Articles

ICT in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges

Ajit Mondal, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal

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Dr. Jayanta Mete, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal


Abstract

Since time immemorial, education has been an important instrument for social and economic transformation. Presently higher education in India is experiencing a major transformation in terms of access, equity and quality. This transition is highly influenced by the swift developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) all over the world. The introduction of ICTs in the higher education has profound implications for the whole education process especially in dealing with key issues of access, equity, management, efficiency, pedagogy and quality. At the same time the optimal utilization of opportunities arising due to diffusion of ICTs in higher education system presents a profound challenge for higher educational institutions. In this backdrop, the paper addresses the opportunities and challenges posed by integration of ICTs in various aspects of higher education in the present scenario.

Virtual Effects with Virtuous Personality: A Sufi Approach to the Ethical Aspects of ICT in Education

Mohammad Shaheer Siddiqui,Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India

 

Abstract

Three discoveries of man gave revolutionary dimension to human race viz. fire, wheel and language but fourth one has changed the global face i.e. ICT. No doubt ICT played much important part in almost all the arenas for national development but its role in education should not be confined to the use of CAI or other technology to make learning mechanical process. Student is not just a ‘brain’ of flash and blood; he has a heart, a soul and waves of dynamic ever fresh emotions unlike the rigid computer software. Education of heart and soul is much required today. Take an extract from the paper on ‘Education for Peace’ by NCERT (2006). A teacher had a dream in which she saw one of her students fifty years ahead. The student was angry and asked a number of questions complaining of the irresponsible teaching and unripe education. What pinches more is the following extract. “With ever greater anger, the student shouted, ‘You helped me extend my hands with incredible machines, my eyes with telescope and microscopes, my ears with telephones, radios and sonar, my brain with computers, but you did not help me extend my heart, love and concern for the human family. Teacher you gave me half a loaf.” The role of new technology becomes more responsible and serious because it works sometimes as dummy teachers. There requires a collaboration of ICT and value based education, collaboration of technology and tradition and collaboration of virtual effects and virtuous personality. Increasing scenario of ‘educated and technological crime’ is the outcome of such disintegrated education system. This paper is a little effort to identify the need of ethical aspects of ICT in Education.

Integrating ICT in Teaching Learning Framework in India: Initiatives and Challenges

Rumpa Das, Mahestala College, West Bengal, India

Abstract

Acknowledging education as a tool for social change necessitates incorporating changes in the methods of dissemination of knowledge to synchronise with emerging trends in all sectors of life. According to a World Bank report, disparities in the levels of ICT readiness and use could translate into disparities in level of productivities and hence could influence a country’s rate of economic growth. Understanding and leveraging ICT is therefore critical for countries striving for continued social and economic progress. Hence, the necessity for Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based resources to be embedded in educational systems to facilitate students to be acquainted, familiarised and skilled in such tools and environments. But this is a mammoth task and policies, programmes and initiatives are to be taken for this. This paper discusses some of the initiative and tries to mark out certain key areas which pose a great challenge to all the stake holders in higher education.

Mobile Communication Devices as a Tool of Educational Process: a Brief Reference to Indian Scenario

Abhijit Mitra, Bhairab Ganguly College, Belgharia, Kolkata  

 Abstract

Mobile technology has opened various avenues for education. M-learning is a new way of learning, in which mobile devices including handheld tablets, PDA, mobile phones, symbian and smart phones are used for teaching-learning purposes. It makes learning portable, spontaneous, effective and exciting. We can record the lectures, read E-books, provide feedback, access internet, multimedia materials, and practical exercises and use software for educational purpose. This paper discusses the concept of M-learning and examines its significance in education. The paper explores the challenges of M-learning and examines the present trends of M-learning in India.

Fostering Autonomous Learning through Technology in the Language Classroom

A. Linda Primlyn, Scott Christian College, Nagercoil, India       

 Abstract

This paper examines the use of autonomous learning through technology in the language classroom. In the classrooms, learners should be equipped with the tools for their own learning, while the teacher guides and provides support. Listening, speaking, comprehension projects which could be helped by the use of audio cassettes, videos, television, writing and writing correction programmes, can now be fruitfully be done with computers. These new tools support and extend student opportunities and access to academic and authentic language skills. The aim of the paper is to project the advantages of virtual classroom over the traditional classroom. Also, the factors which make the students learn the language thoroughly without much of a strain will be discussed. Teachers should take it as a challenge as how to make their pupils motivated to learn the English language and how to make the learning process itself motivating for children. The objective of the paper is to report the gains that may be obtained from the use of technology to develop language skills in students of English as a foreign language.

Facebook as a Tool in Higher Education and the Gender Issue: a Survey among Students in Bankura

Suvapriya Chatterjee, The University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Abstract

In the last two years or so Facebook has become a favourite destination for people from all walks of life. This networking site started its journey in 2004[i] to foster social interaction and grew rapidly in prevalence and popularity as an all-pervasive medium on the web. It has attracted attention of administrators, business-men and research organisations for innovative profitable propositions in every walk of life. It is also been steadily used for the purpose of Higher Education by students, teachers to participate in a blending of formal and informal learning. Administrators from higher education institutions are also using this for networking, communication and publicity. This blending is characterised by development of collaborative learning, an opportunity for multi-disciplinary problem-solving and peer teaching and promotion of creative thinking skills. Moreover, it also serves as a medium of resource sharing for geographically dispersed individuals. Ironically, it serves as a major catalyst to reduce the digital divide2 among students, as also an agent in enhancing gender disparities among its users belonging to various socio-economic levels. My paper discusses the results of a survey made among the college-goers of Bankura and tries to relate them to the emerging issues. It alsowill focus on the influence of gender on the usage of Facebook with reference to college students of Bankura district of West Bengal.

New Media and the Language

Vineet Kaul, DA-IICT University, Gujarat, India.

 

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