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An Effective use of ICT for Education and Learning by

Drawing on
Worldwide Knowledge, Research, and Experience:
ICT as a Change Agent for Education
Syed Noor-Ul-Amin
Ph.D Research Scholar
Department Of Education, University Of Kashmir
The purpose of this paper aims to bring together the
findings and key points from a review of significant part of
the available literature associated with ICTs for Education
and ICTs in Education. This review set out to identify
and evaluate relevant strategies in national and
international research and initiatives related to measuring
demonstrating the effective use of ICT for education with
regard to the teaching learning process; ICT and
quality and accessibility of education; ICT and learning
motivation, ICT and learning environment, and ICT to
enhance the scholastic performance.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have
become commonplace entities in all
aspects of life. Across the past twenty years the use of
ICT has fundamentally changed the
practices and procedures of nearly all forms of endeavour
within business and governance.
Education is a very socially oriented activity and quality
education has traditionally been
associated with strong teachers having high degrees of
personal contact with learners. The use
of ICT in education lends itself to more student-centred
learning settings. But with the world
moving rapidly into digital media and information, the
role of ICT in education is becoming
more and more important and this importance will
continue to grow and develop in the 21st
century. In this paper, a literature review regarding the
use of ICTs in education was provided.
Effective use of ICT for Education, along with ICT use in
the teaching learning process; quality
and accessibility of education; learning motivation.
Learning environment. Besides, an overview
of the ICT and scholastic performance.
According to Daniels (2002) ICTs have become within a
very short time, one of the basic
building blocks of modern society. Many countries now
regard understanding ICT and mastering
the basic skills and concepts of ICT as part of the core of
education, alongside reading, writing
and numeracy. However, there appears to be a
misconception that ICTs generally refers to
computers and computing related activities. This is
fortunately not the case, although
computers and their application play a significant role in
modern information management, other
technologies and/or systems also comprise of the
phenomenon that is commonly regarded as
ICTs.Pelgrum and Law (2003) state that near the end of
the 1980s, the term computers was
replaced by IT (information technology) signifying a shift
of focus from computing technology
to the capacity to store and retrieve information. This was
followed by the introduction of the
term ICT (information and communication technology)
around 1992, when e-mail started to
become available to the general public (Pelgrum, W.J.,
Law, N., 2003). According to a United
Nations report (1999) ICTs cover Internet service
provision, telecommunications equipment and
services, information technology equipment and services,
media and broadcasting, libraries and
documentation centres, commercial information
providers, network-based information services, 2
and other related information and communication
activities. According to UNESCO (2002)
information and communication technology (ICT) may be
regarded as the combination of
Informatics technology with other related technology,
specifically communication technology.
The various kinds of ICT products available and having
relevance to education, such as
teleconferencing, email, audio conferencing, television
lessons, radio broadcasts, interactive
radio counselling, interactive voice response system,
audiocassettes and CD ROMs etc have been
used in education for different purposes (Sharma, 2003;
Sanyal, 2001; Bhattacharya and Sharma,
The field of education has been affected by ICTs, which
have undoubtedly affected
teaching, learning, and research (Yusuf, 2005). A great
deal of research has proven the benefits
to the quality of education (Al-Ansari, 2006). ICTs have
the potential to innovate, accelerate,
enrich, and deepen skills, to motivate and engage
students, to help relate school experience to
work practices, create economic viability for tomorrow's
workers, as well as strengthening
teaching and helping schools change (Davis and Tearle,
1999; Lemke and Coughlin, 1998; cited
by Yusuf, 2005).As Jhurree (2005) states, much has been
said and reported about the impact of
technology, especially computers, in education. Initially
computers were used to teach computer
programming but the development of the microprocessor
in the early 1970s saw the introduction
of affordable microcomputers into schools at a rapid rate.
Computers and applications of
technology became more pervasive in society which led
to a concern about the need for
computing skills in everyday life. Hepp, Hinostroza, Laval
and Rehbein (2004) claim in their
paper Technology in Schools: Education, ICT and the
Knowledge Society that ICTs have been
utilized in education ever since their inception, but they
have not always been massively present.
Although at that time computers have not been fully
integrated in the learning of traditional
subject matter, the commonly accepted rhetoric that
education systems would need to prepare
citizens for lifelong learning in an information society
boosted interest in ICTs (Pelgrum, W.J.,
Law, N., 2003).
The 1990s was the decade of computer communications
and information access,
particularly with the popularity and accessibility of
internet-based services such as electronic
mail and the World Wide Web (WWW). At the same time
the CD-ROM became the standard for
distributing packaged software (replacing the floppy
disk). As a result educators became more
focused on the use of the technology to improve student
learning as a rationale for investment.
Any discussion about the use of computer systems in
schools is built upon an understanding of
the link between schools, learning and computer
technology. When the potential use of
computers in schools was first mooted, the predominant
conception was that students would be
taught by computers (Mevarech & Light, 1992).In a
sense it was considered that the computer
would take over the teachers job in much the same way
as a robot computer may take over a
welders job. Collis (1989) refers to this as a rather grim
image where a small child sits alone
with a computer. However, the use of information and
communication technologies in the
educative process has been divided into two broad
categories: ICTs for Education and ICTs in
Education. ICTs for education refers to the development of
information and communications
technology specifically for teaching/learning purposes,
while the ICTs in education involves the
adoption of general components of information and
communication technologies in the teaching
learning process.3
ICT enhancing teaching and learning process
The field of education has been affected by ICTs, which
have undoubtedly affected teaching,
learning and research (Yusuf, 2005) .ICTs have the
potential to accelerate, enrich, and deepen
skills, to motivate and engage students, to help relate
school experience to work practices, create
economic viability for tomorrow's workers, as well as
strengthening teaching and helping
schools change (Davis and Tearle, 1999; Lemke and
Coughlin, 1998; cited by Yusuf, 2005). In a
rapidly changing world, basic education is essential for an
individual be able to access and apply
information. Such ability must find include ICTs in the
global village.
Conventional teaching has emphasized content. For many
years course have been written
around textbooks. Teachers have taught through lectures
and presentations interspersed with
tutorials and learning activities designed to consolidate
and rehearse the content. Contemporary
settings are now favouring curricula that promote
competency and performance. Curricula are
starting to emphasize capabilities and to be concerned
more with how the information will be
used than with what the information is. Contemporary
ICTs are able to provide strong support
for all these requirements and there are now many
outstanding examples of world class settings
