Technology teaching that reflects the real world

Mun Yee Chong is an ICT Teacher at All Saints Catholic School and Technology College, Dagenham, London.

The bell rings marking the start of the day’s lessons. A group of students arrive with their tablet computers complete with 16Gb of internal memory, dual core processor and Android platform. Welcome to the classroom of the 21st Century – where students are able to access textbooks via their tablet computer and practice their guitar using downloadable apps. Young people today are fully aware of the technology available to them; they know how to manipulate and adapt it to serve their needs, and how to use it to extend their worldly learning outside of the classroom.

However, this IT savvy and know-how is not a true reflection of how technology is actually used in the classroom across the country. The fundamental questions that need to be addressed are did the IT investment made by schools match the skills of their learners and do we really need technology in classroom? It is true that the cost of consumer technology has decreased over time? We know that technology alone will not be enough to educate the future generation.

If we are truly passionate about teaching IT, we need to change our strategies and approach to the curriculum. Part and parcel of learning involves experiencing different platform and software, therefore learners need to be introduced to new programming that encourages high order thinking. Teaching staff across the board need to ensure their knowledge base is up to date and that they are kept abreast of the most recent changes within IT that directly impacts upon the curriculum. The rate at which technology is updated or indeed becomes obsolete is phenomenal therefore there is a real need for those who deliver ICT to regularly update their skills.

Despite the government’s proposal to sideline technology teaching with the introduction of the English Baccalaureate, it remains a crucial part of everyday life, so perhaps it is time for us in the academic world to revive the curriculum and teaching of technology in the classroom? There is a public misconception that ICT is an easy subject, carrying less weight than others and so it is often viewed as a less important subject. Technology has drastically changed the world we live in and our lives, therefore it is important that this view is challenged. In the meantime, the search for the next great name in the technology world is on so watch this space…with an eye firmly on the Silicon Roundabout in East London!

About All Saints

All Saints Catholic School & Technology College is a mixed Catholic school located in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, catering for learners aged between 11-18 years. Currently attended by 1,200 students, the school has 79 teachers and 31 support staff. Head teacher Kevin Wilson has been in post since September 2006. 

All Saints has successfully achieved Bronze and Silver Eco-School status and is currently on track to achieve the Green flag award which symbolises an excellent approach to environmental awareness.

For more information about All Saints please visit: http://www.all-saints.bardaglea.org.uk

For more information out more about the company that All Saints are taking the expedition with, please visit http://www.world-challenge.co.uk/

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Comment

2 responses to “Technology teaching that reflects the real world

  1. I am sure that I am not alone in wishing, in this post-industrial 21st Century classroom, that we did not still hear the ringing of bells to mark the start and end of lessons…. the factory model hangover from the 19th Century! Once one has visited a school where this outmoded approach has been jettisoned one realises how much more civilised a school feels without it.

    • Great comment Tony, and totally true – nothing like the music between lessons at Cramlington! Back to the post… you seem to mean ‘hardware’ when you say ‘technology’ for the early part of this. In my opinion, in austere times, we need to think clearly about how we make best use of what we’ve got and, as purchasers, I think (as I would I suppose) that we should be looking at software not hardware. We need to be better at utilising the hardware pupils already have. Allowing them to bring it in and use it. Being digitally literacy for our modern times is as much about providing hardware as writing poetry is about the quality of your ballpoint pen! It’s all about what you do with it and what the thought process is behind it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s