Integration of ICT into teaching and learning--challenges
The Government of India embarked upon a mammoth project --National Mission on Education through ICT keeping in line with the NPE (92). It envisions ICT as a tool to overcome great hurdles in access of education and improvement in learning along with creating a strong Human Resource as the world moves towards knowledge based economies. According to this policy, there has been a massive overhaul in education sector for integrating ICT into education. Yet, in reality, it does not seem to have made a very large difference.
The most common excuse is the nonavailability of the hardware-- the computers, the internet connectivity etc. This seems to be a lame excuse. With the amount of money that is invested under NMEICT, the hardware seems to have taken care of to a large extent. But what is missing is the training. Not training of ICT but training of the mind. And that is what is more important than the ICT training, the mental preparation on the part of the teachers. Are our teachers really ready? Research says that teachers take around 5 years for 'mental acceptance of technology'. What is it that actually stops teachers from adopting ICT? The philosophical conflict. Most of the teachers do feel threatened that technology will replace them. Most teachers have been a part of an autocratic education system and ICT enables more participation, more democratic environment for the students. Are we as teachers ready for such a open classroom? Can one time training in ICT really make us ready? Are there any other aspects that are holding us back from using ICT to a greater extent?