Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is defined as computer based tools used by people all over the world to work with the information and communication processing. These technologies are used in conveying, manipulation and storage of data by electronic means. Nowadays, ICT has been used extensively for various reasons by wide user groups include teachers and students at Malaysian school. This application becomes an important part of teaching and learning because almost their activity need involve ICT. Furthermore, ICT can make students study more interactive. Through ICT, images can easily be used in teaching and improving the retentive memory of students, teachers can easily explain complex instructions and ensure student’s comprehension.
Ministry of Education for ICT had formulated three policies in order to integrate ICT in teaching and learning in school. The first policy is that of ICT for all students, meaning that ICT is used as an enabler to reduce the digital gap between the schools. The second policy emphasizes the role and function of ICT in education as a teaching and learning tool, as part of a subject, and subject by itself. Apart from the radio and television as a teaching and learning tool, this policy stresses the use of the computer for accessing information, communication, and as a productivity tool.
The third policy emphasizes using ICT to increase productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of the management system. ICT will be extensively used to automate and mechanize work processes such as the processing of official forms, timetable generation, management of information systems, lesson planning, financial management, and the maintenance of inventories.
However, the act of integrating ICT into teaching and learning is a complex process and one that may encounter a number of issues and challenges. One of the issues is time. Time constraints are one of the frequent issues stated by students and teachers. Some of the students felt that learning using a computer is very time consuming and they had only “one hour and 10 minutes” in the classroom to do research. If they do not have the internet at home then they have to go to a cybercafe outside the school which is very difficult for them. Moreover, teachers also need to prepare 5-10 minutes earlier if they want to use a computer lab for teaching. They have to go the classroom and take the student to the computer lab and sometimes the distance between the classroom and the computer lab is quite far. The fact that the computers and the Internet connection are very slow also contributes to this problem.
The second issues is lack of effective training. By focusing on basic ICT skills, training fails to prepare teachers to integrate ICT in their pedagogy. The teachers claimed that they never
been trained in computer literacy and we're looking forward to attending such courses like other colleagues. The results of the research showed that after teachers had attended professional development courses in ICT they still did not know how to use ICT in their classroom instead they just knew how to run a computer and set up a printer. Without strong leadership, not every student will enjoy the technology’s advantages.
The next issue is the difficulty to provide the latest update of software in school. The most significant items of ICT are computer hardware and software. Only limited high quality software is available and this does not meet the demands for the new technologies in education. Underlying this problem is the lack of knowledge of right materials that can be used to promote different kinds of learning. Not many teachers are trained to design and develop software suitable for different levels of students.
Besides that, lack of technical support also is one of the issues. Without both good technical support in the classroom and whole-school resources, teachers cannot be expected to overcome the barriers preventing them from using ICT. ICT integration in science teaching especially needs a technician to assist teachers to use ICT in the classroom. These technical barriers included waiting for websites to open, failing to connect to the internet, printers not printing, malfunction computers and teachers having to work on older computers. If there is a lack of technical support available in a school, then it is likely that technical maintenance will not be carried out regularly, resulting in a higher risk of technical breakdowns.
Teachers have a strong desire for the integration ICT into education but that they encountered many challenges to it. ICT resources including software and hardware, effective professional development, sufficient time and technical support need to be provided for teachers. No one good component in itself is sufficient to produce good teaching. However, the presence of all components increases the likelihood of excellent integration of ICT in learning and teaching opportunities.
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· ICT application has become an important part of teaching and learning
· The Ministry of Education has invested a huge effort in terms of founding a training to equip teachers and students with ICT skills
· Integrating ICT in teaching and learning in school has challenges
· To get information
· Almost all fields of student activity involve ICT
· Interactive learning
· Malaysia Ministry of Education has formulated three main policies for ICT in education
· Lack of lesson time
· Lack of effective training
· Lack of appropriate software
· What are the fields that students need to use ICT?
· Why ICT can make students study more interactive?
· What are the three main policies that had been formulated by the Ministry of Education of ICT in education?
· What factors causes the time constraint?
· Why teachers do not have an effective training?
· How lack of appropriate software give negative impact in integrating ICT in school.
· Do some research about the policies of ICT
· Upgrade the internet connection
· The government should launch an effective training in computer literacy
· Provide the latest up to date software in school.