Research has not yet proved that introducing ICT in the classrooms has had a the desired positive effect to improve educational indicators. In your opinion: What are the factors that could contribute to improve the quality of education?
I would tip toe here as ICT has found extensive use in education at all levels. The University of the West Indies, Open Campus relies heavily on ICT for the delivery of its programmes. To say that ICT has not made a difference in education is leaving oneself wide open to criticism. We could not even have this forum were it not for the presence of ICT in education. I do agree that we need to be always training our teachers in the use of ICT in education as many view it as the magic bullet and fail to bring their creative imagination to bear on the process.
Again, I would say that apart from being a tool, it is also a discipline in its own right. I taught RSA IT many years ago and we very happy with the course and the students loved it. It taught them skills that they could carry to the workplace and I believe more and more that we need that sort of course in today's online environment.
I agree with Christine that teachers do need more training on ICT across the Caribbean. I currently supervise several teachers and require that they can leverage the technology to be able to communicate and do simple tasks such as file sharing and this always proves a challenge.
Part of the problem is that limitations always exist either on the part of administrators who may themselves not fully appreciate the technology and who impose severe restrictions to prevent the children "doing the wrong things" or the techs who seek to show that they are more important than the teachers and limit bandwidth and other features so as to minimise their own service requirements. As far as possible, we need to open the doors and open the bandwidth and let people be free.
t may be an idea to build up that pool of research so that we can really see what difference it is making. I have asked one of my students to join this discussion as she is currently doing a project on this as well.
In my own mind, I believe there is a technological gap between the older teachers and the youths. Many things that even three-year olds do out of sheer intuition with tech toys prove a major difficulty for us adults.
I just installed three games for some youths here and I did not have to show them how they worked. I did the installation and they just go on their way. We have to be smart to be able to create educational toys using the technology that will help us with the education we want to promote.
Vimala Kamalodeen said:
There are many ongoing research projects in Trinidad and Tobago that are showing a promise of positive impact on student learning. Teachers are becoming more confident in using technology in the classroom but it must be paired with pedagogy that is fit for purpose.
In my DipEd IT class this year, teachers made great strides in increasing their technological pedagogical content and skills.
Lets's be innovative and self-directed. If we break the ceilings that we put for ourselves and avail ourselves of the many learning opportunities available to teachers in Trinidad and beyond, many wonderful things can happen.
Whether we like it or not ICT is here to stay. CXC is requiring the use of ICT in almost every facet of its interactions with schools, ministries of Education, students and teachers across the region. It is important that teachers are supported by increased access to training, reliable access to the internet, hardware and software. We seem to think we can just give people equipment and miracles will happen.
I agree that incorporating technology in education is beneficial. However, one must be careful not to allow technology to take the place of instruction. When properly balanced, the two can break through learning barriers. By using technology I believe quality of education will simultaneously improve due to greater student involvement, data collection, the ability to differentiate instruction and appealing to the the current generation's technological interests.