FINAL ANALYSIS FOR TOPICS 1 & 2

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.

 

REFERENCES

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

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FINAL ANALYSIS FOR TOPICS 1 & 2

ANALYSIS 2 – WHAT IS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE?

The digital divide is the gap that exists between those with access to information technology and those without it. The digital divide is apparent in the education sector for a number of reasons such as limited funding allocation, lack of resources available to students with higher needs and in lower socio-economic areas and where teachers do not have the technical skills and ongoing professional development to be effective. Evidence suggests that the digital divide exists in education because the opinion of educators varies in relation to the value of ICT in learning, especially using the internet in teaching and learning. Economic, cultural and social factors have a large role to play in the digital divide as well as educational factors in terms of online skills. Internet access is now a part of everyday life in commerce, education and social participation. People who have no opportunity to access the internet will be increasingly disadvantaged both economically and socially. Educational qualification is a major driver of internet access as well as income. The higher the income, the more likely a household is to have internet access. In Australia there are minimum standards set for students and teachers in regard to their ICT skills (Pluss, 2004). A substantial amount of funding is being allocated by educational institutions to develop web based information and courses. These courses can only be successful if people have attained the skills to be able to maximise the courses being offered and completed.

Through the use of technology students have the potential to improve their learning. It is essential that teachers have the appropriate skills to implement high quality technologies in the classroom. Higher needs schools also have a higher turnover rate of teachers than non-higher needs schools and less money is expensed on these schools in turn providing less technological resources. Teachers would also need to learn material that is applicable and relevant to their classroom therefore targeted skills training is required. It is not only training that is lacking for teachers in this situation, financial support is also lacking (Chapman, Masters, Pedulla, 2010)

Access to the internet is only one aspect of the digital divide. The quality of the connection, capacity, processing speed, computer capability and training are all factors which contribute to the digital divide. The age of the user has been noted as one of the divisions in the digital divide as well. The older generation, being sixty five plus are less willing to adopt ICT unlike the younger generation. The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007 results have shown that the majority of internet users within Australia are in the fifteen to fifty four age group with only twenty percent of the sixty five plus age group accessing the internet.

Access to suitable technological resources in schools is an emerging issue. Ravine Junior High School is working towards a technology reform program to close the gap which exists in technology access. Computers are mainly used for word processing activities which offer low end experiences. As these issues continue to manifest it has contributed to the reduction of student’s chances for meaningful employment and educational opportunities. One model that was developed focused on the teacher’s use of technology with students. After this model was implemented teachers began integrating computer technology into their classrooms. Students were able to experience digital technologies that supported their learning and developed their technology skills. Over time these students have had the opportunity to be exposed to technology rich experiences requiring higher level thinking. Some ways of overcoming the digital divide are initial hardware and software purchases, workshops focussing on training teachers on best practice software and hardware and making it present in the teaching environment, develop teacher interest/motivation to apply technology knowledge and skills through classroom and curriculum based support and professional development. The divide has decreased due to equality in access and equality in opportunity offering intellectually exciting educational experiences and educators continuing the challenge themselves in integrating digital technologies into the curriculum (Banister, Fischer, 2010).

There are a number of factors that still account for the digital divide in developing nations. The ICT industry is muffled by a shortage of suitably trained and experienced people when compared to developing countries. The focus of the CIAC project was to bridge the digital divide in schools by installing computers and the internet and having a computer engineer teach in schools. By doing this ADCOME intended to enhance teaching and learning through the use of modern technology. A pilot project was instigated at the Baptist High School in Buea. The CIAC project has proved to be successful. Attendance at computer science classes has been very good in comparison to other subjects. The CIAC project was recognised nationally and internationally for its success in schools and students and teachers have benefited from internet and computer technology to facilitate teaching and learning.

Another concept that has been used in third world countries is the Hole-in-the-Wall project. Hole-in-the-Wall is a concept that provides computer equipped kiosks in out of school settings and playgrounds. Children are in charge of their own learning driven by a natural curiosity. It is hoped that this concept may be the key to giving children literacy and basic education and bridge the digital divide in disadvantaged and remote areas. This concept was first trialled in Kalkaji, a slum area in India. Within eight months of implementation children had learnt how to use a mouse to navigate programs, how to surf the internet, how to open and close programs and download videos, games and music. Children of under privileged communities have access to explore, brainstorm, collaborate and come up with ideas and express themselves and are discovering that learning can be fun. The Hole-in-the-Wall concept may be seen as following a constructivist Vygotsky approach to learning which involves peer-collaborative learning and invention of ideas (Arora, 2010). All children should have equal access and an opportunity to learn through using computers.

