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UNIT 1

EED502/05 ICT in Education


Introduction to Information and Communication Technologies

54, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah


10050 Penang
Fax: +6042289323
E-mail: enquiry@wou.edu.my
Website: www.wou.edu.my

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Contents
Course overview

Unit overview

Learning outcomes

1.1Introduction to Information and Communication Technologies

Introduction ............................................................................................................. 4
Learning outcomes .................................................................................................. 4
The Digital Revolution ............................................................................................ 5
The nature of ICT .................................................................................................... 8
ICTs and everyday life .......................................................................................... 10
The Internet and the World Wide Web ................................................................. 14
The World Wide Web .................................................................................. 17
The implication or impact of the technologies on humanity ................................. 19
Measuring impact......................................................................................... 20
Impact of ICT in Malaysia ........................................................................... 21
Concerns ...................................................................................................... 25
What's next for ICT? .................................................................................... 28
Summary ............................................................................................................... 29
Self-test 1.1 ............................................................................................................ 30
1.2 Technologies in education

31

Introduction ........................................................................................................... 31
Learning outcomes ................................................................................................ 31
Educational context ............................................................................................... 33
Technology for education the potential .............................................................. 44
Technology for education the parameters .......................................................... 50
Summary ............................................................................................................... 55
Self-test 1.2 ............................................................................................................ 56
1.3 Implications for learning with technologies

57

Introduction ........................................................................................................... 57
Learning outcomes ................................................................................................ 57
Computers, learning theory and cognitive development ....................................... 58
Behaviourism ............................................................................................... 59
Cognitivism .................................................................................................. 60
Constructivism ............................................................................................. 64
Individualised learning .......................................................................................... 65
Instances for using individualised instruction.............................................. 68
Caveats and computers .......................................................................................... 70

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Ten pillars for success ........................................................................................... 72


Malaysian case studies an analysis ..................................................................... 74
Summary ............................................................................................................... 76
Self-test 1.3 ............................................................................................................ 77
1.4 Educational technology as systems approach to ICT based education

78

Introduction ........................................................................................................... 78
Learning outcomes ................................................................................................ 78
Educational technology and ICT ........................................................................... 79
Educational technology as a systems approach to education ................................ 84
Systems approach to educational problem solving ............................................... 87
Applying systems approach to ICT application-framework and strategy ............. 90
Summary ............................................................................................................... 94
Self-test 1.4 ............................................................................................................ 95
Summary of Unit

97

References

98

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Course Overview
EED 502/05 ICT in Education is a five credit course and will be
presented over a semester. This course is part of a suite of 5 basic
education courses that make up the Masters in Education
programme at the Wawasan Open University. This course
introduces you to a variety of information and communication
technologies (ICT) with special reference to their value to and
application in education at the pre tertiary level.
The course introduces teachers to the technologies and their
application in the classroom as well as in curriculum planning
using the educational theories around the use of these technologies
in different contexts.
A part of the course will also draw attention to policies around the
technologies, strategies to introduce the technologies into the
school environment and the opportunities they present for research
and development in education.
Attention will also be drawn to the different types of hardware and
software particularly technologies that promote free social
networking through mobiles and the Internet. The impact of the
emerging social media in the educational ecosystem will be
presented.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Unit Overview
This unit draws your attention to the important role that
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays in our
daily lives and describes the emergence of this revolution in the
latter part of the 20th century. This unit will also give you the
background knowledge to follow the rest of the Course EED502/05
ICT in Education.
There are no pre-requisites to this course though students should
have a basic working knowledge on the use of computers, to access
e-mails, the Internet as well as familiarity with the various search
engines to explore the World Wide Web.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
1. Trace the evolution of the information and communication
technologies and describe their role and impact on human
societies.
2. Demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding of the
different concepts related to the use of ICT to enhance the
learning environment.
3. Analyse the characteristics and scope of ICT as tools for
teaching.
4. Analyse the characteristics and scope of ICT as tools for
learning.
5. Use ICT to effectively support the delivery of lessons in
different disciplines.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

1.1Introduction to Information and


Communication Technologies
Introduction
Hardly an hour passes during our busy day [or night] when
information and communication technology does not intrude into
our lives. Look around you and your community. In one way or
another we are all connected amongst ourselves as well as to most
other parts of the world through telephone networks, the Internet
and the World Wide Web. The ubiquitous mobile phone, the laptop
and the PC are all but a few other common examples of ICT tools
that you and I use to achieve this connection.
Invented around midway through the last century, the microchip
has found many other uses beyond transistor radios and televisions
to enrich our lives and enhance its quality. There are two terms that
you will often come across in any discussion on ICT. These are
data and information. These two terms are not the same although
they are commonly used loosely and interchangeably.
Data is a representation of information that can be conveyed,
manipulated or stored.
Information is the meaning that people give to data in particular
contexts. So data cannot really be considered information until it is
given meaning and is interpreted.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Describe the meaning of the most commonly-used terms in
discussing ICT.
2. Describe the impact of ICT in your daily lives.
This section is made up of five parts. They are tabulated below:

Title

Resources

The digital
revolution

Video:
Nobel Prize: Communication & Computer
Technologies P2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0KaExWhc
Us

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The nature of
ICT

Article:
National Strategic ICT Road Map Malaysia
http://www.nitc.my/index.cfm?&menuid=16

ICT and
everyday life

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9v1PVg5X
ww&feature=related

The Internet
and the
World Wide
Web

Video:
Tracking the Internet into the 21st Century
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpNWQiVpjv
Y
Tim Berners-Lee's keynote speech at 'Web at 20'
event Digital Revolution
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIioH6Yt0Y
M

The
implication
or impact of
the
technologies
on humanity

Video:
The Public Good: Impact of Information
Technology on Society
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybpFSMtLDI
8
Impact of Information Technology on Society
http://www.amacad.org/binaries/video/streamPla
yer.aspx?i=11
Essay:
Images of the digital divide (Power Point
Presentation)

The Digital Revolution


What is the Digital Revolution?
The information and communication revolution began long before
the invention of the electronic computer in 1943. In fact, many
would claim that it began with the invention of the printing press
way back in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
Since then humanity has seen the death of distance through the
invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, the

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distribution of information by radio waves through the invention of


the radio by Marconi in 1895 and in the early part of the twentieth
century the dissemination of visual (coupled with aural)
information through television. Throughout the ages, technological
breakthroughs have revolutionised communications and the spread
of information. Even though the worlds first electronic computer
was invented during the middle of the Second World War, it was
only with the invention of the microprocessor in the 1970s that the
nature, capacity, power, usefulness of computers became accessible
to the public. The world has not been the same since then.
THE MICROPROCESSOR
A silicon chip that contains a CPU. In the world of personal
computers, the terms microprocessor and CPU are used
interchangeably. At the heart of all personal computers and most
workstations sits a microprocessor. Microprocessors also control
the logic of almost all digital devices, from clock radios to fuelinjection systems for automobiles. Three basic characteristics
differentiate microprocessors:

Instruction set: The set of instructions that the


microprocessor can execute.

Bandwidth: The number of bits processed in a single


instruction.

Clock speed: Given in megahertz (MHz), the clock speed


determines how many instructions per second the processor
can execute.

In both cases, the higher the value, the more powerful the CPU. For
example, a 32-bit microprocessor that runs at 50MHz is more
powerful than a 16-bit microprocessor that runs at 25MHz. In
addition to bandwidth and clock speed, microprocessors are
classified as being either RISC (reduced instruction set computer)
or CISC (complex instruction set computer).
The Digital Revolution is different from the technologies that were
used earlier in our telephonic and broadcasting technologies. Those
were analogue technologies, both mechanical and electronic. At the
heart of the digital revolution is the mass production and
widespread use of digital logic circuits and derivatives of it. These
logic circuits helped in the digitisation of information (whether
text, graphics, audio, video, or data).
The invention permitted almost immediately the conversion of
previously stored data into analogues. By doing so it became
possible to reproduce multiple copies/generations of that data
identical to the original data without loss of information. It also
permitted moving the information between various media formats,

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to access it and distribute it globally. Of the many reproductions,


the most spectacular one, which has benefitted almost all of us, is
the optical compact disc (CD). Do you remember when compact
discs made their first appearance in Malaysia? These discs almost
within a decade replaced completely the old analogue formats of
the Long Playing vinyl discs, cassette tapes and 8, 16 and 32mm
films. Other everyday examples where the microchips play a
central role that you should be familiar with include computers, cell
phones, scanners and fax machines. Wikipedia described this new
revolution as follows:
To use an analogy, a digital world is a world united by one
language, a world where people from across continents share ideas
with one another and work together to build projects and ideas.
More voluminous and accurate information is accumulated and
generated, and distributed in a twinkling to an audience that
understands exactly what is said. This in turn allows the recipients
of the information to use it for their own purposes, to create ideas
and to redistribute more ideas. The result is progress. Take this
scenario to a technological level where all kinds of computers,
equipment and appliances are interconnected and functioning as
one unit. Even today, we see telephones exchanging information
with computers, and computers playing compressed audio data files
or live audio data streams that play music over the Internet like
radios. Computers can play movies and tune in to television. Some
modern homes allow a person to control central lighting and airconditioning through computers. These are just some of the
features of a digital world. [Wikipedia]1

The video below is about the story of discoveries, inventions and


innovations that progressively led to the digital revolution seen
through the eyes of the Nobel Prize awarding agency.
Multimedia 1.1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0KaExWhcUs (Accessed 14
February 2012)

What is the digital


revolution?http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/The_Information_Age/The_Digit
al_and_ICT_Revolutions#What_is_the_digital_revolution.3F

EED502/05 ICT in Education

The nature of ICT


I wish I could define ICT, which is an acronym, for you but if I
do in all likelihood that definition may become invalid sooner than
later.
The acronym stands for three items viz: information,
communication and technology. Wikipedia some time ago defined
it as a broad field encompassing computers, communications
equipment and the services associated with them.
One of the ways we can unbundle the term is to consider how
digital technologies help individuals and organisation in their daily
functions through appliances such as computers, robots, satellites,
telephones and televisions. Together these can store, retrieve,
manipulate, transmit or receive information electronically in a
digital form.
The added advantage is that these are digitised in such a way that
they can work with each other as well. The digitisation of data
allows such data to be communicated over a distance. These are
achieved through networks of sending and receiving equipment,
wires and satellite links. Today, voice is translated into data
packets, sent over networks to remote locations, sometimes
thousands of kilometres away, and, upon receipt, translated back to
voice. Even television is not immune to digitisation. In the near
future, television signals and television sets will be digital. It will
also be possible to use the television to surf the Internet. The digital
TV will allow people from different locations to chat with each
other while watching a programme. With everything becoming
digital, television, voice telephony, and the Internet can use similar
networks. The transmission of hitherto different services
(telephony, television, and Internet) via the same digital network is
also known as convergence.
In our daily lives ICT is often used in two ways. The first of these
includes all the things that you and I do with our personal
computers and the second the things that we do as part of a
community.

Can you make a two-column table of all the things that you do as
an individual and as part of a community on your personal
computer?
Activity 1.1

Individual

Community

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Suggested answers to Activity 1.1


Uses of ICT at the individual and community levels
Individual

Community

Word processing

Local communication [Local


Area Network]

Spreadsheets

Global communication [Wide


Area Network]

Presentations [power point]

Digital TV and radio

Desktop publishing

Social networks

Graphics

Telephony

However ICT has far exceeded the lists that you and Ihave
constructed. In the year 2000 Thomas F. Frost, the then chairman
of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) presented a
picture of how ICT plays a role in the daily lives of individuals. I
would like you to read his presentation The Everyday Life of a
Household in Cyberspace.2
Malaysians, like citizens of many middle income countries, have
taken to using ICTs in many different ways. We shall explore in the
next section how ICTs have intruded into our lives. Our
government has both encouraged Malaysians to be ICT friendly
and have mapped out a national strategy called the National
Strategic ICT Road Map. Your next activity requires you to read
the National Strategic Road Map to appreciate how important it is
for educators such as you and I to be part of this strategy. If you are

T.F. Frost [2000]: The Everyday Life of a Household in Cyberspace. Extracted


from www.iso.orgisolivelinkgetfilellNodeId=21581&llVolId (Accessed 17 June
2011).

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running short of time I would suggest for you to read at least the
executive summary of the strategy.

Familiarise yourself with Malaysia's policy on ICT development by


reading the National Strategic ICT Road Map published by the
Ministry of Science and Technology.
Reading 1.1

Click on the thumbnail to access the reading.

ICTs and everyday life


Before you work on this section I would like you to summarise in
five points the highlights of our nations ICT strategy.
Your 5 points

My answers

1.

1. E-government for efficient


and effective governance

2.

2. ICT in education

3.

3. ICTs for business


transaction

4.

4. Banking and financial


services

5.

5. Entertainment

You can see from both our lists that within a period of about 20
years ICTs have begun to play a critical role in the development of
our nation and her citizens. Those who make it their business to
study these trends estimate that there are some 23 million mobile
subscribers in our country; our ownership of computers is now
reaching almost 15 million units and some 2 million blogs are in
circulation.

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Consider the ways in which we apply ICTs to conduct our daily


lives:
1. Business
How often do you use cash when purchasing your air ticket,
paying restaurant bills (other than paying for your nasi kandar
in that friendly Mamak shop) or hospital bills? You can literally
use your credit card for almost every kind of purchase from
motor cars and downpayment for your house, to the caf latte at
your nearest Starbucks or Kopitiam. Every time you use these
credit cards or debit cards the cashier of the shop uses a
terminal that connects to other computers via a network. Your
identification details such as name, credit card number, and
issuing bank are automatically transferred and verification (PIN
number) obtained from you. Once everything is checked,
including your credit limits, money is transferred from your
account to the vendors account. While Malaysia is not yet a
cashless society, we are getting there one example of a
cashless transaction is the LRT/MRT stored value travel cards
used by commuters. How long do you think before cash
becomes a thing of the past for daily transactions such the ones
that I just mentioned?
2. Financial services
Every time you use a debit or credit card the shop till uses a terminal
connected to other computers via a network. Your identification
details are automatically transferred from your card to your bank or
credit card company for verification, and your balance adjusted
accordingly. Similar concept also applies if you are shopping

online, or purchasing a cinema ticket over the phone,


withdrawing cash at the ATM machine (e.g., Kawanku) and
checking your bank balance wherever you are in the world. The
machines are networked to a central computer, which has
records of your account in a database. Most Malaysian banks,
like their counterparts all over the world, also provide banking
services via the Internet, hence minimising the need for
customers to visit a branch.
Financial services have undergone huge changes in recent years
as a result of the development of ICT systems. This has led to
the need for increased security procedures to combat new types
of fraud. It has also led to changes in many areas of commerce;
for example, the role of travel agents has changed as more
people book their own holidays directly online.
Some types of business have disappeared completely as online
and computer-based information have taken their place. For
example, in parts of the Western World, buying books from
bookshops is no longer the most popular method. Amazon.com

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with its Kindle and Apple with its iPad are gradually changing
how people buy books. Similarly, new types of business have
been created, such as online auctions like eBay.
3. Entertainment
The world of entertainment is constantly evolving with the
advent of new technologies. Digital broadcasting has changed
the way we experience television, with more interactive
programming and participation. Digital cameras, printers and
scanners have enabled more people to experiment with image
production. Computer gaming has been an important influence
in the development of graphical interfaces. Technology has
been at the forefront of changes in the production and
distribution of music, as well as in the ways in which people
can access and listen to music.
4. Public services
Since 2001 when the Malaysian government embarked on its
massive transformation programme driven by ICT, many of the
nations public services at federal, state and local council levels
have become available through online or ICT dependent
facilities. Malaysians today can renew their driving licenses
online, file their income tax papers online and verify their EPF
balance online or at an electronic kiosk. Many of the
government departments make available application forms for
one or another purpose online. A lot of these online services are
available through a unique personal identification identity card
called MyKad. The card is a compulsory identity document for
all Malaysian citizens above 12 and must be carried by the
person all the time.
Though a personal identity card regime has been in the country
since colonial times, the digital version was introduced by the
National Registration Department of Malaysia in 2001. A
replacement version of the card in the form of a High Quality
Identity Card with a 64kb EEPROM [Electronically Erasable
Programmable Read-Only Memory] chip was subsequently
introduced. These cards have a data retention capacity of up to
20 years and serves to provide a number of functions besides
confirming identity of the individual through a photo and
fingerprint [biometric] markers.
Currently the card facilitates the renewal of driving license and
serves as a travel document [though not for international
travel]. The cards potential uses include serving as an
electronic wallet [stored cash value], Touch n Go for toll
roads, digital certificate as well as an ATM card. This card may
be ahead of its time even in Malaysia as many of the potential
benefits are yet to be realised. Figure 1.1 illustrates eight

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applications that the Malaysian government envisages will be


the backbone in transforming our nation into an advance user of
technologies for purposes of government, businesses and
citizens daily lives.

