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Monday, 27 June 2011

A Short History

A Short History

Educational technology in a way could be traced back to the emergence of very early tools, e.g., paintings on cave walls. But usually its history starts with educational film (1900s) or Sidney Pressey's mechanical teaching machines in the 1920s.
The first large scale usage of new technologies can be traced to US WWII training of soldiers through training films and other mediated materials. Today, presentation-based technology, based on the idea that people can learn through aural and visual reception, exists in many forms, e.g., streaming audio and video, or PowerPoint presentations with voice-over. Another interesting invention of the 1940s was hypertext, i.e., V. Bush's memex.
The 1950s led to two major, still popular designs. Skinners work led to "programmed instruction" focusing on the formulation of behavioral objectives, breaking instructional content into small units and rewarding correct responses early and often. Advocating a mastery approach to learning based on his taxonomy of intellectual behaviors, Bloom endorsed instructional techniques that varied both instruction and time according to learner requirements. Models based on these designs were usually referred to as computer-based training" (CBT), Computer-aided instruction or computer-assisted instruction (CAI) in the 1970s through the 1990s. In a more simplified form they correspond to today's "e-contents" that often form the core of "e-learning" set-ups, sometimes also referred to as web-based training (WBT) or e-instruction. The course designer divides learning contents into smaller chunks of text augmented with graphics and multimedia presentation. Frequent Multiple Choice questions with immediate feedback are added for self-assessment and guidance. Such e-contents can rely on standards defined by IMS, ADL/Scorm and IEEE.

Information technology

General information

Information and communication technology spending in 2005
IT is the area of managing technology and spans wide variety of areas that include but are not limited to things such as processes, computer software, information systems, computer hardware, programming languages, and data constructs. In short, anything that renders data, information or perceived knowledge in any visual format whatsoever, via any multimedia distribution mechanism, is considered part of the domain space known as Information Technology (IT). IT provides businesses with four sets of core services to help execute the business strategy. These four core services are broken into business process automation, providing information, connecting with customers, and productivity tools.
IT professionals perform a variety of functions (IT Disciplines/Competencies) that ranges from installing applications to designing complex computer networks and information databases. A few of the duties that IT professionals perform may include data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, as well as management and administration of entire systems. Information technology is starting to spread further than the conventional personal computer and network technologies, and more into integrations of other technologies such as the use of cell phones, televisions, automobiles, and more, which is increasing the demand for such jobs

Technological capacity of ICT

Technological capacity of ICT

The world's technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1986 to 15.8 in 1993, over 54.5 in 2000, and to 295 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007. This is the informational equivalent to less than one 730-MB CD-ROM per person in 1986 (539 MB per person), roughly 4 CD-ROM per person of 1993, 12 CD-ROM per person in the year 2000, and almost 61 CD-ROM per person in 2007. Piling up the imagined 404 billion CD-ROM from 2007 would create a stack from the earth to the moon and a quarter of this distance beyond (with 1.2 mm thickness per CD). [7]
The world’s technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 432 exabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 715 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1993, 1.2 (optimally compressed) zettabytes in 2000, and 1.9 zettabytes in 2007 (this is the information equivalent of 174 newspapers per person per day). [7]
The world's effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 471 petabytes in 1993, 2.2 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2000, and 65 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007 (this is the information equivalent of 6 newspapers per person per day). [7]
The world's technological capacity to compute information with humanly guided general-purpose computers grew from 3.0 × 10^8 MIPS in 1986, to 4.4 × 10^9 MIPS in 1993, 2.9 10^11 MIPS in 2000 to 6.4 × 10^12 MIPS in 2007. [7]

Information and communication technologies for development

Information and communication technologies for development

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An OLPC class in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Inveneo Computing Station
Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4Dev) is a general term referring to the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within the fields of socioeconomic development, international development and human rights.
The dominant term used in this field is "ICT4Dev". Alternatives include ICTD and development informatics.
ICTD (Information and Communication Technologies and Development) is the application of technological solutions to the problems of the developing world. In theory, it is differentiated from Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). ICT4D focuses on using digital technology to deliver specific development goals (most notably the Millennium Development Goals). ICTD looks much more broadly at use of ICTs in developing countries.
This is a difference that is rarely understood or used in practice.[1]
There is a - somewhat loose - community of researchers that has grown up around the annual ICTD conferences, the latter of which [2] took place in London, England. The main feature of this community is its integration of both technical and social science researchers working in the field.
The concept of ICT4Dev can be interpreted as dealing with disadvantaged populations anywhere in the world, but is more typically associated with applications in developing countries. It concerns itself with directly applying information technology approaches to poverty reduction. ICTs can be applied either in the direct sense, wherein their use directly benefits the disadvantaged population, or in an indirect sense, wherein the ICTs assist aid organisations or non-governmental organizations or governments or businesses in order to improve general socio-economic conditions.

Sustainability and scalability

Sustainability and scalability

A Geekcorps volunteer setting up a Wi-Fi antenna in Mali
Currently, the main two perspectives coming out of this sector are to emphasize the need for external aid to build infrastructure so that projects can reach viability, and the need to develop and build on local talent.
A growing perspective in the field is also the need to build projects that are sustainable and scalable, rather than focusing on those which must be propped up by huge amounts of external funding and cannot survive for long without it. Sustaining the project's scalability is a huge challenge of ICT for development; how the target user will continue using the platform. ICT4Dev is not a one-shot implementation but rather it is a complex process to be undertaken continuously, and the progress of each project evolves around the local education for, and adaptability of, the technology
Also, a number of developing countries have proven their skills in IT (information technology). Using these skills to build on ICT4Dev projects will tap local potential and a key indigenous partner in the growth of this sector will be gained. The balance of trade for these nations due to imports in both hardware and software might be a additional consideration.

Technology

Technology



Graph of Internet users per 100 inhabitants between 1997 and 2007 by International Telecommunication Union                         
Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants growth in developed and developing world between 1997 and 2007
ICT4Dev projects typically try to employ low-cost, low-powered technology that can be sustainable in developing environment. The challenge is large, since it is estimated that 40 % of the world's population has less than US$ 20 per year available to spend on ICT. In Brazil, the poorest 20% of the population counts with merely US$9 per year to spend on ICT (US$ 0.75 per month).[38]
From Latin America it is known that the borderline between ICT as a necessity good and ICT as a luxury good is roughly around the “magical number” of US$10 per person per month, or US$120 per year.[38] This is the cost ICT people seem to strive for and therefore is generally accepted as a minimum. In light of this reality, telecentre, desktop virtualization and multiseat configurations currently seem the most simple and common paths to affordable computing.
ICT4Dev projects need to be properly monitored and implemented, as the system's design and user interface should be suitable to the target users. ICT4Dev projects installed without proper coordination with its beneficiary community have a tendency to fall short of the main objectives. For example, in the usage of ICT4Dev projects in those farming sectors where a majority of the population are considered to be technologically illiterate, projects lie idle and sometimes get damaged or allowed to become obsolete.
Further, there should be a line of communication between the project coordinator and the user for immediate response to the query of, or the difficulty encountered by, the user. Addressing properly the problem will help encourage the user via interactivity and participation.