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INTRODUCTION

This paper discusses the role of ICT in education but specifically the role it plays at Win International. Information communication technology at present is influencing every aspect of human life. It is playing salient role in work places, business, education, and entertainment. Therefore, this project work shall highlight what ICTs are and the role of ICT, how they can be used in Education and the advantages and disadvantages in using them in teaching and learning.

ICT is an acronym that stands for Information Communications Technology. Apart from explaining the acronym, there is not a universally accepted definition of ICT because the concepts, methods and applications involved in ICT are constantly evolving on an almost daily basis. Its difficult to keep up with the changes - they happen so fast. However, ICT is seen is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning. ICTs are often spoken of in a particular context, such as ICTs in education, health care, or libraries. In Watsons (2001) description, ICTs have revolutionized the way people work today and are now transforming education systems. As a result, if schools train children in yesterdays skills and technologies they may not be effective and fit in tomorrows world. This is a sufficient reason for ICTs to win global recognition and attention. For instance, ICTs are dependable tools in facilitating the attainment of one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is achievement of universal primary education by the year 2015. Kofi Anan, the former United Nations Secretary General, points out that in order to attain the goal of Universal Primary Education by the year 2015; we must ensure that information and communication technologies (ICTs) unlock the door of education systems. This indicates the growing demand and increasingly important place that (ICTs) could receive in education. Since ICTs provide greater opportunity for students and teachers to adjust learning and teaching to individual needs, society is, forcing schools to give appropriate response to this technical innovation.

Even though ICTs play significant roles in representing equalization strategy for developing countries, the reality of the digital divide- the gap between those who have access to, and control technology and those who do not, make a huge difference in the use of ICTs. This means, that the introduction and integration of ICTs at different levels and various types of education is the most challenging undertaking. Failure to meet the challenges would mean a further widening of the knowledge gap and deepening of existing economic and social inequalities among the developed and the developing countries. Thus, the purpose of this review article is to discuss the benefits of ICT use in education, in the enhancement of student learning and experiences of some countries in order to encourage policy makers, school administrators, and teachers pay the required attention to integrate this technology in their education systems. In so doing, it highlights the benefits of ICT in education, existing promises, and the limitations and challenges of integration to education systems.

ICT in this paper refers to the computer and internet connections used to handle and communicate information for learning purposes. There are certain terms that are associated with the use of ICT for learning purposed. Some are E-learning, Blended learning, Constructivism, Learner-centred learning environment and Open and distance learning. E-learning is a learning program that makes use of an information network such as the internet, an intranet (LAN) or extranet (WAN) whether wholly or in part, for course delivery, interaction and/or facilitation. Web-based learning is a subset of e-learning and refers to learning using an internet browser such as the moodle, blackboard or internet explorer (Tinio, 2002). Blended learning refers to learning models that combines the face-to-face classroom practice with e-learning solutions. For example, a teacher may facilitate student learning in class contact and use the moodle (modular object) to supplement. Constructivism is a paradigm of learning that assumes learning as a process individuals construct meaning or new knowledge based on their prior knowledge and experience (Johassen, 1991). Educators also call it the emerging pedagogy in contrast to the long existing behaviourism view of learning. Learner-centred learning environment is a learning environment that pays attention to knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs that learners bring with them to the learning process where its impetus is derived from a paradigm of learning called constructivism. In the context of this paper, it means students personal engagement to the learning task using the computer and or the internet connection.

Aims and Objectives 0f ICT in Education 1. To implement the principle of life-long learning/education. 2. To increase a variety of educational services and medium/method. 3. To promote equal opportunities to obtain education and information. 4. To develop a system of collecting and disseminating educational information. 5. To promote technology literacy of all citizens, especially for students. 6. To develop distance education with national contents. 7. To promote the culture of learning at school (development of learning skills, expansion of optional education, open source of education, etc.) 8. To support schools in sharing experience and information with others.

