Why should you even think about bringing ICT into a school?

Friday, May 13th, 2011 | education, ICT in Africa, technology

Technology is brought to schools at great cost.  Some question whether one should even consider doing this, particularly in view of the many other needs of schools.  Ponder the following statements before you conclude that ICT should not be a high priority in a twenty-first century school:

If technology is used with great benefit in most fields of human endeavour, surely it must be useful in education too.

The digital divide must be removed as soon as possible – it hampers efforts to narrow the gap between rich and poor. 

It’s impossible for teachers to help learners cross the digital divide in a classroom that dates back to a pre-digital age. 

The new ways in which we receive and respond to information demands visual, media and digital literacies from learners.

Digital literacy is the new literacy – without it, it’s impossible to call yourself literate in this digital world.

The classroom blackboard was invented in 1801 – how can we teach digital skills on such an ancient device?

In a world dominated by technology we dare not let learners leave school without a deep understanding of the use of ICT.

The world around us dictates that ICT must be a part of school curricula – it is no longer a question of “why” but “how”.

It’s as if children are naturally inclined towards technology – cash in on this and use ICT to incline them towards learning.

These thoughs were tweeted by @e4africa with the tag #ictschooltip.

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3 Comments to Why should you even think about bringing ICT into a school?

Saturday, 14 May, 2011

I have been following your recent blog entries with great interest, especially in view of the fact that the Khanya team will be soon be disbanded. I continue to be surprised, amazed, stunned that intelligent people in important positions do not understand the power of technology in education and the importance of continuing Khanya’s work, using a specialised team… Then I started reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “blink”… and I realised that it’s just like the difference between the red team and the blue team…

Mark C
Saturday, 14 May, 2011

While I cannot list all the advantages of having ICT in the school, please allow me space to list some of my experiences.

Manzomthombo High School. Their ICT is falling apart but they still use what they have..some computers to surf the net, to access the maths program, the read program as well as the data projector. Last year I tutored there and the learners had a Physics task to complete. Their library did not have the resources. So where would they get it from? I had a book but I could not get it to them due to time pressures. The internet at the school was the only other place. Problem? It was locked after the tutoring sessions for security reasons.

COSAT. I installed Maths and Science software at the school during this week. At lunch time the teacher left and a bunch of grade 8ś eagerly filtered into the room, sat the computers, accessed the internet and looked for information on a science personality on whom they had to report. No poor behaviour, just eagerness to find something. The school is housed in a new building. The library at the school is still being sorted out, but the ICT was up-and-running. I loved this.

Malibu. Maths learners go to lab at their assigned period to have a different experience in learning. They can learn maths by themselves. Although the internet is a more exciting draw card the educators will have to find a way to harness the curiosity.

Sizimisele, Chris hani, Intlanganiso are all schools where the Interactive Whiteboards are used to display “stuff” which otherwise would have been static in a book. We all know how difficult it is sometimes to visualize something in Maths and Science. Our Graph, Geogebra, Croc clips, Applets and movies brought a real world alive.

I personally like the idea that educators have some idea of ICT…e-mail, facebook, M$Office. I would have like them to have used the same in teaching their various subjects. These skills are used in most jobs and studies after school. Are the learners getting this?

In my view, ICT has infiltrated all job spheres. Education is no different. As this project tried to bridge the digital divide it is a shame that the powers that be don’t realize the bridge has not been completed yet. While lots of support are given to the schools the backlog is still immensely huge. Unfortunately we still have a type of Apartheid education that none of our politicians or education managers understand.

My challenge still stands for any of the non-teachers to teach in township school to experience it. It extends to Donald Grant and Penny Vinjevold. How successful will you be?

I wish the learners and educators would realize the exciting dimension ICT adds to the demanding job facing them.

Essay Writer
Thursday, 19 May, 2011

ICT should be introduced into schools .I am convinced by your post.

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