At this stage, we found it very appropriate to discuss the overall advantages and disadvantages that are included with the integration of ICT and the primary school education system. It appears that it is about time that ICT is introduced to play a major role in out primary education system, as the advantages appear to heavily outweigh the associated disadvantages.
We are certain that most would agree, that there are far more advantages with the introduction of ICT in the education system, in comparison to the associated and inevitable disadvantages. The fact that nowadays, teachers no longer need to rely solely on printed books in libraries, is a clear signal that times have indeed changed rapidly. With this comes easier preparation, less hassle, less luggage, increased information resources and of course next-generation teaching methods through the use of new-found technologies.
Furthermore, increased efficiency throughout the school is another overwhelmingly beneficial aspect.
Benefits to overall primary school atmosphere:
- ICT in schools creates a better environment throughout the school, through e-mail, discussion groups and even live chat rooms.
- The use of ICT can have an extremely beneficial motivational influence on a student’s learning capabilities.
- It is proven that students express more positive feelings towards work and education when they use computers to complete tasks.
- Through better tracking of students, teachers have improved behavioral management, thus creating a more positive schooling atmosphere for both students and teachers.
Benefits to teachers in primary school education:
- Greater flexibility in relation to when and where tasks can be carried out.
- Gains in ICT literacy skills (…better late than never in some cases!)
- Easy access to a database of up-to-date pupil data and information at anytime of the day, which would prove extremely useful in parent-teacher meetings.
- The use of computers during classes will motivate students to continue to use computers to learn outside of school hours.
Benefits to students in primary school education:
- Provided with higher quality classes through a much better collaboration between teachers in planning and preparation of class materials.
- Through better analysis of data, classes can be tailored to students’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Encouragement of independent and active learning, self-responsibility and maturity for learning.
- Flexibility of ‘anytime, anywhere’ access (Jacobsen and Krerner, 2000)
- Development of writing skills through the use of word programs, fluency, originality and elaboration is also greatly improved.
- Students who used educational technology in school felt more successful in school, were more motivated to learn and have increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
– Disadvantages of ICT in the Primary Education Sytem
It would be totally unfair to claim that there are absolutely no downfalls associated with the introduction of ICT in the primary school education system, because you can be sure that they do (unfortunately) exist.
- An increasing number of resources and funds are being pumped into putting ICT in schools at the moment. The cost of laptops, wireless broadband and even projectors contribute to a very large percentage of a schools budget, this is exacerbated by the current economic climate.
- According to the IT learning exchange, ICT will be the single largest curriculum budget cost
- This may be seen as a positive, but there will unfortunately be little or no money left over for other significant costs.
- Instead of using their laptops or tablets for educational purposes, more often than not students stray away from educational purposes of their gadgets and visit social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
- Listening to the teachers is no longer their main priority. Students become too focused on social media sites and playing games. As a result of this, they can no longer focus on what is trying to be taught in class.
ICT Literacy in Teachers:
- One of the reasons for ICT not reaching it’s full potential in education in the foundation stage is the teacher’s attitude.
- Some see it as a potential tool, whereas others may see it as unhealthy, and also that it may hinder learning.
- Many teachers are not up-to-date with the newest pieces of technology, and many would certainly be uncomfortable to take on such a massive change in teaching methods (…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!).
In the end, we find it justifiable to come to the conclusion that the existing advantages in ICT in the education system completely outweigh the existing disadvantages. Provided a teacher is reasonable, and eager to learn new methods, the future generations would benefit extremely in how they will be educated. Once again we must remind you that our world is revolving at an exponential rate, and the future generations MUST be introduced to ICT as soon as possible. Is there any better way than to introduce them other than education? We think not!
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important” – Bill Gates
Image: Advantage Disadvantage – Garrett Smith, (2012), Advantage_Disadvantage [ONLINE]. Available at:http://www.voipsupply.com/blog/voip-insider/files/2012/02/Advantage_Disadvantage.jpeg [Accessed 31 March 14].
Image: Woman Stress on Computer – Rashida Maples, (2012), woman_stress_on_computer [ONLINE]. Available at:http://ionehellobeautiful.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/black-woman-stressed-with-computer.jpg [Accessed 31 March 14].