What is communication education and information technology?



The era of Communication education has already begun. The twenty-first century will be in the grip of technological changes, mainly information, and communication technologies. World over, governments are addressing themselves to this development and formulating their strategies to use IT to improve their competitive edge in business and provide a better quality of life to their citizens.

communication education, information technology, IT Revolution, Online Learning, Competitive Advantage, Academic institutions, IT literacy, British Government, Learning Society, Intelligent Island
communication education and information technology

What is Information technology?

It deals with information systems, data storage, access, retrieval, analysis, and intelligent decision-making for enhancing organizational effectiveness. Information technology is the technology of the present and of the future too. The convergence of telephone, computer, and television technologies has become a reality in the twentieth century; the next century should conceive of and achieve something more novel and exciting. High-speed networks, also called information superhighways, convey material that was once rich and varied. These have enormous potential for education, business, and other sectors of society.

    IT Revolution:

    Having realized that IT is a valuable tool with which tremendous progress can be achieved in various fields of human activity, nations of the world are addressing themselves to the mechanism by which the benefit of the IT revolution can reach the common man. This is becoming a particularly significant point for deep consideration by developing countries keen to take advantage of the new scenario.

    India has taken steps to support and promote IT:

    Singapore aims to become an 'Intelligent Island' by 2000. The Government of India has identified IT as one of the thrust areas, and several steps have been taken to support and promote the IT industry. Some state governments have initiated several measures to make the most of technological change. The computer education program will be provided to all schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning. This involves elaborate planning, including training of manpower, allocation of adequate funds for training and equipment, and close monitoring of the entire process.

    Support for Online Learning:

    The British Government's consultation paper under The Learning Society in the Information Age(December 1997) might be a valuable reference point in this context. Taking note of the fact that technology, having revolutionized the way we work, is now set to transform education, the British Government has facilitated every school in Britain to get connected to the information superhighway, thereby allowing schools to connect with one another and link them to all learning institutions, whether libraries, colleges, universities, museums or galleries. In this plan, a National Grid in Britain will be created through the interconnection of networks and education services using the Internet to support teaching, learning, training, and administration in schools, colleges, universities, libraries, the workplace, and homes and a way of finding and using online learning and teaching materials has been achieved.

    Raising educational standards:

    The world of today is often referred to as a global village. It is imperative to have a competitive edge in business if one wishes to survive. This is possible only if trained technical manpower with the required managerial environment. Educational standards must be raised at all skills enabled to perform at a congenial industry-friendly level and make comparisons with the best in the world.

    Competitive Advantage:

    The three-fold functions of teaching, research, and extension undertaken by institutions of higher education in the field of IT need further push in the next ten years since this is a transition period. Noting the great potential in this sector, many countries are keen to join the bandwagon of developed nations to reap the competitive benefits of technological change, which will give them an edge in an era of globalization

    Academic institutions can contribute:

    Academic institutions should have a synergetic linkage with industry and produce people with skills who can find ready employment or become entrepreneurs. More than ever, the application of IT to a whole range of activities that will improve the quality of life in society and eradicate illiteracy and poverty should be ensured through continuous need-based extension programs. The IT sector should contribute to achieving such national goals as economic and cultural development, social transformation, and preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, which is once rich and diverse. The experience gained in promoting the software industry should be fully utilized, and appropriate updated training should be arranged to keep up our competitive edge.

    Cooperation Needed to create IT literacy:

    Time is the key factor regulating the activities relating to IT. There are rapid technological changes taking place today. The science fiction of today is becoming a technical fact of tomorrow. Obsolescence is a unique factor to reckon with. Our youth cannot be effective in tomorrow's world if they are trained in yesterday's skills; catching the opportunity and making the most of it is the need of the As a joint venture, the Government, the IT industry, the educational system extending through the entire gamut from kindergarten to university level institutions and the society should work together and coordinate their efforts to usher in an IT literate state.

    The rapid developments that have taken place in recent years in the field of Information Technology have paved the way for revolutionary changes in every sphere of life. The author favors a national policy being carved out in India in the field of IT so that its advantages could percolate to all and sundry.

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