ICT AND THE GREATEST TECHNOLOGY:
A TEACHER’S MIND
So many reasons had led to the inclusion of information and communication technology (ICT) in programs for children. As we all know, the basic components do not come cheaply. Due to the speed of technological advances and the technical intricacy which they are made, the average lifespan of most hardware is approximately three years. Equipping a Centre with useful ICT requires a very different budgeting mindset than (say) purchasing a set of wooden blocks, which could be expected to last indefinitely and require next debate about the contribution of ICT to teaching the learning is ongoing, and this article is an attempt to foster just that.
ICTs do have certain seductive qualities. The resources themselves as visually appealing and clever, and can make us feel good about working at the cutting edge of innovation. In the excitement to get on board with new technologies a considered evaluation of their merits is often overlooked. Many Centres appear to be less discerning about the added value of ICT hardware than they would be about similar spending on less glamorous resources. It is worth remembering that many of the advantages attributed to ICTs, can also be achieved through other means in a good” early childhood programme.
There are however, potential benefits offered by current ICTs that are not easily replicated through other means. It is for this real son they can no longer be regarded as a luxury accessory nor their inclusion in secondary school programme be left to chance. Their propensity to work well in visual and increasingly, oral modes makes them particularly well suited. Some would say tailor-made. For secondary school setting.
Another argument for the inclusion of ICT is that it has the potential to encourage and support the kinds of activities associated with the new learning emphasis of the 21st century. I say “potential” because, just as with any equipment, like blocks, books and trolleys these resources are only as good as the teachers who work with them. Put another way, the greatest technology available in the teacher’s mind.
As technology becomes more accessible and its communication function expands increasing number of children are coming centres with their own internet presence already. Yet how much are teachers aware of these “funds of knowledge” that children bring with them? As each year passes, it becomes more important that teachers take time to find out about and engage with student’s virtual lives just as they do with other areas of experience and expertise students bring.