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Marco Koene

ICT.

13 posts in this topic

In various schools people seem to use Ict as a goal. More computers the better. Most of them are gathering dust, most of the time. For me and I hope most of us, Ict is a tool and not a goal. But how can this tool be used in the best way? Is every subject better of with ict or are there exceptions?

Any thoughts on that?

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Marco

This quote is taken from my Chemistry Web Site in order to explain its purpose.

"PURPOSE AND GOALS. Simple. To facilitate the (chemistry) learning experience of the students in my classes. Never technology for technology's sake.

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It always seemed obvious to me that ICT was a tool when I was Head of Year. I used as admin tool for record keeping etc. and as a chemistry teacher it was to aid and extend understanding.

Since my rebirth as the school ICT co-ordinator/Head of ICT I do feel that I spend too much time teaching the use of Microsoft applications with insufficient emphasis on creative use of the software.

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But isn't it so that we have to prepare students for life in society and soceity 'demands' knowledge of ms software?

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I think ICT is quite a preoccupation with many schools and is either used just for the sake of it being there, or just so a school can improve it's reputation by showing off the amount of computers it has managed to blag the funds for and apparantly make a school better. ICT is not that important. However, it is an excellent side tool for students' quick and easy access to various online resources, but that should be for the more willing students to take a look at outside of lessons to improve their studies. Otherwise, the only case in which ICT should be at the centre of a lesson is actually in ICT lessons. The time when I took my GCSE's and the like is still very fresh in my mind. I got very good grades in pretty much all subjects, without the need for ICT - for example, the only time I used a computer in English was to type up essays, but I did that at lunch time or at home. During lessons there was not a computer in sight, quite rightly. I got an A in that subject and that was from good old-fashioned reading books and analysing and anotating them. I didn't need a computer, and I think if computers were around at that time they would have been a distraction.

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If ICT is the answer, what is the question?

Regarding my subject area, modern foreign languages, we've had technology thrown at us since the language lab appeared in the early 1960s. It soon became clear that the language lab was not the answer - no one had asked the right question - and most of the labs installed in schools have now disappeared. No wonder many language teachers are sceptical about new technologies.

The ICT boom period in schools began in the early 1980s with the advent of the microcomputer, which supposedly opened up an exciting new range of learning opportunities. The computer was hailed by enthusiasts as the panacea, but after the initial period of euphoria many teachers became disappointed with what the computer appeared to offer. This is a fairly typical sequence of events whenever a new technology becomes available to teachers. Oppenheimer writes:

In 1922 Thomas Edison predicted that 'the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and [...] in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.' Twenty-three years later, in 1945, William Levenson, the director of the Cleveland public schools' radio station, claimed that 'the time may come when a portable radio receiver will be as common in the classroom as is the blackboard.' Forty years after that the noted psychologist B.F. Skinner, referring to the first days of his 'teaching machines,' in the late 1950s and early 1960s, wrote, 'I was soon saying that, with the help of teaching machines and programmed instruction, students could learn twice as much in the same time and with the same effort as in a standard classroom.' [...] The cycle began with big promises backed by the technology developers' research. In the classroom, however, teachers never really embraced the new tools, and no significant academic improvement occurred.
(Oppenheimer 1997:45)

Oppenheimer T. (1997) "The Computer Delusion", The Atlantic Monthly 280, 1 (July 1997): 45-62:

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97jul/computer.htm

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ICT is not that important.

I believe that ICT is very important. Gone are the days when teachers could say "Technology is important because technology is the future". The future is here and technology is used in almost every situation possible in today's society. Don't get me wrong: reading, writing and maths are still fundamental to having a good start to your career but if there is no implementation of ICT's within the classroom then those skills will be sorely lacking. Even 'simple' jobs Eg. Checkout operator require some knowledge of technology. If students aren't familiarised with technology then they will struggle more when starting their career. While having an ICT subject is important it must be considered that students who lack confidence with ICT's will generally opt to not choose these subjects as part of their subject choices. It's these people that lack confidence that should have increased time with ICT's.

It doesn't have to be all *groan, groan* when ICT's are mentioned. One English class had to write a short story using proper structure etc. This part got marked but the actual piece of assessment was them telling the story (recording to cassette) with sound effects and then playing it to the class. People felt comfortable with it because it wasn't an oral in front of the class and it allowed them to experiment with technology as well as complete their English components.

Rebecca

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ICT is not that important.

I believe that ICT is very important. Gone are the days when teachers could say "Technology is important because technology is the future". The future is here and technology is used in almost every situation possible in today's society.

I agree. This is especially true in the area of communication. My main concern is with the quality of that communication. Basil Bernstein wrote a book in the early 1960s about the restricted and elaborated code of communication. He argued that communication was greatly influenced by class and that working class had to learn the “elaborated code” to be successful at school. I fear that this is now a problem for the middle as well as the working class.

Rebecca, have you seen this article?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6659

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Hello every body

I have to prepare some material about education use of ITC in United States,

It would be really nice to have some opinions about it.

I'm interested in ITC acces (is it equal for every one?) in schools, and what are the most comun uses they give to it?

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Well ICT is a tool, but now is also becoming into a new life style... Some writers say that ICT are no only being introduced to schools, but they are changing the way schools work in many aspects. For exemple, how they are adminitrated, how the teachers show their lessons, how students get their home works, how is comunication and interaction with other cultures. It is arising more and more.

There are some problems with it... The ICT, as many of the tecnologyes of our age, depends on energy, and energy depends on Petroil, most of the times, which is not forever. The acces to ICT is not the same in every geografic and political location, for every body. Some schools and goverments invest much money in ICT but don't have a good plan for implementing this.

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...For me and I hope most of us, Ict is a tool and not a goal. ...

Any thoughts on that?

ICT is a train. An express train.

Edited by Vladimir Havlicek

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I have to agree with Vladimir …

I'm just preparing the autumn round of ICT-based distance courses, and it's amazing what we now take for granted that was once technologically very advanced. Nowadays, for example, students take to desktop video like ducks to water, and podcasting is something they just take for granted.

It's meant a big change in my way of working - I have to get much more involved with the students as people these days. Just goes to show that ICT isn't *all* bad!

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