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Activity 1: Rationale for ICT in schools

Reading and Reflection: 3 hrs
Group activity: 1 hr
Reflection: 30 mins

 

4 hrs 30 mins



 

The purpose of this activity is to introduce you to the rationale (an underlying reason) for ICT in schools. You will read viewpoints that could be regarded as global, but you also need to view this rationale critically and realistically in the African and South African framework. This will help you to identify the challenges that lie ahead, but also to identify globally successful practices that you could easily implement in your classrooms, enhanced by your own local context.

Rationale for computers in schools

In Applying new technologies and cost-effective delivery systems in basic education, Hilary Perraton and Charlotte Creed outlines a rationale for computers in schools.

Click here to read their rationale for computers in schools. This rationale was derived in part from the World Economic Forum but recognises the relatively more recent influence of the Internet on learning. They succeed in providing an overview of the major points of view of how computers can be used in schools, while at the same time summing up the limitations and challenges of some approaches. The justification for computers in less advantaged communities is often driven largely by the first and second rationales and courses focusing on learning about ICT prevail. This is largely false economy, because common, low-end ICT qualifications have flooded the market and employers generally look for more diverse information management skills in school leavers. This requires a focus on the 4th and 5th rationales, which refer to "change in education" and "learner-initiated opportunities".

Common ICT use in South African schools

ICT integration focuses on teaching and learning with ICT. A review of ICT in South African schools highlights the major types of ICT use. As you read this next extract, consider which of the five rationales each described activity falls into. Click here to read Use of ICT in South African schools.

What conclusions do you reach when you consider these uses and the five rationales?

Self-activity

Identify categories of ICT use from the above two readings and take stock of how ICT is used in your school.

Place this audit of your school's ICT use in your e-diary. It will give your tutor a good insight into your current situation.

After that somewhat bland description of ICT uses you may wonder what impact ICT is making and how convincing that picture is. You will no doubt develop a growing impression of this as you proceed with this module. The following reading provides an overview of some research findings and local initiatives that suggest some reasons why ICT cannot be ignored in school education in this country.

Click here to read ICT in schools: supporting curriculum reform

In ICT and Educational Reform in Developed and Developing Countries, Dr Robert Kozma outlines how ICT is leading educational reform in both developed and developing countries of the world. Before you read this paper prepare yourself for an e-mail discussion with your group. Provided with all this evidence, but also with the realities of your schools and classroom, do you think that what you read about is achievable in your school?

Click here to read ICT and Educational Reform in Developed and Developing Countries (you will need Acrobat Reader* to read this document - if you do not have it installed, click here to install it).

Group Activity 1

  1. Reflect on the readings that you have done. Discuss the following statement by writing e-mail to your group:

"It is impossible for a developing nation to compete with developed nations in the field of ICT integration in schools"

  1. Write your personal conclusion from this discussion in your e-diary. Click here to open the blank e-diary, then save it in your personal folder for future use.

 

 
NEXT

Click here to go to Activity 2- Attitudes and perceptions of ICT

 
ICT in Schools

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