The trouble with ICT by Graeme Bower

The Trouble with ICT…
 July 7, 2015

|Graeme Bower

 In general technology advocates and education planners get ‘very excited’ about the new and available technologies for teaching and learning. Sadly these advocates don’t always consider how the ICT may be used in the classroom to create positive impact into the learning environment. Despite numerous studies over the years, it has been hard to prove the positive impact of ICT on education.

However, we do know that understanding and the use of  technology is now a life skill and becoming almost as important at literacy and numeracy. There are few careers that don’t require some sort of technological input in the modern world. For example, a man came to fix my washing machine and the first thing he did was plug his laptop into the machine to get a diagnosis of the issue and then simply ordered the correct parts and left. This is how technology has moved over the past few years.

 So how do we ensure that ICT becomes a skill? How do we ensure that ICT creates the most positive impact required especially given the increasing amount of money that is devoted to it?

 At TSI World, we believe that the ICT must be fully linked to the pedagogy of the school whilst also taking into account the local environment, student demographic and local specialities. As an example, we have customers contact us every day saying they want to buy a number of iPads. The traditional education ICT supplier reaction to this request is to say ‘Oh yes, these are “x” pounds each, when would you like them ?’.

 At TSI our response is ‘What are you trying to achieve, we would like to send one of our educational consultants to work through with you what the educational outcomes of such devices are intended to be so we can create the correct solution and deliver the most appropriate devices’. We do this because an iPad may or may not be the most appropriate device for that learning environment. Maybe a LearnPad, or a Windows Surface or simply a laptop or desktop will achieve better educational outcomes.

 We apply this process to all of our classroom technology deliveries from teaching technology, student technology right through to the core infrastructure such as wireless networking, servers and storage. We believe that the educational outcomes should drive the ICT and not the other way around. At first we thought this was a bit radical, now we simply understand (from the feedback from our customers) that it is simply the obvious and correct way to deliver technology into education!

 
 

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