Information and communication technologies or popularly mantraed as ICT has a simple enough meaning but can be equally confusing. It just irks me when people simply cite ICT without actually knowing what they are talking about.
What does ICT mean? Simply information and communication technology .. so what does it mean .. ? It carries the connotation that it is about technology that can be a medium for processing and storage of information as well as the ability to be moved from place to the other ..
But when we say, the use of ICT will improve education, what do we mean? I dunno, to me it means nothing!! What do you think .. ICT is a general word. Radio, Television, Video cassette recorders and computers are ALL information and communication technologies.
It looks as though that when we say ICT, we mean the computer, such that ICT=computer=ICT. It is no better than saying that all cows are animals, and all animals are cows!! Dang .. I can't stand it .. why can't we be specific with the ICT that we are talking about ... makes no sense just to say ICT!!
Let us look at examples of information and communication technologies and what they really mean in operational terms ...
Printed materials - print technology that be taken anywhere and easily accessed, requires no electricity, easy to update, can be read with just a candle, multi lingual and can be incorporated with audio and visual components
Radio broadcast – communications transmission in audio. We have sound, intonation, instruction, verbal cues, emotions, motivation, anger, hatred and love
Television broadcast- liberated from static illustration. We can now see colours, movement, live and recorded events , advertising, entertainment, education and many more ..
VCR – Anytime, anywhere –personal location, provided you have the player. What can be viewed can be slowed down , can be speeded up, can be paused, kept still, and watched over and over again ... the VCR is purported to be one of the greatest technological invention .. and how didi we use this in our teaching practices??
Satellite – Immediacy and international access - live football, concerts, breaking news, events ...
Cable & ISDN – cost effective way of reaching one another globally
Computer – convergence of all forms of communication/instructional delivery
Wireless – free from physical links, nothing more, out of range and you're done for ..A cartoon from a famous Malaysian artist named Lat .. talking about wireless ...
So, after deciphering the real picture behind the technicality of words, we address the operational delivery medium used in instruction in any form of educational setting, in the form of the ..
- Printed materials (book or self-instructional)
- Audio and visual transmission
- Audio & Video Cassettes
- Laser discs
- Floppy discs
- Compact discs
- Tele Conferencing (Audio, Audiographics, Video)
- Computer Mediated Instruction
- World wide Web - Internet
- Virtual reality (VR)
..... you can add to the list, no problem .. yeehaaa