Does information communication technology really support learning?
Much stress is being laid on the use of new digital technologies in education these days. Consequently, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is finding its way both for institutionalized and distance modes of education. ICT is a system of integration digitalized telecommunication devices and computers to create, store, access, transmit, and handle information.
ICT, in other words refers to the convergence of digitalized audio-visual technologies, information technologies and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system.
Both government-run and privately-managed educational systems have started using ICTs for teaching in the form of smart classrooms and open learning. Most government projects in education, headed by bureaucrats are buying the ICT equipment and software and dumping them in schools. Their interest seems be in the purchasing aspects and spin-offs from it from the ICT industry.
The current main parroting in favour of ICT is that it provides edutainment with emphasis on fun and enjoyment along with content dispensing. Many well-meaning educators think the other way round. According to them, ICT trivialize learning as it runs counter to making mental effort for learning and critical thinking.
Market forces have turned many rich schools into flashy edutainment plazas. This has been done to reduce students to copy-cats. ICT is intentionally promoting edutainment as an industry-propelled activity to find and flourish their market in government schools.
According to the noted educator, Henry Jenkins, ICT will gradually lead to the death of real learning by taking away the challenge and serious mental effort required for learning. Soon schools may turn into fun places little learning.