly important role in the way we communicate, learn and live.
The developments in the use of the electronic media and technology have influenced all walks of life. Education is no exception to this. Schools worldwide have achieved high levels of effective use of ICT to support and change the teaching and learning process in many subject areas.
The citizens of tomorrow who are our students now are also living in the age of the electronic media. As a result the use of computers and the internet for enhancing the quality of education by making learning more relevant to life has been seen as an ideal by many educational institutions.
ICT education opens expanded possibilities in schools by making education easier, upgrading the skills of pupils and improving their ability to adapt to new technologies. It can improve teaching by enhancing an already practiced knowledge and introducing new ways of teaching and learning. Through ICT, teachers can easily explain complex instructions and create interactive classes which makes the lessons more enjoyable resulting in the improvement of the student’s attendance and concentration.
The very expression Information and Communication Technology is not just using gadgets. It is neither limited to the computers or the internet. It ranges from the use of FM radio to the use of satellite for communication. It includes both the form and essence of communication. The main focus is on what is being transacted through these mediums. Different mediums of ICT is making it possible to bring large amounts of data, visuals available on any topic to the classroom at any corner from all over the world.
ICT through curriculum integration has a significant and positive impact on student achievement, especially in terms of their “Knowledge, Comprehension, Practical and Presentation skill” in subject areas such as mathematics, science, and social study. It provides children with the tools to understand the ever advancing technology that is happening in this modern world.
Many teachers yet aren’t incorporating ICT in their lesson plans and curriculum. A number of them prefer using only the conventional method of teaching through white board and chalks to explain various topics. This conventional way of teaching indeed works. However, students confront countless problems in retaining the concepts for longer periods and tend to forget them as soon as the term gets over. So, instead if the teachers try to integrate online activities, videos, graphs, databases, templates, articles and presentations in their everyday lesson plans along with the traditional method, it will make the explanations clearer and much interesting.
Similarly, science and mathematics teachers can incorporate ICT to make the most critical lessons come to life. For example, instead of drawing the pie and bar charts on the whiteboard to represent and interpret data in math, teachers can use PowerPoint and Word to explain how charts work. Students can alter the values to see how each proportion changes.
ICT can change the entire outlook of present-day education. However, it needs to be planned and structured proficiently to bring a difference in the way our students learn. The challenge is to effectively harness these technologies in a way that serves the interests of learners and the larger teaching community.