About 20 years ago, I would have said probably nothing, but as the years have gone by and technology has advanced, the role of ICT in education has become a major player in the delivery of teaching and learning and has transformed the education system as we once knew it.
Many years back when I was a little one at primary school, using technology was a real time challenge. Handwriting and sums were done in our school books, teachers wrote on actual whiteboards with markers or blackboards with chalk, the register was taken on paper and handed in at reception and being allowed to write with a pen instead of a pencil was a real achievement! Technology was sparse.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying there wasn’t a PC in that building, but the point I’m trying to make is back then, ICT wasn’t seen as anything but a rarity. Fast forward 20 years and the spectrum has absolutely changed.
In today’s educational landscape, there is an abundance of digital and networked technologies in place. From the widespread use of interactive whiteboards and virtual learning environments, to educational computer games and an increasing reliance on the use of cloud based technologies such as the internet, email and e-learning platforms. ICT and computing today is huge, so much so that it has even become part of the curriculum used today.
So why are ICT resources for schools so important?
Fundamentally, ICT resources are central tools and devices that support teaching and learning at all stages of education and across all areas of the curriculum. We live in a world that is rapidly being consumed by technology: a world that provides incredible opportunities for young students who are just setting out on their educational journey. As such, ICT is not just an essential component to the overall operation of the school, it can also help to improve achievement levels, inspire creative thinking and encourage the development of skills that will prove invaluable in the real world.
Be it independently or as part of a group, ICT allows your students to explore, observe, engage, solve problems and make exciting discoveries for themselves. It stimulates collaboration and interaction amongst peers, and between students and teachers. ICT resources not only provide the tools for promoting and developing these skills but also encourages them to engage confidently in imaginative learning and makes teaching and learning more effective and fun for everyone involved.
Here are just a few other reasons why technology in primary schools is so important:
Extends the learning experience
Having the right IT resources raises standards across the curriculum to improve the delivery of lesson content and allows students to engage in class in a variety of ways, putting their creativity to work. Thus, students are not only limited to what they are thought in class.
Teaching and learning with the knowledge of good ICT resources goes beyond the four walls of the classroom for an anytime, anywhere approach. Meaning students and teachers can continue to work and access resources even from home and at any time.
Enriches the curriculum
These resources provide access to a whole host of information and encourages collaborative working and communication with others. The world is effectively brought into the classroom and pupils become more engaged in their learning.
Expands learning horizons
Having access to fast internet connections allows for learning materials to be viewed, downloaded and worked through quickly. As well as this, the use of tools such as Skype for Business can be a great way of broadening the learning horizon by collaborating with others anywhere in the world. People can do group work from different parts of the world.
Helps with assessment
With the help of management software, pupil data can be recorded and analyzed more efficiently for accurate assessment of pupils’ learning abilities. It then allows teachers to see which areas of learning need higher level of support.
So what do you need to do in order to deliver an education that equips learners for life? I have listed some tips in the second part of my article which I think can be of great help to us in order to help equip learners with ICT knowledge that will prepare them years ahead in life.
Author: Peter Van Kazin Ayittah
Membership Administrator, Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana
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