This week, I am commencing my EDC3100 journey. This post focuses on the important question of ‘What is ICT?’. I’m also going to reflect on how I learn new ICT.
When putting ‘what is ICT’ into Google, thousands of articles popped up. But the first definition that popped up was from the TechTarget site – a global network of technology-specific websites that give access to industry experts, independent content and analysis. It defines ICT as:
ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies) 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. The term is somewhat more common outside of the United States. (TechTarget, 2005)
TechTarget author Margaret Rouse goes on to quote the European Commission, who ultimately believe that ICT does not focus solely on the technology itself, but rather its ability to create a higher level of access to communication and information in low socio-economic populations. There are many countries who have established special ICT organisations that promote its use, in order to lessen the gap between areas that utilise technology, and areas that have limited to no access. To bridge the digital divide, the United Nations is now actively promote ICTs for Development, otherwise known as ‘ICT4D‘. I think this is a powerful tool to promote social and economic development all over the world.
Another Primary Education student in this course, Emma McGaw, also found this definition, and I think that that shows our ability to utilise ICT to our advantage. Using a simple source like Google as a higher level of access to communication and information is a fantastic way of bridging this ‘digital divide’ that Margaret Rouse mentions.
For me, learning ICT is not just about watching, but about ‘doing’. I learn through kinaesthetic learning, and I’ve found in the past that when I learn something new with ICT, I can only thoroughly learn by working through it myself. I try to integrate ICT into my lifestyle to be able to familiarise myself with it, and have found that I have become technologically literate with it. I feel that being a 90’s baby gives me an advantage, as I have had technology as a part of my life from a very young age, however not everyone has had the same opportunity as me, and you cannot assume that people have had the same experiences.
This is something that is integral when passing on the knowledge of ICT to students as well, as there is always something new to learn, and you can never know everything.