Scholarly article on topic 'Incentives to Develop the Use of ICT in the Process of Education'

Incentives to Develop the Use of ICT in the Process of Education Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Ilona Semradova, Sarka Hubackova

Abstract Education, which facilitates running of technocratic and bureaucratic processes of contemporary Euro-American civilization, is necessary but not sufficient. This type of education lacks the synthetizing power, and therefore we should strive for essential education, focusing on the development of all atropines. Such education means creation and self-creation of man and is based on “care of the soul”. It is the education which seeks and reveals the meaning and context of the information presented, which is to become knowledge and also the purpose of practiced skills that enable us to succeed in our social reality. Reflection on the process and the outcomes of education leads us to the formulation of the requirements of the synthesis of cognitive, emotional, value and action components of teaching and study programmed, curricula and syllabi. Information and communication technologies open up the path to make us familiar with much greater range of information, ideas and inspiration than immediate experience can provide and individual educational effort can cover. When used adequately, ICT allows us to go beyond the horizon and settle down in the world; it allows us to link our observations, knowledge and information with other people sharing with us the knowledge, understanding and hope. The text provides ideas concerning the use of ICT, which undergraduate students formulated in their reflection essays in 2009-2012. The first table shows the contribution of ICT in communication and mutual understanding. The second table covers the impact of ICT use on the ethics of communication, the hermeneutic ethics. The third table contains suggestions for development of education in the present while the indisputable part of the essays was the form of learning and teaching in the postmodern concept. The tables are supplemented by commentaries. These reflections are followed by results of empirical research in terms of evaluation the educational process with the use of eLearning courses in humanities at the faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Králové in the period 2004- 2011. In the conclusion relevant suggestions for essential education are proposed.

Academic research paper on topic "Incentives to Develop the Use of ICT in the Process of Education"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 89 (2013) 517 - 522

2nd Cyprus International Conference on Educational Research, (CY-ICER 2013)

Incentives to develop the use of ICT in the process of education

Ilona Semradova a *, Sarka Hubackova b

a University of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, 50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic bUniversity of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, 50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Abstract

Education, which facilitates running of technocratic and bureaucratic processes of contemporary Euro-American civilization, is necessary but not sufficient. This type of education lacks the synthetizing power, and therefore we should strive for essential education, focusing on the development of all atropines.

Such education means creation and self-creation of man and is based on "care of the soul". It is the education which seeks and reveals the meaning and context of the information presented, which is to become knowledge and also the purpose of practiced skills that enable us to succeed in our social reality.

Reflection on the process and the outcomes of education leads us to the formulation of the requirements of the synthesis of cognitive, emotional, value and action components of teaching and study programmed, curricula and syllabi. Information and communication technologies open up the path to make us familiar with much greater range of information, ideas and inspiration than immediate experience can provide and individual educational effort can cover. When used adequately, ICT allows us to go beyond the horizon and settle down in the world; it allows us to link our observations, knowledge and information with other people sharing with us the knowledge, understanding and hope. The text provides ideas concerning the use of ICT, which undergraduate students formulated in their reflection essays in 2009-2012. The first table shows the contribution of ICT in communication and mutual understanding. The second table covers the impact of ICT use on the ethics of communication, the hermeneutic ethics. The third table contains suggestions for development of education in the present while the indisputable part of the essays was the form of learning and teaching in the postmodern concept. The tables are supplemented by commentaries. These reflections are followed by results of empirical research in terms of evaluation the educational process with the use of eLearning courses in humanities at the faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Králové in the period 20042011. In the conclusion relevant suggestions for essential education are proposed.

© 2013 TheAuthors.PublishedbyElsevierLtd.

