There is an argument to suggest that some IT is brought into schools because it is entertaining and engaging. Anything done on a computer, on a tablet or through the students’ smartphone can stimulate interest immediately. Educationalists might argue that the task is as effective off-screen as it is on, while some would say it would be better away from technology completely.
It is essential to use IT systems judiciously if you want to make the most of the potential offered. Not every application of IT can aid learning, and sometimes it can act as a barrier to progress. However, there are other moments when installing effective IT systems is an undoubted advantage to the education of young people.
The internet and school intranet are how a school can offer education around the clock. There is much research that suggests that students need to work at a pace that is bespoke and must, therefore, be allowed to extend learning. Access to learning from home allows students to dictate better the progress they make. The application of IT in this way also allows parents to play an active role in the continued learning of children.
Many online learning portals help schools set homework, mark homework, set tests and communicate progress. Many schools also use email systems to send homework straight to the child’s tablet or phone. This removes potential arguments from students who say they did not know the homework had been set.
Cloud technologies also mean that work students begin at school can be continued at home. Students could even upload completed work directly to a teacher’s area ready for marking.
It is easier than ever for teachers to set group work that can extend beyond the lesson. Students can maintain communication through instant messaging packages, which mean they can continue the conversation. Students also communicate more about learning and seeking advice from friends. This dialogue could be perceived as the poaching of learning; however, any conversation about topics is a valuable educational experience.
It is also possible to extend collaboration across classrooms and borders. The world has grown smaller since the advance of IT systems. The use of video conferencing could mean a Geography lesson on Kenya could be supported by a link directly to a group of students in Nairobi, who might be studying the UK. Memorable experiences aid effective learning, and this would certainly be more memorable than reading from a textbook and even watching a video.
Assessing and tracking
Effective learning is better achieved when the student understands where they are and where they are heading. If a student understands what they have mastered and what they still must learn, they can take some control over the progress made. Although assessment and tracking software are more often used by teachers to guide lesson planning and reporting, nothing is stopping this from being extended to the student.
IT systems remove barriers that may prevent learning. However, they also provide opportunities for new, different, more ambitious ways of teaching that may have a more significant impact on students’ lives.
To find out more about how to install, upgrade or improve your school IT system, please call the Serval Systems team today on 0843 636 6700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discover more about the range of IT support services for schools that we provide.