Technology into the Classroom Essay Online For Free

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating technology into the classroom – with a specific focus on non-ICT lessons?

The use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in education has been described as engaging, enabling and transformative (Clark et al. 2009; Prensky, 2010). ICT can improve both personalisation and collaboration, providing tools and experiences that can aid social and independent learning (O’Hara, 2008; Selwyn et al.

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2010). Throughout non-ICT subjects, technology can help to create an ‘enabling environment’, founded on communication and interaction (O’Hara, 2008, p.29). ICT can also structure children’s understanding of curriculum content in non-ICT lessons, while helping them to develop knowledge of processes that will be of significant use in their future lives (DfES, 2006). However, only one in four schools are succeeding in employing ICT to enhance learning across the curriculum, which suggests that there are barriers to the effective use of ICT in non-ICT lessons (BECTA, 2009). While developing practical skills with technology is essential, children will also need to cultivate a reflective, ‘metacognitive awareness’ (Flavell, 1979, p.908) of their own creative and safe engagement with ICT in order to use it effectively in non-ICT lessons (Sharples et al. 2009). This concept has been defined as ‘e-confidence’ and is a key concern for teachers when planning learning experiences involving ICT (QCA/NAACE, 2007). A framework of possibilities for using ICT throughout the curriculum has been developed by the National College of School Leadership (Blows, 2009). This matrix involves a progressive scale of ‘e-words’, which describe the increasing effectiveness of ICT as a tool to transform learning and develop children’s higher-order thinking skills (Blows, 2009; Bloom, 1956). The ‘ICT and Learning’ matrix can be seen in Fig.1: ICT and learning matrix Fig.1 ICT and Learning: e-words matrix (Blows, 2009) By referencing this matrix against other educational theories, it will be argued that embedding technology into non-ICT has the potential to extend and empower learners (Blows, 2009). However, the key point is that ICT needs to be used to support, challenge and  ’empower’ learners, rather than simply being ‘exchanged’ for traditional teaching methods in order to meet national agendas (Blows, 2009). Blows (2009, no page numbers) emphasises the importance of using ICT to ‘enhance’ learning, rather than simply ‘exchange’ it with traditional resources. Furthermore, Prensky (2010) recognises the limitations of using technology just for the sake of it. For example, using an iPAD or SMARTboard as a dynamic, problem-solving device for group work in mathematics or geography would be beneficial to supporting cognitive development (Adey, 1992). However using these technologies as basic presentation tools, or only to display multimedia content would be a less effective use of the resources. Tondeur et al. (2006, p.963) assert that schools concentrate too much on teaching the practical use of ICT programs, rather than using technology to improve learning,

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