WINDHOEK ‑ Technology can be the most effective way to increase students’ knowledge. When used appropriately and managed well, ICT tools play a crucial role in teaching and learning.
The use of information communication technology (ICT) integration in education adds value to teaching and learning by enhancing the effectiveness of learning.
These were the views of the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) Deputy Director for Professional and Resource Development Division, Paulus Kashiimbi, on the role and benefits of ICT in education.
Namibia has an ICT Policy for Education, which is intended to coordinate the appropriate development, efficient delivery, and quality use of technology to ensure ICT integration for excellence and equity in education.
Kashiimbi said the integration of ICTs in the education sector involves some main components, which include reviewing and developing curriculum and content, which seek to leverage ICT and facilitate learning for the benefit of all learners and teachers.
It also aims to review, develop and implement training whose purpose is to provide clear objectives and basic competencies for learners, students, and teachers to achieve key ICT knowledge and skills.
The other components comprise infrastructure readiness and deployment of ICT services and support with the purpose to broaden access and sustainability of quality ICT services at all levels of the education system. ICT is also used to strengthen education management, to ensure the provision of integrated ICTs across multiple levels of the education sector to enhance and expand educational management.
Kashiimbi explained that ICT added a dimension to learning that was not previously available. He added that ICT has a pivotal role to play to address the issue of quality content and the quality of teachers.
According to him, digital content is motivational. For instance, learners are more interested in reading content slides than handwritten notes, and learners will be more interested in whiteboard display with pictures and videos than the handwritten content on the blackboard.
“Both teachers and learners will be motivated when accessing education content in a tab, a post on Facebook or WhatsApp on any other online platform than having to read a thick book,” Kashiimbi said.
Further, he says it allows interactivity and hence promotes engagement, as well as the mix of the sound, text, animation, video, radio, video conferencing, group chat and zoom.
He believes learning in a technology-enhanced environment is more stimulating and engaging than in a traditional classroom environment.
Additionally, he maintained that ICT tools and applications allow users to use simulations of real-life problems that allow learners to engage in ‘what if’ questions and develop power of inquiry, deduction and synthesis.
Equally, he said ICT enables users to develop concepts that are impossible to encounter at first hand - be it chemical reactions, plant and animal growth, diseases spread, and global trade.
“With the availability of ICT students are no longer bound to time and place, they can access learning 24 hours a day. ICT dispense the need of participant to be in the same physical location,” he explained.
He also said the internet and online sites bring groups together to exchange ideas, share resources and develop learning.
In this, he says learners are exposed and can share ideas with experts locally and globally, while they get inspired, motivated and free to express themselves.
With ICT, he says, learners no longer rely on printed books and physical resources, which may not be enough, adding that extraordinary resources can be accessed online at any time or place.
Hence, he adds that educators have access to content experts, research, fellow educators, access to notes, activities, and quizzes in a wide variety of media.
ICT also facilitates research and scholarly communication.
It enables teachers and learners to engage in research activities and academic writing as it makes online resources required for literature review such as journals, articles, readily available and accessible.
Kashiimbi, therefore, says there exists a variety of open and free ICT applications that educators can use to create and mark assessment activities.
Some applications give feedback instantly, generate reports and analyse results, which he says reduce the time spent on marking.
According to him, educators are able to register or do free or payable online courses to upgrade their qualifications or knowledge.
Moreover, he said it is, therefore, for the above reasons and many more that the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture continues to promote the use of ICT in education.
2019-10-04 08:46:14 | 11 months ago