Role of ICT in Teacher Training as a tool for evolving India as a Knowledge Economy

“We must act now – we cannot wait for everything to be right – for bandwidth to increase and technology penetration to increase in schools. Many things in life can wait. But the child cannot. Now is the time when his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his mind is being shaped. His name is not tomorrow. It is today”

– Argentinean writer Gabriella Marcell

Information and communication technology (ICT) has become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Many countries now regard understanding ICT and mastering the basic skills and concepts of ICT as part of the core of education, alongside reading, writing and numeracy. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) considers ICT a tool for developing countries to progress and leapfrog to the developed world. India during the last decade has also embarked on ICT for development in rather big way and sought to transform India into what has been termed as “Knowledge Superpower”.

India has made impressive strides in the application of ICT in recent years and this is reflected in its vibrant and fast growing economy. However, the Education sector, particularly the area of Teacher Education, has lagged behind other sectors of the Indian economy, in benefiting from the fruits of technological developments. For India to become a knowledge economy and society, it is essential to ensure that bulk of growing population has the capability to read and write, communicate and interact in modern economy.

Reasonably, prospective schoolteachers should be well prepared for using ICT in education. It has become a common sense that, for a teacher education program without an integration of ICT, it could not be said to be a complete one. The incorporation of ICT in education and training programmes has profound influence in teaching and teacher preparation. Educational systems around the world are under increasing pressure to use the new Information and Communication Technologies to teach students the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century.

With the emerging new technologies, the teaching profession is evolving from an emphasis on teacher-centred, lecture-based instruction to student-centred, interactive learning environments. For India to reap the full benefits of ICT in learning and to employ it as a prime tool to become a knowledge economy, it is considered essential that both pre- and in-service teachers are able to effectively use these new tools for learning.

The paper on the above theme was presented at the National Level seminar held on the theme India- As emerging global power: An imperative for re-orienting Teacher education organised by the CRS College of Education, Noida on 24-02-07. This abstract was published in the souvenir released on the occasion.

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