The Growth Of The Information Society Information Technology Essay
Everywhere people talking about information through the technology they had, whether is personal computer, mobile phones or books. As in higher education, especially tertiary education, information is the important aspect and also known as information demand in learning environment. The learning environment forces the students to search for information everywhere, and requires it to be fit in any of the subject or field. The concepts of the Information Society reviewed in the context of national and policies, many of which are techno economic in nature and lacking a genuine social dimension. The role and significance of information and knowledge need to be better understood in a world where intangible value is increasingly dominant and where metrics for knowledge are at best rudimentary. The commodification of knowledge (Jacob, 2003) and the impact of globalisation (Carnoy, 2002) and the rapid pace of technological advancement (for instance, the digital revolution) have all impacted on the role of universities and prevailing systems of higher educational delivery.
In Malaysian context, the reduction in public funding for higher education, the increasing push for the effective and productive university needs the transition to a high-tech and demand where the students need to be in information society. Valued-added and innovation are assumed to be imperatives, the advent of private higher educational institutions and the establishment of branch campuses of foreign universities have put an additional stress on the public universities to face the challenges in producing the high competence of productive students.
Information society is the society in which the economic and cultural life is depending on the information and communication technologies. The quality and the development of life is depending on the increasing of exploitation of information. Information society use and control information and knowledge which becoming central to the groups or organization and give impact on the economy, social and culture in everyday life.
The concept of society as Information Society has continued to engage the attention of researchers, commentators and governments. In a general sense, this presents a view of a society where social as well as economic change is driven through interactions with information embodied and represented in products, services, in media and in the structures and governance of society (Martin 1995).
Tertiary education is a third stage or post-secondary education. It is usually known as higher education which includes undergraduate and postgraduate education.  Tertiary education is formal, non-compulsory, education that follows secondary education. In most countries some form of secondary education is compulsory. Tertiary education refers, in most settings to non-compulsory education provided via a specialist institution, usually labelled as a college, polytechnic or university with variants of these in other languages. Tertiary education may be delivered virtually or at a distance.
In the growing society today, it is important for every tertiary education in Malaysia needs to redesign themselves in line with the growing technology, economy, culture and society. As we move further into the new millennium, the need to evaluate and analyze the approaches to the provision of quality tertiary education which is relevant to social and economic needs nowadays.  Tertiary education contributes to social and economic development through four major missions which are the formation of human capital (primarily through teaching), the building of knowledge bases (primarily through research and knowledge development), the dissemination and use of knowledge (primarily through interactions with knowledge users) and the maintenance of knowledge (inter-generational storage and transmission of knowledge). In the growing process of becoming an industrialized nation, a symbiotic relationship between universities and industry must be encourage and promoted among the students in tertiary education. The question is that, how the students in tertiary level want to implement and react accordingly to the growing of information society to give impact on the industrialization nation? The universities itself should know their roles and scope in encouraging the growing of information society.
As in Malaysia’s tertiary educational level, the students are not aware of the existence information and the community. Those who do not from the information background normally do not understand what information society is and who the information society is. They do not have any clue on what is all about the information society. Without realize it, students in tertiary educational level need information to do their task. They need to be more aggressive in searching for the information they needed. Information in needed in all kind of aspect and the students should know where and how to retrieve the information needed. It is also important to encourage the specialization of universities to increase the awareness in order to establish highly skilled and informative students in tertiary educational level.
The government is very committed in providing quality education to all the citizens. The strategies for growth and development of the education sector under the Seventh Malaysian Plan (1996-2000) represented a significant departure from previous plans because it gave more attention to technical training and vocational education as well as to science and technology. In today’s systems of tertiary education, individual institutions pursue a diversity of missions, exhibit a variety of strategies to accomplish their objectives, face different challenges and have needs which are particular to them. The students are being asked to provide responses to educational demands in an increasingly competitive environment. All of these required the students to be mature in their searching for information so that they can develop themselves in the technical training, vocational education and as well as to science and technology.  The importance of higher education in this process must not be underestimated-it is today considered by both developed and developing nations to be a critical agenda in the formulation of national policies.
