How is ICT used in schools and what are the effects?

This is a part of the project that has been assigned to me by my teacher. In this part I have to write a report on the effect of ICT on schools and colleges. I can also find out about the use of ICT in colleges because I go to a college as well and I experience the use of ICT daily. I will be able to find out information to include from many sources. I think finding out about the development of ICT is very interesting and I can compare the ICT facilities. I will also be able to find out information about how ICT is used in schools.

To do this I am going to use a range of sources, for example, books, the Internet and people.

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How has ICT changed over the last 30 years?

Computers can be changed for interactive learning, unlike 30 years ago. The only disadvantage to this is the pupils will not be as motivated as they would with a teacher.

Computers have changed dramatically over the last few decades. Computers started appearing in schools in 1983. At this time there were very few, they were called Caltext Word Processors. They were larger, slower, had less memory, the programs were not advanced. Now there are hundreds of machines, printers, scanners etc. Modern computers have more processing power than the larger, room-sized computers, which were around in the 60’s and early 70’s.

How has ICT changed in schools?

ICT is used in schools for many purposes for example, recording grades and attendance. All the information for attendance is input into the computer and a spreadsheet is made. The percentage is calculated by the computer and a new monitoring system phones parents at regular intervals during the day to enquire about absences. It keeps phoning until there is a reply.

School libraries use ICT for bar code readers and the librarian can access data about who has which book, the book on loan and the return date. It can also be an efficient form of identification. For example Hillcrest, our card system is an efficient way to but dinner. The cards can also be used for library cards because they have a photo on them. This is taken from a digital camera and was input into a computer and put on to a card. This is useful because they can be used as identity, because the coloured stripe shows which year each pupil is in. The black stripe along the back of the card stores information about the name, year and the amount of money on the card. An advantage to this system is it doesn’t show who has free meal, the information is not available to other pupils.

As well as ICT being available to other pupils, it is also useful for teachers, because a database can be kept of all the details of the pupil such as the date of birth, emergency contact numbers, and progress in lessons and behaviour.

With ICT help can be given in other subjects. Programs such as Encarta, The Way Things Work, and especially the Internet. The Internet is helpful because pupils can access any educational site and web page filters such as The Birmingham Grid for Learning, stop offensive pages being shown. The Internet also has a useful site for teachers, where they can input students work into the site and it tells them how much has been copied of the Internet. This helps to prevent Plagiarism. Teachers can also access prepared lesson plans and schemes of work.

Students can also save their work on the network, in their own area. Which can be accessed from any network computer and it is also secure because each persons account is password protected.

Schools can use Digital Cameras to put a photograph into the computer to put photographs on to the website, art students can include graphics into their work and the photographs can be used for swipe cards or identification cards.

What are the historical aspects of the changes in ICT in schools?

Years ago, computers may only have been used in computing, but now they are used in many other subjects, for example, Maths software, Science software, homework and revision programs, and business forecasting tools.

Computers have become more developed, e.g. when computers were first put into the education system there may not have been printers in schools, but now there are many in each classroom. Computers are also much more advanced, the old dot matrix printers have been replaced by Ink Jet and Laser Jet printers which give a much better quality, are better value for money because printing off large amounts of paper is cheaper. It also has a higher resolution, which means the print out is better.

What are the technological breakthroughs, which have helped in schools?

Breakthroughs in ICT are helpful in schools for a number of ways. Bar Code Readers are useful in the school library to check out books; Voice Recognition could be useful for teachers who do not want to type a worksheet/handout. This is an advantage for disabled people who find it difficult to use a keyboard. They could dictate a worksheet into a program called Voicepad. Scanners are a breakthrough and any picture that is input into a computer can be edited, changes in colours, change the size etc. Also, Smart Cards are a breakthrough and are used in schools as identity cards as well as library cards.

What technology is used and what is available for use?

What is available to buy?

Is it available in schools/ colleges?

Who uses it?

Scanners

Available

Might not be available to students

Printers (laser and colour)

Available to teachers and students, although some schools may have to restrict printing to save on resources which is an environmental issue

Students and teachers, because they need to print their work.

Photocopiers

Available

Students may have to ask a teacher to photocopy for them

Computers

Always available, though the ratio between schools may vary

Teachers and students will need to use them for work

A school network

Available to every computer in the school

Teachers and students will need to have an account

Internet

Available to most computers

Will be limited for students because of the web page filters put in place by teachers

Joystick

May not be available in schools, but may be available in colleges

May only be available for older pupils or teachers use

Touch Screen

May only be available in schools for children with disabilities.

Would only be used with children who can not use a keyboard

Light Pen

May not be available at all

May be available for teachers only

What effect has ICT had in schools, and how would this be done without the use of ICT?

ICT has had a big effect in schools and colleges for example e-mail is sent through the phone lines and is very quick. In my mothers’ work the students e-mail their work to the lecturers and have a reply with answers and their mark. The students with an e-mail account can contact the teachers and other students even when they are on study leave. In universities, worksheets, course details/notices and other important notices are e-mailed to group e-mail addresses, for example, all first year business students or all of first year computing rather than addressing it to each individual student. Tutors set up group e-mail accounts. All university e-mail addresses can be forwarded to home e-mail accounts.

If ICT were not available pupils would have to go into college to find the teachers when they could be using that time to study. They would have to keep checking notice boards for important information.

The Intranet is useful because anyone who has a username and password within the school or college can find announcements, messages and company documents. Most universities have a program called “Blackboard” where the students can find notes assignments, web page links, and past exam papers. They can also find information from off-campus. This is very important for 2nd and final year, and also placement year students.

How has ICT improved facilities in the classes?

Interactive whiteboards enable teachers to demonstrate and not have their backs to pupils. Touch screens can be used in education centres, not necessarily just in schools. Tests should be completed on touch screen computers because they will also tell you how much time you have left and they allow you to change an answer as many times as you like. It will record the answers you give. This type of technology is usually used in driving theory tests.

How has ICT affected the way people work?

ICT can affect the place where you work because with e-mail and Intranets you can work from home. The pupils could use distance learning. This is also available for adults who enrol on Learn Direct courses. Also, working from home is convenient because you can change the hours you work, and where you work to what is more comfortable for you. This benefits you because your stress load will decrease because you can e-mail work to the person in charge.

This would be useful for someone who is unable to attend school/college and needed to make up the work with homework assignments because they can e-mail the completed work to the teacher. Although, working from home would cut off contact with people you see everyday at work. Learning in school means people have advantages when they go into work, e.g. having word processing skills means people need less training in basic skills. Teachers can carry around mobile phones and laptops to keep in contact with other colleagues when they are not at work because they are on courses.

Students can type up homework, coursework and revision notes. They can research on the Internet. They can also back up pieces of work, and if the first version was lost, they could retrieve the backup copy and continue to work from that. They can also carry between home and school, this dramatically reduce the amount of paperwork the pupils have to carry to and from school. Although, they must remember to take care of the disk and not place it in extreme heat e.g. by putting it near radiators, or magnets because they could destroy the disk.

What rules and regulations need to be put into place to use ICT?

Teachers will need to restrict Internet usage and put filters on offensive pages. This prevents them from being shown to students. The Internet can be useful for students work and revision, e.g. finding past exam papers. Although using copyright material is illegal, security is not always good on the Internet because people can hack into the Internet and find anything.

Using computers for a long period of time can have a health risk: radiation, backache, wrist pain and eyesight.

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