Computers are very important today
Children love computers, and often put us adults to shame with their knowledge of them and how they work. Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been part of the National Curriculum for many years, beginning with children sitting at computers, using simple applications such as spread sheets, databases, word processing and undertaking simple research tasks on the internet. However, the National Curriculum now states that ICT should be used across the Curriculum and with huge developments in technology; ICT is becoming more and more interesting and is now integrated into everyday school life.
In many classrooms an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) has replaced traditional whiteboards. These large interactive display boards connect to a computer and projector and enable users to control the computer using their finger, pen or stylus on the board. IWBs have many uses and can be utilised in all subjects, with all ages; from very young Foundation Stage children enjoying interacting with the boards to create pictures, play interactive learning games and watch videos; to older children creating a visual presentation to show their class as part of an assessment.
To make lessons more exciting, interactive and to enhance learning, teachers can use tools such as digital microscopes. These are especially useful in science lessons where children can use microscopes to discover more about the world in which they live. They can then use voice recorders to document their findings in a much more interesting way than just writing it down.
Another, exciting method of documenting findings or work is by using a digital camera or camcorder. Children really enjoy using this equipment, the camera can be connected up to a computer or Interactive Whiteboard to edit and share their photographs or videos with their class. This will increase children’s self-esteem and confidence in themselves and the visual representation will enhance learning. Cameras are also great to use in the Foundation Stage with very young children. When children build models in construction areas that will be broken up at the end of the day, they can take a picture of their creation themselves as a way to document it.
ICT can also be used to bridge the gap between school and home. Many schools have an intranet which allows parents and children to access homework tasks and any important parental notifications, such as up and coming Teacher Training Days or Parents Evenings. USB sticks can also be provided by schools so pupils can save work completed on their home computer to be opened up and continued at school, or vice versa.
There have been many changes in how ICT is incorporated into school life, but these changes have made ICT a much more integrated and valuable subject, which enhances children’s learning, development and confidence when using technology.