for competency and performance-based curricula that
make sound use of the affordances of these
technologies (Oliver, 2000). The integration of
information and communication technologies can
help revitalize teachers and students. This can help to
improve and develop the quality of
education by providing curricular support in difficult
subject areas. To achieve these objectives,
teachers need to be involved in collaborative projects and
development of intervention change
strategies, which would include teaching partnerships
with ICT as a tool. According to Zhao and
Cziko (2001) three conditions are necessary for teachers
to introduce ICT into their classrooms:
teachers should believe in the effectiveness of
technology, teachers should believe that the use of
technology will not cause any disturbances, and finally
teachers should believe that they have
control over technology. However, research studies show
that most teachers do not make use of
the potential of ICT to contribute to the quality of learning
environments, although they value
this potential quite significantly (Smeets, 2005). Harris
(2002) conducted case studies in three
primary and three secondary schools, which focused on
innovative pedagogical practices
involving ICT. Harris (2002) concludes that the benefits of
ICT will be gained when
confident teachers are willing to explore new
opportunities for changing their classroom
practices by using ICT. As a consequence, the use of ICT
will not only enhance learning
environments but also prepare next generation for future
lives and careers (Wheeler, 2001).
Changed pool of teachers will come changed
responsibilities and skill sets for future teaching
involving high levels of ICT and the need for more
facilitative than didactic teaching roles
(Littlejohn et al., 2002).
According to Cabero (2001), "the flexibilization time-
space accounted for by the
integration of ICT into teaching and learning processes
contributes to increase the interaction
and reception of information. Such possibilities suggest
changes in the communication models
and the teaching and learning methods used by teachers,
giving way to new scenarios which
favour both individual and collaborative learning. The
use of ICT in educational settings, by
itself acts as a catalyst for change in this domain. ICTs by
their very nature are tools that
encourage and support independent learning. Students
using ICTs for learning purposes become
immersed in the process of learning and as more and
more students use computers as information
sources and cognitive tools (Reeves & Jonassen, 1996),
the influence of the technology on
supporting how students learn will continue to increase.
In the past, the conventional process of
teaching has revolved around teachers planning and
leading students through a series of 4
instructional sequences to achieve a desired learning
outcome. Typically these forms of teaching
have revolved around the planned transmission of a body
of knowledge followed by some forms
of interaction with the content as a means to consolidate
the knowledge acquisition.
Contemporary learning theory is based on the notion that
learning is an active process of
constructing knowledge rather than acquiring knowledge
and that instruction is the process by
which this knowledge construction is supported rather
than a process of knowledge transmission
(Duffy & Cunningham, 1996). In this domain learning is
viewed as the construction of meaning
rather than as the memorisation of facts (Lebow, 1993;
Jonassen & Reeves, 1996). Learning
approaches using contemporary ICTs provide many
opportunities for constructivist learning
through their provision and support for resource-based,
student centered settings and by enabling
learning to be related to context and to practice (Berge,
1998; Barron, 1998). As mentioned
previously, any use of ICT in learning settings can act to
support various aspects of knowledge
construction and as more and more students employ ICTs
in their learning processes, the more
pronounced the impact of this will become. Teachers
generate meaningful and engaging learning
experiences for their students, strategically using ICT to
enhance learning. Students enjoy
learning, and the independent enquiry which innovative
and appropriate use of ICT can foster.
They begin to acquire the important 21st century skills
which they will need in their future lives.
ICT enhancing the quality and accessibility of education
ICT increases the flexibility of delivery of education so
that learners can access knowledge
anytime and from anywhere. It can influence the way
students are taught and how they learn as
now the processes are learner driven and not by
teachers. This in turn would better prepare the
learners for lifelong learning as well as to improve the
quality of learning. In concert with
geographical flexibility, technology-facilitated educational
programs also remove many of the
temporal constraints that face learners with special needs
(Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Students
are starting to appreciate the capability to undertake
education anywhere, anytime and anyplace.
One of the most vital contributions of ICT in the field of
education is- Easy Access to
Learning. With the help of ICT, students can now browse
through e-books, sample examination
papers, previous year papers etc. and can also have an
easy access to resource persons, mentors,
experts, researchers, professionals, and peers-all over the
world. This flexibility has heightened
the availability of just-in-time learning and provided
learning opportunities for many more
learners who previously were constrained by other
commitments (Young, 2002). Wider
availability of best practices and best course material in
education, which can be shared by
means of ICT, can foster better teaching. ICT also allows
the academic institutions to reach
disadvantaged groups and new international educational
markets. As well as learning at anytime,
teachers are also finding the capabilities of teaching at
any time to be opportunistic and able to
be used to advantage. Mobile technologies and seamless
communications technologies support
24x7 teaching and learning. Choosing how much time will
be used within the 24x7 envelope and
what periods of time are challenges that will face the
educators of the future (Young, 2002).
Thus, ICT enabled education will ultimately lead to the
democratization of education. Especially
in developing countries like India, effective use of ICT for
the purpose of education has the
potential to bridge the digital divide.
India has a billion-plus population and a high proportion
of the young and hence it has a
large formal education system. The demand for education
in developing countries like India has
skyrocketed as education is still regarded as an important
bridge of social, economic and political
mobility (Amutabi and Oketch, 2003). There exist
infrastructure, socio- economic, linguistic and 5
physical barriers in India for people who wish to access
education Bhattacharya and Sharma,
2007). This includes infrastructure, teacher and the
processes quality. There exist drawbacks in
general education in India as well as all over the world
like lack of learning materials, teachers,
remoteness of education facilities, high dropout rate etc
(UNESCO,2002). Innovative use of
Information and Communication Technology can
potentially solve this problem. Internet usage
in home and work place has grown exponentially
(McGorry, 2002). ICT has the potential to
remove the barriers that are causing the problems of low
rate of education in any country. It can
be used as a tool to overcome the issues of cost, less
number of teachers, and poor quality of
education as well as to overcome time and distance
barriers (McGorry, 2002).
People have to access knowledge via ICT to keep pace
with the latest developments
(Plomp, Pelgrum & Law, 2007). ICT can be used to
remove communication barriers such as that
of space and time (Lim and Chai, 2004). ICTs also allow
for the creation of digital resources like
digital libraries where the students, teachers and
professionals can access research material and
course material from any place at any time (Bhattacharya
and Sharma, 2007; Cholin, 2005).
Such facilities allow the networking of academics and
researchers and hence sharing of scholarly
material. This avoids duplication of work (Cholin,
2005).ICT eliminating time barriers in
education for learners as well as teacher. It eliminates
geographical barriers as learners can log
on from any place (Sanyal, 2001; Mooij, 2007; Cross and
Adam, 2007; UNESCO, 2002;
Bhattacharya and Sharma, 2007). ICT provides new
educational approaches (Sanyal, 2001). It
can provide speedy dissemination of education to target
disadvantaged groups (UNESCO, 2002;
Chandra and Patkar, 2007).ICT enhances the international
dimension of educational services
(UNESCO, 2002). It can also be used for non-formal
education like health campaigns and
literacy campaigns (UNESCO, 2002). Use of ICT in
education develops higher order skills such
as collaborating across time and place and solving
complex real world problems (Bottino, 2003;
Bhattacharya and Sharma, 2007; Mason, 2000; Lim and
Hang, 2003). It improves the perception
and understanding of the world of the student. Thus, ICT
can be used to prepare the workforce
for the information society and the new global economy
(Kozma, 2005). Plomp et al (2007) state
that the experience of many teachers, who are early
innovators, is that the use of ICT is
motivating for the students as well as for the teachers
themselves. Bottino (2003) and Sharma
(2003) mention that the use of ICT can improve
performance, teaching, administration, and
develop relevant skills in the disadvantaged communities.
It also improves the quality of
education by facilitating learning by doing, real time
conversation, delayed time conversation,
directed instruction, self-learning, problem solving,
information seeking and analysis, and critical
thinking, as well as the ability to communicate,
collaborate and learn (Yuen et al, 2003). A great
deal of research has proven the benefits to the quality of
education (Al-Ansari
2006).Hepp,Hinostroza, Laval and Rehbein (2004) state
that the literature contains many
unsubstantiated claims about the revolutionary potential
of ICTs to improve the quality of
education. They also note that some claims are now
deferred to a near future when hardware will
be presumably more affordable and software will become,
at last, an effective learning tool.
ICT enhancing learning Environment
ICT presents an entirely new learning environment for
students, thus requiring a different
skill set to be successful. Critical thinking, research, and
evaluation skills are growing in
importance as students have increasing volumes of
information from a variety of sources to sort
through (New Media Consortium, 2007).ICT is changing
processes of teaching and learning by
adding elements of vitality to learning environments
including virtual environments for the 6
purpose. ICT is a potentially powerful tool for offering
educational opportunities. It is difficult
and maybe even impossible to imagine future learning
environments that are not supported, in
one way or another, by Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT).
When looking at the current widespread diffusion and use
of ICT in modern societies,
especially by the young the so-called digital generation
then it should be clear that ICT will
affect the complete learning process today and in the
future. Authenticity is an important issue
which should be addressed in the design and
development of learning environments (Collins,
1996). Learning environments need to reflect the
potential uses of knowledge that pupils are
expected to master, in order to prevent the acquired
knowledge from becoming inert (Bransford,
Sherwood, Hasselbring, Kinzer, & Williams, 1990; Duffy &
Knuth, 1990). In addition, teachers
should stimulate pupils to engage in active knowledge
construction. This calls for open-ended
learning environments instead of learning environments
which focus on a mere transmission of
facts (Collins, 1996; Hannafin, Hall, Land, & Hill, 1994;
Jonassen, Peck, & Wilson, 1999). ICT
may contribute to creating powerful learning
environments in numerous ways.
ICT provides opportunities to access an abundance of
information using multiple
information resources and viewing information from
multiple perspectives, thus fostering the
authenticity of learning environments. ICT may also make
complex processes easier to
understand through simulations that, again, contribute to
authentic learning environments. Thus,
ICT may function as a facilitator of active learning and
higher-order thinking (Alexander, 1999;
Jonassen, 1999). The use of ICT may foster co-operative
learning and reflection about the
content (Susman, 1998). Furthermore, ICT may serve as a
tool to curriculum differentiation,
providing opportunities for adapting the learning content
and tasks to the needs and capabilities
of each individual pupil and by providing tailored
feedback (Mooij, 1999; Smeets & Mooij,
2001). As Stoddart and Niederhauser (1993) point out,
ICT may fit into a spectrum of
instructional approaches, varying from traditional to
innovative. Another aspect which may of
course influence the use of ICT is access to technology
(Kennewell, Parkinson, & Tanner, 2000;
OTA, 1995). This refers not only to the number of
computers, but also to the placement of the
equipment, e.g. in the classroom or in a computer room.
Kennewell et al. (2000) feel it is
essential that computers be placed in the classroom, in
order to maximize the opportunities for
curriculum activity. ICT environment improves the
experience of the students and teachers and
to use intensively the learning time for better results. The
ICT environment has been developed
by using different software and also the extended
experience in developing web based and
multimedia materials. ICTs have an important role to play
in changing and modernizing
educational systems and ways of learning.
ICT enhancing learning motivation
ICTs can enhance the quality of education in several
ways, by increasing learner motivation and
engagement, by facilitating the acquisition of basic skills,
and by enhancing teacher training.
ICTs are also transformational tools which, when used
appropriately, can promote the shift to a
learner centered environment. ICTs, especially computers
and Internet technologies, enable new
ways of teaching and learning rather than simply allow
teachers and students to do what they
have done before in a better way. ICT has an impact not
only on what students should learn, but
it also plays a major role on how the students should
learn. Along with a shift of curricula from
content-centered to competence-based, the mode of
curricula delivery has now shifted from
teacher centered forms of delivery to student-
centered forms of delivery. ICT providesMotivation to
Learn. ICTs such as videos, television and multimedia
computer software that 7
combine text, sound, and colourful moving images can be
used to provide challenging and
authentic content that will engage the student in the
learning process. Interactive radio likewise
makes use of sound effects, songs, dramatizations, comic
skits, and other performance
conventions to compel the students to listen and become
more involved in the lessons being
delivered. Some of the parents of the respondents opined
that their children were feeling more
motivated than before in such type of teaching in the
classroom rather than the stereotype 45
minutes lecture. They were of the view that this type of
learning process is much more effective
than the monotonous monologue classroom situation
where the teacher just lectures from a
raised platform and the students just listen to the
ICT changes the characteristics of problems and learning
tasks, and hence play an
important task as mediator of cognitive development,
enhancing the acquisition of generic
cognitive competencies as essential for life in our
knowledge society. Students using ICTs for
learning purposes become immersed in the process of
learning and as more and more students
use computers as information sources and cognitive tools
(Reeves and Jonassen, 1996), the
influence of the technology on supporting how students
learn will continue to increase.
Learning approaches using contemporary ICTs provide
many opportunities for
constructivist learning through their provision and
support for resource-based, student centered
settings and by enabling learning to be related to context
and to practice (Berge, 1998; Barron,
1998).The teachers could make their lecture more
attractive and lively by using multi-media and
