The electronic learning space is something that if embraced and used effectively, can really bring learning to a more dynamic and stimulating level. From a pre-service teacher’s perspective, the incorporation of ICT within the classroom should be authentic and purposeful rather than simply being a means to occupy students.
It is certainly one thing to get excited over the limitless opportunities that this abundance of new technologies provides us with, but it is another to carefully examine the purposes and benefits of some of these tools for their use and relevance in a classroom setting. From some research I have undertaken on this topic, I have discovered that a fundamental element in the incorporation of ICT (whether it be using applications on an iPad or activities on an interactive whiteboard) is the ‘collaboration’ component. This doesn’t mean talking to the student next to you about the game you just played but rather refers to a deeper level of learning where students are given the opportunity to perhaps share their own work and interact with lesson content via their own devices (i.e. iPad) (Murray & Olcese, 2011).
Ultimately, if teachers only intend on providing students with an excess of animated maths games or literacy activities that are well below the students’ capabilities (more than likely used as a means of babysitting or keeping the students occupied), then it is unlikely that the incorporation of such ICT will become revolutionary within the education system any time soon. HOWEVER, if WE start to look at these interactive technologies with a much more collaborative approach then perhaps we really could start a revolution in our classrooms.
Murray, O., & Olcese, N. (2011). Teaching and Learning with iPads, Ready or Not? TechTrends, 55(6), 42-48.