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ICT in Developing World

ICT in Developing World

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Published by: minhaaj on Mar 17, 2009
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07/14/2015

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 ICT in developing world. Will we ever accomplish MDGs?
Since the inception of internet from Tim Lee Berners, followed by the technological innovationsmaking its way through the history of ICT, world has shortened into a crystal ball which can bespun by a mouse on your computer. Web 2.0 tools, Social media and distributed networks havechanged the way people will communicate with each in the future. "Technology will not replaceteachers...teachers who use technology will probably replace teachers who do not." - RayClifford . United Nations have set up its Millenium Development Goals for 2015 in terms of education that promises to implement free standardized education for every child on earth.One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is achievement of universal primaryeducation by 2015. We must ensure that information and communication technologies (ICTs) areused to help unlock the door to education. Kofi Annan (2005). So far project is way behind itsglobal timeline. ICT4E (Information Communication Technology for Education) and ICT4D(Information Communication Technology for development) have played significant impact ondevelopment of communication technologies in developing world but have failed to contributetowards MDGs in a significant manner.With significant research and developmental efforts in this area, we have huge body of knowledge and theories but it will not be unfair to say that ICT implementation on grass rootlevels in developing countries has significantly failed to perform expected. Failure can beattributed to various reasons ranging from micro to macro issues like lack of comprehensible plan, resources, management, intentions of officials and UN structure.“ICT … consists of hardware, software, networks, and media for collection, storage, processing,transmission, and presentation of information (voice, data, text, images).” As Defined in theInformation & Communication Technology Sector Strategy Paper of the World Bank Group,April 2002.I would briefly discuss the developmental efforts and current situation in different geographicalregions to overview the current situation of ICT development. There are numerous publicationsin this domain that highlight the research that has been conducted in order to emphasize issuesand to propose a solution. Some of the important ones are ‘Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT for Education Impact: A Review’ R. B. Kozma, ‘Core Indicators for Monitoring and EvaluationStudies for ICT for Education’ R. B. Kozma and D. A. Wagner, ‘Developing a Monitoring andEvaluation Plan for ICT for Education’ T. James and J. Miller, ‘Capacity Building andManagement in ICT for Education’ T. Unwin, ‘Pro-Equity Approaches to Monitoring andEvaluation: Gender,Marginalized Groups and Special Needs Populations’ D. Wagner, ‘Dos andDon’ts in Monitoring and Evaluation’ T. Unwin & B. Day, ‘Obstacles to the integration of ICTin education: results from a worldwide educational assessment’, W.J Pelgrum, ‘Barriers to
 
investment in ICT’ by M Bugamelli, ‘Pedagogy before Technology: Re-thinking theRelationship between ICT and Teaching’ by DM Watson.Different cultures have different views about ICT and their readiness to help their childrenacquire these skills. In Senegal parents are more than willing to pay the costs of their children’sICT needs in school, paying in the form of computers, connection and other hardware, which is avery good sign and evidence of willingness of parents and society as a whole to contributetowards ICT proliferation.In Vadodara, India in an experiment where children used computer mathematics games twohours a week performed significantly well than the students who didn’t. It would be a goodresearch question as to why they didn’t but this is clear evidence of the fact that ICT has theadvantage over traditional face to face or guided-learning.The attitudes of teachers towards the work they do with the support of digital technologiescontinue to be an important indicator of educational value. In 2003, a monitoring scale wasdeveloped to assess the attitudes of Costa Rican teachers towards ICT in education, within the National Program of Educational Informatics of the Ministry of Public Education and the Omar Dengo Foundation. The scale evaluates 11 attitudinal dimensions, including: the value thatteachers place on technology, their motivation to work as educators, their satisfaction with theProgram, their self-perception on their capacity to teach, their vision of future, their sense of control over the technology, and their disposition to learn abilities related to technology. Thescale was applied to a total of 319 teachers of educational informatics during 2003, as well as toa small group of teachers in a study that compared two schools that do not belong to the programwith two similar schools that belong to the Program. Among the important fi ndings were thefollowing:the geographic zone in which the teachers work is not associated with differences intheir attitudes towards technology in the teaching-learning process, which are generally positive.the number of years of experience in their teaching position is a variable that is positively correlated with their vision of future, the positive perception of their own performance and the feeling of control over technology.Teachers in multi-grade schools (one-room schools serving populations of K-6 students),where a single teacher works, are the ones that show greater satisfaction with theProgram.Teachers working in the Program tend to value the role of technology; they are moresatisfi ed with their capacities to teach, and they feel that they can achieve better resultswith students.The Program seems, overall, to be able to create conditions and opportunities for thedevelopment of capacities in teachers, which support the achievement of equity.
 
These results suggest that teachers who work with digital technologies have positiveself-perceptions that enhance their capabilities in the classroom.Adapted from: Fundación Omar Dengo22. For more information:http://www.fod.ac.cr/courtesyICT Handbook for developing countries, UN.Beginning in February 2000, SchoolNet Namibia set up computer laboratories in some 112schools, launched an ISP and successfully connected the schools to it. It showed how this could be done in rural and disadvantaged areas where there were neither telephone lines nor connections to the power grid. Through mentoring and training, SchoolNet had become a test bed and demonstrator for technical solutions that challenged more widely used proprietaryoperating systems.In the Khanya project, the Provincial Education Department in the Western Cape Province of South Africa has been rolling out computers and connectivity to enhance the delivery of curriculum throughout the province. Since 2000, Khanya has deployed some 12,000 computersacross nearly 600 schools out of the 1500 in the province. About 9,000 teachers and 300,000learners are being touched by the project so far.While deployment of computers and software, creation of LANs and connections to the Internetare critical components, the core objective of Khanya Project is to use ICT in the delivery of curriculum—to teach mathematics, science and other learning areas in secondary schools, andliteracy and numeracy in primary schools. The intention is to empower teachers and learners todevelop their own material, gain planning and organizational skills through lesson planning,enhance the delivery of curricula and to put learners in township and rural schools in touch withthe rest of the world through the Internet and email.Realizing the potential that new technologies have to transform education in a relatively poor country, the Chilean government initiated the Enlaces program in 1990. One of the key findingsfrom this has been that ‘well-trained and motivated teachers can improve the learning conditionswith ICT, and can acquire ICT skills together with their students, thus preparing them more properly for the emerging knowledge society’.Vounteers were sent to work directly with 10 organizations in Honduras, El Salvador,Guatemala, and Nicaragua. They trained more than 300 people who represented 44 organizationsin the region. The principal skills taught by the volunteers included software training (MicrosoftOffice, Internet navigators, Microsoft Front Page, Netscape Composer, e-mail applications,database design) and adaptive technologies (among them, Scan and Read for the blind, andadaptive devices for people with impaired mobility). The project had a direct impact at threedifferent levels: 1) introducing adaptive hardware and software, 2) training people withdisabilities, and 3) training disability organizations as trainers. (Batchelor et al., 2003.)In Pakistan, increased investment in telecommunication sector and training programs on grassroot level are taking place at an unprecendented pace. In four provinces, Punjab, Sindh, NWFP

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