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The advent of information communication technology (ICT) in the education sector has seen significant improvement with regard to the achievement of learning objectives. It has also seen the classroom being transformed to a virtual organization. As a result, traditional learning institutions have made attempts to acquire necessary infrastructure and technology that their learners can use. Among the most influential beneficiaries in the education sector are higher learning institutions. In this regard, the paper will focus on the benefits that information communication technology has impacted the running of colleges.

To collect the data required to ascertain the objectives of the research, a sample of 30 students and 10 instructors from a local college were requested to fill out a simple closed ended questionnaire. After the data was collected, I compiled it, entered into an Excel spreadsheet, and have analyzed.

Figure 1.0 Table showing the response from staff members and students of the local college to the issues addressed in the questionnaire

Issue

Staff Members

Students

 

Positive

Negative

Positive

Negative

Impact of ICT on Student Participation

70%

30%

90%

10%

Impact of ICT on Overall Attendance

55%

45%

65%

35%

Impact of ICT on Student Performance

87%

13%

94%

6%

Impact of ICT on the Learning Process

86%

14%

97%

3%

Impact of ICT on Education Diversity

96%

4%

88%

12%

Impact of ICT on the Cost of Education

5%

95%

31%

69%

Figure 1.1Chart Showing Responses from Staff Members

The chart shows that the majority of instructors agree that the introduction of information communication technology in the learning environment had a positive impact on student participation, student attendance, student performance, learning process, and education diversity. However, the chart also shows that there was an overall negative impact on the cost of education.

Figure 1.2 Chart Showing Responses from Students

The chart shows that students agree that the introduction of information communication technology had a positive impact on student participation, student attendance, student performance, learning process, and education diversity. However, there was a negative impact on the cost of education.

Student Participation

Student participation is an important element when determining the overall outcomes of learning. In the regular learning environment, students may be distracted by many things or the lesson may be presented in a format that discourages them to participate actively. In such as a case, using ICT strategies may improve the student’s participation because they are able to interact with a subject in a better way. Information communication technologies improve the level of customization, convenience, and understanding of different learning packages through the online learning environment; hence, it enables students, employers, and working professionals to participate with ease (The Economist Intelligence Unit 2008, p.8). Additionally, ICT improves the learners’ model of learning by increasing flexibility in the lesson plans. In another study conducted to establish the impact of ICT on student participation, teachers in the sampled institutions supported that indeed ICT had a positive impact on student participation levels (Emmanuel 2010, p.303). Thus, ICT can be used to provide a lasting solution to the problem of students attending their learning sessions irregularly.

Student Attendance

Student attendance is another major issue that derails the learning process in higher learning institutions. Most of the time, students will find time to do other things while they will apportion minimal time for their learning activities. This problem can be addressed through the online learning system in which students can login anytime to check their class progress. The provision of online collaboration tools and software support promote individual paced learning while it enhances better understanding of learning management systems (The Economist Intelligence Unit 2008, p.6). Students pursuing the online learning system are in most cases able to meet their course milestones, especially when they have a busy schedule of activities.

Student Performance

Information communication technologies improve access to numerous learning resources. Thus, using readily available materials on the internet to conduct research and revision compared to physical libraries has a positive impact on the relative performance of students in class (Hendricks 2005, p.23). Consider a scenario in which a student wants to access a particular book, but the book is only available on short loan basis. In this case, student will be unable to use the book for a significant amount of time. In the event, it is the main course book, this may negatively impact his/her performance by decreasing the number of times it is accessed. The best way to address the problem would be to put a digital copy of the book in a secure server location, which enables students to access the book using their school registration numbers and passwords.

Learning Process

For a long time, it has been argued that introduction of computers in the instructional setting will result in teachers losing their jobs. However, this should always be the case, because ICT can be incorporated in the learning system in a fast coherent fashion. This way a student can supplement his/her learning with the social networking sites, especially when conducting discussions. For example, it is possible to hold electronic discussion groups, which are capable of bringing together students from different regions compared to the discussion held using the fact to face method (National Service Learning Clearinghouse 2005). In addition, ICT can improve the learning process by improving the process of developing learning curriculums. Thus, it is possible to provide online learning modules that will enhance the curriculum tools (National Service Learning Clearinghouse 2005).

Education Diversity

The instructional techniques brought by ICT foster the development of diversity in education, because it enables learners to interact on a global scale. According to Mario and Mario (2003, p.113) the utilization of ICT expands the possibility of synchronous interactions taking place between learners in different areas, which improves collaboration. In addition, ICT addresses the issue of gender parity in education. In situations where men prefer communicating with men and vice versa for women, the online learning environment will improve the interaction between members of different genders (Lawrence 2009, p.23).

Cost of Education

From the survey results, it is evident that both teachers and students support the fact that ICT increases the cost of education significantly. To develop information communication technology, there is a need to have a proper infrastructure in place that will ensure adequate access to school networks and proper distribution of resources required for learning to take place (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development & Joint Research Centre European Commission 2010, p.15). The cost of education is also added because of the disparity among teachers and students in utilizing them. According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development & Joint Research Centre European Commission (2010, p.15) “teacher training, both initial and in-service, is a prerequisite for the ability of education to use ICT in learning processes.” ICT will also require education institutions to have a system for carrying out maintenance. Thus, it will also be necessary to provide adequate technical assistance in administrative and pedagogical domains (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development & Joint Research Centre European Commission 2010, p.15). This implies that the introduction of ICT dramatically increases the cost of education.

Lastly, it is evident that the benefits of ICT outweigh the disadvantages by a significant margin. It implies that the education sector will benefit more acquiring a functional ICT system. When introducing the system, it will be important to consider the fact that ICT has the capability of dislodging teachers from their jobs. The solution is to have an integrated system that will ensure student attendance, student participation, education diversity, student performance, and the learning process improve reach the highest standards possible.  

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