Introduction Globalization has changed how people from all over the world interact. With vast technological advancements, the manner in which industries, businesses, entertainment and governmental sectors are run has changed for the better. It is thus the reason why it is imperative for information communication technology be integrated in education. This essay will be discussing the significance of technology in education in. furthermore looking at how to develop teachers prior and during practice with the very much needed skills of information Communication technology (ICT) for the greater good of the learners and society. When discussing the notion closely this essay will be divided into a number of factors, from knowledge being a society agenda, the pervasiveness of technology, and the goal towards making education for all, future national strategic objectives and the aims regarding teacher professionalism and competency standards within Information communication technology.
Knowledge Society AgendaKnowledge is a nation’s agenda and thus society is always looking for new and innovative ways to acquire and process it. With the introduction and development of technology, the inclusion of this with in society has been very imperative. In order to achieve a well functioning society with citizen who work together to make it better every day, the use of digital technology and communication tools need to be made readily available for all so that communities can evaluate and manage information on their own (UNESCO, 2011). Information communication technology has to tackle all the aspects that will better the community in terms of the national policy and socio economic development.
Owing to modernization over the years societies are increasingly being interdependent on information and knowledge and the integration and use of technology is one of the ways that can be utilised to acquire knowledge and skills. The government providing all the information and resources in Information communication technology (ICT) will enable citizens to be knowledgeable so that they can be able to survive in a forever evolving society (UNESCO, 2011). Every learner’s future depends on the quality of education their teacher has with the knowledge of subject content and ICT. Thus the teachers can effectively produce future pioneers who will build society and the country’s economy so that it too can compete at an international level (UNESCO, 2011).
When a school has technological resources in a community everyone can benefit, From people looking for jobs to those looking for information to start entrepreneurs and information about tertiary education. When a learner is able to use ICT as learnt from school they can teach other family members in the house hold and the knowledge can be spread out in more ways than one. This is why education is regarded as the central function of any community. A society that is in support of the development of their children is empowering as a result producing a legacy of educated and critical thinkers who can bring about true democracy, lookout for unfair treatment of all the minority groups thus ruling out all the injustices of the past (UNESCO, 2011). Community of intellectuals can compete at world standards on both political and economical development. For the world to be able to fight challenges such as poverty, malnutrition, HIV and AIDS and crime to name a few, education and the inclusion of technological advancements to acquire information and help would bring about wise spread prosperity. As stated by the National Development Plan vision 2030 (DOP, 2011).
Pervasiveness of Technology The power and presence of technology is prevalent throughout the world and it has modified and developed the world for the better. Different government and private sectors have all adapted to Information Communication Technology worldwide. It is only imperative that the education sector also adapts and integrates ICT which has brought new possibilities in the education sector. However all the possibilities come with challenges that place more demand on the skills that all teachers who are already in practice need to have (UNESCO-IICBA, 2012). Technology is one of the most effective ways to develop a country and thus meet world standards. If all of the leaners and teachers in one country are competent within ICT they qualify not only to better their own country socially, economically and politically but they enable themselves to be on par with citizens from well developed countries (DOE, 2007).
Information Communication Technologies are central to changes taking place throughout the wold, for instance modernisation of communication tools , transformation, infrastructure just to name a few. The digital media has revolutionised the information society and advances is ICT have changed the process of teaching and learning. As a result opportunities and possibilities open up every day for not only learners but for teachers too to be able to qualify and have careers abroad (DOE, 2004). Access to quality education benefits not only the individual but the society and nation.
“Education for all” goalsThe government is looking to have education be for everyone, despite all the differences education should be accessible to all races, religions, culture, ethnicity and gender. The concert of education revolves around using ICT to accelerate the achievements of national education goals, which are that everyone should have equal and quality education. Objectives such as achieving an education that is fair, equal and qualitative for all are good initiatives especially in the South African context (DFID, 2010). For the reason that they would be in place to address the injustices of the past such as apartheid. All educational imbalances need to be addressed in South Africa, from the class division with in education, the favouritism and nepotism. Where one comes from or who they are should not even be a factor in determining how they are educated because apart from equal education every learner should reach a point where they have access to ICT learning.