on the other hand the students were able to capture the
lessons taught to them easily. As they
found the class very interesting, the teachings also
retained in their mind for a longer span which
supported them during the time of examination. More so
than any other type of ICT, networked
computers with Internet connectivity can increase learner
motivation as it combines the media
richness and interactivity of other ICTs with the
opportunity to connect with real people and to
participate in real world events. ICT-enhanced learning is
student-directed and diagnostic.
Unlike static, text- or print-based educational
technologies, ICT-enhanced learning recognizes
that there are many different learning pathways and
many different articulations of knowledge.
ICTs allow learners to explore and discover rather than
merely listen and remember. The World
Wide Web (WWW) also provides a virtual international
gallery for students work (Loveless,
2003). ICT can engage and inspire students, and this has
been cited as a factor influencing ready
adaptors of ICT (Long, 2001; Wood, 2004).
ICT enhancing the scholastic performance
Based on the extensive usage of ICTs in education the
need appeared to unravel the myth that
surrounds the use of information and communication
technology (ICT) as an aid to teaching and
learning, and the impact it has on students academic
performance. ICTs are said to help expand
access to education, strengthen the relevance of
education to the increasingly digital workplace,
and raise educational quality. However, the experience of
introducing different ICTs in the
classroom and other educational settings all over the
world over the past several decades
suggests that the full realization of the potential
educational benefits of ICT. The direct link
between ICT use and students academic performance
has been the focus of extensive literature
during the last two decades. ICT helps students to their
learning by improving the
communication between them and the instructors
(Valasidou and Bousiou, 2005).
The analysis of the effects of the methodological and
technological innovations on the
students attitude towards the learning process and on
students performance seems to be
evolving towards a consensus, according to which an
appropriate use of digital technologies in 8
education can have significant positive effects both on
students attitude and their achievement.
Research has shown that the appropriate use of ICTs can
catalyze the paradigmatic shift in both
content and pedagogy that is at the heart of education
reform in the 21st century. Kuliks (1994)
meta-analysis study revealed that, on average, students
who used ICT-based instruction scored
higher than students without computers. The students
also learned more in less time and liked
their classes more when ICT-based instruction was
included. Fuchs and Woessman (2004) used
international data from the Programme for International
Student Assessment (PISA), they
showed that while the bivariate correlation between the
availability of ICT and students
performance is strongly and significantly positive, the
correlation becomes small and
insignificant when other student environment
characteristics are taken into consideration. Attwell
and Battle (1999) examined the relationship between
having a home computer and school
performance, their findings suggest that students who
have access to a computer at home for
educational purposes, have improved scores in reading
and math. Becker (2000) found that ICT
increases student engagement, which leads to an
increased amount of time students spend
working outside class. Coates et al. (2004) showed that
students in on-campus courses usually
score better than their online counterparts, but this
difference is not significant here. ICTs
especially computers and Internet technologies enable
new ways of teaching and learning rather
than simply allow teachers and students to do what they
have done before in a better way.
ICT helps in providing a catalyst for rethinking teaching
practice (Flecknoe,2002;
McCormick & Scrimshaw, 2001) developing the kind of
graduates and citizens required in an
information society (Department of Education, 2001);
improving educational outcomes
(especially pass rates) and enhancing and improving the
quality of teaching and learning
(Wagner, 2001; Garrison & Anderson, 2003). ICT can help
deepen students content knowledge,
engage them in constructing their own knowledge, and
support the development of complex
thinking skills (Kozma, 2005; Kulik, 2003; Webb & Cox,
2004).Studies have identified a variety
of constructivist learning strategies (e.g., students work
in collaborative groups or students create
products that represent what they are learning) that can
change the way students interact with the
content (Windschitl, 2002). Albert Bandura, Girasoli and
Hannafin (2008) urge the use of
asynchronous CMC tools to promote student self-efficacy
and hence academic performance.
Fister et al (2008) also depict the power of tablet PCs to
improve mathematics instruction. ICTs
have the potential for increasing access to and improving
the relevance and quality of education.
The use of ICT in educational settings, by itself acts as a
catalyst for change in this domain.
Students using ICTs for learning purposes become
immersed in the process of learning and as
more and more students use computers as information
sources and cognitive tools (Reeves and
Jonassen, 1996), the influence of the technology on
supporting how students learn will continue
to increase.
General Conclusions of the review
In order to conclude we will try to proceed to synthesize
from a general viewpoint the results
obtained, taking into consideration the relevant aspects
of the literature. The results provided by
both the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the
literature obtained will be exposed especially
regarding those aspects which are related to ICTs for
Education and ICTs in Education. ICTs for
education refers to the development of information and
communications technology specifically
for teaching/learning purposes, while the ICTs in
education involves the adoption of general
components of information and communication
technologies in the teaching learning process. 9
This literature review has sought to explore the role of ICT
in education as we progress into the
21st century. In particular ICTs have impacted on
educational practice in education to date in
quite small ways but that the impact will grow
considerably in years to come and that ICT will
become a strong agent for change among many
educational practices. Extrapolating current
activities and practices, the continued use and
development of ICTs within education will have a
strong impact on: ICT and teaching learning process;
quality and accessibility of education;
learning motivation, learning environment and ICT usage
and academic performance.
The adoption and use of ICTs in education have a positive
impact on teaching, learning,
and research. ICT can affect the delivery of education and
enable wider access to the same. In
addition, it will increase flexibility so that learners can
access the education regardless of time
and geographical barriers. It can influence the way
students are taught and how they learn. It
would provide the rich environment and motivation for
teaching learning process which seems to
have a profound impact on the process of learning in
education by offering new possibilities for
learners and teachers. These possibilities can have an
impact on student performance and
achievement. Similarly wider availability of best practices
and best course material in education,
which can be shared by means of ICT, can foster better
teaching and improved academic
achievement of students. The overall literature suggests
that successful ICT integration in
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Worldwide research has shown that ICT can lead to improved student learning and better teaching methods. A report made by the
National Institute of Multimedia Education in Japan, proved that an increase in student exposure to educational ICT through curriculu
integration has a significant and positive impact on student achievement, especially in terms of "Knowledge
"Practical skill" and "Presentation skill" in subject areas such as mathematics, science, and social study.

