Tuesday, June 12

Mindware or Hardware?

As part of my role I have the privilege of visiting many schools in the BOP, I have noticed a couple of trends lately that I thought it was high time I posted about:

1. ‘ICT savvy’ teachers exist in each school. These teachers have a sound understanding of 21st century quality teaching and learning.
2 The ‘overload / frustration’ button is going ON for these teachers as they are exposed to even more information about quality ICT’s and how e-learning can support better outcomes for every child.
3. The ‘overload / frustration’ button is going ON because most of these teachers have a mere 1-2 internet capable computers in their classrooms.

Research (Becker, 2000) has shown that at least five computers are needed in classrooms before there is significant use by teachers and at least four computers are needed before there is high student use for research purposes.

In my opinion, it seems that for many teachers the tables have turned – they have the mindware, now they need enough hardware to make IT happen.

It was a gift from the gods when I stumbled across Jan-Marie Kellow’s, e –fellow 2006 research on ‘Inquiry Learning in an ICT Rich Environment’. This article documents what an ICT –rich environment should look like and what tools are needed to make this happen.
She covers the following in her report:
**Computer Ratios
**Laptops vs Desktops
**Interactive Whiteboards and Data Projectors
**Classroom Cows and Computer Labs
**Online learning Environments
**Other ICT’s i.e. camera

A summary of her research is available here:
Well worth a read!

I’ll make use of this document tomorrow, with a cluster management group, with the aim of encouraging principals to make a ‘mark in the sand’ in terms of what infrastructure they should be aiming for in their schools.
I hope you find it useful too!

Many Thanks to Jan-Marie Kellow for her research in this area.


BnL said...

Far out - great post. thanks for sharing! This is really useful and important stuf isn't it? Cheers :)

Vicki@StJosephs said...

Thanks to Rochelle, I personally am not a fan of Computer Suite and segregation of computers and thanks to a visit with Jan a couple of years back we are incorporating laptops into our classrooms with some great results developing...=)