In recent years, many surveys which have been conducted on education system say that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) help enhance learning outcomes and improve access to education. ICT literacy is the ability to use digital technology,
communication tools and/or networks to define, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information ethically and legally in order to function in a knowledge society. “To succeed, it is not enough to master technical skills: we must also know how to apply them within an information society”, theme behind ICT literacy. Here, I’d like to discuss few important things about role of ICT in education.
As we know, with the help of Internet, we’re now able to access any information right in front of our monitor and also explore the whole world just at our finger tips. Some great people initiated the mission of improving the areas that were away from the developed regions. The first thing that needs to be focused in order to develop an area is the education of the people over there. So, ICT can be a great tool to enhance education in such areas where it’s difficult for those people to study in technology focused schools.
ICTs are often associated with the most expensive and complex computer based technologies, however, they also include conventional technologies such as radio, television and telephone technology. Once after the invention of internet, the transfer and exchange of information has become the easiest task. The following are the benefits of ICT tools in education:
Distance and Climate incentive:
It doesn’t matter where you’re or how the weather is, you can still access and learn with ICTs.
To conduct professional development training for teachers in the rural areas, we need a huge amount of investment to buy ICT tools, once we’ve bought these tech devices, we can provide an awesome learning experience at very low cost. Near-zero maintained devices like Chromebooks are available at a very low cost to teach educators effectively using technology.
ICT tools are interactive and engage educators easily in their own learning.
In addition, they offer multiple functions of teaching and learning, train teachers to integrate ICT tools in their teaching so that they can easily enhance student achievement and also improve technical skills.
The following are a few real life examples of how ICT impacts education in rural areas:
Strengthening Education through ICT in remote areas of Pakistan through Intel® Education Initiative:
The Intel has taken the initiative to grow the educational standardsof remote areas in Pakistan. Intel® Education has been working for the promotion of technology in education in Pakistan since 2001, to address the educational challenges of the 21st century. The Intel® Teach Program has ensured that academic planning should optimize the use of technology in the teaching-learning process. ICT and its integration in education have improved the skills of Pakistani teachers. The main challenges before implementing this program are as follows:
Schools did not have trained teachers who possess ICT skills, and most subject teachers do not know how to use PCs.
Teachers are in need of effective strategies to help students acquire 21st century knowledge and skills.
The Intel Teach Program has provided teachers with professional development training and now they’re able to integrate technology in their lesson plans and enable students to acquire the latest knowledge and skills. Thanks to ICT and Intel.
Using distance education and ICT to improve access, equity and the quality in rural teachers’ professional development in western China:
As we know quality teaching is a key factor for any educational institution to enhance student achievement, but it’s so difficult to have well trained teachers everywhere. It’s even more difficult in remote places which are geographically and critically distant from the fast paced world. The same challenge occurred in a province of western China. I’d like to share with you how ICT improved access, equity, and quality in professional development for rural teachers over there.
The European Union (EU)-China Gansu Basic Education Project, funded by both EU and Chinese government, dedicated to improving the professional development of teachers, was implemented by Gansu Provincial Government from October 2001 until March 2007. The Chinese government provided special funding and projects for western and rural China, using distance education and ICT as strategies for achieving development goals. The main emphasis in the project was human resource development for teachers, head-teachers, and administrators, focusing on the new national curriculum, new teaching methods, the use of ICT, and educational management. You may read the achievements of this project here .
SIF ICT in education project in Bhutan:
Recognizing the need to introduce ICT to teachers in order to train them to acquire and integrate ICT skills in learning and teaching, an approach was made to the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), a non-profit foundation, for assistance in developing an ICT-enhanced curriculum for teachers’ education. The SIF ICT in Education project, started in 2000, aimed to assist Bhutan's Ministry of Health and Education, introduced ICT into education system and improved ICT-skills among pupils and educators.
The above mentioned are the programs that have been implemented in several remote areas around the globe to introduce ICT into education system with the help of ICT. I hope this information helped you know the role of ICT in teachers’ education in rural areas. You can also share your views and practices on this topic. The comment box is awaiting.