Sunday, 22 May, 2022
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Prospects of ICT and E-learning

Dr. Protiva Rani Karmaker

Prospects of ICT and E-learning
Dr. Protiva Rani Karmaker

We are living in between anxiety, deprivation, sickness, death, exhaustion, boredom, lockdown and more horrors of uncertainties. The present pandemic of covid-19 has brought a cataclysmic change in the global rhythm especially in the field of education. Lockdown is imposed intermittently which has resulted in the closure of academic institutions. Traditional classroom teaching is nearly suspended, and education as well as knowledge sharing is being carried out through online platforms. Currently, Bangladesh’s education sector is experiencing commendable incorporation of ICT and digital devices, which is also being accelerated with the trendy online education propelled by the ‘New Normal’ devised by COVID-19 circumstances.

As it was said by Elbert Hubbard, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade", we now need to focus on finding innovative and effective doors of e-leaning based on ICTs.  In this modern world of science and technology, the world not only has shrunk into a global village but also made the villagers a part of one global community (Mallick, 2018). People are getting familiar with technology day by day due to this wide usage of the world wide web. In accordance with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2003), ICTs include, basically, information –handling tools-a varied set of goods, applications and services that are used to produce, store, process, distribute and exchange information. They include the old ICTs of radio, television and telephone, and the new ICTs of computers, satellite and wireless technology and the internet. These different tools are now able to work together, and combine to form our ‘networked world’, a massive infrastructure of interconnected telephone services, standardized computing hardware, the internet, radio and television, which reaches into every corner of the globe. As such, technological innovation has changed the social, political, economic and cultural fabric of life since the end of the cold war (Taylor, 2001). Moreover, with the introduction of Smartphone, 5th generation internet service, inclusive coverage of social networking sites, easily accessible Google, YouTube-oriented teaching and learning, technology-affiliated teaching-learning approaches like blended teaching and flipped classroom approach are enjoying a harvesting period in Bangladesh. Seemingly, this trend is going to keep functioning at its height for some decades to come.  To keep pace with global trends, we can think of adopting innovative classroom apps for fun, effective engagement and on-the-fly assessment. To mention a few are as follows:

Socrative

Socrative is one of the top-rated assessment tools for teachers according to hundreds of online reviews by educators and professional reviewers alike. It is an interactive digital tool that lets you quiz, grade, and assess on-the-fly; “at the speed of learning.” Teachers can choose from quick questions for instant feedback, class counts to see who’s logged in, or full quizzes for deeper understanding. This versatile tool lets teachers create polls and activities and shuffle questions, with or without student names attached. Quizzes are graded in real time, and teachers can store them for re-use with other groups. It works on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices on MS Windows, Android, and iOS.  It is very simple, flexible, and aligns well with Common Core.

Google Forms

One of the best reasons to use Google Forms is that as an online assessment tool for education it is very easy to use. Google Forms is a go-to among teachers because it is quick and simple to create and automatically grade quizzes even when it is the first time for teachers using the tool.

Mentimeter 

Mentimeter holds a sky-high position among assessment tools used in the classroom. It comes pre-loaded with education templates for the classroom, like listening skills assessments, icebreakers, formative assessments, post-lecture surveys, and polls.

Kahoot 

Kahoot is a game-based assessment tool. Students love Kahoot’s game-based approach to learning and assessment.

There are other domains of teaching and e-learning such as flipped classroom, social networking sites like Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Blogs, Wikis, Zoom, Skype, Librivox, Camscanner, E-dictionary and many more.  Though the canvas of ICT based e-learning is vast and significantly evident, it is yet not known as well as familiar to some teachers and learners. In such circumstances, Motivation acts as a strong input. Let us motivate our learners not to spend null and void time over ICTs but to make the best use of time on it. We should not leave any effort untried to connect us with the benefits of technology-based e-learning platforms for improving basic skills and knowledge.  Robert Tew rightly said, “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up.” For tomorrow’s struggle we probably need global learning. However, while using ICTs we should be always careful and alert regarding the authenticity of information.  In online classes, proper interaction between teachers and students is highly expected.  Learning activities with interaction helps better understanding, promotes critical thinking, explores mutual respect and love and collaborative social skills.

Lastly it can be said that the process of learning is never ending. Let us not close any window of involvement both in teaching and learning. Benjamin Franklin rightly opined, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Let us think of ICTs based e-learning with deep involvement and passion for tomorrow’s global learning phenomenon.

 

The writer is Professor of English, Institute of Modern Languages (IML), Jagannath University