- Building in the students the skills of using ICT more effectively and responsibly. ICT may be misused or abused for destructive purposes. On the other hand, it can be used to develop and build humanity. The latter is the desired.
- Building communication skills and confidence in learners. The ability to communicate effectively is a cornerstone to human survival. As information technology grows and develops the world becomes more accessible, drawing people of different races and languages into one global village. With it is an increasing dependency on information technology to communicate effectively. It therefore implies that the student of today must be prepared to communicate more effectively using ICT and master how to communicate with people of different cultures, races and languages. Confidence in one’s self is also very important to communicate effectively.
- Enabling creativity and innovation. Creativity and innovation are the cornerstone for a sustainable development of a nation. Young people are dynamic and energetic. By embracing ICT, they have opportunity to accelerate their ability to create and innovate.
- Developing critical thinking and problem-solving mentality. Before you can be a problem solver, you need to be a critical thinker. Entire communities are sometimes derailed because the people in it fail to critically analyze and identify the basis of their problems. The ICT learner therefore needs to be engaged in learning activities that challenge their thinking and come up with solutions to problems with aid of ICT as an invaluable enabler for critical thinking and problem solving.
- Being able to integrate ICT in mainstream disciplines, other clubs and schools’ activities for learning purposes. ICT is not an end in itself. It is not used in isolation but as a tool and enabler in every aspect of human life. Therefore, the ICT clubs will be relevant only in as far as they support other programs and activities in the school. It may be supporting other clubs to embrace ICT in implementing their programs, guiding students in realizing the usefulness of lCT in their respective subjects, supporting school administration in a major event and so forth. The ICT clubs have to therefore strategically think of how they can integrate ICT in learning disciplines, clubs and schools’ programs and activities.
- Engaging learners in programs and activities that develop a sense of global citizenship. It is increasingly becoming impossible to ignore what happens in the other end of the world because its effect may sooner or later be felt the other side of the globe. It therefore means that young people of today need to take global concern over issues. ICT provides an opportunity for learners to realize their potential to be global agents of impact or change. They essentially are at their best as global citizens,
- Being able to purposefully network, collaborate and work as a team. In on increasingly interconnected world, the value of networking and collaborations have never been so acute. We need each other more than ever. It therefore means that the mentality and ability to work with each other need to be inculcated in the young people. ICT makes it very possible to collaborate and network. The ICT club members therefore need to get engaged in programs that propagate networking, collaboration and teamwork, locally and internationally.
- Becoming peer learners that guide and support fellow students in learning and effective use of ICT in education. Sharing of knowledge and skills has a distinct benefit of helping the sharer to reinforce his or her own learning. The ICT Clubs were therefore encouraged to develop learning activities that involve sharing learning experiences with others. It may be with students in the same school, another school or else where in their community — face to face or online.
- Empowering learners to address real issues affecting their communities and finding solutions to them through innovative learning projects. This is another key element of the project. Each ICT club has been encouraged to come up with at least one innovative learning activity that address real issues affecting people in their communities. Such activities do not have to be grand but within means of the students to implement. They should therefore develop keen senses to find out issues affecting their communities and plan to address at least one of them and determine how ICT can enable it.
- Developing a sense of ownership of and taking part in maintenance of equipment of their respective ICT department. We explained to the students and teachers present that one of the key interests of UCC is to see the active participation of students in maintenance of labs and their equipment. They were reminded that lab maintenance is integral part of the ICT curriculum and it has to be not just minds-on but hands-on as well. They were encouraged to own the labs and be their first protectors.
21′ Century Challenges and Opportunities.
The world is rapidly going hi-tech in almost every aspect of life. It is also increasingly possible to access almost any part of the world either physically or virtually. The level of trade and social interaction in the world has grown exponentially. There is also growing forces for freedom by all categories of societies and minorities. As the world becomes more of a global village cultural clash and amalgamation is the rising phenomena.
All these above and others pose as challenges and opportunities that the 21st century student must deal with if he or she is to use ICT to its full advantage. It calls for ability to change and adopt to new ways in order to fit, survive, have desired impact today and ultimately remain relevant.