Expansion of tertiary education systems
The growing of tertiary education in Malaysia has been a trend and the expansion of tertiary education has been remarkable in recent decades.  Globally, in 2004, 132 million students enrolled in tertiary education, up from 68 million in 1991. Average annual growth in tertiary enrolment over the period 1991-2004 stood at 5.1% worldwide. As in Malaysia, everybody will have the chance to get into the tertiary educational level. At this stage, the students will get expose to the information technology. Information technology that provided in universities will enable the students to access to information and via technology also, students will going globally with the information they had.
5The Education Development Plan for Malaysia (2001-2010), henceforth referred to as the Blueprint, takes into account the goals and aspirations of the National Vision Policy to build a resilient nation, encourage the creation of a just society, maintain sustainable economic growth, develop global competitiveness, build a knowledge-based economy (K-economy), strengthen human resource development, and maintain sustainable environment development. The Third Outline Perspective Plan (2001-2010) and the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005) outlined the strategies, programmes, and projects to increase the nation’s economic growth towards building a united, just and equitable society as well as meeting the challenges of globalization and Keconomy. The ultimate aim of these long and medium-terms plans is to build Malaysia into a developed nation based on its own mould. These plans have great implications on the national education system.
The development of R&D in tertiary educational level
The R&D policy have encourage the students to go further in using, searching and disseminate the information. The R&D requires them to use, implement the information provided whether in digital format or in the conventional format. The information demand needed in R&D forces the students in tertiary educational level to use information in completing their tasks. For example, in completing a research, students need to search the information and make full use of the information. They are variety of information that can be suit in the research as the result of the findings. Integration of information is also the key aspect in the use of information.
Information is a crucial element for promoting growth and competitiveness in assuring a good paper for R&D. The potential of producing a good paper depends on the capacity to retrieve information, and therefore is a greater value and stronger emphasis on R&D activities. Investing in the development of information produces rewards and an eager to invest in R&D activities.
Ability of institution to respond to the information demand
Information is a sufficient way to ensure that tertiary education responds to the growing of information society among the students. Information is needed in all kind of aspect in tertiary educational level. Every task given in tertiary education requires information to be fit in and fully utilized. With the advancement of technology today, it is possible to search for the information everywhere and going globally to the World Wide Web. Information technology enables the students to gain access through available information. It can contribute to the development of Information Society as well.
Issues and Problems
The issues and problems in the growing of information society among students might be variety. The pace of information technology advancement and with the latest technologies must be developed at an increasing rate. When people in all parts of society have rapid access to the information they want, we can say that the information conscious society has become the information society. Reduction in the cost and size of computers will accelerate the process. Of course, developments will depend on the technology available commercially especially in the tertiary educational level. Once large numbers of students have computers, they might to have a great impact on education because they can have access to the information just at their fingertips. There are some issues and related problems towards the growing of information society. A university should play a vital role in changing the society towards the information society. At university level, there are also some of the students still do not know where to get information and how to get there information. At the end, they end up with nothing, lack of knowledge, poor in information retrieval and not too productive in producing tasks. They are too depending on the information they had and are too lazy to search for information.
Information in print
Sometimes, the students reluctant to approach the library because they are not certain of the information they need. The existence of the printed information such as books, journals, periodicals are always been made available in the library. But the biggest problem is that it is hard for the students to go to the library to search for the information. The location to retrieve the information sometimes is the barrier for the students to get the materials or information. At some case, the materials needed in the status of available via OPAC could not be retrieved. This will cause the students to turn out frustrated when they could not get access to the information. It is hard to get access to the information when it is hard to gain for the resources. Some prefer to do plagiarism on the tasks assigned because they found it hard to get access to the information.
Information in print also could be obsolete. Loss of physical information often happens when the preventing program are not to be considered in designing the information packages. It can cause the lack of having that information available in which finally could not contribute to the growing of information society. Furthermore, information in print need to preserve and conserve for further reference. The absence by the loss of information could cause to the lack of information rich.
Digital Divide among students
It is a situation in which people do not have the same degree of access to modern digital information and communication technologies (ICT). The phenomenon and the development of the digital divide is one of the most crucial issue or topic involved in the information society. The simplest definition concept of the digital divide describes that there is a difference between certain groups in accessing the information. As in the tertiary educational level, is there still digital divide among students? Suddenly it came across to mind because most of people expected that at the tertiary educational level, there will be no digital divide among the students. At some point, some students still have the problem in accessing the information because they could not afford to pay for the information when they could not afford to buy a personal computer for themselves. This will cause the student could not get access to the information. Governments aware of this financial problem are pushing for installation of computers in higher institutions, such as libraries or hostels.
