Many people assume that ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is mainly for secondary schools and further education.
It’s often considered that young children benefit more from traditional learning techniques and, of course, bringing computer technology into the classroom is an extra cost where budgets are already tight.
However, more primary schools are adopting ICT and realising great benefits from it. They’re also able to do so without breaking the bank. Read on to find out more.
Benefits of ICT in Early Years
Technology is everywhere in the modern world. Most children today will be using computers or similar devices in their adult working life, so it makes sense to get them comfortable with the technology at an early age.
They’ll probably already be using these devices to play games at home, so why not show them how they can also be a valuable educational tool?
And they really are valuable. Using ICT in early years education allows children to explore, observe, engage, solve problems and make exciting discoveries. There are many educational applications designed for primary schools, aimed at delivering an interactive learning experience that encourages children to be inquisitive and expand their horizons.
How ICT Can Be Used to Enhance Teaching and Learning
Tablets such as iPads are a great addition to any primary school classroom. As well as being more affordable, they don’t take up as much space as laptop or desktop computers whilst using the latest technology to provide engaging learning.
Rather than having to print learning materials, teachers can quickly and easily share them with a class via iPads. And children can also collaborate on group work whilst using devices to improve their communication, literacy, and mathematical skills.
There’s no need to worry about students being distracted by games or other apps - with mobile device management solutions you can control exactly which apps are available on each device, and block others from being installed. This can also be used to send messages to entire classes or individuals or lock all devices when a teacher needs the class’s full attention.
Teachers can easily monitor each student's progress to see if any are falling behind or stuck. Rather than relying on their intuition to tell them if certain children are struggling to keep up, they can see for themselves in real-time during a lesson. They can then set up personalised learning plans tailored to each individual child’s skills and pace. This shows the importance of technology in education - it’s much easier to deliver this personalisation than with traditional teaching methods, ensuring that every student has the best possible learning outcome.
Affordable ICT for Primary Schools
It’s a common misconception that ICT equipment is too expensive for most primary schools to install in classrooms. As a result, many don’t even consider it, focusing their investment on teachers and more traditional resources instead.
However, there are technology grants that schools can apply for and there is also the option of leasing equipment to avoid any upfront capital expenditure. Read our blog on funding for schools for full details on how you can make ICT for your classrooms affordable.
It’s also possible to make significant savings by buying iPad's in bulk. Rather than buying one iPad at a time you can kit out an entire classroom and give every child the best learning experience.
Finally, don’t worry that all your teachers need to be computer experts to make the best use of ICT in the classroom. Devices like iPads are designed to be intuitive and easy to use for all. You’ll almost certainly find that once they start using them they’ll wonder how they managed without!
At Counterpoint, we specialise in providing and supporting ICT equipment for all types of schools. So, if you’re interested in using more ICT in early years education and aren’t sure where to start, get in touch and our experts will help you find the ideal solution.