Figure 1.1 Eight applications under the Malaysian


Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit
Source: MAMPU
5. ICT systems at home
Many urban homes in our country have one or more appliances
that are driven by advanced electronics. The most pervasive is
ASTRO, the cable TV provider. Increasingly, however, the
ultra rich among us are also installing a variety of systems like
lighting, security, air conditioning and others that are
intelligently connected to master controls linked to computers
and cell phones etc. The smart home that integrates all of these
is fast making its appearance in individual homes and pricey
condominiums. What this means to the owner is a facility
which he/she can access even when away from home to turn
on the lights or the air conditioners or even warm the food.

Have fun looking at this video on smart homes no not in Malaysia


but in the USA.
Multimedia 1.2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9v1PVg5Xww&feature=relate
d (Accessed 14 February 2012)

6. The Internet

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The Internet has become a major factor in enabling information


sharing and has had a huge impact on the availability of
information of all kinds. Material on the Internet reflects widely
differing viewpoints and sources: from official news bulletins
to unofficial rumours, and from commercial megastores to
community portals. The Internet has revolutionised the way
information can be published, raising questions about the
authority and regulation of content. Because of the way the
Internet has been designed, no individual government, company
or person has control over it. At the last count [2010] about 17
million Malaysians were reported as using the Internet.3 We
shall consider more about the Internet in the next section of this
module.
7. Education
In subsequent modules of this course we will be delving into
greater details of how ICT has influenced and changed the ways
in which we teach, learn, assess, reach out and administer
education. For now I would like you to reflect how the new
technologies are changing the environment in your school. For
example do you use the power of computers, mobile phones,
electronic tablet projection technologies, photocopiers, data
projectors and electronic boards in your daily work in school?
In what ways are these helpful? Are they distracting, if so, in
what ways?

Your reflection on the value of ICTs in the school you teach. Share
your comments with your coursemates. Discuss how different your
experience is from those of others.
Activity 1.2

The Internet and the World Wide Web


What do you know about the Internet?

Quiz 1.1

Go to the following site using Google and try the quiz. It will give
you your score. If you have scored below 7, try the quiz again.
http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/it_lectures/tests/examples/internettest.ht

Anon[2010] Telecommunications and Broadband in Asia. Extracted from


http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm#asia (Accessed 17 June 2010)

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ml?Submit=Get+my+score (Accessed 5 February 2012)

In the last section of this module, we discussed the many ways in


which ICTs are changing the ways in which we live, work, play,
socialise, communicate, do business and entertain. At the heart of
almost all of these changes is the Internet. For good or bad
(depending on your beliefs) the net has become an essential part
of our lives.
Q: What is the Internet and what can you do with it?
A: The Internet is a worldwide network of computer networks that
connects university, government, commercial, and other computers
in over 150 countries. There are thousands of networks, tens of
thousands of computers, and millions of users on the Internet, with
the numbers expanding daily. Using the Internet, you can send
electronic mail, chat with colleagues around the world, and obtain
information on a wide variety of subjects.
A FUN Activity: If you are interested in learning more about the
Internet visit the following site: http://www.livinginternet.com/
(Accessed 5 February 2012)
Among uses of the Internet are:

15

1.

Electronic mail. Electronic mail, or e-mail, lets you


electronically mail messages to users who have Internet Email addresses. Delivery time varies, but it is possible to send
mail across the globe and get a response in minutes.
LISTSERV is a special interest mailing list which allows for
the exchange of information between large numbers of people.

2.

USENET newsgroups. USENET is a system of special interest


discussion groups, called newsgroups, to which readers can
send, or "post" messages which are then distributed to other
computers in the network. (Think of it as a giant set of
electronic bulletin boards.) Newsgroups are organised around
specific
topics,
for
example,
alt.education.research,alt.education.distance
and
misc.education.science.

3.

Information files. Government agencies, schools, and


universities, commercial firms, interest groups, and private
individuals place a variety of information online. The files were
originally text only, but increasingly contain pictures, graphics,
sound, videos and simulations that are both static and
interactive.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

The beginning of the Internet goes back to the early 1960s when
the world was still in turmoil with two superpowers competing for
world dominance. The US Department of Defence wanted an
electronic system/network that would protect government
communication systems in the event of a military strike. This
network was referred to as ARPANet [after the Advanced Research
Project Agency that developed it]. The network employed a set of
standard protocols to create an effective way for these people to
communicate and share data with each other.
ARPAnet's popularity continued to spread among researchers and
in the 1980's the National Science Foundation, whose NSFNet,
linked several high speed computers, took charge of what had come
to be known as the Internet.
In 1991, the U.S. High Performance Computing Act established the
NREN (National Research and Education Network). NREN's goal
was to develop and maintain high-speed networks for research and
education, and to investigate commercial uses for the Internet.
From this start, a tool that set out to serve the government and
research community has found a role in economic, social,
individual, national and global development through innovations
such as the World Wide Web and the associated technologies like
Yahoo, Google, You Tube, Twitter, My Space, Facebook and many
others.
Vinton Cerf, the graduate student at UC Berkley and his associate
Robert Kahn, who were the main actors in repurposing ARPANet
into the Internet are still active the former is at Google, employed
as an Internet evangelist and the latter is a Founder CEO of the
Corporation for National Research Initiative, a not-for-profit
agency that supports research on the US National Information
Infrastructure also sometimes known as the Information Super
Highway.

Multimedia 1.3

Watch this video of Vinton Cerf presenting a seminar on the past,


present and future of the Internet. Prof. Cerf is often referred to as
the Father of the Internet which together with fellow researcher R.
Kahn repurposed the Internet from a utility for defence to one for
civilian use. If you wish to read a narrative of the Internet by Prof.
Cerf and Dr. Robert Kahn you are welcome to do this at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpNWQiVpjvY
(Accessed 14 February 2012)

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The World Wide Web


The Internet today has progressed to the extent that almost every
human endeavour, whether a friendly chat with a distant relative or
organising a political demonstration, has found a role for it. Among
the many exciting developments arising out of the Internet is the
World Wide Web (also referred to as the Web, WWW or W3). It is
the fastest growing area of the Internet. The Web is an
information space in which the items of interest, referred to as
resources are identified by global identifiers called Uniform
Resource Identifiers (URI). It is often confused as being analagous
to the entire Internet, whereas in fact it is a major subset of it. The
purpose of the WWW is to allow users to view or make use of more
than just text. [Wikipedia]
The Web, officially launched as an offshoot of the Internet in 1989,
has not been around that long. However, it has become a huge part
of many peoples lives, enabling them to communicate, work, and
play in a global context. The Web is all about relationships, and has
made these relationships possible between individuals, groups, and
communities where they would not have been otherwise. This Web
is a community without borders, limits, or even rules, and has
become a true world of its own.
The Web is a giant experiment, a global theory, that has amazingly
enough worked pretty well. Its history illustrates the ways that
technological advancement and innovation can move along
unintended paths. Originally, the Web and the Internet were created
to be part of a military strategy, and not meant for private use.
However, as in many experiments, theories, and plans, this did not
actually happen. Instead, the technology got out of military hands
and fell into the hands of academics in institutions such as Harvard
and Berkeley. The academics made important modifications to it,
such as addressing the individual computers from which
communications originated and it never stopped growing.
The Internet made people realise that communicating just by snail
mail was less effective (not to mention much slower) than free email on the Web. The possibilities of world-wide communication
were mind-boggling to people when the Web was just getting
started. Nowadays, we think nothing of e-mailing our aunts in
Germany (and getting an answer back within minutes), or seeing
the latest streaming video full of up to the minute news. The
Internet and the Web have revolutionised the way we communicate
not only with individuals, but with the world as well.

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Multimedia 1.4

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is considered to be the Father of the World


Wide Web. While working at CERN he created the web as a tool to
move documents around the world. He may not have realised then
the impact of the revolution he was creating, by freeing information
to follow seamlessly. Today Sir Tim continues to work on the web
and is a relentless advocate for the freedom of data. He is also an
advisor to the British Government on Open Data through the Open
Data Institute.
Watch Sir Tim delivers a lecture on the subject at the
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YcZ3Zqk0a8 (Accessed 13
February 2011)
Could you imagine your life without using the Web no e-mail, no
access to breaking news, no up to the minute weather reports, no
way to shop online, etc.? Probably you cannot. We have grown to
be dependent on this technology it has transformed the way that
we conduct out lives. Try to go one day without using the Web in
some fashion you will probably be surprised at how much you
depend on it. The Web is a continual, on-going process. It has
never stopped replicating itself or progressing since the day it
began, and it probably will keep evolving as long as people are
around to keep developing it. It is made up of personal
relationships, business partnerships and global associations. If the
Web did not have these interpersonal relationships, it would not
exist.
What makes the World Wide Web appealing and innovative is its
use of hypertext as a way of linking documents to each other. A
highlighted word or phrase in one document acts as a pointer to
another document that amplifies or relates to the first document.
When we read a document online, we do not have to follow every
pointer or link (also called a hypertext link), but those that look
interesting or useful. In this way, we tailor the experience to suit
our own need or interest.
The other very appealing aspect of the World Wide Web is the use
of graphics and sound capabilities. Documents on the WWW
include text, but they may also include still images, video and
audio for a very exciting presentation. People who create WWW
documents often include a photograph of themselves along with
detailed professional information and personal interests. (This is
often called a person's home page.) Below is an account of the
many modern uses of the Internet including the World Wide Web.

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The Implication or Impact of the Technologies on Humanity


We came of age at a time of rapid improvement in the human
environment. Economically and socially, the world became a much
better place to live, work and raise families for many of us. While
becoming freer from colonial domination was a help to improve
our lives, the greater value beside political freedoms was the arrival
and availability of technologies that contributed to higher levels of
prosperity. The twentieth century saw the arrival of radios,
televisions, airplanes, antibiotics and the green revolution, among
many other conveniences. The twenty-first century arrived with a
bang in the form of nuclear power, space travel, the microchip,
computers, the Internet and the Web. All these technologies have
changed our world not once but many times over.
In the last four sections of this module we explored the evolution of
the technologies from the early part of the last century and how
human ingenuity and curiosity led to the development of logic
circuits and the microprocessor resulting in the digital revolution.
The coupling of digitisation to electronic computers created
massive infrastructures of interconnected telephone services,
standardised computing hardware, the Internet, radio and television
linked via satellites to every corner of our earth.
The revolutionary potential of new ICTs lies in their capacities to
instantaneously connect vast networks of individuals and
organisations across great geographic distances at very little cost.
As such, ICTs have been key enablers of globalisation, facilitating
worldwide flows of information, capital, ideas, people and
products. They have transformed businesses, markets and
organisations, as well as revolutionised learning and knowledgesharing, empowered citizens and communities, and created
significant economic growth in many countries. ICTs have
amplified brainpower in much the same way that the nineteen
century industrial revolution amplified muscle power. That is one
side of the story. There are many who would say these changes are
not necessarily for the better; some of the changes are good while
others are somewhat detrimental. In this section of the module we
will consider the impact of the ICTs on human development. We
shall explore four things:
1. How measures are made to study the impact of the digital
technologies.
2. Malaysias performance in ICT development.
3. The bigger picture and how, at a global level, the successful
assimilation of ICTs affects a nations fabric of life.
4. The concerns expressed about the negative impact of ICTs.

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Measuring Impact
Bridges.org is an international organisation with a mission to
promote the effective use of ICT in the developing world for
meaningful purposes, such as better healthcare, education and selfsustaining economic development. They have done a series of
studies especially on issues around the digital divide and one
especially delved into some detail on factors that either enable or
inhibit the adoption of ICTs for personal and community
development. These factors and the questions they raised include:
1. Physical access: Is technology available and physically
accessible?
2. Appropriate technology: What is the appropriate
technology according to local conditions and how
people need and want to put technology to use?
3. Affordability: Is technology access affordable for
people to use?
4. Capacity: Do people understand how to use technology
and its potential uses?
5. Relevant content: Is there locally relevant content,
especially in terms of language?
6. Integration: Does the technology further burden
people's lives or does it integrate into daily routines?
7. Socio-cultural factors: Are people limited in their use
of technology based on gender, race, or other sociocultural factors?
8. Trust: Do people have confidence in and understand
the implications of the technology they use, for instance
in terms of privacy, security, or cyber-crime?
9. Legal and regulatory framework: How do laws and
regulations affect technology use and what changes are
needed to create an environment that fosters its use?
10. Local economic environment: Is there a local
economy that can and will sustain technology use?
11. Macro-economic environment: Is national economic
policy conducive to widespread technology use, for
example, in terms of transparency, deregulation,
investment, and labour issues?
12. Political will: Is there political will in government to do
what is needed to enable the integration of technology
throughout society?

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Reading 1.1

Read the essay on Images of the Digital Divide as an elaboration to


the above questions and reflect on the situation in Malaysia. Your
reflection should take into account the aspirations of our nation on
ICT as expressed through the National Road Map On ICT [1.2]
Images of the digital divide

Impact of ICT in Malaysia


In 1991 the then Prime Minister of Malaysia declared this countrys
vision, referred to as Vision 2020. Vision 2020 is divided into
three sections. The title of the first sums up the main goal,
Malaysia as a Fully Developed Country by the year 2020. Vision
2020 lists nine societal goals for the country and all Malaysians:
unified, psychologically liberated, democratic, moral and ethical,
tolerant, scientific and progressive, caring, economically just and
prosperous. Vision 2020 identifies a perspective of the future that
factors Malaysias unique characteristics into being a developed
country in its own mould. Vision 2020 is the nations roadmap as
virtually all government strategies and plans are tied to it. These
were ambitious dreams and ICTs were seen to be major drivers to
achieve the targets of 2020.
Recognising the importance of the telecommunication industries to
the growth and application of ICTs, a major overhaul of the
industry was undertaken through the Communications and
Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). The Act establishes a regulatory
framework in support of national policy objectives for the
communications industry. Services regulated under the Act include
traditional broadcasting and telecommunications, as well as
computer networks, and content carried over those systems. The
CMA seeks to provide a common set or regulatory provisions
based on generic definitions of communications services. It is
therefore suited to a converged environment where the same digital
information can be transported over any electronic network. In an
innovative approach to legislation, the CMA contains ten national
policy objectives. The Act thus complements the traditional
shall/shall not tendency of legislation with a statement of why.
The ten national objectives are:
1. To establish Malaysia as a major global centre and hub for
communications and multimedia information and content
services;
2. To promote a civil society where information-based
services will provide the basis of continuing enhancements
to quality of work and life;

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3. To grow and nurture local information resources and


cultural representation that facilitate the national identity
and global diversity;
4. To regulate for the long-term benefit of the end-user;
5. To promote a high level of consumer confidence in service
delivery from the industry;
6. To ensure provision of affordable services over ubiquitous
national infrastructure;
7. To create a robust applications environment for end users;
8. To facilitate the efficient allocation of resources such as
skilled labour, capital, knowledge and national assets;
9. To promote the development capabilities and skills within
Malaysias convergence industries; and
10. To ensure information security and network reliability and
integrity.
Many commentators complement the designers, planners and
policy makers of the Act, as well as the many instruments that were
spawned through this act as being creative, innovative and
supportive for an orderly development of ICTs in our country.
Some of the many developments associated with this imaginative
approach are captured in Figure 1.2 below.

Figure 1.2 Potential applications of ICT to support development in


Malaysia4
Source: MAMPU

Salmah Khairuddin [2005] Electronic Government in Malaysia [slide 13].


Extracted from http://www.cicc.or.jp/japanese/kunibetsu/pdf_ppt/MalaysiaCIO_JAPAN_version_2.pdf (12 April 2012)

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Activity 1.3

Reflect on Reading 1.1 on Images of the Digital Divide and


consider the context of ICT development in Malaysia. Discuss
amongst your course mates through WawasanLearn the strengths
and weaknesses of a top down approach that Malaysia took in
creating an environment for the growth of ICTs in our country.