HOW ICTs COULD ENHANCE EDUCATION


ICTs are making dynamic changes in society. They are influencing all aspects of life. The influences are felt more and more at schools. Because ICTs provide both students and teachers with more opportunities in adapting learning and teaching to individual needs, society is, forcing schools to aptly respond to this technical innovation. Tinio (2002), states the potentials of ICTs in increasing access and improving relevance and quality of education in developing countries. Tinio further states the potentials of ICT as greatly facilitating the acquisition and absorption of knowledge, offering developing countries unprecedented opportunities to enhance educational systems. ICTs can enhance the quality of education in several ways: by increasing learner motivation and engagement by facilitating the acquisition of basic skills, and by enhancing teacher training. ICTs are also transformational tools which, when used appropriately, can promote the shift to a learner-centred environment.

ICTs can serve as a motivation for students to learn. ICTs such as videos, television and multimedia computer software that combine text, sound, and colourful, moving images can be used to provide challenging and authentic content that will engage the student in the learning process. Interactive radio likewise makes use of sound effects, songs, dramatizations, comic skits, and other performance conventions to compel the students to listen and become involved in the lessons being delivered.

Networked computers with internet connectivity can increase learner motivation as it combines the media richness and interactivity of other ICTs with the opportunity to connect with real people and to participate in real world events. ICTs promote active learning. ICT-enhanced learning mobilizes tools for examination, calculation and analysis of information in order to provide a platform for student inquiry, analysis and construction of new information. The learners therefore, learn as they do and, whenever appropriate work on real-life problems indepth. Moreover, ICT makes the learning less abstract and more relevant to their life situations. In contrast to memorization-based or rote learning, that is the feature of traditional pedagogy; ICT-enhanced learning promotes increased learner engagement. ICT-enhanced learning can also be just-in time learning that the learners choose what to learn when they need.

Also, it facilitates the acquisition of basic skills. The transmission of basic skills and concepts that are the foundation of higher order thinking skills and creativity can be facilitated by ICTs through drill and practice. Educational television programs such as Sesame Street use repetition and reinforcement to teach the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and other basic concepts. Most of the early uses of computers were for computer-based learning (also called computer-assisted instruction) that focused on mastery of skills and content through repetition and reinforcement. ICT-supported learning promotes the manipulation of existing information and the creation of real-world products rather than the duplication of received information.

Moreover, ICT-supported learning encourages interaction and cooperation among students, teachers, and experts regardless of where they are. Apart from modelling real world interactions, ICT-supported learning provides opportunity to work with students from different cultures, thereby helping to enhance learners teaming and communication skills as well as their global awareness. It models learning done throughout the learners lifetime by expanding the learning pace to include not just peers but also mentors and experts from different fields. ICT-enhanced learning is student-directed and diagnostic. Unlike static, text or print-based education, ICTenhanced learning recognizes the presence of different learning pathways to explore and discover rather than merely listen and remember.

Further, it enhances teacher training. ICTs have also been used to improve access to and the quality of teacher training. For example, periodic workshops in ICT (supplemented by printmaterials) were organized for second-cycle ICT teachers in the Upper East of Ghana as was recently done in November, 2011. Another instance is the programmes offered by the University of Education, Winneba (UEW). ICT is offered as part of all education related programmes at all levels of the tertiary cycle. ICT-enhanced learning promotes a thematic integrative approach to teaching and learning. This approach eliminates the artificial separation between the different disciplines and between theory and practice, which characterizes the traditional approach.

ADVANTAGES OF ICT
The uses of ICT is making major differences in the learning of students and teaching approaches. Schools in the Western World invested a lot for ICT infrastructures over the last 20 years, and students use computers more often and for a much larger range of applications (Volman, 2005). Some educators hope that games and simulations will provide a way for students to picture themselves in career paths they may otherwise would not have chosen, especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects, and some argue that games and simulations offer students a way to connect what they are learning in class to (simulated) real-world situations in a safe and low-cost environment.

Researchers have also found that games and simulations may help students learn by helping them visualize processes they otherwise could not see, such as the flow of an electron or the construction of a city. Games can also promote higher-order thinking skills, such as collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. Several studies reveal that students using ICT facilities mostly show higher learning gains than those who do not use. For instance, Kuliks (1994) finding across 75 studies in the United States showed the following. Students who used computer tutorials in mathematics, natural science, and social science score significantly higher on tests in these subjects. Students who used simulation software in science also scored higher. The findings also indicated that primary school students who used tutorial software in reading scored significantly higher on reading. It could be seen that there are advantages to the use of ICTs in the educational set up.

