Ict Issues In Teaching
Teachers, among all other professions, have a lot to thank technology for. Suddenly, a new form of excitement has engulfed the noble profession and new pathways were opened that were sure to provide new dimensions in the delivery of instruction to pupils, students and young professionals. The varied use of the tools of information communications technology has enabled all professions, not only the teaching sector, a more efficient and effective way to discharge their responsibilities productively and excellently.
Background Not since the industrial revolution has made work and tasks a lot easier in terms of quality, accuracy, speed and productivity. The era of information and knowledge technology has revolutionalized the way business is conducted. For instance, the Internet has bridged the transactions exchange between businesses. Distance is no longer a constraint factor. Marketing of products and services has become easier with the utilization of the various forms of media.
For the academe, ICT has become the new configuration of instruction and research delivery, unburdening teachers with board and paper work using office applications in the process of lesson planning, preparation of enhanced instruction materials, computation of grades, and communications with the students through emails. This innovation in instruction allowed the establishment of open and distance education more relevant and responsive. ICT therefore made it possible for all professions to respond more to the demands for quality and excellence.
With the continuing advances being made in the area of communications technology, the industry will continue to demand from itself more enhancements for the purpose of designing better systems of delivery to its various clienteles. ICT Industry Practices The discovery and invention of information communications technology as a critical tool of every industry and profession apparently came as a necessity for business and the professions to be more productive. This is one way to remain viable in the midst of the tight competitive environment as well.
Putting dynamism in business such as productivity requires to some extent technological changes which will reengineer the processes in the organization for the purpose of optimizing the resources towards the level of theoretical capacity. Take the case of automated machines used by banks, and the wide area network distribution system utilized for multi-branch operations. Information exchanges between units of banks are now done on real time making the banking processes more secure, accurate and prompt in terms of financial and compliance reporting to the regulatory agencies of the government.
In effect this system has provided stability into the banking system considering more strategic decision-making based on online and real time financial and non-financial data. Similarly, ICT-based tools allow more accurate processing of tasks and work as in the case of computerized medical equipment such as the laser-based eye correction facility commonly called lasik. eye surgery, the ultrasound equipment, magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI), the digital monitors and the like.
Many ICT-based tools are designed for quality-enhancement systems for graphic artists using for one a three-dimensional (3D) movie animation effects to give a better-than-life projection of realities and fantasies. Journalists, on one hand, have widely benefited from ICT-based tools such as desk-top publishing using state-of-the-art graphics to accentuate reporting, printing and information sharing. The Internet has become a medium of information sharing for newsmen with the online web-based reporting. The information load has tremendously increased with the use of digital technology.
ICT-based news reporting has definitely provided this profession with real time delivery of news on a global scale. This is not including the spatial advantages given to field reporters who now can send in their reports through emails, thus effectively removing the distance barriers in current affairs and news management. Various computer applications have become available to the professions, such as the Microsoft Office, Open Office types. These include capabilities for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, database plus.
In addition, a set of more specialized and distinct ones for the exclusive use of the different professions are now characterized with enhanced features resulting in the continuous development of state-of-the-art functionalities in the use of these ICT tools. Engineers and architects, for example, can no longer ignore the use of the AutoCAD software in their design functions, in the same way that Accountants, with the use of various integrated computerized accounting software have found themselves now with more time available for quality decision making than clerical data processing.
On the other hand, medical professionals like doctors and nurses have made inroads in their practices with the use of modern ICT-based equipment and facilities in addition to the items cited above. Laser-based types of surgical operations such as lasik eye surgery are now common. This was developed in lieu of the traditional types of surgeries that are more messy and risky besides. Even the practice of law benefits from the database capability of the Internet by designing its own web-based information search and archiving system.
This enables law practitioners to have, at their grasp and finger tips, a library of information they can make use in support of their cases. Similarly, automotive engineers and technicians make use of computer-based diagnostic systems to determine what is wrong with vehicles accurately and promptly to the minutest details. ICT issues in the academe and the teaching profession Over the years since the discovery of the various forms of information and communications technology, a number of industries and the professions have apparently been greatly benefitted.