By and large, Malaysias achievement of its primary targets has


been highly commended by many. ICTs have begun to influence
our lives as citizens in many ways. The various published reports
seem to indicate the greatest benefits from the following domains.
There may be others and if you know of them you may wish to add
to the list. The domains are5:
1. Communication and Leisure: People often use computers
in public venues for their own personal enjoyment.
Development gains (or losses) from playing computer
games or using social media might not be immediate, but
these types of uses can support development outcomes in
the long run. For example, leisurely exploring interests
online may build potential skills or knowledge that lead to
positive outcomes later, and using ICTs for personal
communication, through e-mail and chatting, can help
people maintain or expand valuable social networks.
2. Culture and Language: Many people use ICTs to share
cultural information, both traditional and popular. Some
might do this by organising or attending events. Others may
create websites or blogs in local languages or benefit from
reading such content. Can we say that technology in
libraries, telecentres, and cybercafes has helped users
maintain or express cultural identity, preserve languages, or
support cultural practices or experiences in other ways?
3. Education: Through computers and Internet availability,
people can gain access to information and tools that support
learning. Students can use software to complete homework
and improve their performance at school. Adolescents and
adults might seek out admissions or financial aid
information for new educational opportunities or to
participate in online workshops. Such uses can support
positive educational outcomes that may lead to a range of
development goals, from economic impacts to enhancing
quality of life.
4. Employment and Income: People can use ICTs to find
jobs, prepare resumes, or improve their skills and enhance
5

Extracted from http://www.globalimpactstudy.org/researchdesign/researchproblem/ (Accessed 22 June 2011 and adapted for this course).

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their employability. Entrepreneurs can use the Internet to


sell products and services or expand customer bases. Others
use online information to support their work, whether
through pricing decisions, discovering new production
techniques, or exploring new ways to earn income.
Additionally, using ICTs might help people send or receive
remittances. To what extent do people use public access
ICTs to support such activities and what are the impacts?
5. Governance: National, regional, and local governments are
increasingly creating and maintaining a web presence to
share information with, and solicit information from their
constituents. Are people using public access computers to
contact officials, improve their access to public services, or
hold the government more accountable? Are people
connecting with NGOs, political parties, or other groups to
increase civic participation? Effectively using ICTs for
these purposes can have a significant impact on peoples
lives and the communities they live in.
6. Health: Increasingly, information about health is provided
online. The Internet can provide people with better access to
information about illnesses, disease prevention and
treatment, medical conditions, diet and nutrition, or health
care providers. To what extent have people used public
access ICTs to obtain information that resulted in better
health outcomes for themselves, their families, or others in
their communities?
However there are also weaknesses that require attention from our
nation. A review undertaken jointly by both our Economic
Planning Unit and the United Nations Development Programme for
Malaysia suggested that we could benefit from better co-ordination
amongst the various actors in the field.
The next activity is an extract of the PowerPoint presentation made
by Harris et al6 on the digital divide in Malaysia.
Read the PowerPoint presentation on the digital divide in Malaysia.
Harris Malaysia Policy Dialogue
Reading 1.2

Harris et al [2006]: Bridging the digital Divide at


www.undp.org.my/uploads/Harris%20Malaysia%20Policy%20Dialogue.ppt
(Accessed 13 Feb. 2012)

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Concerns
The previous four sections of this module expressed both explicitly
and implicitly the benefits derived and the potential benefits to be
derived from the digital revolution. This is especially so in terms of
the accessibility of information. One segment of society that has
been the biggest beneficiary of all is the education sector.
Expanded powers of communication and information sharing,
increased capabilities for existing technologies, and the advent of
new technology brought with it many potential opportunities for
exploitation in improving the quality of teaching and the richness
of learning. From the viewpoint of civil societies, greater
interconnectedness, easier communication, and the exposure of
information that in the past was more easily suppressed by
authoritarian regimes, is no longer the case though there are
mechanisms available to the state that could still suppress easy
access. The economic impact of the digital revolution has been
large. Without the World Wide Web (WWW), for example,
globalisation and outsourcing would not be nearly as viable as they
are today. The digital revolution radically changed the way
individuals and companies interact. Small regional companies were
suddenly given access to much larger markets. Concepts such as
on-demand services and manufacturing, and rapidly dropping
technology costs made possible new innovations in all aspects of
industry and everyday life
But like any other innovation, the ICT revolution has caused
considerable concerns as well. These concerns cut across many
aspects of civil liberties, social norms and behaviours, privacy and
piracy issues as well as theft of data and material. In this section let
us consider some of these issues which as practising teachers you
need to be familiar with.
Broadly we can segregate the misuse of computers and
communication technologies into the following categories:
1. Hacking: where an unauthorised person uses a network,
Internet or modem connection to gain access to past
security passwords or other security to see data stored on
another computer. Hackers sometimes use software hacking
tools and often target, for example, particular sites on the
Internet.
2. Data misuse and unauthorised transfer or copying: The
digital revolution, especially regarding privacy, copyright,
censorship and information sharing, remains a controversial
topic. As the digital revolution progresses, it remains
unclear to what extent society has been impacted and will
be altered in the future. In the meantime the illegal
transfer of data is easily carried out with speed using online
computers and large storage devices such as hard disks,

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memory sticks and DVDs. Copyright and trademark issues


also found new life in the digital revolution. The
widespread ability of consumers to produce and distribute
exact reproductions of protected works dramatically
changed the intellectual property landscape, especially in
the music, film, and television industries. This is considered
a gross misuse of both Internet and copyright regulations.
3. E-mail and chat room abuses: Internet services such as
chat rooms and e-mail have been the subject of many wellpublicised cases of impersonation and deception where
people who are online pretend to have a different identity.
Chat rooms have been used to spread rumours about wellknown personalities. A growing area of abuse of the
Internet is e-mail spam, where millions of e-mails are sent
to advertise both legal and illegal products and services.
4. Pornography: A lot of indecent material and pornography
is available through the Internet and can be stored in
electronic form. Many governments, religious and parent
groups have become increasingly worried about the free and
easy availability of these materials to minors.
Notwithstanding these concerns, there are also many who
would claim that the barring of such materials goes against
the freedoms that the Internet provides and democracy
protects.
5. Identity and financial abuses: This topic includes identity
theft, misuse of stolen or fictional credit card numbers to
obtain goods or services on the Internet, and use of
computers in financial frauds. These can range from
complex, well-thought out deceptions to simple uses such
as printing counterfeit money with colour printers.
6. Viruses: Viruses are relatively simple programmes written
by people and designed to cause nuisance or damage to
computers or their files.
7. The Internet and freedom of speech: The Internet is an
enormous resource for all citizens to benefit from. The
quality of the information that is available varies and so too
does the value of those resources. While on the one hand, a
You Tube video on the effects of climate change is valuable
to ordinary people, teachers, government leaders, students,
environmental scientists and activists, another video
through the internet depicting child pornography would be
upsetting and offensive to all of these people. Similarly
many would find online shopping adds value to their lives
but it is annoying when unwanted and unsolicited
advertising, or spam, invades our lives. This is a dilemma
for policy makers. To control with a heavy hand such as a
governments edict to impose censorship on political
discourse, contrary to its party or beliefs is clearly a denial
of the rights of an individual to his/her freedom. On the
other hand, total freedom to use the Internet to peddle

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pornography, to con people and spread offensive and false


messages may not be in the interest of the wider public
good.
8. Privacy issues: Privacy has become a serious concern with
the storage of large volumes of personal data on the
Internet. Such capacities make it possible to track individual
activities and interests. Many civil rights activists fear the
danger of authoritarian governments to monitor and
manipulate freedom of movement, speech, political
activism and social and personal behaviours. Similarly
consumer-rights advocates fear that close monitoring of
data of an individuals buying habits will allow businesses
to share market information on spending preferences and
capacities.
9. The Internet and crime: New technology brings with it
new crimes. These crimes include the interception of credit
card details and transactions, online hacking into personal
private files with criminal intent, fraudulent websites taking
credit card details from customers, the spreading of viruses
via the Internet as well as Internet fraud like phishing
scams, identity theft and denial of service attacks.
10. Health and safety: There are various health problems
associated with the regular use of computers. While there is
concern about the overuse of computers including potential
dangers of addiction for some, hard medical evidence is not
unambiguously forthcoming.

Activity 1.4

Having considered both the implications of ICTs in our society and


its impact, can you list six challenges that we need to address for
orderly progress towards ensuring that ICTs are fully integrated
with comfort and ease to ALL Malaysians?
1
2
3
4
5
6
Suggested answers:
The six challenges will be the following:
1. The challenge of awareness raising across all levels of
society.

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2. The challenge of access across the country.


3. The challenge of relevancy and meaningful use.
4. The challenge of sustainability.
5. The challenge of nationwide coordination.
6. The challenge of political will and bureaucratic dedication
to ensure equity.

What Next for ICT?


You know as well as I do that predicting the future is a hazard
who would have thought that within the span of thirty years from
when Malaysians first experienced the computer, we would have
come this far to be among the leading users of ICTs in almost every
aspect of our lives. Even more mind-boggling is the speed at which
the technologies themselves have changed and changed again. As
you worked through this module you would have got a sense as to
the amazing things that ICTs can do to make our lives richer, more
meaningful and more productive. You would have also got a sense
that like any other technologies ICT can be misused and abused.
In the twentieth century, rapid technological advances led to rising
standards of living, literacy, health and life expectancy. They also
made possible a century of more deadly warfare, the
industrialisation of mass murder, global warming and ecocide. The
promise of ICTs for the twenty-first century likewise presents both
opportunities and challenges. ICTs, like all technologies, are tools.
How they are used depends on the user and the context. So how
will these tools of information and communication be used? In
March 2009 the American Academy for the Arts and Sciences
invited four pioneers of ICT innovations to a panel discussion in
California. The four pioneering scientist were:
1. David Clarke.
2. Irwin Jacobs.
3. Vinton Cerf.
4. Jon Warrok.

Activity 1.5

For your next activity I would like you to watch a video The
Public Good- Impact of Information Technology on Society. After
the video, discuss and summarise [no more than in four sentences]
under the following headings :
1. The Internet and shared information.

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2. The Internet will replace printed newspapers.


3. The Internet and learning.
4. Technology and teaching.

Summary
In Unit 1.1 we considered a number of aspects of the ICT
revolution that has shaped our society today. We traced the
evolution of the technologies, we considered the impact it had on
our everyday lives, and we heard experts discussed the future
directions of these technologies and we also watched a discussion
on the impact of the technologies on humanity.
You were also presented with information on how these
technologies have entered into the everyday lives of Malaysians,
actively encouraged by our governments. While our planning on
ICT development is good, its implementation may have some
shortfalls. Not all Malaysians are able to enjoy the benefits of the
revolution. Education is expected to play a major role in
encouraging the Malaysian society to be bigger users of the
technology.

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Self-test 1.1
1. The digital revolution has provided advantages to the haves
rather than the have-nots. List five reasons if you agree to the
statement or alternatively list five reasons if you do not agree.
a. ____________________________________
b. _____________________________________
c. _____________________________________
d. ______________________________________
e. ______________________________________
2. What is the contribution of the following two persons to the
digital revolution?
a. Vinton Cerf
b. Tim Berners-Lee
3. The introduction of technologies into a culture is only as good as
the readiness of the culture to use it to advantage. What is
required for a community to be ready to use the technologies?
a. ____________________________________
b. ____________________________________
c. ____________________________________
d. ____________________________________
__________________________________

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1.2 Technologies in Education


Introduction
Developments in technology has been happening in such a fast
pace that its applications has influenced all fields of social activity.
Today the demand for educational technology is high and when
technology is used appropriately, the results have been gratifying.
We have seen the power and potential of technology to enable
people to learn and interact even in remote areas of the developing
world. Technology applications have been able to increase outreach
of education to all sections of the community.
In this sub-Unit let us try to understand some of the issues involved
in the use of technology in educational situations.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Explain the various challenges in using technology of the
educational context and their implications for educational
development.
2. Explain the various potentials of using ICT in education.
3. Identify and describe the various parameters for effective use of
technology in educational situations.
This section is made up of three parts. They are tabulated below:
Title
Educational
Context

Resources
Text:
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_
ed_book.pdf
Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002)
Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters
and Prospects.
Chapter 1: Dynamics of Technology in Education
Sections: Challenges and Pressures (pp.4-6) and

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Implications for Education (pp.6-8)

Technologies
for Education
The
Potential

Text:
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_
ed_book.pdf
Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002)
Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters
and Prospects.
Chapter 1: Dynamics of Technology in Education
Sections: The Potential (pp. 8-12)
Multimedia:
A Brief History of Educational Technology:
http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/technology/vid
eo-a-brief-history-of-tech-in-education-edtech/

Technologies
for Education
The
Parameters

Text:
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_
ed_book.pdf
Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002)
Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters
and Prospects.
Chapter 1: Dynamics of Technology in Education
Section: The Parameters (pp. 12-16)

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Educational Context
Education as a sub-system of society has to draw a fine line
between two functions.

On the one hand education is a matter of assuring continuity


that is, passing on what is known.

On the other, it is a matter of fostering creativity and


change, that is, propelling learners into the unknown.

Both of these functions relate equally to knowledge and attitudes,


to understanding and behaviour. They are simultaneously
complementary and conflictive. It is always expected to operate in
that manner. They touch the essence of the teaching/learning
process.
We want creativity, but we want it to emerge from what is known
and understood. We want continuity, but we are dismayed when
the result is lacking ability to solve problems or devise ways to
improve the human condition.
Since education has, fortunately, come to be considered as a human
right, the main instrument of delivery of basic education is the
school, and the right to education is, with exceptions, perceived as
a right to schooling. So the tension between continuity and change
is played out in a way in the classroom. Thus it is extended to the
need to simultaneously expand access, guarantee uniform quality,
and leave room for diversity of results.
1. Global challenges
It is broadly agreed that all of us at country, institutional and
individual levels are faced with significant changes in the global
environment. These changes are characterised by four challenges
presented in detail in the following reading material.

Read Chapter 1: Dynamics of Technology in Education, Section:


Challenges and Pressures (pp. 4-6) of the following book.
Reading 1.3

Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002) Technologies for


Education- Potential, Parameters and Prospects.
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_ed_book.pdf

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The section on Challenges and Pressures that you read in the above
material explain some of these tensions within the educational
sector.

Figure 1.3 Challenges and pressures on education


Chapter 1 in the given resource discusses the four challenges in
some details. Let us make an attempt to summarise each of these
sections.
Challenge 1: The exponential function
Knowledge is being generated very quickly and is growing
exponentially. We should be ready to deal with very dramatic
technological advances and new discoveries and knowledge in all
spheres of life. Effective participation in a modern world
influenced so much by technology would require a certain level of
scientific and technological understanding. Rapid generation of
knowledge will have to be accompanied by growing means by
which it is disseminated and communicated through different
media. Most developing countries are behind on both generating
and disseminating knowledge and without the ability to find the
essential knowledge and acquire the skills they will become
disadvantaged in a very short time.
Challenge 2: The virtuous domain
The virtuous domain constitutes those human aspects characterised
by or possessing virtue or moral excellence, righteousness and
uprightness. There is a growing consciousness globally about such
issues as democracy, citizen empowerment, freedom of

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communication, culture, civic participation, gender equity, human


rights, civil justice, peace, and general quality of life. This is
reflected in the global policies such as the Millennium
Development Goals (MDG) of 2000. MDGs are set in terms of
reducing poverty, improving health and education, and protecting
the environment. Global agencies such as the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund, members of the Development
Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), have adopted these goals.
Adopting those goals within the virtuous domain poses several
challenges which include:
a. Instilling in the minds of citizens at all levels the principles
of tolerance, democracy, human rights, responsibility,
accountability, and peaceamong countries, within
countries, and among people.
b. Dealing with massive human suffering due to ravaging
diseases, bad health conditions, lack of understanding of
health issues, and limited use of health services.
c. Achieving social development, conflict resolution, peace,
and better quality of life which are not only formidable, but
they belong to a category with which we do not have much
experience.
Challenge 3: The moving target
There is now a solid recognition among decision makers and
beneficiaries alike that education is crucial for economic
development, human welfare, societal advancement, and
environmental protection. There is a need to deal with the basic
education deficiency gap of millions of children and adults who are
deprived of the basic skill to communicate and participate in the
social and economic life of the community and the nation. The
problem of literacy is not only limited to the poor and marginal
groups. There is a need also to cater to the demand of higher levels
of education, including further education.
The backlog in meeting the target of basic education for all,
coupled with the new demands for education, places a formidable
burden on countries.
Challenge 4: The evasive future
There was a time when planning for education and training was a
straightforward exercise: manpower planners would map out the
needs of different sectors of the economy with reasonable
precision, and project the manpower needs. Then it was fairly easy
for educational planners to take this dependable information and
build on it when devising education and training programmes.

