THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING ICT FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING

  1. 1. Introduction

Many of the Internet projects require students to communicate with students from different states or countries via electronic mail or mailing lists or other news groups. Furthermore, The Internet should be a part of an integrated teaching system. It should be seen as a tool that supports and enhances learning and not as a means by itself. A poll result conducted by Global Strategy in April 1997 shows that this is the only way that the Internet adds value to the learning process.

Teaching using the Internet does not by itself lead to achieving curriculum objectives, because part from assisting in class preparation, a good knowledge of the Internet allows us to assist our students in their class activities involving the Internet. Besides, Professional Development is a key to updating skills and for career advancement for teachers. Among others, we can use the Internet to join a discussion group, subscribe to a news group, take classes, and keep in touch with professional colleagues.

To successfully use the Internet for teaching, we must know how to access the various services available through the Internet. Moreover, it has been reported that the majority of teachers who use the Internet in teaching are those who believe that the Internet is a new way for doing things. These teachers also use the Internet for shopping, banking, looking for mortgage rates, etc.

It is not the computer by itself but how they are used that makes the difference. They emphasize teacher training as a key to effective use of computer technology in the classroom. Every new technology brings with it positive and negative impact. Nobody has taken time to analyze the negative impact of exposing students to the Internet may have on their social development.

  1. 2. How the Internet Enhances the Teaching Process

We can use the Internet to add value, manage our classroom or improve the planning. We want to teach using the Internet because we want to change, improve, add a new dimension to our teaching, or vary the types and increase the quality of activities assigned to students. In learning, the students need some motivation. Allow them to use the Internet in their learning is a motivational push to who are bored by the traditional ways of information delivery, and thereby expedite the transfer of information from the short-term memory to the long-term memory. The Internet allows us to motivate some of the lost students in the class, and thereby accelerate the assimilation process.

According to an African proverb, a person who asks questions understands a new language faster. Using the Internet for educational activities provides a different avenue for discovery through questioning, and for critical evaluation of information. It is also important that we answer students’ questions properly and timely. This is why we must constantly retrain according to the needs of the time. For this information age, we must be vexed with the personal and educational uses of the Internet.

Generally, Communication is a way of using knowledge. It is a source for re-enforcement. The Internet promotes fast communication across geographical barriers, and therefore gives students an opportunity to communicate early in life with a broad range of people not imagined possible before. Also using knowledge in different settings give a better understanding of the different shades of meaning of the concepts involved in a giving learning situation.

Besides to manage the class room, you can post class lessons, homework problems, and practice exams on the Net for students to access from home, from the library, or from any place that has access to the Net. Parents can access the Web pages to confirm the homework problems their children are required to do. Moreover, the homework could be structured in such a way that the student can progress from simpler to more challenging activities by means of hyperlinks. In addition to posting class lessons and homework, we can have a class bulletin board on web site. In this way, students can get involved in class discussions in a manner not possible in the classroom. This medium can also be used to resolve problems between class periods.

In conclusion, the Internet allows you to add content to your lessons and to disseminate useful information to students and parents without waste of valuable class time and those give many advantages for students in learning.

Hilts and Turroff (1985) and Hilts (1994) suggest that this flexibility supports collaborative learning among students who can therefore participate at times and places of their choosing. Hilts (1994 : 10) states that : Students may participate at any time of the day or night that they have the time and the inclination. Opportunities for feedback from the instructor and interaction with other students are not limited to a few fixed times per week.

  1. 3. Advantages of Students Using ICT for Learning

As was pointed out previously, the Internet provides students with the tools they need to discover and own knowledge. And give students the hooks and templates they need to fasten information to the long-term memory. There are some advantages of student using ICT for learning :

  1. 1. Motivating Factor.

The Internet can act as a motivating tool for many students. Young people are very captivated with technology. Educators must capitalize on this interest, excitement, and enthusiasm about the Internet for the purpose of enhancing learning. For already enthusiastic learners, the Internet allows you to provide them with additional learning activities not readily available in the classroom.

  1. 2. Fast Communication.

The Internet promotes fast communication across geographical barriers. Your students can join collaborative projects that involve students from different states, countries or continents. This type of learning experience was not possible before the Internet. This is a unique learning experience very essential for each of our students, as the world is becoming one big community.

