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How can ICT benefit primary learning?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Beijinger, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. I recently attended a conference where I came across a scary thought: many of the children of today turn off and disconnect...literally... when they go to school. I am of course referring to communication with the outside world through mobile technology. For me this suggests disparity between the worlds on either side of the school's main entrance.
    Today children don't email. It's too slow. They tweet through their smartphones and other devices. It's immediate. Children network (not that I wholeheartedly think this is a good thing, indeed it can be very dangerous). Many primary school aged children have facebook accounts for example. Of these, a huge number are not aware of the security and safety settings that are available.
    With the role that technology plays in the lives of children today and the view that we, as their teachers, need to equip them with skills for the future and the fact that so many avenues of technology are available I have three questions:
    a. Shouldn't we developing an affinity with ICT rather than teaching particular ICT skills? The programs available today will not reflect programs available in 10 years time. 10 years ago there was no facebook, youtube, twitter, goole earth, smartphones etc. etc (consider a world without those if you will!).
    b. What are the most effective and realistically useable tools in achieving this? The availability of so many forms of ICT at relatively low prices, ICT can be such a powerful tool to enhance learning - there were 7063 educational applications for IPADS/IPODs when I last checked (admittedly not all worth the digital space that they take), many valuable and extremely cheap (or more often FREE).
    c. Finally, how do we go about utilising ICT to best support learning? E.g. is there a place for mobile technologies (IPAD/IPOD etc) in the classroom? How connected should learning be to the outside world - should children be posting their work into society for feedback? Isn't collaboration a meaningful skill for the workplace and shouldn't this be central to the use of ICT, which now enables such collaboration outside of the confines of the school walls?

    Would love to hear the thoughts of others.
     
  2. I recently attended a conference where I came across a scary thought: many of the children of today turn off and disconnect...literally... when they go to school. I am of course referring to communication with the outside world through mobile technology. For me this suggests disparity between the worlds on either side of the school's main entrance.
    Today children don't email. It's too slow. They tweet through their smartphones and other devices. It's immediate. Children network (not that I wholeheartedly think this is a good thing, indeed it can be very dangerous). Many primary school aged children have facebook accounts for example. Of these, a huge number are not aware of the security and safety settings that are available.
    With the role that technology plays in the lives of children today and the view that we, as their teachers, need to equip them with skills for the future and the fact that so many avenues of technology are available I have three questions:
    a. Shouldn't we developing an affinity with ICT rather than teaching particular ICT skills? The programs available today will not reflect programs available in 10 years time. 10 years ago there was no facebook, youtube, twitter, goole earth, smartphones etc. etc (consider a world without those if you will!).
    b. What are the most effective and realistically useable tools in achieving this? The availability of so many forms of ICT at relatively low prices, ICT can be such a powerful tool to enhance learning - there were 7063 educational applications for IPADS/IPODs when I last checked (admittedly not all worth the digital space that they take), many valuable and extremely cheap (or more often FREE).
    c. Finally, how do we go about utilising ICT to best support learning? E.g. is there a place for mobile technologies (IPAD/IPOD etc) in the classroom? How connected should learning be to the outside world - should children be posting their work into society for feedback? Isn't collaboration a meaningful skill for the workplace and shouldn't this be central to the use of ICT, which now enables such collaboration outside of the confines of the school walls?

    Would love to hear the thoughts of others.
     
  3. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    So many misconceptions, so little time......
    email is not slow, the issue revolves around portability. Children used to text more than email (and still do) because they are communicating so little information.
    ...that's how the affinity develops, by becoming confident users.
    ...that has always been the case, the real question is what will users be able to do with programs of the future and what skills will users need to use them and you will start to think about information processing (text, images, sounds, databases, spreadsheets), communication (VC, swapping sound files etc) and you realise those are the skills we are teaching. If M$ disappears do we really think it will be becasue there is no place for the facilities their software offers?
    ... and by your previous argument we shouldn't much bother with them because in 10 years time ......... We are providing access to shared video files and discussion spaces in safer environments (facebook and youtube are not blocked in so many schools out of spite), I can't imagine any primary geography curriculum that doesn't include google earth and why on any earth would you need a smartphone in a classroom?
    we use numerous free applications on our computers which can also be used for applications not available on phones, employing good sized screens well suited to sharing, keyboards with a standard layout and no idiosyncratic operating procedures, on a network ideal for sharing files.
    exactly what parts of society, it's very big you know.... that's what we use wikis, forums and learning platforms for, using phones wouldn't really change that.
    ... don't we already encourage collaboration, but controlling very strictly beyond the confines of the school rules because that is our responsibility.
    not much, bit of a distraction really.
     