Infrastructure and educational facilities
Infrastructure and educational facilities is the issue and problem in enhancing the growing of information society among the students in the higher education. A proper infrastructure and facilities need to be developed and improved. In some university’s environment, the facilities provided are not enough for the students to gain information. This is also one of the factor contribute to the lack of information and finally can cause to the improper retrieval of information. Malaysia is a developing country with an advance technology inside, moving towards the information society, so it is crucial that the students need enough accommodation and equipment to excel in their field of study. The key access to information is that the proper developed infrastructure and educational facilities.
Some universities were built at rural area which could cause to the hardship of accessing the information technology. Some are built in a shop lots with minimum educational facilities provided. These are the problem that will cause to the illness of the growing information society among the students in tertiary educational level.
Some of it is not equipped with internet or wireless access that finally could cause to the limited access to the information. Limited reference materials provided in academic library also can cause the problem in accessing the information. Information society needs to grow together with the reference materials so that it can help them to retrieve for the information.
Developing Information Society among the students
The scope and importance of tertiary education have changed significantly. Over 40 years ago tertiary education, which was more commonly referred to as higher education, was what happened in universities. This largely covered teaching and learning requiring high level conceptual and intellectual skills, sciences and social sciences, the preparation of students for entry to a limited number of professions such as medicine, engineering and law, and disinterested advanced research and scholarship. These days, tertiary education is much more diversified and encompasses new types of institutions such as polytechnics, university colleges, or technological institutes. These have been created for a number of reasons:
to develop a closer relationship between tertiary education and the external world, including greater responsiveness to labor market needs;
to enhance social and geographical access to tertiary education;
to provide high-level occupational preparation in a more applied and less theoretical way; and
to accommodate the growing diversity of qualifications and expectations of school graduates
Because of the number reasons, the key to achieve all those above is by having the information available anytime at tertiary educational level. High quality educational is needed for the steady understanding and incorporating of large numbers of students into information society, and enable access to communication is essential, together with the labor productivity and integration.
Information has always been valued and exist which only come to regard as so important and it represents the symbol of information society. The transmission and process of information must be delivered accordingly so that it would not be any of the misuse or misleading of information among the students through the new technologies that have made possible for information to be available in greater volume, better accuracy and at greater speed.
The importance and significance of information in an information society can be compared to the role of raw materials in an agricultural society or capital in an industrial society. A true information society or more accurately an information-rich society would require a conscious effort by the students to inculcate information values to permeate the institutions and thus provide the necessary infrastructure and education in all aspects of commercial, technological, religious, cultural, and other human activities in the society. One cannot deny that in the process of arriving at this goal, a government has to ensure that the students are literate enough and the ultimate goal is to ensure that the country achieve a 100% literacy rate.
The development of information society among students, especially in Malaysia needs to be done accurately and appropriately so that the goals of information society in universities are achieved. Based on the aspiration to become and industrialized nation, Malaysia has made many efforts to improve and develop information so that it will achieve the rate of 100%. To achieve the number, students should aware of their role in using and utilize information. Information is needed in all fields of studies. The major or courses offered might be variety, but the way to search, access, retrieve information are more or less the same. There are still long way to go but the institution especially tertiary education must be positive that the rate will increase. Furthermore, every institution in Malaysia must provide adequate and balanced education opportunity across the country. The standardization must be made to ensure that every student received the same information and knowledge to gain wisdom. Priority for institutions is to develop a comprehensive and coherent vision for the future growing information society, to have guidance policy that will help in the growing of information society.
This requires assets that students will have to acquire from different knowledge creation and transmission sources. The sources will have to consist of variable combinations between information and technology to develop aptitudes that are useful in the information society and the media society which are:
the ability to express demands and opinions in communications media and exploit the growing flexibility of these
a willingness to change and the ability to adapt to new challenges
the management of multiple rationalities
a critical spirit in selecting and processing messages
the ability to translate information into learning
One simple way to encourage institutions to engage in more focused information society, it would be better for the tertiary education authorities to require all institutions in receipt of public funding to prepare, and regularly update, meaningful strategic plans. These would be submitted both as a basis for accountability and to bid for targeted funding. These strategic plans could be disseminated internally and to others institutions. It would also be important to review options to widen the scope of institutional autonomy so as to allow for greater responsiveness and efficiency in using the information. At the same time, the government policy towards institutional governance needs to allow institutions to make the most of their information and new responsibilities. It would be important to create a legal framework that provides them with the opportunity to establish the information society which would operate at a strategic level and finally can contribute to the growing of information society.
