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Use of ICT in the Management of Learning Institutions

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ICT can be used to bring accountability to everything that happens in a learning institution. It is possible to keep track of nearly all activities that take place in any given institution using ICT. Effective ICT use enhances a learner-oriented teaching. A manager can find out what a professor is teaching, his or her workload and the subject allocation in the comfort of his or her office. It is also feasible to tell what a learner does in school. This is made possible by the use of integrated management systems.

Institutions start by purchasing a computing equipment and software. Administrators and teachers must examine the chances and outcomes of using ICT for school management and inclusion of ICT to the learning process. Integrating ICT across the curriculum in schools requires employing a variety of computer-based methods. Instructors find new styles, in which ICT improves performance.

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The introduction of computers in the way learning institutions operate is not an easy task. Effective implementation of a new technology and user involvement is essential for an optimal success. Integrating ICT in schools involves introducing a change, where all are made accountable for their actions. For one to implement such a drastic change, it is imperative to have an adequate understanding of the organization’s history, culture, operating procedures, and personnel (Langton, Stephen & Judge 2013, p. 432).

The issue of user resistance to new information technology requires some attention. Organizations should identify the causes that may lead to user resistance. In order to address such challenges, a number of different models have been proposed to assist institutions in solving users’ resistance or gain their acceptance to the integration of ICT. With the purpose of managing a smooth change in such a case, one can employ the Lewin’s three-step model for implementing change. This model uses three steps, namely unfreezing, moving and refreezing. 

Unfreezing involves a change of efforts to overcome the pressures of both individual resistance and group conformity, as well as arouse or introduce a reason, why the current system must be changed. It also focuses on implementing the integrated ICT management systems and empowering human resource managers. Engaging all in decision making brings people together. Introduction of rewards promotes a sense of pride. The existing power structures in learning institutions oppose the information management system, because it may demand their accountability, targeting laziness, absenteeism and misuse of resources. The fear of workers losing their jobs and learners being followed to do what is expected of them may not be a welcome idea. The managers have to overcome the challenges linked to the end user resistance o new methods of doing business. The majority of workers and learners know the impact of ICT and consider it a threat. Negligence and improper use of technology may reveal the unwanted and sensitive information, exposing the institution to sabotage. The institution is supposed to employ mechanisms that will protect everyone against such a threat (Smith & Rayment 2010, p. 62).

In the model, moving entails efforts to get employees involved in the change process. Schools can use ICT to design new ways, in which school organization can be managed. The essence of computer use is not being able to reboot computers or view a slide, but the needed skill of how to manipulate and create knowledge through the various computer systems. This encourages technical and supervisory training on interpersonal training. The workforce skills mix and diversity are a significant aspect of corporate and business strategies. This involves all stakeholders in the institution. Institutions use viable ways to adopt the Information Management System by establishing goals and policies that need to be used and implemented. Technological awareness and acceptance should be encouraged through flexible workplace practice by each eamployee. There is a need to encourage better ways to sustain human resource, which is vital in terms of the culture and speed response of the emerging advancement of education. Managers should encourage two way communications and develop solid management structures to withstand this change (Dunphy, Griffiths & Benn 2007, p. 26).

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Refreezing calls for stabilizing a change intervention by balancing, driving and restraining forces. Learners and trainers can use technology to improve learning. The other approach is to build successful experiences. This approach ensures that highly qualified teachers in ICT are able to impart their knowledge for co-curricular activities. There is a need to reward the desired outcomes, install systems to integrate the intended change and make the change sustainable (Newhouse, Clarkson & Trinidad 2004). Internet access is necessary, but not sufficient in terms of influencing the implementation of the technology-integrated learning.

The way people value an organization shape the performance of that organization (Dopiest 2010, p. 90). The corporate governance highly influences the institution performance. The institution must know the corporate governance principles and how to improve a strategy with regard to applying these principles for the governance sustainability. These principles are accountability, responsibility, fairness as well as transparency.

Volunteering information is not sufficient to achieve transparency. Confidential information placed in the wrong hands may compromise transparency. The abovementioned principles are all interconnected with the instittutions’ social responsibility. The role of the institution’s management is to create a balance and control mechanism in order to contribute towards the value and satisfaction of the workers, teachers, learners and society, at large, while giving a better understanding to all (Aras & Crowther 2008, p. 440).

The impact of performance is considered to be manifested in company activities (Haris & Crane 2002). For the diffusion of a new information technology, institutions must set realistic expectations, internal personal networks, management support, training, empowerment and motivation to help in eliminating of some of the gaps in the selected models and theoretical approaches. The changed outcomes can be either good, such as better working conditions, or bad, such as an increased risk of losing one’s job. It is explicable that when these changes are positive, the user will be inclined to accept the changes; but when the changes are unfavorable, the user will be prone to reject them. Change management has been defined as ‘the process of continually renewing an organization’s direction, structure, and capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers’ (Moran & Brightman cited in Todnem By 2005).

When the introduction of a new information technology generates greater benefits for the organization, users are likely to embrace the change positively. When the user feels that the employer has obtained relatively greater gains as compared to him or her, this is likely to cause a distress. Fear of the unknown and the resulting anxiety can hinder a smooth ICT integration. High performance systems are composed of components that function in harmony with each other, not as separate entities. The integration of ICT in learning would bring the efficiency to the operations of an institution. A successful and sustainable change entails a commitment, good leadership, proper communication and training (Sullivan & Tillman 2006, p. 11).

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Information and Communication Technology can be a powerful tool in terms of facilitating and enabling affordable solutions to improved literacy, free flow of information and increased transparency. ICT can offer a quick access to any book, magazine, newspaper, music or video, regardless of one’s language. In order to achieve a sustainable use of ICT, it must be made accessible and cheap (Reddy 2002)

The best strategy is to install the appropriate software that will enhance an effective teaching and learning. Specific trainings should be held for teachers in their schools, as well as a vision on the use of ICT software should be developed to a considerable degree. Technical service providers should be trained to support schools in maintenance of the applications and hardware (Muller 2012).

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