THE ROLE OF ICT IN THE 21st CENTURY
Higher education systems have grown exponentially in the last five decades to meet the demands of quality education for all. This aspect has further gained momentum due to swift advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The focus of this paper is to examine the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in higher education in India in the 21st century. The increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has brought changes to teaching and learning at all levels of higher education systems (HES) leading to quality enhancements in the 21st century. Traditional forms of teaching and learning are increasingly being converted to online and virtual environments. There are endless possibilities with the integration of ICT in the education system. The use of ICT in education not only improves classroom teaching learning process, but also provides the facility of e-learning. ICT has enhanced distance learning in the 21st century. Successful implementation of ICT to lead change is more about influencing and empowering teachers and supporting them in their engagement with students in learning rather than acquiring computer skills and obtaining software and equipment. ICT enabled education will ultimately lead to the democratization of education in the 21st century. The adoption and use of ICTs in education have a positive impact on teaching, learning, and research. ICT can affect the delivery of education and enable wider access to the same. In addition, it will increase flexibility so that learners can access the education regardless of time and geographical barriers in the 21st century. Similarly wider availability of best practices and best course material in education, which can be shared by means of ICT, can foster better teaching and improved academic achievement of students. The overall literature suggests that successful ICT integration in education in the 21st century.
- Background to the Study
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have become commonplace entities in all aspects of life. Across the past twenty years the use of ICT has fundamentally changed the practices and procedures of nearly all forms of endeavour within business and governance. Education is a very socially oriented activity and quality education has traditionally been associated with strong teachers having high degrees of personal contact with learners. The use of ICT in education lends itself to more student-centred learning settings. But with the world moving rapidly into digital media and information, the role of ICT in education is becoming more and more important and this importance will continue to grow and develop in the 21st century.
Higher education systems have grown exponentially in the last five decades to meet the demands of quality education for all. This aspect has further gained momentum due to swift advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Demand for skilled and competent labour is ever increasing in the contemporary globalised society. In this backdrop, access to quality in higher education for all has emerged as determining factor of economic growth and development. In order to increase the access to higher education and improving its reach to the remotest parts ofthe country contribution of open and distance learning facilities is on the increase. In addition, it is catering to life-long learning aspirations and that too at affordable cost. The last two decades have witnessed the inclusion of developments in ICTs in higher education systems around the world. Even then the challenge to develop a higher education system that is flexible and dynamic so as to holistically integrate the technology in the management and delivery of learning programmes is daunting. The focus of this paper is to examine the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in higher education in India in the 21st century.