Problems and Prospects of Information Technology Use in Higher Education

Problems and Prospects of Information Technology Use in Higher Education

Ezekiel Nyambega Omwenga (Kisii University, Kenya)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1029-2.ch006

Abstract

This chapter presents the problems and prospects of information technology use in higher education institutions, contemplates on the ideal expectations, and presents the current situation. As a result of the analysis, it has been revealed that due to a number of problems such as lack of adequate infrastructure and the cost of transformation of pedagogy content is often region specific. Linguistic and physical barriers, intellectual infrastructure power outages in a number of institutions, and misplacement of funding impacted negatively upon information technology use in higher education. Suggestions are made to achieve this goal. Additionally, information technology has many applications in higher education ranging from interactions between the learners and teachers, development of curriculum content, administration of student, staff, and general; and in teaching and learning, designing of new instructional activities, use of virtual labs(simulations), and enabling achievement of high outcomes and quality education.
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Introduction

Information Technology has influenced the way everyone does his things and will continue to do so. It has influenced the way we do our business, the way we travel, how we conduct our agricultural activities, how we entertain ourselves, how we teach, how we combat crime, how attend to our health issues, how we communicate and how we conduct all our activities in all aspects of our lives. It has many applications, e-mails, chats, movies, video and video games, dictionaries, e-books, science apps, ready-made power point presentations, Wikipedia, evidence based medicine and others (Maroof, et al 2012). Information technology has influenced our educational environment to the extent that teacher feels challenged to an extent that technology might take over the instructional process and render the teachers jobless. While many digital literacy programs may be underway, it is observed that the challenge remains thorny because of the need for more comprehensive ownership and action. Further progress is impeded due to lack of scalable methods of formally documenting and assessing skills mastered outside the classroom and adapting pricing structures and financial aid models to fit new degree options”

Information technology is making life to be comfortable and easy to an extent that social evils and problems can be eliminated by it. Technology has improved the educational environment in higher institutions by availing e-content in a variety of formats including audio, text, graphics, animations and video. By many it’s viewed as a panacea to a number of social and scientific problems faced by humanity.

Information technology is a science that deals with properties and behaviors of information, the force governing the flow of information and the means of processing information for optimum accessibility and usability. Osakwe(2012) defines Information Technology as use of electronic devices for managing and processing information with the use of soft and hardwires to convert, store, manipulate, protect, transmit, manage, control and retrieve information for the enhancement and productivity of personal and organizational activities. The process includes the origination, collection, storage, retrieval, interpretation, dissemination and use of information. Technology is viewed as not only playing a central role in learning as tool but also as a medium that transforms and shapes culture.Information technology comprises of many technologies for tracing, collecting, arranging, sorting and effective ways of transmitting information. This includes internet, wireless technology, and mobile and other communication medium (Osakwe 2012).

Use of mobile technology has greatly increased in the last few years, with the coming of android technology; the phones can perform a lot of functions. This has made the smartphone a one stop shop performing endless operations. Information technology is one of the most efficient tools devised to manage all aspects of education .It has an application that for each situation in our daily endeavors. On the other hand it has improved communication to a point that every part of the world is easily reachable thus calling the world a global village.

The prospects of Information Technology use are many, From the social media tools such as Google apps, Zoho office, and WebEx enable teachers to collaboratively write documents, construct presentations, develop budgets, build stories, research, and share and work together and build content. It enables work to be done in collaborative work spaces, share resources and capture ideas. Thus this ensures economy in the use of time, money and other resources. This may motivate research in areas of educational use of ICT in pedagogy, social networking, identity and learning portfolios, student management and assessment.

The high education landscape has undergone significant change as a result of technological innovations and use of various technologies. It is now common place to find technology enhanced learning in higher institutions all over the world revealed that the adoption and use of technology in USA higher education is over 90% with more than 40% taking their classes online. High usage has been reportedin United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Northern Europe and growing steadily in China, India, Brazil and Africa (Mtebe and Raphael, 2017).

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