The Internet in Your Education

The Internet in Your Education

After completing this article, you will be able to -

► Explain the concept of digital content;

► Explain the significance of the internet in Education;

► Identify the fields of using the Internet in academic curriculum;

► Explain the importance of ICT in career development; and

► Make a presentation of a topic you have studied with the help of internet;

Digital Content

If any content is preserved, expressed or exchanged as digital data, that is digital content, however it can be preserved either in digital or in analogue system. Digital contents can be exchanged either as files of the computer or of the digital system. Written information, images, sounds or videos everything could be digital contents.

Types of Digital Content

Any information, image, sound or everything expressed through digital media are digital contents though it can be divided into four major categories:

• Text or written content;

• Image;

• Sound or audio and

• Video and animation.

Text or written content: The written content is still voluminous in digital media. It includes all kinds of written information, such as essays, blogposts, list of commodities and citizen's charter, prices of commodities, e-paper, reports, etc.

Image: All kinds of pictures, photographs, sketches, computer images such as illustrations, cartoons, info-graphics, animated pictures are the contents of this sort.

Sound or audio: All the contents of sound or audio are included in this content. Any kind of audio file along with the broadcast on the Internet and webinar are audio content.

Video and animation: Any kind of video and animation is its content. The volume of video content is increasing day by day, as nowadays mobile phones also have the ability to record video. Similarly, the volume of video content in the Internet is gradually increasing for the video sharing site like youtube. Besides, direct airplay of some events is very frequent on the Internet. It is called 'Video Streaming' which is also regarded as a video content.

E-book

E-book or electronic book is the electronic format of the printed book. As it is published through electronic medium, sound, animation, etc. can easily be added to it. This books can only be read either by using computer or e-book reader. Kindle of Amazon.com is the most popular of all e-book readers.

Benefits of Using E-book

1. Information may be accessed instantly by downloading e-books.

2. E-books do not require any library or specific space for storage. They can easily be saved and stored on a computer or in a reading device.

3. E-books are easily transferrable.

4. It is easy to find out information in e-books.

5. As e-books can be purchased through Internet, they do not incur any shipping or packaging costs.

6. E-books are easy to distribute and sell.

7. E-books can be printed out according to individual demand, and hence, they are financially more viable.

Nowadays, different kinds of e-books are found. Different publication requires different e-book format. Usually e-books are divided into the following five categories:

• Exact copy of a printed version: These books are like the printed version of a book. It is published in the pdf (portable document format) format. The complete text or parts are available on the internet.

• E-books that are only readable on the internet: These books are usually published in the HTML. This is called the website of books.

• E-books like printed version with some additional facilities: In these books, the readers have the facilities to comment, to know word meaning. Most of the books are published in (EPUB) format. These books are possible to read by using special device, for example, ibooks compatible fields and ibook reader, but field and ibook reader have their own format.

• Smart e-book: Audio, video, animation, etc. are included in these books besides the written part. These books are called smart-e-books. Its content is enriched with interactive multimedia features. For example, there are quizzes, spaces to answer the quizzes, and options to check the answers.  3D images are added to these e-books. However, some e-books are formatted in such a way that they can be accessed with a specific electronic device and hardware. For example, ibooks created by Apple computers can only be read with ipad or mac computer.

• Apps of e-book: The e-book itself is published as an apps on the computer or on the mobile phone. E-book, like the printed version, is published under the Copyright Act.

The Internet in Education

We discussed 'e-learning' in a previous chapter where we showed how education and training can be imparted by using radio, television, CD-ROM, personal network, the internet. In this chapter, we will have discussions especially on the role of Internet in education. Now you are very much familiar with the word 'Internet'. Many people are using the internet. This technology has brought about a significant change to the world, and some infrastructural facilities and financial solvency are required to use it. Either a desktop or a laptop computer is necessary to use the internet. It is expensive and cannot be afforded by the majority of the population. Nowadays mobile phone technology has been upgraded and 'Smartphone', which can provide the internet facilities, is within the reach of most people. However, the smart phone is not always an effective tool for educational purposes. The screen of the mobile phone is so small that its use is confined within the limit of viewing and exchanging information. A recent invention, tablet - an electronic device typically smaller than a laptop, but larger than a smartphone, can be used in education easily. Many companies are designing applications suitable for tablet to use in education.

We can not avail of the internet facilities just having the desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone suitable for the internet-use. An internet connection is required for that, but it is not equally available in all the places of the country. The speed is not the same even. Sometimes a slow-speed internet makes its use meaningless. On top of it, fast and high speed internet service cannot be afforded by the general people of our country. Therfore, the students should get the internet connection at low cost to use it in education.

Our students' access to laptop or tablet and high speed internet will not ensure the use of ICT for their education. The main question is what they will use in the internet. Is there any content suitable for them? In fact, there is not much content available on the Internet in the Bangla language. Initiatives have been taken by the Government, organisations, and individuals for developing content in Bangla. We expect to get it very soon in the internet.

