I am sure everyone almost everyone will agree that Information and Communications Technology has a vital role to play in our Primary Education system. The World has become Digitised, It’s a world where modern technology and communications are not a Luxury but an absolute necessity. Imagine a world without The Web without E Mail….
ICT contributes in one way or another o billions in our economy.No one needs reminding of the dire straits that Babbling Bertie Ahern and Brian Clown Cowen have left us in. Ireland is a small Island Nation and is hugely dependent on direct Foreign Investment. Companies will not invest in a country that has a second rate education system and a workforce that is unskilled in the key area of ICT.
ICT plays a central role to employment in Ireland. These figures from the OECD go to prove the importance in a standard of education that not only utilises ICT but that creates a seamless migration from education to employment. The better prepared we are and the more familiar we are with Technology the more likely we can gain employment. ICT is critical to Irelands future.
Its not that long ago that our great great grandparents were forced to receive their education in Hedge schools. The hedge schools were set up in towns villages without the knowledge of the British agressors. We evolve through knowledge and curiosity. Education should never be prevented or hindered. It should be encouraged and facilitated. Nourished and developed. Ireland was known around the world as the land of saints and scholars. Our standard of education was recognised worldwide.
In ancient times it was Papyrus and Pigment, then it was paper and ink, now it’s a PC tablet and stylus. The ancient educators and philosophers made use of whatever was available to them . Every means at their disposal was utilised. ICT in Primary Schools is just progress. Countries who don’t get on board will be left behind and may never catch up. In the Last 10 years Technology has made Education more accessible to more and people.
Billions are spent globally every year on Technology for Schools. It makes the learning process more interactive and more fun. It should no longer be about a teacher dictating to a class. It should be a voyage of discovery. Any technology which encourages learning and encourages students to participate is a bonus. Asia and particularly S. Korea is leading the world with its ICT in Education policy.
Ireland to be fair has had an ICT policy in place for over 10 years. Many schools have interactive whiteboards, notebooks for students Broadband and a healthy attitude to ICT. There is support in the form of grants, online curriculum resources , websites for parents and training for teachers. The future looks bright the future is Binary.
WB yeats said that Education was not the filling of the pail but the lighting of a fire. Howtrue these words are. We all have differing abilities, strengths and weaknesses. We here today are privileged enough to be receiving a third level education. Some students are unable for various reasond to attend third level. Therefore it is important to provide the best available education through first and second level.
Schools and pupils have changed and in my opinion changed for the better. Students are no longer supposed to sit in absolute silence. There was a time, not too long ago when a child would be beaten for mis behaving. I myself am old enough to have been at the receiving end of the extreme cruelty of the Christian Brothers. This is now accepted as inappropriate and backward.
As I remember my primary school years it seems to me that the one group that were constantly badgered and beaten were those with learning difficulties. Thankfully today we have systems and services to deal with people who have various special needs. From profound difficulties like sight loss to less serious difficulties like mild dyslexia. The early introduction and use of ICT can have huge benefical effects for these people.
The National Educational Psychology Service was set up in 1999. In its mission statement it cites the educational development of all children as one of their aims. More and more children are being diagnosed with SEN. These difficulties have been around for as long as we have. However we no longer lock people into sanitariums. We attempt to integrate them into mainstream.
It is in this area of Special need I believe ICT has revolutionised Education. There is both hardware and software available now to assist teachers and Special Educational needs Assistants with their students. Neps recommend their use on a daily basis. No longer do this vunerable group in our Society need to take the preverbal back seat. They can now participate in Education in an inclusive and meaningful way.
Ok we all know that ICT works in the class room. Without it I would be stuffed for My Presentation.We all know that Ict helps in inclusion. The government spends Billions on the Education System annually. On wages capitation grants, school books etc etc. how wonderful it would be for the Taxpayer if this education budget could be reduced drastically while at the same time enhancing the learning experience.
As we have seen from a previous presentation E books are now readily available They can be updated and changed at a very minimal cost, thus reducing the need to spend milions on paper books. Perhaps E learning over the net from home will be the classroom of the future reducing the vast wage and pension bill. This is radical and very contoversial however so was banning corporal punishment in the 80’s.
I am not suggesting reinventing the wheel . I am suggesting a total rethink on how it is used. In order to evolve from the hairy neanderthal man to the fine specimens we have become today we have to make use of the available resourses. To better the human race we must better the individuals. This means pulling out all the stops when it comes to our childrens education.
The cost of Technology is reducing on a daily basis. Only a short time ago a laptop was a luxury. It was seen as a status symbol. Now it is just another device in everday use. Broadband has been rolled out to all schools in the country. The W WW is no longer the world wide wait. The Web is ever expanding, the possibilities are endless.
Along with all the positives there are the negatives. There are of course always people(usually men) who are willing to use the net for nefarious reasons. The abuse of the innocence of children is real and present danger. Peodophiles , perverts and priests are widespread. All we can do is be vigiliant.
That is why children must always be supervised while online, we would not let a child roam unsupervised around on their own in the real world so therfore it only makes sense to exercise caution when roaming around the Web. Common sense must prevail and usually does.
Look it’s a no Brainer. If the technology exists and is useful then it must be harnessed and used. Everyone will benefit. Even groups who were historically exiled from education can be brought in from the cold. Everyone deserves a fair crack at the whip. Inclusion not exclusion.
In conclusion ICT is a good thing, its good for all the right reasons. It is there to enhance life. It is having a lasting effect in the world in which we live, in all walks of life, Wheather that be in Medicine, research or just good old fashioned entertainment. The future is ICT, The future is Education with ICT… Cheers
ICT IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
ICT IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS A 2BCT PROFESSIONAL SKILLS PRESENTATION BY PAUL SEVERSCC BY NC-ND
ICT IN THE ECONOMYWORTH €50 BILLION PER YEAR…7 OF THE WORLDS LEADING IT COMPANIESINVEST HERE….DATA from IDA Available online at http://www.idaireland.com/business-in-ireland/information-communication/
ICT AND EMPLOYMENT• Estimated 15 -17% of Employees regularly use ICT in their Employment……• 5% Use Specialist/ Job Specific ICT in their Employment……• That’s nearly a Quarter of Irish Workforce !!!!!!• DATA from OECD Report 2008 – Available online at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/47/22/43969700.pdf
Teaching resources Scoilnet.ie IRELAND Teachnet.ie Ncte.ieImage - Microsoft ClipArt
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. William Butler YeatsGoogle Images - Licenced for Reuse
Graffiti in the Toilets….. “Is that your effort at art Severs“ “No …It wasnt me Brother”……… The Weapon of Choice “The Leather Strap”Google Images - Licenced for Reuse
Special NeedsThe Special Education Needs Act 2004“Provides that people with SEN are educated where so far aspossible in an inclusive environment”
National Educational Psychology Service Our mission is to work with others to support thepersonal, social and educational development of all children through the application of psychological theory and practice in education, having particular regard for children with special educational needs
Behaviour Difficulties Attention Deficit Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Learning Disabilities Mild/Moderate/Severe Speech and Language Physical DisabilitiesAutistic Spectrum Disorders