The use of ICT in the classroom can provide many benefits to both teacher and student. However, there are optimal times when ICT can be used to improve matters in the classroom. Here a seven reasons to help you decide.
1. Improve efficiency and pace
ICT is an excellent tool in the classroom that enables effective collation of materials, faster record keeping, and the automation of homework. Not to mention that it gives students greater opportunity to solve minor problems themselves.
2. Provide resources and structure to support learning independently of the teacher
The 21st century is all about lifelong learning so it pays to help students make choices concerning content and methods. ICT provides structure to their learning strategies and resources. Also, access to the Internet enables them to independently learn without the presence of a teacher.
3. Provide experiences for learners which it would it be hard to achieve in other ways
Authenticity is provided by ICT as a result of the information handling and presentation tools it encompasses. A new medium that has entered the classroom is Virtual Reality tools such as sites that provide virtual field trips for students and also demonstrates dangerous or expensive experiments for example. Students can learn in real life from the safety of their classroom or even home.
4. Improve the quality of tasks for students
ICT provides a great source of motivation and engagement for students. However, it also effectively enables students to present well-organised and structured pieces of work. The provisionality of ICT enables students to undertake several stages of redrafting and reconstructing their work.
5. To emphasise the use of higher order skills
In order to develop effective student ICT capability, teachers must emphasise the use of higher order skills in the ICT tasks which they design and develop for students. ICT activities must provide students with the opportunity to make informed choices about which ICT to use, when and where to use it, and indeed whether ICT is appropriate to use for the solution.
Another way that teachers can further develop a student’s ICT capability is to allow them to reflect on their ICT experiences. Reflecting enables students to process their learning.
7. To ensure that inclusion and differentiation occurs.
ICT levels the playing field and enables all students to be included in the learning process. However, it is important when teachers plan to ensure that differentiation is considered as students will vary widely in their capacity for learning.
Teachers should remember that the ultimate aim should be to use ICT to both enhance/support the content learning of the subject whilst effectively developing student ICT capability. That is, after all, the primary reason why it should be used so that our students are prepared for an ICT-integrated 21st century life.
Finally, remember to be critical about your use of technology in the classroom to ensure that the ICT hardware or software will actually enable the students to achieve the outcome you are after.