[LINK] Teachers fear computers in the classroom
brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Sep 14 22:18:13 EST 2005
Teachers fear computers in the classroom
IT interferes with 'genuine' book-based learning, study finds
By Andy McCue
Tuesday 13 September 2005
Schools are failing to take advantage of IT in the classroom as teachers worry
computers will interfere with traditional book-based learning, according to a
new academic study.
The four-year University of Bristol study, InterActive Education: Teaching and
Learning in the Information Age, backs recent reports by Ofsted and the OECD,
which found the use of IT in schools was "sporadic" and "disappointing" in the
The findings show that using computer game-style science simulations has a
negative effect and makes pupils take the class less seriously.
Humanities and creative subjects suffer worst from a lack of IT-based teaching
and, as a result, IT is used mainly for administrative and routine tasks in
schools despite the government's £1bn commitment to increase the use of
technology in the classroom.
The ESRC funded study focused on 10 institutions and explored ways in which IT
could be used in English, history, geography, modern languages, science, music
and mathematics lessons.
Professor Rosamund Sutherland, who led the research, said many teachers simply
lack the confidence to take the risk of using technology in their subject areas
despite having the facilities available at school and being familiar with using
a computer at home.
In the report Sutherland said: "After working with our researchers they
generally had a more positive view of technology and said that it enhanced
their role as a teacher and had a beneficial impact on the learning
She said the government needs to set up networks where teachers and researchers
can work together to design and evaluate projects that use IT as a tool for
She added: "If these resources are made available, teachers will start to embed
ICT into classroom practices."
The study found a positive impact on learning from the use of search engines on
language investigation in English, and the experience of spreadsheets
influencing primary school pupils' learning of data handling.
But not all methods worked and the findings show that using computer game-style
science simulations has a negative effect and makes pupils take the class less
seriously because of their experience of playing computer and video games at
There are also wider benefits to society from the increased use of IT in
lessons and the study highlighted the two-way traffic between home and school
in which young people pass on IT skills such as PowerPoint to their parents.
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of
government in the next.
-- Abraham Lincoln
brd at iimetro.com.au
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