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

Everything is changing faster than the life cycle of an education


programme.
The world is undergoing significant shifts in its economy
characterised by changing patterns of trade and competition and
technological innovations. These changes include the following:
a. Producers of tradable goods and services must now operate
in a global marketplace. Producers will be more
interdependent, more susceptible to external economic
shocks, and more vulnerable to international changes in
demand for types and quality of products and services. Such
conditions also make it hard to predict what skills will be
needed in the future.
b. Industrialised countries are moving away from mass
production toward high-performance systems, and are
compensating for high wages with improved productivity.
Production of manufacturing and high-valued services no
longer filters down naturally from high-income to middle
and low-income countries based on labour costs alone. The
location of manufacturing and high-value service depends
on the producers ability to control quality and manage
flexible information-based systems.
c. As countries become more open to international trade,
production will reflect international, not just national,
demand. This environment, which will be dominated by
private- sector jobs, will place a premium on
entrepreneurship, or the ability of individuals to respond to
market changes through creating their own businesses.
d. Advancements in ICTs have revolutionised the world
economy. Information now can be collected, analysed, and
communicated with increasing speed through dramatic
innovations in information technology, rapid international
communication and transportation capacity, and massive
technological connections across national boundaries.
These facts change the rules of the game for economic success:
a. Countries and business firms no longer can rely on a lowwage edge. An industry will have to develop and mature
technologically and managerially, and it will need to place
greater emphasis on productivity, quality, and flexibility in
production.
b. Workers no longer can be trained just once for life. They
need to acquire flexible training to cope with the changing
nature of their existing tasks and the requirements of new
tasks.

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

c. Learning new skills required by emerging jobs necessitates


a solid scientific and technological foundation as well as an
array of higher-order cognitive and social skills, such as
problem solving, flexibility, agility, resourcefulness,
collaboration and teamwork, how to learn, and
entrepreneurship.

Check your progress 1.1

1. What are the four major challenges that the world community
faces today? Describe each challenge briefly:
a.
b.
c.
d.
2. Education has the responsibility of preserving and
communicating traditional knowledge along with facilitating
creativity in changing existing norms to deal with new
challenges. Do you agree to this statement? Give reasons for
your answer.
Suggested answers:
a. The exponential function: Knowledge is being
generated very quickly and is growing exponentially
and due to this, everyday living itself is becoming
technologically more complex.
b. The virtuous domain: There is growing consciousness
universally about several virtues such as democracy,
citizen empowerment, freedom of communication,
gender equity etc. This has led to the focus on several
development goals other than economic growth such as
universal primary education, gender equity etc.
c. The moving target: The recognition among decision
makers and beneficiaries about education being crucial
for economic development, human welfare, social
advancement and environmental protection. This has led
to the target to increase substantially the education for
children and youth in every developing country.
d. The evasive future: Everything in the society is
changing faster than the life cycle of education
programmes. These include sectoral needs, job
definitions and skill requirements. This has led to a
situation in which it is very difficult or almost
impossible to define future needs very clearly.

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Reflection 1.1

The global community today faces several challenges. We have


discussed these in this section. These challenges have posed several
demands on the education system. These include:
1. Supporting industries to develop and mature technologically
and managerially.
2. Facilitating flexible training according to the changing
nature of tasks.
3. Supporting the acquisition of higher cognitive and social
skills.
How will the educational system respond to these demands?
Reflect on your own and also interact with some of your
colleagues/peers to have collaborative reflection!
2. Implications for Education
You would have reflected on how the education sector will cater to
the demands of the global society today. What would be the
implications of these demands on the curricular content and
transaction? Let us discuss this in this section.

Read Chapter 1-Dynamics of Technology in Education, SectionImplications for Education (Pages: 6-8).of the following book
Reading 1.4

Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002) Technologies for


Education- Potential, Parameters and Prospects.
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_ed_book.pdf

The four dramatic challenges pose serious questions for:


a. Planning education and training.
b. Rethinking in the way education is perceived and managed.
c. Prioritising scale, size, and speed of education development.
These leave education development with six far-reaching
implications:
a. Holistic education structure

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

The workforce of the future will need:


i.

A whole spectrum of knowledge and skills to deal


with technology and the globalisation of knowledge
and

ii.

The need to be agile and flexible, to adjust to


continuous changes, both economic and social.

This means that countries must embrace a holistic approach


to education, investing concurrently in the whole pyramid
of basic education, secondary education, skill training, and
tertiary education. Since each level in the knowledge
structure has its own importance, and one cannot be traded
for another, the question is not whether to provide it, but
how, how fast, and through what mechanisms.
b. Focus on learning acquisition and outcomes
The objectives of education such as teaching how to learn,
problem solving, and synthesising the old with the new, are
indispensable now.
To achieve these results education must be,
i.

Engaging, in the sense that the student is involved in


the learning process and not viewed simply as a
receptacle for knowledge, and

ii.

Authentic, in the sense that what the student is


learning has meaning to him or her as an individual,
a member of society, and a worker in the
marketplace.

c. Education for everyone


Modern economic, social, political, and technological
requirements demand that all members of society have a
minimum level of basic education.
People without the ability to acquire essential knowledge
and skills will live precariously, and society will be
deprived of their contributions. Similarly, selective
opportunities for higher levels of education must reflect
equity concerns so that in times of rapid educational
change, historical disparities by gender, region, or social
grouping are not propagated.

d. Education anytime

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

The need for continuous access to information and


knowledge makes learning life-long and the traditionally
neat distinction between learning and work unreal.
Education thus becomes a continuum, with no marked
beginning and end, which provides opportunities for lifelong learning to help individuals, families, workplaces, and
communities to adapt to economic and societal changes,
and to keep the door open to those who have dropped out
along the way. Learning throughout life is one of the keys
to the twenty-first century.
e. Education anywhere
Life-long learning and training for the workplace cannot be
confined to the traditional classroom. It is unrealistic and
unaffordable to continue to ask learners to come to a
designated place every time they have to engage in learning.
To cope with the diversity, complexity, and changing
demands for education services, delivery must extend
beyond the face to face institutional modality to include
distance education, enrichment mass media, and non-formal
settings.
f. Teacher empowerment
Teaching is one of the most challenging and crucial
professions in the world.
i.

Teachers are critical in facilitating learning and in


making it more efficient and effective, and they will
continue to be in the future.

ii.

They hold childrens hands through the hard


transition from the warmth of the home to the
unfamiliar environment of the school.

iii.

They help to decipher those funny-looking shapes


called letters.

iv.

They bring life to formula and equations; they


prepare the stage for learners to shout, eureka;
they bring the world into the classroom and the
classroom into the world.

v.

They try to make sense of the directives of central


education authorities and implement reforms
formulated by experts and parachuted to them.

Teachers are underpaid and ill-prepared, yet accountable for


successful teaching. They are expected to understand and

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

address the needs of students, parents, administrators,


society, the economy, the past, the present, and the future.
Figure 1.4 shows how teachers are expected to deal with the
different challenges posed by society on the educational system and
the classroom context.

Figure 1.4 Challenges and implications: teachers role


Obviously, teachers cannot be prepared for these unfolding
challenges through training alone. One-off training, no matter how
effective and successful, will not suffice. A new paradigm must
emerge that replaces training with life-long professional
preparedness and development of teachers, along the following
continuum:
a. Initial preparation/training
This provides teachers with a solid foundation of
knowledge; proficiency in pedagogical, social, and
organisation skills; deep understanding of the
teaching/learning policies and materials they will be dealing
with; and broad familiarity with sources of educational
materials and support. It is equally crucial that candidates
have a sophisticated grasp of the continuous exploration,
assessment, and acquisition of new knowledge and
competencies, according to future demands.
b. Structured opportunities for retraining, upgrading, and
acquisition of new knowledge and skills.

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

Many professions have such requirements to renew


certification for practice. It is only logical for the critical
profession of teaching to demand recertification every two
or three years based on evidence of professional upgrading,
and it is equally imperative for education authorities to
ensure that opportunities and facilities for such upgrading
are provided systematically.
c. Continuous support
This is to help teachers as they tackle their day-to-day
responsibilities.

Reflection 1.2

Why should there be a holistic education structure in developing


countries? Should they not be only focussing on basic education for
all?
Discuss with your peers and tutor and reflect on this issue.

Check you progress 1.2

1. What are the major implications of the Challenges put forward


by the societal processes on education?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
2. These days, everyone needs education and hence, education
should be available anytime and anywhere. Do you agree to
this?
Substantiate your answer with reasons.
Suggested answers:
1.
a. Holistic Education Structure needed in every
country/society.
b. Teaching how to learn, solve problem and synthesise
the old with the new are indispensable objectives of
education in todays society.

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

c. Education is needed for each and everyone in the


society.
d. Need for life-long learning and hence education should
be available all through the life of an individual.
e. Education should be available anywhere and hence all
modes of education are required in the society.
f. Teachers should be empowered for facilitating learning
and making it more effective and efficient.

2. Yes, agree
Life-long learning is required for every individual and the
educational provision should call for that.
We discussed six far-reaching implications which caused
formidable challenges for educational planners, strategists and
practitioners.
On one hand, there is great uncertainty about the labour market, an
explosion of new knowledge and new demands on education in
both traditional and unchartered territories.
On the other is the need to provide holistic education including the
entire spectrum of education services to everyone, anywhere,
anytime with a focus on learning acquisition and teacher
empowermentall under conditions of an ever-expanding base of
education clientele and limited physical and human resources.
The following section of this sub-unit will consider the potential of
technology for dealing with these pressures on education.

Chapter 2 of Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002)


Technologies for Education- Potential, Parameters and Prospects.
Additional references

43

http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_ed_book.pdf

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Technology for Education The Potential


The ever growing list of ICTs available for education goes on and
on. Can these technologies help the education strategist face the
challenges in the previous section? Educators have been told many
times before that technologies would remake their world from
filmstrips to radio to television. Is it any different this time when
we have more sophisticated technologies such as computers and
Internet? Will availability of all these change the educational
scenario on its own? Let us examine the potential of technologies
for education in this section.
Read Chapter 1 - Dynamics of Technology in Education, Section:
ICT for Education - The Potential (pp. 8-12) of the following book
Reading 1.5

Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002) Technologies for


Education - Potential, Parameters and Prospects.
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_ed_book.pdf
1. A new paradigm?
The demands and concerns facing the education sector were not
created by ICTs and hence will not be resolved by ICTs either.
It is going to be very difficultif not impossiblefor countries
to meet the objective of effective learning, for all, anywhere,
anytime. Our inability to meet this challenge, however, is selfinflicted because we tend to think of linear scaling, that is,
using the same model of education (a school constrained by
space and time) but more of it and on a larger scale. We need to
think differently and radically.
The education model developed for the Industrial Age cannot
achieve educational empowerment effectively in the
Information Age. With ICT tools, we should be able to evolve
the components of the conventional model into the
corresponding components of the new model.

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

See the short video below and respond to the questions.


A Brief History of Educational Technology
Activity 1.6

http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/technology/video-a-briefhistory-of-tech-in-education-edtech/
1. What are the types of technology that you saw in the video?
2. What are the areas in which these technologies can support the
school processes?
3. Indicate two major uses on the internet for classroom teachinglearning.
a.
b.
4. Can computer be useful for school management? How?
2. Technology or technologies?
Policy makers and practitioners tend to refer to ICTs as one
monolithic entity, in which case they question the potential of
technologyin the singular. Such inquiry is unanswerable
because technologies are very different in their potential and
use. The potential of different technologies depends on what we
use them for. There are at least five hierarchical levels at
which technologies may be used: presentation, demonstration,
drill and practice, interaction, and collaboration (see Table 1.1).
If technology is to be used for representation and demonstration
only, investment in computers and connectivity may not be
justifiable. On the other hand, the potential for interactive and
collaborative learning can best be achieved by networked
computers and connectivity to the World Wide Web.
Use

Text

Audio

Video

Computer Internet

Presentation

Demonstration X

Drill and
practice

Interactive

Collaborative

Table 1.1 Use of technologies

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

Check you progress 1.3

How would you decide which technology/technologies is/are to be


used in a specific educational situation? See the following criteria
and identify which are the relevant criteria (more than one).
a. The technology should be computer and Internet based.
b. The technology should be able to make Audio-Video
presentations.
c. The technology is able to support the learning objective.
d. The technology helps in supporting the new learning
paradigm.
A combination of new and traditional technologies should be
identified.
Suggested answers: c, d.
3. How can ICTs help?
Different ICTs have the potential to contribute to different
facets of educational development and effective learning.
Planning for effective use of ICTs in education necessitates an
understanding of the potential of technologies to meet different
educational objectives and, consequently, to decide which of
these objectives will be pursued. This decision affects the
choice of technologies and the modalities of use.
You would have studied the given reference material. Let us
summarise the different potential of technologies for the
education sector.
Potential
1. Expanding
Educational
Opportunities

2. Promoting

46

Example
The potential of ICTs to reach large
audiences was tapped initially in the late
1800s, when correspondence courses
became an alternative means to provide
education for individuals who could not
attend regular schools due to
geographical, social, or cultural barriers.
Experiments with radio broadcast started
in the early 1900s, and, in 1924, the
British Broadcast Corporation (BBC)
began to air educational programmes.
Since then, radio has been instrumental in
reaching scattered and rural populations.
ICTs promote efficiency of delivery of
educational services by supplementing

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Efficiency
3. Improving
Quality

4. Preparing for
Life-long
Learning

5. Enhancing
Training for the
Workplace

6. Improving
Management

conventional delivery mechanisms.


Teachers can be empowered with highquality educational videos and software.
Teachers are no longer the sole providers
of information but facilitators of the
learning process.Most educational
software comes with a teachers guide
and tutorials, and support can be found
on the Internet. E-mail and Internetrelated collaborative environments
provide teachers with individualised and
immediate help, regardless of their
geographical location.
ICTs are flexible, unconstrained by time
and place, can be used on demand, and
provide just in-time education. They have
the potential to offer synchronous as well
as asynchronous learning opportunities.
But, above all, if well prepared, they can
pack a wealth of expertise and experience
in efficient packages that can be modified
and updated all the time in response to
feedback, new demands and varied
contexts. Possibilities include a wide
range of technologies, including videos,
correspondence, Internet, and e-learning
superstructure.
Network technologies have the potential
to deliver timely and appropriate
knowledge and skills to the right people,
at a suitable time, in a convenient place.
This is what e-training is about. It allows
for personalised, just-in-time, up-to- date,
and user-centred educational activities.
Many educational institutions and
systems have introduced simple
management and statistical information
systems; but this should be only the
beginning. Use of computing and
telecommunications equipment and
services can make schools and school
systems more efficient and cost-effective
to enable principals and superintendents
to streamline operations, monitor
performance, and improve use of
physical and human resources.
At the system-wide level, technologies
provide critical support in domains such

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

as school mapping, automated personnel


and payroll systems, management
information systems, communications,
and information gathering, analysis, and
use.
Technology also can be powerful in
driving and managing new approaches to
learning that involve more student
interaction, more connections among
schools, more collaboration among
teachers and students, and more
involvement of teachers as facilitators.
These needs are especially critical in selfstudy, distance education, and e-learning
settings, and many platforms have been
developed to meet such needs.
If you are not clear on any of the items summarised in the
table above, go back to the reference material in pages 8-12
in Chapter 1 and read again carefully. If you still have any
questions, please discuss with your peers and tutor.
You are a student of open distance education in the Wawasan Open
University.
Activity 1.7

Check you progress 1.4

Identify different technologies used by the university for your


effective learning. Identify at least three of the technologies used
and in what way it helps you in your studies.
What are the six potentials of ICT use in the educational sector
including country-wide institutions, systems and classrooms. Give
an example to illustrate each potential.
Potential

Illustration from educational situations

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Suggested answers:
Potential

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Illustration from educational situations

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Additional references

1. Promoting
efficiency

Virtual interaction such as a Skype


conference is more efficient than face to
face meeting when participants are at distant
places.

