The Importance of Information and Communications Technology
Information and communications technology (ICT) is generally regarded
as the overlap of computer information and telecommunications
technologies, and their applications. In this document the term ICT is
used to indicate the whole range of technologies involved in
information processing and electronic communications, including the
internet, electronic mail and videoconferencing.
In recent years ICT has had, and is continuing to have, an
increasingly significant impact on all aspects of society. There are
few areas of life, at home and in work, where this new technology has
not made an impact. ICT expands our access to, and understanding of,
the world at large. It allows people in all areas life to benefit from
the power of computers as a personal tool, to collaborate in groups
and to communicate locally and globally.
The importance of ICT cannot be overestimated. Young people in our
schools today will require considerable ICT knowledge, skills and
awareness if they are to be successful in their futures, and the
economy will depend on a high level of ICT capability from its people
if it is to develop technologically and to compete internationally.
As well as the need to develop ICT knowledge and skills for both
individuals and society at large, ICT also offers the education
process one of the most potentially powerful learning tools available.
Not only can computers support learning across the whole curriculum,
but communication networks also provide the learner with fast and
searchable access to vast amounts of information. In addition to this,
ICT supports a wide range of broader educational objectives including
independent learning, collaboration with others and communication
It is thus of vital importance that all young people have adequate
access to ICT and that they develop the necessary skills, taking full
advantage of the learning capabilities that ICT offers. Schools have a
special responsibility to ensure that young people receive the
provision that they are entitled to. As the 5-14 stages represent 9
out of the 11 years of compulsory education, they have a key role to
play in developing ICT capability.
Several aspects of ICT are particularly significant for schools. These
· the importance of developing ICT skills to meet the needs of the
individual and society
· exploiting the potential of ICT to...