Many educational contents are now available on the internet. If any student can not understand anything while studying, he/she is sure to get any solution by giving a search on the internet. If any student wants to learn anything, he/she will find it on the internet. The technologists of our country have successfully made effective search engines.

There are useful websites for mathematics on the Internet in which the answers of any mathematical problem can be solved. There are websites for watching practical of scientific experimentations. Expertise groups are formed with enthusiastic people, and when problems are placed before them, they solve it. There are also some useful sites available on the Internet for teaching Bangla.

A vast world of knowledge on the Internet is still unexplored. When we start exploring it, we will discover a completely new world.

The Internet and My Academic Subjects

Perhaps you hear that a teacher is like the flame of a light, and in darkness, they kindle the light of knowledge that illumines everywhere and the students see the ways in the light and learn what they want to. In other words, the best teachers in the world can not teach anything, but they can only help the learners and they themselves learn everything.

Similarly, access to and good content on the Internet will not always ensure great learning experiences and sound education for students. Internet only provides them with the opportunity to open a new world of knowledge. It depends on the students themselves how much they learn from it. You must have come across students who waste time on the Internet, either by playing computer games and being engaged in social communication sites. By contrast, some students learn computer programming availing of the opportunity.

You have certainly noticed that all of Activity your textbooks are available on the internet. In the beginning of the year, you get the textbooks, but if any book is either lost or damaged for some reasons, you can download it from the internet.  You will be pleased to know that some enthusiastic educationalists of our country have started making oral versions of the textbooks in soft copies, so that the blind students can be benefitted from these oral versions. NCTB publishes all the textbooks and sends it to you free of cost. Besides, many supporting books are also written (we are not talking of the guide books that actually do not contribute to learning). Those who write these textbooks upload them on the Internet. Students can download these books directly from the internet without purchasing from the market. Many writers of the world have arranged their books available on the internet. If you surf the internet, you will get your favourite books free of cost. However, you should be cautious about downloading any book preserved online, keeping in consideration the Copyright Laws.

We know that our sstudents are not satisfied with what they get in the textbooks. Therefore, they open science, mathematics or literary clubs. Once, students could participate in the activities of the clubs physically, but now they access the clubs virtually open on the Internet. Now students of the whole world can participate in the activities of the clubs and increase their academic competence.

My Career and ICT

In future, it will impossible to think of a day without ICT. Because of the multifarious use of ICT, it will become an important factor in appointing employees or establishing new business firms. You should be careful to develop expertise in ICT for your own career. It will be simply impossible to get any job without having preliminary skills in office software, internet, e-mail, social networking system, etc. The demand of programming, designing website, expertise in specialized job like the security of computer, etc. will increased. Therefore, the prospect of ICT as a career is undoubtedly bright. You should give effort in enhancing the skills in ICT henceforth. ICT is a great field for developing career in the world. Computer is the main requisite of ICT. The potentiality of ICT in providing new avenues for numerous computer-related jobs is beyond imagination. Computer science, computer engineering, office automation system design, artificial intelligence, robotic engineering, mobile communication, data communication - these are only a few of the thousand possible sectors that lead to successful career in ICT.

The wide scope of programming is extending in Bangladesh like other countries. The demand of programming is high right now. Everything is being computerized. Programmes are made by software. Different applications of smartphone are created by programming. The technology advances so quickly that one day the television, refrigerator, air-condition, etc. of home would be controlled staying at office. The symptom of diseases can be detected by the mobile devices. The size of electronic devices are getting smaller, but their efficiency and performance are increasing. It will gradually increase. The control of everything including kitchen to satellite will be within the reach of  human being. All will be controlled through computer programming.

The efficient programmers of our country are now working for the world famous companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel, Facebook, etc. on freelancing sites. Besides, skilled programmers can open software farms if they want. Programming as a profession has a special importance. There are wide scopes to prove one's efficiency through participating in different online programming contests. Thus these contests have created opportunities for university graduates from Bangladesh to work in the universities of Bangladesh, opportunities have been availed such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.

Every year, many students of our country by using their talents make strong position in these renowned companies. In most of the cases, they do not need to apply for the job. These companies find out skilled programmers from different countries.

There are other job facilities especially available in the ICT sector. It provides the scope of doing office from home. The renowned companies in developed countries, because of unavailability of skilled workers in their own countries, offer job opportunities to the skilled workers in developing countries. The workers of our country are of global standard. Now the programmers and other ICT professionals of our country are working through the Internet for the renowned companies of America, Canada, Britain, etc.

Patience is required for working freelance, and proficiency in the English language is necessary for communication. Besides, ICT provides opportunities for working in computer network. The companies using servers of their own need experts for developing computer network and maintenance. That is why it has a very good prospect in job market. The demand of ICT increases day by day in this age of information and communication technology. It is forecasted that the demand will be doubled by the next 2-3 years.

Some software companies have already been established in Bangladesh. They are exporting their software and mobile apps to other countries of the world. It is an honour for us. The younger generation is entering the profession. This sector needs more skilled workers in future. Therefore, the prospect of ICT as a career is undoubtedly bright. You should try to enhance your skill in ICT considering all these factors.

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