2. Improving
quality

ICTs and properly made multimedia


materials such as video can make teaching
more effective and improve the quality of
teaching.

3. Preparing for
life-long
learning

Use of technology-based literacy


programme for adult illustrates.

4. Enhancing
training for
the workplace

An e-learning course being provided to inservice managers who are not able to attend
campus based courses.

5. Expanding
educational
opportunities

Providing self-learning materials and


facilitating interaction through an Internet
based e-learning course for school drop
outs.

6. Improving
management

An educational management information


system improving monitoring and
management of school operations in a
district.

This is the end of section 2 of this sub-unit where we studied the


areas in which technology can be utilised to support school
processes. This was fundamentally a renewed concern following
the realisation that the education model developed for the Industrial
Age cannot be effectively adopted in the Information Age. In the
following section, we will look into some of the parameters
necessary for the potential of ICT to be realised in knowledge
dissemination, effective learning and training and efficient
educational services.
1. VIDEO on Sir Ken Robinson Changing Education
Paradigms:
http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/elearning/video-sir-kenrobinson-changing-education-paradigms-rsanimate/ (11m41s)
2. Refer to different chapters of the following book for further
detailed understanding about the potential of ICTs for
education.
Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler, Technologies for
Education- Potential, Parameters and Prospects, 2002

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_ed_book.p
df

Technology for Education The Parameters


If ICTs possess all the potentials cited above, to improve the
teaching/learning process significantly and revolutionise the
education enterprise in the same manner they revolutionised
business and entertainment, why have we not seen these
improvements? If technologies are the solution they claim to be,
then what or where is the problem?
1. Parameters

In attempting to answer the above questions, it is essential to make


a distinction between potential and effectiveness. No ICT
potential is realised automaticallynot in education, business, or
entertainment. Many computerised businesses are managed badly
and go bankrupt, and many movies are a complete failure. Placing
a radio and TV in every school, putting a computer in every
classroom, and wiring every building to the Internet will not bring
effective changes automatically. The problem is not strictly
technological. It is educational and contextual; constraints must be
alleviated and conditions met. Experience points to seven
parameters necessary for the potentials of ICTs to be realised in
knowledge dissemination, effective learning and training, and
efficient educational services.
Let us review the seven parameters given in the following reading.
Read Chapter 1: Dynamics of Technology in Education-Section:
ICT in Education- The Parameters (Pages 12-16) of the following
book:
Reading 1.5

Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002) Technologies for


Education- Potential, Parameters and Prospects.
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_ed_book.pdf
Parameter 1: Educational Policy
Technology is only a tool: no technology can fix a bad educational
philosophy or compensate for bad practice. In fact, if we are going
in the wrong direction, technology will get us there faster.
Likewise, distance learning is not about distance; it is about
learning. Just as we can have bad education face to face, we can
have bad education at a distance. Therefore, educational choices
have to be made first in terms of objectives, methodologies, and

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

roles of teachers and students before decisions can be made about


the appropriate technologies.
For instance, if teaching is demonstrating and telling, and if
learning is memorising and reciting, using learning technologies
and multimedia programmes for this purpose will not have the
desired impact. Also, if students are not asked to search and work
collaboratively, and if teachers function independently, investment
in connectivity will not be cost-effective. The effectiveness of
different levels of sophistication of use of ICTs depends to a large
extent on the role of learners and teachers as practised in the
educational process; see Figure 1.5.

Figure 1.5 Use of ICTs for different Roles of Teachers and


Learners (Source: Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (2002),
pg. 13.)

Parameter 2: Approach
Classrooms are constrained environments, and conventional
instructional materials are static. If technology-enhanced education
programmes are taped classrooms, digital texts, and PowerPoint
transparencies, then we are missing out on the tremendous potential
of technologies that can animate, simulate, capture reality, add
movement to static concepts, and extend our touch to the whole
universe. Movies and TV programmes are not replicas of packaged
theatres; they tell the same story in a more dramatic and
multifaceted manner. With imagination and appropriate tools, we
can make learning more effective.
Technology can be used in education in two different ways: one as
an add-on to make the current model of education more efficient,

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

more equitable, and cheaper, and two, by integrating technology


into the entire education system to realise structural rethinking and
reengineering. It is the difference between a marginal addition and
a radical systemic change. It is in the second scenario that
technology can provide the greatest impact.
Parameter 3: Infrastructure
There is a temptation these days to equate technology with
computers and the Internet. As pointed out earlier, there is still an
important place for other technologies, depending on how they will
be used. The application of each technology falls over a wide
spectrum, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. It is
important, therefore, to identify the most appropriate, costeffective, and sustainable technology and level of application for
the different educational objectives. Then the whole prerequisite
hardware infrastructure needs to be in place with the supporting
elements, such as electricity, maintenance, and technical services.
In the case of computer infrastructure, questions about what is
appropriate are more complicated.
Parameter 4: Contentware
Contentware is one of the most forgotten areas, but evidently the
most crucial component. Introducing TVs, radios, computers, and
connectivity into schools without sufficient curriculum-related
contentware is like building roads but without making cars
available, or buying a CD player at home when there are no CDs.
Development of content software that is integral to the
teaching/learning process is a must. The question of whether to
acquire or create may be answered in different ways for different
available materials and different instructional units. Ideally, the aim
should be to:
1. Acquire, as is, when suitable and cost-effective.
2. Acquire and adapt when not exactly suitable but cost
effective.
3. Create when no suitable or cost-effective materials are
available.

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

Parameter 5: Committed and Trained Personnel


People involved in integrating technologies into the
teaching/learning process have to be convinced of the value of the
technologies, comfortable with them, and skilled in using them.
Therefore, orientation and training for all concerned staff in the
strategic, technical, and pedagogical dimensions of the process is a
necessary condition for success.

Parameter 6: Financial Resources


As mentioned earlier, acquiring the technologies themselves, no
matter how difficult or expensive, may be the easiest and cheapest
element in a series of elements that ultimately could make these
technologies sustainable or beneficial. Computers, in particular,
need highly skilled and costly maintenance to operate most of the
time. Yet, in almost all cases, schools invest in buying and
networking computers but do not budget sufficiently for their
maintenance and technical support. It is important, therefore, to
plan and budget for the total cost of ownership (TCO). Fourteen
elements contributing to TCO include:
1. Acquisition of hardware and software.
2. Installation and configuration.
3. Connectivity.
4. Maintenance.
5. Support, including supplies, utilities, and computer training.
6. Retro-fitting of physical facilities.
7. Replacement costs (in five to seven years).

Parameter 7: Integration
The success of ICTs in education depends on how they are
introduced into the system. Here are some strategic options:
1. ICTs may be used as an additional layer of educational
input, which leaves the current system intact but adds
hardware and software for enrichment. The problem here is
that both students and teachers may not take the additional

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

materials seriously or know how to relate them to the


current programme. Also, this may not realise the full
potential of, and, consequently, returns from, ICTs.
2. ICTs may be treated as an integral part of the existing
instructional system. Under this option, the process involves
articulating learning objectives, translating
objectives/standards into teaching/learning activities,
producing multimedia curricular materials, training staff,
establishing a distributive communication network,
assessing learning achievement, and evaluating the
programme. Here, ICTs are not a substitute for the
classroom setting; rather, they enhance the role of the
teacher as a facilitator and the role of the student as a
learner.
3. ICTs may be introduced through a parallel system such as
distance education or e-learning. This option may be used in
situations where schools are not available or cannot be
provided, or where individuals cannot enrol in regular
schools because of lack of availability or for personal
reasons, as in the case of working youth and adults.
From an instructional architecture perspective, technology
enhanced materials may be designed in one of three ways:
1. They can be enrichment materials that may be used in
addition to existing materials at the discretion of the teacher
or learner, in the same manner as a library book is used.
2. They can be a structured multimedia programme that covers
a particular coursesimilar to a textbook-plus that is
followed by all students in all schools in the same way.
Many publishers have evolved their textbooks into
packages of printed (or digital) text plus related slides,
videos, audiotapes, and CDs.
3. They can be multimedia modules that are constructed in a
flexible way so as to serve as building blocks of different
curricula and teaching practices. Here, each module is
broken down into educational sub-objectives to be met by
specific technologies, such as video, animation, simulation,
real-life exploration, etc. Not only can the modules be put
together in different ways, the sub-modules can be
reconfigured to form different versions suitable for different
teaching styles and learning needs.

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Reflection 1.3

Media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not


influence achievement any more than the truck that delivers our
groceries causes changes in our nutrition. Richard Clarke (1983,
445).
Do you agree to this statement? Reflect on this on your own and
also discuss with your peers and tutor.
Refer to different chapters of the following book for further
detailed understanding about the potential of ICTs for education

Additional references

Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler, Technologies for


Education- Potential, Parameters and Prospects, 2002
http://www.ictinedtoolkit.org/usere/library/tech_for_ed_book.pdf

Summary
Clearly, the recent rapid technological development has played a
critical role in the delivery and practice of education in general. In
this connection, we have studied the various challenges in using
educational technology and the implications associated with the use
of these educational technologies. Subsequently, we discussed the
various potentials of employing ICT in education with focus on,
among some, improving quality of education and as preparation to
life-long learning. Finally, we identified and described the various
parameters for effective use of technology in educational
institutions in which we attempted to make a distinction between
potential and effectiveness of educational technology.

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Self-test 1.2
The seven parameters which are required for the full potential of
ICTs to be realised in supporting education are given in Column A.
Statements pertaining to the Parameters are given in Column B.
COLUMN-A

COLUMN-B

Parameter

Statements related to
Parameters

1. Educational
Policy

a. Acquisition of
hardware and software

2. Approach

b. Availability of
committed and skilled
teachers

3. Infrastructure

c. A new philosophy of
education to be
implemented

4. Contentware

d. Considering available
funding for the project

5. Trained
Personnel

e. Nature of introducing
technology to the
system

6. Financial
Resources

f. Developing a videoscript for production

7. Integration

g. Innovative teaching
methodology adopted

Suggested answers:
1. c; 2. g; 3. a; 4. f; 5. b; 6. d; 7. e.
_____________________________________

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1.3 Implications for Learning with Technologies


Introduction
Those teachers here in Malaysia and elsewhere around the world
who have successfully incorporated computer and related
technologies into the teaching and learning process seemed to
consider that technologies do add significant value to their teaching
and their students learning when it is integrated thoughtfully, with
strong commitment and support from school administrators at all
levels. Without this thoughtful integration and strong
commitment and support from administration at all levels, it is
unlikely that computers to support teaching and learning can
achieve the full potential to improve either of the tasks.
You may be one of those teachers who have been successful and if
so this lesson should reinforce your experience, and if you have not
been as successful, I hope, this lesson will identify what ought to be
revised in your practice to make your attempts successful.
The lesson is about how the application of computers in education
has its foundations solidly based upon applying of learning
theories and an understanding of cognition. We will progress
through the lesson by first refreshing our knowledge of cognition;
second we will consider the theories that have been developed in
situating learning within that understanding and third we shall
look at the way instructional methods and technologies have
evolved over the years and finally we shall consider how the arrival
of the computing technologies has helped educators and learners
alike to benefit from these technologies.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Describe how the application of computer technologies is based
on our understanding of learning theories.
2. Describe the three major learning theories and the way in which
they are influencing our teaching practices.
The lesson will look at five aspects, how and where computing
technologies impact on learning, its design and delivery. We have
taken this particular approach based on Chapter 13 of the book
Education for an Information Age by Poole et al, which reflects on

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these issues in four discrete sections. These are listed in the table
below. We have added a fifth section using a Malaysian case
study.
Title

Resources

Computers,
Learning
Theory and
Cognitive
Development

Text:
Poole Chapter 13 pp. 330-333
http://mason.gmu.edu/~wwarrick/Portfolio/Prod
ucts/constructivism.html
Multimedia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq9XIrNGgo
Q&feature=related (9m54s)

Individualise
d Learning

Text:

Caveats and
Computers

Text:

Poole Chapter 13 pp. 334 -339

Poole Chapter 13 pp. 340 342


Multimedia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPJQgFIUGu
o (2m43s)

Ten Pillars
for success

Text:

Malaysian
Case Study
An Analysis

Text:

Poole Chapter 13 pp. 342 -348

http://www.ijcir.org/volume2number2/article3.pdf

We shall work with Chapter 13 throughout this lesson the


overview that Dr. Poole presents will be supported by additional
material throughout this section. The videos and audios used are an
essential part of your curriculum they are there to both enrich and
inform. Enjoy the section.

Computers, Learning Theory and Cognitive Development


The first commercial computer to come into use was in 1951 when
the Univac computer was introduced into the American market by a
company called Remington Rand. The buyer was the United States

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Census Bureau. These machines were big, expensive and required


much technical help to operate. Since then as we have read in both
sub-unit 1.1 and 1.2, much has happened and computers have
become essential appliances for everyday life. Their value to
education has been enormous. Education with the assistance of
technology or educational technology has become a huge industry.
Some would claim that computers may be the most convenient
support to education our world has ever seen. Do you agree?
As computers become an integral part of the teaching and learning
environment, it is useful for those who use these digital appliances
to know the theoretical basis to support the belief that computers
support and assist learning. In this section of the module we will
consider the theories that underpin the promotion of computers as
teaching and learning tools. Remember one of the questions that
Dr. Poole raised in Chapter 13 of his book was whether the
application of computers in the classroom was based on sound
pedagogical theories. He went on to say that by and large it was
based on learning theories that fall under three categories. These
are behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism.
Behaviourism focuses only on the objectively observable aspects of
learning.
Cognitive theories look beyond behaviour to explain brain-based
learning.
And constructivism views learning as a process in which the learner
actively constructs or builds new ideas or concepts.
In Unit 2 you will be considering how learning theories have
influenced the ways in which instruction is developed using
technologies.

Behaviourism
The theory on behaviourism owes its origins to behaviourists like
Ivan Pavlov, John Watson and Skinner. It describes a
developmental theory that measures observable behaviours
produced by a learners response to stimuli. Such responses to
stimuli can be reinforced with positive or negative feedback to
condition desired behaviours. Some of you may be familiar with
the studies by Pavlov and the salivating dog. Punishment is
sometimes used in eliminating or reducing incorrect actions,
followed by clarifying desired actions. Educational effects of
behaviourism are key in developing basic skills and foundations of
understanding in all subject areas and in classroom management.
According to behaviourism, knowing is giving the correct response
when exposed to a particular stimulus. The behaviourist is not
concerned with how or why knowledge is obtained, but rather if the
correct response is given. There are some who would claim that

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Learning is defined as nothing more than the acquisition of new


behaviour [Yu Ching Chen], learning therefore is a passive
process and learners need not take an active part in their education.
In other words, learners use low level processing skills to
understand material and the material is often isolated from realworld contexts or situations. Typical classroom instruction
consistent with the behaviourist theory includes; classroom
management, rote memorisation, and drill and practice.
In practical ways applying the behaviourist approach manifests
itself in a number of ways. A good example of highlighting the
behaviourist approach to teaching is rote memorisation (do you
remember your maths classes in primary school memorising the
multiplication tables?). Another example is in teaching the
computer software Math Blaster using drill and practice. This
approach is used in teaching basic skills using both positive and
negative reinforcements.
Summarise your understanding of Behaviourism in the table
below:
Activity 1.8

What is learning?

What is the learning What is the role of


process?
the teacher?

Suggested answers:
What is learning?

What is the learning What is the role of


process?
the teacher?

Learning is defined
as a change in
behaviour or the
probability of a
certain behaviour
occurring under
certain
circumstances.

Learning takes
place when a
stimulus elicits as
specific response.
Students learn that a
specific response
should follow a
certain stimulus.
This response is
reinforced by the
consequence that
follows the
behaviour.

The role of the


teacher is to
determine the
desired behaviour
and to arrange the
external
contingencies
which will reinforce
the desired
behaviour

Cognitivism
Theories around cognitivism owe their origins to a number of
scholars. Leaders among them include Jean Piaget and Noam
Chomsky, Wikipedia describes the terms as, thinking, knowing,
remembering, judging and problem-solving abilities of humans.

