Information And Communication Technology For Students And Educators

Information and communication technology (ICT) has become inevitable and it fundamentally changes the way of life across all spheres. People are the national wealth and education enhances their lives with prosperity and quintessentially makes them responsible and ethical citizens.


Great scholar Max Muller narrated: “If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions to some of them which well deserve the attention of even those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India”. 

ICT for Enhancing Teaching and Learning Process: Information and communication technology (ICT) has become inevitable and it fundamentally changes the way of life across all spheres. People are the national wealth and education enhances their lives with prosperity and quintessentially makes them responsible and ethical citizens. Ajay Chhibber, FICCI forestalls India as a third largest economic superpower by 2030 if its growth is inclusive and creates a decent livelihood for 1.5 billion citizens. Once identified as Vishwaguru (Universal Preceptor), India with rich culture, beautiful landscape ranging from Great Himalayas to Kanyakumari can re-emerge as global education capital, through concerted efforts for transformation through syllabus reorientation, enhanced infrastructure with singular objective of imparting quality education, and global collaboration with top education brands through efficient use of ICT. The most vital contribution of ICT is its democratization of education and easy access to several digital resources 24x7. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) can succeed when they are organized and promoted to their maximum potential by articulating themselves to lead international education reform waves. Use of ICT through the collective wisdom of professors and expert collaborators not bound by time and space can contribute to educational reforms. This article delves into realizing positive digital footprints and generation of Digital Portfolio by stakeholders with ICT as the forte.

Digital Footprints: Internet access in India has touched 56 crores vide TRAI, more than anticipated in 2016. Social media embedded in the lives of students is ubiquitous in personal and professional learning facets opening new opportunities along with cultural, political, societal and emotional risks. Digital Footprints are records and trails individuals leave behind after using the Internet. Social media interactions, data, online payments and ecommerce trends, locations browsed and log-ins are digital footprints. A Google search gives a glimpse about an individual’s web presence, impacted by what one posts and posted about, such as personal websites, social media uploads and subscriptions. Once made available in social media data becomes permanent with no more control over them, enabling hackers and Cyber-stalkers for cyber-bullying using digital footprints. The cyber data collection can be authorized active data traces or unauthorized or passive data traces collected without explicit knowledge or consent. Frost & Sullivan study of December 2018 reveals that as much as 64% of Indian companies confronted cyberattack. Vide ET Bureau of December 22, 2018, as many as 30 attempts are made every day by foreign entities to impair websites and unlawfully extract confidential information. Year 2018 saw unsolved predicament of vulnerable social media companies which could barely be trusted with data.

Hence, students are to be educated for cautious handling of social media, even while using ICT for its abundant advantages of social media for learning and teaching, guidance to educators and students. Students from multifarious strata of society may face equity or social justice issues around digital footprint management since rural students are more likely to have never been guided for developing digital footprints. Hence, HEIs need to provide students guidance on its management and reflection on how it appears personally/professionally at present and how it will be perceived in future with related advantages/disadvantages guides one for proper digital footprint planning. A holistic approach of e-professionalism with coordination among government, HEIs, educators, parents and students is needed who must involve for more responsible use of digital skills for audacious career development. E-professionalism involves an effective online presence even while managing privacy, networking for visibility, wider communication among peers, harmonizing and handling professional/personal presences. E-professionalism is delineated differently among stakeholders and professional bodies and it is generally the way one engages online in relation to profession, self-attitudes, actions and self-adherence to relevant professional codes of conduct and standards.

Digital Portfolios: Digital Portfolios are well organized online collections of intentionally curated tools of learning artefacts used as learning space and showcase in student centered and competence based higher education arena by displaying students’ accomplishment and growth, including academic assignments, projects and records. Portfolio Organization comprises of an introduction, table of contents, chronologically and logically ordered work to depict evidence of growth.

Digital Portfolio for Students: Use of e-Portfolio for development and, knowledge and skills management is growing. Every student must be facilitated to create a portfolio for self-empowering to build self-profiles capturing own personality, to self-evaluate progress of learning, to feel ownership and motivated involvement in learning and to highlight uniqueness which grades cannot. It enhances communication between home and education thus facilitating better feedback on formative students’ assessment for improvement.  The role of educators with a growth mindset in scaffolding student learning is very essential to encourage and inspire students to make their competences visible, let the students explore beyond the curriculum for societal solutions and to utilize digital tools for guidance and assessment. Teacher teams can support the process of guiding e-Portfolio work with their unique professional competences adapting to the evolution of change as education system managers. HEIs and organizations must enable suitable atmosphere comprehensively as a long term and subtle process by embedding portfolio generation into a competence based curriculum. Evidence based varied breadth of digital badges as followed in the University of Notre Dame can be awarded to students for display on their e-Portfolios. 

Digital Portfolio for Educators: E-Portfolios enable the universal professional development of teachers by portraying their honors and awards reflecting their professional journey with an ongoing process of inquiry, experimentations, participation in knowledge disseminating events and teaching goals all presented with structured multimedia records and documents in a creative and systematic way. Teaching effectiveness can be improved with comments from educators and students including alumni. Shared portfolio of repository or an archive through collaborative efforts of teachers can also make teachers work smarter, making good activities visible.

This article was published in BW Education issue dated 'April 11, 2019' with cover story titled 'BW Education Issue Mar-Apr 2019'

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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