April 2005

Maximising the Technology Options

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Introduction
Information and Communication Technologies have become an integral part in all aspects of life. Over the past twenty years, the use of ICT has changed the practices and procedures within business and governance. ICT has begun its presence within education, but the impact has not been extensive as it is in other fields. The use of ICT in education is more student-centred learning and with the world moving rapidly into digital media and information, the role of ICT in education is becoming more and more important.

To implement ICT in education, the teachers need to have ICT skills to create a powerful learning environment. The teacher's role shifts from transferring knowledge to guiding the learning processes. In today's knowledge-based society, information is growing rapidly and is becoming increasingly available. Thus education cannot merely focus on transfer of knowledge. The more important fact is that students learn how to search, select, process and use information. The teacher has to guide these processes.

ICT in the class room
Initially, educators saw the use of ICT in the classroom mainly as a way to teach computer literacy. Slowly technology is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. In the hands of students the computer becomes a powerful tool in gathering, manipulating, synthesising and presenting information. However, the traditional chalk and talk method in the classroom has continued.

The role of technology in the classroom
Today learning is information processing and knowledge creation. This requires rich digital content that is flexible and customised to meet the need of different learning styles. Students use IT for active learning.

Technology is being used in education as a tool for learning, collaboration, curriculum development, and staff development. Interactive software teaching packages are available for different levels of national curriculum. Once technology moves to the
classroom under what we call the Smart_Class Model, the impact on teaching learning will be as follows:

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