Impact of Information Technology
The combination of education
and technology has been considered the main key to human progress. Education feeds
technology which in turn forms the basis of education. It is therefore evident that
information technology has affected changes to the methods, purpose and perceived
potential of education.
Changes to learning
Being able to access large
databases of information fundamentally changes education, since learners can now
be creators and collaborators in the access and construction of discourses of information.
Due to their technological literacy, young people can derive cultural capital from
their understanding of modern information technologies, and thereby have input into
educational change. The same technology also facilitates the rapid exchange of information
by researchers on specific topics, so that the speed of the distribution of information
is greatly increased. The increased access to huge amounts of data means students
need help selecting, evaluating and analysing information, and they need to learn
how to determine the currency, validity and veracity of the information itself.
All of these changes in learning
have implications for teaching
practice as well.
Changes to teaching
The highest level of change
occurring in relation to information technology and education is in the way teaching
is increasingly being seen as occurring via the medium of technology, rather than
utilising technology as an additional extra in the classroom. Information technology
particularly impacts course content and teaching methodology and the recruitment
and training of teaching staff as well as the content of courses . Information technology
requires teachers to learn new sets of skills. Utilising computer technology improves
the educational experience of the students – not so much because of the media itself,
but because software programs require teachers to think laterally and systematically,
and produce better teaching materials.
The role of teachers will
change with the advances of information. Students do not lack
information, but rather the
time to find, analyse, understand and apply information. A teacher’s role is therefore
to help students develop skills in order to determine how to find, analyse and interpret
Information Technology and
the purpose of education
While education in the past has been centered on teaching
and learning, information technology has affected changes to the aims of education,
therefore now education is increasingly perceived as the process of creating, preserving,
integrating, transmitting and applying knowledge. The perceptions of knowledge itself
have also changed whereas knowledge could once have been perceived as unchanging,
it should now be perceived as “revisionary, creative, personal and pluralistic”.
The future of education is not predetermined
by modern information technology, but rather that this “future will hinge prominently
on how we construct (and construe) the place of technology” in the education process.
We are moving from “just-in-case” education to “just-for-you” education” where education
is targeted to meet the needs of individual students.
Information Technology and
the potential of education
Information technology frees
education institutions from the constraints of space and time, and enables the delivery
of education services anywhere,anytime. Therefore
we can foresee a future where physical libraries would be replaced by digital libraries
available to anyone; and that scholars could cease to be located around a geographical
focus and will probably become increasingly “located” around a specialization, but
physically located anywhere in the world. We could also
imagine a day when
modern technology will enable students in a given location to access the best of
teachers in a given field and to interact with them, whether “live” or via video.
Changing the educational
The sheer scope of change
underway in communication technology, with changes to the
methodology, and modes of
education suggests that the educational institution itself may need to be revised
at the organisational level as well. Therefore we could foresee a future of increased
competition and alliances in which education institutions avoid monolithic approaches
to education, and embrace more strategic and collaborative approaches.