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General Chat Thread, Benefits of ICT in Education in General; Long Time Lurker With A Quick Question For You All. What are the benefits of ICT in education ? Will ...
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    Benefits of ICT in Education

    Long Time Lurker With A Quick Question For You All.

    What are the benefits of ICT in education ? Will be interested to read the views.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Actually thought about replying with a fair bit of thought, but put my Saturday Morning head on and the following springs to mind.

    What doesn't it do for education? You'd get a shorter list asking what harm it does, because frankly the benefits are too huge to be able to list. Possibilities are absolutely endless, you start with freedom of information and the ease of getting it, and you end with people creating things that 20 years ago would have been a dream in an engineer's mind. 20 years ago, an idea would remain an idea, a theory. Now, they have a platform to make that idea or theory either a reality, a simulation or more presentable.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Actually thought about replying with a fair bit of thought, but put my Saturday Morning head on and the following springs to mind.

    What doesn't it do for education? You'd get a shorter list asking what harm it does, because frankly the benefits are too huge to be able to list. Possibilities are absolutely endless, you start with freedom of information and the ease of getting it, and you end with people creating things that 20 years ago would have been a dream in an engineer's mind. 20 years ago, an idea would remain an idea, a theory. Now, they have a platform to make that idea or theory either a reality, a simulation or more presentable.
    Its a shame theres many an ICT teacher who cares not a jot about IT, most without a degree in IT.... so most they end up colouring in pictures, making websites you could knock up quicker and look better by handwriting a html file and research which consists on clicking on google images.

    Possibilities = endless

    Application = fail



    Hey, I've not much sleep the last few nights.

  4. Thanks to Theblacksheep from:

    garethedmondson (24th October 2009)

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    Midget's Avatar
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    are you talking ICT the subject alone, or ICT used across all subjects?

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    are you talking ICT the subject alone, or ICT used across all subjects?
    Across all subjects. Thanks.

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    Good question. One thought that occured to me the other day is that considering the sheer amount of processing power we have in UK schools now, only about 5-10% of its capabilities are being utilised. A lot of what in the industry would be considerred vital IT skills are simply not being taught. Netwroking and programming spring to mind. I once brought this up with a senior education IT bod once and was told 'But ICT is being taught correctly. They are taught how to plan, research and implement, just as they do in other subjects'. What he was saying is that ICT is a subject which teaches pupils how to learn, and not necersserily how to use. An importnat point that.

    Oh, and considering the boss of Tesco came out with this:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8306013.stm recently, maybe schools should teach more vailid skills rather than concentrating on learning across all subjects?

    P.S. Saturday morning fugue for me too!
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 24th October 2009 at 10:48 AM.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Pretty much nail on the head I think. A computer is now a more essential tool for a modern educated human than a pen and paper, and in some cases it would appear as if the balance is tipped away from them a little too much.

    Although I'm an advocate of learning real maths rather than How To Operate a Calculator, there's so much more to ICT as a whole subject and as a subset/part of any other subject than calc.exe and using Word to type up an essay. There are very few careers that do not require some use of ICT, and education is setting children up for the life of work.

    I'm starting to see a couple of schools that are embracing it a lot more than the curriculum suggests and it appears to be working. I'm curious about the Schools for Future schemes in progress and wonder how or when things will change for the better.

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    I believe that one of the things it's done is to shift the focus of people and organizations away from the hierarchical systems of top down learning. Whereas once knowledge was power, and we still see this going on in various communities around around the world; the sharing of this knowledge (as on Edugeek, for example) leads to empowerment. This frightens a lot of people, and some have good reason to fear. It's the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. We have seen it recently in the MP's expenses fiasco. Learning has changed. Schools are now buying into Learning to Learn, whereby you teach pupils the skills to learn over a range of areas, they can then transfer these skills to other areas of learning. I think most of us will be aware of the series of videos, [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Wu2kWwSY"]YouTube - Did You Know?[/ame] which at one point says something along the lines of "We are currently preparing students for jobs which don't yet exist". How are we going to prepare them for these jobs? By teaching them the value of "transferable skills"; that learning is not necessarily linear, is not confined to school and does not cease at 16 or whenever you drop out of full time education. ICT plays a vital role in this as it makes "learning" available full time.
    It's also reordering the way we structure our lives between work (school in this case) and leisure. It's Saturday morning as I write this: Work or leisure? Am I learning, is what I'm getting at really. Yes I am, is my answer. Looking at the logs for our vle from yesterday (Friday) I see that at 23:10 one pupil was making entries to her learning journal, earlier in the evening others were looking at revision materials. Some were messaging each other and even discussing homework. All through the evenings the pattern is the same. Learning is no longer confined to school hours.
    As part of an essay I had to write a few years ago I studied my youngest daughter while she was doing her homework on the computer. Every now and then alerts would spring up from friends just chatting or asking questions, sharing knowledge. I wondered if she could learn in this fashion, and she answered me by getting four A's at A level (Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry & Physics). She wasn't doing the work for her friends, she was showing them where they could find the resources, a website, for example, where they could find the answers for themselves.
    Within this community we share things we've found in the general belief that these resources will help others. Why should we put in the hard work on a subject then say to others, ok, here you are, the answers are on a plate for you? Because we're enlarging the knowledge pool for everyone, and this has a lot to do with ego, the lack of it and the point I was making earlier about knowledge being power.
    I may not have mentioned ICT/IT too much in this passage but that is because it's almost so ubiquitous as to be invisible, but it's what powering a lot of this learning. Teachers are vital to this, they are the ones who shape the outlook of so many young people, and I feel they are beginning to understand the seismic shifts which are occurring in education, that they may not be the expert in their subject in lessons they once were. After all, I can call up a lecture from a professor at MIT at the drop of a hat.
    I think that's enough for one morning (must get a social life).

