Information and Communication Technology in Higher Education

Role of Information & Communication Technology in Higher Education

  • Ayushi Singh
    Ayushi Singh

ICT or Information and Communication Technology is the infrastructure responsible for modern computing. It is complex to provide an exact definition of this term; however, ICT refers to all devices, networking components, applications, and systems that work together to help people and organizations interact with each other. Information and communication technology consists of internet and mobile-enabled technologies that are powered by wireless networks. In addition, the ICT network consists of landline telephones, radio, and television broadcasts. These traditional technologies are widely used irrespective of the development in the artificial intelligence and robotics fields.

Components of Information & Communication Technology

The world of technology is complex, but different components work together to make the task easier for technology users. Here are the ICT components that work together to improve the experiences for its users.

  1. Software: It refers to the set of instructions that are stored in the hardware. The software controls the actions performed by computers and electronic devices.
  2. Hardware: The physical components like electronic devices and computer systems are referred to as hardware.
  3. People: It is one of the crucial components as people are needed to feed data into the ICT systems. Moreover, the human component also takes care of the judgments and decisions that are made from the input supplied by the system. People help in making conscious decisions based on the information provided by the ICT tools.
  4. Information: It is the output given by the ICT system.
  5. Data: It refers to the raw facts and figures.
  6. Procedures: It refers to what needs to be done and when to extract the right information. The data or information is also passed through different departments or people.

The components change the experiences for different people. The impact can be seen in how people interact and communicate with each other. Moreover, ICT tools have revolutionized all parts of human experiences as now the majority of tasks are taken care of by automation. The technology can be applied to every sector to streamline the processes. The education industry is one of the sectors that use ICT tools to revolutionize the learning process.

Information & Communication Technology in the Education Sector

The role of information and communication technology in the education field is becoming more critical. During the pandemic, the education sector was more dependent on this technology. With the use of smartphones, smart boards, video conferencing tools, audio recording tools, and other smart devices, teachers can connect with their students in real-time.

The importance of information and communication technology in higher education is mentioned below.

Changes the learning aspects in the classroom

In a traditional classroom setup, greater emphasis is given to textbook-based learning. Students and teachers refer to different textbooks to transfer knowledge and skills. Teachers used lectures, tutorials, and presentations to teach textbook materials to students. However, this concept has changed in recent years. With the introduction of ICT and ed-tech tools, students can learn anywhere, anytime. They do not need to learn the subjects through lectures and presentations. The internet and ICT tools have made it possible for higher education students to access various information like audio and video lectures, podcasts, and speeches from industry experts in a few clicks. With this new face of learning, students are more inclined to study and perform better in the classroom. The classrooms have also evolved, and there is an increased focus on student-centered learning. Teachers and students work together to enhance the learning experience for each student. Moreover, teachers are giving more time to mentor their students. The trend of higher education learning is expected to change in the future. It is believed that when students are exposed to new sources of information, they are likely to learn more.

Impacts how students learn in higher education

ICT has changed the way students used to learn traditionally. It has not only influenced, changed, and supported the content that has been taught in the classroom but has changed the way students learn and understand the concept. Earlier, teachers focused on content-based curriculum, but now the focus is on competency-based curriculum. Various ICT tools have given a direction to this paradigm shift. Moreover, it has facilitated student-centered learning where students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning process.

Impacts the choices of students

In typical scenarios, teachers provide a schedule to students that they have to follow. As a result, students are left with no choice but to follow the classroom routine given by the teacher. Information and technology tools enable students to choose their preferred timing for their studies. Students can optimize their learning experience and learn at their own pace. As a result, they can join any programs that help them develop their skill and knowledge. When students can learn at their pace, they are more likely to join programs that they could not join previously due to multiple commitments. ICT tools support asynchronous learning and expose students to different learning patterns.

Provides flexibility

ICT has also changed where the students learn. Now, students have the freedom to choose the location of education. Students can access their courses and programs from anywhere. It not only saves costs but also reduces the time incurred on traveling from one place to another. Because of the flexibility in learning, students can register themselves in any course available globally. Teachers also receive the benefits of ICT tools as they get the chance to connect with students from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds.

To sum up, higher education systems have grown exponentially in recent years. The changes in this system have impacted the quality of education. The advancements in information and communication technology have made tasks easier for teachers and students. Moreover, the tools offer various choices to teachers and students. In a nutshell, the use of ICT and ed-tech tools have expanded the learning opportunities for students.

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