For over a decade, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has been the topic of discussion in developing and developed countries. With the birth of various disruptive technologies and digitally-based occupations, ICT has made its mark and will continue to immerse itself in various industries to transform old norms and practices for both work-related and leisure activities. ICT integration has also been encouraged in education in many countries to prepare the youth of today for future opportunities and challenges. In some countries, evidence is already there that ICT develops young minds.
ICT develops young minds
With the ICT industry rapidly evolving, it has become fundamentally clear that using these technologies the same ways we have always used them will become irrelevant. Think about the skills learnt and knowledge gained from being educated in ICT itself, for example. Nothing is silo-based, but tends towards a completely integrated learning experience, and the required skills are not limited to only hard skills or soft skills; both are as important as the other. On a grander scale, this means that young people will not only be challenged according to their knowledge; but on their ability to collaborate and innovate to find sustainable solutions to any problem they are faced with.
Here are a few skills that learning through ICT can assist in developing:
- Analytical and critical thinking
The abovementioned skills are critical for future changes that many will face. Moreover, they are key to equipping young people in challenging the norm and moulding agile individuals that will be capable of competing in a constantly fluctuating global market.
It’s not only up to the youth though: teachers also need to be equipped to facilitate in an ICT education. Organisational preconditions such as vision, culture and policy make ICT education a possibility; personnel support ensures teachers have the required knowledge, attitude and skills to shape young minds; and technical preconditions that guarantee schools have the required state of the art infrastructure can then facilitate this kind of education.
Impact of ICT education
ICT education is goal oriented and tends to be flexible as it changes according to learner needs and industry evolution. The focus of this type of education is to build and share skills, knowledge and global progressiveness. ICT ensures that young people have access to study material via virtual libraries, thus promoting a culture of life-long learning. Learning through ICT offers interactivity and allows learners to be more responsible for their own educational growth.
Aristotle once said, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” Thus far, there is enough evidence that investment in ICT education will yield a sustainable national (if not global) profit.