However, you can see that there are many education technology solutions provided in the world which may cause confusion among
educators about how to choose the right ICT solution. Let's have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of ICT tools for educatio
and discover what kind of education ICT solution is suitable for your school needs.


1 Through ICT, images can easily be used in teaching and improving the
retentive memory of students.
2 Through ICT, teachers can easily explain complex instructions and ensure
students' comprehension.
3 Through ICT, teachers are able to create interactive classes and make the
lessons more enjoyable, which could improve student attendance and


1 Setting up the devices can be very troublesome.

2 Too expensive to afford
3 Hard for teachers to use with a lack of experience using ICT tools

After considering the above points, it is easy to see that the visualiser/so-called:document camera
can be the most effective and efficient ICT tool for education.

The reasons are

1 The Visualiser's/Document Camera's 3 basic characters: COST-EFFECTIVE, EASY-TO-USE
SAVING TOOL - a solution to the 3 main problems of using educational ICT tools.
2 The visualiser/document camera decreases a teachers' preparation time, increases interactivity with students, and
increases student concentration and comprehension of complex instructions.
happened in the schools in UK.

INTERACT Over 90% of teachers felt that concentration in the classroom
IVITY increased due to use of the visualiser/document camera.
All the
teachers felt
that the
camera aided
in increasing
with children


Over 78% of teachers felt that the visualiser/document
camera aided in bringing children closer together in
academic achievements.
Over 90% of children had more fun in the classroom due to the
visualiser/document camera.
Over 55%of
teachers have
that the
ument camera
time. None of
teachers felt
time increased
for lessons.