  1. 3. Cooperative Learning.

The Internet facilitates cooperative learning, encourages dialogue, and creates a more engaging classroom. For example, a LISTSER V for our class will allow your students to get involved in class discussions through e-mails in a way not possible within the four walls of the classroom.

  1. 4. Locating Research Materials.

Apart from communication, research is what takes many people to the Internet. There are many more resources on the Internet than the school library can provide. We can encourage students to take advantage of this wealth of resources on the Internet for their research.

  1. 5. Acquiring Varied Writing Skills

If students are required to publish their work on the Internet, they have to develop hypertext skills. These skills help students gain experience in non-sequential writings. Moreover, and since the Internet is open to all with access, students publishing their work on the Internet are forced to be mindful of their language and to write to non-expert audience.

  1. 4. Disadvantages of Using ICT for Education

The use of the Internet for education is not without problems. Therefore, one should expect the problems to be encountered in using the Internet in teaching to be evolving as well. There are some disadvantage of using ICT for teaching and learning :

  1. 1. Plagiarism.

Apart from Web sites that claim to help students write term papers, there are numerous cases of students downloading information from the Net and turning them in for grades. We can minimize this problem by requiring students to cite research sources. There is an online service, Plagiarism.org at http://www.plagiarism.org/, which can assist us in minimizing cases of plagiarism in the class. This service claims to prevent plagiarism by determining if a term paper has been copied from the Internet or not.

  1. 2. Student Privacy.

Criminals, marketers, and other persons can easily get information from students when they are online. These could post danger to students’ lives or may even lead to litigation against the school. To avoid this problem, students should be educated on the dangers of giving information to people online. Parents and teachers need to supervise students’ online activities.

  1. 3. Low Income Groups.

According to the US Department of Education, over 50% of public schools with a high minority enrollment had a lower rate of Internet access than public schools with a low minority enrollment in 1997. The same was true of instructional rooms in those schools. In addition, students from low-income families may not have computers at home or may have computers at home with no access to the Internet. Consequently, students in low-income communities may be disadvantaged. To reduce the effect that social or economic status may have, we should give Internet assignments that students can easily complete while in school. If necessary, schools may need to keep computer labs open for longer and/or odd hours. The use of computers at public libraries should also be encouraged.

  1. 4. Preparation Time.

It takes a lot of preparation time to effectively use the Net for education. In addition to designing Internet based lesson plans, we may have to surf the Internet to download lesson plans and adapt them to support the curriculum objectives or visit sites to select those appropriate for classes. We have no choice but prepare in order to help your students become responsible user of the Internet.

  1. New Administrative Responsibilities.

Teaching using the Internet brings to bear a new set of administrative demands on the teacher and the school administration. These include development and implementation of acceptable use policy, training, developing new evaluation criteria as needed, and addressing parents’ concerns.

  1. 5. Conclusion,

In sum, not all lessons can be incorporated into the Internet. In teaching using the Net, we have to convince that using the Net adds something new, some real value to our teaching. But also, students should be trained to use the available technology efficiently. We should collaborate with other teachers in the school and in the system, because cooperation and mutual understanding is very important especially when the school has few Internet accounts. Through the net, the student can communicate or collaborate with other students or experts in the field across geographically boundaries. Moreover, they can join a news group on a particular topic of interest. What is most interesting about the Net, as far as communication is concerned, is that it is race, age, national origin, and gender blind. The Net also enables students to publish projects’ findings to be seen by their peers around the world. This might give some students the motivation they need to complete their work on time, to be mindful of their language. Therefore, every student can benefit from a Net communication project.

THE REFERENCES

Ahmad, K., G. Corbett, M. Rogers, and R. Sussex. (1985). Computers, Language Learning and Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ebiefung, Aniekan. 2000. Teaching Using the Internet. University of Tenneessee at Chattanooga. Retreived on July 02 2009, from: cecasun.utc.edu

Hartoyo. (1993) Creating Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) Using Hypertext System: A CAL Tutorial Program for the Learners of English. Thesis Master of Arts (Unpublished). Sheffield, United Kingdom: Sheffield University.

http://www.wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_ICT

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICT (education)

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/I/ICT.html

http://http://www.tiresias.org/accessible_ict/what.htm

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