There are a myriad of manifestations all over in various sectors such as in commerce and industry, agriculture, manufacturing and personal services that point to the impact of ICT-based processes. That while there are various benefits provided to every sector, such as productivity, accuracy, reportorial promptness, enhanced processes and output in terms of quality and excellence, there are equally a number of risks and problems ICT users will have to confront with.
Nevertheless, to reiterate, the teaching profession is one which benefitted tremendously from the use of ICT, impacting the teaching career both with the pros and cons of the technology. Indeed, information and communication technology (ICT) has become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society that 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 (UNESCO 2002)
Among the risks inherent in the use of technology in the teaching profession are the risks, barriers and dangers that they pose along the personal, organizational and social well-being of the users as well as the capability issues of the teachers and the students themselves. ICT is a new technology that affects generations that are far apart and separated by ICT competencies, level of technology and interests. Besides, ICT issues for teachers are two-dimensional and at the same time linear: how they will learn the technology and how the technology will be used in teaching.
(Figure 1) Figure 1 http://homepage. mac. com/gareth. medd/eportfolio/pdf/ICTthinking. pdf dated 04162008 The hazards to health outlined by the New York Site United Teachers (NYSUT 1999) especially along the ergonomics issues that result to pain, discomfort or a disabling conditions or even the threat of radiation as a result of extended use of computers is one risk ICT users are immediately exposed to. Even child development experts warn that prolonged use of computers by children may have adverse effects on the emotional development of young children.
However, bringing real ICT issues into teaching will generally involve those that involved training towards technical expertise, training support when things go wrong, acquiring equipment under tight budgets, integration of ICT instruction into the curriculum, sustaining the ICT-based teaching-learning systems and the institutional philosophy of the educational institution (Duke/ILO 2002). These create anxieties aside from the common fear of loss of jobs in the event that ICT maximization is done full blast.
Nevertheless, pedagogies that integrate information and communication technologies can engage students in ways not previously possible, enhance achievement, create new learning possibilities and extend interaction with local and global communities. In other words, the power of pedagogy states that the considered use of ICT can transform the teacher role, creating new learning environments. Teacher pedagogies will determine the extent to which the possibilities offered by technology are realized in education settings (MCEETYA 2005).
Thus, in terms of enhancing communication and collaboration, teachers and students use ICT to build partnerships beyond the classroom, expanding the community of learners and enhancing the quality of learning. The study likewise opines that online communities provide new and exciting opportunities for students to interact with relevant groups and individuals. Hence, collaborative online communities facilitate the ways that student input can be accessed and built upon by other students, teachers and a range of professionals and experts.
The potentials for higher forms of creativity using ICT is similarly expected to trigger motivation for students to adopt higher order thinking skills. In effect, the multiplier functionality of using technology in the classroom must transform the instructional methodology from something that is boring, to something that is exciting for both users and innovators. ICT issue in teaching mathematics Many issues, for and against ICT in general, bring the focus on how these prospects and risks are to be managed to mitigate the adverse effects as well as take advantage of the opportunities provided by the technology.
This brings ICT issues to the level on how this can be used in specific disciplines like Mathematics, Business or Accounting which are heavy on quantitative and mathematical modeling. In teaching, in addition, the development of an effective learning environment involves four components: community, learner, knowledge, and assessment (National Research Council [NRC], 2000). Hence these determine teacher-learner outcome based on expectations. Likewise, issues such as the categorization of computers as proposed by Taylor (1980) on whether the equipment is a tutor, tool or tutee, continue to change the configuration of ICT-based teaching.
There are other ICT-based issues that confront the ICT-oriented teacher: that is, how this is going to affect his workload which is expected to be reduced by the use of the technology. (PWC 2004). The study revealed that out of a list of technologies, the Internet, laptops and desktops were cited as being most effective in addressing workload, although more teachers said the Internet had significantly reduced workload. The reactions to the study however were mixed with a number of teachers felt desktops, laptops, and e-mail had increased their workload.
