Transforming Education through Information Technology

1. Education: Capacity building

“Education is not the amount of information that is put in your mind and runs riot there undigested all your life. The use of higher education is to find out how to solve the problems of life” said, Swami Vivekananda.
 Dr. Radhakrishnan said, “It is the function of a university to build human being, strive to rid them of their vanities and egotism and emancipate their minds from petty prejudices and narrow loyalties”. Again he said, “ Help the students to think rightly, make them feel nobly, let them do rightly, above all let them possess the spirit of compassion, universal love and brotherhood so that we can live together in  a global village as brothers and sisters”.

To be educated one has to focus on IQ, EQ, and SQ. I would like to define education as information leading to formation and finally resulting in transformation. It’s unfolding of the latent capacities and potentials within. In today’s world of knowledge explosion and IT Revolution has changed the educational scenario. The challenges of higher education would remain the ability to ensure capacity building resulting in the transformation of the self and society.

2. IT Revolution and Globalization

The buzzword of the 21sr centaury is ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). Computer connected to networks denotes the e mergence of new technologies of communication and its application in all fields of activity. Globalization and communication technologies have caused and resulted in the growth of each other and have influenced one another in complex and multiple ways. New trends and challenges in education have also come about. A generation of “compulsive information consumers” has emerged.

With the onslaught of globalization, higher education also entered into the world market with aggressive marketing focused on quality, efficiency and employability. The nature and application of information technology have continued to expand rapidly and together with it the range of resources available for any subject specific learning. Educator must be imaginative, flexible and willing to renew their skills of teaching and learning, if they are to realize the potential of educational technology fully. We have arrived at a global village concept with all virtual realities on our desktops. Many teachers are unaware of this significant reality.

There is significant increase in the number of institutions, where IT is used as a teaching aid. There is a need to provide technical support to the faculty for developing computer aided material and availability of relevant hardware and software. Universities and Colleges will have to empower its manpower to use IT. For this we need exposure and training. In this respect it would be useful to follow the model of British Universities and colleges having instituted ’Millennial Cells’ to prepare for the new millennium. We should have separate ‘Cyber age Cells’ consisting of teachers, students, business/industry representative with a view to develop gradual cyber age compliance in respect of knowledge, curriculum, delivery of teaching, promotion of learning, building up a support climate, encouraging innovations in research, foreign links between education and society and turning the human resources of students, teachers and community into veritable power house of development and change. For this teachers need to receive training so as to include IT related topics in their professional, pedagogic and didactic considerations.


3. Teaching and learning through IT facilities.

Information technology, (IT) includes products that store, process, transmit, convert, duplicate, or receive electronic information. Examples of IT include: software applications, operating systems, web-based information and applications, telephones and other telecommunication products, video equipment, multimedia products, and office equipment. Electronic textbooks, instructional software, email, chat, and distance learning programs are also examples of IT.

Information is a fundamental resource indispensable for any academic activity. The role of information in study, teaching and research is well recognized in the academic community. The information and communication technologies (ICT) have made the transfer of information so easy that any body in any place can share information without geographical barrier. The new ICT has enabled the academic community to overcome the barrier of time in accessing information as well. Students use a variety of IT tools such as email, websites, discussion boards, and courseware. They may use IT to attend school from a distance or as an adjunct to traditional classroom attendance. When these tools are accessible they can significantly reduce the effort required of individuals with disabilities and increase access to education. When they are inaccessible, they can block participation by students and faculty with disabilities.

Teaching in higher education, mostly, concentrates on giving information which is not the sole objective of higher education. The objectives are multidimensional in nature, so as to achieve all these, the appropriate methods should be used in an integrated fashion. It is a well accepted fact that today a single teacher is not capable of giving the latest and complete information in his own subject; IT can fill this significant gap as it can provide access to different sources of information. IT provides variety in the presentation of the content which helps, learners in concentration and better understanding and long retention of information which is not possible otherwise. Teaching and learning becomes participatory and interesting. A sense of discovery emerges daily and it makes learning easy and long lasting. This would bring qualitative improvement in teaching and learning process.

There is a great need to create a virtual teacher education centre where all the necessary sills and training can be provided in different modes on the network. IT should incorporate all the available IT facilities like tele education, tele-conferencing, floppy diskettes and CD-ROMS. Networks like Erent, Internet and the futuristic concept of bringing satellite channel directly to homes by direct to home (DTH) service and expert talks through virtual classrooms can also be made available. The present practice of television and other media in distance mode of education can be substituted by multimedia system which has an extra advantage of being more interactive through graphics user interface (GUI) which controls the response of information transfer process according to the learner’s pace. It helps in using screen as a self learning material

4. Information Technology and Learning society

IT has emerged as a big stimulating force and it is strongly influencing the human mind and its thought process, the society and in the end the entire world. IT has enhanced its capacity of accumulating, storing and using information. All what you need is on your desk top.  New technologies are entering into the filed of education. The concepts like Smart Schooling, De-schooling, Virtual University, Virtual Classroom, E-learning, E-library and they are replacing the old and outdated concepts of learning. A teacher has to assume a new role.

Progress in Science and Technology, has accelerated the growing importance of knowledge. Now we have to face the growing challenges of ‘impermanence of knowledge’ and we have to build an ideal ‘learning society’. The UNESCO Report on Education (1966) has rightly stressed the following four pillars of education for the future ‘Learning Society”: Learning to know; Learning to do; Learning to live together; learning to live with others and Learning to be. Delors, Jaques 1996, Learning: The treasure within. Report to UNESCO of the International Commission of Education for the Twenty –first Century.  France, UNESCO Pub. ERT Education Policy Group submitted the Thesis: ‘Toward a Learning Society’ (1996) where the group has recommended new roles of teacher for the ‘Learning Society’: “Now technology has created a host of new tools for use in the classroom, in laboratories, at home and on the move. Using these tools both students and teachers are equipped to become researchers. Teachers then coach their students to evaluate and use effectively the information they have generated for themselves. This is far closer to real life situation than the older styles of teacher transmission to students…” (UN p.15 Nov 2002)
 In 1999 the National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development, Government of India, conducted a case study on the use of IT in different sectors, including education. “This project has demonstrated that IT can be used as a tool for not only improving life style of the citizens, and provide them with more information, but can also generate employment’. (Yojana, Jan-2000)

5. Current trends in IT oriented teaching and learning


Increasingly, we are seeing the following trends, directions, and movements:

  • "Research" and "teaching" are perceived as mutually enhancing rather than antithetical.
  • Course time is devoted to discovery-based (inquiry-based, resource-based, project-based, and active) learning over traditional lecture modes of transmitting knowledge.
  • Teaching emphasis has moved away from memorizing facts towards finding, evaluating, and using information.
  • Instructors are realizing what they teach isn't the same as what students learn and are restructuring  the curriculum accordingly ("teach less, learn more").
  • New teaching and learning styles incorporate collaborative work in diverse teams or groups.
  • Course content is interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and team taught.
  • Course content is publicly accessible and shared beyond the members of an individual course.
  • Teaching and learning extend beyond the classroom and into the campus and community.
  • The instructor is perceived as a partner in a learning community rather than as a sole entrepreneur.
  • The audience for student work is expanding from the individual instructor to communities of discourse that include peer feedback and exchange.
  • Assessment is multilevel and complex incorporating both formative and summative types and involving reciprocal evaluation of how well teachers teach and how well students learn.
  • Today's students have grown up with technology as the air they breathe, are used to being wired 24x7, are comfortable multitasking in multimedia, and bring very different expectations to the classroom as a result.
  • Today's employers prize transferable skills (e.g., problem solving, creativity, interdisciplinary teamwork) over encyclopedic knowledge.

5. 1. Learning Technologies in Support of Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learning is a continuous engagement in acquiring, applying and creating knowledge and skills in the context of an individual learner's unique problems. Effectively supporting self-directed learning is one of the critical challenges in supporting lifelong learning. Self-directed learning creates new challenging requirements for learning technologies. Domain-oriented design environments address these challenges by allowing learners to engage in their own problems, by providing contextualized support, and by exploiting breakdowns as opportunities for learning.
Economies of educational knowledge constitute an emerging concept in which communities contribute the creation of information repositories, which can be reused and evolved by all members of the community for the creation of new environments. We argue and demonstrate that domain-oriented design environments can serve as models for these economies that a software reuse perspective provides us with insights into the challenges these developments face, and that the creation and evolution of these economies are best understood as problems in self-directed learning.

5.1.2. Effective Learning and the Virtual Learning Environment

Using Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) poses important educational issues for Universities. Without addressing the issues of effective learning, their use can compound the mistakes of the past and leave the learner with a passive, unengaging experience leading to surface learning. Educators need to recognise that learning is a social process and that providing an effective learning environment which facilitates the active acquisition of subject-specific and general expertise, and addresses the need to adopt a specific subject or professional culture, requires more than electronically delivered course notes and email discussion. Quality of course design, use of appropriate tools and the context in which learning takes place are prime factors affecting success in the era of mass higher education and lifelong learning.
There is an increasing worldwide drive to use the technologies based around the WWW as a means of addressing a number of challenges which face higher (and further) education. The WWW itself has brought about the prospect of a "global education marketplace" and with it the advent of non-traditional "corporate" higher education providers. At the same time individual governments have recognized the need for a greatly widened "mass" access to higher and further education and the need to equip national workforces with the initial grounding and "lifelong learning" skills which will be needed to provide the responsiveness and flexibility required for an ever-accelerating rate of change.
A leading feature of this drive has the advent of systems and approaches designed to make the pattern of learning more "distributed". Distributed learning is characterized as learning which can take place "any time, anywhere", but which encompasses the activities of on-campus learners as well of those of the "distance learner". Indeed the distance learner can be seen as a more tightly delineated subset of distributed learner for whom the option of face to face contact with tutors and peers is either unavailable or heavily constrained to a few specific occasions.
A plethora of names has arisen to describe the software and technologies which are being developed to provide for distributed learning. For the purpose of this discussion, a distinction will be drawn between two types of system. Firstly, a "Virtual Learning Environment" (VLE) or "Learning Management System" designed to act as a focus for students learning activities and their management and facilitation, along with the provision of content and resources required to help make the activities successful. Secondly, a "Managed Learning Environment" (MLE) which includes all of the wider features of enrolment, course options management, student record and profile keeping, the wider management, interchange and publication of content, and the features needed to allow learners to move or progress between courses and institutions.
There are a number of VLEs now available (examples include WebCT, Lotus LearningSpace, and the focus of this discussion, COSE) with more appearing. Despite vendors claims to the contrary it is clear that no true single MLE exists, and that indeed, given the varying needs of different institutions and national education systems, no single solution is likely to exist. This view is supported by the very existence of such initiatives as the US NLII Instructional Management Systems (IMS) Project1, the European PROMETEUS Project2, and the IEEE Learning Technologies Standards Committee3. These are concerned with aspects of producing standards for learning content, its interchange between VLEs, and access to content residing elsewhere (for example in digital libraries) by VLEs. Also being examined are the standards required to allow the interoperation of VLEs with the other systems required to allow the formation of MLEs which suit the needs of individual, organisations and institutions.
Whilst the following discussion will dwell closely on issues associated with VLEs, the author recognises that their mutual interoperation, and their interoperation with other management systems and sources of content is vital if the overall goals of the drive towards distributed learning are to be attained.
6. The Educational Problems
All the current enthusiasm for distributed learning is largely based around the flexibility and power that the WWW and its associated technologies offer, and the fact that, possibly for the first time in the history of the use of communications and information technology in learning, these technologies are increasingly "ubiquitous".
However it is the case that the prime foci of this enthusiasm are the technology itself and the large "agenda" goals which are striven for. Without focusing carefully on how the technologies will actually address these goals and how they will provide learners with an effective learning experience, the mistakes of the past could easily be duplicated in a new guise.
Some of the most serious errors have been errors of educational and course design and have included:
·                     Failure to engage the learner
·                     Mistaking "interactivity" for engagement
·                     Focussing on content rather than outcomes
·                     Mirroring traditional didactic approaches on the technology

All the above are really all part of the same problem: namely, the adoption of view of learning as an information delivery process coupled with the practice of procedures4.
In addition there are the problems caused by:
·         Failure to recognise the social nature of learning4,5
Here the problem is still linked to the didactic approach in that the learner is seen as operating individually "for themselves". This can, in the context of VLEs, lead to a genuine sense of isolation, and in ignoring the social aspects of learning lead to less effective learning.
·         Seeing discourse as the prime collaborative form6.
There is a wealth of published material on the undoubted value of computer based discussion as a vehicle for learning. However, the author would argue that many VLEs place an over-emphasis on "discourse" at the expense of learners working together to produce some artifact. Also the question as to whether the same tools should be used for peer support and guidance as for discourse, or whether different solutions are required for best results, as yet remains unanswered.
Coupled to this are issues of content design and creation. Often there has been an (understandable) desire to create content employing "rich" multi-media. This poses two immediate problems. Firstly, the effort and skills required to produce such content make it unrealistic in terms of both cost and development time as an approach to producing a significant body of content across higher education curricula. Secondly, higher education increasingly has as its learners a generation whose expectations of multi-media have been formed by the computer games industry and will be unimpressed even by relatively expensive multi-media educational content produced by commercial publishers.  Therefore the use of multi-media should focus on its value in the learning context, rather than a desire to excite with its "richness".
7. Effective Learning
We will now turn our discussion to the question: "what are the conditions required for effective learning?"
It is worthwhile to dwell on what is being developed in the individual learner. The process is concerned not just with the acquisition of subject specific knowledge and skills, but with the development of more general, or strategic, approaches and skills. The author has argued previously7 that this development must also take place in the context of the acquisition of discipline or professional culture if both sets of knowledge and skills are to be of value to the individual in, and applied by them to, new scenarios and fields of study and employment.
This argument is founded on a view of learning as an active process which must recognise, and take into consideration that:
·         Learning is a social process and development is linked to the specific culture in which learning activities are shared8.
·         Learning activities need to be "authentic" - normal to the culture in question and involve its tools and artifacts9,10
·         Learning is situated in the dual contexts of culture and learning environment and that learning involves the interaction of learners and experts within them11.
·         Enculturation involves the development by the learner of the use of culture-specific meaning-making, or semiotic, tools12
·         Individual and social learning have a complex and necessary interdependence13.
·         Expertise involves perceiving the relationship between specific and general knowledge and skills14
·         The need for both learning activity and assessment to be clearly related to syllabus and to reward understanding15.
·         The need to match assessment, content and resources to the learner's current level15.
This view leads to an approach to course design which is output driven and focuses on the learning process and the effect it has on the learner, rather than an input led view which focuses on a body of content and its absorption by the learner. This approach7 can be summarised as:
·         Identify Learning Outcomes - What is the point of the course? How is the successful learner changed? Learning outcomes should make clear to learners "where they will be" at the end of the course. They make the context for learning clear as all the learning activities and assessments that make up the course should be clearly related to the Learning Outcomes.
·         Design Learning Opportunities - What can a learner do which will demonstrate that one or more Learning Outcomes have been met? Whatever the level of the learners' current tacit and specific knowledge, these activities should be realistic or "authentic". Any learning opportunity (something learners are asked to do as part of their learning) is potentially a formative or summative assessment, and should be clearly related to the Learning Outcomes of the course.
·         Apply Deconstruction - Appropriate to the level of the learner, higher level opportunities can be pre-deconstructed into lower level opportunities for the learner to a greater or lesser extent. (A model to assist in this process was developed early in the life of the COSE project.)
·         Consider Group or Individual Learning - Learning opportunities/assessments can be examined for the nature and appropriateness of their collaborative/group working potential.
·         Identify or Create Resources - one way of categorising resources is as Theory ("Codified", or subject-specific, information), External Resources (e.g. Reading lists, WWW resources, and Lectures) and Hints (Specific Procedural Advice and Strategic Guidance) and Internal Resources (Other Learning Opportunities which are part of a deconstruction of the current opportunity, or which address pre-requisite learning requirements).
8. The COSE VLE and Learning
Virtual Learning Environments can be categorised as either Content or Learner Centred16. The COSE VLE was developed specifically to address the requirements of those tutors wishing to adopt learning paradigms which address the considerations for effective learning listed earlier. It is fundamentally Learner Centred in that it takes as its premise that a course consists of a group of people to whom learning opportunities are assigned. Content and course are decoupled, combining only when a learning opportunity, together with resources to aid the learner(s) in addressing it, is assigned to a course. This contrasts with a Content Centred system in which a course consists of an organised collection of learning content onto which learners are "enrolled".
The organisational features of COSE are designed to facilitate active social models of learning such as cognitive apprenticeship and encourage collaborative working which includes synthesis, but nevertheless are not constrained to such constructivist approaches and indeed individual and behaviourist learning remits can also be incorporated.
9. Web-Based Learning Environment:

Web-based courses and programs have increasingly been developed by many academic institutions, organizations, and companies worldwide due to their benefits for both learners and educators. However, many of the developmental approaches lack two important considerations needed for implementing Web-based learning applications: (1) integration of the user interface design with instructional design and (2) development of the evaluation framework to improve the overall quality of Web-based learning support environments. This study addressed these two weaknesses while developing a user-centered, Web-based learning support environment for Global Positioning System (GPS) education: Web-based distance and distributed learning (WD2L) environment. The research goals of the study focused on the improvement of the design process and usability of the WD2L environment based on a theory-based Integrated Design Process (IDP) proposed in the
study. Results indicated that the proposed IDP was effective in that the study showed (1) the WD2L environment’s equivalence to traditional supplemental learning, especially as a Web-based supplemental learning program and (2) users’ positive perceptions of WD2L environment resources. The study also confirmed that for an e-learning environment to be successful, various aspects of the learning environment should be considered such as application domain knowledge, conceptual learning theory, instructional design, user interface design, and evaluation about the overall quality of the learning environment.
As an increasingly powerful, interactive, and dynamic medium for delivering information, the World Wide Web (Web) in combination with information technology (e.g., LAN, WAN, Internet, etc.) has found many applications. One popular application has been for educational use, such as Web-based, distance, distributed or online learning. The use of the Web as an educational tool has provided learners and educators with a wider range of new and interesting learning experiences and teaching environments, not possible in traditional inclass education (Khan, 1997). 
This study addressed these weaknesses while developing a user-centered, Web-based learning support environment for Global Positioning System (GPS) education: a Web-based distance and distributed learning (WD2L) environment. More specifically, there are two main research goals addressed in this study, and these goals aimed to improve the design process and usability of the WD2L environment. First, this study offered a systematic approach to the design, development, and evaluation of a user-centered, WD2L environment for supporting engineering courses. Second, this study evaluated the design process model by assessing the overall quality of the WD2L environment prototype in terms of 1) students’ learning performance and 2) the quality of resources implemented in the WD2L environment. We first give an overview of relevant literature that guided the design, development, and evaluation of the WD2L environment supporting GPS education. The development process will then be briefly summarized. In addition, evaluation processes through the proposed formative evaluation framework will be outlined. Finally, relationships between the design process framework and the effectiveness of the WD2L environment will be discussed.

9.1. Computer Assisted Instructions (CAI)

Based on automation Lawrence Stolurow and Daniel Davis (1965) have found three main computer applications in the field of education. The three main computer applications are:

·                     Computer Assist Learning: The programs of this application are designed to encourage knowledge by finding out and learning rather than by drill and practice. The material is so presented that a student learns by investigation. In this application often simulation is used.
·                     Computer Managed Instruction: Here the computer can serve as classroom terminal assisting the teacher in diagnosing and prescribing a course of instruction for the student. The actual instruction may be self-instruction packages or supervise a test and also to direct each student as an individual to the next appropriate set of tasks. The computer also retains each student’s record so that the teacher can find out at any time an individual student’s progress.
·                     Computer Assist Instruction: Here the student, as a means of instruction uses the computer. It can be applied to display lesson material, reinforce learning, simulate environmental conditions, provide drill and practice and administer tests and so on. Essentially the computer program issues a piece of information and then raises a question about it. The learner supplies an answer if this response is correct, the program moves on to next step. If it is not so and if response is incorrect, then the information is presented again and a retest, is administrated. All this depends upon the individual performance of the students. 

10. IT Based Knowledge Management in Higher Education

Knowledge Management is the process of transforming information and intellectual assets into enduring value (Kidwell et al-2000). When information is combined with experience and judgment, it becomes knowledge. Knowledge includes the information generated by the use of data through the insight and wisdom of employees. Knowledge originates in individuals, but is embedded in teams and work processes of the organizations. It in fact exists in all core functions of an organization, as well as in its systems and infrastructure. The challenge of Knowledge Management is to make the right knowledge available to the right person at the right time for make the right decision.

The primary benefit of the IT based KM is that it actively addresses both, the Technology culture as well as the Information culture, at an institution and seeks to advance both simultaneously. The technology culture can be thought of an institutions use and integration of technology in planning, development, operation and assessment. For this the rank and file of the institution should be trained to use new software and Hardware. Information culture on the other hand is distinct from what has become known as information system. It involves process for sharing information within and across the organization to improve performance. Information culture can provide very easily the data and budget for starting a new course, information regarding the terms and conditions of the new job.

As an increasingly powerful, interactive, and dynamic medium for delivering information, the World Wide Web (Web) in combination with information technology (e.g., LAN, WAN, Internet, etc.) has found many applications. One popular application has been for educational use, such as Web-based, distance, distributed or online learning. The use of the Web as an educational tool has provided learners and educators with a wider range of new and interesting learning experiences and teaching environments, not possible in traditional inclass education (Khan, 1997).

ICT has fundamentally altered the traditional face of the teaching and learning process. Fowlers et al (2000) have drawn attention to the fact that “if used appropriately with powerful pedagogical approaches, IT is bound to enhance the students learning capacities, by enriching synchronous classroom activities and by providing students with an engaging, self place asynchronous learning system. This enables students learn more than they wqould otherwise at costs ultimately equal to or below that of classroom based instruction.’

IT has strong potential to improve and manage effectively different aspects of Higher Education. It can bring about revolutionary changes in the realm of education, besides promoting equity and better quality and lowering the overall economics of education. Multimedia, coupled with other advanced audiovisual equipments, internet, chatting web based education, emailing and the rest have revolutionized the lecture delivery system for the benefit of the learners, specially from the distance education mode.
IT based office automation and decision support system has influenced the productivity and efficiency of the Indian Higher Education management and administrative systems (Shafi-2002). While office automation products have been pivotal by processing the available bulk of data into useful information, decisions support system have contributed immensely by dealing with information to produce intelligent actions, through the logical reasoning embedded in them. In a few seconds we can have any information regarding a student, staff or other course details. The entire academic achievement of students can similarly be accessed through the touch of a button. So also, the subject combination, time table, attendance, results and so many useful information can be easily accessed by students, their parents and the college administration, thus making it more transparent and efficient.


10.1. Knowledge Management: A Tool for Performance Improvement in Higher Education

Indian government has now established National Knowledge Commission the purpose of which is – to build excellence in the educational system to meet the challenges of the 21st century and increase India’s competitive advantage in the field of knowledge” (Thakore-2005). Knowledge Management (KM) is the process of identification and leverage of organizational knowledge assets to deliver business advantages to the organization and its customers. There has been a paradigm shift in organizations from an ’information’ based organizations to ‘knowledge’ based organization.

