Some say ICT in schools is a waste of money – is it true?

Sunday, September 11th, 2011 | resources

ICT in schools must compete against other needs.  In poorly resourced schools a need for texbooks may exist, there may a a shortage of classrooms and toilet facilities may be inadequate.  Should we even consider technology when the other basics can’t be afforded?  Won’t it be a waste of money?

We must maintain a balanced view on this issue.  Consider the following points:

Technology is only a waste of money in schools when it is not used optimally by teachers and learners.

Enough proof exists in schools where great results are achieved through ICT to refute the notion that it’s a waste of money.

When ICT transforms a classroom into an interactive one, the value is great – it can’t be measured in financial terms.

If you don’t know what you’re going to do with ICT, don’t buy it or it will be a waste.

ICT will be a waste of money when a school is not prepared to invest in technology training for its teachers.

If the ICT in your classroom is a white elephant, remember that it’s in your power to paint it another colour.

To avoid waste education departments can pilot new ICTs in a few schools before large scale implementation: make mistakes on a small scale.

Only those who have not yet come to know the educational value of ICT will view it as a waste of money.

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

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5 Comments to Some say ICT in schools is a waste of money – is it true?

Albie
Monday, 12 September, 2011

MANAGEMENT @ schools should have a priority list of needs and nice to haves that should be impemented and maintained.

I firmly believe a LAB + EIAWB are not nice to haves. The basic needs like textbooks, paited classrooms, running toilets, desks, equipment, library books and many other BASIC structures SHOULD have been part of the authorities i.e. WCED “original school structure implementation project plan” when the school was cunstructed.

Sustainability and maintenance of it could be labelled as part of the management budgetory planning every year by the school with funds from WCED (as in the case of poorer schools where up to 90% of the parents are unemployed !!), but to add a new “enhancement equipmetn” i.e. a LAB + some EIAWB, it just becomes part of that “general inventory equipment” that can be maintained in future.

I have seen many schools with “poor general infrastructure equipment” as mentioned above, so a NEW LAB + EIAWB at least add to the ethos of the schools and to the creative learning environment for the deprived learners.

Albie for LAB + EIAWB

MarkC
Monday, 12 September, 2011

If ICT is a waste in schools then we must get rid of ICT in our daily lives. Of course, people will argue as to whether ICT-in-education leads to better results….results being the bottom line. Well, in that case I believe that ICT cannot necessarily produce that. But what other value-added services does ICT offer including curriculum delivery? School is not only about results but it is about education. This extends way beyond what is being taught in schools. I believe that the value-added service of ICT extends beyond the classroom. It may seem as if I am talking about ICT-in-schools as an add-on service, but rather it is an add-in service. As I heard once…it is not the cherry on the cake but the flour in the cake (Kathy).
What ICT the schools have, is their choice as long as they use it productively.

We need to ask the following questions too:
(a) How much money was spent on printing materials in the newspaper and was it effectively used? Many of the schools I visited had these materials laying in the foyers. From there it goes to recycling (at least they make a buck) or…
(b) How many schools use their science equipment effectively? Those that I have seen gather dust or are broken. Are children not supposed to experiment?
(c) Old textbooks. They are still good resources of information. We burn them or send them for recycling?
(d) How much money is spent on other types of technology such as telematics which in some schools learners do not pitch up for? How much money is spent on travelling?
(e) We can print as many maps for Geogs learners but they going to need to learn GIS. I don’t mind the printed maps, but are they going to use the same maps from the 10, 20 or 30 years ago? How many maps have been eaten by rodents?
(f) If ICT is ubiquitous. Why will education not benefit from it?

There’s lots more…but ICT a waste? Never!

Charles
Tuesday, 13 September, 2011

While many will hark back to a time when a chalk board and a textbook were sufficient to give a “good education”, the reality of today is very diffrent to days past. One may , in fact, argue that a classroom devoid of modern technology is doomed to failure in most instances, and that the pressure on educators to teach effectively is increased dramatically where such technology is not in use, given the familiarity of modern youngsters with such technology. While technology is justifiably described as expensive, it is nevertheless indispensible – certainly not a waste.

Ugg Outlet
Wednesday, 14 September, 2011

I liked your website a lot. What a great place to work!

Christo Davids
Wednesday, 14 September, 2011

The reality is that schools are faced with all sorts of contraints and cahllenges. If a principal must decide between fixing a computer and keeping the lights on in the school, its not difficult to figure out what the decision would be. In this case the technology that was installed is a waste of money.If the technology is just standing there, and not being used fruitfully, of course its a waste of money. However, if the principal can see the value of technology and how technology can help to improve results, streamline processes and even raise funds, then the technology would be a major asset to the school. Bottomline is that proper (strategic) planning must be done even before technology is installed. Then it can be determined what is the need, what technology is best suited and whether there will be funds to sustain it.If the groundwork is properly done, then it can’t be a waste of money

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