Computers in Education: Introducing ICT in the Classroom


General guidelines for introducing Information and Communications Technologies in the classroom. Some basics on using computers as teaching/learning tools.

The first thing that most experienced teachers need to get their heads around is that using computers is not a subject or a syllabus on its own. Computers are simply teaching and learning tools that can be used to enhance the delivery of a wide variety of subjects. For example, being an essay writer free, I know that in the New South Wales (Australia) public teaching service it has been mandatory for more than ten years for teachers to integrate ICT or Information and Communications Technologies as part of their classroom practice.

Are Your Classroom Computers Tools for Learning?

Once or twice a year the English teacher may get their students to word process their work, or the maths teacher may get their students to type formulas into a spreadsheet program. In primary classes, students will be scheduled to ‘do some work on computers’ at a particular time of day regularly. Of course, there is the expectation that most students will access the internet for research but it can be argued that these activities, whilst giving students some hands-on experience, really only pay lip service to the mandate of integrating ICT into classroom practice and do very little to foster the understanding of computers as tools for learning and work rather than just toys and entertainment units.

Why Are Your Students Excited About Using Computers?

Be warned. In this day and age if your students are overly excited about being allowed to work on computers they are probably thinking about games or social networking rather than the serious school work that you have planned for them. From personal experience, students who regularly use classroom computers and software as tools to achieve specific and focused objectives are more likely to stay on task than those who have experienced irregular use for loosely defined outcomes. Be specific about the software like Skype in the classroom to be used and how it is to be used and closely monitor student computers to ensure that only the software specified for the task is running. For Windows machines, a quick check of the icons on the taskbar (bottom of the screen) will reveal what programs and files are active (being used) at any given time.

Stick With the Program

As a teacher, you most likely have a syllabus or curriculum to teach. Unfortunately, even these days, when a complete and fully searchable library of books will fit onto a thumb drive, most of these syllabuses or curriculums are still knowledge-based and content-driven. The trick is to use computers and other new technologies to deliver the content required in new and engaging ways and to develop a culture of learning as a process of active discovery rather than passive reception. There is a multitude of engaging computer-based teaching/learning resources available on the internet these days and if you are fortunate enough to have an Interactive Whiteboard as part of your teaching technology toolkit, most manufacturers provide a library of free resources for use on these machines.

Encourage Peer Learning but Only After You’ve Done the Stuff Yourself

One of the best ways of consolidating the learning of any subject or skill is to teach it to someone else. Students should be encouraged to share the skills that they have learned with other students but as the classroom teacher, you should always be the first and last point of reference. I am constantly reviewing new software and new teaching applications for old software. My rule of thumb is that if it takes longer than 50 minutes (the average time for a single secondary school lesson) for me to work out how to complete a task using existing software or to learn the basics of a new piece of software, I won’t expect my students to be able to do these things and therefore won’t introduce that particular software or task to my class.

You Are Not Alone

Probably the most important thing to remember if you are having difficulty introducing ICT in your classroom is that you are not alone. Most of us did not even see, let alone use, computers in our high school years, and the use of computers as teaching/learning tools was not part of our teacher training. Make the most of every professional development opportunity that arises in ICT in your particular subject area and join some online teacher support sites to keep up with the latest trends.

About the author: Bianca J. Ward is a professional online essay writer at EssayWriterFree where she provides people with qualitative works. Besides, she is a passionate photographer and traveler who has visited 52 countries all over the world. Bianca dreams about creating a photo exhibition to present her works to others.

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