ICT in Vietnamese Education: Development and Challenges

ICT in Vietnamese Education: Development and Challenges

Hoang Boi Nguyen (University of Tasmania, Australia) and Thao Lê (University of Tasmania, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-074-3.ch014

Abstract

It is important that your abstract clearly states the purpose of your chapter and summarizes the content. Unprecedented developments in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have currently pervaded educational settings the world over. Under the push towards innovative betterment and global connectivity, multiple forms of ICT, especially computers and the Internet, have been frantically implemented in educational systems in developed and developing countries alike. Prophecies of an educational evolution brought about by ICT, however, have not been fulfilled as there persists a great discordance between rhetoric and reality. Research into this field suggests that major challenges are often locally specific and strategic ICT approaches are to be made with contextual as well as socio-cultural considerations. This paper, therefore, aims mainly to investigate the development of ICT integration in Vietnamese education against the contemporary international landscape. It provides an overview of the current ICT-based educational advancement in Vietnam, followed by a detailed discussion of major challenges ushered in by the new-versus-old tensions and discourse conflicts. Practical implementations are also offered in an effort to actualize ICT promises in enhancing and transforming the educational system in Vietnam. This discussion could be relevant to any other developing countries, which have just embarked on and yet are committed to the process of evolutionizing their education via ICT.
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Background

Forms of ICT in Education

The global educational landscape is contemporarily dominated by emerging forms of ICT development in a multiplicity of variations. By definition, ICT covers a diverse range of tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store and manage information, currently including broadcasting technologies (radio and television), telephony, and newer digital technologies (computers and the Internet). Although the radio and television have been utilized for educational purposes long ago, the impact of ICT on global education only becomes markedly profound with the advent of computers and the Information Superhighway. The widespread proliferation of computers and the Internet have facilitated the diversification of educational delivery and learning methods the world over. Its multimedia, interactive and hypertext capabilities have rendered ICT the enabler of new learning modes such as e-learning, blended learning, distance or open learning. Various computer-based applications, including email, chatting, synchronous and asynchronous teleconferencing, to name a few, are being creatively harnessed in education. These new forms of technologies are so grounded in the what, where, when and how individuals go about learning that the learning process of all forms these days can hardly be efficiently carried out without ICT. Video demonstrations, for example, help add authenticity to the exploratory learning experience. Simulations (virtual realities) and multimedia programs can enliven and validate the experiential learning process by engaging learners in real-life situations. Numerous analytical and presentation end-user software such as Word Processor, Spreadsheets, Power-point, Excess, and Adobe create endless opportunities for inventive and reflective learning. Most interesting and attention-catching in ICTE recently is the race towards open education with open-source software and courseware. The beauty of these alternatives to textbooks and course notes resides in cost-effectiveness (most are free of charge), reusability, user-friendliness and a combination of interest-enhancers such as images, text, audio, interactive simulations, video and games. Some leaders, namely MIT Open Course Ware, the Open Course Ware Consortium, Connextions, Wikiversity, and Moodle, are attracting thousands and even millions of students tapping their sources every day.

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