Selectionand/orpeer-reviewunderresponsibility ofProf.Dr.Huseyin Uzunboylu,NearEastUniversity, FacultyofEducation, Cyprus

Keywords: Education process, eveluation, ICT;

1. Introduction

One of the big issues of the present time - the postmodern times when talking about the Euro-American civilization - is the venue, content and process of education. In this context, the society is referred to as the society

* Corresponding author: Ilona Semradova. Tel.: + 420493332300. E-mail address: ilona.semradova@uhk.cz

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu, Near East University, Faculty of Education, Cyprus doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.08.885

of knowledge, the information, the knowledge society, and with the exception of for example Konrad Paul Liessmann, it is assumed that it is possible to provide quality, valuable qualification, and that we have many more sources and instruments to provide it than our predecessors ever had.

In his essay "The Theory of Mis education. The Errors of the Knowledge Society" Liessmann says: "A great deal of what is being promoted and proclaimed under the motto of the knowledge society, when given a closer look, proves to be a mere rhetorical figure which is not so much committed to the idea of education as it is committed to specific political and economic interests. The knowledge society is neither a new thing nor it is to replace the industrial society. Rather, it is right to say that numerous education reforms aim at the industrialization and economization of knowledge, which literally turns the ideas of classical educational theories inside out... Everything which people must and can learn today - and it is a great amount indeed! - Lacks a synthesizing power. It is thus also knowledge as it should be - a conglomerate which can be quickly achieved, quickly acquired, and then also quickly forgotten." (Liessmann, 2008, pp. 9-10).

This dimension of education, which enables the functioning of technocratic and bureaucratic procedures, of course, cannot be ignored, and we can assume that "operation-wise" such "instant" knowing could be sufficient. However, is a human only someone who is here merely to operate ordered procedures? We do not think so. Therefore, we believe that it is necessary to strive for essential education, aimed at the development of all atropines. Such education is a process of creation and self-creation of a human being, arising from the European tradition of "the care of the soul". We agree with Liessmann when he says that "knowledge is more than information", and we suppose that educational programmed, projects, courses, can be designed to go beyond narrowly pragmatic and utilitarian objectives. "Knowledge enables us not only to filter the data possessing an information value out. Knowledge is an overall form of exploring the world - its exploration, comprehension and understanding. Unlike a piece of information the importance of which lies in different actions in future, knowledge is not clearly goal-directed. We can know a lot, and whether such knowledge is un-useful, is never determined at the moment of its creation or acquisition. Unlike a piece of information which represents interpretations of data with regard to future actions, knowledge can be described as an interpretation of data with regard to their causal connection and internal consistency. Whether knowledge is to be used is never a question of knowledge, but rather, a question of the situation which a person finds him-/herself in." (Liessmann, 2008, pp. 23-24).

„Instant" knowledge as a set of information is immediately, readily available, however, it does not represent the basis which the education which we refer to as essential education should be built on. Such education is based on the effort to understand a whole, and a human's place in the whole, while considering the wholeness of different range, and an educated human as someone capable of autonomous thinking, decision making and actions. This concept of education also corresponds with the attempts to incorporate information and communication technologies, especially eLearning and blended learning into teaching and study activities. It is necessary to note, however, that there should not be a significant disproportion between the use of outstanding technical equipment and the content, between the routine control of necessary tools of a virtual learning environment and the meaning of the teaching activity. By this we mean especially the fact that it is necessary to incorporate partial components into higher units, and to encourage students to grasp the context, and to carry out reflections and self-reflections. No virtual learning environment - no matter how sophisticated - can absolve the teachers from such responsibility (Semradova, 2012, p. 34).

2. Spaces for understanding and ICT

The tables below present ideas for further reflection upon the issue of the use of ICT, stated in reflection essays written by Charles University students and the University of Hradec Kralove students, mainly in their ethics and hermeneutic ethics courses. Altogether, 186 papers written in 2009 - 2012 were analyzed. The tables show the occurrence of motifs.

Table 1: What is the benefit of ICT for communication and mutual understanding?