General benefits Greater efficiency throughout the school. Communication channels are increased through email, discussion groups and chat rooms Regular use of ICT across different curriculum subjects can have a beneficial motivational influence on students learning.

Benefits for Teachers ICT facilitates sharing of resources, expertise and advice Greater flexibility in when and where tasks are carried out Gains in ICT literacy skills, confidence and enthusiasm. 6

Easier planning and preparation of lessons and designing materials Access to up-to-date pupil and school data, anytime and anywhere. Enhancement of professional image projected to colleagues. Students are generally more on task and express more positive feelings when they use computers than when they are given other tasks to do. Computer use during lessons motivated students to continue using learning outside school hours.

Benefits for Students Higher quality lessons through greater collaboration between teachers in planning and preparing resources. More focused teaching, tailored to students strengths and weaknesses, through better analysis of attainment data Improved pastoral care and behaviour management through better tracking of students Gains in understanding and analytical skills, including improvements in reading Comprehension. Development of writing skills (including spelling, grammar, punctuation, editing and redrafting), also fluency, originality and elaboration. Encouragement of independent and active learning, and self-responsibility for learning. Development of higher level learning styles. Students who used educational technology in school felt more successful in school, were more motivated to learn and have increased self-confidence and self-esteem Students found learning in a technology-enhanced setting more stimulating and studentcentred than in a traditional classroom Broadband technology supports the reliable and uninterrupted downloading of webhosted educational multimedia resources Opportunities to address their work to an external audience Opportunities to collaborate on assignments with people outside or inside school

Benefits for Parents Easier communication with teachers Higher quality student reports more legible, more detailed, better presented Greater access to more accurate attendance and attainment information Increased involvement in education for parents and, in some cases, improved self-esteem Increased knowledge of childrens learning and capabilities, owing to increase in learning activity being situated in the home Parents are more likely to be engaged in the school community You will see that ICT can have a positive impact across a very wide range of aspects of school life.

DISADVANTAGES OF ICT
Given all the positive research described in above it would appear that schools are being very successful and imaginative in integrating ICT across the curriculum. However, many researchers believe that the success stories are isolated and that the norm in most schools is very different. There are several draw backs to the use of ICT. One of the major barriers for the cause of ICT not reaching its full potential in the foundation stage is teachers attitude. According to Hara (2004) within the early years education attitudes towards ICT can vary considerably. Some see it as a potential tool to aid learning whereas others seem to disagree with the use of technology in early year settings. Blatchford and Whitebread (2003:16), suggests that the use of ICT in the foundation stage is unhealthy and hinders learning. Other early years educators who are opposed to offering ICT experiences within the educational settings take a less extreme view than this and suggest that ICT is fine, but there are other more vital experiences that young children will benefit from, (Blatchford and Whitebread, 2003). In theory some people may have the opinion that the teachers who had not experienced ICT throughout their learning tend to have a negative attitude towards it, as they may lack the training in that area of the curriculum.

Computer-based learning has negative physical side-effects such as vision problem.

Another important drawback to using ICT in schools is the fact that computers are expensive. According to the IT learning exchange (2001), in most schools ICT will be the single largest curriculum budget cost. This may be seen as a good thing but on the other hand there will be little money left over for other significant costs.

Technical reliability is another issue. It is important to acknowledge that ICT can have technical problems and contingency planning is necessary to ensure that alternative strategies are in place. Sutherland et al (2004) describe a situation in a school where the ICT was particularly unreliable and this led to lower attainment among high ability pupils: Students lost so much time when the computers would not work at all that the high attainers working on the computers produced work of a much lower standard than usual and were demotivated. As computers become more sophisticated and the range of software used by schools continues to increase, schools must recognise the need to employ more and higher quality technical staff. 9

With pressure on budgets and competition from the commercial sector for the best staff, it is becoming increasingly difficult for schools to attract and retain technical staff with the appropriate skills and experience.

