ICT Tools and Virtual Learning

 Abstract

ICT tools are the weapon of students and teachers to learn in the 21st century. The teacher and students are separated by time or space, or both, and the teacher provides course content through course management applications, multimedia resources, the internet, videoconferencing, etc. in Virtual learning. The main purpose of this argumentative paper is to explore useful ICT tools for virtual learning. Multimedia PC, Laptops, Notebook, CDs and DVDs, digital video, still cameras, Internet and its tools, e-mail, browsers, websites, search engines, chats, social networks, computer-aided instructions(CAI), Computer-mediated video, audio, conferencing, digital libraries, e-books, and electronic publications, etc. are useful ICT tools for virtual learning. The study helps the teacher, students, and administrative in their teaching and learning process. The present education system cannot succeed without using ICT in different subjects. The ICT tools can have facelifted to learn and teach. 

Introduction

The learning trend is changing from day to day. The face-to-face mode of learning is more complicated in the 21st century with the development of technology. Information Communication Technology (ICTs) play a vital role to enhance the opportunity of learning environments. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool for teaching mathematics (Agyei & Voogt, 2011). Examples of ICT use in mathematics include portables, graphic calculators, computerized graphing, specialized software, programmable toys or floor robots, spreadsheets, and databases (Raj Joshi, 2016). The ICT tools can be used to teach meaningful learning of the subject matter in the student’s eye lance. Wikipedia of the free encyclopedia state that a virtual learning environment (VLE) in educational technology (Triantafyllou, 2016) is a Web-based platform for the digital aspects of courses of study, usually within educational institutions. They present resources, activities, and interactions within a course structure and provide for the different stages of assessment. VLEs also usually report on participation and have some level of integration with other institutional systems. What are the useful ICT tools for school-level students and teachers? What is the benefit of using ICT in teaching and learning? How to use ICT tools to learn? ICT tools can be used for virtual learning? The answer to these questions is significant for educators. The development of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) tools, the conduct of teaching, and learning activities are very difficult to implement in the classroom. In this short article, I will describe the different ICT tools and the benefits of ICT tools in teaching and learning different subjects at the school level in Nepal. The ICT tools for virtual learning are the backbone of the school-level educational program (Wanjala, 2016).

What is ICT? 

  ICTs stand for Information and Communication Technologies and can be defined as a ” diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store and manage information” (Tay et al., n.d.). Information and communication technology is a generic term that includes technologies that are being used for collecting, storing, editing, and passing information in various forms. Information and communication technology(ICT) is the combination of Information Technology(IT) and Communication Technology(CT) or IT + CT =ICT (Çapuk, 2015).  IT can be defined as the use of electronic equipment for storing, analyzing, and sending information and CT can be defined as the process of sending, receiving, and exchanging information.ICT integration in teaching and learning can be defined as a process of using ICT tools in teaching-learning to enhance students learning (Keong, Horani, & Daniel, 2005). e-Learning encompasses learning at all levels, both formal and non-formal education, that uses an information network whether wholly or in part for course delivery, interaction, and facilitation.  

The focus of ICT integration in Teaching and Learning 

The learner should be enabled to search for relevant information, retrieve relevant information, decode information in various forms, and critically evaluate information about different fields of knowledge. In short, the focus should be on the development of high-order thinking skills (HOTS). Remember, understand, apply, evaluate, and integrate for efficiency, effectiveness, and innovations (Navarro-Ibarra, Salazar, Garcia, & Leyva, 2017). Multi-sensorial delivery, Active Learning, Cooperative learning, Opportunities for communication, and Providing motivation must increase both the pace and quality of learning.

ICT tools

The ICT tools can be classified into different categories in the nature of the device. Different ICT tools can be used in teaching and learning. The use of ICT tools is different on the basis of the subject and content of learning. In teaching mathematics, we can use one type of ICT tool and we can use other types of ICT tools to learn English and Nepali subjects. Similarly, ICT tools can be used for content and instructional learning tools. I have mentioned the following types of ICT tools (Kazima & Winter, 2009): 

  1. Multimedia PC
  2. Laptop
  3. Notebook
  4. CDs and DVDs,
  5. digital video, still camera   
  6.   Internet and its tools, e-mail, browsers, websites, search engines, chats, social networks, etc.
  7. Computer-aided instructions(CAI), Computer-mediated video, Audio, conferencing· 
  8.  Digital libraries, e-books, electronic publications, etc.

ICT tools: Broad categorization

The ICT tools can be classified on the broad categorization as follows:(Chelsea, n.d.)

a.  Informative tools: The ICT tools used to provide the information are knowns as informative tools. The one-way information provider which is used to learn and teach is informative tools. Such types of tools can be used to provide information. 

 b.  Situating tools: The ICT tools which are used to play and learn are situating tools. The games, simulations, etc. near to direct experiences are situating tools.  

c.   Constructive tools: The tools which are used to construct, manipulate and visualize knowledge is constructive tools.

 d.     Communication tools: Facilitate communication of ideas, information, knowledge, etc. are communication tools. These tools are two-way communication tools. The students and teacher can be communicating virtually.