Positive evaluation Negative evaluation

Generally positive (33x) Poor information quality (25x)

ICQ, chat, Facebook, e-mail, SMS-basic communication means of young generation (31) Abuse in the form of plagiarism; plagiarized assignments do not enhance understanding (24x)

Spreading knowledge, opinions, debates (29x) Frequent misunderstanding (24x)

They overcome geographic distance (28x) May lead to superficiality (21x)

The only possibility under time pressure (18x) Hidden identity / criminal aspect (19x)

Internet irreplaceable for understanding (18x) Distorted information (18x)

Deepens our knowledge (18x) They remove, replace personal contact and therefore harm understanding (18x)

More comfortable access from anywhere (17x)

They contribute to making oneself understood, rather than to the completion of this process in (14x) Do not compensate for the absence of the nonverbal dimension of communication (15x)

Development of intercultural communication (8x) Absence of work with literature (11x)

They provide statistic data (8x) Almost none (2x)

A new channel, space, means of communication (7x) It leads to mutual estrangement (1x)

Translation services (machine translation, translator) - providing the first idea of the topic but CAREFUL (6x)

The table brings mostly positive evaluation. It is necessary, however, to keep in mind that the research sample is not representative, and that the purpose of a quality analysis summarizing authentic, original expressions under typological formulation, is not primarily to focus on quantitative markers, but to capture the direction, the tendency in thinking. In this paper, it plays the role of an illustration, as does the following table.

Table 2. The impact of ICT use on hermeneutic ethics

Positive evaluation Negative evaluation

Emancipation of communication participants, overcoming the barriers to understanding (31x) A lot of problems arising from insufficient feedback (29x)

Big amount of information, opinions, different interpretations may contribute to making one's own opinions and attitudes with respect to others; clarify deficiency in understanding, the necessary condition, however, being the ability to orientate oneself in a huge amount of information and disinformation - IT HELPS US TO MAKE DECISIONS (26x) Digital divide, digital gap (18x)

Facilitates work with a text (26x) Contributes to the decline of communication (15x)

Spread of knowledge, inspiration and stimuli from hermeneutic ethics (23x) A smiley does not replace nonverbal communication (12x)

They help to extend notions - making better interpretations possible => hermeneutic ethics may be extended, specified, its quality may be increased (21x) Leads to mutual misunderstanding (6x)

Publishing results of research in hermeneutic ethics (21x)

They also capture different possibilities of

communication (11x)

If we take hermeneutic ethics as ethics, whose prominent topic it the development is the development of comprehension, understanding and mutual communication, then, again positive evaluations prevail. It is necessary, however, to keep an eye on the problems connected with insufficient feedback and also those which are related to a so-called digital divide, which removes part of the community from the possibility to participate in the process of the development of understanding.

Table 3. Suggestions for the development of present-day education

Overlapping of subjects, understanding the context (52x)_

Emphasis on mutual communication, dialogue, cooperation, coordination (48x)_

Tuition should not be based on accepting ready-made knowledge (instant knowledge), but on discovering

things (48x)_

More independence on the part of pupils and students (45x)_

Sharing information, opinions, attitudes; acceptance of different approach (45x)_

Group tuition, project-based teaching (44x)_

Critical thinking based on critical reading and on improving written expression => importance of reflection

essays (39x)_

Eliciting interest, inspiration encouraging the students themselves to ask questions (39x)_

Encouraging imagination, innovativeness and creativity (36x)_

Importance of tolerance (29x)_

Importance of experiment in education (27x)_

Discussion (26x)_

Adequate use of ICT-feedback (15x)_

Presentation of reflection and self-reflection (15x)_

Argumentation of opinion (14x)_

Not only analysis, BUT also SYNTHESIS (12x)_

Facts are not dogmas to be memorised (9x)_

To problematize learning (7x)_

Emphasis on overlaps of both individual and transversal reason (7x)_

There is no single right approach(6x)_

Game (6x)_

Personal experience (5x)_

Testing should not be a predominant method of the identification of educational outcomes (5x)_

Personal experience (5x)_

With subjects, written in 2003-2010 it becomes apparent how essential positive evaluation is. Virtual

experience (2x)_

Acceptance of uncertainty (2x)_

The students mainly appreciate looking for and identifying the context, and on one hand emphasize the importance of the autonomy of pupils and students, granting an important place, on the other hand, to mutual communication, coordination and cooperation. Occasionally, the students mention virtual experiences and the acceptance of uncertainty as motifs to be incorporated in the process of education.