 

REFERENCES

Pluss, M.  (2004). ICT Update: Role of Digital Divide and the Role of Education. Geography Bulletin, Winter 2004, 39-41

Banister, S & Fischer, J.  (2010). Overcoming the Digital Divide: The Story of an Urban Middle School. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, Spring 2010, Vol 23 No. 2, 2-9

Nganki, J, Kwemain, R & Taku, C.  (2010). Closing the Digital gap in Cameroonian secondary schools through the CIAC Project. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, Vol 6 Issue 2, 2-9

Arora, P. (2010). Hope-in-the-Wall? A digital promise for free learning. British Journal of Education Technology, Vol 41 No. 4, p589-702    

Chapman, L. Masters, J & Pedulla, J. (2010). Do digital divisions still persist in schools? Access to technology and technical skills of teachers in high needs schools in the United States of America. Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol 36 No. 2, 239 – 249

Pluss, M. (2004). Digital Divide in Australia. Geography Bulletin, Spring 2004, 56-59

Atkinson, J, Black, R & Curtis, A. (2008) Exploring the Digital Divide in an Australian Regional City. Australian Geographer, Dec 2008, Vol 39 No. 4, 479 – 793

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Research Analysis – What is the Digital divide?

The digital divide is the gap between those people and communities with access to information technology and those without it. The digital divide has occurred in education for a number of reasons such as lack of funding, lack of resources available to students in higher needs and lower socio-economic areas and also teachers lacking in technical skills and ongoing professional development. The digital divide exists in education because the opinion of educators varies in relation to the value of ICT in learning, especially using the internet in teaching and learning. Economic, cultural and social factors have a large role to play in the digital divide as well as educational factors in terms of online skills. In Australia there are minimum standards set for students and teachers in regard to their ICT skills. A substantial amount of funding is being allocated by educational institutions to develop web based information and courses. These courses can only be successful if people have attained the skills to be able to maximise the courses being offered and completed.

Through the use of technology students have the potential to improve their learning. It is vital that teachers have the appropriate skills to implement high quality technologies in the classroom. Research has shown that schools with higher needs students have less access to technology than their lower needs counterparts. High needs schools also have a higher turnover of teachers than non-high needs schools and less money is spent on these schools providing less technological resources. Teachers from high needs schools have lower levels of access to technology and generally lower technical abilities and skills. Teachers would also need to learn material that is applicable and relevant to their classrooms therefore targeted skills training is required. It is not only training that is lacking for teachers in this situation, financial support is also lacking.

Access to appropriate technological resources in schools has become an issue. Ravine Junior High School is working towards a technology reform program to close the gap which exists in technology access. An apparent issue that exists is that there are little or no opportunities to use computer technologies in productive and creative ways. Computers are mainly used for word processing activities which offer low end experiences. As these issues continue to manifest it has resulted in the reduction of student chances of meaningful employment and educational opportunities. Ways of overcoming the digital divide are to install wiring, purchase computers, purchase digital cameras, purchase data projectors and various other technologies for the school. One model that was developed focused on the teacher’s use of technology with students. After this module was conducted teachers began integrating computer technology into their classrooms. Students were able to experience digital technologies that supported their learning and develop their technology skills. Over time these students have had the opportunity to be exposed to increased technology rich experiences requiring higher level thinking. As teachers have identified and addressed a course of action to solve this digital divide issue, more effective and creative use of computer technologies have been integrated into their lessons. Some ways of overcoming the digital divide are initial hardware and software purchases, workshops focussing on training teachers on best practice software and hardware and making it present in the teaching environment, develop teacher interest/motivation to apply technology knowledge and skills through classroom and curriculum based support and professional development. The divide has decreased due to equality in access and equality in opportunity offering intellectually exciting educational experiences and educators continuing the challenge themselves in integrating digital technologies into the curriculum.

There are a number of factors that still account for the digital divide in developing nations. The ICT industry is muffled by a shortage of suitably trained and experienced people when compared to developing countries. The initial objective of the Association for Development, Communication and the Environment (ADCOME) was to bring the internet closer to people by reducing the cost of internet access thus broadening access to the internet. The focus of the CIAC project was to bridge the digital divide in schools by installing computers and the internet and having a computer engineer teach in schools. By doing this ADCOME intended to enhance teaching and learning through the use of modern technology. A pilot project was instigated at the Baptist High School in Buea. The CIAC project has proved to be successful. Attendance at computer science classes has been very good when compared to other subjects. The CIAC project has been recognised nationally and internationally for its success in schools and students and teachers have benefited from internet and computer technology to facilitate teaching and learning.

