Blog de la facultad de Ciencias de la Educación

18 de julio de 2019

ICT and Education

Alejandro González Celia

Profesor Facultad Ciencias de la Educación

 

Information and communication technologies (hereafter ICTs) are increasingly present in everyday life. It is possible to get any object or service without leaving home. Different applications are used to communicate with friends and family and social networks have become platforms where people can create content to express their opinions and share their likes, activities and thoughts with others.

ICTs have changed the way we relate, consume and build our worldview. Due to the access to the net, their use has become more massive (according to MINTIC data, 98% of the country had already accessed to internet at the end of 2017) and the cost of connection, in addition to connecting devices are lowering nowadays. The number of people using ICTs for different purposes is increasing, including work, money earning and, expenditure on goods that used to be bought when leaving home, exclusively.

The education system has not been distant from the ICTs revolution. For decades, technologies have been included in teaching. Years ago, for example, it was essential for engineering students to know how to use the calculation rule that was later replaced by scientific calculators. Overhead projectors with acetates and carousels were also used with slides to illustrate in some way, the topics to be taught by teachers. Years of Computerization advances such as word processors or programs have generated appealing presentations.

Nowadays, ICTs in education have advanced to such extent that it is possible to teach entire online courses without having face-to-face interaction between the teacher and the students. The MOOCs (Massive and Open Online Courses), for example, are sought by many people to learn different quality topics, as they are offered by prestigious higher education institutions. There are platforms that allow teachers to publish the contents of their classes, videos explaining the complex topics or even holding online classes with hundreds of students with the ability to share files and work online divided into groups. There are tools to evaluate using rubrics that clarify what is expected from students´ performance.

There are also open-access applications and programs that allow students and teachers to enrich their teaching and learning experiences. They highlight, for example, programs to develop conceptual maps and mind maps, as these tools allow students to build graphic organizers that not only help them understand the topics better, but also request the development of fundamental metacognitive skills for 21st century apprentices.

The use of ICTs in education does not respond exclusively to a question of opportunity; it is not a question of whim, to use technology “to use it”; but it responds to changes that have occurred in the way people learn today. New approaches such as connectivism or adaptive learning challenge traditional ideas about how people learn by emphasizing on the individuality of processes, on the idea that each student has a particular cognitive pace and needs and the importance of collaborative learning and group work. ICTs allow you to individualize learning experiences, generate study groups to be advised according to your levels of understanding or other criteria chosen by the teacher, and designing learning activities and objects that enhance the classes to achieve teaching purposes.

Despite the above, some teachers show resistance when it comes to using ICTs in their classes. There are logistical arguments: it requires more time of dedication than a face-to-face class or because it requires a very specific and detailed instructional design of each of the activities proposed. Others are technological in order: difficulties in entering the platforms, complications when using the tools, even when students do not have the competences to use ICT in formal educational settings.

Nevertheless, the use of ICTs in the classroom can help enrich students’ training experience by offering different alternatives to access knowledge. Here, and by way of conclusion, there are some simple recommendations to start involving them in teaching practice:

  • Organize time: When working with ICTs, use a virtual classroom or manage resources on platforms and applications, devote exclusive time, determine a business or reading schedule and communicate it to your students.
  • Constant communication: one of the advantages of ICTs is the possibility of establishing clear channels of communication with students, take advantage of them to monitor their individual development.
  • Clear purposes: ICTs, like any other aspects of the class, must have a precise objective, state them when they are didactically worthwhile.

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Reference:

El tiempo (Tecnología): “El 98 por ciento del país ya está conectado a internet”, 27 de diciembre 2017. Consultado el 9 de julio de 2019 en:

https://www.eltiempo.com/tecnosfera/novedades-tecnologia/cobertura-de-internet-en-colombia-llego-al-98-por-ciento-165716