EMERGING TRENDS AND ISSUES IN ICT
1 . E-LEARNING
Refers to the use of electronic media and information and communication
technologies (ICT) in education.
(a) Uses of e-learning include engaging learners to use the web as:
A source of materials in a wide range of formats. E-learning provides
interactive materials and activities such as text, graphics, animations, and,
assessments, and feedback. Online interaction may include tools like email,
bulletin/discussion boards, chat rooms, and instant messaging.
Online materials can contain voice, data, and video, and are available to
the students at any time from any place.
Students can follow links to different references and to subject experts in
order to enhance their learning experience.
Online discussion groups and message boards enable a student to
collaborate with the instructor, with other students in the class, or even
with students across the world.
(b) Introduction of Online Courses which provide online course materials, online
interaction between lecturers and students as well as online assessment.
a. Offer education to large numbers of students i.e. makes education
more accessible to people with limited financial resources.
b. Offer education at lower costs (travel, instructor fees,
c. Offer shorter courses
Online courses, however, require large commitment to technology by the colleges
offering the courses. There is also lack of face-to-face contact between students
Online distance learning has removed geographic barriers and improved student
Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a
type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is
conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer
Technology can help throughout the process including promotion, searching,
selecting, negotiating, delivery, and support.
ADVANTAGES OF E-COMMERCE
Increases the speed and accuracy with which businesses can exchange
Electronic payments (tax refunds, paychecks, etc.) cost less to issue and
are more secure
Enables people to conduct business from home
Makes promotion easier for smaller firms
Marketing campaigns can be designed and implemented to target specific
customer segments for example based on their search behaviour on the
DISADVANTAGES OF E-COMMERCE
• Some business processes are not suited to e-commerce, even with
improvements in technology
• Many products and services require a critical mass of potential buyers (e.g.
• Cultural impediments: People are reluctant to change in order to integrate
• The legal environment is uncertain. Laws covering some areas of ecommerce do not exist and in some other areas, the judicial officers lack
the relevant capacity and training.
3. DOMESTIC APPLICATIONS OF ICT
Advances in ICT have also allowed it’s application in many areas of our lives
including homes where most of the domestic appliances now contain an
embedded computer system to carry out their control functions.
For example a modern washing machine has a computer system to handle all the
complex washing cycles. It ensures that the correct amount of water is used for
the programme selected and that the water is heated to the correct temperature.
Other examples of embedded computer systems in the home:
central heating systems
burglar alarm systems
fire alarm systems
(a) The appliances do not need direct human control because they have
timers. This means the user can leave them to complete their tasks so
they have more leisure time.
(b) The appliances are safer to use as they have safety checks built in. In a
way, computers systems such as these are ‘invisible’ to the user and are
called embedded systems.
(c) Computers linked to the Internet have greatly reduced the need for people
to leave the home in order to acquire goods and services for example:
Entertainment – music and games can be downloaded. Movies can be
downloaded and this, along with Interactive digital television, means
there is no need to go to the cinema or video rental shop.
Goods – these can be easily ordered from online stores and delivered
to the home.
Food – takeaway food and groceries can be ordered online and
delivered directly to the door.
Services – banking, ordering insurance and many other services can be
carried out over the Internet.
a. E-government services can be implemented using ICT to promote
transparency in public administrations and democratic processes, improving
efficiency and strengthening relations with citizens. Such services include
Tax filing and revenue collection, electronic voting, registration of persons
and businesses etc.
b. Services, at all levels, can be adapted to the needs of citizens and business,
to achieve a more efficient allocation of resources and public goods.
a. The adoption of ICTs can be used to improve and extend health care and
health information systems to remote and underserved areas and vulnerable
populations. For instance interaction between a patient and a doctor who are
miles apart can be made possible through ICT.
b. ICTs can be used to alert, monitor and control the spread of communicable
diseases, through the improvement of common information systems.
c. ICT can be used for the exchange of health data, taking due account of
d. ICT can be used to promote continuous medical training, education, and
research for health-care providers in their areas of work without the need for
a. ICT can used to promote teleworking to allow citizens, particularly in the
developing countries and small economies, to live in their societies and work
b. ICT can be used to increase employment opportunities for those with
c. Promote new ways of organizing work and business with the aim of raising
productivity, growth and well-being through investment in ICTs and human
resources for example in automating business processes to make the more
efficient and cheaper.
a. ICT can be used to establish monitoring systems, to forecast and monitor the
impact of natural and man-made disasters, particularly in developing
b. Governments, in cooperation with other stakeholders are encouraged to use
and promote ICTs as an instrument for environmental protection and the
sustainable use of natural resources.
c. Government and the private should implement programmes for sustainable
production and consumption and the environmentally safe disposal and
recycling of discarded hardware and components used in ICTs.
d. E-Waste can be reduced:
i. From the manufacturing phase through:
a. Designing for easy disassembly and recycling
b. Avoiding use of heavy pollutants
c. Minimization on the use of resources
d. Regulations and standards
ii. During the life of equipment:
a. Prolonging its lifetime
b. Designing for reuse/multiple use
iii. At end of life:
a. E-waste conscious management
a. ICT can be used to ensure the systematic dissemination of information on
agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry and food, in order to provide
ready access to comprehensive, up-to-date and detailed knowledge and
information, particularly in rural areas.
b. ICTs can be used to market and sell agricultural products for example linking
the producers and potential buyers thereby reducing loss for the farmers and
ensuring proper distribution of food in the country.
c. Automation of farming technology e.g. computerized irrigation system which
reduce human error and wastage of water.
EMERGING ISSUES IN ICT
1 . ICT has brought about the emergence of Cyber crimes such as
pornography, Electronic fraud, cyber stalking, terrorism etc
2. Wrong use of ICT leads to Internet and other types of computer addiction
3. Emergence of health and other safety issues related to computer use e.g.
Muscular-skeletal disorders such as tendonitis, backache and eyestrain.
4. Erosion of social and inter-personal skills
9. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Technology Transfer, also called Transfer of Technology (TOT) and Technology
Commercialization, is the process of transferring skills, knowledge, technologies
and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure
that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of
users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products,
processes, applications, materials or services.
Types of Technology Transfer:
o Cooperative research and development
|o||Licensing or sale of intellectual property
Either across firms or to a startup spin-off firm
o Technical assistance
o Public exchange of information
E.g. conferences, publications, networking
The Internet is an excellent example of a technology initially developed with
government support diffusing to have a broader commercial impact. The
government through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
funded construction of the Internet but later made the network available for use
by the general public.
Institutions for Technology Transfer
Technology transfer can involve firms, governments, and universities.
Research joint ventures (RJV)