In the other context, the institutions of all tertiary education should be evaluated quickly and earning, especially the losses caused by the unbuilding Information Society which focused on the creation of new jobs, increasing the education quality service in term of lower cost and increasing the level of knowledge particularly the students. It is important to defining objectives and the exact meaning of achieving the Information Society. At certain point, it plays different degree of understanding the concept of Information Society and the potential benefits resulting from construction by the institutions. The implementation of how, when and what should be done must be analyze in order to achieve the exact goal and to benefit from the growing of Information Society. Institutions must know how to implement it among the students and it might be hard to implement it in a short-term plan. A proper approach should be considered to develop it among the students, as an attraction of the targeted plan.
The evolving of the Information Technology such as information superhighway is one of the contribute aspect in the growing of Information Society among the students. Students are more attractive to the technology they had and it would be easy for them to reach for the information. Whether they realize it or not, they had already gain access to the information. It just that they are not exposed to the real meaning of Information Society. Besides, there is expectation that the institutions are to contribute to the economic and socials goals in Malaysia through the growing of Information Society among the students. Information technology also the evolving towards a “strategic” role with the potential not only to support chosen educational strategies, but also to shape a new educational strategies. Investments in developing computers and other networking such as telecommunications and internet indicate the definitive tertiary educational level on the importance of the growing Information Society. Information Technology applications have become commercially feasible among the students, and its development is a crucial factor in maintaining the educational competitiveness. The increasing number of Information Technology also has encouraged the growing of Information Society in order to fulfill the information demand.
In developing Information society among the tertiary students in Malaysia, it is important to look at every angle and at every different aspect. It requires a proper approaches and plan in order to create an impressive generation that can build information rich nations and encourage information seeking behavior as the foundation of tough society. Students need to be more aggressive and productive in their learning in which finally can contribute to the implementation of information society among the tertiary educational level. Institutions need to focus on the development of Information Society at their place and work out to meet the integration between the students and information society. Appropriate programs according to the Information Society must be conduct to create the relationship between students and information. Students also need to be expose with variety of information and how they are supposed to reach for them and utilizing them into packages.
Affordability and coverage
Information society needs access to Information Communication Technology (ICT). Integration among students and ICT nowadays could not be divide what else to say in the growing technology today, students are exposed to the various latest technology gadgets such as computer, mobile phones, internet access and others. It is a normal situation nowadays where the laptops and broadband could not be separated. Everywhere, especially in university environment, the students sitting at every part of corner with their laptops and plugged in with broadband they can get access easily to the information. Via internet, there are various of information they can reach and it is not limited which they can access at anytime and anywhere.
The growing of internet coverage and network companies also help in getting access to the information. To get access to with the internet, students need to pay certain amount of money so that they can use the service provided by the network companies.
It is an effective way for students to get access to the world of information. They no need to waste energy and time to look for the information everywhere. For example, students no need to go to library to look for the materials because they can just access books from their hostels or classrooms because the internet network provided in the campus is intranet and they can just go directly to the information they need. By knowing that accessing of information is easier, slowly students can develop their interest in information and finally they can contribute to the growing of Information Society among them.
Furthermore, with the development of technology within the mobile phones, it makes the mobile phones really going mobile when internet are made available via mobile phones and contributing to the information is accessible everywhere.
Access path and device
In developing the growing of Information Society, facilities to access path and device needs to properly develop. Electronic communication must be made available to encourage the growing of Information Society among the students. With the access made available, the students can directly access to the information and can helps in enriching their knowledge in interested area. With the availability of the electronic communication, it will enable the students to have proper facilities in order to get access to information, as an access point to the growing of Information Society among the students.
Furthermore, the institution must be updated with the latest technology in order to get the students get access to the information. Lab facilities such as computers, network connection must be appropriately installed accordingly to the latest technology.
Infrastructure: For the DOI includes proxies that reflect advanced higher level information
networks such as the Internet. Indicators include Internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants and
International Internet bandwidth per country.
· Quality: Reflects a level of access that enables higher degrees of functionality. This provides
support for services such as video streaming that can enhance desirable Information Society
applications such as telemedicine, egovernment