Now, in more specific terms ICT issues on teaching mathematics were upbeat considering ICT to be a good media to teach mathematical modeling, quantitative analysis, qualitative-quantitative processing, data graphics, regression analysis, animation and that their experience of using ICT in instruction have been exciting experiences for some teachers. (Fitzallen 2006). Thus, some sort of new emergent issue, that of educational technology, came into the system of pedagogy which likewise impacted the system of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in schools with such rich facility in the technology (Harris 2000).
This paper presents the Knowledge Manifold educational architecture and a number of tools (developed by the KMR group), which enable the construction of interactive mathematics learning environments that support a learner-centric, interest-oriented form of “knowledge pull”. They include the Virtual Mathematics Laboratorium, constructed with the Conzilla concept browser, the Mathemagic™ portfolio built in the SCAM portfolio, and the CyberMath shared 3D virtual reality environment.
The pedagogical aim of these tools is to increase the cognitive contact with mathematics, e. g. by modeling its contexts, visualizing its concepts and interacting with the geometrical forms behind its formulas (Naeve 2008). According to the study, the shortcomings of the traditional mathematics education architecture include its inability to: stimulate interest, promote understanding, support personalization, facilitate transition between different layers, integrate abstractions with applications, and integrate mathematics with human culture.
Thus over the next two decades, Ambjorn Naeve has developed a pedagogical approach to mathematics education that makes use of ICT in order to address these problems. Conclusion It is therefore a significant objective of this paper that the appreciation of information communication technology in the teaching profession in general and the teaching of mathematics in particular raises the standard of teaching as a whole to the level of turning the ennui of teaching mathematics to that of instructional excitement and interest for the computer-oriented teachers and computer-interested student.
While the utilization of ICT in terms of teaching is a demand to be fulfilled, the learning processes and outcome more than compensates for the tremendous efforts spent by teachers in designing an ICT-based instruction or curriculum. ICT modules in various disciplines is inherently difficult, considering the degree of initial learning to acquire to be able to develop knowledge, skills and the appropriate attitude and values in ICT teaching. The outcome is expected to be even beyond the expectations of the teacher and the varied recognition and sense of fulfillment heavy and rewarding.
Here, the challenge to the teacher in every discipline, especially mathematics is worth the call. The bottom line is, the teacher is able to find new interest, excitement, relevance and even professional value just by appropriately responding to the ICT needs of the times. Thus, ICT is expected to stay and continue to impact the teaching practices of every well-meaning instructor in all levels of education.
List of References
Ambjorn Naeve and Mikael Nilsson, ICT ENHANCED MATHEMATICS EDUCATION IN THE FRAMEWORK OF A KNOWLEDGE MANIFOLD, KMR (Knowledge Management Research) group Duke, Chris, Teachers and new ICT in teaching and learning, Modes of introduction and implementation: Impact and implications for teachers Fitzallen, Noleine, Integrating ICT into Professional Practice:, A Case Study of Four Mathematics Teachers University of Tasmania, [email protected] edu. au dated April 16, 2008 Handal, B. , & Herrington, A. (2003). Re-examining categories of computer-based learning in mathematics education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher
Education, 3(3), 275-287 Harris, David, Educational Technology: Emergent Qualities and Unintended Consequences http://www. nysut. org/files/hs_070828_computerfactsheet. pdf 6/99 retrieved April 16, 2008 http://www. allianceforchildhood. net/projects/downloads/chapter2. pdf Retrieved April 16, 2008 http://unesdoc. unesco. org/images/0012/001295/129538e. pdf (unesco) http://homepage. mac. com/gareth. medd/eportfolio/pdf/ICTthinking. pdf [email protected] edu. au Niess, M. L. (2006). Guest Editorial: Preparing teachers to teach mathematics with technology.
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