Another frequently observed problem with ICT in general and the Internet in particular is that it provides many more opportunities for pupils to get off-task. Jedeskog and Nissen (2004) describe a lesson in which: They (the pupils) are at the same time working with school tasks, sending emails, choosing new music from their MP3 files, looking at a home page and they are chatting. When I get nearer, they very rapidly (and skilfully!) change to the school task. Internet activities demand a commitment of time, energy and attention that must be traded off with other activities that a teacher might pursue. (Wallace 2004). This view is supported by the authors own observations. In classes where the Internet is being used, it is essential to keep a close eye on the students to ensure that they remain on task. This is not always possible in mixed ability classes where pupils are working at different rates and require disproportional amounts of assistance. Jedeskog and Nissen (2004) observed that pupils often focus on the facilities provided by the application rather than the expected outcome and the learning objectives. For example, pupils will spend the majority of a lesson experimenting with different colours and backgrounds and have no time left to create the required content. BECTA (2003) suggested that it is important that pupils are given an initial design brief so they know what they are aiming towards and begin the process with something simple so that they can build up their confidence in using the tools available rather than playing with all of them all at once.

The Internet is used extensively in schools as a research tool, but another major problem is the wealth of material available, a lot of which is biased and unreliable. Leach and Moon (2000) describe a situation where a student produced a paper about how the Holocaust did not happen because of what he read on a website. This shows why it is necessary for teachers to be very aware of what the Internet is being used for and to ensure that the information used is unbiased and from reliable sources. Graham and Metaxas (2003) also raise this as a concern in their paper about the impact of the Internet on critical thinking. Their description of the way that students are unable to detect bias or determine between fact and advertising raises serious concerns for teachers that allow their students to find their own information with little or no guidance. 10

Also, students spend huge amounts of time searching for information and comparatively little time analysing and processing the information. This observation is consistent with the findings of Jedeskog and Nissen (2004) that: there appears to be no time to synthesise (information): to do gets more attention than to understand. Another problem is the black-box syndrome. This is where pupils produce the output required by the teacher, but may have little idea of how it was produced and consequently are unable to apply the skill to similar situations. An example of this is the Wordplay application described by Ashurst (1986). This package allows pupils to enter types of words that are used by Wordplay to create poems. Ashurst concludes that it is an effective tool to encourage children not only to use language but how to think about they use it. However, the author is sceptical about whether pupils truly learn about language constructs, or whether they just enjoy making funny sounding poems without knowing why different types of words appear in certain places. The author has observed what Dale et al (2004) call the Encarta syndrome where pupils simply download chunks of material without reading it or understanding the concepts within it. When asked to discuss their findings or use the information in classwork, they are unable to do so. Many pupils seem to think that simply finding the information is sufficient without realising that it is vitally important to process and understand it. Pupils mainly use their time at school searching for and collecting information but not elaborating and evaluating information (Jedeskog and Nissen 2004).

The presence of multimedia games and online games by internet has been another serious problem that should be wisely handled by the educational institutions. The students cannot be exterminated from this case. They can have and do with it wherever and whenever they want. Schools, as a matter of fact, do not have enough power and time to prevent or stop it after school times. Meanwhile, most parents do not have enough times to accompany and control their children. So, the students have large opportunities to do with multimedia games or online games or browsing the negative and porn sites. Having been addicted, the students will have too little time to study, and even do not want to attend classes.

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SOME CHALLENGES OF ICTS INTEGRATION IN EDUCATION


The integration of ICTs in education systems may face various challenges with respect to policy, planning, infrastructure, learning content and language, capacity building and financing. ICTenhanced education requires clearly stated objectives, mobilization of resources and political commitment of the concerned bodies. Tinio (2002) discusses issues such as analysis of current practices and arrangements, identification of potential drives and barriers, curriculum and pedagogy, infrastructure and capacity building to be considered in the formulation of policy and planning. In addition, it is wise to specify educational goals at different education and training levels as well as the different modalities of ICT use that can facilitate in the pursuit of the goals. Policy makers then, need to know the potentials of ICTs in applying different contexts for different purposes. Other challenging points at the level of policy and planning are identification of stakeholders and harmonization of efforts across different interest groups, the piloting of the chosen ICT-based model, and specification of existing sources of financing and the development of strategies for generating financial resources to support ICT use over the long term.

