Information and Communication Technology Equipment and Their Functions

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Information and communication technology comprises diverse set tools and resources typically exploited to create, communicate, disseminate, store and manage information. ICT tools can be classified as follows.

Informative tools

These are tools of information that afford profound information in several formats such as sound, text, video or graphics. These tools can be considered as an inert source of information. They include tools and info resources of existing encyclopedia of the entire internet.  The internet is an enormous electronic database and scholars consider the internet as the most important ICT tools in the e-learning environs.

Students and researchers rely on the internet profoundly to carry out research and also do their homework. The Internet is considered as the virtual textbook, reference archive, and cybernetic tutor.

Situating tools

Situating tools describes a system that renders students in an environment where it comprises a context and the incidence of a situation. Examples include simulation, multi-user domain, and virtual reality. Software tools in this category such as CD-ROM, offer a multimedia application that gives enhanced opportunities to boost learning environments.

Hypermedia applications encompass multiple formats such as audio, graphic images, text, animation and video clips. These applications are well incorporated through the learning environment to ensure student independence and thinking. Students are also able to conceptualize ideas to the real world by integrating theories into the practical application of modern world situations.

Constructive tools

Constructive tools are all-purpose tools used in the manipulation of information, knowledge construction and visualization of understanding. Constructive tools, for instance, Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint, have a strong bearing in the in the education sector and is widely utilized in organizations. Mostly in the form of memos, presentations, reports, and letters.

In the learning environment, Microsoft word effectively assists students to correct texts and sentences; word processors include dictionaries, grammar checkers. Power point is a presentation graphics platform used for developing presentations through slides. Microsoft excel is another essential software where students learn design and statistical data that can be automated via formula.

Communicative tools

Communicative tools allow efficient communication between two parties, say, teachers and students. For instance using e-mail, chat, electronic whiteboard, teleconference and electronic bulletin boards. Communication tools such as video conference and chat enable instantaneous communication using communicative asynchronous, e.g., e-mail and electronic whiteboard.

A system whereby an exchange of information between people is not ‘live’ but delayed somehow. Electronic mail utilization is on the increase day after another. It is most commonly used on the internet.

Collaborative tools

Collaborative tools constitute the emphasis of much interest and evolving as the development of tools that ensure online collaborative schemes bring out a genuine opinion for disseminated group work. The Internet is commonly used for collaborative undertakings such as meetings, information dissemination, and other jobs.

These technologies also enhance spontaneous information sharing, personal growth simulation, and knowledge construction. Other collaborative tools, e.g., Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), E-mail messaging and General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) equipped with mobile phones or GPRS facilitated handheld computers are also ICT tools able to link scholars to different geographical locations. Mobile phones and PDA enable learners to pass information in a short time concurrently and asynchronously.