Educational process in which a significant proportion of the teaching is conducted by someone removed in space and/or time from the learner. Most times distance teaching involves a combination of the media . (Chifwepa, 2008)
What is Information and Communication Technology (ICT)?
There are different definitions for Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Refers to digitalization of information and the electronics industry – the ability to store and process all kinds of information and to communicate it over telephone lines; the invention and marketing of the personal computer (PC) and placed it in the hands of individuals – at work and at home; and the launch of the Internet linking computers and their users together in a global network. (Wild, 2007)
The coming together of these three innovations is known as convergence. Convergence enables:
traditional computers (and other devices like personal digital assistants (PDAs),
telecommunications devices (like telephones, fax, satellite, radio, TV), and
networks (like the Internet, private data networks, satellite communications, and fixed and mobile telephone networks) to work together locally, regionally and globally to share and exchange content or information.
These technologies, taken together, are called ICTs.
Students in schools and colleges, distance learning students- colleges, UNZA, CBU; adult learners, farmers, businessmen/women, medical personnel, other professionals, community and NGOs/interest groups – social/political groups).
Social services delivery: access information on education, health and commerce/business. Examples, ZANACO XAPIT Project - Instant Banking & Mobile Banking for rural areas.
All need skills to get connected through 21 st century tools in 21 st century context.
Opportunities for Use of Mobile Phones in Distance Education
31st December 2007, subscriber base was 2,639,026 (
Estimated subscribers in Sub-Sahara Africa spend at least 20% of disposable income on phone services.
Over 70% of the people with mobile phones in Zambia subscribe to more than one service provider.
100% of distance students have access to mobile phones
‘Tools used in formal educational practice to disseminate, illustrate, communicate, or immerse learners and teachers in activities purposively designed to induce learning’. (Garrison and Anderson, 2003)
Distance education/eLearning considered as a complex system composed of institutional, individual, technical and social components.
First generation : printed textbook and course guide-reflected a conversational approach between the absent instructor and the independent student
Second generation: technologies of mass, broadcast media- retained an emphasis on independent study- seldom restriction on time/place (beyond access to the ubiquitous radio and television)
Generations of Distance Education Technology Cont’d ….
Third generation: Both asynchronous and synchronous human interaction provided by variety of telecommunication technologies-audio, video, and computer mediated conferencing.
Fourth generation : combines first three major attributes of the Net: information retrieval of vast amounts of content; interactive capacity of computer mediated communication (CMC); and processing power of locally distributed processing via computer –assisted programming.
Generations of Distance Education Technology Cont’d ….
Fifth generation : Unleashing new models of distance education programming, beyond the capability of integrating CMC and Web resources (such as WebCT, Blackboard), leading to ‘intelligent functions’ flexible learning model- automated responses to FAQ & integration and related access via ‘portals’ to campus-based resources and services.
Develop systems to use 21 st Century tools in 21 st Century context such as use of Webnars.
Lead and learn with technology through Problem-Based Learning (PBL) e.g. WebQuests
“ Educational Technology in Curriculum Devpt” course developed to equip teachers with skills of designing learning–centred environments; unleashing learning theories that encourage knowledge creation, inventions and critical thinking in learners.
Expectations: Making use of “mLearning” in Distance Education
Future of the Internet is in ‘your hand’ to provide flexible learning schedules.
Emerging technologies: Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) increasing access to the Internet via mobile phones and wireless data over long distances. (content through phones, PDAs & tablets)
WiMAX: “Nomadic connectivity”, will provide broadband access to places where it has been economically unviable.
Internet to be dominated by mobile devices as opposed to traditional computers. Has time finally come? When ?
Way forward of unleashing ICT hotspots for community and educational technology training
Carry out research in design and development of models of E-learning platforms: e.g. Mobile Internet Vehicles.
Brownstone IT: Vehicle mounted mobile satellite internet access terminal. ( From PRESS RELEASE by Brownstone IT - East Sussex, UK 14th March 2005 ). Retrieved on September 5, 2008 from http://www. satsig .net/brownstone-mobile.htm .
Commonwealth of Learning ( June 2008). The Future of the Internet is in your hand. Connections: Learning for Development, 13 (2), 16.
Communications Authority of Zambia (2008). Analysis Report the Market Entry of a Fourth Mobile Cellular Operator in Zambia . Lusaka: CAZ.
Executive Issues for September 2008 Volume 3 (Online publication)