And find out why ATL is the fastest growing union in the education sector
The above example demonstrates what not to write when including the use of IT to support pupil learning within an academic essay. Statements like this are not academic, they are spurious claims that lack supporting evidence. Your ideas, beliefs and/or experiences regarding the use of IT to support teaching and learning will need to be backed up by evidence-based research in your essay.
An academic essay, which requires the investigation of the use of IT to support pupil learning, should start with a general statement on an area of the curriculum you want to discuss, rather than the whole of school learning, and should show evidence of knowledge and understanding of the following points:
Relating theories of learning to the use of IT in the classroom
Key discussion points relating to the use of IT and learning theory
The ability to critically review generic and subject-specific software and evaluate the effectiveness of IT against teaching and learning objectives
The new opportunities provided by IT enable the curriculum to be enhanced and teaching and learning (pedagogy) improved. IT provides additional pedagogical tools to those already available to schools but it does not replace them. The role of the teacher will continue to be of paramount importance. The use of computers in schools should not be an end in itself. As a consequence, it is within the framework of the daily interactions between teacher and pupil that a decision can be made on how best to use IT to assist the process of learning.
Key discussion points relating to the use of IT and learning objectives
Key discussion points relating to the use of IT and inclusion
“ICT has a clear role in enabling access for all learners to information and resources, and none more so than those learners for whom assistive technology is their only means of access.” (Becta 2006, Becta’s View: ICT and Inclusion)
For students with special educational needs, the computer can provide access to learning in new ways, which for many were previously inaccessible. Does the IT resource:
Using the knowledge of the curriculum guidance for foundation stage and national curriculum to plan high quality lessons and assess objectives
The most recent revision of the national curriculum (DfES, 2000b) requires that children experience aspects of each subject by means of appropriate IT experiences.
Pupils should be given opportunities to apply and develop their IT capability through the use of IT tools to support their learning in all subjects (at key stage 1, there are no statutory requirements to teach the use of IT in the programmes of study for the non-core foundation subjects. Teachers should use their judgement to decide where it is appropriate to teach the use of IT across these subjects at key stage 1. At other key stages, there are statutory requirements to use IT in all subjects, except physical education). The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England (DfES 2000)
The Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage allows provision for the computer in the six learning areas with a specific Early Learning Goal within the Knowledge and Understanding of the World area of learning, “Find out about and identify the use of everyday technology and use information and communication technology and programmable toys to support their learning” (DfES, 2000b).
Key discussion points relating to the use of IT and subject knowledge:
Does the use of IT:
In all cases, answers/discussion should be substantiated by evidence from reading.
Suggested further reading
Becta 2006, Inclusive learning: an essential guide
Cuthell John P. Learning theory and e-pedagogy http://www.virtuallearning.org.uk/changemanage/pedagogy_practice/Learning%20theory%20and%20e%2339137.pdf (Accessed 19/07/06)
Dawes, L. Thinking about Effective Computer Software, On-line Content and Games for Teaching and Learning. http://www.mape.org.uk/curriculum/thinking/pdf2.htm
Farren, Margaret (1999) Teaching /Learning / ICT http://www.iol.ie/~aidancbs/tech/course/learning/sld001.htm
Leask, M. & Meadows, J. 2000 (Eds) Teaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School Routledge.
Loveless, A. & V. Ellis (Eds). (2001) ICT, pedagogy and the curriculum: subject to change. London, Routledge.
Sharp, J., Potter, J., Allen, J. and Loveless, A. (2000) Primary ICT: Knowledge,
Understanding and Practice. Exeter: Learning Matters.
Siraj-Blatchford, J and Whitebread, D. (2003) Supporting ICT in the Early Years. Milton Keynes:Open University Press.