Why integrate ICTs into today’s classroom.

mixed_classroom.jpegThe importance of ICT is quite evident from an educational perspective. Though the chalkboard, textbooks, radio/television and film have been used for educational purpose over the years, none has quite impacted on the educational process like the computer. While television and film impact only on the audiovisual faculties of users, the computer is capable of activating the senses of sight, hearing and touch of the users. ICT has the capacity to provide higher interactive potential for users to develop their individual, intellectual and creative ability. The main purpose of ICT “consists just in the development of human mental resources, which allow people to both successfully apply the existing knowledge and produce new knowledge” (Shavinina, 2001,P.70).

There is no doubt that ICT provides productive teaching and learning in order to increase people’s creative and intellectual resources especially in today’s information society. Through the simultaneous use of audio, text, multicolor images, graphics, motion, ICT gives ample and exceptional opportunities to the students to develop capacities for high quality learning and to increase their ability to innovate.

There are numerous and good prospects for the use of ICT in teaching and learning in secondary schools island wide. The following major areas suggest the range of applications that ICT can serve secondary school teachers and students in St.Lucia. First, ICT can enhance educational efficiency. The efficiency in teaching various subjects could be improved. For instance, many secondary school exploration, more personally tailored activities, more teamwork, and more significantly, less didactic instruction. The role of the teacher, therefore, changes from information dispenser to that of information manager, from authoritative source of information to a guide of self-propelled exploration (Smith, 1989).

Teachers are already teaching large classes of students. In this situation, students no longer receive the much desired individual assistance. It is possible to use carefully prepared computer programs to ensure that learners are accurately and systematically instructed. Also, ICT can enhance problem-solving skills of the learners by focusing on thinking skills especially in subject such as mathematics.

ICT can be used for individualized learning in secondary schools. Due to large classes and differences in individual learning style and pace, microcomputers will enable the student to progress at his or her own pace and receive continual evaluation, feedback and corrections for errors made. In this way, ICT allows the development of partner-like interactive and individualized relations with the user. Computers play the role of the tutor and present the leaner with a variety of contents and symbolic modes.

With the integration of ICT in the secondary school setting, major changes will occur to the current pedagogical practices that once depended heavily on the traditional lecture method.

How will the implementation of ICTs benefit my students?
  • It enhances instruction
  • Improves the quality of teaching and learning
  • Fosters independent learning
  • Students gain skills
  • Fosters collaboration among students and between student and teacher
  • Increases motivation
  • Computer time increases responsibility and independence
  • Students have a natural form of discovery and often learn by trial and error
  • Promotes critical and problem solving skills
  • Computers can reinforce or even teach new instruction
  • Creates an active learning environment