Information and Communication Technologies – What Are They and Why Are They Important?

ICT is an abbreviation that means “Information and Communications Technology” (or technologies). This is a blanket term that refers to many forms of communication. ICT in society might include television, cellular telephones, satellites, radio, computer software, computer hardware and many others.

Basically, any form of moving information from one place to another could be considered a kind of ICT, but it generally refers to systems that use electronics, computers or other forms of modern technology. It is a term heard more often outside the US, and often is used in reference to a particular area such as: “ICT’s in education or healthcare.”

In our modern world, we are using these technologies every day in so many ways and it is very easy to take them for granted. Like the light bulbs in our houses, we seldom stop to think about how amazing it is that we can walk into a dark room and flip on a light switch. However, like the complex system of power stations, wires and amazing devices that bring us electric power, the ability for us to communicate so quickly and effectively requires and amazing amount of knowledge, resources and time to implement.

We have a whole world of information at our fingertips through the power of the World Wide Web, television and radio, as well as the ability to reach out to another person nearly anywhere in the world through the amazing advances of telecommunications. These technologies are absolutely essential to the operation of our modern culture, illustrated by the fact that I am writing and you are reading this via the most profound of Information and Communication Technologies: the computer.

Not everyone is so lucky, however. These essential tools to our modern existence that we so take for granted are not present everywhere. There are entire nations that are still struggling socially, politically and financially, and these places lack the resources to make full use of these modern wonders. For nations looking to join modern society and thrive in the global community, these Information and Communication Technologies must be understood, implemented and used effectively. Development through ICTs is one of the most effective ways for nations to join the global community.

Of course as you can well imagine, that takes a lot of support from experts who are already doing this in other places. This is where organizations like the Global e-schools and Communities Initiative comes in.

GeSCI was established in 2004, founded by the UN ICT Task Force. The United Nations ICT task force approved a proposal for a UN affiliated organization to provide demand-driven assistance to developing countries seeking to utilize the tremendous potential ICT’s have for improving the quality of teaching and learning in primary and secondary education.

These types of organizations are doing amazing things to bring these essential tools to our neighbors around the globe. Resources that are easily taken for granted are recognized by the founders of these kinds of task forces to be rare and crucial in other parts of the world. They are dedicated to helping everyone who wants to catch up, and join the global conversation.

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