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A Reflective report which discusses the key issues related to the effective use of ICT to support mathematics in the primary classroom.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Reflective report which discusses the key issues related to the effective use of ICT to support mathematics in the primary classroom. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is developing at a rapid rate in our society. Due to this, it is vitally important that children are taught ICT skills in school. ICT includes computers, tape recorders, videos, television, the internet and many others. It is only recently - due to the Dearing Review (1994, cited by Briggs & Pritchard, 2001), that ICT has been seen as a subject in its own right. Since 1997, the Government has promoted a succession of initiatives intent on raising the use of ICT in schools. This has included training, funding for resources and documents to support teachers in the effective use of ICT. The National Curriculum is now promoting the importance of ICT across the curriculum and how it can be used to support other subjects, especially maths. In maths there are several links that can be made to ICT (Appendix A). This supports the Primary National Strategy's ideas of promoting a broad and balanced curriculum. Throughout this essay I will investigate key issues relating to the effective use of ICT to support children's learning and teaching in maths. The third International Maths and Science Survey (TIMSS) state that there is little hard evidence for the beneficial effects of ICT, although there is a suggestion of a possible negative effect (Higgins 2003, p170). The impact2 study (Harrison et al 2000) ...read more.

Middle

In my experience it makes learning more fun and Interesting for both teacher and the children. It also allows children to be involved and interact with the learning; one example of this is the highlighting tool. It is this level of integration, according to Williams and Easingwood (2004), which makes this a powerful tool for both teacher and child (p59). It is clear that children pay more attention if the lesson is interesting and fun for them as they are more motivated to learn. Motivation is a key factor in learning as children will only learn if they want to. Linking learning to children interests and their lives is very important, especially with boys. 'The use of real data collected from a real medium can both be more interesting for children and serve as a motivating factor in their work.' Briggs and Pritchard (2001,p5 ). Using television programmes, the internet and teletext can be a very good way of enhancing children's learning, providing a context in which they can use their skills. This is very important in maths as it's an abstract subject and children can find it very difficult to establish concrete ideas. ICT has been shown to develop collaborative learning and therefore develop mathematical language and learning. The Cockcroft report, 1982 (Appendix D) stresses the importance of discussion and of using the correct mathematical language. Children often get confused due to its ambiguous nature and so it is essential that children are taught the correct terminology at an early age. ...read more.

Conclusion

document 'moving forward with ICT...' states that this is more to do with teacher confidence. They found that finding areas of ICT where teachers are confidence was a great starting point. This made them more likely to try new teaching approaches, resulting in the effective teaching of ICT. Ainley (1996) agrees stating that 'developing your own confidence with using mathematical software is a very important step towards using ICT confidently to enrich children's experiences of mathematics' (p4). This highlights the support that teachers need - support from colleagues, the school and the Government. The Government have created a range of initiatives to support teachers. One of the Governments initiatives funded by the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) in 1997 was to provide new equipment and resources to teachers. More recently laptops have been provided for teachers to plan and preparations have been made for broadband to be available in all schools. This has shown to be effective. The teacher training Agency evaluated the use of training and found improved standards of attainment. This is supported by the annual ofsted report 'ICT in schools' (2004) which states that 'overall an increasing number of numeracy lessons are being supported by ICT'. However, the lessons were shown to be inconsistent and unsystematic. These concerns are shared by the Becta Report (2003), although they state that it may be due to the variable access to ICT. Either way, these inconsistencies are causing inequalities in maths and this is something that has to be addressed. This shows we still have a long way to go. ...read more.

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