Another concept that has been used in third world countries is the Hole-in-the-Wall project. Hole-in-the-Wall is a concept that provides computer equipped kiosks in out of school settings and playgrounds. Children are in charge of their own learning driven by a natural curiosity. It is hoped that this concept may be the key to giving children literacy and basic education and bridge the digital divide in disadvantaged and remote areas. This concept was first trialled in Kalkaji, a slum area in India. Within eight months of implementation children had learnt how to use a mouse to navigate programs, how to surf the internet, how to open and close programs and download videos, games and music. Children of under privileged communities have access to explore, brainstorm, collaborate and come up with ideas and express themselves and are discovering that learning can be fun. The Hole-in-the-Wall concept may be seen as following a constructivist Vygotsky approach to learning which involves peer-collaborative learning and invention of ideas. All children should have equal access and an opportunity to learn through using computers.

REFERENCES

Pluss, M.  (2004). ICT Update: Role of Digital Divide and the Role of Education.   Geography Bulletin, Winter 2004, 39-41

Banister, S & Fischer, J.  (2010). Overcoming the Digital Divide: The Story of an Urban Middle School. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, Spring 2010, Vol 23 No. 2, 2-9

Nganki, J, Kwemain, R & Taku, C.  (2010). Closing the Digital gap in Cameroonian secondary schools through the CIAC Project. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, Vol 6 Issue 2, 2-9

Arora, P. (2010). Hope-in-the-Wall? A digital promise for free learning, British Journal of Education Technology, Vol 41 No. 4, p589-702    

Chapman, L. Masters, J & Pedulla, J. (2010). Do digital divisions still persist in schools? Access to technology and technical skills of teachers in high needs schools in the United States of America, Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol 36 No. 2, 239 – 249

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Topic 2 – What is the Digital Divide? Article 5 – Do digital divisions still persist in schools? Access to technology and technical skills of teachers in high needs schools in the United States of America

Through the use of technology students have the potential to improve their learning. It is therefore vital that teachers have the appropriate skills to implement high quality technologies in the classroom. Research has shown that schools with higher needs students have less access to technology then their lower needs counterparts. Technology is the tool and it needs to be used as a method of implementation of technology that can lead to improving students learning outcomes. Further research has shown that teachers in the USA lack in technical skills required implementing technology into their lessons. High needs schools also have a higher turnover of teachers than non-high needs schools. And less money is spent on these schools providing less technological resources. The characteristics of teachers in high needs schools and non-high needs schools also need to be considered. Teachers from high needs schools have lower levels of access to technology and lower technical abilities and skills. If access was increased for teachers in high needs schools, teachers would still need additional training in technical skills. Teachers would also need to learn material that is applicable and relevant to their classrooms therefore targeted training is required. It is not just training that is lacking for teaching, financial support is lacking as well.

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Topic 2 – What is the Digital Divide? Article 4 – Hole-in-the-Wall? A Digital promise for free learning

Hole-in-the-Wall is a concept that provides computer equipped kiosks in out of school settings and playgrounds. Children are in charge of their own learning driven by a natural curiosity. It is hoped that this concept may be the key to giving children literacy and basic education and bridge the digital divide in disadvantaged and remote areas. This concept is in place in India, Cambodia and other countries in Africa.

The Hole-in-the- Wall concept was first trialled in Kalkaji, a slum area in India. Within eight months of implementation children had learnt how to use a mouse to navigate programs, how to surf the internet, how to open and close programs and download videos, games and music. Children are teaching themselves through these kiosks and also learning how to paint, play games and music and are discovering that learning can be fun. Children of under privileged communities have access to explore, brainstorm, collaborate and come up with ideas and express themselves.

Hole-in-the-Wall Education and other organisations involved this this joint venture has been awarded a ‘Digital Opportunity Award’ by the World Information Technology & Services Alliance for its work in informal e-learning.

The Hole-in-the-Wall concept may be seen as following a constructivist Vygotsky approach to learning. “It espouses peer-collaborative learning as the root for active construction and invention of ideas. (QUOTE – I need to reference on p 698) Learning with computers in this way is free learning, it is possible by all children and learning is considered playing. All children should have equal access and opportunity to learn through using computers.

