Teaching ICT at School: Reasons, Concerns and Solutions Report (Assessment)
Over the past few years, the significance of information and computer technologies has multiplied several times. New media has opened a pool of opportunities in every single field, increasing the pace of globalization and contributing to business development.
The given study is going to provide the themes that should be taught in ICT classes in schools so that students could be able to use the latest technologies to their advantage in studying, learn about the mechanism of their cognitive process and become lifelong learners.
The introduction of the ICT principles into the education system will help teachers acquire new skills more efficiently. In the course of the research, an overview of the key ICT themes was done.
The results have shown that, among the ICT themes that should be viewed as the school material, digital literacy, informational systems and human communication in ICT should be listed.
Introduction: Nature of the Problem
There is no secret that with the advent of information technologies, the landscape of communication, business and media has changed radically. Information technology has leaked into very single area and aspect of people’s lives, and it has become crucial to learn to use these changes to people’s advantage; for instance, ICT teaching can shed some light on mobile learning (El-Hussein & Cronge, 2010). However, introducing ICT into the school curriculum is fraught with numerous difficulties.
Statement of Purpose, Scope and General Method
The purpose of the given paper is to define the themes of ICT that should be taught to students at school, as well as the methods for teaching the aforementioned themes. Seeing how the given topic is rather broad, the scope of the paper will concern the themes that can be taught to high school and college students. As for the research method, the principle of grounded theory is going to be used in order to design the basic patterns for teaching ICT. The principle of grounded theory is going to be the key method.
Because of the opportunities in terms of technology and communication that ICT opens in front of teachers and students, it is most reasonable to use ICT as the means to accomplish such goals as the shift from an old to a relatively new teaching paradigm (EACEA, 2009, 14), more opportunities for teacher education (UNESCO, 2005, 55 55) and professional development (EACEA, 2009, 14), more efficient classroom management (EACEA, 2009, 14), better cooperation between schools (EACEA, 2009, 14) and availability of the necessary equipment (EACEA, 2009, 14). The given goals can be achieved by introducing such topics as research and e-awareness, communication, control and science, modeling and simulation and handling data.
As it has been stressed above, the principles of the grounded research were used in the course of defining the key ICT themes to be taught in schools. The key characteristics of a good ICT lesson are going to be defined and most reasonable and efficient strategies for teaching ICT are going to be distinguished. Finally, the challenges regarding ICT teaching at schools will be outlines, and basic means of addressing these challenges will be provided.
Results and Original Hypothesis
An efficient use of interactive materials is a good method of introducing students to the opportunities provided by the ICT, (Eurydice, 2011, 10).
The given approach is crucial in that it allows for demonstrating students the benefits of the ICT in a very graphic way. More to the point, the given method helps students apply the acquired skills to practice immediately after these skills were learned, as it was done in Malaysian schools in 2002 (Chan, 2002, 2).
The third option that teachers have in terms of methods of teaching ICT to students in schools is to utilize such strategies as project-based learning, personalized learning, individualized, or student-centered, learning, scientific investigations and online learning (Eurydice, 2011, 43). The given methods are equally important, since, though having seemingly different characteristics, they are all targeted at the same goal, i.e., developing students’ independence in the use of ICT.
The issue regarding classroom management should also be brought up. As ESEA report says, classroom management process becomes considerably easier with the introduction of the ICT technologies, which allows both students and teachers to focus on the class activities and, therefore, creates the most appropriate learning and teaching environment.
ICT helps students in their meta-cognition process. Phelps and Graham’s study shows that the integration of ICT into meta-cognition process led to rather fruitful results in fourteen schools (Phelps & Graham, 2008, 129). At certain points, the goals of ICT studying and meta-cognition cross – both are aimed at helping students recognize the necessity to engage in lifelong learning and choose the best method for self-learning.
As Shannon (2008) put it, it is possible “to become a self-directed learner using metacognition” (Shannon, 2008, 14). Seeing how ICT allows for encouraging self-learning in students (Eurydice, 2011, 43), it seems reasonable to use meta-cognition strategies as the basis for teaching ICT in schools.
In addition, ICT clearly affects the teachers’ competence and professionalism as well. ICT provides a plethora of opportunities for professional growth, including fast acquisition of new information, cooperation with other experts and availability of a number of training programs.
The last but definitely not the least, such function of ICT as a better control over the technological aspect of the lesson helps teachers focus on the communication with students rather than managing equipment. Finally, more efficient time management is also an obvious advantage.
It would be wrong to claim that there are no tangible problems concerning teaching ICT in schools. To start with, the changes to the curriculum that the inclusion of ICT classes demand is most likely trigger considerable organizational issues, especially regarding time management.
According to the data provided above, in most cases, the introduction of the ICT studies came at the cost of other subjects. Therefore, when providing students with a chance to learn using the ICT technology, one must make the required changes to the curriculum and the rest of the classes.
To solve the aforementioned issue, it will be most reasonable to apply the principle of online teaching mentioned above. The given approach allows for students to have a more flexible schedule and to choose the time management system that they prefer and that suits them best. Thus, the following themes must be presented in the ICT curriculum:
- Research and e-awareness;
- Control and science;
- Modeling and simulation;
- Handling data.
Of all the themes mentioned above, the issue regarding research and e-awareness seems the most important one. It allows for both motivating students for learning more and becoming independent in their research. Therefore, the given theme must be the course priority.
With the advent of information and computing technologies, people’s social, personal and, most importantly, academic life has changed greatly. While the new options opened for students seem rather alluring, including ICT into the school curriculum might be quite a problem.
In order to avoid the possible issues, it is necessary to choose the strategy that will allow teachers to supervise students instead of babysitting them in their ICT exploration. Thus, students will have an opportunity to both learn to use ICT efficiently and to become lifelong learners.
Chan, F. M. (2002). ICT in Malaysian schools: Policy and strategies. Web.
EACEA (2009). Study of the impact of technology in primary schools. Web.
El-Hussein, M. O. M., & Cronje, J. C. (2010). Defining mobile learning in the higher education Landscape. Educational Technology & Society, 13(3), 12–21.
Eurydice (2011). Key Data on Learning and Innovation through ICT at School in Europe 2011. Web.
Phelps, R. & Graham, A. (2008). Developing technology together, together: A whole-school metacognitive approach to ICT teacher professional development. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 24(4), 125–133.
UNESCO (2005). ICTs for secondary education. Web.
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