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ICT integration in Secondary Schools

20 August 2009 2 Comments

Once again, this is cross posted from discussions I was contributing to in an online paper at the School of Education.

I was trying to share my feelings as to why it is often seen that the integration of ICT in secondary schools is lagging behind that of primary and ECE.

I think one of the things is that in secondary if teachers want to use the computers - they take their class to the computer room. There are very few computers in individual classrooms. This means that students go outside of their normal classroom space and the lesson automatically becomes about the technology rather than the content of the lesson.

There are a number of things that change when kids hit secondary school (in the education system I mean!!!). I spent quite a bit of time thinking about these during my research last year - in fact I ended up extending my project so as I could work with a primary school in order to contrast my findings between the two sectors.

I found these main points - (they are by no means conclusive - rather my ponderings based on my research and my own experience as a high school teacher).

1. Timetables
50 or 60 minute periods mean that work on a given topic ends abruptly when the bell rings - meanwhile students could have had 5-10 different lessons before you seen them again.

2. A segmented curriculum
I found that this was particularly problematic when considering information literacy. In secondary, while it is implied that a skill such as information literacy would be taught by all teachers, my findings and own experience suggest that this comes second to subject based content - my findings suggested that it was commonly accepted by both students and teachers that information literacy (or research skills) is mainly taught in one specific subject (social studies for the record). What was interesting however, was that the social studies teachers themselves were surprised to learn this - some unaware that they were often the only source of in-depth research skills that students were getting. Within a primary classroom a skill such as this tended to be integrated into other units of work.

chairs

3. Assessment driven practice

Particularly as you move towards upper secondary and the focus becomes about high-stakes assessment students are motivated to only work towards that which is assessed. The concept of Assessment FOR Learning tends to become overly dominated by Assessment OF Learning - where does ICT fit into this?


2 Comments »

  • Dorothy said:

    Been reading through this post as I am looking for answers for the high school I work with. I am particularly interested in what you had to say about social studies being the subject tchrs expect info lit to be occuring in. I am going to check that out in my own context this week, and if it holds true here to0, then at least we have a starting place to do something about it. Thanks for that insite.

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