Children’s Perceptions of ICT at School

As a teacher of ICT, it’s important for me to get an idea of how students perceive the subject as well as get an understanding of what they like and what they dislike. My students are usually quite direct (a culture that I promote within my classroom) when it comes to telling me how they feel. This is usually done with me interrogating them and asking them about how they feel about the course etc. Well I decided to give them a break today and instead turned my attention to my daughter instead. Alisha is 9 and currently in Year 5; I was interested to compare her views and ideas about ICT in Primary Education in contrast to that of my Secondary students.

I asked Alisha about her use of ICT at school and at home. (I am a teacher in the Secondary school that she attends) – It was interesting to see that her perceptions and frustrations of using ICT at the school were very similar to that of the teachers. Her biggest complaint being that she was unable to access the resources due to problems with the computers (this is seems to be a common trait within most schools?) – Mathletics seems to be very popular with her!

It is clear that schools are happy to invest in a range of resources to allow students to use ICT productively, however, it’s counterproductive to have them participate in these initiatives with no working technology. Schools should work at embracing sound technology and networks to facilitate the active use of modern/cloud computing, applications and learning platforms. If students feel that they cannot access such resources, then in my experience,they will quickly lose interest, get bored and they just wont…

This comes back points I have mentioned in previous posts; schools MUST ensure that there is a sound IT infrastructure to  ensure that students are able to use modern technology to facilitate and extend their learning!

Recent insights into network infrastructure issues got me thinking about computer networks and why they appear to be a common problem within schools. I have worked in industry and much larger organasations that facilitate the use of 1000’s of workstations. In comparison, a school with a few hundred devices shouldn’t really be a problem…should it?

All these problems, issues and concerns have prompted me to take a deeper look into networking infrastructure, so I’ve recently taken it upon myself to learn about them – The industry standard; Cisco CCNA seemed like a good place to start. Lets see if this will blossom into something wonderful or whether it’s another fad… watch this space!

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2 thoughts on “Children’s Perceptions of ICT at School

  1. A continual problem in education has been sufficient funds to pay both the employees and support infrastructure. In the past it was all about textbooks, special equipment for shops, science, gym and supplies for the arts, drama and music departments. With the demands of computer resources the problem has shifted there.

    When I retired from teaching (Ontario, Canada), I noticed a trend to deal with computer access. The number of computers per school within the board was designated by a formula for the number of students in the school. Administers had to allocate room and access.

    One of the shifts was to create a more accessible wireless network and encourage students to bring their own devices. Students with special educational needs had special software and could have devices provided or costs supplemented. Of course those students whose were not special needs and lacked the financial resources to purchase their own device had to rely on what was available within the school computer network. A diversity of technological devices and access now compounding the diversity in learning styles & needs.

    All the best in your research. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences – It’s true, there always seems to be something that schools will struggle with; now it’s computers and technology. Like you say, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes would be a good way to ensure more active use of technology.

      Lets see how things pan out I guess…

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