ICT integration and development does not happen in isolation it affects everyone within the school environment from the teachers, management, administration and learners. Education in collaboration with technology offers tremendous opportunities, hence the government planned on collaborating with the private sector to help deliver to public expectation of quality education (DFID, 2010). For the reasons of economic growth and social development, these plans are from the white paper. There more people are familiar with ICT the more scientist, physicists, technicians, engineers the country will have thus a move forward within ICT. The nation as a whole needs to build a future of all children of the world having access to education especially to girl children, the disabled, adults who did not get the chance and children from African poverty stricken countries. However it will take broad and ambitious partnerships across governments, the private sector, civil society, faith groups and the public at large to achieve one society that strives to make education for all (DFID, 2010).
Future National Strategic Objectives The government has many projects in in place and on the pipeline regarding evolving the education sector in South Africa. Commencing with infrastructure and providing basic school needs such as water, proper sanitation, electricity, books and stationary and other essential school resources. The government now looks to integrate ICT into schools. The White Paper is one of the documents that outline all the objectives regarding the government’s plans on e-Education. Starting with the plan that schools should have learners who can utilise ICT (DOE, 2004). Moreover qualified and competent teachers who can administer different tasks using ICT are the ones in practice. In addition the document aims to have ICT resources that support curriculum and to source out knowledge, values, skills and attitudes needed by the teacher to successfully implement ICT in schools
Education based on outcomes is another government initiative to develop learner cantered approaches in the process of teaching and learning. Among other strategies all higher educational institutions are set to offer ICT compulsory in teaching in learning in teacher development courses (DOE, 2004). The national development plan vision (2030) (DOP, 2011) looks to empower the youth using education thus eliminating poverty. This plan aims for the country not only to excel socially but in the science and technology field as well, doubling the number of scientist and accelerating transformation.
UNESCO ICT enhanced teacher standards is one programme focusing on developing ICT in Africa as a whole (UNESCO-IICBA, 2012). This initiative focuses on shortages of qualified teachers, all the learners who lack basic education and schooling opportunities thus there is the need of expanding pre service and in service teacher development training. Britain rests dedicated to the Millennium Development Goals for Education (DFID, 2010), certifying that by 2015 all children are able to complete a course of primary schooling, and that gender differences in all heights of education are eradicated.in addition this is one international strategy that should apply across the globe, which south Africa has plans similar to these in their Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan (2011-2014) from the department of basic education of South Africa is an initiative that looks to make education a priority (DOBE, 2011).
By means of providing the right support incentives, putting emphasis on science and technology, evaluation and planning of the curriculum, universalising grade R and accountability. The department of basic educations plan just like the Millennium development goals for education both outline the importance of basic and primary education, quality teaching and learning especially in the sciences, mathematics and language and making sure that ICT skill are imparted to the youth so that the country’s economy may grow and opportunities can blossom.
Broad aims of the various national and international initiatives regarding continuous professional development of teachers with regard to teacher competency standards relating to ICT and professional aptitude The teacher is the main driver of the goals that aim at achieving a society of learners who are taught in new and innovative ways using technology so that they can build and benefit the greater good of society one day. For the teacher to be able to achieve this he needs not only to be professional but also to be competent. Thus the white Paper requires that ICT be used as a set of flexible tools of teaching and learning (DOE, 2007). These tools are to be integrated with teachers prior and during practice in such a way that they acquire relevant ICT knowledge and skills. Teachers need to be competent enough before they can even attempt to teach using ICT tools. As a result the White Paper consists of ICT development levels of competency specifically for teachers studying towards practicing and those who are already teaching (DOE, 2007). The first level which is the entry level puts emphasis on teachers being computer literate at least by this stage.
The second stage which is the adoption stage is just an upgrade of computer literacy to being able to integrate it into the process of teaching and learning and further using ICT for managerial and administrative tasks
The third stage would be the adaptation level which mainly just adds on to the requirements of the two previous levels but adding the use of ICT for assessments and class activities plus incorporating it into the curriculum.
Subsequently the appropriation level follows which requires the teacher to have a have a complete understanding of ICT and what power in really has in education and for the entire society, moreover the teacher is able to acknowledge the evolving and always developing forms of technology in order to keep developing themselves and keeping updated with the tools of ICT.
The last stage is the innovation level where by the teacher can create programmes of their own for the whole school using ICT and they can teach other teachers as well.