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Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology,


philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. Usage of the term
varies in different disciplines; for example in psychology and
cognitive science, it usually refers to an information processing
view of an individual's psychological functions. It is also used in a
branch of social psychology called social cognition to explain
attitudes, attribution and groups dynamics.7
Cognition, or cognitive processes, can be natural or artificial,
conscious or unconscious. These processes are analysed from
different perspectives within different contexts, notably in the
fields of linguistics, anaesthesia, neurology, psychology,
philosophy, anthropology, systemics, computer science and creed.
Within psychology or philosophy, the concept of cognition is
closely related to abstract concepts such as mind and intelligence.
Cognition is used to refer to the mental functions, mental processes
(thoughts) and states of intelligent entities (humans, human
organisations, highly autonomous machines and artificial
intelligences).8 Both sociologists and psychologists study cognitive
development in human beings and among them Jean Piaget the
Swiss development psychologists theory on cognitive
development has influenced educationists especially in their study
of how children (or for that matter adults) learn.
The cognitive learning theory places emphasis on understanding
thought processes, and how the mind processes and stores
information. According to this theory, humans learn by organising
information, and finding the connection between existing and new
information. Simply put, the cognitive learning theory focuses on
how children and adults process information and how the way they
think affects their behaviour. The cognitive theory began to gain
traction when psychologists started thinking differently about
behaviourism. Psychologists believed that behaviourism focused
too much on single events and stimuli. Instead, they began to focus
on the process of learning. Psychologists started to believe that
human actions were in direct relation to their thoughts. This shift
marked the change from looking at a persons environment to their
cognition.
Vygotsky while being a cognitivist believed that learning is shaped
by social influence and that our culture helps shape our
cognition. In other words, social and cultural influences are key
7

Extracted from Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognition

Extracted from Answers.com


athttp://www.answers.com/topic/cognition#ixzz1QLXfr2ra on 1 July

2011

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components to development. Vygotsky believed one's development


is the result of one's culture. He also thought that learning happens
before development can occur. According to Vygotsky, children
learn specifically because of the history and symbolism represented
in their cultures. He considered cognitive development a direct
result from the input a child receives from others.
Piaget's Cognitive Development
Piaget's theory intends to explain the following phenomena:
1. What are the psychological states that children pass through
at different points in their development?
2. What are the mechanisms by which they pass from one state
to another? How do changes in children's thinking occur?
Piaget (1970) proposed that children progress through an invariant
sequence of four stages: sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete
operational and formal operational. Those stages are not arbitrary,
but are assumed to reflect qualitative differences in children's
cognitive abilities. Being controlled by the logical structures in the
different developmental stages, learners cannot be taught key
cognitive tasks if they have not reached a particular stage of
development.

Also, Piaget (1985) suggested that learning process is iterative, in


which new information is shaped to fit with the learner's existing
knowledge, and existing knowledge is itself modified to
accommodate the new information. The major concepts in this
cognitive process include:
1.

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Assimilation: it occurs when a child perceives new objects or


events in terms of existing schemes or operations. Children and
adults tend to apply any mental structure that is available to
assimilate a new event, and they will actively seek to use a
newly acquired structure. This is a process of fitting new
information into existing cognitive structures.

EED502/05 ICT in Education


2.

Accommodation: it has occurred when existing schemes or


operations must be modified to account for a new experience.
This is a process of modifying existing cognitive structures
based upon new information.

3.

Equilibration: it is the master developmental process,


encompassing both assimilation and accommodation. Anomalies
of experience create a state of disequilibrium which can be only
resolved when a more adaptive, more sophisticated mode of
thought is adopted.

Piaget's conception of equilibration (1985) implied a dynamic


construction process of human cognitive structure. There is no
structure apart from construction because the being of structure
consists in their coming to be, that is, their being 'under
construction.
Summarise your understanding of Cognitivism in the table below:
What is learning?
Activity 1.9

What is the learning What is the role of


process?
the teacher?

Suggested answers:

63

What is learning?

What is the learning What is the role of


process?
the teacher?

Learning is defined
as a change in the
knowledge that is
stored in our
memory.

Learning takes
place when
information is
received into the
mind and then
processed to make
sense of it.
Learning new
information is made
possible by
connecting it to
existing information
and then storing it
so it can be
retrieved later.

The role of the


teacher is to present
new information in
a way that helps the
learner attend to,
encode and retrieve
information. The
teacher should
organise
information and
help students link it
to existing
information.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Constructivism
Constructivism refers to, the philosophical belief that people
construct their own understanding of reality.9 Piaget is often
known as the original constructivist though the roots of the theory
go way back to the early 1700s. The theory is based on
observations on how people learn. The thesis is that people learn
from observing how things are and happen, relate it to earlier
experience and or knowledge and draw inferences about those new
observations. This way, new knowledge is gained. In other words
people construct their own knowledge and understanding of the
world sometimes arising out of this new knowledge, people can
either add on to their previous knowledge or even discard it as
irrelevant. This process requires us to ask questions, explore, and
assess what we know.
Many teachers who work in a distance teaching environment
construct their learning materials based on constructivist theories
especially when they are working adult learners. The belief is that it
enriches the learning experience in many different ways. In the
classroom, the constructivists view of learning can point towards a
number of different teaching practices. In the most general sense, it
usually means encouraging students to use active techniques
(experiments, real-world problem solving) to create more
knowledge and then to reflect on and talk about what they are
doing and how their understanding is changing. The teacher makes
sure she understands the students' pre-existing conceptions, and
guides the activity to address them and then build on them.
Constructivist teachers encourage students to constantly assess how
the activity is helping them gain understanding. By questioning
themselves and their strategies, students in the constructivist
classroom ideally become expert learners. This gives them everbroadening tools to keep learning. With a well-planned classroom
environment, the students learn HOW TO LEARN.
Summarise your understanding of Cognitivism in the table below:
What is learning?
Activity 1.10

What is the learning What is the role of


process?
the teacher?

Suggested answers:

Oxford, R. (1997). "Constructivism: Shape-Shifting, Substance, and


Teacher Education." Peabody Journal of Education 72(1): 35-66.

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What is learning?

What is the learning What is the role of


process?
the teacher?

Learning is defined
as a change in the
meaning of events
that we construct
from our
experiences.

Learning takes
place when
individuals
construct
knowledge by
thinking about and
interpreting their
experiences. They
need to be able to
make and test
hypotheses and
look for
generalisations.

The role of the


teacher is to provide
complex questions
and to create a
collaborative,
problem-solving
environment where
students are free to
make discoveries
and to construct
meaning from these
discoveries.

Watch the Video on the Theories of Learning and discuss the


following statements with your course mates through
WawasanLearn.
Activity 1.11

Reading 1.6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq9XIrNGgoQ
1.

Learning happens as a result of a stimulus.

2.

Change in behaviour.

3.

Linkage to prior knowledge.

You will find reading the two research articles, the first on
Constructivism: Pre-historical to Post modern by W. Warwick and
the second on Theories of Learning and Computer-Mediated
Instructional Technologies in Education Media International by
David Hung of some considerable value and interest.
David Huangs PDF

Individualised Learning
In David Hungs article that you [may have] read in the last
section, Dr. Hung describes how computer mediated technologies

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can be integrated in relation to the learning theories. He then


proposed a framework for this integration in different instructional
contexts. He expresses the view that human cognition is complex
and there is a role for each one of the three theories of learning [do
you remember what these theories are?]. In this section we will
look at what many advocates, especially of distance learning,
consider a most critical value of the technologies i.e applying the
theories of learning in the context of individualised learning. In this
section we will not focus on distance education but consider the
role of computing technologies in individualised learning,
especially in the context of exceptional children whether they are
extraordinarily gifted or differently-abled. In both cases
individualised learning helps learners progress at a rate that is most
suited to their needs.
Individualised learning is a philosophical approach to the teaching
and learning process. It involves the measuring of the cognitive
maturity of a student in any subject and customising content and
delivery strategies to suit that individual. You will note that in
some aspects the progression made through individualised
instruction resonates with the theory of constructivism which states
that the student should build his or her learning and knowledge.
Most of us are familiar with mass instruction, that is, instruction
where contents, materials and pace of learning are the same for all
students in a classroom. In individualised instruction the exact
opposite takes place here the organisation of content,
instructional technology (such as materials) and pace of learning
are based upon the abilities and interests of each individual learner.
Individualised instruction does not require a one-to-one
student/teacher ratio. It relies upon well-designed instructional
materials whether audio, video, multimedia, computer-assisted
instruction (CAI), or simply a good textbook and an environment
for the learner to work through the subject. Hence, learners would be
able to learn at their own pace. In this way, individualised instruction
is like direct instruction, which also places greater reliance upon
carefully prepared instructional materials and explicitly prepared
instructional sequences. There are some distinct advantages in
customising the learning experience to the individual. For example:
1. This allows each student to move at his or her own pace
through a level of subject matter utilising a
teaching/learning strategy that permits optimum progress.
2. Students are not penalised for being slow or fast in their
progress as each learner is able to move to suit their
circumstance.
3. Learners are not in competition with their peers- they are
basically competing with themselves.
4. There is an improved chance of retention of learning.

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5. The teacher takes on the role of the mentor and is able to


assist learners at specific points of difficulty or challenge.
6. Learners accept personal responsibility for their learning.
7. Students can monitor their progress and thus are able to
make personal judgments on where to focus more as well as
to extend their intellectual curiosity beyond the lesson.
Experience seems to indicate that individualised instruction, using
technological tools may not be appropriate at the primary school
level. Older children with a greater degree of discipline may be
better suited to work independently. It is very unlikely that even at
the secondary school level, learners may not have the basic
knowledge and skills to direct most of their own curriculum. They
must at least be partially directed by schools and teachers. Not all
secondary school children exhibit the necessary traits to
successfully learn on their own, namely:
1.

assume some responsibility for their learning.

2.

become independent learners.

3.

work at their own pace.

4.

exercise judgment over the range of resources available.

5.

make choices.

6.

evaluate their own work.

Good teachers have always known the above. They also know the
value of treating their students as unique individuals. The ultimate
aim for these teachers is that learners experiencing individualised
instruction should and could achieve the same levels of
achievements as those experiencing mass instruction.

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Name two differences between mass instruction and individualised


instruction.
Activity 1.12

Mass Instruction

Individualised Instruction

1.

1.

2.

2.

Suggested answers:
Mass Instruction

Individualised Instruction

1. Time constant

1. Time variable

2. Achievement variable

2. Achievement constant

Instances for Using Individualised instruction


If individual instruction is such a powerful tool why is it not
applied on a much bigger scale than it currently is? This is a
question that many quite frequently ask. The answer to the
question cuts across many issues. For instance it is an economic
issue because individualising instruction, even with the help of
using technological tools, is expensive and in this age of mass,
universal and Education for All very few governments have the
financial capacity to support such a venture. It is also a labour
issue because teachers will be required to design and create
learning materials and they would also be required to monitor and
maintain the progress of individuals. Both of these require an
enormous amount of time. It is an administrative issue as record
keeping becomes lengthy and involved, and finally it is a political
issue as parents demand more and more from the system asking for
more effort to be made to make students competent individual
learners.
But despite these challenges, there are some options that
educational systems can consider in making available opportunities
for individualised instruction. These include:
1. Behaviour therapy: The therapy provided to children who may
be showing atypical patterns of behaviour in social and learning
contexts. Behaviour modification of such a child academically
cannot be achieved in all cases. In cases where this is
achievable, teachers must have a clear understanding of the

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potential and limitations of such strategies when attempting


individualised teaching. The learning environment must be one
in which the child feels engaged in the tasks. This is a longterm strategy and would require besides the teacher, other
therapists as well.
2. Contracting: This device is used when in individualised
learning environments when a learner and the teacher enter into
a contract, spelling out exactly what is to be achieved, within
say, a time period and the level of the learning outcome. It is
structured in the same way as any other contract between the
two parties entering into a contract. The contracting strategy is
a stepping stone into the individualised learning process. While
the student is expected to follow through the lesson progressing
over time, the teacher is expected to constantly monitor through
meetings and help the learner find the necessary resources,
guide him/her through difficult portions of the syllabus and
record progress of achievements.
3. Programmed Instruction: It takes many forms and with the
increasing sophistication of todays technologies these are
becoming more interesting, challenging and complex.
Programmed learning can be teacher-made or commercially
obtained. Some are linear, which means that there is a prearranged order to the learning which is normally designed in
small chunks or steps. Learners successfully complete one step
at a time before progressing to the next. There are programmes
that are nonlinear as well here the learner is literally on a
journey, branching as he/she completes one frame and
depending on the response he/she makes, is presented the next
frame.
4. Learning Packages: These are packages of self-contained
learning materials put together for teaching a single subject or
topic. These are structured for individual use available to be
utilised flexibly by the learner in any environment he or she
chooses. Distance teaching institutions use this method
extensively just like Wawasan Open University. With the
availability of broader bandwidth and easy accessibility to the
WWW more and more use of the Internet is now being utilised
to deliver these packages.
5. Mulitigrade Classrooms: Many schools especially in poor
rural locations suffer from a shortage of teachers, and
classrooms hold children studying at different grades. Under
these circumstances learning packages under the supervision of
a trained teacher in a classroom can provide immense benefits.

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Activity 1.13

Reading 1.7

Engage in an online dialogue with your course mates on the value


individualised learning and what it can bring to a Malaysian
classroom of mixed ability children. What do you think will be the
demand on the teachers, the technologies and the school
administration? Are policy makers, in your view, ready to consider
giving teachers sufficient autonomy to experiment with innovations
in the classroom?

May I suggest you now read Chapter 13 of Dr. Pooles book pages
334 to 339 to consider the broader context of individualised
instruction before we move to the next section on what is required
to succeed in using technologies in the classroom.

Caveats and Computers


The amount of new information that is being made available to
people today is phenomenal; while a lot of this information is old,
equally a lot of it is also very current. These add to our knowledge
continuously. School curriculum and teachers should benefit from
the free access to these new knowledge through the Internet and the
WWW. Throughout this course you will be continuously informed
of the value of the computers in the teaching and learning
environment. But technologies do not always bring good- at times
they can also bring evil. In Unit 1.1 we looked at some of the
threats from ICTs to society at large. In this section I wish to draw
your attention to some of the disadvantages that computers present
when used in the school environment.
The American social observer, Neil Postman in his book The End
of Education drew the attention of educators enamoured with
technologies to ten principles that require thought when they are
introduced into an environment. I wish to draw your attention to
five that are of special interest to us. These are:
1. All technological change is a Faustian bargain. For every
advantage a new technology offers, there is always a
corresponding disadvantage.
2. The advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are
never distributed evenly among the population. This means
that every new technology benefits some and harms others.
3. Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A
new technology does not merely add something; it changes
everything.

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4. Because of the symbolic forms in which information is


encoded, different technologies have different intellectual
and emotional biases.
5. Because of their technical and economic structure, different
technologies have different content biases.

