Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Higher Educational Institutes – Some Concerns

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 10:00
Location: Hörsaal 6A P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Importance of communication and information technology (ICT) in education is recognized the world over. Efforts are made to provide the modern information technology tools in educational institutions at all levels in the belief that it makes the learning and teaching process efficient, effective, faster, enjoyable, with a wider reach and more inclusive. Higher education institutes in India, both private and government funded (state and central government) have made huge investments in making institutes ICT enabled. However educational effectiveness of ICTs depends on various factors, such as, their use, purpose and socioeconomic support system.

This research paper investigates the use of ICTs in two premier government funded engineering colleges located in a city in India. It is observed that even though a large amount of money is invested in the purchase of equipments by these institutes, they are not optimally utilized. This study tries to identify the factors which pose problems or hinder their effective use in educational activities. The study is based on experiential sharing and focus group interviews obtained from students, educationists and administrators. Some of the important findings based on analysis of these observation are: 1) a highly bureaucratic and hierarchical system poses constraints on need-based and timely procurement of and access to ICT equipments for organizations; 2) all digital technologies, equipments and facilities need regular maintenance and upgrading which is not carried out due to lack of trained and dedicated manpower, resulting in their obsolescence. An institutional approach is applied to explain the above findings and some of their implications in a broader socioeconomic context.