Suggestions from the students' reflection essays, which capture the issue of education and the use of ICT not only to affect communication and mutual understanding, are another dimension (besides the philosophical, psychological, pedagogical and didactic aspects) in the preparation of comprehensive educational concepts and eLearning courses because understanding and comprehension, the creation of competences are primarily related to seeking the meaning and the context of the teaching and learning material.

3. eLearning courses and teaching the humanities

Traditional reasons for rejecting eLearning courses, most frequently stated by their opponents, include especially

- Incapability of a virtual learning environment to provide personal interaction and personal contact, and the necessity to conform to the functionalities of such environment (teachers and students having to be trained to be able to use them)

- Increased institutionalization of the tuition process

- Frequent domination of technical elements over the content ones

- Depletion of verbal communication

- Rise of self-appointed IT elites, which become dominant not only in the field of education. When eLearning is dealt with by teachers who have gone through or are going through the process of the creation of eLearning courses, they see the biggest problem in the time consuming preparation and up-keep of a course, and in the need to constantly react to technical innovations. Most teachers, who have found their way to eLearning, appreciate the advantages, which a virtual learning environment brings. They make use of the possibilities it gives to supplement in-class teaching (blended learning), in the combined and distance form of teaching to ensure that students work regularly. They appreciate that they can use new teaching methods, new ways of communication which allow teachers to interconnect with students, as well as students with one another. ELearning courses are the "storage" of both standard and extra teaching materials available at any place with access to the Internet.

Students at the Faculty of Informatics and Management of the University of Hradec Kralove evaluated the teaching process supported with eLearning courses in humanities in their reflection essays. The data were collected in 2004-2011. 651 essays by the students have been analyzed. We can say that positive evaluation prevailed, which can be documented with the following figures:

Compactness of study material was appreciated by 612 students, formulation of objectives at all levels by 594, continuous updating of study materials by 501, continuity by 462, communication with the teacher by 375, communication with other students by 375, terminology glossaries by 351, displaying students' assignments (presentations, essays) by 281, individualization of tuition by 280, and development of competences in ICT use was appreciated and recognized by 223 students.

Based on empirically obtained results and theoretical analyses, the effect of teaching with ICT support appears favorable. Realization of the potential of ICT, however, is not a question for ICT itself, but rather a matter of a corresponding philosophically and psychologically based, and pedagogically and didactically thought-out elaboration of teaching material. The threat for essential education is related to prefabrication, algorithmisation, economization of the educational process, and with the fact that not enough attention is paid to deepened understanding and to interconnecting individual topics, nor to an interdisciplinary, or trans-disciplinary approach to the construction of an eLearning course.

4. Conclusion

Implementation of ICT into teaching is associated not only with the material equipment of educational institutions, and a sufficient level of computer literacy on the part of teachers and students, but also if possible with precise formulation of objectives. When creating courses in a virtual learning environment we cannot ignore theory, praxis, or poises as manifestations of human activity, and in this context we consider necessary teachers' self-reflection, and exploitation of the results of students' reflections and self-reflections, as presented in Table 3 in the second part of this paper. These suggestions go beyond the possibility of being used only in a virtual learning environment, leading us to further development of teaching principles and methods in general. Especially heuristic procedures deserve to be emphasized!

References

Liessmann, K. P.: Teorie nevzdelanosti. Omyly spolecnosti vedeni. Praha: Academia 2008.

Semradova, I.: Pece o jazyk a komunikaci. Pece o logos jako smysluplnou rec. Praha: Pedagogicka fakulta UK 20