Activity 1.14

Reflect on the above five statements. Have a dialogue with your


course mates (and tutor) on WawasanLearn on the wisdom or
otherwise that is contained in these statements. Neil Postman made
these observations in 1996 are these still valid in todays
technological environment?
Even as we speak enthusiastically about computers in the service of
education, it is useful for us to be also cautious about some of the
challenges that come with the territory. Between pages 340 and 342
of Chapter 13 Dr. Poole highlights some of these challenges or
caveats as he calls them. Let us consider this further.
There is a belief among many in our country that when dealing
with childrens intellectual developments and personal
achievements, those with computers at home or those using a
computer at school do better. Some researchers argue against this.
They say real creativity may dwell only in ill-defined environments
which create an incentive for it. Logic-symbolic thinking forced by
computers may hamper other ways of understanding and assessing
the surrounding world. Content-rich educational materials deprive
persons of the necessity to imagine themselves. Another concern
that is also being expressed, not so much about intellectual
competencies but emotional and associated psychological
development is the fear that childhood disappears at a much
faster rate in a computer-rich upbringing and this could lead to still
unknown emotional difficulties in adulthood. Questions are also
being raised about the volume of information being presented to
young people without proper adult guidance. Libertarians will
argue that the freedom to information is an inherent right of all
individuals. But is it really? Should not children and teenagers be
taught some basic values focusing on the social values of their
societies and cultures before they are bombarded with ideologies
contrary to their communities? Is a young person of 10 or 12 years
old able to understand that values such as freedom and rights are
worth fighting for after reviewing pictures of violent suppression of
freedom marches and street demonstrations in many of our
countries? These are serious questions and certainly a dilemma for
educators and policy makers. There are no easy answers.
Besides philosophical debates on the subject there are also some
serious practical challenges that require consideration. See the

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video in the next activity where a young teacher describes what she
sees as some disadvantages in pushing fast computers in
classrooms.
Watch the video of a young voice on disadvantages of computers in
the classroom.
Multimedia 1.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPJQgFIUGuo(Accessed 13
February 2011)

Ten pillars for success


By the end of 2020 most if not all Malaysian schools will be rich in
technologies. I am not sure if every Malaysian home or child will
have a computer and access to the Internet but it is likely that most
urban homes and urban schools will have these facilities. Having
the technology is one thing, but making it works for the enrichment
of the teaching and learning environment is another. In Chapter 13
pages 342-348 Dr. Poole draws our attention to ten critical factors
that can ensure successful integration of technology in the school or
classroom. These are:
1. Leadership must provide active and committed support
technology programmes can only succeed if the State
Departments of Education and the school administration are
behind them fully.
2. Selling is better than tellingeveryone needs to buy in to the
change that technology brings. Forcing the use of technology
on teachers is counterproductive; inducting them and
influencing them on the benefits and sharing with them the
weaknesses are more productive.
3. Invest in, and train, a core of teacher-technologists training,
training and more training are essential if teachers are going to
be confident in using these new tools.
4. Recognise that technological change is fastkeeping up-todate is challenging and essential. Again, investing time in
continuous professional updating at the school level is required.
5. All teachers must receive on-going training.
6. All teachers must receive technical supportideally on-site and
on demand how often have you experienced breakdowns of
appliances, connections and hacking?. Having handy,
competent technicians to trouble shoot is necessary to ensure
success.

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7. Use it or lose it. Teachers must plan on integrating technologies


in order to maintain currency and fluency in its application.
8. Parents and students must be actively involved in the
evolutionary process.
9. There must be planned and systematic financial investment in
technology integrated teaching and learning.
10. Recognise that technology is for all and that it involves all in
the process of life-long learning.
The above list of ten critical factors mostly addresses
administrators. But technologies are tools. Just like any other tool
for it to work to its maximum potential those using the tool must be
committed and competent. Effective classroom management
strategies for technology require teachers to undertake the
following:
1. Provide students with clear guidelines on school policies and
procedures in working with technology in the classroom.
2. Teachers need to establish norms for student behaviour when
using equipment to complete an assignment. It helps to
anticipate possible snafus and decide how they will be
handled. Every teacher should notice a problem before it
escalates.
3. It is a clever strategy to rehearse the computer lesson plan
before going to class. This would help a teacher think ahead
and calculate how long the lesson will take, what skills students
will need before the lesson, and foresee problems.
4. Teachers should plan effective learning activities and easy to
follow instructions to help students gain the most out of their
computer work.
5. Teachers must develop good communication skills to keep all
stakeholders (students, administrators, parents) informed of
developments and progress and share with them ideas and
proposed classroom activities leading to successful learning
experiences with technology and classroom management.

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Activity 1.15

For this activity please read an article titled The 361 Model for
Transforming Teaching and Learning with Technology by D. A.
Trinkle who describes the steps and strategies adopted by the
DePauw University in North America. Follow this by creating a
three-column table and list out on column 1 the ten critical factors
of Poole, in column 2 list out against each of the Pooles ten the
strategy adopted by DePauw and in the third column list what is
being done in your school.
Pooles 10 critical
factors

DePauws strategy

My schools
approach

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Malaysian Case Studies An Analysis


The Malaysian Government has been progressive in wanting to
introduce a greater use of computers in the classroom. In sub unit 1
you would have read the National ICT Strategy 2020 Roadmap and
noted that ICT in education was given prominence. Since the
launch of the campaign the country has invested resources in
building Smart Schools, equipping computers in schools, providing
computers to teachers and more lately to a wider segment of the
nations population as well as training or re-training teachers to a
certain extent. In a number of studies undertaken by staff in our
universities of computer usage in Malaysian classrooms the picture
that is emerging shows among other things:
1. That computer use in classrooms has been increasing from low
to moderate over the last decade. The arrival of the Smart

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Schools initiative certainly seemed to have brought home the


value of computers in classroom beyond the Smart Schools
themselves.
2. There is clearly an urbanrural divide in both comfort levels
and frequency of computer use.
3. Teachers, age, gender, attitude, confidence, familiarity, prior
experience with computers all seem to determine the usage
patterns in classrooms.
4. Actual usage of computers in schools is also influenced by the
attitudes as well as support from both the state as well as school
level administrators. Interest in and support for greater
application of technology especially in teaching by
administrators goes a long way in cultivating and spreading the
use of computers.
5. Inadequate supply of computers in classrooms clearly is a
deterrent.
6. Broadband availability and easy Internet connectivity will see
greater levels of activity than presently noticed.
7. Teachers are sometimes unable to make full use of technology
because they lack the time needed to fully prepare and research
materials for lessons.
8. Rigid exam oriented curriculum and centrally designed and
controlled curriculum do not permit experimentation,
exploration and innovation at the classroom level. Both
teachers and students are pressured by time, so exploring ideas
like individualised learning is not possible.
9. There is a need to increase awareness to the value of computers
in classrooms but there should also be ways of managing the
use of computers in schools. One of the studies indicated that
computer use in classroom can be as low as 29 hours a month
and a considerable amount of that time was spent on personal
rather than professional use.
There is a perceived gap between policy design, planning, resource
allocation, local management and actual implementation. All of
these have contributed in one way or another to a much slower
uptake of computer usage in Malaysian classrooms than was
aspired in our 2020 vision.

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Activity 1.16

Read the three research papers below of studies relating to the use
and application of computers in Malaysian Schools. Analyse their
findings and share your findings with your course mates through
WawasanLearn.
1. Hamzah, M I, Ismail, A and Embi, M A (2009) The Impact
of Technology Change in Malaysian Smart Schools on
Islamic Education Teachers and Students in International
Journal of Human and Social Sciences, 4:11.
2. Bee, T L and Chia, H S (2008) Exploring the Extent of ICT
Adoption among Secondary School Teachers in Malaysia
in International Journal of Computing and ICT Research,
vol. 2, vo. 2, 19-36.
3. NoriyatiAbd. Mukti (2000) Computer Technology in
Malaysia: Teachers Background, Characteristics, Attitude
and Concerns, in Electronic Journal of information
Systems in Developing Countries. Vol. 3, 8: 1-13

Summary
In Unit 1.3 we explored the various theories on learning which
underpins the use of technologies in teaching and learning.
Behaviourism, constructivism and cognitivism are the three much
referred to theories especially in relation to pedagogy. We also
considered how, by applying the theories and with the aid of
technologies teachers can structure instruction in response to
individual preferences of learners. This of course is demanding of
time and in Malaysian schools where classes are still big and
teachers timetables are heavy, structuring instruction to individual
learner preferences becomes a challenge. The Malaysian
Governments efforts in creating Smart Schools were examined
through three research papers and their findings summarised.

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Self-test 1.3
1. Briefly describe in five sentences how the introduction of
technology in our schools changes the ecology of the
classroom.
a. ____________________________________
b. _____________________________________
c. _____________________________________
d. _____________________________________
e. _____________________________________
2. Malaysias Smart Schools are excellent examples of our
governments seriousness in introducing technologies to
improve teaching and enhance learning. The success of
these interventions are somewhat mixed. Give five reasons
why the Smart Schools have not delivered to our
expectations.
a. ____________________________________
b. _____________________________________
c. _____________________________________
d. _____________________________________
e. _____________________________________
3. Based on your understanding of the theories on learning
how would you describe your role in using them to help
differently able children?
a. ____________________________________
b. _____________________________________
c. _____________________________________
d. _____________________________________
e. _____________________________________
_____________________________________

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1.4 Educational Technology as Systems


Approach to ICT based Education
Introduction
The field of educational technology constitutes the use of ICT and
other technologies and techniques emerging from physical and
behavioural sciences for creating or improving an educational
situation leading to effective learning of the clientele. Application
or deployment of these technologies within a social context
operates with a systemic perspective involving planning, designing
and management of the teaching learning process.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Describe the concept of educational technology in the context of
ICT use in educational situations.
2. Explain the need to have a comprehensive definition of the term
educational technology integrating the concept of systems
theory.
3. Describe the term systems approach as a dynamic concept of
problem solving.
4. Explain the framework and approach for system based ICT
deployment in educational situations.
This section is made up of three parts. They are tabulated below:
Title

Resources

Educational
technology
and ICT

Multimedia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTrqPj2Jk50

Educational
Text:
technology as
www.ifets.info/journals/8_3/10.pdf
a system
approach to
Sections on Educational Technology, A
education
Systemic View and Conclusion on pages 105108 in the article by Luppicini, R. (2005). A
Systems Definition of Educational Technology
in Society. Educational Technology & Society, 8

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(3), 103-109

Systems
approach to
educational
problem
solving

Text:
http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/pub_
An_Overview_01_web.pdf
Section 3.2 of Topic 1: Introduction to Open and
Distance Learning (Pages: 10-12)
An Overview of Open and Distance LearningTraining Toolkit, The Commonwealth of
Learning and Asian Development Bank, 1999.

Applying
systems
approach to
ICT
application
framework
and strategy

Text:
http://inesm.education.unesco.org/files/TCOdeploying-framework.pdf
(Chapter 1 (pages 4-12) in book)
Deploying ICTs in Schools: A framework for
identifying and assessing technology options,
their benefits, feasibility and total cost of
ownership VERSION 4.0.6 June 2009.
(Chapter 1 (pages 4-12) in book)
(Chapter 1 (13-14) and Chapter 2 (15-27) in the
book)

Educational Technology and ICT


Before you proceed further with this lesson, I would like you to
read an article by Prof. Najeemah Mohd. Yusof on Managing
diversity in Malaysian schools and when you are done reading
make a list of all the traits of diversity found in a typical Malaysian
classroom. Against each trait also describe what each item on the
list means to you as a teacher.
The history of using techniques and technologies for mobilising or
improving affectivity in the teaching learning process has been
long and involved varied stages of development based on
understanding of teaching-learning process and availability of
different techniques, technologies and gadgets at different points of
time. A review of the related historical articles will show that
different technical terms have been used to describe and explain

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these developments which include terms such as audio-visual aids,


teaching machines, programmed learning, instructional technology,
educational technology, information and communication
technology, etc. While terms such as teaching machines and audiovisual aids are no more used in todays related literature, terms
such an educational technology, information technology and
information and communication technology are commonly used
and an integration of these concepts has enriched the conceptual
understanding and integration of developments in the field.
Two commonly used terms in Computer and telecommunication
sciences are Information Technology (IT) and Information and
Communication Technology (ICT). Do IT and ICT mean the same?
IT (Information Technology) is only used to describe the
concepts and techniques that relates to computer science,
including hard coding, software development, hardware
development, scripting, and such other concepts. ICT
(Information and Communication Technology), however would
mean the use of these in the context of people and society. In
this sub-unit we are considering the use of IT and its applications
for education. Hence, our concern will be to understand which ICT
is better and which ICT applications can improve the core teachinglearning processes and management of education within a given
societal context. The previous sub-units of this unit have discussed
the meaning of the term ICT in detail. However we did not attempt
to have a comparative understanding of the terms ICT and
educational technology.
The term and the field of educational technology has been in
existence for the past almost fifty years emerging from concepts of
programmed learning and audio-visual aids on one hand and
general systems theory on the other. What would educational
technology (ET) mean as compared to ICT in education? Are these
two concepts one and the same in todays context? Let us examine
this issue in the first two sections of sub-unit 1.4.
Let us start with a video clipping which attempts to get a simple
definition of educational technology. During or immediately
after seeing this video, note down the different definitions
provided.
Go to the link given below and see how different people define the
term educational technology.
Multimedia 1.6

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTrqPj2Jk50(Accessed 13 February
2011)
You would have noticed that several definitions of ET are given in
the video. You would have also noted each of those definitions in

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Reflection 1.3

your note-book.
Do you agree to all the definitions?
Which one would you consider as the most appropriate?
Consider each of the definitions given by different persons in the
video and reflect on the appropriateness of each.
Let us look at a couple of definitions of educational technology.
Robert M. Bernard, PhD, Professor, Concordia University who has
worked considerably in educational technology and also led the
team which produced the video, consolidates the concept of
educational technology as given below:
Educational Technology is the application of science such as
psychology, multimedia science and digital revolution to
educational problems. Our job is to know how to use this
technology effectively to produce results that are better than the
results we would produce if we did not have those tools.
The above definition of ET highlights three aspects:
1. Technology derived from application of different sciences.
2. Effective use of this technology.
3. Outcome better than without technology

Check you progress 1.5

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) differ from


Information Technology (IT).
Do you agree with this statement? YES
NO
Yes or No), give reasons for your answer:

(Circle

Suggested answers:
Yes. Information Technology is only used to describe the concepts
and techniques that relate to computer science. ICT (Information
and Communication Technology) would mean the use of these
concepts and techniques in the context of people and society.

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Read the following article:

Reading 1.8

Denis Hlynka and Michele Jacobsen. What is educational


technology, anyway? A commentary on the new AECT definition
of the field. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology,
V35(2) Spring / printemps, 2009
http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/527/260
The article that you read includes a detailed discussion on the
definition of educational technology.
You would have seen the new AECT definition (Januszewski and
Molenda, 2008) which becomes the latest beacon to guide our
thinking into the twenty-first century. It states: Educational
technology (ET) is the study and ethical practice of facilitating
learning and improving performance by creating, using, and
managing appropriate technological processes and resources.
To recall and reinforce your reading, a summary of the discussion
on the new definition is presented here. As can be readily seen, the
definition contains four components.
1. First the focus is on study and ethical practice. This
immediately moves the definition beyond ET being only a tool.
There is a tool component given later in the definition. But this
is de-emphasised and incorporated as only one component of a
technological system. This clearly indicates that educational
technology is not a tool: it is a study and practice. Not only
that, it is, by definition, an ethical practice.
2. Second, the component related to purpose of educational
technology- it is for facilitating learning and improving
performance. These twin purposes reflect why we focus on
technology. The present definition puts learning and
performance at the forefront of our field of study and practice.
3. Third, this part of the definition tells us how we do this: by
creating, using and managing. In the twenty-first century,
these three key words become far more subtle than at first
glance. It also focuses on a systematic way of creating, using
and managing the different processes. Traditionally these tasks
related to three different kinds of people.-a professional writer,
director, artist, etc. was the creator; the teacher was the
manager of instruction; the student or learner was the end
user. But today this clear differentiation may not clearly exist
and the tasks are converging as technologies converge. For
example, anyone can produce a video for YouTube; everyone is
their own editor; and the role of teacher as manager is on the
verge of being replaced by teacher as designer and facilitator of

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learning and the end user could also be involved in creation and
management.
4. Fourth, this part of the definition tells us what we work with:
technological processes and resources. Here is where the
common tools definition fits comfortably as resources. It is
almost as if the tools concept just barely makes it into the
definition at the very end. This definition emphasises that
educational should be of the main focus of what we do, and
technology as a secondary focus on technological processes
and resources.
This definition of educational technology indicates that
emphasis on facilitating learning and improving performance
via technological processes and resources, versus products or
tools, is vital to understanding the educational part of the
definition. Distinct from computer scientists or engineers, most
educators are not in the business of designing or inventing the
hardware, cables and connectors. The concern and pre-occupation
of educators constitute:
1. Selecting and evaluating technological processes and resources.
2. Creating environments to facilitate learning.
3. Designing learning experiences.
4. Assessing learners and evaluating the quality of performances.
The authors summarise the discussion on the focus of educators
highlighted in the definition of educational technology as quoted
below:
In short, educational technologists are interested in creating and
evaluating learning and performances that are more effective or
efficient because of the technological processes and resources.
Further, educators are interested in creating, adopting and
managing new, novel and innovative learning experiences that only
become possible because of technological processes and resources
(Januszewski and Molenda, 2008).

Check you progress 1.6

The definition of educational technology presented and discussed


by Januszewski and Molenda (2008) in the AECT definition
emphasises four of the following aspects. Identify the four aspects
from the different aspects given below by encircling the correct
ones::
1. Requirement of application of information technology in the
educational environment.
2. Application of technology based sciences including

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psychology, information sciences and communication.


