The success of implementation of ICT in education depends largely on the quality of the ICT-technical environment (hardware, software and ICT-supporting staff). The educational institute has to take care that all students and teachers have access to a computer and to internet in the institute and/or at home. Also, it should be possible for both groups to work with necessary ICT learning materials like a virtual learning environment, power point, complex images, video lectures, games, simulations et cetera. The internal network or the wireless network and the internet connection should work properly. This is the responsibility of the ICT- group. The ICT-staff should be qualified to implement and maintain the hardware and software. The process of the implementation of ICT will be strongly disturbed when the teachers and students experience failures of one of more elements of the ICT-system.
- The necessary capacity and speed of the ICT-technical environment depends on the type of software, the digital learning materials and the number of users. It can be expected that if the number of students and teachers using the ICTedu-tools increase more capacity and speed of the ICT – technical environment will be needed. The management has to decide whether the capacity and speed of the ICT-technical environment will be improved. The ICT group should be able to organise or realise the necessary improvements. Another development which has to be taken into account is that the institute may decide that besides the use of ICT in education, also the administration and the research groups will be enabled to use ICT, which clearly, will have consequences for the ICT-technical environment.
- It is possible that the University starts with the implementation of ICT without an ICT-technical environment which has not enough capacity to enable the students and teachers to use video programs, games, YouTube, simulation, pictures et cetera. In this case a possible solution is to download programs and files on the local server. The students and the teachers should be given entrance to the local server in order to be able to access these programs and files.
- An important problem is the power supply. If there is a short power break the students and teachers continue to use their laptops via the wireless connection. If there are power brakes of longer duration and more frequently it will be necessary to install the generator to take over which has enough capacity. An important problem is that the power break will cause that the students and teachers will lose work. This means that users have to redo part of their work after the power break. This problem can be solved by special equipment (a UPS).
- Many universities have a special ICT-classroom in which students can work individually or in small groups. The teacher and the students can make use of a PowerPoint presentation possibility. The ICT-group is responsible for the installation and the maintenance of the room and the equipment.
- To make optimal use of the ICT-technical environments teachers and ICT-technicians should work together, because:
- The didactical possibilities and the costs of ICTedu-tools develop in time. Also, during the implementation period the teachers and the ICT- technicians may discover new possibilities for using ICT in their education.
- There will arise all kinds of problems when using the ICT-technical environment. These problems have to be solved without delay.
- Teachers will need practical advice about using ICTedu-tools (see also question 2).
The consequences are:
- Teachers should be very clear about their needs, questions and problems using ICT in education. ICT staff, also, should be very clear about what is possible and about the costs to find an answer to the needs, questions and problems in.
- Software should be adapted to the needs of the teachers and the possibilities of the definitions.
- The teachers and the ICT-staff can advise the management about the arrangements and the equipment in the ICT-technical environment.