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Topic 2 – What is the Digital divide? Article 3 – Closing the Digital gap in Cameroonian secondary schools through the CIAC Project (Computer & Internet Access Centres)

There are a number of factors that still account for the large divide in narrowing the digital divide in developing nations. This article reports on one project, the CIAC project, implemented by the Association for Development, Communication and the Environment (ADCOME).

The ICT industry is muffled by a shortage of trained/experienced people when compared to developing countries. The initial objective of ADCOME was to ‘bring internet closer to people’ by reducing the cost of internet access thus enabling people to have access to the internet. An internet café was opened to serve the members of the community and university students and a reduced rate was offered. ADOME also opened a training centre for the needs of people who were new to technology and had no internet skills. As a result, through training and a lowered cost to access the internet, more people became exposed to the internet. After this was achieved, ADCOME commenced working on the CIAC project.

The focus of the CIAC project was to bridge the digital divide in schools by installing computers and the internet and having a computer engineer teach in schools. By doing this ADCOME hoped to enhance teaching and learning through the use of modern technology. A pilot project was put in place at Baptist High School in Buea. After a survey was conducted, a number of schools were interested in this project and ADCOME signed a 3 year contract with the Parents Teachers Association (PTA). Once all computers, wireless internet technology and other equipment has been installed by ADCOME, a well-protected room is provided as the computer laboratory. ADCOME then hired a qualified computer science instructor and they trained the teachers and students. Teachers are required to complete various other reports as part of the project and attend additional training in the summer holidays. After 3 years it is hoped that the school will have enough experience to sustain the project without ADCOME’s involvement.

The CIAC project has proved to be successful. Attendance at computer science classes has been very good when compared to other subjects. More schools are beginning to participate in the CIAC project which is also increasing enrolment in schools. Parents want to send their children to schools where they can gain computer skills without having to pay for their children to gain these skills in extracurricular activities.

The CIAC project has been recognised nationally and internationally for its success in schools and students and teachers have benefitted from internet and computer technology to facilitate teaching and learning however the main challenge has been gaining financial commitment from stakeholders to conduct the project.

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Topic 2 – What is the Digital Divide? Article 2 – Overcoming the Digital Divide: The Story of an Urban Middle School.

“Access to appropriate technological resources in schools has become an issue, commonly labelled the digital divide.” This article outlines a 5 year struggle to impact the digital divide on an urban middle school in the US.

Ravine Junior High School is working towards a technology reform to close the gap towards access to technology between this school and other schools only a few kilometres away. Stark inequities exist between schools located within nearby vicinity. This school is struggling with issues of achievement, standards and assessment.  One issue this school faces is that there is little or no opportunities to use computer technologies in productive and creative ways. Computers are mainly used for word processing activities which offer low end experiences. Some of the more challenging experiences for students could be research and project development. As these problems continue it has been shown to reduce student’s chances of meaningful employment and educational opportunities. The reforms are based on what teachers and administrators have identified as student needs.

Many factors have been shown to impact effective technology integration into schools.

“The International Society for Technology identifies these factors, labelling them ‘Essential Conditions,’” these include:

–          Shared Vision

–          Empowered Leaders

–          Implementation Planning

–          Consistent and adequate funding

–          Equitable access

–          Skilled personnel

–          Ongoing professional learning

–          Student centred learning

–          Engaged communities

–          Supportive external context

–          Technical support

–          Curriculum Framework

–          Support policies

–          Assessment and evaluation

This research focuses on Ongoing professional learning and technical support as two of the conditions addressed for digital divide impact. Most students of Ravine Junior High are part of low SES and minority populations and research has shown that most don’t have access to up to date computer or internet services. Some of the key aspects of the digital divide for marginalization’s populations include:

–          Limited or no technology access beside school

–          Limited or no technology access as part of school

–          School technology used focused on drill and practice applications or word processing – low end activities

It is vital that Ravine Junior High students have technology rich experiences at school as teachers can’t significantly affect student home computer access.

Ways of overcoming the digital divide were:

  • Installing wiring
  • Purchase computers
  • Purchase digital cameras
  • Purchase projectors and various other technologies for the school
  • Training and support for teachers – job embedded professional development
  • Establishment of a professional development committee

Development of a specific technology module focused on teacher ‘tools’, computer uses that were teacher centred and tied to their daily experiences and work. Other areas for training were software that kept electronic grade books, use of the e-mail system, accessing the internet and using PowerPoint. Modules lasted for 7 weeks, 1 days per week for 2.5 hours. This school is struggling with issues of achievement, standards and assessment. Instructors were university faculty members and the schools technology teacher. Another model was developed focussing on teacher’s use of technology with students. After this module was conducted teachers began integrating computer technology into their classrooms. Students were able to experience digital technologies that supported their learning and develop their technology skills. Furthermore teachers also learnt about digital story telling from a team from the Centre of Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, California.

