The developments in the field of information systems have brought about revolutionary changes in student learning and educational policies. The modern scientific and technological advancements have made access to information and information sharing quite easy and the very concept of classroom instruction has undergone drastic changes.
Computer-based education has become one of the key features of modern education and the cultural and national barriers regarding information are reduced to the bare minimum as information systems have reduced the gap between civilizations, cultures and nations, and the students are given the privilege to have a global view of the social; and cultural issues that surround them. This changed educational scenario has necessitated corresponding and timely changes in the curriculum and educational policies. The essay here attempts to depict the impacts of information systems on educational policies and student learning with special reference to the articles under consideration.
The rapid growth of information systems has brought about effective changes in the teaching strategies and methodologies, and the number of teachers who make use of powerpoint presentations, video clips, and multimedia slide shows to make the teaching-learning process more informative and interesting has also been increased considerably. Bryan Alexander feels that “technologies have proliferated and developed; teachers have developed and shared techniques and projects through networks and institutions.” (Alexander).
Similarly, access to learning and information sharing has become common to all learners across the world and the students make use of the internet facilities to fruition and productivity in learning extensively. It has become easy for the learners to have global outlooks regarding their course contents and in a way the articles and information that is shared on web have supplemented classroom instruction: “Learning materials published to the Web, or some network, have supplemented other class materials.” (Alexander).
Information systems have acted as a link between various cultures, societies and nations and the networked computing has rightly played the role of a ‘social enabler’. The article, “Using technology in teaching and learning: Resources to help you navigate a digital world”, shows the importance of technology-enabled classroom instruction and the author clearly points out the various roles that technology is capable of playing in the classroom.
Lorrie Jackson (2005) believes that it is high time that the technological advancements are integrated to the classroom instruction and the author postulates that there should be provisions in the curriculum for computer based education. However it is disheartening to note that many teachers do not find the time to enhance the curriculum with the use of the new advancements in technology; many follow the age-old lecture method in the teaching-learning process.
This is very well suggested by Brenda Dyck when she remarks: “”Many high school teachers view technology as a tack-on for an already packed full program and they don’t think they have time for it. That’s because they can’t envision technology being a conduit to delivering and enhancing the curriculum they teach.” (Jackson, 2005). Computers in the high school classroom. Education World). One of major set back as observed by the Tech Team members is that of the “shortage of computer access” and they identify that “there’s no time, little training, and few computers.” (Jackson, 2005). It is mandatory that all the teachers are provided ample training regarding the use of all the modern technological devices.
The learners at the high school level can very well be prepared to face standardized tests confidently with the right use of the information systems, and used effectively a good teacher can nurture the critical and free-thinking of students by exhorting them to gather a lot of information to reach at a meaningful conclusion of their own. The teachers should be able to take the learners beyond the curriculum and “technology helps move students from restating information to creating new information; facilitating innovative thinking in students.” (Jackson, 2005).
Jackson provides a list of the innovative approaches that are identified by the Tech Team for the students who are in the grades of 9-12. They include online quizzes, online databases, Microsoft OneNote software, online classes, and access to primary sources, Technology-infused electives and blogging. No doubt, all these approaches would make the teaching-learning process more interactive, interesting and informative.
Linda Starr (2002) makes a very useful study on how the use of technology varies from state to state and district to district within the nation. To cite an example, in Alabama, “every classroom is networked and online”, and in many areas “technology is valued and supported; in others it is definitely the curricular stepchild.” (Starr, 2002). In other states like California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, and Massachusetts there is a continuous and steady growth in the use of technology for information sharing and classroom instruction.
The article by Linda Starr offers a number of practical guidelines on how technology can effectively be incorporated into the instructional process as it includes practical suggestions from experienced technology coordinators and technology integration specialists. It is unanimously agreed by all that the use of various information systems enhances the quality of teaching and yields better productivity and desirable changes.
The U. S. Department of Education has realized the fact that “advances in both cognitive science and information technology have the potential to transform education and training in ways previously unimaginable.” (Visions 2020.2: student views on transforming education and Training through Advanced Technologies, 2002). Education should meet the changing needs of the time and advanced technology-enabled learning would help to mold citizens who are competent enough to lead the nation to progress and prosperity.
The article, “U.S. Department of Commerce, (2002, September). Visions 2020.2: student views on transforming education”, clearly pinpoints how the learners respond to technology-enabled education. It is not surprising that most students “registered high interest in the notion that every student should have a computer for his or her personal use in school and to take home for doing homework.” (p.13) The learners show their amenity towards the use of information system in educational process and it is quite evident from their innovative ideas regarding having a computer set on the desk for each child in the classroom and their idea of the Holographic teachers who can help them always display the way technology has revolutionized education.
To conclude, the rapid changes in the information system should reflect in the educational policies, the curriculum, the classroom instruction and student learning. For this, the learners are to be provided opportunities to make the maximum use of all the technological devices and the teachers are to be trained well to transact the curriculum to the best. Besides, the curriculum should be so carefully designed to meet student requirements and it should take into account the changed educational scenario and should foresee the future needs of the learners. Thus, one can ensure effective and meaningful learning experiences for the learners which would see a generation of youths- responsible citizens who are competent enough to contribute to the welfare of the nation and for the international community.
Alexander, Bryan. (2007). Internet Sources: Using technology in teaching and learning: Resources to help you navigate a digital world. C&RL News. Vol. 68, No. 2. ACRL. Web.
Jackson, Lorrie (2005). Computers in the high school classroom, Education World. Web.
Starr, Linda. (2002). The State of Technology Part 1: How Does Your School Measure Up?, Education World. Web.
Visions 2020.2: student views on transforming education and Training through Advanced Technologies, (2002). U. S. Department of Education: U.S. Department of Commerce. Web.