3. Purpose of facilitating learning and improving performance
of learners.
4. Use of any type of technology irrespective of their impact
on learning.
5. Focus on creating, managing and using technological
processes.
6. Teachers participation as the provider of knowledge to
support any technology is not always required.
Suggested answers: 2, 3, 5, 6
Read the following article:
Reading

Denis Hlynka and Michele Jacobsen What is educational technology,


anyway? A commentary on the new AECT definition of the field;
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, V35(2) Spring /
printemps, 2009
http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/527/260

Educational Technology as a systems approach to education


All attempts made to define the concept of educational technology
as an area of study involving the application of technologies
emerged from the application of theories of learning and
development as well as information and communication
technologies have not been comprehensive enough without a
theoretical grounding in the social context. The use of these
technologies has to be grounded in a theoretical foundation
provided by a systems perspective. The field of educational
technology shares the same difficulties and struggles involved in
defining itself as one comes across while defining other social
sciences and applied social sciences. This section attempts to
provide you with adequate theoretical understanding about systems
theory in order to have a more comprehensive view of the field of
educational technology.
You would have read through the two sections indicated in the
article by Luppicini (2005). You would have understood that a
comprehensive definition of educational technology goes beyond
uses of technology including techniques, theories, and methods
from multiple knowledge domains which are standardised and
reproducible such as computer science, psychology and
communications. The definition would also include the governing
principles of systems approach.

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Reflection 1.4

Review the following two definitions of educational technology


given in the article by Luppicini (2005)
Definition A:
The emphasis on instruction is more accentuated in some earlier
definitions offered by AECT, which employs the term
instructional technology instead of educational technology.
Instructional technology is the theory and practice of design,
development, utilisation, management, and evaluation of processes
and resources for learning (AECT 1994).
Definition B:
Educational technology is a complex and integrated process,
involving people, procedures, ideas, devices and organisation for
analysing problems and devising, implementing, evaluating, and
managing solutions to those problems, involved in all aspects of
human learning (AECT 1977).
You have also learnt the new AECT definition given by
Januszewski and Molenda (2008) in the last section (1.1). Let us
recall and consider that definition too:
Definition C:
Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of
facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using,
and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.
Which of the above three definitions of educational technology are
more comprehensive and appropriate?
Reflect on your own. Also talk to some of your colleagues or peer
group during tutorials. Do they agree to your view?
Suggested discussion:
Definition A talks about instructional technology synonymous
with educational technology and presents that field as theory and
practice of design, development, utilisation, management, and
evaluation of processes and resources for learning. It is fairly
comprehensive to include theory and practice (referring to
technologies/techniques based on theories from different sciences)
and also refers to design (of learning system), development
(learning materials) management (of learning environment) and
evaluation (learner and system evaluation) and other (learning)
resources.
Definition B is also fairly comprehensive to include human and
physical inputs and processes in the system viz. people,

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procedures, ideas, devices and also includes the


organisation for problem analyses along the systematic
problem solving in education and learning by
implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions
problems involved in all aspects of human learning.

focus on
process of
devising,
to those

Compared to the first two definitions, definition C seems to be


most comprehensive although relatively short and precise. It brings
in all four aspects critical to the concept and field of educational
technology viz. study and ethical practice, facilitating learning and
improving performance, creating, using, and managing and
appropriate technological processes and resources.

Check you progress 1.7

1. Educational technology scholars and practitioners contributing


to the field over the past four decades realise that formally
defining educational technology is challenging for a number of
reasons. Give two reasons for this challenge as described in
the article by Luppicini (2005):
a.
b.
2. Give in your own words, a comprehensive definition of
educational technology:

Suggested answer:
1. a. Defining an applied field like ET is more difficult
than defining any of the social science disciplines as
there are no single knowledge base for applied
discipline.
b. Defining ET as a process also creates dissonance
between the popular notion of technology as state-ofthe-art equipment and the older idea of technology as a
process.
2. Similar to the following:
Educational technology as a goal oriented problem
solving systems approach using tools, techniques,
theories and methods from multiple knowledge domains
for :
i.
Design, develop and evaluate human and

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ii.

mechanical resources efficiently and effectively


in order to facilitate and leverage all aspects of
learning and
Guide change and transformation of educational
systems and practices in order to contribute to
influencing change in society.

In the conclusion part of the article by Lupiccini (2005), you would


have found a discussion on a comprehensive systems definition of
educational technology in society. While the earlier definitions
discussed in this and earlier sections do talk about analysis, design,
development, organisation, management and evaluation, they
mostly take an inner view of educational technology without
providing a view from outside of the core world that is from the
larger educational or social context. The comprehensive systems
definition includes for the theoretical grounding concerns provided
by systems theory (view from outside) and accommodates multiple
uses of ICT and other techniques with the governing principles
expressed in the core field (view from inside).
Let us bring together the key ideas identified in the discussion and
try to indicate the criteria for conceptualising technology in the
field of educational technology. It revolves around concerns and
issues with mental processes and products to achieve human
purposes related to education and learning within a socioenvironmental context. These criteria are key components to a
definition of educational technology for society.

Systems Approach to Educational Problem Solving


A discussion on systems definition of educational technology
provided in the preceding section reflected that ET is a dynamic
field which involves mobilisation of human and mechanical
resources efficiently and effectively in order to facilitate and
leverage all aspects of learning, and also guide the transformation
of educational systems and practices in order to achieve positive
change in the society.
The systemic perspective taken in the definition has its origin in the
General Systems Theory put forward by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in
1945 as reported in Bertalanffy (1950).
1. Systems theory is the the trans-disciplinary study of the
abstract organisation of phenomena, independent of their
substance, type, spatial or temporal scale of existence. It
investigates both the principles common to all complex entities,
and the (usually mathematical) models which can be used to
describe them (Bertalanffy, 1945).

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2. Cybernetics is another concept which contributed to


application of systems approach to problem solving both in
physical and social sciences. Norbert Wiener (1894-1964)
introduced the term cybernetics to describe the science of
control. This term is derived from the Greek word meaning
steersman. It is the study and design of devices for
maintaining stability, or for attaining a goal or target. Its central
concept is feedback. It is applicable to both living and manmade phenomena, hence bridges biology, engineering and
social phenomena. The key to this process is continuous
correction of the output system by signals representing detected
errors of the output, known as negative feedback.
Cybernetics and systems theory study basically the same aspects
of organisation .In so far as it is meaningful to make a distinction
between the two approaches, we might say that systems theory has
focused more on the structure of systems and their models, whereas
cybernetics has focused on how systems function and how they
control their actions, how they communicate with other systems or
within their own components or subsystems.
Since structure and function of a system cannot be understood in
separation, it is clear that systems theory and cybernetics should
be viewed as two facets of a single approach. (Cited in
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Systems_Theory/Cybernetics)
(Accessed 14 February 2012)
Let us make an attempt to understand the concept on how systems
approach is applied in solving problems in educational situations
better.
Section 3.2 of A Systems approach to open and distance learning,
indicates that systems approach sets the conditions for proceeding
in an orderly way in order to solve problems in societal situations
including education. Systems approach when applied to problem
solving goes in phased and cyclical manner as given below:

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Figure 1.5 Systems approach in cyclic manner

Reading 1.9

Read page 10 to 12 of section 3.2 on A Systems Approach to Open


and Distance Learning in Topic 1 Introduction to Open and
Distance Learning, An Overview of Open and Distance Learning,
COL, 1999.
Let us examine each of these steps and understand the outputs from
each phase.
The following table will help you in summarising what is given in
the resource above.
Phases

Output

1. Analysis involves a
detailed examination of all
facts of the problem

1. A clear statement of the


problem
A detailed description
of the target population
Identification of the
resources and
constraints
2. A detailed plan that
describes how, when, by
whom and at what cost the
problem will be solved.
3. A complete course or
programme package
including all materials,
tools, equipment and plans
of delivery, etc.
4. Learners progress and
performance records, data
from variety of sources.

2. Design requires the


preparation of a detailed
solution
3. Development must
address the requirement of
relevant materials.
4. Implementation involves
putting the solution into
practice.

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5. Evaluation-not an add on 5. Analysis of records and


but an integral component.
data
Specific solutions,
including time cost and
other resource
estimates.
6. Revision including
6. A revised course of
review of all decisions and
programme including the
activities of previous
course materials learner
phases.
support and evaluation
plan.

Check you progress 1.7

What are the six phases involved in systems approach to


educational problem solving? Describe each step in one sentence.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Suggested answers:
1. Analysis Analysis of target population and identification of
resources and constraints.
2. Design A detailed plan to solve the problem.
3. Development Preparation of required learning.
4. Implementation Putting the solution into practices.
5. Evaluation Identifying and recording how each step worked
and how the solution solved the problem.
6. Revision Review of all decisions and activities of previous
phases.

Applying Systems Approach to ICT Application-Framework and Strategy


In this section, let us examine problems involved in ICT
deployment and how a systems-based framework can be used for
effective deployment of ICTs in schools or in any societal setting
that goes beyond just the purchase and use of hardware and
software.

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ICT in schools- common problems


The first paragraphs of Chapter 1 of the book discuss several major
problems that we come across while deploying ICTs in schools.
The common disconnects which emerge from these problems are:
1. Lack of focus on educational objectives.
2. Considering ICTs a 'solution' for which the problem is not
clearly analysed and defined.
3. Failure to consider all the elements of the system-wide
approach.
4. Failure to consider short term as well as long term costs (Total
Cost of ownership or TCO).
5. Failure to consider the human factors related to teachers,
headmasters and students.
In order to achieve effective deployment of ICTS in schools and
such other educational situations, it is important that the problems
mentioned are considered and a suitable framework is developed.
This framework will guide us in adopting a systems approach for
ICT deployment.
Components for the framework
Let us discuss the various components of this framework in the
following paragraphs.
1. The system-wide approach
There is a need to take a system wide approach and all required
elements of the system should be considered if the ICT
deployment is to have meaningful impact. These components
must all co-exist; none is optimal and together form a system.
The system should be comprehensive, demand driven, capable
and efficient and well coordinated.
2. Deployment of ICT platform
This involves mainly the acquisition and installation of
hardware and software. There are so many various ICTs that an
educational institution can choose from. The decision is broken
down to the following five main choices:
a. access device.
b. operating system.
c. display device.

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d. to-school connectivity.
e. in-school connectivity.
The platform with the above five choices must be supported by
a physical and power infrastructure. Figure 2 (P-8) of Chapter 1
provides the details of the platform
3. Educational content and applications
There are several types of content and application in the school
context. They can be broadly classified under four categories.
a. Basic software: Productivity software such as Word
processing, spreadsheets programmes, presentations
software, internet browsers and record applications such as
e-mail.
b. School administrative applications: School administrative
tools such as accounting and time tabling applications and
Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS).
c. Educational
applications:
including
multimedia
development tools, programming tools, simulation software
and virtual labs, and quizzes and assessment applications.
d. Electronic content:
multimedia content, etc.

including

e-books,

journals,

4. User Training and Support


This involves capacity building of all concerned staff including
school principals, administrative staff, teachers and students.
All staff will also be provided with ongoing support according
to specific needs.
5. Maintenance and Technical Support
Maintenance involves actions taken or equipment and systems
such as repairs, upgrades, etc. Technical support on the other
hand involves actions taken on behalf of users to keep them
working effectively such as help desk, initial technical training,
etc.
6. Management, Monitoring and Reporting
This constitutes, strategic planning, project management,
financial and sustainability, planning, setting impact
measurement criteria, monitoring and evaluation.
Emerging key Considerations

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The framework and corresponding approach is based on three key


considerations that arise directly out of some of the major problems
facing the deployment of ICTs in educational contexts.
1. Focus on educational objectives: Choosing and deploying
ICTs for education must be guided by the educational
objectives and outcome.
2. Target system-wide approach: Relationships between the
various components of the educational objectives will impact
on making choices of ICT platforms.
3. Consider benefits, feasibility and long-term costs: Benefits
and feasibility of the technology selected and overall approach
to deployment should be considered along with the long-term
costs of introducing ICTs in school.

Read Chapter 1 (pp.13-14) and Chapter 2 (pp.15-27) of the


following book:
Reading 1.10

Deploying ICTs in Schools: A framework for identifying and


assessing technology options, their benefits, feasibility and total
cost of ownership VERSION 4.0.6June 2009.
Based on these key considerations a strategy is formulated to select
and deploy ICTs. The steps involved in this strategy are discussed
in the following section.
The sections you read provide strategic details of the systems
approach that is followed in the effective deployment of ICT in
schools. There are five steps involved in this strategy. Each of these
steps is discussed in detail in the chapter you read. Can you recall
them?
The figure given on page 13 (Chapter 1) of the resource material
you read clearly depicts that the process involved is iterative
(repetitive movement) and aims to match the educational objectives
with available resources and to achieve an effective and efficient
deployment within the constraints set by local conditions of a given
context.
Chapter 2 of the materials provide detailed presentation on each of
the steps of the process. You would have read each of these
thoroughly. Let us recall these and match with the figure given on
page 13, Chapter 1.

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Summary
Let us integrate different definitions, ideas and analyses discussed
in this sub-unit on the theme of educational technology (ET). We
may conclude that ET is broadly a systems approach to ICT based
education. This concept of ET is well reflected in the following
definition:
A systems definition of educational technology as goal oriented
problem-solving systems approach utilising tools, techniques,
theories, and methods from multiple knowledge domains, to:
1. Design, develop and evaluate human and mechanical resources
efficiently and effectively in order to facilitate and leverage all
aspects of learning, and
2. Guide change agency and transformation of educational
systems and practices in order to contribute to influencing
change in society.
While looking into the future of educational technology as a field
which involves application of emerging techniques and gadgets
provided by the ever growing ICT, it is important to integrate this
with the historical and theoretical developments in the field. A
systems definition of educational technology contributes
significantly in integrating historical and theoretical texts from
outside and inside the field with the new areas of development
provided by the application of ICT.
Applications of ET for creation of educational or learning systems
or resolve problems in educational contexts involve a framework
which has the following six components:
1. System-wide approach.
2. Deployment of ICT platform.
3. Educational content and applications.
4. User training and support
5. Maintenance and technical support.
6. Management monitoring and reporting.

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Self-test 1.4
What are the six components involved in the strategy for
selecting and deploying an ICT (technology) platform for an
educational context such as a school? Describe each component
in a sentence.
Step-1:
Description:

Step-2:
Description:

Step-3:
Description:

Step-4:
Description:

Step-5:
Description:
Suggested answers:
1. Systems wide approach.
Description: All elements of the system to be considered.
2. Deployment of ICT Platform.
Description: Acquisition and installation of hardware and
Software.
3. Educational content and applications.
Description: Subject matter related materials and application in
the school/educational context.
4. User training and support.
Description: Capacity building of all concerned staff technical
support to staff.

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5. Maintenance and Technical support.


Description: Maintenance of equipment and systems and
technical support to staff.
6. Management Monitoring and Reporting.
Description: Constitute strategic planning, project management,
financial sustainability, etc.
_____________________________________

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Summary of Unit

Summary

97

In this unit, we have traced the evolution and nature of Information


Communication and Technology (ICT) and how it impacts our society in
terms of activities such as banking, health services and education.
Concerns and future directions of ICT use were also raised with support
of relevant examples. Subsequently, we discussed how ICT is fashioned
as a tool for effective teaching, as well as a tool to encourage students
active participation in the teaching and learning process. In this
connection, we also discussed the major theories underlining effective use
of ICT in the delivery of lessons across different disciplines. Finally, the
unit converged into the thesis of educational technology as a version of
ICT, and its role in creating, using and managing appropriate
technological processes and resources.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

References
Namibia publication
www.rocare.org/.../ch03-ICT-Education-Africa-TeachingReflecting
Barabara Gross
http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/diverse.
htm
Wahl, L. and J. Duffield. 2005. Using Flexible Technology to Meet the
Needs of Diverse Learners: What Teachers Can Do.
http://www.wested.org/online_pubs/kn-05-01.pdf (accessed
[DATE?])

Poole, B.J. (2009). Chapter 13: Reflections on Education for an


Information Age. In Poole, B.J., Sky-McIlvain, E. and Evans, J. (2009).
7th Edition. Education for an Information Age: Teaching in the
Computerized Classroom. Accessed May 17, 2009 from
http://www.pitt.edu/~edindex/InfoAge7thEdition/Chapter13.pdf

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