KM is a conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time and helping people share and put information into action in ways that will improve organizational performance (Tzai Fucheng et al-2001). An institution wide approach to KM can lead to exponential improvements in sharing both explicit and tacit knowledge and subsequently gain benefits. Although KM is primarily process oriented with strategies determined by the organizational culture, motivation and policies; KM needs the right methods, technologies and tools for successful implementation.

Higher educational institutions are in the knowledge business, since they are involved in knowledge creation, dissemination and learning (Jennifer Rowley-2002) and colleges and universities have significant opportunities to apply Knowledge Management practices to support every part of their mission from education to public service (Jilinda J Kidwel et al-2000).

            “It is people who manage knowledge and not the processes or technologies”. KM brings together the three core organizational resources people, processes and technologies to enable the organization to use and share information more effectively (Petrides and Nodine-2003). Fig 2. Shows the key realms of KM, which links people to processes and technology.

With reference to the development of KM system in and educational institution, Devenport et al (1998), as cited in Jennifer Rowley (2000), identified four broad types of KM Project objectives, which match with the institutional objectives viz:
  1. To create knowledge repositories
  2. To improve knowledge access
  3. To enhance the knowledge environment
  4. To manage knowledge as an asset

To enhance the performance of these institutions, in the process of Knowledge Assimilation, Storage and Delivery, which are the key aspects of teaching-learning process, the top managements of these institutions have to make arrangements to improve the Technology Infrastructure and People Competencies.

11. Conclusion: ICT enabled Teacher Education

“We must act now- we cannot wait for everything to be right-for bandwidth to increase and technology penetration to increase in schools. Many things in life can wait. But the child cannot. Now is the time when his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his mind is being shaped. His name is not tomorrow. It is today.” – Argentinean writer Gabriella Marcell

The role of faculty will change from being an information provider to becoming a mentor, facilitator and co-learner, growing together in knowledge, attitude and skills relevant to today’s globalized society .Educational system all around the world is under increasing pressure to use the information and communication technologies (ICT) to teach students the attitude, knowledge and skills they need in the 21st centaury. The UNESCO World Report, teachers and teaching in changing world, describes the radical implication information and communication technologies have for conventional teaching and learning. It predicts the transformation of teaching and learning process and the way teachers and learners gain access to knowledge and information. To effectively harness the power of the new information and communication technologies to improve learning, the following essential conditions must be met:

- Teachers must have the knowledge and skills to use the new digital tools and resources to help all students to have the competitive edge in today’s globalized society. For this ongoing awareness and training programme in ICT  should be organized so that they develop competencies to make full use of ICT in teaching and learning process.
-Students and teachers must have sufficient access to digital technologies and the Internaet in their classrooms, Departments and in the college at large.
- Relevant digital content must be available for teachers and learners.


