Studies of Children and Computer

Papert (1980) studied on ‘Children, computer and powerful idea’. He understood the importance of digital media and how it could be used to enable children to learn better within a constructivist learning environment. He believed that in order for children to assemble and modify their ideas, the traditional tools such as pencils, copies and texts were inadequate. He felt that computers were the appropriate tool to enable the learner to take control of the learning process. He found that a complementary relationship exists between technology and constructivism, the implementation of each one benefiting the other.

Recent attempts by educators to integrate technology in the classroom have been within the context of a constructivist framework. Laird (1985) worked on ‘Approaches to training and development’. He believed that effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. Online instruction allows learners to use their sensory systems to register the information in the form of sensations. He found that the vast majority of knowledge held by adults (75%) is learned through seeing.

Hearing is the next most effective (about 13%) and the other senses – touch, smell and taste account for 12% of what they know. He claims that the use of the Internet for research or producing a website to publish their project results can enhance students’ organizational skills, connect them with a real audience and foster a better understanding of the World Wide Web.

Sandholtz et al. (1997) worked on ‘Teaching with technology, creating student-centered classrooms’. They reported that there were positive changes in student attitude. Their interest and motivation typically extended to the last week of school and as students became involved in working on computers, the time they spent on assignments and projects often increased.

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Students’ enthusiasm and interest resulted in greater on-task behavior and they were highly involved in their assignment and frequently able to work with little assistance. The project increased student initiative as they worked beyond the requirements of their assignments, and independently explored new applications and developed new skills. Student experimentation and risk taking increased.

Dalton (1998) in his study ‘Computers in schools’ asserts that training is directed at changing people’s knowledge, experience, skills and attitudes. The scarcity of adequately trained and experienced analysts, software engineers, systems and network managers, restrains ICT development education system in Uganda. He emphasized the importance of training for the adoption and diffusion of computers in schools.

El-Hindi (1998) conducted study on ‘Constructivist teaching with Internet’. He assumed that learning through the Internet is very compatible with constructivism. Constructivism assumes that learners are active and curious and the process of knowledge construction on the Internet is in keeping with these paradigms. The Internet is a powerful resource to support learners’ natural curiosity. The Internet rethinks the idea of the teacher as the sole source of knowledge, by providing a vast world of information. He found that by using the Internet, teachers can focus less on being the center of learning and allow for more discoveries on the part of the student. Instead of being passive recipients listening to their teachers, students can devise their own ways of gathering information. Effective use of the Internet can help teachers move toward facilitating constructivist learning environments.

Krysa (1998) in his study ‘Factors affecting the adoption and use of computer technology in schools’ stated that computer training should not be limited to teachers who teach computer but all teachers should train computer and its usage. The need for computer training is explained by the fact that most of the presently recruited teachers received little or no training in their formal education concerning use of computers in teaching. It could also be a reflection of the need to update teachers’ knowledge in the world of fast moving technology of communication. Training all teachers on the educational use of computers gains special importance when considering integrating the computer into regular curriculum. Teachers need to know how to use computers first before they can integrate them in the curriculum. This could make ICT innovation simple to adopt and implement as the innovation becomes compatible with the current objectives of the users. He points to professional development and training as a solution to successful ICT implementation. He also reported that successful implementation of computers can only occur if administrators offer teachers support and leadership. In addition to administrators developing a philosophy to guide the implementation of computer technology, they can support the technological professional development of teachers by establishing flexible schedules so that teachers can practice what they have learned (or to continue their learning); encouraging and facilitating team teaching and peer coaching allowing teachers to visit each other’s classrooms to observe computer technology integration; and scheduling regular meetings among teachers using technology to plan and evaluate instruction.

Dix (1999) investigated study on ‘Enhanced mathematics learning: does technology make difference? ‘Study showed the effectiveness of technologically-based instruction in secondary school, by comparing students’ achievements resulting from technology-rich assignments with those achievements resulting from equivalent assignments presented in traditional format. She found that, although there is no significant difference in achievement with either method, use of computers in mathematics does appear to positively influence student motivation.

Farrell (1999, cited in Sife et al, 2007) reported that ICT training and workshops are needed not only to improve the skills of the instructors, but also as a means of getting them involved in the process of integrating ICT in teaching and learning.