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Its a shame theres many an ICT teacher who cares not a jot about IT, most without a degree in IT.... so most they end up colouring in pictures, making websites you could knock up quicker and look better by handwriting a html file and research which consists on clicking on google images.

    Possibilities = endless

    Application = fail

    Hey, I've not much sleep the last few nights.
    Do me a favour Blacksheep - knock me up a complete Year 7 scheme of work based on the new National Curriculum that covers all aspects and makes it interesting?

    Tell me what software I should be using and the various teaching methodologies I should be using to teach it. Whilst you are there add in the Key Skills elements I have to cover - that's all six of them and the thinking skills the pupils should be using.

    Then tell me how I should be reaching the different type of learner.

    What else do I have to cover? Oh yes - make sure every element of the work is differentiated and that I cover both lower end pupils and gifted and talented.

    It's very easy to criticise what teachers are doing - but sometimes there is so much other sh*t we have to put in there that the ICT takes an easier avenue.

    It's tough on the coal face - but hey everyone else knows best.

    Gareth

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    I'll apologise now for the previous post - but hey I haven't had much sleep either because I've been up marking Key Skills portfolios for Year 9 that need sending away.

    Gareth

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    As easy as it was to fire of a quick response to Blacksheep upon reflection I do actually agree with him. I've been an an ICT teacher for 10 years and am now Head of the department - but I did a BEd in Environmental Science with Animal Behaviour.

    At the time there were no ICT Teaching degrees - only recently do I recall seeing PGCE students coming through with their BSC Computer Science degrees. I'll be honest in saying that whilst some of you guys see ICT teachers without degrees I see PGCE teachers as pretend. When asked "Why are you doing a PGCE?", many students have answered "Just in case".

    I compare my 4 year teaching degree which studied child psychology etc to a 1 year PGCE top up and wonder if some of the students I get are ready. Sure, they have their subject knowledge but do they have the classroom knowledge?

    Anyhow - back to the point. ICT Teaching in schools can be boring. I'll say the WJEC GCSE ICT course is boring. Why? Because it is old. They've removed coding, they still talk about dot matrix printers. There is nothing interesting in there. It is irrelevant. That's my opinion. Still 2010 sees the arrival of a new GCSE course from the WJEC and some boards are even talking about GCSE Computing which could be interesting.

    Key Stage 3 can be as interesting as you want to make it in ICT lessons - but as I pointed out earlier there are so many other aspects we need to look at then the easy option is the one to follow. If I was allowed to concentrate solely on ICT and less on the thinking/key and functional skills, less on the evaluation and planning for the next three years then it would be more interesting.

    I admit that I have moved away from HTML coding into the friendlier environment of DreamWeaver and WYSIWYG web design. Why have I done this? Answers on a postcard.

    I'm fed up with it all - the lack of vision (not from me but from those who tell me what to teach).

    I'm waffling here and going on.

    This half term I have to update my schemes of work to make sure they include opportunites for reflective thinking. No time to work on new ideas to revamp things. :-(

    Any ideas?

    GJE

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    Firstly apologies, I've only scanned over some of the reply and haven't taken any information in - my brains just not in that gear at the moment.

    When I first read the OP's question I'd considered playing the anti-christ and giving all the reasons IT is bad for education and why we should go back to the chalk board. Then I start to think of all the areas that IT has creeped into that really does make a difference.

    Thinks like art - digital cameres, t-shirt transfer printing, photo editing, stop motion animation.
    Music - score writing, ability to play back multiple parts at once on a MIDI keyboard and hear how the whole piece fits together
    DT - CAD, CAM and associtated machinery.
    Media - movie editing, digatal camcorders, dvd's

    I think it's these hidden uses of IT where the comuter sits quitely in the back ground just humming away doing it task. Were it's not about using the computer but about completing some other more fascinating creative task that would have been difficult or impossible 10 or 20 years ago.

    Computers in a classroom, aka IT lessons - word/excel/powerpoint, are boring. It's those other 'hidden' places that IT comes alive and has improved the quality of education.

    Just my 2c



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