Convergence of emerging communication and information technologies is taking place these days, thus maximizing the strengths of individual technology. Telecommunication clubbed with computer technology has revolutionized the area of human communicating.
The capability to exchange information on a global basis is possible through a powerful communication tool: the satellite. Computer technology has provided tremendous capacity to store and exchange] information. The human-computer interface has made communication further efficient, in terms of cost, time and reliability. This is the reason why communication technologies are becoming popular in receiving and transmitting messages, data, voice and images.
The computing and telecommunication technologies are not leaving the education sector untouched. These are enabling the teachers to develop multimedia in- which text, voice, pictures, simulation, etc. can be integrated and delivered; through computers as an interactive learning package. The technologies will enable us to develop what are often called virtual classrooms, virtual universities, virtual conferencing, virtual laboratories, etc.
Emerging technologies appear to offer the opportunity to gain access to knowledge and closer to real life. This would lead us to a learning society. This is a single new development that can revolutionize the future of education. Virtual reality and simulation will provide the ability for people to enjoy experience that we could not get otherwise.
This is an experience without risk and promoted learning in a new way. So, communication technology will provide a new strategy for education, for training experience. We are not talking about the technologically developed countries only; virtual classrooms or institutions are now getting established in the developing countries also, like Thailand, Malaysia, India, etc.
To compete and survive in the competitive world of education it is essential to create, adopt and utilize new technologies, which will allow efficient flow of data, voice and images to all those who want to remain updated in the fast changing world. With this, education will cross the country’s border and will change the world into a ‘global village’.
New technology almost always addresses the changing paradigms of education and training. It changes the way the teacher teaches and students do their work. It provides them new tools to increase the productivity in terms of learning outcomes. It makes learning easier, more effective and more enjoyable. In brief, technology brings the following changes:
(a) Teacher’s work:
A shift from the role of the sole dispenser of knowledge to students to one of helping students acquire knowledge from a variety of sources will be clearly visible once new technologies are used. Appropriate use of technology in education necessities changes in the way teachers organize and implement teaching activities and students engage in learning activities.
(b) Treatment of students:
New technologies can provide more individualized learning to the students in terms of content, length and time.
(c) Facility design:
Appropriate applications of technology in education may alter the requirements for facilities. Educational practice may optional technologically enhanced learning approaches. Educational facility designs can provide greater flexibility in using learning materials, provide for better student access to a variety of information sources within and outside the school and be accessible for a greater period of time.
Technology-enhance learning system can both increase productivity and provide products for export i.e. courseware developed could be marketed. Productivity is measured in terms of both quantity and quality, more and better.