We are living in the age of information technology (IT) that includes computers, the internet, a website, a laptop, a projector, and CU Rom, among other things. IT has changed the world to a great extent. Computer and other elements of IT will now be found in every office and house. It has various advantages which are being availed in almost all sectors of life. It has been used in research, medicine, business, and education. There is virtually no vocation which is not using IT now. It has been used for professional development in all fields. It is now an integral part of modern life and society.
In the last few decades, education has been tremendously influenced by IT. Different features of IT have been applied to education, changing the mode of learning and teaching. Curriculum and methodology have changed, accommodating more use of computers in the classroom. Hence computers are now found in all educational institutions irrespective of level. They will be found in kindergartens and primary and high schools as they would be found in colleges and universities. Teachers use computers as a tool to develop the skills of the students. In many cases, computers have taken over the role of teachers. With this, the relationship between man and machine has been closed. This is the first time in human civilization when education has received so much advantage of technology.
Now many classrooms- are adorned with computers, projectors and •other gad-gets of IT. The teachers can show any slide with animation and video with audio on the monitor and magnify it through a projector. This makes learning more attractive to the learners. Many textbooks have now CDs with them and they may be played with CD Rom drive. Students may have their own copies and learn from them with their own efforts. They use their home PC to prepare assignments and other tasks given by teachers. For this, students learn how to use a computer from an early age and use the skill throughout their life. They know how to strike the keyboard and click the mouse with their fingers and browse information on the internet. Technologically, they become smarter than the previous generation.
In every subject, there is now supporting software. The software is available in CD and DVD formats. In sciences, experiments are demonstrated with audio and video along with necessary text instructions. Some software includes mathematical problems and solutions. In other disciplines, theoretical discussions are available. Different languages may also be learned with CD materials. It is really amazing. IT has made learning so easy and exciting. Children’s lessons may be made much more attractive with digitized materials. The pictures and animations in numerous shades of colors catch the fancy of young minds.
The Internet has a tremendous impact on the sphere of education. Teachers and students can browse the internet to collect any information available on various websites and utilize them for their purpose. They do not need to go to the library physically now, but they can click and enter the virtual libraries and download necessary reading materials. One only needs to have a little technical knowledge. One has to know how to put words in the search box and follow the search results. If one knows the website address, he/she can get the required information quickly. For some websites and virtual libraries, one needs to have valid access. Either one has to be a member or has to pay for extracting certain information. Information is easily available and one can easily collect them through the internet. Not only reading, but one can also publish her/her writings on different websites. One can take part in forums and blogs and present him/her virtually to the rest of the world.
So far institutional teaching was confined to classrooms where teachers and students interacted. There was no alternative to face-to-face learning. With the development of IT, distance learning has emerged. Now learners can learn sitting far from the teachers. Teachers may lecture from one part of the globe and it may be transmitted to any other place instantaneously. From distance, teachers and students can see and even talk to one another, thanks to the invention of some scientific equipment like web-corn, VSAT, and satellite. At present many colleges and universities of the world offer distance learning programs on various subjects. Located in one country, they collect students from other countries without bringing them to campus physically. The students learn online but off-campus. Their presence on the campus is virtual. This mode of education is gaining tremendous popularity and spreading rapidly all around the world, as it avoids the hazards of visa processing and traveling.
IT is also gradually changing the academic assessment mode. In many programs and courses, examinations are held with the aid of a computer. The examinees are seated with computers and they write the answers there. In some cases, examinations are held online. It is. held at particular times within given conditions above any constraint of geographical locations. The results may also be known in the shortest possible time. For MCQ type, the correct answers are calculated automatically by the software and the teacher has to labor little. The oral examination may also be held from distance. video conferencing.
IT has also changed the job of education management. All kinds of work in an educational institution can be performed with special software. Tuition fees may be submitted through credit cards supported by banking software. The academic results may be published online, and the students may check them just with a click. The teachers may keep the lecture materials in the archive and the students may collect them when necessary. The teachers may notify’ the students in different academic affairs and issue necessary instruction relating to their curricular study. Students may even submit assignments through e-mail or logging onto certain sites as prescribed by the teachers.
IT has brought the world really in one’s hand. The world has been global in the actual sense of the term. Education has greatly been influenced by the development of IT. The method of education is rapidly changing with the emergence of new features in IT. The technological innovations will be going on throughout the twenty-first century, making a further impact on students, teachers, and education managers.