ICT In Learning: The New Wave
January 2009

ICT In Learning: The New Wave

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Information Communication Technology (ICT) has become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Organisations, experts and practitioners in the education sector are increasingly recognising the importance of ICT in supporting educational improvement and reform. ICTs are transformational tools which, when used appropriately, can promote a shift from traditional to a learner-centred environment.
 
In this post-modern world of technological advancement, rapidly changing markets and increasing competition, teachers are faced with new academic and pedagogical challenges, and the chalk and talk traditional method of teaching often falls short of meeting these challenges.

Let's see how and why multimedia enabled education scores over the traditional way…

Besides being a powerful tool for making presentations, multimedia offers unique advantages in the field of education. For instance, text alone simply does not allow students to get a feel of any of the concepts in Mathematics. In teaching biology, an instructor cannot make a killer whale come alive in a classroom. Multimedia enables learners to experience their subject in a vibrant manner. The key to providing this, is having a simultaneous graphic, video and audio experience.

  • It provides students with opportunities to represent and express their prior knowledge
  • Multimedia applications engage students and provide valuable learning opportunities
  • Students learn more and retain their knowledge better
  • The  collaborative environment helps in grasping concepts  better and faster

With the help of multimedia, students learn in a stress free atmosphere and subsequently absorb and retain at a significantly higher level. Studies support distinctive differences in ways students retain information gathered and applied using multimedia versus traditional modes of instruction. It has also been noted that the level of student engagement was significantly higher amongst students with both high and low abilities.

With multimedia, not only does the learning process become fun, it also becomes

  • Goal oriented,
  • Participatory,
  • Flexible in time and space
  • Tailored to individual learning styles

ICT also helps to enhance the quality of education in ways explained below:

a) Motivating to Learn: ICTs such as videos, multimedia computer software that combine text, sound and colourful animated images can be used to provide challenging and authentic content that will engage the student in the learning process.

b) Facilitating the Acquisition of Basic Skills: The transmission of basic skills and concepts that are the foundation of higher learning and creativity can be facilitated by ICTs through drill and practice.

c) Enhancing Teacher Training: The traditional way of teaching and learning can be made more effective and interesting by using ICTs. For example, when a teacher uses audio, video, or power point presentations in his/her lecture, the whole class becomes more attentive. Such activities also help students understand the concepts better.

The audio visual dimension is at the heart of educational enterprise,
as it offers students and teachers a rich array of new and potentially interesting facts, immensely aids in achieving the objectives of a subject and opens the door to a world of fantastic experience.

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