Of all the developments in the vast and far-reaching history of humanity, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will undoubtedly stand out as one of the most significant developments in education. There have been numerous strides and advancements in education to be sure, but the past several years in particular have seen an astounding increase in the applications and scope covered by ICT. Nowadays, if you are considering some types of education, you would definitely have to look into the possibilities offered by ICT.
But what is Information and Communication Technology exactly and how can it be beneficial to education? ICT is actually a broad catch-all term that encompasses systems and procedures that process and share information. There are two main aspects of ICT: information technology and communication technology. While information technology involves everything that has to do with the processing, using, and management of information, communication technology involves everything that has to do with using tools that process and transfer information. Both information technology and communication technology are therefore essentially tied in with each other, and cannot be separated.
Much of the methods and systems utilized in ICT were developed during the middle to latter part of the 20th century, when the computer industry was undergoing a particularly fertile period of development. The development of the Internet was an especially significant aspect of ICT’s evolution, and along with the host of other multimedia technologies that came into widespread prominence during the same period–many of which are still around to this very day–it forged a technological landscape that was varied as it was all encompassing. Today, you would be hard pressed to come up with an area of industry–and indeed, of society–in which ICT hasn’t played a significant part.
In the field of education, eLearning is a particularly fertile area of application for ICT. Already an invaluable component in traditional classroom-based education, electronic learning systems are proving to be especially invaluable for unique applications in long-distance and remote learning. With the many advantages offered by Information and Communication Technology, eLearning has become a viable concept that is only now becoming a reality for many communities around the world that have traditionally struggled with issues of education.
The benefits that eLearning can provide to a community are undeniable. When used as a supplement to traditional classroom-based instruction, electronic teaching methods can make the experience richer, more rewarding, and better suited to the needs of specific communities. With Information and Communication Technology increasingly utilized as a potent tool in the eLearning toolbox, there is renewed confidence that the sharing of information and education of the world will be increased. When this happens, it will definitely benefit those that have traditionally been deprived of educational opportunities.