ICT captures all the latest technologies used for communication, data processing and data storage. It plays an important role in society when we take into account the social, cultural and economic role of computers and the internet. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) provide a window of opportunity for educational institutions and other organizations to harness and use technology to complement and support the teaching and learning process.
Educational systems around the world are under increasing pressure to use the new information and communication technologies to teach students the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century. E-learning is an example of the use of these ICT-supported teaching and learning methods whose use in educational institutions is gaining momentum with the passage of time.
Unlike the technology that came before ICT’s (e.g. overhead projectors and audio cassettes) which was merely used as an aid for the teacher, the impact of ICT has far surpassed the role of an aid and is even seen in the light of changing the traditional roles of the teacher and learner in teaching and learning situations. ICT’s are transforming the whole process of schooling including shifting the choice of the curriculum from the teacher to the learner.
Information and Communication Technology has a clear impact on the development of educational curricula. It is concerned with what is learned and taught and how learning and teaching occurs. What is learned and taught includes objectives, content, and learning outcomes (the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students are intended to demonstrate). The “how” of the curriculum concerns teaching and learning methodology, teaching strategies and media resources.
On the content, ICT is impacting by shifting to competency and performance-based curricula which require access to a variety of information sources, access to a variety of information forms and types and student-centered learning settings based on information access and inquiry. The teacher plays the role of a coach not a content expert.
Another way in which emerging ICTs are impacting on the content of education curricula stems from the ways in which ICTs are dominating so much of contemporary life and work. Students are able to display appropriate levels of information literacy.
Apart from the content, ICTs are also impacting on the methodology. Shift from content-centered curricula to competency-based curricula are associated with moves from teacher-centered forms of delivery to student-centered forms. Through technology-facilitated approaches, contemporary learning settings now encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.