  4. My thoughts are that it is extremely presumptuous to rate your own topic as 5 stars, especially as this is only your 2nd ever post in this forum.
     
  5. email is not slow, the issue revolves around portability. Children used to text more than email (and still do) because they are communicating so little information.
    Well no not really, if you look at the sheer volume of information. They are communicating more, albeit in smaller chunks....
    Shouldn't we developing an affinity with ICT rather than teaching particular ICT skills?...that's how the affinity develops, by becoming confident users.
    Yes, but the point is, there is little use in presecribing particulars since they may well not be applicable to the adult lives of current children.
    The programs available today will not reflect programs available in 10 years time....that has always been the case, the real question is what will users be able to do with programs of the future and what skills will users need to use them and you will start to think about information processing (text, images, sounds, databases, spreadsheets), communication (VC, swapping sound files etc) and you realise those are the skills we are teaching.
    That sounds presumptive. I'd love to have your crystal ball...
    Isn't collaboration a meaningful skill for the workplace and shouldn't this be central to the use of ICT, which now enables such collaboration outside of the confines of the school walls?
    don't we already encourage collaboration, but controlling very strictly beyond the confines of the school rules because that is our responsibility.
    That limitation of school walls is why so much lacks authenticity. Children will encounter that which we shield them from between 9-3:30 anyway, so why not be open to it and teach children how to handle it, rather than establishing artificial environments which fail to reflect life outside of school.
    is there a place for mobile technologies (IPAD/IPOD etc) in the classroom
    not much, bit of a distraction really.
    I'd call 7063 free educational programs (albeit of vary qualities) at least an opportunity.
     
  6. email is not slow, the issue revolves around portability. Children used to text more than email (and still do) because they are communicating so little information.
    Well no not really, if you look at the sheer volume of information. They are communicating more, albeit in smaller chunks....
    Shouldn't we developing an affinity with ICT rather than teaching particular ICT skills?...that's how the affinity develops, by becoming confident users.
    Yes, but the point is, there is little use in presecribing particulars since they may well not be applicable to the adult lives of current children.
    The programs available today will not reflect programs available in 10 years time....that has always been the case, the real question is what will users be able to do with programs of the future and what skills will users need to use them and you will start to think about information processing (text, images, sounds, databases, spreadsheets), communication (VC, swapping sound files etc) and you realise those are the skills we are teaching.
    That sounds presumptive. I'd love to have your crystal ball...
    Isn't collaboration a meaningful skill for the workplace and shouldn't this be central to the use of ICT, which now enables such collaboration outside of the confines of the school walls?
    don't we already encourage collaboration, but controlling very strictly beyond the confines of the school rules because that is our responsibility.
    That limitation of school walls is why so much lacks authenticity. Children will encounter that which we shield them from between 9-3:30 anyway, so why not be open to it and teach children how to handle it, rather than establishing artificial environments which fail to reflect life outside of school.
    is there a place for mobile technologies (IPAD/IPOD etc) in the classroom
    not much, bit of a distraction really.
    I'd call 7063 free educational programs (albeit of varying qualities) at least an opportunity.
     
  7. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    No, we don't know what will happen in 10 years. However, as most ICT evolution has occurred utilising information processing and communication, it's a good bet that it will follow this curve;
    • DOS through to GUI
    • WordPerfect through to OpenOffice
    • Storage and optimisation of files in 48K of memory to over 1TB of memory
    • Intra-network messaging through to receipt of emails anywhere over smartphones
    • 56k modems through to 40Gb modems
    All we can do is teach the use of today's software by explaining the process of how it works, so the pupils will have some idea of what to do if they encounter new software, rather than sit there like dimbos.
    And as for mobile technologies - I'm half + half. School equipment for school purposes is fine as everyone has access, but the minute you start thinking about using pupils' own stuff then you hit a world of hurt; digital divide between poorer children and richer children, parental complaints when little johnny breaks his phone as he was running around the playground and tripped and smashed it, formation of cliches and increased bullying, distraction in lessons as the pupils get their phone out to check texts, etc, even though they are not to have it out, parental outrage at little johnny having his phone confiscated from having it out, the perennial arguement that 'music helps me concentrate' (yeah, but not at 120 bpm or 120 dB(A)).
    And lets be honest, which school right now could justify £10,000 inital spend on 20 i-pads, and the continuing data costs (where kids will only play angry birds).
     

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