Overtime, Ravine Junior High students have had the opportunity to be exposed to more technology rich experiences requiring higher level thinking. As teachers have addressed and identified a course of action to solve this digital divide issue, more effective and creative use of computer technologies have been integrated into their lessons. Some ways of overcoming the digital divide are:

–          Initial hardware/software purchases

–          Workshops focussing on training teachers on best practice software and hardware and making it present in the teaching environment

–          Develop teacher interest/motivation to apply technology knowledge and skills through classroom and curriculum based support and professional development

–          Ongoing technical support

–          Ongoing professional development

The divide has decreased due to equality in access and equality in opportunity offering intellectually exciting educational experiences and educators continuing the challenge themselves in integrating digital technologies into the curriculum. Time, dedication, money and respect for teachers all being essential on the future impact of technology in schools that are affected by the digital divide.

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Topic 2 – What is the Digital Divide? Article 1 – ICT Update: Digital Divide & the Role of Education

The article ‘ ICT Update: Digital Divide & the Role of Education’ focuses on the digital divide being split into 2 levels as well as the increasing emphasis on education in a technology driven world. “The digital divide has been defined as the gap between those people and communities with access to information technology and those without it.” The digital divide in education has occurred because the opinion of educators varies in relation to the value of ICT in learning especially the internet in teaching and learning. In the1990’s the digital divide mainly focussed on access to software and hardware. Recent evidence has shown that this gap is now much smaller. Even though the gap has narrowed in relation to the software and hardware access, statistics have shown that only 32% of all UK households have access to the internet.The percentage of schools with at least one internet connection has increased by 33% since 1996. In the same period there has been a 63% increase in the number of public school classrooms with internet access. If more people are accessing the internet at home then some educational focuses need to be put in place for online school work at home as we ll as at school assuming an entire class of students can access the internet at home.  “There are clear pedagogic implications of greater home usage of the internet which supports the development of web based teaching and learning.”

The second level digital divide concerns the differences in relation to peoples online skills. When discussing skills we refer to the ability of the user to efficiently and effectively locate information on the internet. There are obvious generational differences in people’s abilities to use the internet with teenagers being more skilled than other age groups. The benefits of the internet will not be realized if a person does not know how to use it and gives up if they can’t find the information they require. Economic, cultural and social factors had a greater role to play in the first level of the digital divide; educational factors have a bigger role to play in the second level digital divide in terms of online skills.  In Australia there are minimum standards set for students and teachers in regards to their ICT skills. A fair amount of funding is being placed by educational institutions to develop web based information and courses. These courses can only be successful if the people have the skills to be able to get the most out of the courses being offered and completed.

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Research Analysis – 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. 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 students 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.

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.

REFERENCES

1. Holden, S.  (2007). 21st –century learning and ICT what does the research say?                                     

Teacher, September, 40-42. 

2. Neal, G. (2007). Learning with information and communication technology.                                     

Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, May, Vol. 7 No. 1, 5 – 11.

3. Trilling, B. (2007). Toward learning societies and the global challenges for learning with ICT.                  

Contributed Paper, June, Vol 22 No. 1, 10 – 16.                                                                     

4. Kolodziejczyk, I. (2009). ICT for education – the way ahead, but how?                                                                  

 Contemporary PNG Studies: DWU Research Journal, November, Vol. 11.

5. 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

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Topic 1 – the benefits of incorporating ICT into learning.

The position paper ‘The role of ICT in Learning’ is a paper that I found on the ICP website. This paper was put together by 34 principals representing 100,000 principals from around the world. Technology has the power to change learning in and beyond the classroom. Schools need to be aware of the benefits of ICT to learning and need to 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. Some of the benefits of ICT for a teachers learning are:

–          ICT can allow teachers to focus on the process as opposed to the final outcome

–          Student work that is created electronically can lead to the creation of a student portfolio

–          Using diagnostic tools the teacher can identify learning trends and problems

Some of benefits of ICT for student learning are:

–          Students can work at their own pace

–          Students can access the same quality material regardless of location

–          Students with special needs – both advanced and remedial can be offered during the same lesson

–          Students can interact with other students outside the classroom, their location town/city or country

–          Students can access a large amount of information quickly

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

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