Digital techniques:

The digital techniques which are most useful in teaching and learning. The following are the digital techniques (Chaamwe & Shumba, 2015), Word processing: Docs, Notes, projects, assignments etc. Spreadsheet: records, exam scores, mathematics teaching, Database: information storage, Graphic software, Multimedia kits, Game and simulation,  Internet: online tasks and learning

Stages to Use ICT Tools

Every task or learning can be followed by certain stages. According to  Area-Moreira, Hernández-Rivero, & Sosa-Alonso, (2016) the use of ICT tools in learning in the following stages·   

  1. Discovery stage: discovery of ICT tools and general functions and uses·  
  2. Application stage: an exploration of how ICT tools can be used in general and particular· 
  3. Infusing stage: the beginning of recognition of situations where ICT use will be helpful·   
  4. Transforming stage: the transformation of learning solutions through ICT

Benefits of ICT

ICT is a powerful tool for teaching and learning to school-level students. The learning will be effective by learning experimentally. Joshi, (2016) stated that the benefits of the ICT tools are as: Ensure flexibility in learning, Ensure enrichment of learner’s experience and cause greater maturity amongst learners, Facilitate assessments of both process and product, Provide variety in learning and assessment instruments, Authentic learning and assessment, Ensure active involvement of learners and make learning more stable.

Conclusions

ICT tools facilitate access to resource persons-mentors, experts, researchers, professionals, business leaders, and peers all over the world.  The learning will be fruitful by using ICT tools. Meaningful learning is possible by using ICT tools because the ICT tools facilitate the learner to learn by playing with and manipulating the digital tools and techniques. The ICT tools are very useful for virtual learning because it provides the opportunity to learn distance mode from students all over the world.

References

Agyei, D. D., & Voogt, J. (2011). ICT use in the teaching of mathematics: Implications for the professional development of pre-service teachers in Ghana. Education and Information Technologies16(4), 423–439. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-010-9141-9

Area-Moreira, M., Hernández-Rivero, V., & Sosa-Alonso, J. J. (2016). Models of educational integration of ICTs in the classroom / Modelos de integración didáctica de las TIC en el Aula. Comunicar24(47), 79–87. https://doi.org/10.3916/C47-2016-08

Çapuk, S. (2015). ICT Integration Models into Middle and High School Curriculum in The USA. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences191, 1218–1224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.409

Chaamwe, N., & Shumba, L. (2015). ICT Integrated Learning: Using Spreadsheets as Tools for e-Learning, A Case of Statistics in Microsoft Excel. International Journal of Information and Education Technology6(6), 435–440. https://doi.org/10.7763/ijiet.2016.v6.728

ICT Integrated Pedagogies_chelsea. (n.d.).

Joshi, D. R. (2016). INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR INNOVATIVE RESEARCH IN MULTIDISCIPLINARY FIELD Status of Use of ICT by Secondary School Students of Nepal Status of Use of ICT by Secondary School Students of Nepal. International Journal for Innovative Research in Multidisciplinary Field, Vol. 2, pp. 256–262.

Kazima, M., & Winter, M. (2009). ICT and the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Malawi: Experiences and Prospects. 1–12. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/3477499/ICT_AND_THE_TEACHING_AND_LEARNING_OF_MATHEMATICS_IN_MALAWI_EXPERIENCES_AND_PROSPECTS

Keong, C. C., Horani, S., & Daniel, J. (2005). A Study on the Use of ICT in Mathematics Teaching2(3), 43–51.

Navarro-ibarra, L. A., Salazar, O. C., Garcia, J. X. P., & Leyva, J. C. A. (2017). Teaching-Learning Mathematics in a Virtual Environment. Empirical Evidence in Scenarios of Higher Education. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education12(3), 397–408.

Raj Joshi, D. (2016). Useful Applications/Software for Mathematics Teaching in School Education. IMPACT: Journal of Computational Sciences and Information Technology (IMPACT: JCSIT) ISSN(P): Applied; ISSN(E): Applied, Vol. 1, pp. 29–34. Retrieved from www.impactjournals.us

Tay, L. Y., Lim, S. K., Lim, C. P., Hwee, J., Koh, L., Tay, L. Y., … Koh, L. (n.d.). Pedagogical approaches for ICT integration into primary school English and mathematics : A Singapore case study Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education This document may be used for private study or research purposes only. This document or Pedagogical approaches for ICT integration into primary school English and mathematics : A Singapore case study The main intent of this case study is to obtain a more in-depth understanding of how28(4), 740–754.

Triantafyllou, E. (2016). ICT-based teaching methods for improving mathematics learning for Media Technology students: Investigation and findings. https://doi.org/10.5278/VBN.PHD.ENGSCI.00006
Wanjala, M. M. S. (2016). Information Communication Technology Pedagogical Integration in Mathematics Instruction among Teachers in Secondary Schools in Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice7(2), 66–73.

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