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How ICT changes education

It took 100 years to connect 1 billion places and 25 years to connect 5 billion people. Today, 85 percent of the world’s population has access to mobile communications, and by 2020, it is expected that there will be 50 billion connected devices, according to an Ericsson study. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops are making the school desk as we know it obsolete. Today’s progressive schools are having their classrooms rebuilt to turn them into multifunctional spaces to enable new ways of learning. In a recent Ericsson Networked Society report, “Learning and Educations in the Networked Society”, it is stated that ICT is having a significant impact on how schools are organized and run. According to the report, introducing ICT in schools affects six principal areas; three that touch on the physical space, and three that cover behavioral aspects: Work tools. The tools of the trade for learning and education are changing as students bring their own devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, with them to class. Technical solutions. Network connectivity and solutions for content management, communication and interactivity have become critical infrastructure for schools. Work space. Mobile phones, laptops and tablets are making the school desk as we knew it obsolete. Progressive schools are having their classrooms rebuilt to make them multifunctional. Ways of working. The idea that students should do one specific thing at one particular time is based on the needs of an industrial society. Project-based learning is more aligned with the reality of today’s information society. Work relations. Teachers are, and will remain a vital part of education but their role is changing. New ways of working mean the teacher’s role changing from being a “sage on the stage” to a “guide by the side”. Skills and knowledge. Schools prepare young people for future. Basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic will always be important, but in a world with unlimited access to text, audio and video information anytime, anywhere, new demands are being placed on people with regard to the skills and knowledge they need to acquire. According to Mikael Eriksson Björling, an expert on consumer behavior at ConsumerLab, “Learning and education are in a time of transformation. Our research shows that students and progressive teachers, empowered by technology, are the catalysts to fundamental change. ICT is literally breaking down the walls of the classroom, and we have to start looking upon learning as something that takes place everywhere, all the time. Going toward the Networked Society, ICT will be increasingly important to lifelong learning.” In conjunction with the report, Ericsson has also released a thought-provoking documentary addressing the changes in the schools of the future titled “The Future of Learning.” As new technologies affect and change the way students receive and process information, Ericsson created this 20-minute video documentary that tackles how ICT is bringing a shift in the education process. Emphasizing on the availability of information online, the video takes a closer look at the future of how the Internet can provide the highest quality education and examines how the learning process can be adapted to the new needs of learners.
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