Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

ICT in Education: A Critical Literature Review and Its Implications

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

ICT in Education: A Critical Literature Review and Its Implications

Article excerpt


This review summarizes the relevant research on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education. Specifically, it reviews studies that have touched upon the merits of ICT integration in schools, barriers or challenges encountered in the use of ICT, factors influencing successful ICT integration, in-service and pre-service teachers' attitudes, perceptions, and confidence in using ICT as well as the importance of school culture in the use of ICT. This review discusses gaps in the literature and the directions that future studies may take to address these gaps.

Keywords: ICT; Technology Integration; Barriers and Solutions of ICT use; Teachers' attitudes and beliefs on ICT use


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) includes computers, the Internet, and electronic delivery systems such as radios, televisions, and projectors among others, and is widely used in today's education field. Kent and Facer (2004) indicated that school is an important environment in which students participate in a wide range of computer activities, while the home serves as a complementary site for regular engagement in a narrower set of computer activities. Increasingly, ICT is being applied successfully in instruction, learning, and assessment. ICT is considered a powerful tool for educational change and reform. A number of previous studies have shown that an appropriate use of ICT can raise educational quality and connect learning to real-life situations (Lowther, et al. 2008; Weert and Tatnall 2005). As Weert and Tatnall (2005) have pointed out, learning is an ongoing lifelong activity where learners change their expectations by seeking knowledge, which departs from traditional approaches. As time goes by, they will have to expect and be willing to seek out new sources of knowledge. Skills in using ICT will be an indispensable prerequisite for these learners.

ICT tends to expand access to education. Through ICT, learning can occur any time and anywhere. Online course materials, for example, can be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Teleconferencing classrooms allow both learner and teacher to interact simultaneously with ease and convenience. Based on ICT, learning and teaching no longer depend exclusively on printed materials. Multiple resources are abundant on the Internet, and knowledge can be acquired through video clips, audio sounds, visual presentation and so on. Current research has indicated that ICT assists in transforming a teaching environment into a learner-centered one (Castro Sánchez and Alemán 2011). Since learners are actively involved in the learning processes in ICT classrooms, they are authorized by the teacher to make decisions, plans, and so forth (Lu, Hou and Huang 2010). ICT therefore provides both learners and instructors with more educational affordances and possibilities. More specific benefits of using ICT in education are described below.


The merits of ICT in education have been extolled in the literature. The use of ICT has been found to:

Assist students in accessing digital information efficiently and effectively

As Brush, Glazewski and Hew (2008) have stated, ICT is used as a tool for students to discover learning topics, solve problems, and provide solutions to the problems in the learning process. ICT makes knowledge acquisition more accessible, and concepts in learning areas are understood while engaging students in the application of ICT.

Support student-centered and self-directed learning

Students are now more frequently engaged in the meaningful use of computers (Castro Sánchez and Alemán 2011). They build new knowledge through accessing, selecting, organizing, and interpreting information and data. Based on learning through ICT, students are more capable of using information and data from various sources, and critically assessing the quality of the learning materials. …

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