ICT applications and the application of ICT.

ICT is everywhere, and with the ever increasing availability of ICT, accessing applications is becoming very easy, and this leads to the next problem….WHICH APPLICATION DO I CHOOSE?????

Applications are everywhere, and with the creation of so many apps for the same job, choosing the right application is key…confusing….but key.  Which is the best camera application for your smartphone or tablet, which graphic design software is best for school laptops?  With all these choices it is hardly surprising that ICT coordinators in schools get confused regarding applications and software and always go for the standard RM software.  As much as RM has to be commended on the work it has done for school computing, moving away from RM colour magic is a must for a number of reasons.  Firstly when a child goes home and paint or another easily downloadable art product is downloaded, the children do not know how to use it.  If they get used to the standard products that come with educational computers,  then when they use home computers, the skills they have learnt are not transferable.  It is therefore important for ICT coordinators to use software that is readily available to the children at home.

I know when looking at ICT applications on school computers, there is the promise of children being able to have so much more at their fingertips, however there simply does not seem to be enough considering the amount that is available.  Applications are becoming much cheaper, and in some cases even free to educational institutes.  This is something schools often do not look into, and they should.  There are lots of applications out there and the need to search for them should be done.

I finish with this final point.  Applications come for everything and there are a number of applications for each idea.  So I can understand that selecting the right applications for school is difficult.  It must be remembered though, that access to applications that the children can use at home is important as it allows them to develop skills outside of the classroom and improve ICT away from school.

I’m not a shark nor Klaus, but I know about internet safety.

So….Hello again, it has been a while.  Whilst throughout my PGCE I have thought that the ICT is very helpful, whilst undertaking my placements, keeping up with is has been difficult. I apologise and hope that these three posts certainly make up for my absence.  Quite a while ago know in ICT we learnt about internet safety, and whilst I believe it is incredibly important to promote internet safety, I never really understood how much of an issue it really was.  This however all changed when I embarked upon my second placement.

I was in year 6 for my second placement, and it was not until I heard some of the conversations in my classroom and in the playground, that I realised how much exposure children that young have to social networking sites and the general unprotected internet.  I recall one girl referring to FaceBook as FB and told another girl that she would “FB her the details of what time and where to meet afterschool.”  This really did worry me and I had to burst in an tell her about what I had learnt in ICT.  I mentioned how if her privacy settings are open, then anyone can see this and could easily meet her there and could be very dangerous.  This certainly seemed to shock the girl who I believe had just not really thought of the consequences of her actions, however, if naivety is the problem, this needs to be tackled.

She was only an example of what I had seen on placement, and it frightened me because it was quite a common occurrence between the older children in the school.  I know the school was very conscience about E-Safety, and did provide classes for children where they learnt about the dangers of the web.  This however, should be done very carefully because the internet is a very valuable source.  Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web stated that “the important thing is the diversity available on the Web.”  This I have to agree with, however, for the safety of our future generations, we must guard this diversity and channel it so that the children can use it as a tool, but most importantly a safe tool.