ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in Education

Information and communication technologies (ICT) include computers, the Internet, broadcasting technologies (radio and television) and telephony. While the rise of computers and the Internet has provoked great interest in the ways in which they can be applied in education to improve its efficiency and effectiveness at all levels, older technologies, such as the telephone, radio and television have long been used as instructional tools. Radio and television have been used for open and distance learning, although print has remained the cheapest, most accessible and most dominant delivery mechanism in developed as well as developing countries.

As a result of the increasing application of ICTs in education, a number of new learning approaches have emerged. E-learning encompasses learning at all levels, formal as well as non-formal, using information networks such as the Internet, an intranet (LAN) or extranet (WAN) for course delivery, interaction and facilitation. Blended learning refers to learning models that combine traditional classroom practice with e-leaning solutions. The blending of different methods was developed after educators recognized that not all learning is best achieved in an electronically-mediated environment, in particular one that dispenses with a live instructor altogether.

Open and distance learning is a learning approach in which teacher and learner are separated in time or place and uses a variety of media, including print and electronic, to ensure a two-way communication that allows tutors and learners to interact.

ICTs have the potential to increase access to and improve the relevance and quality of education in developing countries. ICTs can be used to provide educational opportunities to people who have previously had no access to education, such as scattered and rural populations, groups traditionally excluded from education because of cultural or social reasons, persons with disabilities and the elderly. This is possible because such technologies allow asynchronous learning, which is characterized by a time lag between the delivery of instruction and its reception by learners. ICT-based educational delivery also dispenses with the need for the instructor and all learners to be in one physical location.

Some types of ICTs, such as teleconferencing technologies, make it possible for multiple, geographically dispersed learners to receive instruction simultaneously. The Internet and the World Wide Web also provide access to learning materials in almost every subject and in a variety of media anywhere at any time of the day and to an unlimited number of people. One of the most commonly cited reasons for using ICTs in education has been to better prepare students for a workplace where ICTs are becoming more and more ubiquitous. In addition, ICTs can improve the quality of education by increasing learner engagement and motivation, by facilitating the acquisition of basic skills and by enhancing teacher training.

However, there is lack of good monitoring and evaluation tools and processes for the use of ICTs in education. The scarcity of evaluation data has shown important biases in the work. There are also collected data, but this is often quantitative data related to infrastructure rather than data that can help gauge the impact of the use of ICTs on student learning.

In addition, little is known about the real costs of ICTs in education. It is important to better understand the costs and benefits associated with different types of ICTs and their uses in various educational situations so that resources can be targeted effectively. There is some evidence that computers may be most cost-effective when they are placed in common areas, including libraries and teacher-training institutes. One of the most cost-effective uses of ICTs in education may be their role in the improvement of organizational and systemic efficiencies, including combating corruption.

Distance education is also often cited as a cost-saving investment. Although such programs typically require large up-front investments, economies of scale can be achieved. Overall, there are various financing mechanisms for ICTs in education. Countries and communities typically employ a variety of financing and cost recovery mechanisms because of the high up-front costs and large recurrent costs related to such projects. Public-private partnerships and user fees are important components of financing ICTs in education initiatives in many countries.

The role of the teacher has not been diminished by the use of ICTs in the classroom or in distance education. ICTs also do not automatically change teaching practices. Traditional teacher leadership skills and practices have remained important, but experience has also shown that in order to optimize teacher use of ICTs, a variety of support and enabling mechanists must be implemented.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

ICT: Changing Education
Chris Abbott.
Routledge Falmer, 2001
Technology, Innovation, and Educational Change: A Global Perspective : A Report of the Second Information Technology in Education Study, Module 2
Robert B. Kozma.
International Society for Technology in Education, 2003
ICT in Education: A Critical Literature Review and Its Implications
Fu, Jo Shan.
International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, Vol. 9, No. 1, April 1, 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
A Monitoring and Evaluation Scheme for an ICT-Supported Education Program in Schools
Rodriguez, Patricio; Nussbaum, Miguel; Lopez, Ximena; Sepulveda, Marcos.
Educational Technology & Society, Vol. 13, No. 2, April 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Insights into Innovative Classroom Practices with ICT: Identifying the Impetus for Change
Wong, Emily M. L.; Li, Sandy S. C.; Choi, Tat-heung; Lee, Tsz-ngong.
Educational Technology & Society, Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
ICT and the Greatest Technology: A Teacher's Mind
Hatherly, Ann.
Early Childhood Folio, Vol. 13, Annual 2009
ICT in the Early Years
Mary Hayes; David Whitebread.
Open University Press, 2006
Developing Thinking and Learning with ICT: Raising Achievement in Primary Classrooms
Rupert Wegerif; Lyn Dawes.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2004
Meeting the Standards in Using ICT for Secondary Teaching
Steve Kennewell.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2004
Learning to Teach ICT in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience
Steve Kennewell; John Parkinson; Howard Tanner.
Routledge Falmer, 2003
ICT and Special Educational Needs: A Tool for Inclusion
Lani Florian; John Hegarty.
Open University Press, 2004
The Impact of ICT on Literacy Education
Richard Andrews.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2004
History, ICT, and Learning in the Secondary School
Terry Haydn; Christine Counsell.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2002
ICT Driven Pedagogies and Its Impact on Learning Outcomes in High School Mathematics
Chandra, Vinesh; Briskey, Jo.
International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, Vol. 7, No. 1, October 2012
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Integrating ICT into Higher Education at the University of Moncton: A Study of Onsite vs Online Students' Perceptions
Fillion, Gerard; Ekionea, Jean-Pierre Booto.
Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, December 2012
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Quality Issues in ICT-Based Higher Education
Stephen Fallows; Rakesh Bhanot.
Routledge, 2005
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator