ICT covers any product that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receiving information electronically in a digital form. For example, personal computers, digital television, email, robots. So ICT is concerned with the storage, retrieval, manipulation, transmission or receipt of digital data. Importantly, it is also concerned with the way these different uses can work with each other.
Information means the processed data in a meaningful and purposeful form according to Shore in Hartoyo (2012:2)
According to Potts, communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. Brown (2011) stated communication is transfer of information from one person to another,whether or not it elicits confidence. But the information transferred must be understandable to the receiver.
Technology derived from the word ‘techno’ which means technique, art or skill, and ‘logos’ which means science. Therefore, technology can be defined as a scientific knowledge of art or skill.
Based on the definitions of the three components, ICT as a whole can be described as the utility of technology to support the effort of conveying information and communication particularly in the area of education. The technique includes digital technologies mostly of electronic information – processing technologies, such as computers, internet, mobile phones, networks, broadband, and so on.
b. The benefits of ICT in general
ICT is found to be advantageous in several ways as mentioned by Herington (2002), (1) technology facilitates exposure to authentic language; (2) technology provides the access to wider sources of information and varieties of language; (3) technology gives the opportunity to people to communicate with the world outside; (4) technology allows a learner – centered approach; (5) technology develops learner’s autonomy. ICT help people in order to get information and to communicate each other in wider range.
c. ICT Tools in Language Context
There are some kinds of technologies classified into information and communication technology commonly used in language context, such as:
- Interactive multimedia
Interactive media is the integration of digital media including combinations of electronic text, graphics, moving images, and sound, into a structured digital computerized environment that allows people to interact with the data for appropriate purposes. The digital environment can include the Internet, telecoms and interactive digital television. (Finney, 2011:2)
Computer can be utilized with other multimedia learning devices or it can stand alone (a standard PC) and still serves its basic purpose as an electronic medium of language learning. (Hartoyo, 2012:29).
Computer is an electronic device which is capable of receiving information (data) and performing a sequence of logical operations in accordance with a predetermined but variable set of procedural instruction (program) to produce results in the form of information or signals based on Oxford dictionary. It is consist of CPU, monitor, keyboard and some other apparatus.
- Audio devices
Audio devices can be used with other media to form an interactive multimedia. However, it can also be utilized separately as independent tool. Audio devices include speaker, earphone, CD, and etc.
Internet can be used as a medium of language learning through email, www (world wide web), text, audio and video conferencing.
According to Oxford dictionary, television is a system for converting visual images (with sound) into electrical signals, transmitting them by radio or other means, and displaying them electronically on a screen.
This telephone medium has not been widely used for language teaching because of the poor quality of analogue transmissions. However, there is new invent of digital quality and lower connection cost which potential for conference calls.
- Mobile gadget
Mobile gadgets such as cell phone and smart phone which are equipped with programs like computer, which enable it to perform as mini personal computer. By using this gadget and its internet connection, everybody could enjoy chatting, browsing, and discuss each other with the wider range. The advancement of science and technology makes the size and price of those gadgets are getting cheaper and reachable.
- Social interface
This media provides facility or example that enables an interaction between human and computer. People set up more interaction with computer in a more intuitive way with less effort-through writing, voice, touch, eye movements, and other gestures. (Hartoyo,2012:34) This technology serves as the milestone of the recent development of interactive multimedia, audio-graphic computer teleconference, and interactive television via satellite (National Broadband of Employment, Education and Training, 1993:5).
- Interactive whiteboard
An interactive whiteboard or IWB, is a large interactive display (such as a touch screen monitor) which is connected to a computer and projector. A projector projects the computers’ desktop onto the board’s surface, where users control the computer using a pen, finger or other devices.
d. Current application of ICT in English language teaching and learning
ICT defined as technology which the function is to support the process of conveying information and communication. The ways of conveying information doesn’t have to be carried out directly between the communicator and the communicant. The development of ICT makes the process of communication between the communicator and the communicant can be conveys in easy ways. They can communicate through telephone, internet, e-mail, satellite, television, video conference and so on. The process of those communications applies in language learning. In language learning, there is a communication between teacher and student. The process of learning is not always carried out by subjecting teacher and students in the certain room or a certain place directly. As the example, teacher can use internet as the medium to give lessons, assignments, or other information to their students.
In context of language learning, ICT has an important role as the “media” bridging and enabling the learning process, or direct communication between students and teacher although they are not present in the same room or place in certain time. Language learning program can be created to enable students to learn the lessons with guidance, instruction, information or further explanation. ICT in language learning used as a reference-book. Computer can store unlimited lessons or references, which can be accessed anytime, anywhere and accurately. Fitzpatrick and Davies (2002) in Hartoyo (2012) sets out the seven ways in which ICT used in language learning:
Some material of language learning such as text-based materials, audio-video needs to present to the learners. Presentation helps learners in understanding the learning material well.
Some of different exercises types are possible to be provided with ICT, incorporating the presentation stimuli in varying combinations of text, audio and video format. ICT also offers the possibility of the analyzing learners’ responses with appropriate feedback.(Hartoyo, 2012:40)
In applying ICT in language learning, teacher can either purchase ready-made materials or create their own exercise materials using a variety of authoring tools based on Hartoyo (2012:40).
d) Computer-Aided Assessment (CAA)
Computer-Aided Assessment (CAA) is playing an increasingly important role in foreign language teaching and learning. This media used to testing and assessing students understanding after learning some courses.
ICT tools exist to help teachers and learners or students to publishing or linked in their work in a local area network. ICT may use by the teacher and learners to help them publish their work in these ways:
- Word – processors and Desk Top Publishing (DTP) software
- Doing audio recording and editing tools to record interview, discussions, learning material and etc
- Using digital camera and camcorder to record presentations, drama, role play, and so on
- Power point can be used as the medium to publish presentations
- Web pages using web authoring tools
Technology can help learners and teachers to communicate with another. Some ICT tools which can use as the medium of information are: 1) Email, which allows language learners to communicate with ‘web pals’ in other countries; 2) Tandem learning; 3) computer mediated discussion; 4) web-based learning environment; 5) audio conferencing; 6) Video Conferencing.
The computer can act as a stimulus which generates analysis, critical thinking, discussion and writing. Program which include simulations are especially effective as stimuli. Examples of language learning tasks which ‘simulate’ real world tasks are : 1) Web Quest; 2) Action Mazes; 3) Adventure games; 4) Sunpower; 5) Expodisc; 6) “Real-life” simulations; 7) video conference.
ICT appears to give both advantages and disadvantages. ICT in language learning reduces the intimacy of students – teacher relationship that it may negatively contributes to students affective feelings in the process of learning. However, ICT appears as a ‘bridge’ to break the distance and ‘survive’ the learning. In case of distance, teachers can use ICT through video conference to enable them teach or monitor the students learning process. Therefore, the development of ICT is seen as a better way of teaching and learning a certain language compared to the existing methods. Through the internet, teacher or learners can obtain as many as possible sources related to the learned – language; such as text, songs, stories, etc. Those sources can contribute as models of the learned – language use in the real context and in a proper manner. In addition, computer can also be used as a more interactive aid to support the learning of language compared to that of tape recorder, or chalk and blackboard. However, you can see that many of the technology solutions available in the world of education can lead to confusion among the teachers on how to choose the right ICT technology solutions. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of ICT tools for education and finding a suitable ICT education solution for the needs of the school.
- The information required will be more quickly and easily accessible for educational purposes.
- Innovation in learning is growing in the presence of e-learning innovations that further facilitate the educational process.
- Progress of ICT will also allow the development of virtual classroom or classroom-based teleconference that does not require the educator and learners are in one room.
- System administration in an institution will be more easily and smoothly because of the application of ICT systems.
- Progress of ICT will also occur of violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for the easy access to the data that is causing people plagiatis will commit fraud.
- Although the system of the administration of an educational institution like a system without a gap, but if there is a recklessness in running the system would be dangerous.
- One of the negative impact of television is to train children to think short and survive concentrated in a short time (short span of attention).