Having spent some time today in a school discussing various aspects of ICT use in lessons across the school, including school policies, software tools as well as hardware configuration, I found myself presented with a period of quiet thinking time; namely a 1 hour drive home.
As I drove the long, relatively straight and fairly unpopulated road, I sat thinking about my post from yesterday, the day I had spent discussing ICT in schools and also the whole issue of encouraging the use of ICT in lessons across a school. The word “school” in the phrase “ICT use in lessons across the school” stuck in my head and I couldn’t work out why. As such I gave some thought to what it meant I arrived at the fact that it referred to the use of ICT by all teachers in the school. The word “school” was being used as a general term to cover all those involved in teaching.
So all teachers should use ICT, but are teachers not each individual’s with individual skills and experience? Is the job of the teacher not to provide students with the best learning experiences possible, even if that may not involve ICT?
As a teacher said to me, some staff have very basic ICT skills and are not that motivated towards the use of ICT. If they provide high quality learning experiences, should this matter?
This brought me back to the term “school”. It was being used as a general term to mean all teachers as the school is the sum of all teachers efforts, among other things. But what if what “school” should mean, is that across the school there should be SOME evidence of ICT use in lessons? It would then be for school leaders to decide what “Some” means in terms of how often, how many teachers, etc, and this decision could be justified based on knowledge of the staff, equipment available, etc.
We often refer to the need to use ICT in lessons because our students live in a technological world and have been brought up with this level of technology however how often do we consider that some teachers were not brought up in this world, barely engage in the digital world in their daily lives and are not motivated towards it. We don’t consider it fair to drag students back, but have no concerns about pulling ALL teachers forward, despite the fact that there are those that neither have the skills, experience or the motivation.