Over the past week, the learning paths have encouraged me to think about why and when I should be incorporating ICTs into learning experiences, as well as when not to incorporate ICTs and why. From the knowledge that I have gained through the lessons paths, researching, reading fellow students blogs and from my own previous experiences with teaching with ICTs I began to develop a list of pros and cons.
I was able to list many reasons when and why to include ICTs within an Early Childhood setting. I began by listing how digital technologies allow us as educators to be more time efficient, as we don’t have to write everything by hand and because we can alter successful lesson plans and use them year after year. I also listed that ICTs including websites such as Pinterest, allow us to build our own skills and knowledge for creating experiences that are richer and more meaningful. Another reason why is because they are much more sustainable, as they minimize the use of paper. I also listed that the use of ICTs maximises children’s learning as they meet the needs of different learning styles, support educators practices, reinforce learning, allow students to build upon concepts that they are having difficulties grasping and challenge thinking.
I also listed many reasons not to include ICTs within an Early Childhood setting. Most of these responses however come from my own personal experiences from working within the sector. My first reason was due to a lack of resources and funding. Currently, the childcare setting where I work has older style laptops, limited number of I-pads, cheap digital cameras and communal scanners and printers. The majority of these digital technologies are also for staff use only, meaning that children have very little access to using these devices them selves. A lot of the time the internet connection is poor and the laptops slow down and shut down regularly, usually taking a few hours before restarting again. It can also sometimes take up to a day for documents to print to the communal printers making life very frustrating and stressful for educators. Another reason is because many of the families that attend don’t want their child engaging with ICTs while at childcare, as they either already spend enough time on them at home, aren’t allowed to engage in digital technologies including I-pads or computers at home, because families don’t believe digital technologies are beneficial to learning at their child’s age, and because families would rather their child interacting and learning through play based experiences. I also listed that ICTs alone do not maximise children’s learning and that some educators aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills to use ICTs effectively.
So in conclusion I believe there are definitely many pros and cons to using ICT in the classroom. I feel as long as there is a healthy balance of using ICTs and through the use of educating other educators and families about the benefits of using ICTs within the classroom, then the pros for using ICTs out way the negatives. I also believe its our responsibility as educators to equip ourselves and other educators with the ICT skills so that are students are confident and capable learners with the 21st century.
An interesting article that I found relating to this topic “Pros and Cons of Using ICT in the Classroom”, highlights other pros and cons for using ICT within the classroom. Would love to hear what others think and feel about the Why/Why not use ICT within Early Childhood classroom.