The higher the level the teacher is at within the development levels of ICT the better quality of education they will provide to the learners. All teachers will be required by the government to have reached the adoption by the time they start teaching and those who are already in practice will thus need to develop their skills up to the adoption level as well (DOE, 2007). However just because the teacher is now competent enough with ICT this does not mean they should neglect the learning and the content part of the lesson, this should still be done in the same way with lesson plans but rather than being plain and dull have inclusions of ICT within the lessons.
Quality education is a combination of both the integration of ICT and excellent subject content knowledge from the teacher. When a teacher is competent enough they are able to elicit hidden skills and attitudes that help learners become effective citizens and members of the workforce. In addition to all the good and positive about ICT teachers need to make learners aware about the risks on the internet and how to use it in a safe and secure manner hence getting away from cyber bullies and paedophiles (UNESCO, 2011).
Among other broad aims the National development Plan vision (2030) emphasises the notion of early childhood development to ICT and quality education, especially in subjects such as mathematics, science, technology and languages. Consequently the teachers at the intermediate and junior will not be excused from training and ICT development programmes because they will also need to be competent in order to integrate ICT in those early stages of school life for learners. The Strategic Plan (2011-2014) from the department of basic education also focuses on more or less the same objectives as the 2030 vision but it has a more workable time frame (DOP, 2011). The FundzaLushaka bursary scheme is aimed at attracting more young and innovative youth into studying in the field of education. Moreover the government can then monitor ad have a say in exactly how and what teachers are being taught resulting in competent future educators (DOE, 2004).
Conclusion This essay has discussed the significance of technology in the education sector thus observing why there is an imperative need to train teacher’s pre and in service in the necessary skills and quality content of Information Communication Technology and teaching. It started by touching on issues knowledge being a society agenda in a sense that without education and knowledge there would not be as much opportunities as there are today and that the aim of achieving a better society would only be just an idea. Pervasiveness of technology was the second notion the essay dealt with and it was essentially about how influential and prevalent technology is, it modernises and globalises the world thus with the inclusion of technology in education the quality of education would be improved all over the world
Furthermore it discussed education for all as a goal and focused on equality, equity and quality in education, the ideas of rectifying apartheid injustices and eradicating poverty were also touched upon. With the future national strategic objectives this paper mainly focused on all the plans that were national and international on how to integrate ICT into education, how to train teachers, what would be the best ways of growing the economy just to name a few. Finally it touched upon broader aims regarding teacher development and competency standards. Technology will take the world to new heights specially if combined with education.
References DFID. (2010). Learning for all DFID's Education Strategy 2010-2015. London: Department of International Development.DOBE. (2011). Strategic Plan 2011-2014. Department of Basic Education.DOE. (2004). White Paper on e-Education, transforming learning and teaching through Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). Department of Educations, Government Gazette.DOE. (2007). Guidelines for Teacher Training and Professional Development in ICT. Department od Education.DOP. (2011). National Development Plan: Vision for 2030. Department of Presidency (National Planning Commission).UNESCO. (2011). UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.UNESCO-IICBA. (2012). ICT- Enhanced Teacher Strategies for Africa (ICTeTSA). Addis Ababa: UNESCO ( International Institute for capacity Building in Africa).
The significance of technology in education
The Significanceof Technology inEducationBy Thembi Mdladlamba201021602
Outline for this presentation The importance of technology withineducation and the need for teacherdevelopment in Information CommunicationTechnology. It entails Knowledge Society Agenda Pervasiveness of Technology “Education for All” Goals Future national strategic objectives
Cont.… Broad aims of the various national andinternational initiatives regarding continuousprofessional development of teachers withregard to teacher competency standardsrelating to ICTs and professional aptitude
Broad aims of the various national andinternational initiatives regardingcontinuous professional development ofteachers with regard to teachercompetency standards relating to ICT andprofessional aptitude
References DFID. (2010). Learning for all DFIDs Education Strategy 2010-2015. London:Department of International Development. DOBE. (2011). Strategic Plan 2011-2014. Department of Basic Education. DOE. (2004). White Paper on e-Education, transforming learning and teachingthrough Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). Department ofEducations, Government Gazette. DOE. (2007). Guidelines for Teacher Training and Professional Development in ICT.Department od Education. DOP. (2011). National Development Plan: Vision for 2030. Department of Presidency(National Planning Commission). UNESCO. (2011). UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. UnitedNations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO-IICBA. (2012). ICT- Enhanced Teacher Strategies for Africa (ICTeTSA).Addis Ababa: UNESCO ( International Institute for capacity Building in Africa).
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