Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ICT in Research

ICT has always profited from cross-fertilization with other scientific disciplines, including mathematics, biology, materials science and psychology. This is reflected in the wide range of problems and challenges to be addressed in the identified research areas. For example:
the miniaturization of components on a chip requires new materials and new designs, as well as a search for alternative computing methods, eg quantum computing
since future ICT systems need greater ‘intelligence’ in order to function properly, a promising way to achieve this is to study how living organisms – from a single cell to animal colonies and the human brain – process information
the rapidly increasing volume and complexity of data and networks, in which humans interact with many small, embedded, mobile devices, requires penetrating studies of complex systems (Nature may teach us here too)
mechanisms should be devised to ensure security for, and trust in the use of future technologies, which offer dazzling possibilities but also serious threats.

Using ICT in mathematics: sequences, functions and graphs

Many pupils are taught to be able to substitute into equations, draw graphs of lines and learn about how m is the gradient and c the y intercept. Often pupils find it difficult to recognise the equation of a line from its graph or a table of results, or vice versa. This work attempts to use multiple representations to deepen pupils' understanding of the relationships between equations, tables and graphs.
Also in this sub-strand are some other ideas for using spreadsheets to stimulate thinking and discussion about processes and patterns.

ICT deployment in secondary school subject teaching:
The characteristics of good general secondary provision include:
• availability of different groupings of resources to match the needs of departments, for
example computer rooms, clusters of machines and individual workstations around
the site
• computers networked and well maintained with good Internet access from all
• well-lit, comfortable computer rooms with sufficient space for pupils to work away
from computers and for teachers to circulate and talk to individual pupils
• effective communication with the whole class using digital projectors or the capacity
to control all the computers
• an efficient and equitable booking system for computer rooms.
Increasingly schools are exploring the possibility of greater flexibility in serving subject
needs through the use of wireless links between banks of laptops, managed centrally and
linked to the school network.

ICT can be used to enhance teaching and learning in science by:
using datalogging packages to gather data from a variety of experiments
using data handling packages to process data and produce bar charts and graphs, including trend lines
using modelling packages to investigate situations where school laboratory experiments are unrealistic, dangerous or impossible
giving access to a variety of information sources, especially CD-ROMs and the Internet, and
sharing data with pupils around the world.
ICT resources (systems, software, hardware and courseware) available include:
datalogging sensors, interfaces and software
data handling software, either integrated with datalogging software or separate spreadsheet packages
simulation and modelling software
information systems, such as CD-ROMs, school networks and intranets, and communication systems for accessing the Internet.

Teachers new to ICT will find the Primary and Secondary Core materials helpful. Click here for an explanation of the different ways of using these sections. We will give you further links to the Primary Core in later modules. Don't forget the glossary of ICT terms either!

Finally, we suggest you have a look at the Primary Science materials to get an idea of the kinds of ICT experiences your pupils should be receiving before they come to the secondary school. The primary site has plenty of ideas which can be used and exploited in the secondary sector.

Negative of ICT 4 us

The school has a modern ICT suite of 30 computers. There are also computers in every classroom. Interactive whiteboards are used extensively across the school to help teach every subject.

Children have access to digital cameras, video equipment, scanners, Internet and e-mail. The school employs an ICT technician and classroom assistant to support the children and staff and maintain the hardware.

We are committed to providing the highest quality resources and facilities for the children. Teachers and assistants are continually improving and updating their computer skills.

Children use the computers for word processing, data handling, research and control. They communicate via e-mail.

Confronted with all these positive messages one may wonder which negative consequences were observed.Although enthusiassm prevailed negative signals concerned several aspects of the education process, as illustrated by the following qoutes:

  • Learning. " Students are used to get information easily using ICT and they don't work so hard what is required for good learning"

  • Using ICT: " Gradually, the students think it is normal to use a computer. Spmetimes they do not like to use the Internet. 'Again Internet?' One teacher states that," I have the impression that many percieve ICT more like a toy that like a tool."

  • Planning: "The students that the first part of the project, the planning phase, took too much time, and that they got bored. As one of the students says," I didn't like the planning phase. It was too much theory. It was much more fun when we started to work on the bathrooms and saw some results."

  • Curriculum:" The national curriculum is very restrictive"

Schools Organised for ICT and the Homes They Serve

ICT encourages – and ultimately requires – formal education and the learning that takes place outside school. It brings impressive channels of communication between students, teachers, parents and the wider community, that must be purposefully developed and actively sustained. This underscores the seriousness of the situation for students who have inadequate home facilities, who are on the wrong side of the “digital divide”.
It is, moreover, in the nature of ICT to facilitate learning beyond the bounds of the school. Self-directed learning with ICT at home or in the community becomes an integral and important aspect of the total learning experience. More than hitherto, there is a dynamic complementarity between learning in school and learning at home. This article looks at school organisation and leadership, the support needed and how it may be attained. It considers how ICT-enabled learning at home extends the work in school, and how ICT enhances the relationship between home and school.