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Does the use of ICT help or hinder children's learning in primary schools?

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Introduction

Does the use of ICT help or hinder children's learning in primary schools? The use of ICT in the modern age is vital, weather it's in the work place or during leisure hours our life is dominated by the use of computers. So the introduction of children to the use of ICT seams vital if they are to have access to this new world of cyber space. This being the case what is an appropriate age to present them to this with out it having a detrimental effect on their literacy skills and general education? Could ICT have a detrimental effect on children's learning or would it simply enrich the learning presses and get young people back into education? Is their a possibility that a dependence on ICT will be brought about, if so is this a problem in this computer controlled world? The focus here is on the use of ICT in primary schools, is it appropriate and healthy to introduce it to children at such a young age? The first question that needs to be asked is what qualifies as ICT to children of such a young age? When we talk about ICT in primary schools are we talking about simple computer orientated learning games designed to develop reading, typing and spelling skills. ...read more.

Middle

If children where using ICT as a subject then it would deduct form general learning but if the ICT was integrated into normal lessons then it would encourage all round learning and increase the children's ability to link different skills. Studies have shown that over 70% of all social groupings of children aged 7-14 prefer and enjoy learning from PC's (DFEE (2000). Survey of school children's use of computers: A report. London: department of Education and Employment.) so that would be a massive increase in the % of children who would enjoy their classes and thus we would see an increase in enthusiasm to learn. Though would this be the case? This would solely depend on the amount of access the children had to the PC's. If it was an ICT classroom where all students and teachers had a PC and they worked along side each other then we would see an increase in performance and ICT skills would undoubtedly develop in the pupils. Though the truth of the matter is this inst the case, we are more likely to see one PC in a classroom untouched unless you are looking at schools ICT labs. That same study (DFEE (2000). ...read more.

Conclusion

Survey of school children's use of computers: A report. London: department of Education and Employment.) showed that as we get older there is a reduction in the usage of ICT in girls which may start occurring earlier if ICT was introduced in primary schools. This move away from ICT starts at roughly 15, which would be when ICT would first officially be taught in schools. So would we see a decrease in academic performance in girls if ICT was introduced in primary schools or would ICT usage be even in girls and boys? That would only be seen with time. So is ICT a help or a hindrance? IT obviously would be of great benefit to start learning ICT at an early age in this computer orientated world but only if an effective program was put in place which allowed all the pupils to access up to date machines in all of their lessons. This is just unfeasible in this period of time,. At the moment ICT is barely used in primary schools, at lest they should be fitted with ICT labs so different classes can rotate their use and then all ages get the benefit. ICT would be a help in primary schools if incorporated into an effective learning program used by all subjects. ...read more.

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