The infrastructure challenges that may exist are absence of appropriate buildings and rooms to house the technology, shortage of electric supply and telephone lines, and lack of the different types of ICTs. Because of this, one need to deal with infrastructure related challenges before the planning of ICTs integration to education systems.

With respect to challenges of capacity building, we have to develop competencies of teachers and school administrators for the successful integration of ICT in the education system. In fact, one impeding factor of ICTs integration in education systems is the skill gap of people implementing it (Tinio, 2002). For instance, teachers need professional development to gain skills with particular applications of ICT, integration into existing curricula, curricular changes related to its use, changes in teacher role, and on underpinning educational theories such as constructivism/or student-centred learning. Because of this, any attempt of ICT integration in education should parallel with teachers professional development.

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The school leadership also plays a key role in the integration of ICT in education. Lack of support from the school administration is also a big challenge. Thus, for the effectiveness of ICT integration, administrators must be competent and have a broad understanding of the technical, curricular, administrative, financial, and social dimensions of ICT use in education. Furthermore, learning content and language also challenge the integration of ICT in education. Content development is a critical area that educators overlook. In integrating ICT in education, we have to care for the relevance of the learning content to the target groups. With respect to language, English is the dominant language in many of educational software, while English language proficiency is not high in many of the developing countries, and this is one barrier in the integration of ICT to education.

Another great challenge is the financing. ICTs in education programs require large capital investment and developing countries need to predict the benefit of ICT use to balance the cost relative to the existing alternatives. Potential sources of money and resources for ICT use programs suggested are grants, public subsidies, fund-raising events, in kind support from volunteers, community support, revenues earned from core business, and revenues earned from ancillary activities (Tinio, 2002). Overcoming the mentioned challenges may help education systems benefit the most from this technology.

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CONCLUSION
The research about the use of ICT in teaching and learning is contradictory. Some studies highlight excellent and imaginative examples of ICT in lessons, whilst others are more sceptical. ICT can provide a vast range of facilities and resources in one place that are accessible to all pupils at the same time. It can overcome shortages of textbooks and other resources that would hold back the achievement of learning objectives. ICT provides almost limitless facilities for pupils to express themselves. Use of ICT can enhance learning, but not simply because it is used instead of traditional methods. As John and Sutherland (2004) point out, ICT alone does not enhance learning; rather it is the ways in which ICT is incorporated into the various learning activities that is of fundamental importance. The influence of ICT, especially internet (open source tool) cannot be ignored in our students lives. So, the learning activities should be reoriented and reformulated, from the manual sourcecentred to the open source ones. In this case the widely use of internet access has been an unavoidable policy that should be anticipated by schools authorities. The implementation of ICT in education has not been a priority trend of educational reform and the State has paid little attention to it. Therefore, there should be an active participation, initiative and good will of the schools and the government institutions to enhance ICT implementation at school. Teachers should be the main motivator and initiator of the ICT implementation at schools. The teachers should be aware of the social change in their teaching activities. They should be the agent of change from the classical method into the modern one. They must also be the part of the global change in learning and teaching modification. Teachers have to adapt their teaching styles when using ICT in lessons to adopt a more constructive approach (Becker 2000). The independent learning aspect of ICT suggests that teachers should become less directive and adopt a more coaching and discursive approach (Bonnett et al 1999). There is sufficient research to suggest that ICT can have a very positive and beneficial impact on teaching and learning and that this is the case in many classes. If ICT is not properly used, the disadvantages will overweigh the advantages. For example, while students use the internet, it may confuse them by the multiplicity of information to choose from. As a result, the teacher spends much time to control students from websites unrelated to the learning content.

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There is a consensus that the development of any country depends upon the quality of education programs offered to citizens. ICTs, despite their known limitations, are believed to be beneficial in this regard. The computer and the internet are especially useful to enhance student engagement in learning and positively impact student performance and achievement. Moreover, their usefulness is more apparent in the 21st century, where the time is an era of information rich that the conventional modes of teaching learning could hardly handle it. Regardless of all the limitations characterizing it, ICT benefits education systems to provide quality education in alignment with constructivism, which is a contemporary paradigm of learning.

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