ANALYSIS 1 – THE BENEFITS OF INCORPORATING ICT INTO LEARNING
There are many benefits of incorporating ICT (Information Communication Technology) into learning. Technology has the power to change learning in and beyond the classroom. Some of the benefits of incorporating ICT into learning are having a student centred and an inquiry driven focus, creating motivated students as they become more engaged in tasks, flexibility in learning and equal access for students to a wide range of information.
Through the use of technology a task can be student centred with the student being allocated a task and using technology to achieve the outcome required. The focus is put on the student and it involves new forms of learning and teaching. Students are able to deal with knowledge in more constructive and active ways. Students can access a large amount of information very quickly. Special needs students both advanced and remedial, can be offered assistance and given extra work during the same lesson and be self-paced.
It is vital that educators develop pedagogical practices that engage students to capture and focus their interest. It has been found that using ICT to support learning has been beneficial in increasing motivation and perseverance as students become more engaged in tasks. Heppell identified three learning stages when students use ICT. These stages are narrative, interactive & participative stages. The narrative stage is when the student’s primary role is to observe and listen, such as watching a DVD. The interactive stage is when the learner is given the opportunity to investigate, such as searching on the internet. The participative stage is when the student contributes and creates, such as using multimedia to create a product from their own investigations (Neal, 2007). ICT is used to enable middle years students to contribute to their learning through researching and creating. There are two broad approaches to learning with ICT, firstly a low level approach, such as typing text after a draft has been completed, using PowerPoint to present a report, producing graphs and communicating via e-mail. Secondly a high level approach which includes problem solving and evaluation with examples being creating, editing and evaluating text of a new document, using the internet to search, find and report on specific information that contributes to knowledge building and using software applications such as creating animation to produce a virtual response. Incorporating ICT into learning can help individual students to work at their own pace by enabling self -regulated learning and has the potential to change a student’s approach to learning. The use of ICT can encourage a deeper approach to learning and can support the development of the individual student.
For students who are based in remote areas, ICT allows learning to be more flexible. Through using ICT there is an opportunity for global collaborative learning and cross cultural sharing and understanding. Students are able to interact with other students outside the classroom, their location town/city or country. The world becomes a much smaller place and students are able to tap into more learning resources than ever before. Students can access quality material regardless of location. For certain students it can foster greater autonomy. This is demonstrated by students who are self-motivated and choose to study a qualification by long distance education. My research indicates that by integrating ICT into the learning process it can potentially motivate students and make them more engaged (Kolodziejczyk, 2009).
Within a school environment it is vital for each and every child to have equal access to technology and being able to benefit from the ways by which a student can learn through the use of technology. In a school environment, when incorporating ICT into learning it is important to have a whole of school approach. Schools need to be aware of the positive impacts of ICT to learning and should incorporate appropriate computer skills and knowledge of effective development of the technology into training courses for teachers thus transferring this knowledge to the students in the classroom. Every classroom within a school needs to allow their students to have access to technology and be able to learn with technology therefore resources need to be shared amongst all classrooms. There also needs to be a curriculum which easily allows for technology to be successfully integrated. Teacher’s need to have gained the appropriate skills and access ongoing professional development to be able to successfully incorporate ICT into their students learning. Teachers need to be able to implement an ICT unit that engages students in the effective use of technology to achieve desired learning outcomes.
Holden, S. (2007). 21st –century learning and ICT what does the research say? Teacher, September, 40-42.
Neal, G. (2007). Learning with information and communication technology. Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, May, Vol. 7 No. 1, 5 – 11.
Trilling, B. (2007). Toward learning societies and the global challenges for learning with ICT. Contributed Paper, June, Vol 22 No. 1, 10 – 16.
Kolodziejczyk, I. (2009). ICT for education – the way ahead, but how? Contemporary PNG Studies: DWU Research Journal, November, Vol. 11.
ICP online website, The Role of ICT in Learning: Implications for ICP and its Members. Retrieved 8th September, 2010 from http://www.icponline.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86:the-role-of-ict-in-learning&catid=27:education&Itemid=47