Integrating ICT into education seems to be a necessary issue for educators / education administrators in the world. However, if
teachers cannot make good use of the ICT tools, the money and time spent on the ICT is going to be a waste. Also, if the
educational budget is limited, looking for a cost-effective and high-performance ICT tool can be the first priority

So how about getting started on using ICT in education with the visualiser/document camera? You dont need to waste time
learning how to use a Visualiser because it is so easy to operate. And, you could even use it without a PC, which is very budget
friendly. Please remember this point : SIMPLE IS BEST! Educational ICT tools are not for making educators master ICT
skills themselves, but for making educators create a more effective learning environment via ICT.
What is ICT in What is a Visualiser/Document Case ELMO Classroom Solutions Free
Education Camera Study Tour Trial
Contact For About ELMO Products


t us

ou are here: ICTs for Education: A Reference Handbook Analytical Review From Potential to Effectiveness

6. From Potential to Effectiveness

If ICTs possess all the potential, cited above, to improve the teaching/learning process
significantly and revolutionize the education enterprise, in the same manner that they
revolutionized business and entertainment, why have we not experienced such drastic effects? If
technologies are the solution they claim to be, then what or where is the problem?

In attempting to answer this question, it is essential to distinguish between potential and

effectiveness. No ICT potential is realized automaticallynot in education, in business, or in
entertainment. In fact, many computerized businesses are managed badly and go bankrupt, and
many movies are a complete failure. Placing a radio and TV in every school, putting a computer in
every classroom, and wiring every building for the Internet will not solve the problem
automatically. The problem is not strictly technological; it is educational and contextual;
constraints must be alleviated and conditions met. Experience points to eight parameters
necessary for the potential of ICTs to be realized in knowledge dissemination, effective learning
and training, and efficient education services. [17]

6.1 Educational Policy

Technology is only a tool; no technology can fix a bad educational philosophy or compensate for
bad practice. In fact, if we are going in the wrong direction, technology will only get us there
faster. Likewise, distance learning is not about distance, it is about learning. Just as we can have
bad education face to face, we can have bad education at a distance. Therefore, educational
choices first have to be made in terms of objectives, methodologies, and roles of teachers and
students before decisions can be made about the appropriate ICT interventions. (See Section 4.2).

For instance, if teaching is demonstrating and telling, and if learning is memorizing and reciting,
using learning technologies and multimedia programs for this purpose will not have the desired
impact. Also, if students are not asked to search and work collaboratively, and if teachers function
independently, investment in connectivity will not be cost effective. The effectiveness of different
levels of sophistication of ICTs depends to a large extent on the role of learners and teachers as
practiced in the educational process and on the reasons behind using ICTs for student learning and
for teaching; see figures 6.1.1 and 6.1.2. Before investing in ICTs, therefore, it is essential to

The roles expected of teachers and learners

The educational purposes for which ICTs are to be used

6.2 Approach to ICTs

Classrooms are constrained environments, and conventional instructional materials are static. If
technology-enhanced education programs are taped classrooms, digital texts, and PowerPoint
transparencies, then we are missing out on the tremendous potential of technologies that can
animate, simulate, capture reality, add movement to static concepts, and extend our touch to the
whole universe. Movies and TV programs are not replicas of theaterpackaged theater plays; they
tell the same story in a more dramatic and multifaceted manner. So should ICT-enhanced
In October 2001, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
issued Learning to Change [18] the results of a study of how ICTs are being put to use in the most
advanced countries. Essentially, according to the report, they are being used to do traditional
things in different ways. Examples include "putting on screen what can be found on the page of a
book," using material from the Internet to "support conventional teaching practices," and
employing didactic software to rehearse basic skills. This merely replicates existing learning
methods in technological form. If ICTs are to fulfill their potential, "innovation and change are
called for at all levels of the school environment." And that requires "a far-reaching review of
teaching policies and methods."

The challenge, therefore, is to rethink learning objectives and teaching methodologies, and to
align learning technologies with them. It was never satisfactory merely to be efficient in helping
learners to achieve mastery of content and basic skills, but the issue has now become vital. As
knowledge in itself becomes a perishable item, the ability of learners to think independently,
exercise appropriate judgment and skepticism, and collaborate with others to make sense of their
changing environment is the only reasonable aim for education. Perhaps the most profound shift is
from systems of teaching and supervision of learning to systems of learning and facilitation of
learning. These shifts will be difficult in different ways for both rich and poor school systems. In
advantaged communities, change is an upheaval for established authorities, systems, and
capacities. In disadvantaged communities, the infrastructure must be put into place, along with
serious attention to pedagogy.

There is also a basic difference between using technology as an add-on to make the current model
of education more efficient, more equitable, and cheaper, on the one hand, and integrating
technology into the entire education system to realize structural rethinking and reengineering, on
the other. It is the difference between a marginal addition and a radical systemic change. It is in
the second scenario that technology can have the greatest impact. This opportunity was
articulated by Louis V. Gerstner Jr., chairman and CEO of IBM, in a 1995 speech to the U.S.
National Governors' Association:

Information technology is the fundamental underpinning of the science of structural re-

engineering. It is the force that revolutionizes business, streamlines government and enables
instant communications and the exchange of information among people and institutions around
the world. But information technology has not made even its barest appearance in most public
schools.... Before we can get the education revolution rolling, we need to recognize that our public
schools are low-tech institutions in a high-tech society. The same changes that have brought
cataclysmic change to every facet of business can improve the way we teach students and
teachers. And it can also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how we run our schools. [19]

6.3 Infrastructure

In the case of computer infrastructure, questions about what is appropriate are more complicated.

Selecting a computer involves decisions about technical specifications: speed, memory,

type and size of monitor, etc. Selecting a computer for educational purposes involves
decisions about educational goals, classroom methodologies, teachers' role, students' role,
modalities of group work, role of the textbook, external sources of knowledge, etc.

Although the price of computers is coming down, these costs are still prohibitive for many
developing countries if their goal is to provide computers across the school system in
numbers that serve their educational objectives. There have been some promising efforts
in countries such as Brazil and India to address this issue and produce a less costly
computer with a longer operational life. Other attempts to develop affordable PCs include
Intel's Affordable PC and Classmate PC, and the US$100 laptop designed by MIT Media
Lab (see Resource 3.2.1).

Where and how should computers be distributed, connected, and used in schools?
Different educational and institutional objectives are served by different configuration
options: computers in classrooms, on wheels, in computer rooms or labs, or in libraries
and teachers' rooms. Should computers be stand-alone or connected to form a network? If
the latter, which network option is the most cost effective: peer-to-peer, client/server, or
thin-client/server? (A thin client is a low-cost, centrally-managed computer usually without
CD-ROM players, diskette drives, and expansion slots.) Finally, should computers be
connected by wiring the classroom or the school, or should they be wireless?

Turning computers into powerful communication tools requires access to the Internet;
however, getting a school online, particularly in a developing country, is not a
straightforward task. First, schools need to figure out why they need to connect and to
what. The next problem is communication infrastructure; in many areas, it is either
nonexistent or expensive to use. Some forms of terrestrial wireless and satellite
technologies are being introduced that do not require installation of wireline networks and
are ideal for remote and isolated areas (see Resource 3.1.4).). Finally, schools need to
determine whether they have the resources, beyond the initial investment, to cover
connectivity's operating costs.

Computers are not dying of old age; however, every so many years they need to be
replaced because they cannot handle new operating or application software. This creates a
major problem for schools and national governments with limited financial resources. In
fact, school systems spacing the introduction of computers over a period longer than the
life of a computer will never be able to cover all of their schools. Some organizations are
trying to address the problem by providing software packages that can be run on any
computer, from a 286 to the newest Pentiums (see Resource 3.2.2).

ICTs in schools require supporting infrastructure, including electricity, communication,

wiring, and special facilities. Just as countries are experimenting with wireless
connections, some are using solar energy to run computers (and radios) in remote and
isolated areas.

Tool 3.2 and Tool 2.3 assist strategists and planners to consider appropriate aspects of
infrastructure and hardware and their use in schools and other learning centers.

6.4 ICT-Enhanced Content

ICT-enhanced instructional content is one of the most neglected areas, but, evidently, the most
crucial component. Introducing TVs, radios, computers, and connectivity into schools without
sufficient curriculum-related ICT-enhanced content is like building roads but not making cars
available, or having a CD player at home when you have no CDs. Development of content software
that is integral to the teaching/learning process is a must.

Should countries or institutions acquire or create ICT-enhanced content? This is one of the most
difficult questions to answer. Should a country acquire existing educational radio and TV programs
and educational software, or should it develop new ones in accordance with its curricular and
instructional framework? Acquisition saves time but not necessarily money. In most cases, a
country has to buy the material or pay a licensing fee. There are also important suitability issues
from the point of view of both learning objectives and acceptability of the means of
communication. On the other hand, creating new materials requires sophisticated expertise,
substantive time, and significant upfront financing. Depending on the number of schools using the
materials, the unit use cost may be very high.
This question of whether to acquire or create may be answered in different ways for different
available materials and different instructional units. Ideally, the aim should be to

acquire, as is, when suitable and cost effective;

acquire and adapt when not exactly suitable but cost effective; or

create when no suitable or cost-effective materials are available

To follow this decision chain, three interrelated mechanisms are needed:

Reliable information on available audio, video, and digital materials, as well as relevant
educational Websites

An evaluation scheme to ascertain the quality of available materials or Websites

Identification of specific sections of Websites and relating them to curricular and

instructional needs. Selecting relevant Websites is like building a large reference library
that is cumbersome and overwhelming to the user. Experience is proving that students
and teachers make better use of the Web if their needs are linked to specific sections.

Toolbox 4 deals with these issues of planning for ICT-enhanced content. It contains a set of tools

offers a system to evaluate the quality and adequacy of existing courses/materials in

addressing identified educational problems or issues;

provides guidelines to ensure quality products for users who are planning to develop their
own courses/materials; and

supplies assistance in extracting educational content from the Web.

The toolbox contains the following five tools:

Tool 4.1 - ICT-Enhanced Content Requirements

Tool 4.2 - Identification and Evaluation of Existing ICT-Enhanced Content

Tool 4.3 - Exploration of the Web for Educational Content

Tool 4.4 - Evaluation of Course Authorship and Management Systems

Tool 4.5- Design, Development and Testing of Curricular ICT-Enhanced Content

6.5 Committed and Trained Personnel

People involved in integrating technologies into the teaching/learning process have to be

convinced of the value of the technologies, comfortable with them, and skilled in using them.
Therefore, orientation and training for all concerned staff in the strategic, technical, and
pedagogical dimensions of the process is a necessary condition for success.

Cuban examined the history of attempts to use technology to promote school reform; his 1986
conclusions apply equally to present-day practices:

He concludes that most of these attempts failed to adequately address the real needs of teachers
in classrooms. Instead, the efforts too often attempted to impose a technologist's or policymaker's
vision of the appropriate use of the technology in schools. Teachers were provided inadequate
assistance in using the technology, and the technology itself was often unreliable. As a
consequence, the technology was not used by teachers or became very marginal to the schools'
instructional activities [20]

Appropriate and effective use of technologies involves competent, committed interventions by

people. The required competence and commitment cannot be inserted into a project as an
afterthought, but must be built into conception and design with participation of those concerned.

Tool 3.4 assists in planning for orientation and training of educational personnel involved in the
implementation of ICT-enhanced interventions decided upon by the appropriate authorities.

6.6 Financial Resources

As mentioned earlier, acquiring the technologies themselves, no matter how hard and expensive,
may be the easiest and cheapest element in a series of elements that ultimately will render these
technologies sustainable or beneficial. Computers, in particular, need highly skilled and costly
maintenance to operate most of the time. Yet, in almost all cases, schools invest in buying and
networking computers but do not budget sufficiently for their maintenance and technical support.
It is important, therefore, to plan and budget for the total cost of ownership (TCO). [21] Elements
contributing to TCO include:

acquisition of hardware and software;

installation and configuration;



support, including supplies, utilities, and computer training;

retrofitting of physical facilities; and

replacement costs (in five to seven years).

The annual costs of maintenance and support for a healthy education computer system are
estimated to be 30%50% of the initial investment in computer hardware and software. This
makes some donated computers quite expensive, especially when they are old, outdated, and
require a lot of maintenance.

Substantive additional costs include:

Acquisition and creation of content materials

Orientation and training of staff

Testing, monitoring, and evaluation

Tool 2.2 (Section 3) of the Toolkit provides an interactive mechanism, Scenario Cost, to calculate
the capital/development and recurrent costs as well as unit costs of an ICT intervention, to assist
planners in comparing the affordability and sustainability of different ICT options. Tool 5.1 of the
Toolkit provides an instrument to budget the necessary resources for the selected ICT

6.7 Integration

The success of ICTs in education depends on how they are introduced into the system. Here are
some strategic options:

ICTs may be used as an additional layer of educational input that leaves the current
system intact but adds hardware and software for enrichment. The problem here is that
both students and teachers may not take the additional materials seriously or know how
to relate them to the current program. Also, this may not realize the full potential of, and
consequently returns from, ICTs.

ICTs may be treated as an integral part of the existing instructional system. This strategy
involves articulating learning objectives, translating objectives/standards into
teaching/learning activities, producing multimedia curricular materials, training staff,
establishing a distribution communication network, assessing learning achievement, and
evaluating the program. Here, ICTs are not a substitute for the classroom setting; rather,
they enhance the role of the teacher as facilitator and the role of the student as learner.

ICTs may be introduced through a parallel system such as distance education or e-

learning. This option may be used in situations where schools are not available or cannot
be provided, or where individuals cannot enroll in regular schools because of lack of
availability or for personal reasons, as in the case of working youth and adults.

From an instructional architecture perspective, technology-enhanced materials may be designed in

one of three ways:

They can be enrichment materials that are used in addition to existing materials at the
discretion of the teacher or learner, in the same manner as a library book is used.

They can be a structured multimedia program that covers a particular coursesimilar to a

textbook-plus that is used by all students in all schools in the same way. Many publishers
have evolved their textbooks into packages of printed (or digital) text plus related slides,
videos, audiotapes, and CDs.

They can be multimedia modules that are constructed in a flexible way to serve as building blocks
of different curricula and teaching practices. Here, each module is broken down into educational
subobjectives to be met with specific technologies, such as video, animation, simulation, real-life
exploration, etc. Not only can the modules be put together in different ways, the submodules can
be reconfigured to form different versions suitable for different teaching styles and learning needs.

6.8 Piloting and Evaluation

The strong belief in the potential of technology, market push, and enthusiasm for introducing
technology into schools creates the temptation to implement them immediately and full scale.
Integrating technologies into education is a very sophisticated, multifaceted process, and, just like
any other innovation, it should not be introduced without piloting its different components on a
smaller scale. Even the technologies we are sure about need to be piloted in new contexts. No
matter how well an ICT project is designed and planned for, many aspects need to be tested on a
small scale first. Among these aspects are appropriate technologies, suitability of instructional
materials, production process, classroom implementability, learning effectiveness, and cost-benefit

Depending on the results of the evaluation of a pilot scheme, modifications may need to be made
to the elements of implementation or to the ICT-intervention policy itself. Then plans need to be
drawn for scaling up the ICT intervention. At this stage, more care needs to be given to
implementation planning because of the higher risks, larger scope, and more intricate application

Monitoring and evaluation should not be limited to the pilot phase, but should continue during the
large scale implementation for the following reasons:

The translation of abstract plans into concrete implementation will generate problems and
surprises, such as inappropriate technologies, insufficient personnel commitment and
engagement, inadequate infrastructure and hardware, unclear educational objectives, etc.
With systematic monitoring, the nature and scope of implementation problems are
detected in a timely manner, and remedial adjustments and redesigns can follow.

ICT interventions are not an end in themselves. They are made for educational purposes
based on estimated potential and effectiveness. Only through a systematic summative and
formative evaluation will the degree of fulfillment of the potential of an ICT intervention be
evidenced and its educational effectiveness proven.

Tool 6.1 assists planners in the design of monitoring and evaluation schemes for the different
phases of introducing ICT policy interventions.

17 This section draws on: W. Haddad & A. Draxler. 2002. "The Dynamics of Technologies for
Education." In Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (Eds.) Technologies for Education: Potential,
Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational
18 OECD. October 2000. Learning to Change: ICT in Schools. Paris: OECD.
19 Quoted in: T. Glenman & A. Melmed, 1966. Fostering the Use of Educational Technology:
Elements of a National Strategy. Santa Monica, California, USA: Rand.
20 L. Cuban. 1986. Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920. New
York: Teachers College Press. Quoted
21 K. Moses. January 2002. "Educational System Computer Maintenance and Support: They Cost
More Than You Think!" TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org