Challenges in ICT for Education


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Presentation from the UOU International ICT Conference held on 28-29 November 2011 in Dehradun

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  • My concern has thus been with the application of ICTs to various development domains—from the basic sectors of agriculture and poverty reduction, education, gender and health to to the equally important sustainable development, governance, peace, and cultural diversity There are differences in the way in which ICTs have been applied There are common trends in the generic aspects of using ICTs and it is these that I will explore
  • There is often confusion in understanding what the term “ICTs in education” means. In some instances, it has meant “ICT education”, i.e. the creation of a pool of human resource to cater to the growing knowledge society needs. In other countries, the use of ICTs in education has meant “ICT supported education” and this has resulted in a large number of distance learning systems providing learning opportunities and consequently increasing access to education. In still some other cases, the term has meant “ICT enabled education”—essentially meaning the use of ICTs as a primary channel of educational interaction, i.e. e-learning and m-learning. So, the first stage in planning the use of any technology in education is to understand and then define what is meant by the term within a given context. Educational systems, as we understand them involve interaction between the teacher and the student. A school, a college, a technical training institute, all have similar structures—there is a physical location consisting of buildings and equipment; human resources consisting of teachers and students, principals and administrators; a set of protocols, i.e. rules, norms, and procedures; enrolment and admission and monitoring procedures content materials in the shape of syllabi, textbooks, learner support materials in the shape of libraries and laboratories; assessment techniques consisting of tests and examinations; and recognition in terms of accreditation and the qualitative judgement of the school, college, or technical training institute based upon an overall performance of the students and the institution. All of these activities are bound by time and place. Open and distance learning systems are similar to conventional systems yet have a distinct identity. Both systems aims to provide relevance and quality to educational content; both aim to achieve certain minimum standards of education and training; both have administrative systems that enrol and instruct learners; both usually require learners to sit for examinations before receiving certification. So, the process of education remains the same in both systems. The tools are different. The tools of education are the means (the media and the ICTs-- whether in face to face, open and distance or other learning environments) that are used to deliver education. They, themselves are not education The use of powerful ICTs to enhance access, improve quality, and provide equity in education must be distinguished from the process of education.
  • Essentially, ICT devices and applications are used in the production, storage and sharing of information and knowledge. They consist of hardware and application software that run the hardware and also enable development of content. The figure [1] below illustrates a typology of ICTs in current use. [1] Figure Credit: Usha V Reddy, 2011
  • Current e learning systems are very similar to the more traditional radio and television that have been extensively used, especially for basic and non formal education ever since radio came on the scene. there is no clear evidence anywhere in the world that changing the mode of educational delivery has made any significant difference to the extent or quality of learning
  • The academic--course design, content development, materials development, production, counseling, tutoring, and mentoring of learners, assessment and evaluation The managerial--This includes promotion, enrolment, registration, learner support, data management, system evaluation and research The t echnology--managing the technology in terms of hardware, programming and application software, preparation and packaging of content, delivery technologies, system maintenance, and upgradation of all aspects of the technology. Deployment of technology and maintenance at the learner end can also be part of the technology responsibility The material development and distribution--Production and distribution of technology based materials, especially in a non broadcast or off line mode to learners The administrative--These include processes of recruitment of manpower, financial management and control, and various support services that are necessary for other functions to take place.
  • Challenges in ICT for Education

    1. 1. The View From the Trenches Challenges Facing the Use of ICTs in Education in General and E Learning in Particular Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy, Ph. D Educationist and ICTD Consultant Hyderabad 500 082 E mail: [email_address] 12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    2. 2. 12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy Introductory remarks
    3. 3. Conceptual Confusions <ul><li>What does the term “ICT in Education” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the process of education? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the tools of education? </li></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    4. 4. Conceptual Confusions <ul><li>The Technologies…how are they changing? </li></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    5. 5. 12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy G2G=Government to Government; G2B=Government to Business; G2C=Government to Citizen; B2B=Business to Business; B2C=Business to Citizen; C2C=Citizen to Citizen Taxonomy of ICTs—Technologies, Applications, and Services and Content Hardware— goods, Radios/TVs Computers, Modems, Mobile phone Connectivity media Telecommunications—fixed, wireless, and satellite Softwares --proprietary --open source Content --External --Local language --Locally produced Services --G2G --G2B --G2C --B2B --B2C --C2C THE USER Supporting Environments--physical --Power and energy sources --Buildings: telephone exchanges; telecentres; access points --Internet and Internet access devices Supporting environments—policy and legal and regulatory financial --Licensing arrangements for telecom operators, tariff structures --Standards (network operations, switching, transmission, languages --Licensing for broadcasters and the media --Competition regulation
    6. 6. What will determine trends in technology evolution? <ul><li>Adaptability – The extent to which it can be adapted to a range of tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage – How well it makes a difficult task easier—the more capable it is of producing change </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of mastery – How easy it is for broad audiences to understand how to adopt and adapt it </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility – How easy it is to obtain and access </li></ul><ul><li>Affordability – How much it costs </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory – How much it engages it users and is interactive with them </li></ul><ul><li>Transferability – How easily its use can be transferred to others </li></ul><ul><li>Generative capacity – How easily it enables the user to create and build on its features for his/her own benefit and use </li></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    7. 7. Conceptual Confusions <ul><li>Are the new tools of educational delivery different? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No, they are an extension of development on a continuum of technology evolution What is more, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is there evidence of effectiveness in educational outcomes? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No </li></ul></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    8. 8. Conceptual Confusions <ul><li>What do we know about existing technology supported/enabled systems of educational delivery? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The technology works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The learning end does not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content is the most important, but paid least attention to </li></ul></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    9. 9. Elements of the Planning and Design Process <ul><li>Structural Elements of a technology based learning system. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The academic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The managerial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The material development and distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The administrative </li></ul></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    10. 10. Elements of the Planning and Design Process <ul><li>Planning work and decision points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making the choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching Functions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing Time </li></ul></ul></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    11. 11. Elements of the Planning and Design Process <ul><li>Planning work and decision points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making the choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing Funds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing Human Resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing Content and Content Development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Software—authoring tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul></ul></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    12. 12. Managing Change and Building Partnerships <ul><li>Change management is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduction of ICTs into the educational process is not simply about introducing technology. I </li></ul><ul><li>Implies a major reform of a system that has to move from a slow and meandering paper, file, visits and meetings oriented system to one that is speedy, responsive and transparent. </li></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    13. 13. Managing Change and Building Partnerships <ul><li>For Partnerships to succeed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared vision and commitment to grow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision and policies translated in strategic and operational plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination teams and mechanisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanisms for streamlining procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Updated programme content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumption of main coordinating roles by partners’ key decision makers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    14. 14. Can you do the following? <ul><li>The integration of ICTs in the Indian Railway system has dramatically changed the system, removing inefficiencies and reducing both costs and corruption. It has taken away the long lines at railway stations, made the booking of a ticket as easy as the click of a mouse and it has transformed a loss making service into a profitable vibrant organization. All this was done, not in a laboratory, but in a field setting with live stations and trains operating and it was done by a government ministry. </li></ul>12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy
    15. 15. 12/12/11 (c) Prof. Usha Vyasulu Reddy THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION