The Integration Of Information And Communication Technology In Education

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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become a catchphrase in the contemporary world where every single moment of humanity is monitored and anchored by technology. ICTs have made swift treads for the past three decades by bringing in new dimensions in the fields of transmission and processing of data and also revolutionized the communication sphere with innovations. ICTs are a major factor in shaping the new global economy and producing rapid changes in society. Every nation, whether developed, developing or under developed necessitates the support of technology for its successful execution of governance. The growth and expansion of electronic communication played key role in the proliferation of electronic gadgets which are increasingly fast, small, powerful and cheap. Though the steady escalation in communication system has crossed the level of artificial intelligence where the requirement of human brain is at level zero, the moral, judicious, creative and aesthetic choices are best left to humans. Technology can better relegate the tedious and mechanical process with alacrity and accuracy. Today with the emergence of small, powerful and cheap electronic gadgets along with the proliferation of global connectivity, the world has minimized and became accessible anywhere anytime at our finger tips. Similar to every other field of development, the intensification and expansion of technology is evidently present in educational sector too.

Over the past few years, the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have become the key element in every stage of education and development. According UNESCO (2002) the influence of technological innovations has produced significant transformations in industry, agriculture, medicine, business engineering and also have enormous potential to transform the nature of education. Cholin (2005); Mehta and Karla (2006) precisely pointed out; education is the driving force of economic and social development in any country.

Like any other knowledge economy, India highly depends on the growth and expansion of its educational sector and thus invests in compliant with its requirements. The influence of technology enabled education has changed the configuration and tempo of knowledge transmission. The ICT based pedagogical practices have become common in all levels of education in India. The government of India highly depends on the potential of Information and Communication Technology in enhancing quality education via upgrading the standards of teaching and learning and also eying on the new opportunities constantly keep emerging which could be appropriately harnessed and adapted to assist in the field of education (National Polcy on Education, 2016). The ‘digital India’ Program initiated by the Government of India on July 1, 2015 as a flagship program to empower the nation digitally and facilitates to bridge rural-urban digital divide by providing reliable network access to every citizen which will also open the doors of unending possibilities in education sector. The government and different boards of education plan and implement variety of projects which enhance technology supported education. Along with the central government projects each state government adopts and executes ICT mediated academic practices and allocate a major share of its finance to its development.

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The tempo and pace of knowledge transmission is positively influenced by the technology mediated educational practices across the globe. The ICT based pedagogical practices have become common in all levels of education in India. The state government of Tamilnadu has taken several steps to incorporate technology into its various levels of education and been supporting such efforts with sufficient finance. But studies show that in Tamilnadu, school teachers’ usage of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in pedagogy is less. Though the teachers have a positive attitude towards Information and Communication Technology, they tend to lag behind towards its application level (Joy & Srihari, 2015). Another study states that in Tamilnadu, school teachers’ use technology moderately in their teaching profession. It is also studied that senior teachers’ use of technology in academics when compared to young teachers is less. The successful incorporation of computers in to education, is dependent many teacher related factors. Among them the most essential one is their encouraging approach/ attitude. Hope (1997) said, understanding teachers’ beliefs towards technology play an essentials role in successful technology adoption. Teachers attitude towards technology are to be given prime importance.

Gujjar et.al. (2013) gives an opinion that an important prerequisite of Information and Communications Technology is knowledge and attitude towards the use of computers. Teo (2006) confirms this argument, stating teachers attitude towards computers affect the successful use of computers in the classroom and these attitudes, whether positive or negative, affect how teachers respond to technologies. At this juncture it is mandatory to evaluate teacher related factors towards the incorporation of technology in to academics as this it turn also influence the way students’ view of computers in schools, and it also affects their present and future computer usage. Teo (2006) also establishes that the triumph of students learning with technology will be dependent upon their teachers’ attitudes and their readiness to incorporate it into academics.

Another study points out teaacher’s resistance to adopt new instructional practices stem from their existing beliefs. Huang & Liaw (2005) also pointed out the necessity of teacher’s positive attitude towards the successful integration of technology. The study say, the successful implementation of computer technology into academics is dependent upon teachers having positive attitude towards the technology. Honey & Moeller (1990) say teachers mindset, perceptions and emotional beliefs towards the adoption of computers is one among the key factors that influence the adoption of technology in education. Taiwo (2009) said, teacher’s view of the role of the technology in classroom teaching will determine the degree and level of its inculcation in academics. In India the centrally sponsored ICT in Schools Scheme was launched to promote computer enabled learning and usage of ICT in teaching in Government and Government aided and Higher Secondary Schools with emphasis on educationally backward blocks and areas with concentration of SC/ST/Minority/weaker Sections. Under the Scheme there is a provision and provide financial assistance to States/Union Territories to procure computers and other ICT related infrastructure. Both the state and central governments have provided ample support to educational institutions to implement technology mediated education.

The barriers to integrate technology into academics are in close connection with the factors that instigate the teachers to integrate technology. Lack of adequate equipments, absence of financial assistance from the authority, absence of management support, lack of teachers’ confidence, lack of time and knowledge were the key barriers to teachers to adopt technology into academic activities.

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