Introduction to ICT for learning


Digital technologies have transformed how we live and work. We live in a connected world with ready access to vast amounts of digital information and experiences. Adopting new advances in technology has become essential to living and working in today's globalized, knowledge-based economies. To succeed in the modern workplace, we need skills to intelligently use digital technologies to: 

  • Consume information and ideas 
  • Design and create new information and ideas 

A broad palette of digital tools allows us to engage and innovate in ways that weren’t possible before. Additionally, these digital technologies allow us to connect with and build relationships with a wider network of people, helping us to understand our world in a deeper and more meaningful way. And it’s only by engaging with and challenging each other do we truly begin to understand ourselves and the world we live in.

Young people already habitually use digital technologies outside of class. While digital technologies are becoming increasingly common in learning environments, learners often only use them to present or consume information. However, these technologies are capable of so much more. Using a wide range of digital technologies, educators must design learning experiences that help young people develop the skills to:

  • Evaluate and analyze information and ideas
  • Design and create new information and ideas 

Many educational systems refer to digital technologies as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). ICT encompasses a wide range of available digital tools—both hardware and software.

Hardware includes computers and related electronic devices like tablets and notebooks, smartphones, electronic whiteboards, and camcorders.

Software includes everything from web browsers and multimedia creation tools to engineering applications, social media, and collaborative editing platforms.

ICT is a powerful tool for promoting and supporting all 21st century skill dimensions. For example, ICT helps learners to:

  • Collaborate in ways that weren’t possible before
  • Communicate through new mediums of expression

In this rubric, though, we will only focus on the integration of ICT for Learning with two other 21st century learning design (21CLD) dimensions: Knowledge Construction and Real-World Problem Solving and innovation. When incorporating ICT in learning activities, educators must consider whether learners will use ICT in meaningful ways to:

  • Solve complex problems
  • Construct knowledge
  • Design knowledge-based products 

ICT is essential to building lifelong learning. Educators must therefore balance the use of technology to not only consume information but also to design and create it in their learning activities.