In the section in the learning paths on ‘What is an ICT?’, I found the question ‘How you use ICTs is important?’ very interesting and thought provoking. It is stated that research findings show that ICT infrastructure on its own does nothing to effect change in a school with the often-repeated contention that “while new digital technologies make a learning revolution possible, they certainly do not guarantee it” (Resnick, 2002 , p. 32) and that “technologies by themselves have little scaleable or sustained impact on learning in schools” (Honey, McMillan & Carrig, 1999 in Hayes, 2003, p. 3) and that what, in fact, is critical is “how” the technologies are used (Reimann & Goodyear, 2004).
I looked back on how ICTs were used in my school experiences (both when I was at school and in my practicums, also in my children’s experiences). I can now see that in many instances ICTs were used in very similar ways to old fashioned pen and paper activities and were not used to ‘transform’ teaching and learning: the internet was used as another version of an encyclopedia, word processing was used as another version of handwriting. I have also been fortunate to see some instances where ICTs were used to great advantage in transforming learning: eg. taking a traditional printed text and creatively producing an artefact (movie, PPP, photostory, connecting to another school via video conferencing to share ideas) based on the language from the original text, that can be shared through whole school assemblies, YouTube and the like.
In the future I will be mindful of using ICTs to transform teaching and learning and not just use it to replace some other form of pedagogical practice. I think the key to doing this is to think creatively, ensuring ICTs are used to their best advantage.
I do believe the idea that computer is itself not a catalyst, its valency as a conduit for communication, collaboration and knowledge building has the potential to transform learning. I think that sentence is in itself transformative! Does anyone else agree or disagree?