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A Review of the Impact of ICT on Learning - page 19 / 26





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emotional and social elements. Therefore, new levers of motivation should be focused not only on careers, but also on self-esteem (Aceto et al 2004).

It is, however, fundamental to be realistic about the sustainability of projects. Most of the success stories addressing disadvantaged groups need continuous support to remain sustainable on a larger scale and in the longer run. Public funding plays an important role if a project has a recognised public interest value, but it may be necessary to consider further measures - for instance, ‘Public Private Partnerships’ (PPPs). Case studies should contribute to proving that PPPs are an essential element in promoting ICT-enabled learning for inclusion (Aceto et al 2004).

ICT-enabled learning should not be seen as a one-size-fits-all solution. It will not be enough if it is not associated with a clear vision, a strategy and an inclusive policy which takes into consideration and attempts to simultaneously tackle several factors which contribute to deprivation (unemployment, disabilities, social exclusion, etc). But it can substantially contribute to employability, provided that research and practice efforts are concentrated on quality eLearning and that further research is conducted into the extent and nature of measurement of returns on investment in eLearning as far as the employability of e-learners is concerned. Moreover, a lot could be done to market the benefit of eLearning in terms of employability to the employers (HELIOS 2006: 15).

8. Emerging contours of future learning enabled by ICT

There is growing awareness in Europe that looking at the future of learning is important and necessary in order to better grasp the opportunities that will arise as our societies move towards an increasingly digitalized, networked and knowledge-based society. A new vision of “ICT and learning” is needed that takes into account the shifts and trends (e.g. globalisation, migration, demographics, technological progress) that are transforming the way people work, learn, enjoy themselves and make sense of their world. Preferably, this vision would be realised through a proactive strategy that envisages and anticipates future learning needs and requirements, rather than an adaptive strategy which simply reacts to new requirements as they arise (Punie & Cabrera 2006).

A number of statements have been made by renowned experts in educational disciplines and systems, which call for revolutionary changes in the way we learn and teach at the moment. There is no doubt that the role of ICT as an enabler of these changes is stronger nowadays than ever. ICT can definitely help in organizing and providing structure for the teacher’s material to students, and in following progress of a given learning, in authenticating, searching and prioritising the material. It can simulate and visualise structures of physical, chemical, biological and engineering models and interact in real time with them in learning history and/or future trends. It can also help the handicapped population. ICT can be invaluable to the multilingual population, with automated translators for teachers, students and parents. Telepresence could reproduce a sense of being there so that what is learned transfers to the real world (Visions 2020: Ruzena Bajcsy).

Future intelligent environments also described as Ubiquitous Computing or Ambient Intelligence (AmI) will play an increasingly significant role in social learning and the exchange of knowledge, particularly with user-friendly interfaces working on ubiquitous, interoperable networks. AmI could prove to be relevant for such a purpose, as it will be able to integrate and communicate context-dependent knowledge more easily than current-day


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