Jonassen et al. (1999) conducted study on ‘Learning to solve problems with technology’. They reported that after analyzing applications of IT in various schools and projects grouped these learning activities around several mind tools, which can be used by teachers to enable students to learn effectively. These are Databases, Semantic Networks, Visualization Tools, Micro worlds, Expert Systems and Mental Models.

Charp (2000) noted that educational researchers find a positive connection between the integration of ICT and the successful curricula outcomes when ICT is properly deployed. Hasselbring et al. (2000) in his study ‘Technology to support teacher development’ had shown that improving the quality of an education system depends upon teachers’ training and development. He argues that teachers should be trained to view ICT as a resource and to use technology in classroom activities, whilst earlier added that education authorities are responsible for teacher training.

Kong et al. (2000) investigated study on ‘Possibilities of creative and lifelong learning’. They found that the integration of IT and curriculum is the main force in promoting the full acceptance of information technology by teachers and students.

Mumtaz (2000) worked on ‘Factors effecting teachers’ adoption of technology in secondary schools’. He pointed out lack of administrative, technical and financial support as problems that prevent teachers from using computers in their teaching.

Cuban (2001) investigated study on ‘High access and low use of technologies in high schools’. He found that teachers who used computers in their classrooms largely continued their customary practice, a very few fundamental changes in the dominant mode of teacher-centered instruction have occurred occasional to serious use of computers in their classes had marginal or no impact on routine teaching practices. In other words, most teachers had adapted an innovation to fit their customary practices, not to revolutionize them. He noted that the overwhelming majority of teachers employed the technology to sustain existing patterns of teaching rather than to innovate. In interviews with 21 teachers he found that 13 said that their teaching had indeed changed because of their use of information technologies. Changes include planning more efficiently, communicating with colleagues and parents far more via the Internet, securing education materials from the Internet, having an additional tool in their customary set of teaching practice, and seeing students’ access to information as a phenomenal enhancement to their teaching. Of the 13 teachers who said that their teaching had changed, only four said that they had modified their daily practices in major ways: organized their class differently, lectured less, relied more on securing information from sources other than the textbook, gave students more independence, and acted more like a coach than a performer on stage.

Summary

As I observed from the related literature from various scholars and past researchers collected from secondary sources i.e. textbooks, magazines, internet and journals, it shows that to a large extent ICT implementation in developing countries is still minimal. As regards to cost of ICT training materials, most studies indicate that to a large extent, costs were very high and thus affecting ICT implementation in institutions of higher learning as supported by Makau for Kenya, and Mumatz in Tanzania. Other scholars were concerned with ICT implementation in primary and secondary schools i.e. Makau for Nigeria, Munyantware for Uganda, thus leaving a gap for institutions of higher learning which this study intended to close. For the case of skills development in ICT and administrative support, most scholars and past studies suggested that to a large extent these two variables positively affected ICT implementation.

Few scholars like Mooij and Smeets in Holland were of the view that possessing ICT skills does not warrant use of computers in teaching. By analyzing and synthesizing the different ways of classifying and categorizing ICT usage in the classrooms, the literature informs a repertoire of using ICT in teaching and learning. Children who exposed to school ICT programmes learned better than children not exposed. Whenever teachers used follow up activities, student’s attitudes toward ICT 52 programmes were found are higher.

The above all, all the research findings revealed that ICT programmes by and large have been utilized in comprehensive manner in countries for the benefit of the students. The socio economic condition of the rural children adversely affects the education at the secondary stage of learning. In this context it is determined that Information Communication Technology can motivate children to perform better and change their attitude toward school and learning.

References

  1. Anon, (2020). [online] Available at: https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/22397/8/08_chapter_2.pdf
  2. American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). (2013) Role of technology in language learning
  3. Eaton, S. E. (2010). Global trends in language learning in the twenty-first century. Calgary, Canada: Onate Press.
  4. Engida, T., (2011) ICT-enhanced Teacher Development Model, UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  5. Hennessy, S. (2005). Emerging teacher strategies for supporting. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge.
  6. Kapp, K. M. (2012). The gamification of learning and instruction: Game-based methods and strategies for training and education. San Franciso, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
  7. Ke, F. (2009). A Qualitative Meta-Analysis of Computer Games as Learning Tools. In R. Ferdig (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education (pp. 1-32). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

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Studies of Children and Computer. (2021, Apr 02). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/studies-of-children-and-computer-essay

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