Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ICT Tools

Have had another wondering this week.  We are strategic planning for the next school year, considering possible items to fundraise for and formulating a budget.  ICT hardware year after year takes a considerable chunk of ones budget.  In thinking about continuing to move forward in the implementation and expansion of ICT integration what should the school wisely purchase?  Having an array of mimios, interactive whiteboards, large monitors, projectors, cameras, video cameras etc  -which tools best engage students and powerfully help to improve students learning? We are not convinced it's tools such as mimio, whiteboards as they can have a tendency to regress teacher practice to presenting and being the 'sage on the stage'  Such tools often perpetuate teacher control.
I wonder if we should not be making our choices based on the ability for the tool, application to be student led and driven.  It's interesting how successful blogging is for many students.  Why I ask?  It puts the learner in the driving seat, they are in control leading their own learning.  Like Facebook (for better or worse)- the interface is intuitive, no manual is required to use it and you create your own profile, contacts etc for your own needs and purposes.
Maybe we should be purchasing the new small portable computers that are wireless and connect to the web so that more students get their hands on and are involved in the 'doing' of learning.
All interesting thoughts to ponder?  Are we not better to buy a few one off pieces of hardware and give them to students, observe what happens and then purchase from student feedback and consultation?  We are ignorant and maybe arrogant to not be led by students as they are the digital 'natives' we the digital 'immigrants'

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