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References

  1. 1 The IMS Project: http://www.imsproject.org/
2.      2 PROMETEUS: http://www.prometeus.org/
3.      3 LTSC: http://ltsc.ieee.org/
4.      4 J. S. Brown and P. Duguid, 'Universities in the Digital Age', Change, (July/August 1996),
accessed in updated form as
 http://www.parc.xerox.com/ops/members/brown/papers/university.html on 13 March 2000
5.      5 E. Soloway, S. L. Jackson, J. Klien, et al., 'Learning Theory in Practice: Case Studies of Learner Centered Design', (University of Michigan), accessed as http://hi-ce.eecs.umich.edu/papers/ on 10 March 2000
6.      6 W. R. Klemm and J. R. Snell, 'Enriching Computer-Mediated Group Learning by Coupling Constructivism with Collaborative Learning', Journal of Instructional Science and Technology, 1, No2 (1996)
7.      7 M. J. Stiles, 'Developing Tacit and Codified Knowledge and Subject Culture within a Virtual Learning Environment', IJEEE, 37, No1 (January 2000) pp 13-25
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9.      9 J. S. Brown, A. Collins, and P. Duguid, 'Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning', Educ. Res., 18, No. 1 (1989), pp 32-42
10.  10 G. Kearsley and B. Shneiderman, 'Engagement theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning', Educational Technology, 38, 5 (September-October 1998), pp. 20-23. accessed as http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm on 21 February 2000
11.  11 J. Lave, Cognition in Practice, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge MA, 1988)
12.  12 G. Wells, 'Intersubjectivity and the construction of knowledge' (trans. in Italian), in C. Pontecorvo (Ed.), La Condivisione della Conoscenza, (La Nuova Italia, Rome, 1993) pp. 353-380, accessed as http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/~gwells/intersubjectivty.txt on 30 March 1999
13.  13 G. Salomon and D. N. Perkins, D.N. 'Individual and Social Aspects of Learning', Rev. Res. Educ., 23, (1998). Accessed as http://construct.haifa.ac.il/~gsalomon/indsoc.htm on 29 March 1999
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16.  16 C Milligan, 'Delivering Staff and Professional Development Using Virtual Learning Environments', in JTAP Report 573, (Heriot-Watt University, 1999). See http://www.jtap.ac.uk/reports/htm/jtap-044.html
17.  17 A. Collins, J. S. Brown and S.E. Newman, 'Cognitive Apprenticeship: Teaching the crafts of reading, writing and mathematics'. In L.B.Resnick (ed.), Knowing, Learning and Instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser, (Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, 1989), pp 453-494



13. IT in Research and Publication

Research methodology has undergone a welcome change as  research scholar has easy access to  unlimited information through internet and is exposed to wider spectrum of ideas and concepts. Research scholars can collaborate with other scholars and exchange their research data analysis and findings. This has improved the reliability of research findings. There could be greater collaboration between Universities and Industries which would be mutually beneficial as well to the society at large.

14. IT in English Language teaching
The practice of language teaching has undergone enormous changes in recent years as a result of advances in Information Technology (IT). Universities and schools have invested heavily in IT in order to provide teachers with facilities which can make their teaching more varied, more interesting and more effective. However, since the technology continues to evolve rapidly, many of its language teaching applications are still being developed. It is hoped that TCELT 2006 will provide an opportunity for language specialists to present innovative IT-related work, as well as address some of the problems which the new technology presents.

15. Using technology in teaching and learning: Resources to help you navigate a digital world


Effectiveness of Multimedia CAI and Conventional Learning Conditions in Relation to Persistence of
Professional College Students

Changes in science and technology have had considerable impact on the educational system, which aims at developing the ability of people to keep pace with each other in order to effectively apply technology to raise the level of job efficiency. Therefore, the educational system must be changed. It will not be restricted in any way; on the other hand, new features using computer – assisted technology for educational purposes can provide examples of its role, function and utility in dynamic response to the needs of people in the of global change. The use of computers in education in various models, e.g. computer – assisted instruction tends to be higher in both educational institutions and commercial enterprises. Hence, it is necessary to train instructors and trainers to become capable and efficient designers of Computers Assisted Instructions (CAI).

CAI is the use of a computer to interact directly with the students for learning and testing students achievement. Due to the flexibility of computers and capacity to provide branching instructions, it can assume the guidance role of the teacher, while also providing the students with necessary reference materials, simulated laboratory facilities and services depending upon the capabilities of the students to use computers. Some of the applications of CAI are to display lesson material, provide drill and practice, reinforce learning, simulate environmental conditions and display relevant stimuli and administer test.

Multimedia

Multimedia applications significantly expand the scope of many instructional activities. Students no longer simply write essays but are able to develop presentations that include text and images and other media components. Software is readily available that takes images directly from sources and incorporate into a composition or article.
Semantic Web for Knowledge society

The Semantic Web is a scheme that was first introduced by Tim Berners-Lee to extend the current web from documents linked to each other in to a Web that recognizes the meaning of information in these documents.(Berners-Lee et al 2001)

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