The need to be tech-savvy has never been more important than it is today. Both as part of everyday life and also in the workplace. Many children have daily access to devices such as smartphones, tablets, even newer technologies such as virtual reality headsets and 3D printers. The world is becoming more reliant on technology to communicate, collaborate and share information, and the next generation will soon be leading this shift. Therefore the ability to use technology beyond the ICT classroom has become a priority in education.
To accommodate this, ICT is becoming an increasingly central and complex subject in school curriculums. Exciting skills such as computer programming and the use of robotics are now spilling over into other school subjects, including literature and numeracy. Ensuring that students understand how to use ICT effectively and safely is a key priority in education today in order to foster the tech savvy professionals of tomorrow.
Bringing technology to the classroom
School books and whiteboards are becoming almost redundant in classrooms, with more and more schools using technology-integrated teaching methods and resources. Tech such as interactive digital whiteboards, using students’ smartphones in group tasks and integrating tablets into teaching plans are making lessons more engaging. It’s also helping to ensure that schools run more smoothly: from online sharing platforms for setting and completing homework to tracking student attendance, progress and keeping parents in the loop via digital portals.
Using ICT inside and outside of the classroom teaches children to think critically and be able to solve problems, collaborate on projects across networks, analyse information and be creative.
In fact, using online learning to reinforce classroom learning has been found to lift grades in subjects such as Mathematics in some schools. Being able to use information technology helps children to develop vital skills for entering the future workplace. Children who are less familiar with digital technology are increasingly at a disadvantage in a world where digital literacy has moved from important to almost entirely essential.
It is not only students who need to develop their digital skills. Teachers also need to be digitally literate and trained to use ICT. They need opportunities to improve their ability to use ICT, so they can educate their students. With the right training and knowledge, teachers can fully integrate ICT into every classroom. Every lesson can provide creative opportunities for students to learn, experiment and develop within a technology-integrated environment, positioning them in better stead for the workplace and life outside of school.
Application of robotics in education
Like any technology, robotics can be used across the curriculum to teach a range of subjects in interesting and interactive ways. Building, designing and creating robots to problem solve, move and even play football is a means of creatively engaging school children. It can encourage logical thinking, analytical reasoning and critical thinking that can be used across the curriculum. Being able to think outside the box and take a creative approach to problem-solving are skills that will be cultivated when students are engaged in activities that are fun and stimulating.
Studying robotics in the classroom not only brings abstract concepts of computer programming to life, but also stimulates a stronger interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. That’s not all – it can aid learning in Design and Technology as well as ICT. At the same time, it can open students’ eyes to career paths they might not have known about or considered, such as engineering and website development. That said, it is fantastic experience and knowledge to have, whichever career your child decides to pursue.
The future coders – computer coding in schools
At its most basic level and put simply, coding is providing machines with instructions. To do this, you need strong problem solving and creative thinking skills when the answer is not obvious. Computer programming should no longer be a skill reserved only for so called ‘geeks’ and ‘computer nerds’. It is predicted to become an essential skill for young professionals. In light of this it is becoming a key component of many senior curriculums and even in some primary schools.
Basic coding courses in schools provide students the chance to learn how to develop their own websites, apps and computer software. Even if a student is not interested in pursuing coding, computer programming would help all students to gain a better understanding of how to use the technology that is shaping the world today. Or perhaps what kind of software or programming team they need when they set up their own business one day…
As guardians and teachers of today we have experienced the transition from digital platforms as a novelty to them becoming the norm. Therefore we understand the importance of learning and adapting quickly in order to keep up with modern ways of working. To make sure our pupils are as ahead of the game as they can be, we have introduced the latest ICT facilities and lesson content into our curriculum.
At Cranmore, we strive to provide exceptional opportunities for all of our pupils. Through game making, robotics, greenscreen filming and computer coding, Cranmore pupils can lead the way forward by developing their digital literacy.